Tag Archives: Everton

Chelsea continue to be linked to Premier League star, he might not be worth it

Chelsea seem set on improving their attacking lines this summer as Diego Costa continues to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, whilst Michy Batshuayi has endured a difficult maiden campaign in the Premier League.

With Belgian youngster Batshuayi linked with a loan move away from the Blues, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Chelsea to enter next season without both strikers- and that increases the necessity for the Blues to spend in this area.

Of the names to be linked with a move to Chelsea, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is a player who is consistently mentioned- but there are concerns as to whether the Belgian would be able to excel on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku seems keen on a move, as he feels he has unfinished business at Chelsea, but he may not be the ideal fit- despite boasting an impressive return of 52 goals in 109 Premier League appearances since moving to the Toffees.

It’s a fierce debate as to whether Lukaku would be the right fit at Chelsea, so we asked our team their views- and it’s fair to say the opinion was split.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

If Chelsea had Romelu Lukaku instead of Diego Costa this season they would not have won the league. Costa’s spats with officials and defenders are the street-fighter side of his game, but the former Atleti man has led Chelsea’s line through timely goals, smart movement and constantly occupying opposition defenders.

Costa’s post-rumour form has been indifferent, yet signing Lukaku alone would leave Chelsea’s attacking options looking weaker. Lukaku’s streaky goal scoring would be an issue at Chelsea and the Belgian’s price tag must make Chelsea consider their other options this summer.

He could be a brilliant signing longer-term, but as a direct replacement for Costa for next season it is a risk.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Lukaku’s form this season cannot be understated, however, question marks remain whether he can achieve a similar vein of form at a massive club. Ultimately his career at Stamford Bridge was a flop – the majority of which was through no fault of his own – however, replacing Diego Costa is another story.

The Spaniard has his faults, but it must be remembered he has guided Chelsea to two titles in three years – and one with Atletico Madrid before his move to West London. So to conclude, Lukaku isn’t ready just yet.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

There’s no doubt Romelu Lukaku has excelled at Everton and deserves his chance at a bigger side. However, he does seem a bit short of taking the mantle as a leading player for a Premier League side as his consistency is an issue.

Whilst he usually finishes the season with a decent amount of goals, these usually come in quick flurries of form with two-to-four goals a match amidst large periods of finding the net- and many have accused him of simply performing against the smaller clubs.

There’s certainly some truth to that claim but if there’s anyone who can help Lukaku fill his true potential it’s Antonio Conte, as he’s got the best out of a Chelsea side this season that many considered to be quite weak.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

All signs are pointing towards a return to Stamford Bridge for Romelu Lukaku, and on paper it seems like the perfect move. With the Belgian coming off of a fantastic season on Merseyside with Everton, he would be the ideal replacement for Diego Costa. His power and finishing is what Conte likes in his team, and with Pedro and Hazard on either side of him, the service into Lukaku would be plentiful.

He has all the traits to make the Blues forget about Costa, who has been a good player for Chelsea, but has always flattered to deceive at times. Costa is a very patchy player and Lukaku would add a certain level of consistency to really take Chelsea to the highest level.  

Huge Summer Ahead For Everton Star, Record Deal May Not Happen

Everton face a testing summer window in the months ahead as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen his squad and increase the chances of the Toffees breaking into the top-six, all whilst contending with the likely departures of key names.

Romelu Lukaku continues to be linked with a huge move away from Goodison Park in the close season and speculation continues to circle over the head of England ace Ross Barkley, as contract discussions have seemingly hit a brick wall.

Koeman has issued an ultimatum to the 23-year-old and is preparing to sell the influential midfielder if he does not extend his contract, although The Telegraph states he’s demanding a mouth-watering price of £50m for the Tottenham target.

It’s difficult to argue that Barkley is worth that much and it’s set to cause a lot of debate over the summer months, so we asked our team where they expect Barkley to be playing next season and whether he’s worth the monumental price-tag mentioned.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

The future of Ross Barkley will possibly become a long, drawn out saga which results in him staying at Everton this summer. Ross Barkley has not developed like many expected following his breakthrough in 2012.
His career has stagnated somewhat and the only club that will likely take a punt on Ross would be Tottenham – but certainly not for the £50million being reportedly demanded by the Toffees.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

Ross Barkley looks set to leave Everton in the summer and at the moment; the ideal place for him to move would probably be Tottenham. People always say that Barkley just needs someone to guide him and help him find his best form, and at the moment there is no one better at that at a big club than Mauricio Pochettino.

He may not get as many minutes as he is at Everton right now, but the fact of the matter is he wouldn’t at any other top 6 clubs either. With regards to his price tag, there is no way he is worth £50M, but Everton will have to lower it or risk losing him on a free next summer.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Ross Barkley may well complete a u-turn and secure his future with the Toffees for another few seasons but the longer he waits, the more he risks causing irreparable damage to his relationship with his boyhood club- and Ronald Koeman isn’t prepared for any mucking around.

As it stands, North London is the most likely destination for Barkley but Tottenham may find competition in the market from rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have a big summer ahead and one crucial aspect that is being overlooked is the club’s decreasing homegrown contingent.

