Author Archives: Chris Baker

Analysis: Arsenal Reportedly Trying To Beat Juventus To Signing Of This Bundesliga Ace

Arsenal are set to battle it out with Juventus for Schalke 04 left-back Sead Kolasinac, with the Bosnian’s contract expiring in June.

Schalke have tried and failed to land the 23-year-old on a new deal and he looks destined to leave the Die Königsblauen, whether that be this month or in the summer.

Schalke seem unwilling to sell their man half way through the season, but face the dilemma of losing their player for free in the summer if they do not sell this month.

Juventus are also huge admirers and have reportedly already sent in a bid to the German club, but according to reports, Arsenal have now entered the fray for Kolasinac.

Schalke continue to publicly say that the player will not leave this month, meaning that Arsenal could sign him for free on a pre-contract, should negotiations go well.

Kolasinac has been with the Germans for five years and has played 81 league games for the club thus far scoring three goals. Although he was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, he opted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina and has since gone on to be capped 17 times.

Italian giants, Juventus are likely to lose Patrice Evra this month and will be in the market for a new left-back despite today announcing the signing of Mattia Caldara and the Gunners look to strengthen their left-back position after unconvincing performances from Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs thus far this season.

With Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs fighting for the number one spot in the starting XI, the arrival of Kolasinac could see one of the Arsenal men shipped out, with the likelihood of the latter leaving the Gunners.

We take a look at how Kolasinac compares to the Arsenal men this season.

Playing in the defence, one of the main traits each player must carry is the amount of tackles they win, and the Schalke man certainly impresses in this area winning 1.97 tackles per 90 minutes thus far this season with Monreal in second with 1.44 and Gibbs last 0.85.

Another key asset to a defenders game is the amount of aerial duels they win, and standing at 6ft it is not surprising the powerful Kolasinac has managed to win 63.04% of his aerial duels which again puts him ahead of the Gunners men, with Gibbs and Monreal both trailing on 45% and 39.68% respectively.

Playing for the Gunners, you have to share and adapt to their identity which they have built on over the years, that being efficient, free-flowing beautiful possession based football, something the club has been praised with heavily over the years. It is not surprising that Monreal and Gibbs are not separable in this area, both managing 83% pass completion which puts them both ahead of Kolasinac who managed 70%, which is impressive but could certainly be worked on.

The Schalke man impresses with a number of total duels he has won per 90 minutes thus far this season, managing to win a total of 51.49% in the 11 Bundesliga games he has played, which is superior to both Monreal and Gibbs with the former managing 40.96% and the latter 39.53%.

The Bosnian international is a forward-thinking full-back who is eager to push on and help the attack whilst remaining strong in his defensive duties, utilising his pace for good recovery mode too. The stats above prove he would be an top signing for the Gunners and would certainly have a chance of starting.

The Times Say Chelsea Want To Sign These Two Wing-Backs: But How Good Are They?

Antonio Conte is expecting to be busy this month with Chelsea looking to sign two new wing-backs, despite their excellent 13 matches unbeaten run and impressive defensive record.

The Chelsea manager is looking to improve his top of the table squad with the wing-back position being his prime priority. Since his change of formation to a 3-4-3 Chelsea have been immense in both offensive/defensive phases, impressive wing-back pair Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses has been pivotal to their recent success but may find their position up for grabs once the window slams shut.

West Ham United star Michail Antonio and Jonas Hector are on Conte’s wish list this month according to The Times, who say two wing-backs are the main targets for Chelsea this month.

Slaven Bilic will be reluctant to sell his star man this winter as he has been the bright spark in a dark season for the Hammers. The 26-year-old has thus far managed eight goals in 27 games.

The former Nottingham Forest man cost West Ham just £7 million in 2015 but Bilic will know they could demand more than triple if they were to part ways this winter.

Conte as reportedly eyeing Hector before opting for former Fiorentina man Alonso in the summer, with him going on to cement himself in the starting XI and making a positive impression in the first half of the season. But there remain doubts over Alonso’s ability in the long run and also the depth in his position.

Chelsea are currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League table and are in formidable form despite their hiccup at White Hart Lane, the signing of Antonio/Hector will give the Blues boss many options on the wing-back/defensive positions and will help to continue their momemtum until the end of the season.

Both players have had experience playing the wing-back role, and have both been thoroughly impressive thus far this season. Germany man Hector has managed to win 1.62 tackles per 90 minutes this season which puts him ahead of Hammers man Antonio who has managed just 1.05, which in itself is still impressive.

Occupying the role Conte will want either to adapt too will see both players utilising their pace to get past their man, whether that’s to spring counter attacks or get out of defensive positions. Hector again comes out on top of Antonio, managing 69.23% successful take ons whilst Antonio trails on 57.65%, which again is impressive and over the half way mark.

Being a German, and learning his trade within his native country it was almost inevitable Hector would be impressive in possession and this shows with 85% pass completion, again leading Antonio on 72%.

But, something the West Ham man does have over Hector is his eye for goal, he has a fair few goals thus far this season managing to find the net 0.44 times per 90 minutes compared to Cologne man Hector, managing zero. This will again have caught the eye of Conte who knows he can add goals to his game which is a massive plus for any manager. It’s possible that Antonio could be deployed in the most advanced right wing berth of the 3-4-3 formation.

Not just a goal scorer, but a creator too, Antonio has managed to create 0.94 chances per 90 with the German ahead of him on 1.44, which shows he’s certainly more of a creator than a goalscorer.

Antonio would be an immense signing for Chelsea, versatile, direct & good in 1v1 situations in both phase whilst Hector also possessing similar abilities.

Conte seems set on signing new full-backs this winter and has already recalled the impressive Nathan Ake to strengthen the squad with the title race in full flow. Both clubs will be reluctant to sell their stars this transfer window, but when Chelsea come calling, and having the offer of having the chance to win the Premier League title, I think it will be hard for both players to say no.

La Liga Midfielder Linked With Arsenal, Man City & Chelsea: We Look At Who Needs Him Most

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are all interested in signing Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi this transfer window, according to reports.

All three Premier League giants are looking to strengthen their midfield with N’Zonzi on each of their radars according to The Express, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City reportedly opening talks over a potential deal and moving ahead of interested parties.

The Frenchman has previous Premier League experience which will appeal to the three clubs, two spells in England with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City, but he left the Potters in 2015 for Spanish side Sevilla where he has found tremendous form.

The former Stoke City man has reportedly rejected a new contract meaning the club will look to offload him this January, with them pricing their man at around £25 million.

N’Zonzi has been impressive in both La Liga and the Champions League this season, helping his side to second in the league table thus far.

The Gunners are interested in the 28-year-old as they look to get cover for the injured Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, leaving them significantly short in midfield with Mohamed Elneny out of action due to international commitments.

Antonio Conte is also interested in bringing him to Stamford Bridge as they look for that extra boost to push them on for the title.

It seems N’Zonzi is keen on a return to England and will reportedly demand around £90,000-a-week if he was to return to the Premier League.

We take a look at if N’Zonzi is needed at each of the mentioned clubs.

Arsenal

New season, but the same Arsenal injury crisis. The Gunners are now down to just two central midfielders with both Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey being the only natural fit CM’s. There will be a worry of overplaying both in the hectic Premier League fixtures in the coming weeks with the latter being a concern due to his hamstring injury troubles which has kept him out of numerous weeks already this season.

When all personnel are fit for the Gunners, they are packed in central areas, but with the latest setback they may now have to dip into the market. Although N’Zonzi is not a guaranteed starter in the starting XI with the Gunners already having many gifted midfielders in their ranks. But, he will certainly bring stability/physicality in the middle for the short term.

The Gunners may dip into the market before another injury occurs, which will then certainly be a crisis. Arsene Wenger will be attracted to N’Zonzi’s previous Premier League experience, meaning he will not need too much time to adjust to the league.

Chelsea

This is probably the most surprising link, Chelsea seems very steady in the central area and have found a winning formula with the correct personnel. N’golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have been superb since Antonio Conte transforming to a 3-4-3 formation with Cesc Fabregas itching to make an impact from the bench and doing so superbly.

How things stand I think they’ll be happy with the depth in midfield, and he is certainly not a priority as they target an attacking player to fire them to the Premier League title. If Cesc were to leave however, that may change.

Manchester City

For me, this is N’Zonzi’s most likely destination. Pep Guardiola will certainly be in the market after a mediocre opening half to the season, and with the injury to Ilkay Gundogan, the club will certainly be looking for a new central midfielder.

Fernandinho has been sent off numerous times for City thus far this season and has been proven to be a liability in his disciplinary, Yaya Toure is ageing and will struggle to play continuous games with Fernando not being the level of player Guardiola will want to start regularly.

N’Zonzi would be an immense signing for Manchester City. The Frenchman is calm and composed in central midfield, he’s very physical in his play and has high stamina levels throughout the 90 minutes whilst offering quality at both ends of the pitch.

Stats behind his game this season

The Sevilla man has played 15 games this season and has been influential for them thus far. Deploying the central area in midfield, he takes on many different tasks during the game, he has been immense in both offensive and defensive transitions which is backed up with the 28-year-old winning 1.20 tackles per 90 minutes and creating 0.47 chances too.

Another trait which will impress all interested teams is his positive/efficient play whilst in possession. N’Zonzi has thus far managed 49 forward passes per 90 minutes which is considerably more than his backwards passes, whilst showing his composure in possession managing an 89% pass completion this season.

Standing at 6 ft 3, it is not surprising he is a dominant force in the air, and that is backed up with the midfielder currently winning 75% of his aerial duels this season, which will certainly appeal to all three interested clubs, especially with the physicality of the league.

The attack can often rely on runners from midfield, and N’Zonzi certainly possesses a strong glide from deep into offensive areas. His ability to take long strides has been a useful weapon with him so far managing to be successful with 70.59% of his take ons.

It feels inevitable that N’Zonzi returns to England this month, and putting all things into perspective you would suggest he is Manchester City bound to boost Pep Guardiola’s squad ahead of an intense battle for the top four.

Report: Manchester United Have Made An Offer For Serie A Ace, Would He Be A Good Addition?

Manchester United appear to be moving fast in the January transfer window and have already lodged a bid for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Italy.

Reports breaking from Italian daily Il Giornale, suggest the Red Devils have made an offer for the 21-year-old as they look to bolster their squad ahead of a crucial second part of the season.

M’Baye Niang is under contract until 2019 so the Italians will be in no desperate need to sell their man, Milan are said to want to keep their prized asset and were hoping he would sign a new contract but reports from Italy said talks over an extension has buffered, despite the Frenchman reportedly willing to renew.

Reports suggest Milan’s takeover by Chinese investors has complicated the renewal, which has left Jose Mourinho with fresh hope for his signature.

Since his arrival to Serie A, he has gone on to play 64 league games for the Italians scoring eight goals, although he has represented France at youth level, he is yet to make his first-team appearance.

Although he can play the 9 role, he has been deployed on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 more often which is where his long-term future seems to lay. The Milan attacker often uses his pace to stretch defences and get in behind backlines, an attribute that will attract Jose Mourinho due to his positive style of play.

United are now using a similar formation in the Premier League, and may have an eye on M’Baye Niang for the left-hand side of the front free for rotation purposes. Memphis Depay looks like he could be on the way out, so perhaps Niang is earmarked as a replacement? It’s hard to say which player would be better for United, both are still far from the finished article and I find it hard to beleive that if Mourinho is not willing to give Memphis time, that he would want a player like Niang. Jose does still have options on the left with Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Rashford and Martial all able to play there.

Although Niang has been playing at the top level for several years, he is still very raw in many aspects, he is yet to master his issues in front of goal and lacks that clinical edge and this shows with the fact he has scored just 0.26 goals per 90 minutes thus far this season. But, he is still young and has shown glimpses of his goal-scoring pedigree in him, which will be another bonus for on-looking potential suitors.

The forward was a target for Everton and Arsenal when he was still playing for Caen, despite turning down England for Italy four years ago, he firmly believes his long-term future is in England as it suits his style of play.

