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No. 10 – Liverpool Transfer Named 10th Best Premier League Signing Of The Summer

We’ve been asking the fans who they think have been the best signings of the summer. This is your list and this, is your number 10.

There was a lot of criticism when Jurgen Klopp decided to continue the trend of Liverpool’s shopping in Southampton, especially considering Sadio Mane set the club back £30million – but the prices of players since and the way Sadio has settled has made many re-align their judgement on this transfer, and so, he just makes it into our top 10 of the transfer window. 

Mane is a young, quick and hungry versatile forward. He has all the ingredients to succeed under Klopp, and the early signs are good for Liverpool fans. His goal on his debut against Arsenal was quite something, using his blistering pace and determination to power through the Arsenal defence and perhaps most impressively, finishing with aplomb. Liverpool will certainly need his goals if they are to seriously contend for a top four spot.

At The Emirates he was constantly back and helping Clyne, and he managed to make 4 tackles, winning the ball high up the pitch and again putting the pressure straight back on Arsenal – he did this particularly well in the second half. This industrious style showed that Mane is capable of adapting his game to suit Liverpool’s style of play and brand of football under Klopp.

Mane is just 24 years old, so Klopp has signed a talented player, young enough to be moulded into a forward that fits his ideology and then play his prime years at the club.

You could say he has replaced Jordon Ibe in the Liverpool squad, who completed a £15million move to Bournemouth this summer. So is Mane an improvement? Well 4 years older, he is certainly more of a finished product. The Senegal international is a massive goal threat and scored 0.38 goals per 90 minutes last season, this is massively better than Ibe who managed just 0.08. Mane was also ahead in terms of assists with 0.21 compared to Ibe’s 0.15. An area where Mane falls behind Ibe is in terms of successful take ons: although he managed a good 2.67 per 90, Ibe’s statistic was quite remarkable, managing a huge 4.51 per 90 minutes.

Crucially Mane appears to have a much better end product and that is what’s important. This is again highlighted by his 52% shot accuracy in comparison to Ibe’s 33%.

Mane was Liverpool’s main investment this summer and although their decision to pay £30million for Mane has come under criticism, I think he will turn out to easily be worth that amount of money in this current market. Another player you could say Mane has replaced is Cristian Benteke who joined Crystal Palace. Although I believe Benteke is a useful striker, he didn’t fit Klopp’s system, they sold him for £32million and managed to bring in Mane for less, and he is a player that I feel can thrive at Anfield.

Because of his age, as was the case with Benteke, I do not think Liverpool would have any trouble in recouping most of what they paid should Mane fail to succeed under Klopp, but I am confident he will.

Transfers: Arsenal Could Sign Liverpool Star For £40million On Deadline Day

I wonder if the bid will be £40,000,001? 

According to the latest rumours, Arsenal may be about to move for Daniel Sturridge, who reportedly wants to leave Liverpool after falling out of favour under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. I’ll leave it up to you what you think about this story.

Sturridge is however out of favour under Klopp, who appears to prefer the pressing options and more energetic alternatives offered by Roberto Firmino, Divick Origi and Sadio Mane – all of whom can play as a striker, they also have Danny Ings as an option through the middle.

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Sturridge has immense quality but with him not suiting Klopp’s style and struggling to consistently find fitness, should Liverpool cash in if Arsenal bid more than £40million?

We are sceptical on this one, but its one worth keeping an eye on as stranger things have happened.

Deadline Day Deal Incoming: Liverpool Striker Having Medical

Liverpool look set to do some business on deadline day after all..

The club appear ready to offload Mario Balotelli finally and he looks set to move to France, with the player currently in France ready to complete a deal, according to reports from The Telegraph. Several other sources have confirmed the player is having a medical currently in what appears to be a permanent deal for the Italian misfit.

Mario has so much potential but his style could not be more of a contrast to Jurgen Klopp’s pragmatic, hard-working tactics. Aged 26, Balotelli needs to be playing regular football and he is not going to get that under Klopp at Liverpool.

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Nice will be a good fresh start for Mario and hopefully we can see him find some of his previous form – then he may join another big European club.

