Pep Guardiola is changing Manchester City, they’ve announced the signing of Leroy Sané, one of Europe’s brightest prospects and also want Gabriel Jesus, another talented youngster, how highly do you rate the two mentioned? Should City fans be excited?
I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of Gabriel Jesus, but from what I’ve heard, he looks the real deal. Sané is a very special talent and when watching him last year, you can see why Guardiola is so fond of him. He might be expensive in the short term, but he’ll pay that back in no time – Sané’s a really exciting, but raw, prospect and Manchester City fans should be very excited.
The new laws in the game state “intolerable behaviour” towards the ref can be punished immediately and could lead to a sending off, in a heated game frustrations will often boil, what’s your thoughts on this new law?
I’m indifferent to it, really. It’s good when looking at the impact it’ll have on the younger generations; it’ll set an example we don’t see today. But on the other hand, you don’t want to take the aggression out of the game too much. Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
Crystal Palace managed to bid £30 million for Batshuayi this summer, Middlesbrough have also used the market very well and signed Victor Valdes and Negredo, does this just show how the game has changed?
I don’t necessarily think the game has changed per season, it’s mostly the new Premier League TV deal which has allowed clubs such as Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace to bid for outlandish stars. What West Ham are finding, however, is that money can’t buy everyone and you can come off as incredibly desperate – which is never a good look for a potential suitor.
Manchester United fans have been in unknown territory since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, do you think Jose Mourinho will bring back glory days to the “theatre of dreams”?
I think he’ll do his best, which is all you can really ask for to be honest. He’s one of the best managers in the world and hasn’t got to where he is now without proving that time after time. There’s no immediate pressure on Mourinho after the likes of Moyes and LVG failed so miserably. The Portuguese manager has come in, immediately said who he wants and who he wants gone, and told the players the way he sees the game. He’s straight to the point, something Louis van Gaal wasn’t. It’ll be a different experience and one that should be very successful.
Southampton have lost Ronald Koeman, Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama in one summer, they seem to lose their best players each season when the market opens, they have managed to cope with it thus far and have brought in suitable replacements, what do you think the future holds for the Saints? Can they recover from another squad exodus?
Southampton very much reminds me of Borussia Dortmund. Yes, they lose a lot of players each season, but they recruit ever so impressively and somehow manage to start the new season exactly where they left off the last – if not better. I have no worries over the summer exodus; it’d be silly and naive to write them off finishing in the top 7, due to what’s happened in recent years. It’ll be difficult without Ronald Koeman leading the ship, but in Claude Puel they have a very experienced manager who’s been around the circuit.
We are now in the heart of the transfer market, with only two weeks left until the season starts, can you see some big money moves materialising in the coming weeks?
Paul Pogba’s the obvious one. I think Chelsea have one more deal lined up that’ll be a hefty price. Man City will finalise the transfer for John Stones for £50m in the coming weeks. Napoli are definitely looking to spend a fair sum of the €94m they received from Juventus for Higuaín. Juventus will need to fill the void of Pogba. There are plenty of deals yet to happen, and not to mention a few on transfer deadline day.
I am a huge fan of United’s youngster Adnan Januzaj, I think he just has to find some confidence in his game to fulfil his potential, what does the future hold for the United man?
Januzaj needs to either go out on-loan or find a new club completely. If I was the United manager, I’d be prepared to sell him outright to a club like Sunderland with a buy-back option in his contract. I think it’ll take a fair few loans to revitalise Januzaj, so he may as well properly settle into a club without any pressure and start again. The boy has obvious talent; it’s just about game time and the manager sucking it out of him.
Looking at current squads, who do you think is best equipped for the title next season?
Man City – their depth is quite honestly scary.