The Red Devils would have a battle on their hands from clubs around Europe if he was made available, with earlier reports suggesting Arsenal, Monaco and Borussia Dortmund are also monitoring his availability closely.

Arsenal, Man Utd, Everton & Tottenham Spotted Scouting Top Quality German International

Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton are all interested in signing a German sensation after all clubs were found to be scouting the midfielder. 

A report from The Sun suggests that all four previously mentioned clubs have been extensively scouting impressive German midfielder Julian Brandt. The news was originally picked out from this piece in the Mail.

The 20-year-old wonder kid has been in exceptional form thus far this season and is scoring goals and assisting as Bayer Leverkusen attempt to get back on track and fight for the European places after a slow start to the season.

The impressive versatile midfielder has been in exquisite form in the first half of the season and has attracted interest from major clubs around Europe, as scouts from the four clubs mentioned were in attendance in Leverkusen’s matches in recent weeks.

Premier League top gun Manchester United and Arsenal are the most eye-watering names for the youngster whilst Spurs and the Toffees have also sent representatives out to check out his performances in the past.

Brandt is considered as one of the finest talents coming out of Germany in a new German era of colossal talents, with the player already being capped a handful of times for his country.

Something which will attract top clubs to this fine talent is his versatility, he can play on either wing and can also be deployed in the attacking midfield role, as he has the brilliant capability at driving at defences and attack the space provided.

The German youngster is tied down until 2019 with the Germans, and with the inflated prices with regards to the transfer market, any interested club will probably have to cough up around £25-30 million to secure his services.

It is clear why some of the biggest European top guns are sniffing around Leverkusen’s prized asset, he is quick, direct and technically superb on the ball. He has developed rapidly in recent seasons which is mostly down to his maturity, as his attitude is simply admirable.

Sporting director, Rudi Völler classes Brandt as “one of the most talented players in German football” and he is certainly living up to his high praise.

Being so young in his premature career, of course, he is not yet perfect, the German youngster needs to work on his defensive attributes as he often gets beaten too easily, or bypassed in a defensive phase.

Brandt has played a part in all 16 Bundesliga games for the German side thus far this season and has showcased his quality already. Predominantly playing on the wing, he has an eye for creating chances and has created 1.89 chances per 90 minutes already this season.

When he has the ball he will drift in from the wing and occupy the #10 space as he looks to drive at defences and create chances or use the byline as his attacking approach. As previously noted, he has already created chances this season but has managed 0.45 assists per 90 this season, an impressive end product, then.

All Premier League clubs mentioned with interest usually dominate play and have an identity of keeping the ball and racking up possession. Clubs like United and Arsenal would expect the winger to be efficient on the ball, and Brandt is OK in this area with 75% pass completion thus far.

Modern day football relies heavily on wingers contribution to goals, with the likes of Sadio Mané, Dimitri Payet, Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez all sharing the same versatility trait of being able to play anywhere across the front three midfield positions, with the latter also covering the #9 role.

These players all chip in with goals and are relied upon by their respected managers to score and create at will. Brandt, although not as efficient in front of goal as the players above, has still scored 0.15 goals per 90 thus far to show he has an eye for goal, although this is an area that will certainly need work on in the near future.

The exciting youngster would be a top class signing for any of the clubs mentioned and would certainly help boost competition for places within their ready-made squads. Although Leverkusen will be hopeful of keeping hold of their prodigious playmaker, a move to England could be the stepping stone he needs to reach the next level of his career which promises to be beautiful, as he looks to blossom from his colossal potential and reach the heights many expect him to reach.

Liverpool Linked With Signing Arsenal Star In January, Why He’d Be A Good Addition

Liverpool Football Club are reportedly considering a very ambitious move this winter with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain topping their wish list with the January transfer on the horizon.

Jürgen Klopp has identified the England international as an ideal addition to his red-hot squad and sees Chamberlain as an ideal temporary replacement for Sadio Mané, who is set to leave Liverpool in January to link up with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. According to The Telegraph, the Reds are considering a bid.

Chamberlain has just 18 months left on his current Arsenal contract and there has been no sign of contract negotiations beginning despite Arsene Wenger insisting he wants the 23-year-old versatile midfielder to sign a new deal and extend his stay with the Gunners.

And according to the Telegraph, Chamberlain has been told very positive things about Jurgen Klopp with England compatriots Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson singing his praises whilst away on England duties.

Arsenal, who have many players with just 18 months left on their contract find themselves in a very sticky position regarding the Ox, they could sell this winter for a fee of around £25 million or risk him not renewing his contract and losing him for free next summer, something the Gunners will be reluctant to let happen.

There is plenty of evidence to show why Klopp is chasing the England man who is also being scouted by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City extensively with contract talks yet to take place. Chamberlain has also scored six goals and provided six assists thus far this season, being his best yet for the club.

But, there is growing frustration from Chamberlain’s side, wanting to seek more regular game time, with himself admitting it is frustrating to continuously be subbed off after the hour mark.

Chamberlain said; “There is that in my mind that I do want to get more game time. There comes a time in your career where you have to re-evaluate things and think, ‘Is that going to be here or elsewhere?’ which is a clear warning to the Arsenal manager.

Liverpool lose their star summer signing Mané in the next week to due international commitments, and as they stand just six points behind Chelsea, they may feel a signing of Chamberlain’s calibre will help them push on to catch and hopefully overtake Chelsea.

The Reds managed to deal with the absence of Philippe Coutinho who is due back imminently, but heading into the crucial part of the season they cannot afford to lose the goals which Mané provides without having a ready-made star to take his slot.

Chamberlain’s versatility is a key attraction to Liverpool, with him having the ability to deploy many midfield positions including on either flank or in an attacking or defensive midfield role with all positions being tested with the Gunners, but yet able to cement a place.

A deal between Arsenal and Liverpool will be extremely difficult to materialise, though. Since the Luis Suarez saga, there is certainly some sour feelings between one and another, with Liverpool reportedly inserting a clause in Roberto Firmino’s contract which stop’s Arsenal signing him for less than £80 million which shows the extent to which they will go to.

Both Mane and Chamberlain predominantly play on the right flank for their clubs but have the ability to cut inside and interchange with others, playing the position both players occupy you are expected to have the ability to create chances and both players impress in this trait. They are inseparable with the amount of chances they have created thus far this season with Chamberlain and Mané creating 1.77 chances per 90 minutes.

Creating chances is a natural trait that wingers should carry, but being able to contribute with that and assisting others is also very key and important for the team. The Arsenal man has double the assists of the Senegalese international with 0.50 assists per 90 thus far with Mané behind on 0.24.

Another trait versatile wingers carry is key passes, it shows they’re efficient in offensive areas and has hawk-eye vision in getting behind defences with defence split passes. Mané impresses in this stat and has thus far managed 1.52 key passes compared to Chamberlain’s 1.26.

Wingers usually have great stamina and have the ability to take on their man with pace / beautiful skill and this is something in which both players possess. Chamberlain has great upper body strength and pace which allows him to beat his man whilst Mané has pace and elegant skill whilst having the ability to glide past and in behind his man. The Arsenal man comes out on top for successful take on’s with an immense 65.85% with the latter narrowly behind on 57.53%.

Liverpool are top goal scorers in the Premier League and with their excellent Mané leaving in January may look to the market to replace his goals/creativity. Chamberlain has managed just 0.25 goals per 90 thus far this season compared to the Liverpool man who has managed 0.49 after having a prolific time in front of goal.

As you can see, Chamberlain, at just 23-years-old would be a decent addition to any club in and around Europe as he is still yet to fulfil his colossal potential but is blossoming this season. Klopp himself rubbished the rumours of a potential move for the Ox by saying “I don’t usually talk about other players, but I can make an exception – nonsense,”.

Klopp, as you thought has rubbished the rumours, which you would expect, but if he felt the Gunners man may be available this winter I have no doubt he would capitalise on it, Chamberlain would certainly be an exquisite signing for the Reds, but Arsenal will be reluctant to sell to a direct rival as they look to extend his current contract.

Transfers: Chelsea Could Sign Manchester City Outcast – We Look At How He’d Fit In

Chelsea could target Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart with fears that Thibaut Courtois could leave for Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to AS.

Real Madrid were a fax machine away from signing David De Gea last summer and have now lost interest in the United shot-stopper whilst reigniting interest in former Atletico Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois.

With the Blues fearing the worst, they are said to be looking to sign 29-year-old Joe Hart after impressing in his loan move in Italy with Torino by slowly getting back to his best after being shown the door by City manager Pep Guardiola in the summer.

The likelihood of Courtois returning to Spain will be dealt with severity by the Chelsea board, with the goalkeeper himself never hiding his ambition of returning to the City where he won the La Liga title.

Joe Hart is a ready made England international and has all the experience you need for a goalkeeper after winning numerous titles with Manchester City, but any deal between Chelsea and Manchester City will be very tough considering ‘bis clubs’ do not like doing business with each other.

Thibaut Courtois is a crucial player for the Blues and helped them win the League title after returning from his loan move in 2014, he has gone on to become one of the top five goalkeepers in the world and at the age of just 24-years-old will only get better with goalkeepers being known to peak in latter years of their careers.

We take a look at how Joe Hart measures up against current Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and if he would be a good replacement if the Belgian star was to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

A bonus for any goalkeeper is to finish the game with a clean sheet and Thibaut Courtois comes out on top here managing 0.61 clean sheets per 90 minutes thus far this season with Torino man Hart behind with 0.25. You could argue that this stat may be unfair with Courtois having one of the best defences in Europe in front of him as they sit top of the Premier League table.

The most crucial trait any successful goalkeeper must inherit is the number of saves he makes, this can be simple saves to game winning / immense saves, and Joe Hart certainly blossoms in this area making 2.69 saves per 90 minutes with Courtois trailing with 1.72. That said, Courtois impresses immensely with 3.10 saves per goal with Hart somewhat behind on 1.87.

Pep Guardiola shipped out Joe Hart to Italy for one main thing; his lack of distribution accuracy. The City manager is all for this new trait in goalkeepers where they must basically act as a fifth centre-back and have the ability to play out from the back, much like his former goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. But again, Hart (just) top’s Courtois in his distribution accuracy with 69% with the latter narrowly behind on 68%.

The goalkeeper’s job is to ensure he does not concede a goal within the 90 minutes, although new era of managers may want them to be more technical in build-up play, the most important asset for the man between the sticks is to ensure he does not concede. Again, the Chelsea man shows his form by conceding just 0.61 goals per 90 minutes thus far with Hart conceding more than double of the Chelsea man with 1.44.

Both goalkeepers are very good shot-stoppers and have both played a major part in their sides winning major titles, at just 24-years-old Chelsea’s Belgian star will only get better and for me, they have to do everything in their power to keep him at the Bridge. Although Hart is still respected as a very good goalkeeper. In my opinion, he is levels below the Chelsea man and I would be very surprised if Antonio Conte made a move for him with many talented young goalkeepers breaking through around Europe.

Report: Arsenal Plotting Transfer For £30m-Rated Defender

Arsene Wenger is said to be planning ahead of new signings in the summer, despite his own future still remaining in doubt. 

Arsene Wenger is chasing a new left-back with the promising talent, Jose Gaya leading the list of potential candidates, according to the Daily Mirror.

Gunners boss Wenger has identified the left-back position as a weakness that will need rectifying come next year with the likes of Nacho Monreal ageing and Kieran Gibbs being a squad player. The Frenchman wants to sign someone who can make that place their own for years to come.

Monreal has struggled thus far this season and has not been himself since hitting form in the 15/16 season where he was arguably amongst the top five left back’s in Europe for his ability and consistency. He became a fan favourite that season, with many labelling him ‘Mr. Consistent’ – but he doesn’t look the same player this season.

Kieran Gibbs’s position within the club is also a predicament, with just 18 months left on his contract and uncertainty arising whether he will be offered an extension – it is likely we will see the Gunners man leave the North Londoners next summer.

21-year-old Gaya is thought of as one of Europe’s brightest prospects and has been linked with the Gunners in previous years. After suffering from non-stop muscle injuries in recent months it seemed to take a hit on the defender, halting his progress but the Spaniard is now looking to realise the colossal potential he possesses.