Who Needs Him More? Everton and Liverpool Favourites To Sign £20million Outcast

Pep Guardiola has arrived at Manchester City and he is certainly showing a ruthless streak already with some of his selections. 

Amongst those players to be cast aside is Joe Hart. The 29-year-old hasn’t had the best of years has he? An abysmal Euro 2016 and now being dropped from the Manchester City side, Hart’s career is heading the wrong way and he seriously needs to jump ship. Amongst those interested in the services of Hart are Everton and Liverpool, according to Sky Sports who have Everton as slight favourites for Hart’s signature, with Liverpool close behind. They do not substantiate their claims that Liverpool are battling with Everton, but merely suggest that the two clubs are favourites. We tried to find any substance for Sky’s reasoning to place Liverpool as 2nd favourites, but there doesn’t appear to be any concrete sources linking the move yet. Sevilla have also been attributed with interest.

So who needs him more? Obviously if Hart were to move he would want to be guaranteed first team football as that is his reason for considering his future at City currently, according to the BBC.

First, the case for Everton – despite signing Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, who impressed in the Premier League’s opening weekend, the club still lack top quality between the sticks and I think it would be fair to say that Hart would provide an improvement on what the club have already got. Hart is also homegrown, an English international with a wealth of experience, that would be welcome to an Everton back five that lacked shape and discipline last season. Stekelenburg was impressive in his first outing, but does he have the ability to be consistently that good? His checkered past in the Premier League would suggest otherwise and it wouldn’t surprise me if Ronald Koeman was keen to bring in the England international considering his sudden availability.

What about Liverpool? Like Everton they have signed a new goalkeeper this summer, Loris Karius. They also tied down current keeper Simon Mignolet to a new long-term contract last season, not the clubs most popular decision it has to be said. I cannot realistically see Jurgen Klopp wanting to splash £20million on a goalkeeper when he has already committed to two players in that position in 2016. It remains to be seen how good Karius is, but surely Hart would be an upgrade on Mignolet? Even though Hart is prone to an error from time to time, I think that time does not come around as often as it seems to for Mignolet.

The problem for both clubs as they look to get rid of the errors that have haunted them in previous seasons, is that Hart is prone to an error himself. The stats show though, that Hart made 1 error leading to a goal last season, despite playing one less game, Mignolet made a catastrophic 4. Hart managed to made an impressive 1.91 saves per goal last season whereas Mignolet managed just 1.27. In fact, in the six areas we looked at when comparing the duo, it was only in disibution accuracy where the Belgian stopper came out on top. The Liverpool man was accurate with 66% of his distribution last season, Hart was behind on 59%.

The latest suggests that Hart would initially favour a loan move away from the club as he does not currently want to make a decision on where his long-term future lies. In terms of who would be more likely to make a loan bid, perhaps it would be Liverpool, who may be looking to temporarily cover for Loris Karius, although it seems Liverpool’s summer signing is making a return quicker than expected.

So the statistics are on Hart’s side, but Liverpool and Everton fans, I’d love to know if you would actually want Hart at your club? Is he good enough and worth the rumoured £20million asking price? Comment below or tweet us @FreshFootball to share your thoughts.

Klopp Expects Transfer For £30million Striker To Be Completed This Month

Jurgen Klopp has said he expects a transfer of one of his big money strikers this month.

Klopp has conceded it ‘makes sense’ for Belgian striker Cristian Benteke to leave this month, with Crystal Palace reportedly preparing a £30million bid.

The big striker has struggled to settle in Liverpool following his £25million move to the club last summer. The striker certainly feels a little hard done by by Klopp since the German’s arrival, but it is clear that he doesn’t fit the new managers style of play.

That being the case, it seems silly to keep such a valuable asset at the club. Liverpool could quite easily at least recoup what they paid for him last summer with plenty of clubs interested in his services.

Palace remains the most realistic destination for Benteke, who seems ready to play for a lower Premier League club in order to play more minutes on the pitch. Benteke is still just 25 years old and is certainly a good striker. In fact his goal per minute ratio last season was very impressive and he’ll be well suited to Alan Pardew’s tactics at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool fans will hope that if Benteke does complete a big money move away from the club, that the money is invested elsewhere. There is still a need for a new left-back whilst there will be concerns at centre forward if Benteke did leave, because there remains fitness concerns for Daniel Sturridge.

