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Liverpool Fans ‘Really Impressed’ With Teenage Midfielder’s Performance vs. Plymouth

Harry Wilson was the latest in a line of Liverpool youngsters to be given a crack in the first team by Jurgen Klopp. The German has provided the academy players with a number of opportunities of late, most recently in Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with Plymouth.

Wilson has enjoyed a fine season for the Under 23’s so far this season, scoring a total of 19 goals and registering 9 assists. As a result, the Welshman has established quite the name for himself within the club, and fans were intrigued to see what he could do at Home Park.

Coming on in the second half, Wilson conducted himself well, showing little signs of being overwhelmed by the occasion. The 19-year-old almost got a debut goal for the Reds when he closed down Plymouth’s goalkeeper, as the ball ricocheted off the midfielder narrowly missing the back of the net.

Furthermore, Wilson showed some bright moments down the right-hand side, providing further indication of the bright future he has at the club. Brilliantly dummying the ball, Wilson passed it off to Ben Woodburn before Sheyi Ojo’s attempt at goal.

In his 30 minutes on the pitch he completed 15 passes, including 1 key pass. His enthusiasm and determination to impress almost led to a goal and it is that hunger and desire that will surely impress Klopp, a manager who demands such an attitude from all his players.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Harry Wilson’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

The Welsh duo, which have an average age of 18.5 years old, shows the quality within the club’s academic set up and the youngsters are getting ample opportunities to showcase their ability under Klopp’s tutelage.

Having already made his international bow for Wales, it is clear that Harry Wilson is highly thought of by many. 19 goals for the Liverpool U23’s shows he has the quality to find the back of the net on a continuous basis, and there is few clubs that provide such a chance for young talents to grow as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

It’ll be interesting to see if Klopp continues to utilise his youth products at the competition progresses into the latter stages.

Premier League Team Of The Week: ft. 3 Everton, 3 Arsenal & 2 Chelsea Players

Here is the Fresh Football Team of the Week for the most recent gameweek (21). We’ve opted for a 4-4-2 formation.
Simon Mignolet – Liverpool
It has not been a regular theme that Mignolet gets praised and included in TOTW after a tough few months for the Liverpool man, but after a sublime performance at Old Trafford he deserved all the plaudits.
 He is now the Reds No.1 and made numerous saves against Manchester United helping his side leave the Red Devil’s with one point.
Seamus Coleman – Everton
Coleman, as always, was fantastic against Manchester City and helped his side get all three points in an  afternoon to remember for Ronald Koeman’s men.
He was superb in all phases of play helping his side both attacking and defensively, the Toffees man managed two blocks, 67% tackles and showed why he is also an outlet going forward creating one chance.
Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
The Frenchman signed a new contract with the Gunners last week and ended the week in style after an immense performance vs. Swansea.
The impressive Arsenal man managed  100% aerial duels, nine clearances, four interceptions and finished the game in true Arsenal style, with 94% passing.
 The 31-year-old has been one of Arsenals best players for a number of years, and is the true rock in the Arsenal side.
Shkodran Mustafi – Arsenal
Mustafi is yet to taste defeat in the Gunners shirt extending his impressive run to 20 games in total, which is an incredible record to hold.
The Arsenal man was yet again brilliant against Swansea and contributed with five interceptions, two clearances and finished the game with an impressive 88% passing.
Arsene Wenger will be relieved he is back from injury and will hope he stays fit as they look to close the gap at the top of the table.
Marcos Alonso – Chelsea
Well, it is not often a wing-back produces two goals, and is whiskers away from a hat-trick in one game, but that is exactly what Marcos Alonso managed in Chelsea’s win on Saturday.
The Blues star was superb offensively/defensively and was always an outlet going forward, turning out to produce the goods in front of goal in a perfect game for the Spaniard.
Pedro – Chelsea
The Chelsea man has been a revolution this season since a very disappointing opening campaign to life in England last year.
The former La Masia has thrived in Antonio Conte’s new system and was superb for the Blues against Leicester City.
He showcased some skill you will probably not see again this season in the build up to his goal and finished the game with 95% passing accuracy, which is superb.
The Spaniard is enjoying life at the Blues and has certainly played a massive part in the topping the table thus far.
Tom Davies – Everton
Well, what a star Everton have on their hands.
The 18-year-old was superior to most players on the pitch in a very disciplined, mature display against Manchester City.
He scored his first senior goal for the Toffees and completed two take on’s whilst playing the all round midfield role perfectly.
His goal was a thing of beauty, his run, timing, finish, everything was majestic and if Lionel Messi scored it, you’ll watch it for years to come.
Koeman has a thing for talented young players, doesn’t he? and the Dutchman has another gem on his hands.
Ross Barkley – Everton
Despite coming under strong scrutiny in recent months and being dropped by Ronald Koeman, Ross Barkley showed why he is so highly rated against Manchester City in a fine performance.
The English international was influential going forward and created four chances, whilst having that burst from midfield to attack completing four take on’s too.
After helping his side batter the depleted City, he will not be dropped anytime soon.
Alex Iwobi – Arsenal
Alex Iwobi was the most impressive star on show for Arsenal this weeking as they beat Swansea 4-0 away from home.
The 20-year-old was unfortunate not to score himself after his deflected effort was put down as an own goal, but the Nigerian went on to create two chances and finished the game with 89% passing.
Iwobi was running at players at will and was showcasing his fine talents. He is already starting most weeks for the Gunners and will become a future star if he continues to develop at his rapid pace.
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur’s impressive run continued against West Brom after running riot in a 4-0 routine victory on Saturday afternoon.

England international Harry Kane was immense throughout and bagged himself a hat-trick, whilst creating once chance and completing four take on’s.
If Spurs are to push on for the title they’ll be reliant on their prolific goalscorer to keep firing in the goals, and of course staying fit. If he does, then maybe, just maybe Spurs could push for the title.
Andy Carroll – West Ham United
Since his return from injury, Andy Carroll has been a very positive sign in a glum few months for the Hammers, and his impressive form continued on Saturday.
The Hammers beat Crystal Palace 3-0 and Carroll was at the heart of it all, and scored one of the goals of the season in a very solid display.

Chelsea Make Shock Transfer Move For Premier League Midfielder

It seems Chelsea may be targeting a player from a Premier League club to strengthen their wide options, and it’s not someone you may have guessed. 

According to Sky Sources, Chelsea have made an approach to Middlesbrough to ask about the availability of their winger Adama Traore.

The 20-year-old began his career at Barcelona and was originally brought to England by Aston Villa. This summer, following Villa’s relegation, Traore moved to Premier League Middlesbrough and has been one of the clubs most influential attacking players. His pace causes lots of problems for opposition defences and that is certainly something that will have attracted Antonio Conte to him.

Conte plays with wing backs and wingers, and it is possible that Traore could be an option in both of those roles. Although he is a more attacking player, Traore could follow in the footsteps of Moses and adapt to a more defensive position.

Chelsea were said to be looking for a couple of new wide players to add to their squad this month, and we recently brought you the news that they were considering moves for Michail Antonio and Jonas Hector.

With the news that Dimitri Payet wants to leave the club this month, I think there is no chance Slaven Bilic will part with Antonio this month, and that may explain why Chelsea appear to be interested in Traore, a possible alternative.

Traore has made 15 appearances for Boro this season, with 6 of them coming from the bench. He is yet to register a goal or assist in a Boro team that lacks a cutting edge moving forward.