Gaya has been a huge success since his breakthrough from the Valencia academy and has gone on to make 56 appearances for the club in the league. The academy graduate is one of the only things right at the club right now with the club sitting in 17th position in La Liga and being on a downward spiral.

Gaya is yet to make his international debut despite being called up twice to the Spanish national squad, but his arrival would increase the pressure on Monreal.

Gaya has been a potential target for the likes of Real Madrid in previous years. The Spanish man loves bombing up and down the flank and helping out offensively whilst remaining defensively sound and this is something which will attract potential suitors, with managers expecting their defenders to become an outlet at all times when going forward. He’s of similar ilk to Hector Bellerin, but on the left side.

Playing as an attacking full back, this has allowed Gaya to play more as a wing-back, ensuring he gets into greater attacking positions, this would be a much welcome strength for Arsene Wenger as it gives him options if he did decide to change up his famous 4-2-3-1 formation.

Arsenal have been known to be vulnerable on the counter-attack, and the thought of having an attacking full-back may worry some fans, but another trait the Spaniard carries is electric pace which certainly rescues him/team in a defensive sense.

We take a look at how he measures up against current Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal and how he would fit the Arsenal system.

Being a defender in the modern game, although you are asked to possess many different qualities the number one trait all managers will want is tackles won, and Gaya comes out on top of the Gunners man Monreal by winning 2.24 tackles per 90 minutes with the latter managing 1.26 thus far this season.

The 21-year-old also impresses with successful take ons, having the burst of pace and ability to get past their man in a defensive transition is key, and the Valencia man again comes out on top ahead of the Arsenal star by completing 59.09% with Monreal just behind on 58.33%.

The Premier League, as many people know, it is the toughest / most physical league in the world and as a defender you must be cut out to win aerial duels against the opponent, and again Gaya comes out on top, standing at 5 ft 7, managing to win 54.55% of his aerial duels with Monreal managing just 40%. You could argue La Liga is far less physical in that aspect but the stat itself is still very impressive.

Arsenal Football Club holds an identity which is well known across Europe, and that is to play beautiful football, which the man himself Arsene Wenger brought to the club. Being prodigious in possession is key for any member of Arsenal’s squad and Monreal does top his Spanish compatriot in this trait with 83% pass completion which is just ahead of the Valencia full-back (75%).

But, being efficient in possession is even more key for Arsenal with Gaya again impressing with key passes, accomplishing 0.85 per 90 minutes which is far better than Monreal, 0.38.

As you can see from the stats above, Gaya would be a great signing for the Gunners. He is still very young and raw, but given Wenger’s speciality for developing young talent, Gaya has the potential to be a significant upgrade on his compatriot Monreal and with much more time on his side.

Looking at the prospect of having Hector Bellerin (21) and Jose Gaya (21) the North Londoners would potentially have their full-back pairing for the next decade sorted. They’re both extremely exciting talents and are destined to become world class players, the club will likely have to cough up around £30 million for his services, but investing in someone carrying such ability, the club should prioritise his signature next summer and save him from the crisis at Los Che Els Taronges.

It’s worth remembering that Arsenal recently dealt with Valencia, bringing Mustafi to the club.

Premier League Team Of The Week: Ft. 3 Man City, 2 Man Utd, 1 Liverpool & 1 Chelsea Player

Here is our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

Pickford was immense for Sunderland against Watford as he kept a clean sheet and ensured the Black Cats took all three points.

The 22-year-old has become a regular in the starting XI for David Moyes men and is growing with confidence each week, his displays have been so impressive it is only a matter of time before the big clubs come calling.

Aleksandar Kolarov – Manchester City

When the team-sheet was announced on Sunday afternoon, many football fans was surprised that Kolarov started over summer signing John Stones, but his performance warranted his starting spot and with a performance like that it will keep the Englishman out of the team for coming weeks.

The centre-half was solid at the back, keeping the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott very quiet throughout the game, as always the City man was excellent in possession and composed defensively.

Ragnar Klavan – Liverpool

Playing in his first Merseyside derby, Klavan had a truly phenomenal display dealing with Romelu Lukaku with ease and keeping Everton’s attacking players at bay.

The Liverpool man was physical, defensively sound and composed in possession finishing the game with 88% passing accuracy, as a defender winning your tackles is crucial and this man won 100% of his against Everton, to emphasise how impressive he was.

He was excellent in an all-round great display as the Red side of Merseyside came out on top.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Phil Jones was once the forgotten man at Manchester United, but is slowly becoming the needed man.

The English International has been superb at the back for United in recent weeks and is giving Jose Mourinho a headache for when Chris Smalling and others return to full fitness.

Many doubted Jones’s ability but he dealt with Salomon Rondon very well, coming out on top of the physical battle and helping his side take all three points.

Patrick Van Aanholt – Sunderland

Firstly, Sunderland has a very good left-back on their hands in Van Aanholt, he has been consistently impressive all season thus far and his performance at the weekend again proved why he has become vital in this Sunderland team.

When your club is in a relegation battle, all you want is for your players to show desire and fight in their performances and that shone through when he ran from deep in his own half, into Watford’s area to set up the winning goal was fantastic, a run of true desire.

Jack Wilshere – Bournemouth

Jack Wilshere registered his first assist of the season this weekend against Southampton and was unfortunate to be on the losing side.

It’s brilliant to see Wilshere getting back to his best after years of devastating injuries, he was excellent against the Saints and is finally getting his burst of speed back. As Wilshere completed another 90 minutes, some of the stats behind his game are impressive, he managed 85% pass accuracy, made nine take ons and created one chance.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

The attacking midfielder’s display against Arsenal was simply sublime, magical and amazing.

He ran the show, from start to finish he was a complete nuisance for the Arsenal defence, he made arguably the pass of the season to assist Raheem Sterling for the winning goal after switching play magnificently.

The Belgian was immense, he created seven chances against Arsenal, having three shots and completing one take on. He deserved to score when he hit the post and was a stand out performer on Sunday afternoon.

Fernando – Manchester City

With Manchester City missing Fernandinho, it was crucial that Fernando stepped up in his absence and he has done so in style.

The Brazilian was a rock in the midfield against Arsenal and dominated the Gunners midfield winning the battle overall. The midfield rock maintained a 90% pass accuracy which is exquisite, whilst making two interceptions and four blocks.

The midfielder was good in both offensive and defensive situations and was always on top of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Diego Costa is the best number 9 in Europe, without a shadow of doubt, there is no better striker on this planet at this current moment and Costa is week in week out showing why.

The Spanish international is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with 13 goals, and scored the winning goal (again) against Crystal Palace to ensure his side are comfortably top of the tree at Christmas.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United

Like the man himself said, he get’s better with age, just like wine.

The Manchester United man again proved why he was such a good signing for free in the summer as he has hit double figures for the season already

He was influential for United in their 2-0 win over West Brom and helped the Red Devils secure all three points with a brace.

Alvaro Negredo – Middlesbrough

The summer arrival of Negredo was massive for Boro, and he is really starting to find his feet again in England as he scored a brace in a brilliant win over relegation rivals Swansea.

Boro were superb at the weekend as they picked up a massive three points just before Christmas, climbing away from the relegation zone by four points.

‘Never Hated A Player More’ Arsenal Defender Comes Under Strong Criticism After Manchester City Nightmare

Arsenal travelled to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a bid to close the gap on first-placed Chelsea, a gap which has extended to nine points after the Gunners dropped points against Everton mid-week.

Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger’s men, they conceded to consecutive defeats in the space of a week as their title hopes took a massive dent with the Gunners sitting in fourth place, nine points off top and looking very vulnerable.

Most Arsenal players carried on their abysmal form from Goodison Park but one player in particular was on the receiving end of some strong criticism, that being Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista, who was atrocious against Manchester City as he showed why Arsenal miss Mustafi so much.

Gabriel, who arrived at the North Londoners in 2015, has failed to cement himself a place in the starting lineup for nearly two years and today showed exactly why, he was abysmal in possession, for someone playing in a team managed by Arsene Wenger you would be very surprised by how Gabriel was playing, he was constantly going long for Alexis Sanchez, just for Arsenal to concede possession and be put under more pressure.

Gabriel lacked the technical ability to string a few passes on the surface, he was not able to pass through to our midfield to help build up play from the back and was extremely wasteful with the ball, he would either go sideways or over the midfield, and straight to City defenders, this cost Arsenal crucially today and the signs are really showing why Mustafi is so key to this team.

As a central defender you have to be much more aware and more disciplined than Gabriel was, he can often be quite rash in his defensive duties and can be caught out of position very often.

Gabriel made just two tackles this afternoon, one more than Olivier Giroud who was subbed on in the latter stages of the game, that just shows what kind of defensive performance Gabriel has against Manchester City.

The Brazilian always looks very uncomfortable with the ball too, he looks like he does not know what to do with it, or has a lack of confidence in himself, to which he results to just giving the ball away or play wayward passes, something which will anger Arsene Wenger.

For some humour, Gabriel nearly caused Hector Bellerin to score an own goal after the Brazilian hoofed the ball at Bellerin’s face and it took quick reactions from Petr Cech to save the shot, no it is not that funny really, is it? But if you don’t laugh you will cry. That moment of madness just shows what kind of performance Gabriel had today.

It is really frustrating to watch, this is twice in one week we have taken a look at Arsenal players to cost the Gunners a vital points and ground in the title race. Each and every player should want to win and end this disastrous drought of having no Premier League in so many years, but they don’t, and to be honest, it’s frustrating and a disgrace for the Arsenal faithful.

It is certainly a performance to forget for Gabriel, it was embarrassing. We look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, and as expected some fans are really not happy.

As you can see, Arsenal fans were less than impressed with Gabriel’s performance and were quite ruthless on his overall display. Some people find strong criticism unfair and uncalled for, and sometimes it may be, but for Arsenal, they are desperate to end their title run, games like today will pay divalent on their title charge and it really does feel as if the Gunners will go another season without the grandest prize of them all.

Arsenal fans are calling for Rob Holding to start over Gabriel, and to be honest, I have to agree. The youngster has been immense whenever he plays in an Arsenal shirt and has bags of potential to fill and a lot more ability about himself.

The Gunners bottled two tough away days in the space of a week, they’re nine points off top, playing some woeful football and sitting here writing this I feel that’s another season down drain, and it’s only December.

In-Depth Player Ratings for Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Here are the Fresh Football player rating’s for this afternoons clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City

Claudio Bravo – 5

Had little to do during the first half and could not doing anything about Theo Walcott’s opener, much the same in the second half, cannot recall him making a save.

Pablo Zabaleta – 6

Was relatively solid at the back and tried to get forward as much as he could, was subbed off at half time.

Nicolas Otamendi – 7

Was all over the place for Walcott’s opener as he looked set to have a tough afternoon, but after composing himself he grew into the game and dominated Arsenal’s attacking force in an impressive performance.

Aleksandar Kolarov – 8

Kolarov was superb at the back for City today and certainly the better of the two centre-halves, he was calm, excellent in possession and defensively solid in a fine performance.

Gael Clichy – 6

As always, a very strong outlet going forward but was a bit more vulnerable defensively, seemed to be behind the pace at times of the games but overall was impressive against his former team.

Fernando – 8

Showed fantastic energy and drive from the midfield and dominated the likes of Coquelin and Xhaka, was defensively solid and disciplined whilst recycling possession very well.

Leroy Sane – 8.5

Always looked positive going forward and showed some glimpses of trickery in tight positions in the first half. Scored a very well taken goal in the 47th minute and caused Arsenal’s back-line havoc all afternoon.

Yaya Toure – 8

Toure was again superb for City this afternoon and has been growing in confidence again since his return to the starting XI, he dominated the midfield in an all round brilliant display.

David Silva – 7.5

Silva provided an excellent assist for Sane’s opener and was brilliant in possession as always, was rightly booked for a cynical foul but was at the heart of everything good for Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling – 8

After missing a golden chance in sixth minute to equalise he did not let this dwell on him. He was brilliant all game and got his reward in the 71st minute after scoring an excellent goal, getting away from Monreal and firing past Petr Cech.