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are amongst the Englishmen linked with a summer exit, which would leave Arsenal’s homegrown ranks looking severely lacking- so a move for British players is likely this summer.

In regards to his price-tag, there is no way that Ross Barkley is worth that amount and it’s difficult to imagine Everton actually commanding such a high-price for a player of his services and negotiations will likely decrease the figure to somewhere around £30m, plus add-ons.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Spurs seem likely candidates to sign him, but I have a hunch he will remain at Everton. The price tag is extortionate for a player who suffers from great inconsistency and only one of the top six would be able to stump up that sort of fee.

There’s still a chance Barkley becomes a one-in-a-generation player for England, but it’d be a severe risk from any top six clubs.

Alternative Premier League Team Of The Year Ft. Alderweireld, Alexis & More

The PFA Team of the Year was announced this morning and it’s fair to say the majority of people were underwhelmed by the selections, with the announcement going down like a lead balloon.

Naturally, the team was dominated by players from Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, who currently sit in the top-two positions in the Premier League, but both sides can feel aggrieved by certain members of their team that missed out.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City fans will also share their frustrations, as they’ve had star performers overlook in favour of some rather questionable choices from the PFA.

Here at FreshFootball, we’ve also been left underwhelmed by the selections (seriously, Sadio Mane) and rather than discuss who should be in or out of the side, we’ve elected to select an entirely new team altogether.

Have we missed anyone out? Let us know in the comments below!

GK: Hugo Lloris

Spurs’ number one has been an ever-present figure this season between the sticks for the most resilient defence in the Premier League, with the Lilywhites conceding just 22 goals so far- significantly lower than anyone else.

Whilst David De Gea at Manchester United has been similarly impressive, and being selected in the PFA Team of the Year as a result, overlooking the goalkeeper for the league’s best defence is a decision that doesn’t really add up.

5 New Signings: How Everton Could Spend £100m From Lukaku Sale

Everton face a huge test to keep hold of Romelu Lukaku’s services this summer but Ronald Koeman can look forward to having an abundance of cash to spend in the market if the Belgian is prized away from Goodison Park.

With interest in the 23-year-old rising, Everton are looking for a major profit on the club-record fee they paid Chelsea for the striker’s services and The Liverpool Echo has reported that the Toffees want an astonishing £100m.

Such a fee would see Lukaku become the world’s most expensive player, surpassing the £89m Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer, but it’s hard to argue that Lukaku wouldn’t be worth that figure in the modern day market.

Whilst it would take a massive bid to lure Lukaku away from Goodison Park, Everton are likely to be already contemplating how they could spend that money- and we’ve identified five top-class additions they could make.

Kieran Tripper: £5.1m

With Seamus Coleman’s injury absence likely to span deep into the start of next season, Ronald Koeman is eyeing additions at right-back to bolster his options in that area- and Tottenham Hotspur’s Kieran Tripper is one target.

Tripper’s opportunities at White Hart Lane are extremely limited due to Kyle Walker’s starring role in the side, so the former Burnley man may consider a move. A deal for the 26-year-old would also be affordable, as TransferMarkt values his services at just £5.1m.

Everton v Burnley: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Competition: Premier League Date: Saturday 15th April 2017 Venue: Goodison Park Kick-Off: 15:00 BST

Team News

Everton welcome Ashley Williams back to contention following suspension but Aaron Lennon is missing once again.

Muhamed Besic is edging closer to a return after nine months out with a knee injury but it remains to be see if he’ll feature tomorrow.

Burnley have Steven Defour fit, with the midfielder returning after a variety of injury problems over the past ten weeks.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson is edging closer to a return but may not feature tomorrow.

Match Preview

Everton have improved thoroughly this season under the guidance of Ronald Koeman and they can put real pressure on Arsenal ahead of the Gunners clash with Middlesbrough on Monday, as victory would put the Toffees into sixth spot and potentially as high as fifth.

The hosts will be confident of making it eight consecutive Premier League victories at home against a Burnley side who are yet to secure a win on the road this season. Fortunately, Sean Dyche’s are set to avoid the drop.

Romelu Lukaku, the Premier League’s top-scorer, will be confident of adding to his 23 league goals this season and Burnley’s defence will find it difficult to keep him quiet.

Likely Line-Ups

Everton
Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies; Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas.

Burnley
Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Hendrick, Barton, Brady; Barnes, Gray.

Key Stats

Burnley have only won once at Goodison Park in 54 years but beat the Toffees in the reverse clash earlier this season.

An eighth consecutive home win for Everton would be their best top-flight run since January to April 1990.

Only Barcelona (28) have scored more league home goals than Everton’s 26 in 2017.

Burnley are one of just two sides in the English football pyramid yet to secure an away win this term, with the other being Rotherham United.

Prediction
2-0

3 Quality Signings Everton Should Target To Replace Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku looks increasingly likely to leave Everton this summer and the Toffees face a major challenge to replace him. Fortunately, they have money to spend and these three targets would be quality replacements.

Willian Jose

Linked with a £27m move to Goodison Park this summer, Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose has seemingly found himself top of Ronald Koeman’s wish-list in Everton’s quest to find a replacement for Lukaku and the Brazilian could be a good fit.