Joining on deadline day, Traore reportedly cost Boro £7million, so Chelsea would probably have to pay more than that to convince Karanka to part with Traore, especially considering we are in the middle of the season.

Traore is unlikely to make a big difference in Chelsea’s title charge this year, as he is far from the finished product at this stage. But aged 20, he has the raw attributes to develop into a top level player. His pace and dribbling ability are certainly his most attractive traits and Conte may want to sign him purely to add another dimension to his attacking force.

If you consider that he hasn’t scored or assisted a goal this season, Conte may have him in mind to play as a wing back. His pace will help with defensive security and also stretching opposition defences with overlapping runs. Training with a squad of Chelsea’s calibre and working alongside a manager of Conte’s calibre, Traore’s technical ability would surely only improve.

Looking deeper into Traore’s statistics, there is one that really stands out. That is his dribbles per game which averages at a huge 5.2. His pace means he plays with a very direct style and that may suit Conte’s structured and efficient system. He is only dispossessed 1.6 times per game on average. His technical ability and reliability on the ball is a bit of a worry though, completing just 68.8% of his passes..

It’s an interesting move if it does happen. I would think that being in such a strong position to go and win the title, Conte’s focus should be on strengthening his squad in the short term. An extra injection of senior quality at this stage would make his team strong favourites for the title.

Someone like Antonio would be a better addition, but Traore is perhaps a more realistic one and he would certainly be cheaper.  I’m interested to hear Chelsea fans thoughts on this one. Be sure to comment below or tweet us your thoughts @FreshFootball.

Could This Bayern Munich Man Be On The Way To Chelsea?

Chelsea could be lining up a Diego Costa replacement from Bayern Munich, according to reports. Chelsea fans, would you be happy with this?

The Express claim an ‘Exclusive’ that Chelsea are targeting an unsettled Thomas Muller to replace Diego Costa should the Spaniard leave the club. Conte stressed that Costa missed the game at the weekend due to a back injury, but widespread reports suggest that this is not, in fact true. Costa appears to have fallen out with the hierarchy at the club and could move on. Chelsea won’t sell him cheap though, with a £80million price tag touted by several sources.

If he was to go, Chelsea would have a large fund to try and find a replacement. But there is a lack of top number 9’s on the market right now. This might mean the club will have to opt for an alternative option. It seems Muller could be just that and perhaps he could be amongst a very small group of top players that could transfer in January.

Muller is reportedly unhappy at the German Champions after failing to hold down a regular spot in the Bayern Munich team under Carlo Ancelotti. He has started just 10 Bundesliga games this season.

“The last game against Leipzig was not optimal for me personally, since I did not play,” Muller told German newspaper Bild.

“There was more space than in the games before. It was a game I could have enjoyed. Of course, I’m not sitting there with a grin on the bench.”

That’s a very public statement of frustration. The reports suggest that Muller would be allowed to leave for a fee in the region of £75million. A huge amount of money, and something similar to what Costa would probably move for.

I can believe that Bayern would be open to selling him for such an amount, especially because he has not been an important player for them this season. They have recently signed the young attacking duo of Renato Sanches and Kingsley Coman, as well as handing a contract extension to Arjen Robben. Muller is no longer an integral part to this Bayern Munich team under Carlo Ancelotti.

But would swapping Costa for Muller improve Chelsea? Personally, I think Costa is perhaps the best number 9 in world football right now, and even with Muller at the club, I think Chelsea would be better off with Costa. He’s more of a natural 9 that is incredibly well suited to the style of play under Conte and I think that at least initially, Muller would struggle to make such a profound impact and difference.

Both players are in the prime of their careers, with Muller one year younger than Costa. They are both natural goalscorers but I feel Costa has that aggression and clinical attitude that makes him a slightly better player than the German, or at least, more suited to the Premier League.

I’m interested to hear about what Chelsea fans would think about swapping Costa for Muller. Although he is not a natural striker, Conte showed that Chelsea worked well with Hazard in the number 9 role at the weekend. Does the 3-4-3 formation require a traditional number 9, or could Muller work there?

‘Superb Performance’ Liverpool Fans Heap Praise On Defender After His Performance vs. Manchester United

The news that Nathaniel Clyne was ruled out against Manchester United due to a rib injury sustained against Southampton in midweek definitely shook several Liverpool fans. Clyne has been one of the most consistent figures for Klopp’s side so far this season, and his absence was thought to be a real blow for the Reds in such an important fixture.

As a result, Trent Alexander Arnold was handed his first Premier League appearance for Liverpool, thrown in at the deep end by his manager. Many thought he’d sink and struggle against the pace and trickery of United’s Anthony Martial, but the 18-year-old stood firm throughout the match to do himself, and his manager proud.

Alexander Arnold made three key tackles in the match, and showed a calm and collected presence despite the magnitude of the fixture. It was never going to be an easy task for the youngster but apart from a few wayward passes, he handled the occasion superbly and showed just what a bright future he has at Liverpool.

A look at his defensive statistics help highlight how well he did. Up against Anthony Martial, many thought the youngster would struggle and be easily beaten but he managed 8 clearances, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions – he also committed 0 fouls. That’s very impressive considering who he was up against and the occasion itself would have gotten to many other young players.

Liverpool fans have been quick to praise the defender, who could see more chances at first team action in the coming games if Clyne is sidelined for an extended period of time. He certainly didn’t harm his case today.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

When you consider it was his first Premier League appearance for the club, and the fact that he is only 18 years of age, Arnold’s performance was exemplary. He took a while to settle into the match, initially struggling with the pace of Martial, but he produced what was needed of him.

He wasn’t shying away from tackles, and he didn’t show the fear or nerves of a player making his Premier League bow – that in itself says a lot about his quality.

Few players can come into a side on such a big occasion and do a job, especially an 18 year old. Hats off to Trent Alexander Arnold for putting in a stellar performance for Liverpool. The future looks bright.

Manchester United Fans Criticise ‘Woeful’ Midfielder For Poor Display vs. Liverpool

Manchester United snatched a late draw against Liverpool in a game which truly lacked quality throughout. 

Despite the millions of pounds of talent on display, both teams failed to conjure up much inspiration in the final third and it was a scrappy game. Manchester United had a £90million midfielder in their team, but he failed to make any sort of difference and in fact was perhaps one of the worst players on the field on the day.

The hugely poor moment for him was when he handballed inside the area to gift Liverpool a 1st half advantage. After that he did very little to redeem himself with passes going astray frequently.

Pogba completed just 72% of his passes and was dispossessed 3 times. He received a 5.6 match rating on WhoScored, less than any other player on the pitch. Offensively he offered nothing, completing just 1 dribble, 0 key passes and making 0 shots. Defensively he failed to make an interception and completed just 1 tackle. The Frenchman normally prides himself on being effective at both ends of the pitch, but he was shockingly bad defensively and offensively today – certainly an afternoon to forget for the world record transfer signing.

Here’s some reaction to the players performance against Liverpool.

In my opinion, Pogba once again proved that he is in no way worth the £90million Manchester United paid for him. He’s a very good midfielder, don’t get me wrong, but his valuation was ludicrous and considering the amount of bad press the likes of Mesut Ozil have received for bad performances, Pogba deserves every bit of criticism he will get for this lacklustre showing.