Kevin De Bruyne – 9

Was City’s most dangerous player in the first half and always looked like he could create something. Arguably made pass of the season for Sterling’s winner after switching play exquisitely, was technically ahead of every single player on the pitch.

Arsenal

Petr Cech – 4

Cech broke a new record today after going eight games without a clean sheet as Arsenal’s defensive struggles continue, although he made some good saves his distribution was atrocious and put the Gunners under extreme pressure. Could’ve done better for the winner too.

Hector Bellerin – 6

Showed some glimpses of his pace and broke from the back to start the build up to Walcott’s goal, was quiet apart from that and was pegged back for most of the game due to City’s dominance.

Gabriel Paulista – 3

Today again showed why Arsenal miss Mustafi, Gabriel was absolutely diabolical. He blasted a ball at Hector Bellerin which nearly led to an own goal, was woeful all round defensively and always hoofed the ball long, not the Arsenal way.

Laurent Koscielny – 6

Koscielny was probably one of Arsenal’s better players on the afternoon, as always held his own and showed solidarity at the back, will probably be annoyed with himself for not getting in front of Sterling’s shot.

Nacho Monreal – 5

Had a tough afternoon against City’s attackers and was beaten so easily by Sterling which he scored from, a defender can only back off so much until he realises he’s allowed his marker into a dangerous position, an absolute disaster by Monreal.

Granit Xhaka – 5

Xhaka was poor in the midfield for Arsenal today, he gave the ball away in dangerous areas and for not one minute did he or Coquelin have any control for Arsenal, very poor performance.

Francis Coquelin – 4

Coquelin has many limitations in his play and this showed again today, he has no technical ability and is a disaster in building play from defensive situations. Yes he shows passion, but that will not win games, for someone starting for Arsenal without any ability to play football is quite baffling, it drags the team down.

Theo Walcott – 6

Walcott’s pace got the better of City, he scored a very well taken goal in the fourth minute and could have had another. Worked very hard all afternoon and was one of the better performers for Arsenal.

Mesut Ozil – 2

Was the worst performer on the pitch in an utterly horrible display, twice this week Ozil has gone missing when Arsenal needed him most and for a player demanding a pay rise then maybe he should start playing like he deserves one. When the tackles started flying in he started walking about the pitch feeling sorry for himself. Did not applaud the away fans at the end and should be embarrassed.

Alex Iwobi – 5

Worked hard to press from the front with Sanchez but had a quiet first half, gave the ball away at times when he needed to be more composed, faded away in the second half and was subbed off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alexis Sanchez – 7

Beautiful assist for Walcott’s goal and ran himself into the ground as usual in the first half, much the same in the second half, you won’t find a more determined player than Sanchez and to be honest he deserves a lot better.

Subs

Manchester City

Bacary Sagna – 7

Came on at half-time and was excellent down the right-hand side, hardly had any defensive duties but was solid when called upon.

Jesus Navas – N/A

Kelechi Iheanacho – N/A

Arsenal

Alex Oxlade – Chamberlain – N/A

Olivier Giroud – N/A

Mohamed Elneny – N/A

Arsenal Fans Claim This Midfielder Put In No Effort In Shameful Performance vs. Everton

Arsenal travelled to Goodison Park on Tuesday evening in a bid to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League since the opening day of the season.

The Gunners only defeat prior to the match was against Liverpool, the Toffees rivals, but they fell to a crushing defeat to Ronald Koeman’s men to make it 2-0 to Merseyside over the North Londoners.

It was a poor performance all round, but one player in particular who was on the receiving end of strong criticism was Arsenal’s German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, who was lethargic, pathetic, and out-fought all game in a shambolic display.

Playing in his favourite number 10 role, Arsenal expect to be able to rely on their most creative player to carve out chances and take the game by the scruff of the neck, but when the going gets tough, Ozil seems to disappear, quite literally. Ozil, who can of course produce moments of artistic magic is still a wonderful player, but when he has the attitude of ‘can’t be bothered’ it really does rub off on others.

Unlike Alexis Sanchez, who has had better nights but still he ran his socks off up until the final whistle and still showed great character for the team, Ozil was Slowly walking about, not tracking back, letting the game run away from him and quite simply being a shadow of what he possesses in a very lazy performance.

The Arsenal man is not immune to criticism, however wonderful he may be, for Everton’s winning goal, Mesut Ozil found himself in the penalty box defending the corner (no, that is not a typo) and although he should not be there in the first place, he should still be man enough to challenge Williams for the ball. Instead, Ozil ducked and turned his back on the ball as he cowardly pulled himself out of any contact.

Honestly, that’s a total disgrace, for a club who want to put an end to their disastrous title drought, to have a player duck from the ball which turned out to be the winner is not good enough, what mentality is that giving off? He should want to throw every limb he has into that challenge, instead he let his man have all the time in the world before casually walking back to the halfway line.

Ozil is first name on the team sheet each week, without a doubt, he is crucial for Arsenal and is key for their title charge, but when the going gets tough, he must get tougher, he could have showed some sort of heart and character to try and win that ball in the box, but he did nothing which has cost his team the points.

To put the cherry on top of such a disappointing performance, Ozil had the opportunity to put the Gunners ahead when the ball was dragged back into his path, but unfortunately he blasted the ball over, he could have certainly scored.It is really frustrating to watch when someone of his

It is really frustrating to watch when someone of his qualitiy is playing with such attitude, all is not bad for Ozil though, he did still manage to create one chance against Everton and ended the game with 81% passing accuracy, which isn’t great for his standards but still far from woeful.

It is certainly a performance to forget for Ozil, it was dire. We look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, and as expected some fans are really not happy.

As you can see, Arsenal fans were less than impressed with the Germans performance yesterday and rightly so, they’re desperate to end their title drought and know losses like yesterday could play divalent in the title run. Yes, the criticism may be deemed unfair as he is a glorious player, but no player is immune to it, and he really must take a long hard look at himself after yesterday’s display.

To top of his performance, he didn’t even go over to thank the Arsenal faithful after the match and headed straight down the tunnel, maybe he felt embarrassed after the defeat but there is never any excuse not to thank the fans that look up to you.

Walcott has also come under strong criticism for his performance, if you can call it that, in the 2-1 defeat against Everton.

Arsenal are in an excellent position, they have only suffered two defeats this season which could have both been avoided, Arsenal need Mesut Ozil to step up and help them reach maximum heights this season.

Up next is Manchester City away for the Gunners, he could certainly put this performance behind him if he was to help his side take all three points and put a real marker down.

Premier League Team of the Week includes 3 Arsenal, 2 Chelsea & 2 Manchester United Players

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea

Courtois was again impressive as Chelsea recorded nine consecutive wins, with the Belgian keeping another clean sheet in the Premier League.

With managers wanting goalkeepers to be good with their feet, Courtois certainly impressed with 81% passing accuracy throughout whilst dominating his area and being a calm and collective presence in between the sticks as always.

Hector Bellerin – Arsenal

Arsenal fans will feel much more assured now their Spanish right-back has returned to action, and in some style too.

Continuously being an offensive threat, he helped change the game when he came on from the bench, registering an assist for Theo Walcott.

Bellerin, who is key to this Gunners side, managed 94% passing accuracy whilst creating another three chances too in a quality display.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Since his return to the Manchester United squad, Phil Jones has been immense and has certainly cemented his place in the United XI for the immediate future.

In a must-win game against Spurs, Jones was excellent against the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli keeping them at bay.

The Englishman made five interceptions, six clearances whilst winning 100% aerial duels in a dominating display.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal’s finest defender since the likes of Sol Campbell and Martin Keown for sure.

He helps Arsenal pass out from the back and completed 88% passing accuracy against the Potters, whilst making four clearances and winning 50% of aerial duels as he helped his side extend their unbeaten run since the opening day of the season.

Christian Fuchs – Leicester City

Leicester City looked back to their best again against Manchester City as the Champions absolutely blitzed Pep Guardiola’s side.

Defensively the Foxes were solid, and Fuchs for me was a standout performer at the back against City as he kept the likes of Jesus Navas at bay, ensuring the Spanish star had little impact on the game.
Fuchs managed 10 clearances and two interceptions in a fine performance as he helped his side get back on track.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan– Manchester United

Who knew that Bundesliga player of the season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, was so good. Well, everyone is the answer, that’s why everyone was so baffled by Jose Mourinho’s early season treatment of the Armenian.

Each game the United star has played, he has been above every other teammate and is simply in impeccable form.

He was magnificent against Spurs, he was causing Danny Rose so many problems and scored an immense goal whilst completing three take ons and creating one chance.

Unfortunately, he looks to be set for a spell on the sidelines for a few weeks after picking up an ankle injury, which is a shame for the whole league, as he is a true joy to watch.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

For so many years, Arsenal have been crying out for a physically strong, all round dictator from deep and have finally find the perfect player in Granit Xhaka, the Gunner’s Switzerland gem.

Against the Potters, Xhaka managed to maintain an 88% passing accuracy whilst creating two chances and three clearances in a solid performance.

Jeff Hendrick – Burnley

Burnley’s record signing finally lived up to his billing against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon as he scored a beautiful volley from 25 yards, like Jamie Vardy’s goal against Liverpool last season.

He helped Burnley end their run of three straight defeats, helping his side take the crucial three points. Hendrick was solid in midfield and created one chance whilst making five interceptions helping his side defensively.

Stefano Okaka – Watford

Well, what a performance from Watford man Stefano Okaka. Against a very strong Everton back four, the Watford striker had a field day in a brilliant display.

His first goal was a touch of art, a sublime piece of skill which is rarely pulled off with such precision, whilst scoring his second goal with a powerful header then going on to run the Everton defence ragged all afternoon.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Diego Costa, simply the best number 9 in Europe. Although Chelsea were not having it their own way against West Brom, Costa was still working hard, closing down from the front, helping out defensively and being a real nuisance for the Baggies back four.

His goal was a thing of beauty, he nicked it from the defence before driving it into the top corner exquisitely.

The Spanish international created three chances and three take ons in another fine performance, he was playing at left-back in the latter parts of the game to help his team out which just shows how hungry he is this season.

If Costa keeps on scoring and playing the way he is, Chelsea will be crowned champions come May.

Jamie Vardy – Leicester

Jamie Vardy was having a party against Manchester City on Saturday evening.

The Englishman looked back to himself against Guardiola’s men, he was making runs, rediscovering his relationship with Mahrez and closing down efficiently from the front.

Vardy scored his first ever hat-trick against City and showed glimpses of his old self, he completed three take ons too whilst maintaining high energy levels throughout.

He has come under strong scrutiny for his goal-scoring drought but has finally put that past him as he sets his eyes on helping Leicester get back into the top half of the table.

Premier League Team of the Week: Ft. 3 Chelsea, 2 Arsenal, 1 Liverpool & 1 Everton Player

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

It was a weekend of bizarre results in places, whilst Arsenal and Chelsea showed their title credentials with impressive wins, it was a gamble from Manchester City to try and match Chelsea 3-4-3 and it backfired, get your Genting Casino promotion code to see if you can have more luck.

Lee Grant – Stoke City

Stoke City are back to winning ways and have kept consecutive clean sheets thanks to the in-form Lee Grant, who has been superb in between the sticks for the Potters in recent weeks.

Burnley certainly gave Stoke a good game at the weekend but without Grant standing strong and pulling off saves, things could have been ever so different.

But Grant excelled in a good performance and helped the Potters up to ninth place with a trip to the Emirates Stadium beckoning.

Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur

Eric Dier, who predominately plays in central midfield has found himself  playing in defence for Tottenham Hotspur a lot this season due to Toby Alderweireld’s injury.

The English international had a superb performance for Spurs in there 5-0 demolition over Swansea City with Dier winning 100% tackles, having 102 touches of the ball which is more than anyone else whilst maintaining 92% pass accuracy. Dier also got himself forward creating two chances in a truly immense display.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Honestly, I cannot remember a week in which David Luiz did not make our TOTW, this is not because I am a biased Chelsea fan, it is simply because he has been in impeccable form.