Since signing for the Basque outfit last summer, Willian Jose has hit 11 La Liga goals in just 19 appearances- his best ever return. Having struggled to establish himself in numerous loan moves previously though, his consistency can be called into question.

For that price, Everton would seek a player who has shown for numerous years that he can be relied upon and that could lead to concerns regarding Willian Jose’s services.

Chelsea On-Verge Of Securing Major Summer Signing

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not resting on his laurels this summer and is expected to go big in the transfer market to help establish the Blues as contenders for Champions League glory.

Whilst his West London side have stood as the frontrunners in the Premier League title chase throughout the season, and look set to win their second league trophy in three years, the squad at Conte’s disposal does need improving in particular areas.

Conte is determined to boost his options in attack, with Diego Costa struggling for form since the new year and facing question marks on his own future, and it seems a major deal is edging towards completion- and it could be a club-record deal.

Quoted by MetroItalian journalist Massimo Marianello told Sky Italia that Romelu Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge is almost complete.

What was said?

‘I think many big players will join Chelsea in the summer as Conte wants the Blues to become credible contenders for the Champions League win,’

‘I can say Lukaku’s Chelsea move is almost done deal and reports in England claim Alexis Sanchez will also play for Chelsea next season. Many other players could also arrive [at Chelsea].’

Will it happen?

Romelu Lukaku made it clear he would not extend his deal at Goodison Park but he has spoken recently about his desire to make history with the Toffees. However, the Belgian is unlikely to stay if a lucrative offer comes in.

Everton, for there part, don’t want to sell but a reported price-tag of around £70m would be extremely difficult to turn down and would allow Ronald Koeman to have plenty of room to recruit in the transfer market.

Incidentally, a figure that high would also set a club-record fee for Chelsea, surpassing the £50m they paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres, and would stand as one of the highest fees in Premier League history- although still a way off the £89m Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba.

Liverpool v Everton: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Merseyside Derby

Liverpool host Everton in a crucial Merseyside derby this weekend and these three battles are likely to decide the outcome of the match.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

Lukaku v Matip

Romelu Lukaku boasts 21 Premier League goals this season, the highest of any player in the division, and keeping him quiet won’t be an easy task. This weekend, that task falls to Liverpool’s summer recruit Joel Matip.

The Cameroonian international has impressed in his debut season in English football but Lukaku has the strength and ability to emerge victorious in this battle. Lukaku can’t be afforded room and time on the ball, whilst Matip has to expect a hefty physical battle.

The Liverpool XI That Will Emerge Victorious Against Everton on Saturday

Liverpool face a huge game on Saturday as they tackle Merseyside rivals Everton at Anfield, with the Reds looking to consolidate their position of fourth-spot in the Premier League. Here, we’ve selected the side that Liverpool should select to win the game.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively, weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

GK: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s goalkeeping options are quite weak, with both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius struggling to impress this season, but it’s the former who should get the nod for this crucial Merseyside derby as the Belgian has looked slightly better.

The Reds need to make a choice on their number one for the remainder of the season and stick with it, with that man likely to be Mignolet. Come the summer, changes in this area are likely but Jurgen Klopp has to work with what he’s got for now.

The Everton XI That Will Dent Liverpool’s Top-Four Ambitions On Saturday

Everton make the short trip across Stanley Park this weekend to face arch-rivals Liverpool at Anfield and they could hand a huge dent to the Reds top-four ambitions. With the Toffees also having the chance to rise to sixth, we’ve selected the side that is capable of emerging victorious.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

GK: Joel Robles

The 26-year-old Spaniard was expected to play second-fiddle to summer signing Maarten Stekelenburg this season but Joel Robles has earned an impressive 14 Premier League appearances this season, with Ronald Koeman handing him a new lease of life.

With speculation persisting that Koeman will look to find a new long-term number one over the course of the summer, Robles has plenty to prove between now and the season’s conclusion in May but enters this weekend’s Merseyside derby in good form- having kept four clean-sheets in his last five appearances.

Chelsea Set To Make Decision On Pair Ahead Of £70m Swoop

Chelsea have excelled in the Premier League this season but Antonio Conte is ready to shuffle his deck during the summer window to ensure his side remain competitive next term.

With Diego Costa’s future remaining under scrutiny, Antonio Conte is likely to enter the transfer market for a new striker as the Blues could lose the services of their Spanish forward, whilst Michy Batshuayi has failed to impress following his move from Marseille last summer.

The Sun states Chelsea are prepared to splash as much as £70m on a new striker but are debating whether to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge or push to land Alvaro Morata’s signature, with the Spaniard frustrated with a lack of game time with Real Madrid.

Belgian ace Lukaku has refused to pen an extended deal with Everton and is expected to be a big mover this summer, whilst Morata is also likely to be on the market after failing to establish himself in Zinedine Zidane’s plans following his return to Madrid from Juventus last summer.

Who’d be the better fit?

With Romelu Lukaku already well established in the Premier League and having previous links to Chelsea, the Belgian striker could be the perfect fit into Antonio Conte’s side and his physical presence is comparable to that of Diego Costa.