Many have suggested Pogba should focus on his football rather than his off the field promotion, and I certainly agree there. The Frenchman spends a lot of time with Adidas and on social media to create more revenue for him and his brand, fair play to him, but the fans just want him to be the best he can on the football pitch, and with all that other activity it cannot be helping him perform his best on the pitch.

To be honest I think Pogba is a good player, maybe even a great player. But after moving for such a large amount of money, he will always be compared to that £90million price tag, and for that amount of money you need to be making the difference in nearly every game, especially big games like today against Liverpool.

Player Ratings: Everton 4-0 Manchester City – Everton’s Midfield Runs Riot

These are Fresh Football’s player ratings for Everton’s home clash versus Manchester City this Sunday.

Everton:

Joel Robles – 6.5

The Spaniard had little more than three or four shots at goal to deal with, which he did, on top of making a couple more chances tougher to execute from the opponent’s perspective by making himself big on occasions, as well as keeping a clean sheet.

Seamus Coleman – 6.5

A reasonably solid performance from Coleman, considering the opposition he was up against today. The Irishman was typically good at supporting play down the flanks.

Mason Holgate – 6.5

A real prospect, who had to deal with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling and Aguero attacking him for much of the afternoon, but the young defender came out on top.

Ashley Williams – 6.5

A no nonsense performance, sweeping everything in his sight at the heart of Koeman’s back three (five).

Ramiro Funes Mori – 6.5

Much like Williams, Funes Mori kept things simple for the most part, even if his positioning wasn’t entirely up to scratch.

Leighton Baines – 7

As he enjoys an injury-free spell in Everton’s XI, Baines kept on top of things down a relatively quite left flank.

Tom Davies – 8.5

A real moment in Everton’s season, as 18-year-old Tom Davies emerges as the Man of the Match. Combative in midfield and purposeful in possession, the new Goodison Park hero fully deserved his goal. See more reaction to his performance here.

Gareth Barry – 7.5

A strong and simplistic performance from Barry, standing as the base for counter-attacks by anchoring Koeman’s midfield with success.

Ross Barkley – 7.5

A key outlet in Everton’s attack, Barkley offered a bold reminder of just how good he can be.

Kevin Mirallas – 7.5

The Belgian winger produced the goods alongside his compatriot, Lukaku, with an assist for his international teammate and a well-taken finish in the second half.

Romelu Lukaku – 7

Owner of the opener with a first-time finish, as he held his own against the majority of the City’s defence.

Subs:

Morgan Schneiderlin – 6

The new signing offered brief glimpses of his capabilities, as he strived to shut down the game.

James McCarthy – N/A

Ademola Lookman – N/A

Difficult to hand a rating based on six minutes, but a well-executed strike for a debut goal really was the cherry on top of the icing for all concerned.

Manchester City:

Claudio Bravo – 4.5

Not his finest hour and shipping four will do little settle the question marks around the Chilean goalkeeper.

Bacary Sagna – 5.5

The better half of City’s full backs, Sagna did go close to pulling a goal back for the visitors with a looping header at the back-post, but he might well have required more in support of attacks.

Nicolas Otamendi – 4.5

Often toyed with by Lukaku, proving to be no match for the Belgian forward on the day.

John Stones – 5.5

Not the comeback of dreams he would’ve hoped for. Wasn’t the worst by any means.

Gael Clichy – 4.5

Culpable in Everton’s first goal and left chasing shadows for the hosts’ third. One to forget.

Pablo Zabaleta – 4.5

Totally ineffective in build-up, as the Argentine was neither here or there positionally against an industrious Everton midfield.

Yaya Toure – 6.5

Among the best in a City shirt, connecting dots well from a deeper role than we’re accustomed to seeing him in – a nice throwback to his younger days.

Kevin De Bruyne – 6.5

Perhaps the most likely to create magic for City from the left, so there can be minimal, if any, complaints over the playmaker.

David Silva – 5

Had little-to-no effect on Everton’s defensive posture, despite a few warnings in the first half.

Raheem Sterling – 5.5

Found himself in good areas in the first half and might well feel he deserved a penalty for his troubles in the first 45 minutes too, but the Englishman ultimately cut a frustrated figure.

Sergio Aguero – 5

Looked to force his way into the game, subsequently without success.

Subs:

Kelechi Iheanacho – 4.5

Joining Aguero in attack, the forward almost went unnoticed upon entrance.

Fans On Twitter Praise ‘Magnificent’ Everton Midfielder In 4-0 Man City Victory

There was a strong sense of intrigue surrounding the auto-claimed ‘Super Sunday,’ as two of Liverpool’s and Manchester’s biggest names split to fight for their cities in a two-part special of Premier League football.

Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford will have undoubtedly held the majority of the limelight this Sunday, but Everton’s welcoming of Manchester City, as two of Barcelona’s greats in Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman went head-to-head, promised to be equally as entertaining.

The narratives continued, as John Stones returned to Goodison Park for the first time since his £47 million summer move to Man City, meanwhile a big performance on his Everton debut from ex-Man United man Morgan Schneiderlin would’ve been a great way for fans of the Red Devils to kick off proceedings.

One name denied the Frenchman of that privilege, however, as Everton stormed to a shock 4-0 win over City, somewhat thanks to a certain Tom Davies at the tender age of 18.

As Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas powered the Toffees to a 2-0 lead, young Davies looked untouchable in the middle of the park and Koeman’s decision to keep the midfielder on ahead of the likes of Gareth Barry was further accentuated in the 79th minute.

Having turned Yaya Toure and Gael Clichy in a unique moment of individual brilliance, Davies was on hand to combine with Lukaku before dinking the ball past Claudio Bravo to score his first goal in only his third start for the Evertonians, leaving Goodison Park, as well as social media, in awe.

New signing Ademola Lookman will also take his fair share of plaudits for a well-taken finish in Everton’s first goal, immortalising his eagerly-anticipated debut following a £7.5 million transfer that saw him swap Charlton Athletic for life in the Premier League.

Lookman joins a strong nucleus of young stars at Koeman’s disposal, more prominently the likes of Mason Holgate and ex-Sheffield United man Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as well as the new man of the moment, Davies.

The latter will be news to many neutrals, but he is a player who the Merseysiders have kept tabs on for sometime after making his debut under Roberto Martinez in April 2016.

In his first start, with Martinez already confirmed as parting company with Everton, Davies collected somewhat low-key plaudits with an assist in his Man of the Match performance.

The midfielder had since seen his involvement limited to just seven appearances for the club in all competitions this season, but after a masterclass versus Guardiola’s men, complete with a goal, we might well begin to see a little more of Goodison Park’s new hero.

‘He Can’t Defend’ Fans On Twitter Criticise Manchester City Defender After Everton Horror Show

Manchester City put in perhaps their worse performance of the season as they fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon. 

It was another shambolic defensive display from City and Pep Guardiola, and that’s something we have said far too much this season. The club have now conceded 26 goals in 21 league games, no other team in the top 7 of the league have conceded as many, in fact, 16th placed Middlesborough have conceded less.

So who is at fault? One player to be heavily criticised today is John Stones. The man who left Everton for Manchester City in the summer returned to the lineup and put in a pretty dreadful performance.

City, as usual, played out from the back and whilst they started the game looking relatively comfortable with that style of play, they were punished for their expansive style by a lethal Everton team that took pretty much every chance they had. There was far too much space between central defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Stones and it was made all too easy for the hosts.