His arrival raised question marks which have been answered with supreme performances, he is enjoying himself in Antonio Conte’s new system and has been in majestic form since the start of the season.

A revelation, he has been arguably the best defender in Europe thus far this season, he was sublime at the Etihad Stadium managing six clearances, 34 passes and two interceptions.

The Brazilian is improving week in week out and his form will play a big part in Chelsea’s success this season.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Since his return from injury, Phil Jones has been very impressive in the United team and is certainly giving Jose Mourinho selection headaches for when Eric Bailly returns to full fitness.

In their 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, Jones was tasked with keeping Romelu Lukaku at bay and did so in style, matching the Belgian striker’s strength and desire.

The English international maintained an immense 89% passing accuracy, whilst winning 100% aerial duels, which certainly catches the eye coming up against someone as powerful as Lukaku.

Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth

Many people woke up on Sunday morning and had not heard of Ryan Fraser before, or some may remember him from having a good spell ruined by injury at Ipswich Town, but one thing is for sure, you certainly know who he is now.

When Fraser was introduced to the game with 35 minutes remaining, nobody would have thought he would have the impact he did.

Firstly he won the penalty which was converted, he then scored a goal whilst grabbing an assist too in Bournemouth’s remarkable 4-3 win over Liverpool.

His direct approach and speed was too much for Jurgen Klopp’s men to handle, and he will certainly be looking to start for Eddie Howe’s men after a wonderful Man of the Match performance.

Emre Can – Liverpool

If anyone can, Emre can.

Although Can was on the receiving end of an embarrassment defeat, the German international still showcased an exquisite performance in the middle of the park.

He helped his side take the lead after setting up Sadio Mané for the opener before curling a beautiful strike into the back of the net from outside the box.

His performance certainly caught the eye with the midfield maestro also completing three take ons in a brilliant display.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

When Arsenal announced Santi Cazorla would miss up to three months of the season due to injury, many fans panicked, but honestly, there is no need to.

Granit Xhaka found himself in the starting XI again for the Gunners and on each occasion he has not disappointed in a wonderful performance against West Ham United.

The midfield rock, who formed a partnership with Francis Coquelin, managed 89% pass accuracy whilst being defensively switched on winning four tackles and three interceptions.

Idrissa Gueye – Everton

When Everton announced the signing of Idrissa Gueye in the summer, many football fans turned their heads, but he is quietly becoming a vital player for Everton and has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season.

Coming up against the likes of Paul Pogba in the United midfield, he stood strong and won the battle which saw the Toffees man win five tackles and complete 37 passes.

Gueye was influential for Everton again on Sunday and won 75% of his duels, which showed how dominating he was against the Red Devils.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

After a season to forget last season, this Belgian is thriving in Conte’s new formation and is rapidly getting back to his best which has him in the bracket with some of the worlds best.

Hazard was again at the heart of everything for the Blues as they cemented their title credentials with a win against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Alexis Sanchez -Arsenal

When Alexis Sanchez turns up, it is just beautiful to watch.

The Gunners annihilated West Ham United on Saturday evening in a 5-1 victory, but one man stole the headlines, that man being their Chilean magician Alexis Sanchez.

The Arsenal forward scored a truly glorious hat-trick with his third goal being utterly outrageous, whilst oozing brilliance throughout and assisting Mesut Ozil.

West Ham defenders are no doubt relieved they will not have to face Sanchez for a while after being torn apart by the 27-year-old, who was a menace all game.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Once again, Diego Costa makes our TOTW after an immense afternoon at the Etihad Stadium as he helped his side take all three points.

The Spanish international scored an incredible goal, with controlling the ball out of the air beautifully before smashing past the helpless Bravo.

Costa is a different animal this season, he look’s even hungrier, and Saturday again proved why he is currently the best number 9 in Europe with the Chelsea man hitting superlative form.

‘What A Talent’ Arsenal Fans Excited By Youngsters Performance vs. Basel

Arsenal traveled to St. Jakob-Park on Tuesday evening to face FC Basel – a side that traditionally does well against English opposition. The Gunners traveled in high spirits after their 5-1 victory over West Ham United on Saturday and knew a win would give them a chance of finishing top of the group.

PSG slipped up at home to Ludogorets managing just a point at the Parc Des Princes which ensured the Gunners topped their group after a comfortable 4-1 win, remaining unbeaten in the Champions League group stages with the last time Arsene Wenger’s men managing that they went all the way to the final.

Although all 11 Arsenal players were good, there was one performer that impressed many, that man being England u-21 international  Rob Holding, who was making his Champions League debut.

Holding was given the nod ahead of Shkodran Mustafi who was rightly rested ahead of a busy Christmas period, and the young gun did not disappoint in an influential performance.

Partnered next to Laurent Koscielny, Holding was winning balls in the air, challenging for the ball and being a real rock at the back in a very impressive display. Holding managed three tackles on his European debut which was the joint best amongst other players.

As well as being impressive in tackles, Holding was also exceptional at reading the game, his professionalism and awareness for someone so premature in his career is prodigious with the Arsenal youngster making three interceptions and five clearances.

Another trait which Holding possesses with large amounts of confidence is his passing. It is as if he has already inherited the Arsenal DNA in which he patrols the ball and oozes confidence. The centre-back made 69 passes against Basel managing a 92.8% pass completion which just shows how comfortable he is on the ball.

His understanding with Koscielny was remarkable, they formed an excellent partnership this evening and Holding did not look out of place at all. Whilst dealing with his defensive duties with his French teammate, he also managed one key pass and had one shot on the offensive side of his performance.

The performance was excellent, Arsene Wenger will be delighted with his summer signing and the heaps of praise the youngster is receiving is fully deserved. We take a look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, with some fans very, very impressed.

It already seems as if Holding has won the hearts of many Gunners fans after his immense debut performance in the Champions League. Arsenal signed the talented defender for just £2 million in the summer which in this day and age is an absolute bargain as Arsene Wenger seems to have found another gem. This was certainly a performance of intent and with such high quality it may give Arsene Wenger a selection headache over a busy Christmas period, but the good news is he knows he can trust his squad players to make an impact for the team. At just 21-years-old he is already showing signs of becoming a great defender, and in the future, he could certainly become a very important player for Arsenal, and who knows, maybe for England.

Player Ratings: FC Basel vs. Arsenal – Gibbs & Lucas Shine

 The Gunners ran riot against FC Basel on Tuesday, winning 4-1 and remaining unbeaten in the Champions League thus far. With PSG drawing, the win meant Arsenal topped their group for the first time in 6 years. Here are Fresh Football’s ratings for the Arsenal eleven. 

David Ospina – 7

Made two good saves and looked very comfortable in between the sticks in the first half and could do little about Doumbia’s consolation goal for Basel.

Gabriel – 7

Since Hector Bellerin’s injury Gabriel has slotted in at right-back and has done superb thus far, he was solid in the first half and won tackles whilst being defensively strong in the air with much of the same in the second half, solid performance.

Rob Holding – 7.5

The 21-year-old’s first start in the Champions League this season was a success, in the first half he was composed in possession and defensively sound with much the same in the second half, apart from maybe losing his marker in Basel’s goal he was a rock at the back and did not look out of place.

Laurent Koscielny – 7.5

As always, the Frenchman was solid at the back for Arsenal and comfortable in possession throughout and kept the Basel attack at bay.

Kieran Gibbs – 9

Gibbs was superb in the first half, he grabbed an assist in the 8th minute with a smart pass across goal paving the way for Lucas to slot home, he then saw his shot saved to lead the way for Perez to net again, a carbon copy of the first goal.Not only was he superb going forward but also defensively brilliant in a marvellous performance.

Granit Xhaka – 8.5

Solid and efficient in possession as always, did not let the occasion of returning home get to him and played some brilliant passes through the lines throughout the match.

Aaron Ramsey – 8

Playing in the midfield pivot for the first time with Granit Xhaka was a new experiment for Arsene Wenger, the Welshman was good in possession and was always an outlet going forward but did leave Xhaka isolated in his defensive role at times in the first half but showed much more solidarity in the second.

Alex Iwobi – 8

Iwobi, who has been fighting for his place in recent weeks looked really up for the game in the early stages and was closing down and good on the ball, he gave away possession at times in the latter stages of the half though. Scored Arsenal’s fourth goal in the second half with a tidy finish and his work rate was immense throughout.

Mesut Ozil – 8.5

The German magician was superb for the Gunners in the first half, he passed the ball to Gibbs exquisitely in the build up for the second goal whilst remaining immense on the ball. A brilliant assist in the 53rd minute to set up Alex Iwobi, pulled the strings and was majestic throughout before being subbed on the 73rd minute.

Lucas Perez – 9.5 (MOTM)

Talk about being a fox in the box, Lucas was alert for both his goals in the first half poaching at the back post. Scored his third goal in the first minute of the second half with a brilliant finish running away from goal and was working hard for the Gunners from start to finish. Lucas played most of the game on the right-wing.

Alexis Sanchez – 8.5

The man who scored a wonderful hat-trick on Saturday was again quality for the Gunners, his pass to Gibbs for the first goal was beautiful, a hawk-eye pass which was pitch perfect, Arsenal’s Chilean was quiet going forward but was brilliant on the ball and closed down quickly from the front. Beautiful pass to Ozil to assist Iwobi, hit the bar with a magnificent free-kick before being substituted in the 69th min.

Subs

Olivier Giroud – 6

Nearly scored in the 73rd minute but saw his effort just go past the post but did not make much of an impact in the time he had.

Mohamed Elneny – 6

Solidified the midfield and kept things ticking in the closing moments.

Theo Walcott – 6

Made a few runs at the Basel defence and had one shot comfortably saved, but like Giroud, did not influence the game when he come on.

‘Pocketted Pogba’ Twitter Reacts To Everton Midfielder’s Masterclass In Manchester United Draw

Manchester United failed to close a three point gap on the top four this afternoon after drawing 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park. With Liverpool and Manchester City both dropping points before their clash with the Toffees the Red Devils knew they could close a gap on their rivals but failed to do so again in another draw for Jose Mourinho’s men.

The result leaves Manchester United way away from the top four as any hope for Champions League football keeps slipping away with United continuously dropping points, but the point for Everton, which was certainly deserved will be a relief for Ronald Koeman after losing last week at the St Mary’s Stadium and keeps them within touching distance of United in sixth place.

One man in particular shone for the home side in their well battled draw, that man being summer signing Idrissa Gueye, who was absolutely immense in central midfield helping his side keep the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba very quiet during the game.

The arrival of the former Aston Villa man went under the radar in the summer but he has been exceptional thus far this season, he has found his feet extremely well in Koeman’s system whilst delivering supreme performances on a consistent basis in recent weeks.

In yet again another excellent performance, he helped his side extremely well defensively winning five tackles during the 90 minutes, more than any other player on the pitch and provided the midfield engine in the middle of the park.

When the impressive Gueye was not helping his side defensively he was pushing forward trying to help his team get something from the game, which evidently paid off with the Senegalese man winning the penalty in the closing stages, after receiving the ball and brushing past Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian brought him down for a stone wall penalty.

The midfielder was at the heart of everything for the Toffees and was oozing confidence, he had a total of 69 touches in the match making 37 completed passes which is impressive in itself.

Gueye was majestic yet again and was involved in a total of 16 duels this afternoon, managing to win an extremely impressive 75% which shows the dominance he possessed, making two interceptions too.

For someone to keep up such high tempo in their play and keep up high stamina levels as Gueye did was impeccable, he was bursting forward showing initiative whilst proving to be a nuisance for United, a player that just would not give them a sniff of the ball.

As expected, there has been humongous praise for Gueye on twitter, with some totally overjoyed with their Man of the Match, so we take a look at how people responded to Everton’s summer signing today.