However, Alvaro Morata would likely be significantly less expensive and is keen to prove himself ahead of the World Cup next summer. Taking that into consideration, many may feel that the Spaniard presents the best solution for Chelsea.

Signing Lukaku would be a real statement of intent from the Blues though, as they’d have to spend a club-record on their former striker, and it would show they’re happy to go toe-to-toe with both Manchester clubs in the transfer market.

Which deal is more likely?

Whilst Romelu Lukaku is pushing for an exit from Goodison Park, Everton have a decent standing in negotiations as the Belgian striker is still penned down to a contract and boss Ronald Koeman is keen to dig his heels in and prevent a summer sale.

Pushing for Lukaku’s signature will likely be a long, drawn out process and Chelsea may prefer to swoop for Morata, as a deal for the Spaniard would be easier to complete. However, negotiating with Real Madrid could result in Los Blancos pushing to land the links of Thibaut Courtois or Eden Hazard in return.

All in all, there’s no simple solution to Chelsea’s search for a new striker but they’re likely to have cash in hand to spend, as Costa is expected to seal a lucrative transfer away from Stamford Bridge and that sale will boost Conte’s spending money.

Everton Plot Swoop For Premier League Defender Amidst Summer Shake-Up

Everton have improved significantly under the guidance of Ronald Koeman this season but the Dutchman is aware he has work to do to ensure the Toffees remain competitive.

With an ageing defence, Ronald Koeman is keen to freshen up his defensive ranks this summer by seeking the signature of new signings and The Liverpool Echo states the Dutchman’s head has been turned by Hull City’s Harry Maguire.

24-year-old Maguire has impressed this season for the struggling Tigers, with his stellar performances including keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet at Goodison Park until his side were reduced to ten-men, as well as frustrating Manchester United in a goalless draw.

Maguire has been touted as a potential choice for Gareth Southgate’s England squad and a move to Everton would significantly booster his chances, whilst Koeman believes the right signings this summer could see the Toffees push into the top-four.

Why Maguire?

Harry Maguire is just one of the names being discussed by Everton’s hierarchy ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Toffees also keen on Burnley’s Michael Keane, but a significant shake-up to the back-line is expected this summer.

Phil Jagielka turns 35 this summer and has been in-and-out of the line-up this season, whilst Ramiro Funes Mori sees his future shrouded in speculation too. On top of that, first-choice man Ashley Williams turns 33 this summer and doesn’t have many years left in the tank.

With a signing like Maguire, Everton could get years of service from the England ace- just like they’ve done with Jagielka and Leighton Baines, both of whom signed in 2007 and have represented the Merseyside outfit valiantly for the past decade.

Will Hull sell?

Hull City’s position in the table doesn’t give them a strong standing point in negotiations and their chances of keeping Maguire will look minimal if the Tigers are to be relegated. Whilst Marco Silva has improved the club’s fortunes, Hull still sit in the relegation zone and are three points behind Swansea City- whilst Middlesbrough and Sunderland below them have a game in hand.

Even if Hull survive the threat of relegation, Maguire would not be blamed if he was to push for an exit and Everton would be the ideal stepping stone for the youngster, as the guidance of a world-class manager like Koeman would be superb.

Learning from the likes of Ashley Williams and Leighton Baines would also be beneficial, whilst Maguire would join a side breaming with young talent and one that has a great future there for the taking.

Potential Everton XI Next Season Including Wayne Rooney

Ronald Koeman will already have one eye on the summer transfer window with the Premier League season drawing to a close and Everton only looking up in the league table. 

Koeman will go into the summer transfer window with his first season as Everton coach behind him and will have a better understanding of his team and his players than he did when he first arrived at the club. As well as building, he could have some rebuilding work to do to, with several key players linked with moves away from the club. Here’s a look at how Everton could line-up next season…

GK – Joe Hart

Hart has spent the season on loan in Italy and is unlikely to win his place back at Manchester City at the end of the season. Everton had been listed with interest last summer, but Hart only became available after Stekelenburg was signed. I think Koeman will again show interest in Hart if he becomes available and Pep Guardiola should approve a move considering Everton are not a direct Premier League rival.

Liverpool join Everton in pursuit of highly-rated defender

Liverpool are ready to go toe-to-toe on the transfer market with arch-rivals Everton for the services of this highly-rated defender.

The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool’s interest in Burnley defender Michael Keane has raised following his impressive international debut this week, where the 24-year-old former Manchester United man started England’s 1-0 defeat to Germany.

Everton hold long-standing interest in Keane, and see him as the ideal fit for their defence in the long-term, but Jurgen Klopp is eyeing a defensive restructure of his own and sees Keane as the ideal central-defensive partner for Joel Matip.

Interest in Keane is extremely high though as Manchester City and Chelsea also hold interest, whilst Manchester United could explore the option to bring him back to Old Trafford- as they did with Paul Pogba last summer.

Will a deal go ahead?

Burnley are resigned to losing Michael Keane’s services this summer as the Lancashire side have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate an extension on his current deal. With Keane’s contract entering it’s final 12 months this summer, the Clarets will sanction a sale.