Another worrying performance from Stones has left many questioning his large price tag and it puts Pep in a real dilemma. The club clearly need to improve defensively, but having spent around £90million on Otamendi and Stones, they cannot afford to just dispose of their current options.

There’s no obvious statistics to highlight Stones’ poor performance, but if you were watching the game it was clear for all to see that he seriously struggled. This will be a worry not just for Manchester City and Pep, but for England and the national team, who seemed to be preparing to build their future defence around young Stones.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the player’s performance.

To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Stones. I think the £50million Manchester City paid for him is absolutely horrific. He’s really not worth anything close to that amount of money.

Let’s not pretend that Stones was the only bad performer in that Manchester City team today. Pep’s men were second best all over the pitch and the defending across the back 5 was simply shambolic.

It’s hard to simply suggest that Stones should not play out from the back etc. but that is the style of play of Guardiola and of Stones. It’s why the player cost so much money and it’s why the club were so insistent on bringing in Pep. City must now focus on trying to perfect their unique style of play, but Pep, for the first time in his career, may actually need to adapt his approach slightly, or the English game will simply swallow him up.

‘He Was Unplayable’ Arsenal Midfielder Praised After Mesmerising Performance vs. Swansea

Arsenal put in an impressive 2nd half display to make light work of Swansea on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners attacking play was scintillating in the second period, and they have Alex Iwobi to thank for much of that.

Although he will not be attributed with a goal, both own goals came from his shots, the first of which was on target so it seems harsh to take the goal away from him. Here’s some of the best reaction to the Nigerian international’s performance on Twitter.

Iwobi has been hot and cold this season but against Swansea we saw him with one of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt to date. He moved around the pitch with confidence and often looked a level above the players around him. His majestic display has seen many fans refer to his performance as ‘unplayable’.

Iwobi is also comfortable playing in the number 10 role and you can see his creative attributes. Making 2 key passes, and 36 passes overall with an 89% accuracy. An area he is often criticised for is his defensive contribution, but with 2 tackles and 1 interception, we saw an improved defensive performance from him on Saturday.

Here’s some of the best reaction to the Nigerian international’s performance on Twitter.

My thoughts on Iwobi are what I said at the start of the season. Don’t get carried away with him, he’s still 20 and very raw, but what a talent he is. It’s great that he has come through the ranks and is playing as well as he is. He still lacks consistency and because he sets the bar so high, I feel he gets too much criticism when he struggles in matches. This is unfair on such a young player, especially when there are usually other, more senior players like Walcott or even Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have also performed poorly.

Hopefully Alex has a long and successful career at Arsenal ahead of him. If he can produce performances like he did yesterday more regularly then he will cement his place in the starting eleven.

Nobody would have anticipated him being as important to this team as he now is. With no obvious natural back up to Ozil, Iwobi is the most likely to replace the German there when he is unavailable. He could also be regarded as the clubs first choice left winger, especially when Alexis Sanchez is occupying the centre forward position.

Manchester United Linked With £50m Striker: Is He A Better Option Than Griezmann?

Whilst strikers such as, Suarez, Griezmann or Ibrahimovic steal all the headlines, one European goal scorer is sneaking under the radar.

Paulo Dybala is quickly becoming a fan favourite in Juventus. The 23-year-old has scored 23 goals in his 45 games in the Serie A, also making five assists. The Argentinian managed to score 20 Serie A goals faster than THE Juventus legend himself, Del Piero.

But with such a great goal scoring record already, it wouldn’t be long before he attracted attention from other giants in Europe, with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United all fighting for his signature, according to The Sun.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite what he says himself, won’t be able to play forever and will soon have to hang up his boots, which will leave the Red Devils once again needing a proven goal scorer, and it could potentially be Dybala, who will not be sold for under 50 million.

But with Manchester United heavily linked to Antoine Griezmann, would it be wise to ditch the Frenchman and steal Dybala out of Madrid and City’s hands?

I think not, Griezmann has proved himself in the tournaments such as Euro 2016 and has also scored 12 goals in 28 Champions League appearances, and also scoring 51 goals in 91 La Liga appearances, compared to Dybala’s 60 goals in 171 showing that he just has the edge on the Argentinian.

Griezmann may only be two years older than Dybala but he is much more experienced, after playing in huge games such as the Champions League final and the Euro 2016 final. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have proved that playing in the biggest games is important for a player, both scoring goals this season when it matters most.

Another advantage of signing Griezmann is that he can fill in at striker, right wing and in the number ten role. It would be a smart decision to sign a player that has played world class in three different positions.

For the cost that you would have to sign either of them, I think the money would be better off going towards bringing Griezmann to Old Trafford, rather than Dybala. Both will be expensive transfers but any teams planning to pay so much for Dybala may be a gamble, but there is no doubt him and Griezmann will be battling against one another for the crown of best striker one day, whoever they play for.

It’s very unlikely that a deal for either of these players would happen in the January window, but when the summer rolls around, it would be worth keeping an eye on both players situations and the cash-rich Manchester United are likely to re-invest more millions into their team.

‘He Was On Fire Today’ Chelsea Fans Rave Over Midfielder’s Performance vs. Leicester

Chelsea returned to winning ways and in convincing fashion on Saturday evening with a comfortable 3-1 win over Leicester City. 

Last season’s Champions continued to struggle and put in a very poor performance as Claudio Ranieri attempted to match the league leaders 3 at the back formation. But it didn’t work at all, and Chelsea took control of the game with left-back Marcos Alonso with two of the goals.

Alonso has not had too much praise since he joined Chelsea in the summer, with many suggesting that he was one of the weak links in the team, a team that has been incredibly strong, to be fair.

Playing on the left-hand side of the midfield 4, Alonso showed that he has plenty to offer in attack against Leicester, scoring two goals and putting in a very accomplished all-round performance.

Alonso won 4 aerial duels, 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and made 2 clearances, showing that he also put in a near flawless defensive display. Playing as a left wing back, you could forgive Alonso for not being too involved in the game, but he was completely the opposite, wanting to play his part in every phase of the play, making a huge 104 touches, only Matic (112) made more on the pitch. No Leicester player made more than 62.

Here’s how some fans reacted to Alonso’s performance on Twitter.

Ake was recalled from his loan spell at Bournemouth and he was reportedly going to be an alternative to Alonso – as well as being an option at central defence. Alonso’s best performance in a Chelsea came a few days after Ake was recalled, perhaps showing that competition for places really does bring out the best in players!

It was, of course a brilliant performance from Alonso on the night, but he will need to deliver these kind of performances more regularly if he is to justify his hefty price tag and keep the ever-improving Nathan Ake out of the side.

Arsenal Fans React On Twitter To ‘Stroppy’ Alexis Sanchez After Swansea Substitution

We’re all used to seeing Alexis Sanchez hitting the headlines in an Arsenal shirt, but the Chilean, as has become a habit of late, will be sure to find himself in the spotlight for reasons other than his goal-scoring traits.

As the Gunners stormed to a 4-0 lead versus Swansea City this Saturday at the Liberty Stadium, courtesy of another Olivier Giroud goal, two own goals and a strike from Sanchez himself, the ex-Barcelona man drew in the attention of a camera or two in the latter stages of the game.

In a clear attempt to tot up the minutes given to the recently-injured Danny Welbeck, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger selected Sanchez as the star to make way for the English forward, much to the 28-year-old’s displeasure.

The winger, known for his admirable work ethic, was later spotted seated away from the rest of the substitutes’ bench, visibly upset, with his head facing down on numerous occasions.