As you can see, the Everton faithful are over the moon with his performance today and some already want him to be awarded the player of the season. Gueye has been influential for Koeman this season and he is repaying the faith he showed to bring him to Merseyside in the summer, if Everton’s dream of European football is to become a reality, they will be relying on this man to stay fit and firing in that midfield.

Ratings: How Everton’s Players Rated In 1-1 Draw vs. Manchester United

Here are Fresh Football’s ratings the clash between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park. First, we look at the Everton ratings. 

Maarten Stekelenburg – 5

What on earth was he thinking for United’s opening goal? The decision making and communication was poor with him being left red-faced after Ibrahimovic’s goal, apart from the howler, he had little to do in the afternoon and looked comfortable between the sticks.

Seamus Coleman – 7

What a battle it was with Martial, he had his hands full all afternoon but was solid defensively whilst, as always getting forward to help his side on the attack.

Ashley Williams – 7

Had a tough afternoon against Zlatan Ibrahimovic but held his ground well in a very physical battle.

Funes Mori – 7

In the same situation as Williams, had a tough afternoon against the big Swede but was good defensively, holding his own against the United attackers in general.

Leighton Baines – 7.5

Well, against one of the most efficient players in the league, he struggled with Mkhitaryan’s magic but was not left red-faced and had the last laugh scoring the equalising penalty in the 89th minute.

Idrissa Gueye – 9

Gueye was absolutely immense again today, he was impressive from start to finish and dealt with the likes of Herrera and Pogba well, he won the penalty late on and was awarded MOTM after a great display.

Gareth Barry – 6

To be honest Barry was lucky to be on the pitch for the time he was after a few clumsy tackles not being dealt with by the referee, was not his most impressive display though but as always dug deep to help his side.

Tom Cleverley – 5

Facing his former club, it was normal he was well up for it and helped out defensively and offensively but things just did not pull off for the Englishmen and was left frustrated at times.

Yannick Bolasie – 4.5

For someone that promises something so beautiful, Bolasie was very quiet this afternoon against the Red Devils and had little impact on the game, he was subbed off in the second half and was quite poor in possession.

Kevin Mirallas – 6.5

Likewise Bolasie, was quiet through the first half especially as he struggled to make an impact, he could have scored in the 52nd minute but was denied by a superb save from De Gea, did not give up and caused to be a real nuisance in the latter stages.

Romelu Lukaku – 4

For someone who was probably most hungry for the match to send a statement to former boss Jose Mourinho, things didn’t go his way, was shrugged off the ball by United’s defence and was kept quiet during the game, a poor showing.

Subs

Gerrard Deulofeu – 6

Coming on in the 65th minute you just knew Darmian would be in for an even bigger challenge, Deulofeu was brilliant in the closing stages and was a menace going forward.

Mason Holgate – 6

Replacing the injured Coleman, was solid whilst showing glimpses of promising signs, won the battle against Martial and Rashford.

Enner Valencia – 6

Valencia was a true menace when he entered the fray, he could have scored from a bullet header but De Gea was equal to his effort, was a very good cameo for the Toffees man.

Report: West Ham ‘Preparing’ £25million Offer For Premier League Ace

With the January transfer window right around the corner, clubs  are preparing themselves to sign the right players, whether that be to push them for the league title or to guide them to a European place / relegation freedom.

One rumour in England that has caught everyone’s eye is that West Ham United are apparently preparing to offer up to £25 million for Bournemouth hot shot Callum Wilson once the transfer market reopens in January, according to the Guardian.

The Hammers have been injury riddled thus far this season with injuries to the likes of Andy Carroll and a fresh injury to Diafra Sakho, which will see the West Ham forward miss six weeks. They’re stretched for depth in the forward department, with England born Wilson leading the list of potential incomings to reduce the problems for Slaven Bilic.

After fighting hard for a European place last season, their poor start to the season see’s the Londoners just one point ahead of the relegation zone after struggling to settle into their new home after leaving Upton Park.

Summer signings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have struggled to settle in the Premier League and are both shadows of what abilities they posses, with the former coming under strong criticism from the Irons faithful with a new petition going around with fans willing to pay for his flight back to Turin.

Although West Ham are willing to offer up to £25 million for the striker, Bournemouth will remain resilient and not flirt with any ideas of a sale for their top goal scorer, especially after the start they have made sitting 12th in the league after some great displays. After rejecting a £15 million offer from West Ham back in May, it’ll be interesting to see what happens after the player signed a 4 year contract in July.

Wilson himself seems happy in Bournemouth and is a key player to Eddie Howe’s impressive project, he would certainly challenge the likes of Zaza and Calleri to become number one at West Ham but we take a look at how he compares with the Hammers forwards.

Playing the number 9 role is all about scoring goals, of course. But, in modern day football you are also relied upon to create chances too with Zaza coming out on top in this trait by creating 1.56 chances per 90 minutes thus far this season, Wilson is in second place with 0.72 with Hammers man Calleri third 0.65.

Speaking of more responsibilities than just scoring goals in the number 9 role, assists is another key ability to possess as an attacking player and the attacking trio are yet to manage a single assist between them in the league with 13 games gone, which, to be honest is quite a worrying stat to say the least.

When you receive the ball in between the lines as a striker you can often be expected to pick up the ball and run at the defence. Zaza again impresses significantly with successful take on’s managing 60% with West Ham compatriot in second place on 50%, Cherries man comes last in this race with 26.32%.

Of course, now the most important trait deadly strikes must carry, goals. Bournemouth hot shot Wilson annihilates his two opponents in this genre with 0.41 goals per 90 minutes thus far, with both West Ham players hitting blanks, scoring zero goals so far this league campaign. This is one stat which will certainly sparkle in Bilic’s eye as goals for the London side have dried up, and Wilson will certainly add to that.

At 24-years-old, Wilson would be an immense purchase for West Ham, he is still young and will only improve as times goes on. The problem for them is, Eddie Howe will be reluctant to sell and has no need at all, after the TV money injection last summer clubs the size of Bournemouth are in no need or desperation for money, money which 5 years ago they would only dream about.

The plus side for Hammers fans is the club look set to sign a striker in January, but in my honest opinion I don’t think they will persuade Bournemouth to sell, better yet, I do not think Wilson will want to leave either with his current club currently in a promising place under the talented Eddie Howe.

Premier League Team of the Week: Including 3 Arsenal, 3 West Ham & 2 Man City Players

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures. There were some standout performances with 3 players from West Ham and 3 more from Arsenal making the eleven. Scroll down to find out about the XI in full, and why they made it.

Darren Randolph – West Ham United

This is not the first goalkeeper to go to Old Trafford this season and have, arguably their best game of the season thus far. Randolph joined that list of keepers this weekend after an immense display against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. He denied the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jese Lingard, saving a point for the Hammers as Slaven Bilic rightly favoured the Republic Of Ireland international over Adrian.

Nicolas Otamendi – Manchester City

When the Argentinian first arrived in England, he was heavily criticised for his performances which did not reach the billing City faithful where hoping.

But, since Guardiola’s arrival he has formed a fine partnership with England defender John Stones. On Saturday, Otamendi impressed at the back for City and made 18 clearances, created one chance and also finished the game with 88% passing, which will be a stat that pleases the boss.

Angelo Ogbonna – West Ham United

Much like teammate Randolph, Ogbonna was excellent in the Hammers away match to Jose Mourinho’s men and was at the heart of the defence that kept United at bay.

He made one key block to deny Ibrahimovic in the first half, which was destined to hit the back of the net and finished the game with 100% tackles and aerial duels won, whilst also impressing with a 75% passing accuracy in a truly great performance.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Arsenal man Laurent Koscielny has become vital to this Gunners team, and time and time again proves why he is one of Europe’s finest defenders. The Frenchman had another top class display on Sunday against a very strong Bournemouth attack including the likes of Wilson and King who both possess excellent speed. The Arsenal man finished the game winning 67% tackles, 75% aerial duels, making eight clearances and 87% passing. Mr consistent.

Nathan Ake – Bournemouth

Although he was on the losing side on Sunday, he was brilliant on the left hand side for the Cherries.

The on-loan Chelsea man surely caught the eye of Blues boss Antonio Conte after his quality display at the Emirates. He was both brilliant offensively and defensively whilst creating once chance, making 14 clearances and finishing the game wit 78% passing accuracy. The 21-year-old has been in fine form in recent weeks and if he keeps progressing will find himself knocking on the Chelsea starting XI door next season.

Michail Antonio – West Ham United

Antonio has been excellent consistently in the past two seasons and was once again impressive at Old Trafford. Although the Hammers man had a dip in form after Bilic opted to play the versatile midfielder at right-back where he struggled significantly. Since moving back to his favoured position he has been extremely dangerous for West Ham, and on Sunday he created once chance, completed four crosses, five take ons and helped out defensively with 100% tackles won.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

Arsene Wenger experimented another midfield pivot with Granit Xhaka starting alongside Mohamed Elneny, and it may be the most perfect partnership thus far, at least in Santi Cazorla’s absence.

Xhaka was phenomenal for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium as he helped his side get back to winning ways. Fans have been left raging in recent weeks due to Wenger’s exclusion of their summer signing, but after his performance on Sunday he must be deemed un-droppable for the upcoming games.

The Switzerland midfielder was excellent in transitions, whilst his exquisite passing helped Arsenal attack quickly, finishing the game with 90% passing accuracy, the midfield rock also managed to be successful with 73% of his tackles – a truly wonderful display.

Josh Sims – Southampton

Well, what a way to introduce yourself to the Premier League. Within 42 seconds the young Saints player registered his first assist after setting up Charlie Austin for the winning goal, whilst running Everton ragged all afternoon with immense pace and ability. An afternoon to remember for the 19-year-old after a very good introduction.

Leroy Fer – Swansea

Now we have all calmed down from the game of the season at the Liberty Stadium, we can reflect on the brilliant Leroy Fer who scored a brace for the Swans. Bob Bradley was in desperate need for the three points for his struggling side, and two goals from Fer helped seal the 5-4 victory, he was too much to handle for Crystal Palace as he completed three take ons and 77% passing in an erratic game.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

When you have the quality of Sergio Aguero leading your line, you just know he will score. The Argentinian scored a brace for Pep Guardiola’s men after they went 1-0 down to Burnley at Turf Moor after a fine strike after Marney opened the scoring. Aguero secured three points for the away side with a 2nd and was once again the difference between City and the opposition.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal

When Arsenal need a saviour, up steps this magic Chilean. Alexis Sanchez once again got on the score sheet for the Gunners as they secured three points against a very resilient Bournemouth side. Aside from Alexis scoring a brace in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory, he maintained high intensity throughout and pressed high up the pitch to try win the ball back. Arsenal can rely on their new number 7, after he created four chances, three take ons and finished the game with 72% pass success, not bad for a striker.

‘Shouldn’t Be Near The Starting 11’ Everton Fans & Koeman Critical Of Midfielder After Southampton Performance

Everton remain 7th in the league table after defeat to Southampton at the St Mary’s stadium on Sunday afternoon. A goal from Charlie Austin in the first minute was enough to ensure the points stayed with the Saints as Ronald Koeman’s return didn’t go to plan for the former Southampton boss.

We take a look at the numbers behind the Toffees midfielder Ross Barkley, who was left frustrated after a tough afternoon where he had little influence on the game and was often dealt with at ease by the Saints defenders.

However harsh criticism has been on the England prospect in many years, it is due to the fact he has bags of potential but is failing to fulfil this on a consistent basis.

Although he didn’t perform to the standard the Everton faithful want him to do week in week out he did have a high passing accuracy yesterday afternoon finishing the game with 87% passing accuracy, one of the only things he can take dignity from.

Barkley, who predominantly plays in the number 10 role played there again yesterday and should have been at the heart of everything going forward and creating chances for his teammates, of course playing that role is not just about creating though, the 22-year-old wasn’t able to test the Saints keeper enough having just one shot whilst only completing one cross too, considering they have Romelu Lukaku in their side playing the nine role, you would think Barkley would look to get the ball in the box a lot more often than he did.