Where Keane ends up is anyone’s guess though and the youngster will have plenty to think about, as a spot in England’s World Cup squad next summer is within his grasp and playing Champions League football could improve his standing.

However, Gareth Southgate’s recent England selections show that playing in Europe’s elite competition isn’t necessary and Keane could bite off more than he could chew with a move to a top-four club. If he were to move and struggle, then his chances of further England opportunities would decrease.

In any case, Keane can expect to be playing European football next season but it’s not clear whether that will be in the Champions League or Europa League.

How much will he cost?

Despite Keane’s contract situation, Burnley are holding out for a large sum for the defender’s services and their asking price reportedly stands at £30m; a fee that seems fair given the price Manchester City paid Everton for John Stones last summer.

Burnley’s windfall will get a boost as Keane will fetch a premium price due to the fact he’s English but the Clarets will also be aware that they’ll owe money from any deal to Manchester United, as part of the agreement that saw Keane move to Turf Moor initially.

That in itself could bump up the price as Burnley would be looking to get as large a figure as they can, which Sean Dyche would then spend to bolster his own squad and increase the club’s chances of long-term Premier League survival.

Tottenham ready to offload transfer flop in summer window

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is ready to offload a transfer flop from last summer when the window reopens at the end of the season.

French outlet L’Equipe report that Moussa Sissoko will be one of many French internationals on the move this summer, naming Bayern Munich loanee Kingsley Coman and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette as other players that are expecting to land a summer deal.

Sissoko was signed from relegated Newcastle United last summer for a fee of £30m, having impressed in France’s push to the Euro 2016 final, but Sissoko has failed to live-up to his price tag or replicate the form he showed in last summer’s international competition.

Remarkably, Sissoko has played just 1029 minutes for Tottenham Hotspur this season and is expected to be offloaded this summer, as Pochettino looks to reshuffle his deck once again and push closer towards Premier League success.

Where will he go?

With Sissoko’s stock in English football falling dramatically, it’s highly likely that the 27-year-old will move abroad in the summer transfer window. Interest is fairly high, with TuttoMercatoWeb claiming Inter Milan are keen whilst Sky Sports previously claimed AC Milan were interested.

A move to French football would also be highly possible, especially as Sissoko will aim to force his way back into Didier Deschamps’ France squad after being dropped for the current international fixtures. With the World Cup next summer, Sissoko will have to be smart with his destination.

A stay in English football could still be a possibility though and Everton, whom Spurs beat to Sissoko’s signature last term, could reignite their interest- especially with the likes of Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu being linked with a summer exit.

What would Spurs get?

Spurs are extremely unlikely to recoup the full £30m they paid for Sissoko last summer but, with the inflated prices in the transfer market, their loss would probably stand at a maximum amount of around £10m- with Sissoko’s services likely to fetch at least £20m.

The Lilywhites could use Sissoko’s services to subsidise a deal of their own with a side interested in his signature- especially if Everton come calling, as Spurs have recently been stated to hold an interest in England ace Ross Barkley.

Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United? A Look At Where Lukaku Will Be Next Season

Romelu Lukaku revealed he would not extend his contract and in an interview, appeared to question Everton’s lack of ambition. The Belgian forward would like to extend his career and move to a bigger European club. 
Manager Ronald Koeman was not happy on Thursday when discussing his star striker.

‘Of course I’m not happy about that interview because first, if Everton is not a club with a lot of ambition I wouldn’t be the manager,’ Koeman said.

‘The second – and I spoke with Rom this morning – is I know it’s difficult, if you’re a player, prepare yourself to play good and score goals. He is one of the best.

‘The rest needs to be done by the manager and board.

‘First you speak with the player, then the board and we’ll see what happens. We have time to decide what we need to do.

Will Lukaku score at the weekend when Everton welcome Hull City? Take a look at LBS.co.uk for the latest betting odds.

With Lukaku seemingly on the move in the summer, we look at 3 possible Premier League clubs that Lukaku could move to.

Arsenal

Arsenal have lacked a natural number 9 for some time now and Lukaku could be the answer. My worry with him is he is lacking a quality first touch and I think that could see him struggle in Arsenal’s system.

This is perhaps the destination where Lukaku is most likely to get first team football. Arsenal have Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez as options through the middle, but Alexis could be on his way in the summer and Giroud will be 31 this year. Lukaku could easily make the number 9 spot his own at Arsenal, whilst there would be more competition at Chelsea and Manchester United. Remember he left Chelsea originally due to a lack of first team football.

Chelsea

Could a return to his old club be on the horizon? Lukaku would need first team assurances so that would force Conte to change to a 2-man attack, or perhaps part ways with Diego Costa. Costa almost left the club in January with interest from China and Atletico Madrid unsettling the forward, so he could possibly be on his way in the summer. That’d open the door for a Lukaku return.

Manchester United

United could be on the lookout for a striker in the summer, especially if Zlatan does’t extend his current contract. However I think a move is unlikely, as there is Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford also competing with Zlatan for a central role currently. Rashford and Martial are both already reportedly unsettled by their lack of game time, so adding another top striker to the mix would surely unsettle the talented youthful duo.