Sanchez’s reaction, which added a bittersweet taste to what had otherwise been a generally successful venture to South Wales, didn’t go unnoticed amongst the Arsenal fan base on social media over the Chilean’s repeated offence.

Sanchez is, of course, no stranger to snubbing a rest, more recently playing through a concerning hamstring injury in the last international break with Chile in late November, before returning to North London to do the same.

The forward’s complaints seem to extend beyond being given time off, however, as previous episodes exemplify.

Sanchez was left speechless and deep in thought as Arsenal slumped to a 2-1 defeat away to Manchester City in December, whereas many other fans were on hand to spot his less than accommodating attitude towards teammates throughout the festive period.

He was again very vocal when Arsenal took on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this month, demonstrating to be in no mood to settle for the Gunners’ 3-3 draw after going 3-0 down in the 58th minute, throwing away his gloves in rage at full time.

Although ultimately inconclusive, Sanchez’s recent behaviour is sure to worry some of the Arsenal faithful, as the much-adored star nears the final year of his contract with the London outfit.

With less than 18 months left on his current deal, reports of interest from Italy, like-minded Premier League clubs and, somewhat unsurprisingly, China has emerged, therefore the deep-lying hope will be that his head hasn’t been turned by the unavoidable details threatening a prolonged stay at the Emirates.

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.

3 Players You Need In Your Premier League Fantasy Football Teams This Week

Following a backlog of festive fixtures and the iconic third round ties of the FA Cup, the Premier League returns to its routine ways with Matchday 21, this weekend.

With Manchester United hosting bitter rivals Liverpool before Marco Silva’s league bout as Hull City manager against Bournemouth, there’s plenty to look forward in the coming days. But who will the headlines belong to?

1 – Patrick van Aanholt
Position:
Defender
Club: Sunderland
Price: £5.0m

It seems there’s never a time when Sunderland aren’t in desperate need of points and Saturday’s reception of the Premier League’s typical middle-ground club, Stoke City, shall be no different.

Under adverse circumstances to what the table tells us, Sunderland are unbeaten in their last three home fixtures, whereas their opponents have lived dangerously on the road with 19 goals conceded in their 10 away fixtures so far this season.

Patrick van Aanholt has often been someone the Black Cats can rely upon for a goal contribution or two, claiming three for himself in this very campaign, so if David Moyes’ men are to build up a bit more momentum in their fight for survival this week against a Stoke side that aren’t ticking as well as they could be, the Dutch full-back might well have a hand in doing so.

Iwobi Out, Lucas Starts: Arsenal’s Likely 4-2-3-1 Line Up To Face Swansea

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Saturday with an away fixture against the struggling Swansea up next. The Gunners need nothing less than 3 points as they look to make up ground on the Premier League leaders, Chelsea.

Petr Cech

As much as he has struggled, I don’t think Wenger should drop Cech, yet. It would cause too many waves. We can’t underestimate the importance of his leadership on the pitch and in the dressing room.

Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal

Gibbs is unlikely to be fit in time, but both Bellerin and Koscielny should be fully fit for the trip to Wales. Hector looked off the pace against Bournemouth, but Wenger confirmed he had a knock. He was rested against Preston and now should be fresh and available for this match. Mustafi hasn’t looked the same since returning from injury, but he needs to settle again alongside Koscielny to form a strong defensive partnership, like the one they had at the start of the season.

Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka

At the base of midfield Arsenal have very little choice. They need to pray that both Xhaka and Ramsey come through the next few games unscathed and also build a strong partnership in the middle of the park, because with Elneny on international duty and Coquelin and Cazorla still injured, Arsene Wenger has pretty much no alternative here. Should an emergency arise then we might see the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Ainsley Maitland-Niles shoehorned into a central midfield role, but Wenger will want to avoid this scenario. Could he be looking at dipping into the transfer market? Long-term target N’Zonzi has again been linked recently.

Lucas Perez, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez

It may seem harsh to drop Iwobi out of the line-up after perhaps one of his best performances this season against Preston, but another good performer in that team was Lucas Perez. The Spaniard’s first team opportunities have been few and far between since he joined the London club in the summer and he has performed very well when called upon. He needs a run in the starting line up to prove his worth and I feel combining with the likes of a fit-again Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, we will see a truly quality player emerge. If this is the line-up then both Lucas and Alexis need to ensure they work hard defensively, as they are both naturally attacking players.

Olivier Giroud

The big man Olivier is in the form of his life at the moment and he’s loving every second of it. The Frenchman is capable of scoring any kind of goal right now and he simply has to start again. With Ozil, Lucas and Alexis behind him, I think Arsenal will have a very talented front four on show in Wales. If these four can click, then I believe they can build a good relationship and help reignite Arsenal’s attack.

Manchester United ‘Leading The Way’ In Race To Sign This £85m-Rated Superstar

Antoine Griezmann lit up Euro 2016 in the summer, scoring six goals, assisting two goals, and claiming the player of the tournament award, and it seems that his hard work is being noticed in Manchester.

The Frenchman has scored seven goals in 16 games this year, which is impressive for a player who went on a three-month goal drought. Mark Ogden, from ESPN, has said: “Griezmann is expected to leave Atletico this summer and he will have the pick of the world’s elite clubs to choose from, with Manchester United currently leading the way.”

Old Trafford has a French connection now, with close friends Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba both playing for the side, which could very much tempt the Atletico Madrid player. But with Manchester United playing so well at the moment, some fans may wonder where he would fit in.

With Michael Carrick ageing and yet to sign a new contract at the club, it’s unsure whether he will be in the side in August, meaning another Manchester United midfielder could fill his position, leaving the number 10 position open.

Griezmann has been known to play as a striker, right-winger and number 10 for Atletico, scoring 76 goals in La Liga since 2012/13, which is 3rd best behind Messi and Ronaldo, showing that Griezmann will make an impact wherever he is played. Henrikh Mkhitaryan could also fit into the number 10 role and allow Griezmann to play right-wing. A manager such as Jose Mourinho would be able to work out how to fit in a player with such a large amount of talent into his starting 11.

In the 2015/16 season, Griezmann achieved 22 league goals, Martial was Utd’s top scorer in the league with 11 goals. Griezmann also made five assists in La Liga which was only topped by Wayne Rooney with six. Griezmann ended the season picking up the player of the year award, the first player to beat Messi or Ronaldo to the award since they were established in the 2008/09 season.

Since signing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester United have brought back their fear factor. When opposition defenders saw players such as Ashley Young or Jesse Lingard line up against them, it wouldn’t intimidate them, but now United are recruiting the world’s biggest stars, it’s all they can think about, and Antoine Griezmann would be the final piece to the already star-studded attack.

Memphis Depay seems to be heading out of Old Trafford, leaving another space for an attacker to take, and also leaving the iconic number seven shirt up for grabs, which is of course, the number Griezmann prefers to wear as his idol was the United legend, David Beckham, it seems everything is falling perfectly for this transfer to take place.

It would be quite an expensive deal, potentially breaking the world transfer record which United recently broke for Pogba, but we know Mourinho isn’t afraid to spend and he seems determined to make Manchester United the world beaters that they once were, so come August, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw Antoine Griezmann putting on the famous red shirt.

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.

Player Ratings For Liverpool’s XI Against Plymouth

Here are the Fresh Football player ratings for Liverpool’s starting eleven vs. Plymouth Argyle from their 0-0 draw on Sunday. 