Barkley’s work rate off the ball was rather poor throughout the game too, he didn’t manage to make one tackle whilst making two fouls and clearly didn’t work for his team as much the boss wanted him to as he was deservedly subbed off after 70 minutes for Kevin Mirallas who took his place.

Everton boss, Ronald Koeman who was seething after the game deemed Ross Barkley “not good enough” after another lacklustre performance. We take a look at twitter to see how others reacted to his performance.

As you can see, the Merseyside born midfielder has come under some strong criticism following his recent display with fans seemingly giving up on their prized asset. European football must be the goal for Everton this season but they will certainly need their number 10 to pick up some good form if they are to accomplish this. But, if things go from bad to worse for the England midfielder then Koeman, who is clearly frustrated with his current performances may look to cut ties with him next summer, something Everton fans once dreaded.

‘He’s A Blessing’ Chelsea Star Dubbed As Best In The World After Great Performance vs. Tottenham

Chelsea retained top spot after a well fought battle at Stamford Bridge against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Christian Eriksen gave the away side the lead after a thunderbolt strike but goals from Pedro and Victor Moses saw the three points remain with Antonio Conte’s men as they extend their run to seven consecutive league wins.

We take a look at the numbers behind the Blues top performer, Diego Costa, after another majestic performance saw the Spanish international grab an assist whilst giving Spurs defence something to worry about every time he was on the ball.

The 26-year-old was influential for the Blues, his assist for the winning goal was excellent – the way he drived past Dembele / Wimmer was so impressive, he glided past with ease showcasing a bit of neat footwork before driving the ball into the on running Moses’s path.

Although Costa did not get on the score sheet like he has so many times this season, he was showing why he is more than just a goal scorer with two key passes, one leading to the winning goal. What is most impressive about Costa’s game, which other strikers shy away from, is when the going gets tough, he gets tough. The Spanish international does not mind getting back for his side and doing the defensive work, with the Chelsea striker managing four clearances against Tottenham Hotspur.

The striker is working very hard for his teammates if things aren’t going their way, he will chase down any long ball which can relieve pressure on his side, this is the attitude Conte has managed to bring out of him after a below par season last term.

In another excellent display, Costa had 44 touches, making 25 passes finishing with a 72% pass accuracy. The Chelsea man helped his side take maximum points which see them sit top for another week, after another quality display we take a look at how Twitter reacted to Costa’s performance.

As you can see, Costa’s performance did not go unnoticed and rightly so, he was excellent once again and proved why he is arguably the best number nine on the planet at this current time in his deadly form. If he is not scoring, he is creating goals, if he is not creating, he is working tirelessly. A truly brilliant player who could fire his side to Premier League glory once again if Antonio Conte’s men were to keep up this supreme form.

Premier League Team of the Week: 3 Chelsea, 1 Arsenal Loanee & 1 Tottenham Player Feature

It’s that time of week again, and after the International Break we finally welcome back thoroughly missed Premier League football, and here is our team of the week for the weekend just passed.

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

The 22-year-old continued to impress in a depleted side during the Black Cats 3-0 victory over Hull City.

He was calm and composed between the sticks and this threaded through to his defence with Sunderland claiming a clean sheet. The Englishman made five fine saves to ensure he kept his clean sheet and was superb in the the much needed victory.

Victor Moses – Chelsea

The once forgotten man is now helping Chelsea top the table after becoming a crucial player in Antonio Conte’s new system.

Moses has been a revelation this season thus far and enjoyed another win with the Blues against Middlesbrough with  five crosses, one take on and never ending defensive assurance whilst offensively being superb. His fine performance was granted with the MOTM award.

Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton

Throughout the 90 minutes Van Dijk was superb against an attacking trio of Firmino, Coutinho and Mane – who returned to the St Mary’s for the first time after his departure in the summer.

One immense last ditch tackle on his ex-teammate Mane was the best of the lot and probably was a point saving tackle. The stats behind his performance are very impressive with 79% passing accuracy, 100% tackles won, two interceptions, two clearances and 75% aerial duels won.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Once again, David Luiz makes our TOTW for as many weeks as I can remember.

This is getting quite easy now to be putting him in our team each week, he has been a revelation since his return to Stamford Bridge and the Brazilian enjoyed another good defensive display at the weekend with eight clearances, one take on and 78% passing completed.

His form has helped his club top the table as the season starts to take shape.

Nathan Ake – Bournemouth

Can Nathan Ake do it on a cold winters day away to Stoke City? Yes he can.

The 21-year-old was brilliant defensively and had a tough afternoon in dealing with Wilfried Bony but came out on top. He was very calm in possession and scored the games only game with a powering header. Ake finished the match with 100% tackles won whilst making 15 clearances which just shows how busy the Cherries man was all afternoon.

Harry Winks – Tottenham Hotspur

What a dream first start for this 20-year-old. Playing in a London derby is big enough, but to do it in style and grab yourself a goal is everyone’s dream, and it was almost an introduction for himself with Spurs relishing from yet another fine youngster.

Playing in the midfield he saw the ball quite a bit and manager 86% of his passes completed, whilst creating once chance and scoring one goal from two shots. Efficiency at its finest.

Jack Wilshere – Bournemouth

Maybe, just maybe we now going to see the best of a fully fit Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal loanee had an excellent match away to Stoke City in the Cherries 1-0 victory and nearly doubled the scoring after seeing his fine effort hit the outside of the post. The midfielder created three chances whilst completing 84% of his passes. One Frenchman, called Arsene Wenger will be very pleased with his performances of late as Wilshere tries to save his Arsenal career.

Yaya Toure – Manchester City

There is nothing like a beautiful come back story, is there? I mean the whole Premier League has missed Toure, and his comeback may have finally turned the head of Pep Guardiola.

Toure scored two goals in a dream return to the City starting XI, he managed two take ons whilst showboating his beautiful movement for his first goal. A quality display.

Roberto Pereyra – Watford

Watford beat the current Premier League champions 2-1 at the weekend and the game included a fine goal from their summer signing Roberto Pereyra.

He was excellent throughout and was a real problem for the Foxes, completing five take ons, scoring one goal and creating one chance he helped the Hornets take all three points.

Victor Anichebe – Sunderland

Sunderland have picked up six points from six and finally look like a team worthy of challenging in the Premier League.

There was one hero on Tyneside on Saturday afternoon and that man was Victor Anichebe, his brace saw the Black Cats see of Hull City with the forward also completing three take ons, making himself a nuisance for the Tigers defence.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Honestly, Diego Costa is the best number 9 in Europe at this current moment.

He has been absolutely brilliant all season thus far and has become a killer in front of goal again under Conte. The Spanish International created four chances against Middlesbrough, completed six take ons and scored yet another goal which was the winner, taking his tally up to 10 for the season. At this rate, Costa is helping his club top the table whilst scoring himself to the Golden Boot.

Club President Confirms Chelsea Have Made Offer For Striker, Names His Price

Although it is only November, the transfer rumours are already in full swing ahead of the January transfer market, and it seems as if Chelsea are already preparing well ahead of January and have an offer prepared for a certain Sampdoria forward.

Massimo Ferrero, the president of Sampdoria said on Muriel to Chelsea (as quoted in Fanta Gazzetta); “Yes, there is an offer, so tell me. But Muriel is not for sale, 35 million (euros) we can talk.”

So, from the president’s comments it seems the striker is available for the right price and Chelsea can get their man if they firm up their interest once the transfer window opens, but of course will have to spend the money Ferrero is demanding.

Chelsea have found top form since Antonio Conte changed the set up of the Chelsea squad, often playing a 4-2-3-1 formation prior the arrival of Conte, they are now playing a 3-4-3 formation which has seen the Blues play some immense football, with speed, aggression and flair in abundance.

With Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro finding excellent form in the new formation. It is difficult to see Muriel coming in and taking one of their positions, but he could certainly add something and we take a look at what he could bring to the club.

The 25-year-old Colombian International has been in fine form for Italian club Sampdoria this season and has gone on to create 1.29 chances per 90 minutes thus far this season which shows he is very efficient going forward. Diego Costa has been one of Europe’s best strikers in the early stages of the season and has created 1.49 chances per 90 this season which puts him just ahead of the Sampdoria man.

Costa, who has been majestic under Conte, has also made 1.21 key passes per 90 minutes this season, which again shows the influence he is making in Chelsea’s attacking flair, again this puts him ahead of Muriel, who managed just 1.18, which is still quite impressive.

The Chelsea man has been in immense form in front of goal, showing signs of his first season in England again this term, scoring 0.84 goals compared to Muriel who has managed just 0.43 per 90. On the topic of goals, Costa also has a much better shot accuracy than the Colombian with 68% and the latter managing 47%.

As the stats show, the Chelsea man is head and shoulders above the Sampdoria striker, which is not a bad thing as the Spanish International is a level above most strikers this season.

But there is a spot for Muriel at Chelsea if he was to sign for the in the winter, summer signing Michy Batshuyai has failed to make an impact at the club since his big money arrival so his position could come under severe pressure if they do pursue the man in their sights. Muriel is also capable of playing in a wide berth or behind the striker.

Of course, the plus side of playing a 3-4-3 would allow Costa, Hazard and target Muriel to all start together which would be very impressive. It is clear to see why Conte is interested in the man who has impressed thus far this season, and with the Blues pushing for the league title he could be the extra piece to push them on over the finish line.

3 Things Mourinho Needs To Do To Get Manchester United Back In The Title Race

When Jose Mourinho was announced the manager of Manchester United football club, the United faithful straight away started to talk about the big silverware and started to feel their club would rise back to the top again, that is the kind of affect the Portuguese manager can have on your team, with the CV he carries, it was hard not to disagree.

Then come the big summer arrivals, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and forgotten man Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That is when the United faithful really started believing, and when other clubs fans stated to worry.

With a man that has won everything at the helm, and the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 players of the year arriving to the Theatre of Dreams in one summer you would have put your house on United at least competing to win the Premier League this season.

But, as can happen in football, things have not gone to plan for United, nor for their manager who is certainly starting to come under some strong criticism from pundits and fans alike. After spending more than £150 million in the summer the bar was raised, for Mourinho to take United out of the shadows which Louis Van Gaal left them in. No Champions League football for the club which once conquered Europe and no self belief within the players you could argue Mourinho had a job on his hands to put the club where they belong, but after spending masses of money there should be no excuses set.

Sitting sixth in the Premier League table, one win in their last five league games and just 16 goals scored in 11 matches thus far this season, we take a look at 3 things Mourinho must address to ensure his club start climbing the table, before it is too late.

1) Find a place for Mkhitaryan the starting XI

When Manchester United were linked with all the players they finally singed in the summer, there was one man that I thought, if they get him they will be unstoppable, and that man was Henrik Mkhitaryan. The Bundesliga player of the year, he is a great attacking midfielder who can play on either flank.

How he is not managing to make the 18 match day squad for the Red Devils is, well, quite baffling. A free-scoring midfielder who bagged himself 19 league goals last term, whilst assisting for fun is not breaking into a United squad that is lacking that touch in the final third.

All in all last season, the Armenian international scored 23 goals and assisted a further 26, which meant he contributed to a goal on 49 separate occasions for BVB, which is simply breathtaking.

With the likes of Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rashford all struggling for consistency in there play and goals drying up on that front, they have a man sitting in the stands that created a total of 136 chances last season, which again shows how majestic he was last season.

Although he did not shine out when he was given a chance, this is not an excuse for him not to make the squad and in fact, he should be the first name on the team sheet each week.

If Mourinho is to get his side scoring goals and becoming a feared team again, the man in charge must accommodate a place in his team for their fantastic summer arrival Mkhitaryan.

Report: Liverpool Could Try To Sign Manchester United Defender

Jose Mourinho has had a tough start to his Manchester United career and comments last week made it all that bit tougher when he blasted both Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for not playing through pain as the Red Devils beat Swansea 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium in an impressive display.

His recent comments have taken their toll on both players and it seems long term admirers of Luke Shaw, Liverpool are now circling the player after being alerted to the current situation and are ready to pounce if given the go ahead (news via The Mirror).

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is believed to be searching for a new left-back after having to make do with versatile midfielder James Milner slotting in at the back for now after abysmal performances from Alberto Moreno.