3 Must Have Players In Your Fantasy Football Premier League Teams This Week

As Manchester United and Southampton prepare themselves for a special night out in Wembley for the EFL Cup final, subsequently taking Arsenal and Manchester City out of the firing line for a hot minute, life in the Premier League continues with important clashes in and around parts of the table.

But in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Agüero and others, the question of who to turn to as captain will be the one that looms large for many of us Fantasy Premier League players this weekend. That’s nothing that a little friendly advice from Fresh Football can’t fix, however.

1. Diego Costa

Club: Chelsea
Position: Striker
Price: £10m

It’s the week of the heavy hitters for us and fewer names have been as synonymous to the skipper’s armband as Diego Costa’s this season. The Chelsea forward has supplemented the Blues’ title charge with 15 league goals from 23 appearances, making him a top favourite for the Golden Boot this season.

We fully expect to see the Brazilian-born Spain international reinforce his bid for the hotly-contested end-of-season gong this weekend, as Chelsea welcome a few familiar faces back to Stamford Bridge.

Paul Clement, the former assistant manager of the London outfit under Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure, as well as his sidekick, Claude Makélélé, another to don the Chelsea blue, have turned fortunes around at what was once considered to be a relegation-bound Swansea City side.

The team from South Wales have made steady strides since Clement’s appointment to find themselves 15th in the Premier League table, but that does little to the fact that the West Londoners are overwhelming favourites in this clash, as they look to take another step towards the league title.

It may or may not be easy for Blues, but Costa has come up with his fair share of clutch moments up top for Antonio Conte’s side in the best and worst positions, so we expect the ex-Atlético Madrid striker to deliver.

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.

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.

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.

Everton Willing To Sell Ross Barkley To Spurs, But Koeman Wants This Man In Return

Ronald Koeman is reportedly eyeing a bizarre swap deal in the January transfer window that would see Moussa Sissoko swap clubs with £30m-rated Ross Barkley. 

On summer transfer deadline day, we saw Frenchman Moussa Sissoko seal a move to Tottenham Hotspur in dramatic circumstances. The Frenchman snubbed a move to Goodison Park, turning his phone off as Everton tried to get in touch regarding a deadline day move having agreed for a medical to take place.

It seems now that Ronald Koeman could use Tottenham’s interest in Englishman Ross Barkley to try and land his man that he dramatically missed out on back in August according to The Mirror. Whilst some reports have suggested Spurs will wait until the summer to make their move, others insist that Barkley is a January transfer window target for the Lilywhites.

Ross Barkley has endured a spell out of the Everton side this season following constant warnings from manager Ronald Koeman that he needs to offer more out on the pitch, but after another under-par performance against Liverpool at Goodison Park, the Englishman may now be seen as surplus to requirements. Especially following Koeman’s comments claiming that Barkley may never reach his full potential in his footballing career. With Tottenham interested, this might be seen as a good time for the Toffees to get rid of Barkley.

Moussa Sissoko’s start to life at Tottenham has been a struggle. He has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular in his first few months as a Spurs player, but the Frenchman has put in a couple of encouraging displays in games against Manchester United, Hull City and Burnley. Sissoko has two assists in the last few weeks, and will be looking to build on this going forward.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino challenged Sissoko to offer more in training and in turn out on the pitch after the Lilywhites forked out a substantial £30m for the 27-year-old in August. It seems that the former Newcastle man has responded to his manager, with a few positive displays in recent weeks. With Sissoko’s performances improving, it seems unlikely that Spurs would let him go in the January window.

It seems bizarre that Spurs are reportedly willing to pay £30m for Ross Barkey, considering the uninspiring form he has been in this season. It seems even more bizzare that Moussa Sissoko would join the club he snubbed just a few months earlier leaving the club he favoured a move to. This deal looks so unlikely it’s unbelievable, but stranger things have happened, that is for sure.

Player Ratings Out Of 10 For All The Everton and Arsenal Players

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Everton’s Premier League clash at home to Arsenal on Tuesday night:

Everton

Maarten Stekelenburg – 6

Nothing spectacular from the Dutch goalkeeper in between the sticks, but he did provide a few successful ‘Cruyff turns’ on Arsenal’s stars that went down well with sections of the home crowd. His experience throughout periods of the game were also an invaluable feature in Everton riding spells of Gunners attacks, cutting the impetus.

Seamus Coleman – 7

A typical, tenacious Seamus Coleman performance, completed by the goal late into the first-half that brought the Toffees level.

Ashley Williams – 7

From zero to hero – the Welsh defender was at the centre of Arsenal’s first goal, deflecting Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick past Stekelenburg, but the ex-Swansea skipper more than made up for his less than fortunate moment with an 86th minute winner.

Phil Jagielka – 6.5

Solid alongside Williams and pivotal in the build-up that led to his defensive partner’s late heroics, but the former Sheffield United man will be ruing a late tackle that saw Mark Clattenburg brandish a red card upon him, subsequently ruling him out of the Merseyside derby next Monday.