Loris Karius 6

Karius was asked very few through the match, giving him little chance to impress and stake a claim to replace Simon Mignolet in the starting lineup.

Trent Alexander Arnold 7

Bright in the first fourty five minutes, Alexander Arnold’s overlaps down the right hand side were a resourceful outlet for Liverpool. In the second half he was less involved going forward, but he did his job well defensively and put in a solid display.

Alberto Moreno 6

Moreno defended well in the rare moments he was called upon. Most of the match was spent in the opposition half and despite advancing down the left flank, he failed to produce a quality final ball.

Joe Gomez 6

It was a pretty easy re-introduction to match football for Joe Gomez, with the 19 year old not really tested by Plymouth’s attack. He showed his quality in possession to ensure Liverpool kept probing away in the second half. He has received lots of praise for his performance from Liverpool fans. 

Lucas Leiva 6

Due to the absence of a Plymouth attack, Lucas was able to venture forward into midfield and provide the extra man for the Reds, allowing them to enjoy comfortable possession throughout the match. He produced a rare shot on goal in the second half that was saved by McCormick, and didn’t put a foot wrong.

Kevin Stewart 6

Made a key interception to stifle Plymouth’s counter attack in the second half, with Tanner threatening to race clear on goal in the final ten minutes of the match. However, he showed his inexperience with some poor long range shots towards the end of the match and he will need to improve that decision making if he’s going to break into the side.

Emre Can 7

Kept Liverpool ticking over in midfield, sweeping the ball out wide whenever possible to try and get Divock Origi some service. Can set up Woodburn’s first half chance and was replaced mid-way through the second with Klopp eager to prevent a replay.

Ovie Ejaria 6

Ejaria had minimal impact on the game, especially in the second half. The youngster wasn’t able to make a telling contribution in the final third despite being the furthest forward of the midfield three.

Ben Woodburn 7

Woodburn had the best chance of the first half for Liverpool after being set up by Emre Can but the Plymouth goalkeeper did well to block his shot. He showed little bursts of his ability before being replaced by Roberto Firmino.

Sheyi Ojo 6

Ojo take on his man enough in the game and was often a rather subdued figure within the game. The lack of space in behind the Plymouth back line made it a frustrating afternoon for the youngster.

Divock Origi 5

Origi was largely anonymous for Liverpool as the away side shut off all space, preventing him from running in behind and using his pace. Dropping deeper and deeper in the second half to get involved, he had little chance to really test the Plymouth keeper.

Liverpool Fans Claim This Player Was ‘The Only Positive’ From The Plymouth Game

Whilst a goalless draw against Plymouth was far from what Liverpool will have wanted, there were some positives to be taken, with some youngsters performing particularly well on the afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp made a lot of changes to his side, allowing his youngsters a chance to impress against the visitors, a League 2 side. One youngster was also a player returning from a long-term injury.

Making his first appearance for Liverpool in over 400 days, Joe Gomez put in a solid display for the Reds in their stalemate against Plymouth Argyle.

Since joining the club, Gomez has proven to be one of several exciting young talents. Before sustaining a nasty ACL injury that ruled him out for over a year, the ex-Charlton defender caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers and several fans with his solid, no nonsense style of defending.

The youngster’s ability to play with the ball makes him an ideal fit for Jurgen Klopp’ side and the German seems to have some faith in him with Lucas Leiva rumoured to be heading for the exit door in January. With Liverpool lacking an array of defensive cover, Gomez could see himself gain more chances in the second half of the season.

While not being tested often against Plymouth, Gomez proved to be a calming figure at the back, showing confidence to roam forward with the ball and help the Reds continue to tick over. Clearly it wasn’t the hardest game he will ever play, but given his time on the side-lines, it was a pleasing performance and perhaps a sign of what is to come.

With Lucas looking increasingly likely to move on in January and Mamadou Sakho out of favour at the club, the path is certainly clear for Joe Gomez to establish himself at Liverpool and force his way into Klopp’s first team plans.

The manager has faith in Gomez and if he can regain the form he showed before his injury nightmare, there’s little reason to suggest the defender can’t be a success at Anfield.

Although Gomez didn’t have a lot to do, he won more aerial duels than any other Liverpool player (4) and made a huge 76 touches. He also made 2 interceptions and blocked 1 shot. Gomez tried his best to help Liverpool attack well, completing 83.3% of his passes and being accurate with 3 of his 6 attempted long balls.

The good thing for Gomez is that despite his long injury, he is still just 19. Under Klopp he has a great chance of developing into a top level defender. Today was just the first step in a long journey for him in fulfilling his potential, I’m confident that under Klopp and in this system, he can do just that.

Here’s some more reaction to how Gomez performed on Sunday afternoon.

 

Defender Left Out Of Squad, Fuels Speculation Of A Transfer To Manchester United or West Ham

It looks as if a former Manchester United fans favourite is on the move, and he might well be going back to his old stomping ground. 

Evra is now 35 and his contract at Juventus is due to expire at the end of the current season, thus allowing foreign clubs to begin negotiations over his signing.

West Ham and Manchester United have been linked with the experienced full-back and with the player now left out of Juventus’ squad, it seems more likely that a move back to England may be on the horizon.

Evra has only made 6 Serie A appearances this season, with the younger Alex Sandro now seemingly the clubs favoured left back option. It is not clear whether Juventus intend to extend Evra’s contract beyond the conclusion of this season and that would allow either West Ham or Manchester United to sign him for free, or pay a small fee in January and get him now.

However, his agent Federico Pastorello played down the chances of the France international departing the Italian champions midseason.

“It’s not certain he will leave Juventus,” Pastorello told Juvenews. “We’ll see what happens over the next few days.”

It’s probably silly to bother looking at Evra’s statistics from this season considering how little he has played, so let’s go back to last season, where he was still a fairly regular presence in the starting eleven.

Making 26 appearances in Serie A, Evra proved that despite his age, he is still a very reliable defender, averaging 1.49 interceptions and 1.53 aerial duels won per 90 last season. He was also influential going forward, as always, completing on average 23.92 forward passes and on 1.01 key passes per 90, a good amount for a full back.

His attacking influence may fade as he continues to age, but the experience and defensive know-how that Evra has is mental and will only get stronger with age. As West Ham’s ship continues to shake, you can see why they would like a player of his ilk and experience in their defence.

For Manchester United, they do not have an established left back at the moment, with Luke Shaw struggling to return to form since his long term injury and Darmian seriously struggling to impress. Marcos Rojo is another option in that position but he is playing a lot better in central defence and I’m sure that Mourinho will be keen to try and keep him in that favoured central role.

If Evra has an offer from both clubs it’ll be interesting to see what decision he makes. At West Ham, he is more likely to play regular football, but his history at Manchester United will surely have a huge impact on his decision. I think if United’s interest is genuine, then Mourinho will be keen to add Evra for his off the pitch contribution as much as anything else.

Fans On Twitter Label Arsenal Man ‘So Underrated’ After Preston Performance

Not all heroes wear capes, but perhaps Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud ought to look into that the next time he’s feeling inventive with his celebrations.

The Gunners came from a goal down versus Preston North End to win 2-1, courtesy of Giroud’s 89th minute finish, and thus secure their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal’s victory sees them top up on Arsène Wenger’s proud record of never losing in the third round of the FA Cup, going 21 for 21, as the north Londoners boast an equally respectable feat of losing just once versus lower league opposition (Blackburn Rovers, 2013).