If United, which is a big if, decided to sell Shaw then Liverpool would reignite their long standing interest in the £29 million rated England International, according to the Daily Mirror.

Ex Southampton team-mate of Shaw, Adam Lallana has publicly stated Jose Mourinho is wrong of his latest blast at Shaw, especially after coming back from the horrific injury he encountered last season.

He said: “He’s a very strong boy. He’s had a horrific leg injury. You don’t come back from that without being mentally and physically strong.”

Shaw has struggled to nail down a starting spot in United’s squad this season after slowly recovering from a injury that could have easily ended the 21-year-old’s career, and after his recent treatment he may find himself down in the pecking order in the United squad.

If things got bad to worse for the England star, and Liverpool did come in for the defender, how would he fit in at Anfield? We take a look.

Jurgen Klopp has already transformed the style of play in which the reds play, in fact, they are playing some of the most beautiful football in the country, scoring goals and creating chances at ease whilst nearly mastering the pressing system in which the German manger is trying to adapt his side too.

Klopp certainly likes his full-backs to join in the attack and that’s why Milner has slotted in so well, he is a player with an engine and has the ability to help out both defensively and offensively whilst remaining above 90% throughout the 90 minutes.

This is why Klopp is no doubt a huge admirer of Shaw, he is a player who loves to attack down the left hand side and is always an outlet for offensive players when on the attack, and being at a young age, he would be able to adapt to the attacking flair that Klopp demands of all his players.

Although Klopp is a pressing, attacking styled manager, he also expects his players to dig deep when the going gets tough and expects his players to be strong and physical, whilst winning their battles which is something Moreno wasn’t able to do consistently. Shaw again is an athlete who would be able to adapt to these demands and fit perfectly into Klopp’s new system at Anfield.

Something that would certainly impress Klopp’s is Shaw’s ability to take on his opponents on the left hand side, he has managed 66.67% take on completion thus far this season which is very impressive, almost as good a stat as some out and out wingers in the league, Liverpool’s James Milner has managed 50%.

Milner though does come out on top with the amount of tackles he has won 1.71 per 90 minutes and forward passes (35.50) compared to Shaw winning 0.68 tackles and (27.50) forward passes.

Another stat which will impress the Merseyside boss is the amount of aerial duels Shaw has won, standing at 6ft 1′ he has managed to win an immense 66.67% aerial duels compared to Milner’s 50%.

For me, Shaw would be an excellent signing for Liverpool, as he would if he was to go to any other Premier League team, but it is very much doubtful that United will give up on their youngster even-though him and the manager have thrown their toys out the pram. Although he is not yet the finished article, and is not starting regular for England it is only a matter of time before he starts challenging more and more for that spot. Yes, if Shaw was transfer listed Klopp would probably personally drive to Manchester himself in bid to tie the deal down, but the rivalry which both clubs possess and the hatred for one another, this deal looks very unlikely to materialise, however much Shaw and Liverpool would make a perfect match.

PL Team of the Week: 3 Chelsea, 2 Manchester United, 1 Arsenal & 1 Liverpool Player Feature

It’s that time again (a bit late admittedly), here’s our team of the week for last weekends action. 

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

The man inbetween the sticks in our TOTW is Sunderland’s impressive shot stopper Jordan Pickford. He had a majestic display against Bournemouth in their 2-1 victory on the weekend and was unlucky not to bag himself a clean sheet after making six saves.

The 22-year-old had plenty to do and was kept busy all afternoon, superb saves to deny Joshua King and Arsenal’s on loan midfielder Jack Wilshere made sure the Black Cats took the three points to Tyneside.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Another week goes by, another David Luiz master class.

When the Brazilian arrived in England most fans and pundits alike raised an eyebrow at the signing, after being torn apart at the back by Arsenal those critics grew louder.

But a turn in form and performing quality displays on a weekly basis has seen the man help Chelsea to 2nd in the league and go unbeaten in five league games, including five clean sheets.

He has been a revelation in Antonio Conte’s new system and has slotted in the back three perfectly, his form is impressive and the boss will be hoping this carries on with some crunch matches on the horizon.

Michael Dawson – Hull

Calum Chambers – Middlesbrough

Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

Liverpool’s magic Brazilian once again gets himself into our TOTW after showcasing another sublime display at the weekend in their 6-1 demolition of Watford.

The 24-year-old bagged himself a goal and an assist in a fine afternoon and ran the Hornet’s defence ragged whilst creating an abundance of chances.

His early season form has helped the Reds sit top of the Premier League with Jurgen Klopp certainly relying on his majestic form if they are to continue to challenge throughout the season.

Moussa Dembele – Tottenham Hotspur

Man of the Match in a North London Derby and managing to keep Arsenal’s German assist king Mesut Ozil very quiet is why Dembele is in our team this week.

He was the best player on the pitch against the Gunners and was excellent both offensively and defensively, and won the vital penalty for Spurs after going on a brilliant run easing himself past several Arsenal players before being brought down in the box.

He was almost untouchable the way he glided around the Emirates pitch, and after a perfect display he showed why he is so key to the Spurs side.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

Granit Xhaka started his first ever North London derby on Sunday afternoon which turned out to be his best game in an Arsenal shirt thus far this season.

The 24-year-old broke up play exquisitely and prevented the away side from building dangerous attacks whilst protecting the back four efficiently throughout. His defensive duties were impressive but in the latter stages of the game his transition play was remarkable, he pushed the ball forward quickly from the midfield in bid to try a find a winner.

His impressive performance saw him finish the 90 minutes with 82% pass completion, five tackles and four interceptions to show his worth to the Arsenal side.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United

Following his world record move to the Red Devils in the summer, Pogba has come under strong scrutiny after a slow start to life at United, his performances were unimpressive and he was slowly starting to frustrate the United faithful.

But, in recent weeks the Frenchman has started to settle more and got himself going, he scored a thunderbolt goal against Swansea on Sunday and is starting to slowly show his worth with more assuring displays, after his immense goal. It’s only a matter of time before the Premier League sees more clearly the talent which Pogba possesses.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Manchester United

Back amongst the goals! Zlatan didn’t have a perfect performance but crucially for United he found his clinical edge again and netted two important goals for his team.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

3 Players You Need In Your Fantasy Football Teams This Week ft. Arsenal & Manchester City Players

As always, we update you with our weekly overview of players to look out for ahead of the Premier League action for your fantasy football team. With the North London Derby on the horizon, Manchester United’s struggles, Leicester City gaining momentum and Manchester City blossoming, here are three stars to keep tabs on for your fantasy football team ahead of a cracking weekend of football.

1) – Alexis Sanchez
Club: Arsenal
Position: Striker
Cost: £11.4m

Arsenal, who are unbeaten since the opening weekend of the new season sit joint top of the Barclays Premier League ahead of their North London clash with Tottenham Hotspur which promises to be exciting as always. Ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium, we take a look at why we feel Alexis Sanchez should be in everyone’s teams this upcoming weekend.

Firstly, he is thriving in the new number 9 role he is playing for the Gunners, if he isn’t scoring goals he is creating chances galore whilst menacing defences, the impressive Arsenal star has six goals thus far this season whilst creating a majestic 20 chances. Spurs’ defender Toby Alderweireld remains a major doubt for the game, Sanchez could find it that bit easier without the Belgians presence.

The Chilean has been in inspired form with six Premier League goals thus far, and will almost guarantee to be a big player for the Gunners this weekend, this is certainly one to keep an eye on.

‘He’s My Favourite Human On Earth’ Arsenal Fans Go Mad For Gunners Midfielder

Arsenal will leave Bulgaria sighing relief after their 3-2 win over Ludogorets following a late sublime Mesut Ozil winner.

After going 2-0 down in the opening 15 minutes there was a real worry that Arsenal will blow their opportunity to remain top of the group and qualify with the same old Arsenal being touted on social media, but they were resilient and won in style after a moment of magic from their German gem Mesut Ozil in the 89th minute.

We take a look at the numbers behind the Gunners play-maker majestic performance, Ozil kick started his brilliant display with an assist for Granit Xhaka, making that his 200th career assist, with many more to come for sure.

The 28 year-old was influential for the Gunners, like he always is and made four key passes during the 90 minutes which is a stat that Ozil will always accomplish during a game, whilst managing a 90.4% pass accuracy from 52 passes which is excellent. The Arsenal star managed three dribbles and three shots too with one of them being the all important winner, his assist came from a cross which was one of eleven.

Although Ozil was very efficient on the offensive front, he was rather poor on the defensive side of the game, this is something Ozil has been questioned about, his lacklustre approach on the pitch with his body language not impressing some, he made zero tackles, zero interceptions, zero clearances and one foul. But does these stats show a new role for Ozil? He is certainly playing a lot higher than last season and may be instructed to look to stay higher, with the magician making excellent runs behind the number 9 role consistently in recent matches.

Ozil’s goal was magic, it showed what the German international was all about, it was magical, a goal of dreams. The Arsenal play-maker won the three points for the Gunners so we take a look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, with many fans being very excited about THAT goal.

There really is a new approach about Arsenal this season, a different animal from what we have seen in recent seasons, if Mesut Ozil is to continue his fine form along with several others in the Arsenal team than who knows what they could achieve, I mean, a fairy-tale ending in Cardiff to mark Arsene Wenger’s final trophy would be too good to happen, wouldn’t it?

Every Arsenal Player Rated Out Of 10 vs. Ludogorets

We take a look at how each Arsenal player performed in their 3-2 win over Ludogorets.

David Ospina – 5.5

Poor for both Ludogorets goals and looked very uncomfortable in the first half, especially with set-pieces. Made a few vital saves in the second half but did not look at his best at all.

Carl Jenkinson – 4.5

Put in a few dangerous crosses in the first half but was non existent defensively, got the run around in the second half and was lucky not to be sent off. Could he leave in January? Check bet-uk for advice.

Skhodran Mustafi – 5.5

Poor first half from Arsenal’s rock at the back, looked very shaky whenever Ludogorets were on the attack. Much the same in the second half, left gaps in behind and was not at his best by all means.

Laurent Koscielny – 6

Much like Mustafi in the first half, poor defensively, saw the ball a lot but did little with it, second half vice versa, struggled against their attacking flair but done enough to ensure the Gunners only conceded two.

Kieran Gibbs – 5

Poor defending for their second goal, you learn to stay on your feet in under10 football, looked very vulnerable defensively but was a good option offensively.

Granit Xhaka – 7

Scored a well taken goal in the 20th minute and saw a lot of the ball in the first half but struggled to dictate anything in the second half before being subbed off.

Francis Coquelin – 6

A very quiet first half from the Frenchman, did not seem to win the battle in the middle of the park and endured a very frustrating second half, much the same.

Aaron Ramsey – 7

Ramsey took a while to get going and showed cases of rustiness with his passing, but he made a brilliant assist for Giroud to draw the Gunners level. Having 75 minutes under his belt he is certainly in good shape ahead of the North London Derby on Sunday and endured a good second half.

Mesut Ozil – 9 (MOTM)

Ozil should have put Arsenal ahead after seven minutes but saw his shot easily saved by the keeper, he assisted Xhaka’s goal with a good delivery but apart from that the German was quiet in the first 45. In the second half he did well and always looked to get the attack going, he scored the winning goal in the 90th minute, and may I add, it was one of the best goals I have seen in Europe for some time, a Bergkamp-esque finish.

Alexis Sanchez – 6

Playing out on the left hand side restricted Sanchez’s game massively, he doesn’t have the same freedom and was a different player in the first half and this was telling again in the second half as he was not able to create as much as he has done playing in the central role, a very quiet night for Arsenal the star.

Olivier Giroud – 7

Giroud started his first game for the Gunners and was very average up until his goal in the 40th minute and had much the same type of performance in the second half, very quiet but won the tackle which saw the break for Ozil’s goal.

Subs

Alex Iwobi – N/A

Mohamed Elneny – 7
Came on and composed the Gunners midfield whilst getting the all important assist for Mesut Ozil’s winner.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A