Leighton Baines – 8.5

The English left back was on top form versus Theo Walcott, picked up an assist for Coleman’s equaliser and was on hand to salvage Everton with an 11th hour clearance off the line from Alex Iwobi’s shot in the dying seconds of the game.

James McCarthy – 6.5

Lifted the crowd with some borderline tackles which, ultimately, Everton benefited from over the course of both halves.

Idrissa Gana Gueye – 6.5

Alongside McCarthy at the base of midfield, Gueye’s energy was priceless in maintaining Everton’s often relentless tempo and making things uncomfortable for Arsenal through constant pressure.

Ross Barkley – 6

A better performance from the under-fire Englishman, who on another day might well have chipped in with a goal or two with the chances he had to either score or assist.

Aaron Lennon – 4.5

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur winger put a shift in when required to do so, but he was, ultimately, disappointing in the final third.

Enner Valencia – 7

Among his best performances for his new club, Valencia ran the channels well and ensured an uncomfortable night for Nacho Monreal with his pace.

Romelu Lukaku – 6.5

An incredibly sacrificial display from Lukaku, often hanging within Laurent Koscielny’s radius to occupy Arsenal’s star defender for the benefit of his teammates. The Belgian’s link-up play from direct balls proved to be sound, despite rarely threatening to beat Petr Cech himself.

Subs:

Kevin Mirallas – 5

The winger came on to refresh the left flank when replacing Aaron Lennon, but didn’t have much success up against Hector Bellerin.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – N/A

Ramiro Funes Mori – N/A

Arsenal

Petr Cech – 6.5

There was little the Czech Republican could do for both headed goals scored by Everton, but Cech did come up with a big save to deny Jagielka just moments before Williams’ winner.

Hector Bellerin – 6.5

The Spaniard grew into the game from an offensive aspect, meanwhile keeping both Lennon and Mirallas at bay on the right flank.

Gabriel Paulista – 6

Filling in for the injured Shkodran Mustafi after spells at right back, Gabriel appeared to have made the smooth transition back into the heart of the defence, initially, but the likes of Valencia and Lukaku did get the better of the Brazilian on a few occasions as the game opened up.

Laurent Koscielny – 7.5

Busy with Lukaku in his peripheral view, the Frenchman dealt with much that came his way.

Nacho Monreal – 6

A game of phases for Monreal. At times he looked troubled, in particular when in foot races next to Valencia, but there were also moments when the experienced left back was on hand to trouble the Everton back line with associative play on the flank.

Granit Xhaka – 5.5

The Swiss midfielder failed to impose himself on a hectic, end-to-end game, and how Arsenal could have done with someone to set the tempo on a night filled with disappointment.

Francis Coquelin 6.5

Played his part in combating Everton’s tenacity, pressing with success himself and winning his fair of 50/50s that kept Arsenal somewhat competitive in the middle of the park.

Theo Walcott – 4.5

Unfortunately for Arsenal, Walcott was never in the game.

Mesut Özil – 4.5

The pace of the game blew past the German playmaker, who will also be kicking himself for missing a great opportunity to make it 2-1 to Arsenal midway through the second half.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 4.5

Another who never managed to leave his imprint on the game, cutting a frustrated figure on Arsenal’s left flank and committing his fair share unnecessary fouls as a consequence.

Alexis Sanchez – 7

Looked to be the likeliest Arsenal player to tip the balance all night after scoring the first goal of the game, but too many of his teammates just weren’t on the same wavelength.

Subs:

Olivier Giroud – 4.5

The Frenchman’s introduction didn’t quite have the desired effect the Gunners imagined him to have, as Everton pushed up their defensive line and made it difficult for the target man to spearhead Arsenal’s counters through a natural lack of pace.

Alex Iwobi – 5

Promised more than both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain from wide areas when coming on, but his general passing game was a little off in crucial moments.

Lucas Perez – N/A

Arsenal Fans Label This Midfielder ‘A Disgrace’ After Terrible Everton Performance

Arsenal’s long Premier League unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday night as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park, and there were some very poor performances from a number of Arsenal players on the night. 

One player in particular to pick up criticism was Theo Walcott. The Englishman has been in improved form this season but he still lacks consistency and that was particularly evident in this fixture where he literally failed to turn up.

Playing on the right wing, Walcott just couldn’t get into the game and was removed with around 20 minutes to go.

Walcott had an extremely quiet night, completing just 14 passes with a 71.4% accuracy rate. He was also at fault for allowing Baines to cross the ball for Coleman’s first half equaliser. Although he raced to close down Baines, Theo was weak in the tackle and that allowed Baines the space to swing in a delightful cross and spark Everton’s resurgence into the game.

Unfortunately for Walcott, the bad statistics do not end there… Offensively he completed 0 dribbles, 0 through balls, 0 key passes and 0 shots on target. It truly was like he wasn’t even there.

Here’s some of the reaction to Theo’s performance on Twitter. 