It could all have been so different for the Premier League outfit, however, as ex-Aston Villa trainee Callum Robinson put Preston 1-0 up within the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Lilywhites continued their search for a second and came close to doing so too on various occasions, more notably through Jordan Hugill and Paul Gallagher throughout the first half, as the Gunners edged closer to following Bournemouth, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion out of the tournament.

After a half largely dominated by the Championship side, Aaron Ramsey prepared to make Simon Grayson’s side pay for all the missed opportunities, as the Welshman returned to the scoresheet for the first time since his back-heeled goal against Tottenham Hotspur in March of last season with a well struck shot in the 46th minute.

But the headlines were reserved for one man and one man only, as Giroud pounced on a subtle heel flick from Lucas Perez to give Arsenal an 11th hour lead and clock up his fair share of attention on social media.

The marmite-esque striker has developed a healthy habit of coming up with clutch moments in recent weeks, with his strike versus Preston increasing his overall tally for the season to nine goals in 18 appearances.

After scoring for a fourth consecutive game, four out of six of Giroud’s goals have all come no earlier than the 86th minute of the game, subsequently earning Arsenal an additional five points in the league and propelling their name into the hat for the draw of the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Prior to that, Arsenal’s number 12 also came up with the goods against Sunderland back in October, scoring a brace within minutes of hopping off the bench to take the Gunners from a 1-1 draw to a 3-1 lead at the Stadium of Light.

The Frenchman’s red-hot form is now sure to continue giving Wenger a selection headache, with Alexis Sanchez also excelling as a centre forward role prior to the festive period.

Manager Confirms Premier League Defender Will Be Moving To Chelsea This Month

Chelsea look set to welcome another defender to their squad this month, with the club keen to add to their defensive options.

It appears that Antonio Conte will continue to favour playing young players over external recruitment with the Italian manager seemingly set to recall Nathan Ake from his loan at Bournemouth.

Ake has been brilliant during his loan spell at Bournemouth so far, and with Conte now deploying a 3 at the back formation, Chelsea would really benefit from having another central defender in the squad. Despite the clubs overall good defensive displays, Gary Cahill has come under a fair amount of criticism and Ake may have his eyes on displacing the Englishman.

Another option would be to shift Cesar Azpilicueta to the right or left wing-back role and then bring Ake into central defence. Crucially Ake’s recall will give the club more options and more depth.

Bournemouth boss Howe said Ake’s exit was “not 100% finalised yet”. But in saying that, all but confirmed that he would be heading back to the capital.

He told BBC Radio Solent: “It would be a huge blow to us as he’s done so well. It is easier said than to done to say we are going to go and recruit a player of a similar stature to Nathan.”

Chelsea will now be negotiating with Bournemouth for a cancellation fee, as it is likely they will have to pay one due to cutting the season-long-loan deal short.

Howe added: “I am not sure there are too many out there, hence why Chelsea would recall him. With Simon Francis’s suspension and Marc Pugh’s injury and now Nathan going back, our defensive resources are certainly stretched.”

Ake turns 22 next month and will hope to continue his progression this season at Chelsea. The player is also capable of playing in midfield and at left back, so his versatility will certainly come in handy for the club.

In 10 Premier League appearances Ake has netted 3 goals, highlighting his ability to attack well and make the most of opportunities in the other box. For his height, he’s very good in the air, winning on average 2.07 per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. He’s also won an impressive 1.82 tackles per 90.

An energetic defender, Ake has also made 1.22 interceptions per 90. He’s a defender that is more than capable of playing out from the back and his pass completion of 88% highlights that.

Summer signing David Luiz has really excelled in the defence since re-joining the club, but with Cahill now 31, could Ake be the England international’s long-term replacement? He’ll certainly hope so.

What is refreshing to see is a manager that is willing to give young players a chance, and Conte seems to be doing just that.

Manchester United Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play Every Game’ After Great Performance vs. Reading

It was a comfortable afternoon for Manchester United as they made light work of Championship high-flyers Reading by winning 4-0 at Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kick-off.

There were several standout performers for Manchester United on the day, but one player who received lots of praise from the fans post-match was Anthony Martial, a player who has been used sparingly under Jose Mourinho.

A fans favourite since he signed, many have been bemused as to why he has not played more often, but this performance will have surely done his chances no harm. Originally a striker, Martial has been pushed out to the left wing at United and it looks as if that will be his long term position. He will be competing with Marcus Rashford, a player with similar attributes, strengths and weaknesses and also a player who can play in both his positions.

The only personal issue perhaps for Martial is that even though he scored and played very well, his teammate and competitor for his position, Rashford, scored a brace and continued to impress his manager. Mourinho publicly praised Rashford’s contributions post-match.

Martial took 4 shots, 3 of which hit the target. He was also creative, making 3 key passes. The other aspect to Martial’s game is his physicality, he managed to win 3 aerial duels.

He got on the scoresheet, but that was not Martial’s only contribution. The Frenchman was a menace for the Reading defence all afternoon and certainly will have made Jose Mourinho consider playing him more frequently.

Here’s some of the fans reaction to Martial’s performance. 

Manchester United spent an awful lot of money on Martial, and they cannot forget that. Mourinho needs to ensure he maximises the potential of a player with a huge amount of it. A run out in the FA Cup is nice, but Martial deserves more than that. He has surely earned a regular place in the team, perhaps not from what he’s done under Mourinho (has he had a chance?) but what he did in his first season at the club. What worries me is whether he is going to be given that game time that he deserves at a club that continues to look for external improvements. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was signed in the summer and Antoine Griezmann is reportedly being lined up. If they’ve got the money, you can’t criticise the club for spending it, however when they have young talent like Martial and Rashford, surely developing that duo would be a better idea that continuing to invest?

That’s the view of me, not a United fan. I’d love to hear what United fans think about this, should both Rashford and Martial be featuring more regularly?

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.

3 Big Signings Manchester United Could Reportedly Complete This Month

With Manchester United on a good run of form going into the second half of the Premier League season, Jose Mourinho might be looking at bringing in some January additions to the squad. Here are three transfers that the Red Devils could complete in the next seven days.

1) M’Baye Niang

Jose Mourinho has reportedly already had a bid turned down for the AC Milan star, but could return in an attempt to make a January swoop for the forward.

It has previously been reported that the Manchester United boss is on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and has his eye on Harry Kane in the summer transfer window should Spurs finish outside of the top four.

However, looking into the more immediate future, Mourinho is ready to take a gamble on this AC Milan forward according to Il Giornale, who has struggled to hit top form this season, having not scored in his last eight appearances for the Italian outfit.

Niang looked to be on a good run of form at the start of last season, but his season was ended early after a car crash, and has never returned to top form since. Obviously Mourinho feels that Niang can hit top form once again at United.

As the long season of English football starts to affect Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Niang could come in and provide some backup, but can also influence games from the wider areas. As I have mentioned, Mourinho has already had a bid knocked back, but with a strong second bid, and contract extension talks stalling, Niang could become a Red Devils players in the very near future.

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

With yet more points dropped between the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal at the top end of the table, Tottenham Hotspur’s clash at home to Chelsea tonight sets itself up to be of the greatest importance for both sides.

For the Blues, a record 15th consecutive win opens up a nine-point-gap between them and 2nd place Liverpool, whereas a triumph for Spurs over their London rivals not only keeps Manchester United off their backs, but also sees them leapfrog 3rd and 4th placed Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as reducing the distance between themselves and top spot to seven points.