Personally I have never been Theo’s biggest fan. His form this season was very good at the start, but it has faded and when he goes missing like he did on Tuesday night, it makes it extremely difficult for Arsenal to win games, it’s like playing with one less player. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t the only one. Mesut Ozil was very poor, as was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but after more than 10 years at the club, you would expect better from Walcott and he is running out of lifelines. The likes of Iwobi, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck (when fit again) will surely be pushing to take his place if he is to put in more performances like he did against Everton.

It continues to be a problem for Arsenal that very few players are consistent. There also seems to be an overwhelming effect on the team when one player is missing – in today’s case it was Skhodran Mustafi. The German helps dictate the way Arsenal play from the back, therefore having a big influence at both ends of the field. Arsenal certainly missed his authority in defensive areas for the two goals they conceded. Sadly, the Gunners have at least 3 more games before their summer signing will return to fitness. Wenger needs to find a solution and by Sunday.

He Made The Difference: Everton Fans Label This Man ‘Incredible’ In 2-1 Win Over Arsenal

Everton managed an important 2-1 win at home to Arsenal on Tuesday night, and there were much-improved performances from a host of Everton players.

With 1 win in the last 8 games before this fixture, it looked like it was going to be another grim evening for Everton when Alexis Sanchez saw his free-kick deflected to give the Gunners an early lead in the game.

But Everton responded extremely well and one players performance that particularly caught the eye was that of the much maligned Ross Barkley. Barkley has come under a lot of criticism this season, with Ronald Koeman himself even publicly shaming the midfielder for his lack of effort.

But he was trusted from the start for this fixture and he did not disappoint. Up against the defensive figures of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin, Barkley produced a dominating performance on the night to respond to his managers criticism.

He was influential throughout, helping his side create sustained pressure in the Arsenal half and picking up Lukaku knock-downs regularly. He also bagged the assist for the Ashley Williams winner.

Barkley made 73 touches in the 90 minutes, which is a lot for any player against Arsenal. This stat shows how he was involved more than usual – he was made 3 key passes, highlighting his ability to be creative.

More impressive statistics from his performance include 3 dribbles completed, 5/9 long balls and 77.1% pass accuracy. Defensively he made 2 tackles and 1 clearance to highlight how he can be effective at both ends of the pitch. If he can perform like this against Arsenal, a team with great midfielders, then there is certainly hope that he can continue to improve and realise his huge potential at Everton.


Here’s how people reacted on Twitter to the Englishman’s performance.

In my opinion, aged 23 now is the time for Barkley to really stand up and prove himself. He needs to become more than just potential and to do that he needs to be producing these kind of performances on a consistent basis, proving both his fitness and his quality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fans On Twitter Call Manchester United’s Summer Signing ‘The Weak Link’ & ‘A Liability’

Manchester United were robbed of the three points late on once again in a tough game at Goodison Park after another draw saw the Red Devils move 13 points off of top spot. 

The first half was a half of little quality, but it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who gave United the lead just before the break. Stekelenburg needlessly rushed off his line, the Swede produced a spectacular finish to fire United ahead going into half-time.

United attempted to close the game out in the second half, and came very close to going two goals to the good when Ander Herrera rattled a shot off the crossbar. However, with just a couple of minutes left of normal time, substitute Marouane Fellaini brought down Idrissa Gueye in the box, and Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. David De Gea nearly got a hand to Leighton Baines’ penalty, but couldn’t keep it out as United dropped points late on again.

Paul Pogba disappointed for Manchester United once again as he tries to prove himself and live up to that massive £89m price tag. He failed to create many big chances for Jose Mourinho’s side and many were left wanting more yet again from the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old created three chances, had two shots and won a very disappointing 25% of his tackles as well as just 33% of his aerial duels. Here is how United fans reacted to Paul Pogba’s latest performance.

United drop points in late stages once again in the Premier League, leaving Jose Mourinho furious. If they are to make a push for the top four this season, United must learn to close out games much better than they are now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Strikers You Need In Your Fantasy Football Teams This Weekend ft. Everton, Sunderland & Manchester City Stars

With the third international break of the season behind us, it’s now full steam ahead for club football until March. Offering no respite, the Premier League returns with a tasty collection of potential relegation ‘six-pointers’, a meeting between old foes at Old Trafford and even a London derby.

Undoubtedly, there’ll be plenty of heart beats to be skipped, goals to be fought for and points to be clocked along the way. Here’s who Fresh Football are backing to lead the way in this week’s Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 12.

1 – Jermaine Defoe

Club: Sunderland
Position: Striker
Price: £7.4m
We could have tipped Diego Costa to star, here, as so many are sure to do, but we like the look of a potentially big showing from Jermain Defoe against lowly-placed Hull City at the Stadium of Light. Of course, Sunderland have fared worse than their opponents so far, winning their first league game of the season as late as their last outing.

The clash between the two clubs is, without a doubt, a must-win game, and given the momentum to be gained from their last fixture and the fact that they’re at home; there may well be a theoretical advantage to be placed upon the otherwise unreliable Black Cats this weekend.

Leading the line, David Moyes’ men will be looking towards Defoe to come up with a clutch moment or two to help them take down Hull. At £m, the veteran could well be the perfect stop-gap for those who simply need to replace an injured/suspended striker for a week, or one that’s otherwise unlikely to come up big against tough opposition.