As both sides go toe-to-toe in tonight’s heavyweight encounter, Fresh Football has consulted its bubble of imagination to compile what we think an All-star Chelsea and Spurs combined XI would look like, relative to form. Here’s what we’ve conjured up:

Goalkeeper: Hugo LlorisTottenham Hotspur

There is, without a doubt, very little between Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois, who stand as two of the greatest shot-stoppers in the league, if not, the world.

Both come into the game with envious defensive records; Courtois has 11 clean sheets in the league to Lloris’ seven, but the latter has conceded just one more goal than the Belgian.

Last year was a totally different experience for Courtois, however, under-performing alongside his teammates in a season to forget for Chelsea. At the same time, no Premier League side conceded less than Spurs (and Man United), which is why Lloris takes our number one jersey.

Right Back: Kyle WalkerTottenham Hotspur

As impressive as Victor Moses has been in his new-found right wing back role, there’s the argument that the Nigerian formerly considered “deadwood” would struggle defensively without the added back-up of a third centre back in Antonio Conte’s lauded 3-4-3 system.

Further north in London, there’s few who operate better at right back than Kyle Walker. Blistering pace, coupled with well-built physicality and technical ability sees the Englishman boss the entire right flank more often than not, making him vital to the way Spurs play.

Moreover, Walker already has four assists to his name this season from defence, one more than he managed last season, and so concludes one of the easier decisions we’ve had to make in this line-up.

Centre Back: Toby AlderweireldTottenham Hotspur

The Belgian’s transition to English football has been no less than impressive, joining the north London club from Atlético Madrid to steal some of the thunder surrounding his compatriot, Jan Vertonghen, in becoming the main man at the back.

Reliable, refined in possession and a notable aerial threat, Alderweireld combines traits that sees him stand as one of the league best centre halves, therefore taking this spot in our combined XI ahead of the likes of Gary Cahill and John Terry without question.

Centre Back: David LuizChelsea

Many a human welcomed Chelsea’s £30 million signing of David Luiz, a man often synonymous with erratic defending, with smiles and laughter.

In its kindest form, his signing was branded as a complete panic buy in response to Chelsea’s failure to land the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer, but the Brazilian defender and Chelsea fans alike will be sure to be giving some stick back to the numerous critics.

Since the Blues’ tactical reinvention, Luiz has seen the defensive set-up form around himself at the at the heart of the defence, subsequently seeing the 29-year-old go from strength-to-strength in his return to Stamford Bridge.

So much so has been his success with Conte’s tactical shift that he’s now touted as one of the favourites to finish the campaign in the Premier League’s Team of the Season, so it’s only fair that he sits Vertonghen out of this one.

Left Back: César AzpilicuetaChelsea

Much like Kyle Walker, Rose plays a pivotal in Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressing side, doing so well, but meanwhile the Spurs product excels going forwards, César Azpilicueta comes up trumps going in the opposite direction, hence why he’s played across Chelsea’s backline across the years. The Spaniard gets our vote.

Right Midfield: PedroChelsea

Pedro looked to be on somewhat of a downward spiral in the past couple of seasons, falling out of favour at Barcelona before failing to crack life at Chelsea last season.

Things just abruptly clicked, however, after the Blues’ heavy 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal back in September, with Pedro scoring four goals, including one versus Spurs, and assisting six since the debacle at the Emirates.

With Erik Lamela still out injured and Willian only just now beginning to find his feet in the west Londoners’ new look outfit, Pedro claims his spot.

Centre Midfield: N’Golo KantéChelsea

The first name on the team sheet. By now you will have already heard that N’Golo Kanté picked up more points alone than any other team in the Premier League since joining Leicester City in the summer of 2015. The man is just ridiculous.

Centre Midfield: Mousa DembéléTottenham Hotspur

In the same vein as Kanté, Dembélé is equally crucial to a side hoping to get their hands on the coveted Premier League trophy.

Following recovery from injury in October 2015, Spurs didn’t lose once in his presence. Contrarily, once the Belgian was suspended for his ill-tempered altercation with Diego Costa back in May 2016, Spurs picked up just 12 points from their next 11 league games.

He was, undoubtedly, the cerebral driving force among the high praise solely directed at Dele Alli, Harry Kane, among others, and the aforementioned stars proved to be a lot poorer without Dembélé in the side. An underrated entity.

Left Midfield: Eden HazardChelsea

A shining light in Chelsea’s side, Eden Hazard finally looks to be back to his best in a free role given to him by Conte.

Nine goals and two assists in the league sees the Belgian playmaker spearhead his way as one of the favourites to take the Player of the Year gong, so he’s got his place reserved in our squad.

Striker: Diego CostaChelsea

Rivalling his teammate, Hazard, to Player of the Year award has been Diego Costa, so, again, there was little chance of us leaving him out of this combined XI.

The Brazil-born Spain international has been taken to the next level by Conte, at least from a disciplinary perspective, as the 28-year-old leads the goal-scoring charts with 14 league goals so far.

Striker: Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur

For the second season running, after Euro disappointment, Harry Kane started the season rather tentatively, but alas the constant stream of goals appear to be following the Spurs number 10.

The striker’s brace versus Watford in Tottenham’s 4-1 win saw the Englishman hit double figures in the league for the season, his 59th overall after 100 Premier League games, making him hard to overlook.

January Transfer: Why This Bundesliga Ace Is A More Likely Signing For Chelsea Than Arsenal

Chelsea and Arsenal are set to battle over the course of the January transfer window for Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, with both clubs reportedly keen on signing the Bundesliga man. 

The Sun claim that Chelsea have made the first move in an attempt to secure the services of Rodriguez, with Antonio Conte keen to strengthen his squad ahead of the title race and run-in, which is set to reach boiling point in the next few weeks.

Arsene Wenger is also keen to bolster his defensive options ahead of a title push, which took a huge blow last point despite the Gunners earning a point against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium after being three goals down with just twenty minutes to go.

The Gunners currently have Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs in their squad that can fill in that left-back position, but Arsene Wenger is reportedly targeting this area for strengthening over the January transfer window.

The Blues have reportedly contacted the player’s agent regarding whether his client would be interested in a January switch to Stamford Bridge in an attempt to get negotiations underway.

Arsenal have been keeping track of the left back’s progress for a couple of months now, but Antonio Conte is keen on securing the services of Rodriguez for £21m as he starts his New Year squad strengthening ahead of the title run-in.

Who will win the race for Ricardo Rodriguez? 

The 24-year-old seems like a player who likes to get forward and cause problems for the opposition defence. The left-back has scored two goals this season as well as providing two assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances. If he does enjoy getting forward and becoming an attacking threat down the left, then a move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea might be the move for him.

Conte’s 3-4-3 system has proved to be a real success this season in the Premier League, with the Blues sitting proudly at the top of the table, despite a stuttering start to the season. The 3-4-3 formation allows a lot of freedom for those wing-backs. Although they have to work extremely hard down their respective wings, their positions give them a license to regularly join the Chelsea attack as well as help out defensive tracking wingers. This seems like a system that Rodriguez would enjoy playing in.

With Chelsea making the first move ahead of Arsenal, and with the Blues reportedly willing to offer £21million for the left-back, it seems that they are in pole position to sign the 24-year-old in this January transfer window.

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.