Report: Wijnaldum Undergoing Liverpool Medical, Could He Be Allen’s Replacement?

Liverpool have agreed a fee in the region of £25million with Newcastle for midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and the player is set to undergo a medical. 

According to Sky Sports, the 25-year-old is set to sign a five-year deal with the Anfield club and will travel to Merseyside for his medical today, which is expected to last two days.

Wijnaldum made his last appearance for the Magpies in their 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night.

Newcastle signed the midfielder for £14.5million a year ago from PSV Eindhoven. Despite relegation, there has been no pressure for the club to sell Wijnaldum as Newcastle are in no financial trouble, instead the club have stood firm and bagged themselves more than a £10million profit.

The Dutch international impressed in his debut season in England and scored 11 goals in 38 appearances – he’s also represented the Netherlands 30 times scoring six goals.

Although Wijnaldum was unable to help Newcastle retain top flight football next season he certainly showcased some very impressive performances last season, finishing the season as Newcastle’s leading goalscorer with 11 goals, scoring four of them in a 6-2 demolishment of Norwich City.

Rafael Benitez was appointed the Magpies boss midway through the season and was also unable to secure the club safety. Being one of the most respected managers in Europe winning the Champions League and managing at the highest level the Magpies faithful will be delighted he has gone on to sign a new deal at Newcastle. His presence has however not been enough to convince Wijnaldum to stay.

Newly-appointed Toffees manager Ronald Koeman was also reportedly keen to bring his Dutch compatriot with him to Goodison Park this summer, but no bid materialised from Liverpool’s fierce rivals and now Jurgen Klopp has seemingly won the race for his signature.

Liverpool have already signed Sadio Mane to play on the wings and already have many versatile players in their squad able to fill in too, so Wijnaldum could find himself in central midfield alongside Emre Can. If that is the case he will certainly need to work on his defensive contribution. With such an attacking midfield, and Sturridge, Origi and Firmino as attacking options, it may be worth checking the latest betting odds on Liverpool to be top scorers next season.

Wijnaldum certainly loves to run at defenders which makes him very hard to defend against, this is a trait Klopp will look to use to his advantage. Surging runs either from a deeper role or playing in the number 10 position will get the best out of Wijnaldum. His ability to cut inside or go outside with equal ease is an aspect of his game which remains his strongest but he needs to work on disposal of the ball.

Wijnaldum possesses impeccable technique, he is an excellent dribbler and has bags of explicit skills in his locker, something Klopp will like to see, especially considering he already has similar players in Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in his ranks.

Wijnaldum predominantly plays on the left, but can be used on the right with the advantage to cut in and use his favoured left foot. His versatility certainly makes him a beneficial signing with the player capable of playing three different positions quite comfortably. Wijnaldum can also play centrally and as soon as he gets the ball he wants to dribble, his impressive power on the flanks saw him be successful with 60.24% of his take ons last season. One thing that could be improved in Wijnaldum’s play is his final ball, although this could be worked on, he still managed to create 1.37 chances per 90 last season.

Serie A giants Roma were also in the hunt for Wijnaldum as they looked to fill a hole in their squad which Miralem Pjanic left, but Liverpool boss Klopp will be delighted Liverpool have all but won the race for their man.

£25million is a hefty price and Newcastle have certainly done well to receive such a large amount considering they were releagted and the player was pushing to leave.

Sky Sources have also reported that Joe Allen is set to join Stoke City for £13million, so Liverpool may want to deploy Wijnaldum in a deeper role if he is viewed as a direct replacement for the Welshman.

In terms of how Allen and Wijnaldum compare, Allen certainly excels over the Dutchman in defensive areas. The Welsh international managed 2.27 tackles and 1.67 interceptions per 90 last season in comparison to Wijnaldum who managed just 0.88 and 0.77. Wijnaldum, as you’d expect, just edges Allen in terms of goals per 90 (0.31 vs. 0.24) and assists (0.14 vs. 0.12). It’s clear the two players are different, but if Emre Can plays a more defensive role then it could free up Wijnaldum to express his creative instincts alongside the German at the base of the Liverpool midfield.

Liverpool are now well stocked for attacking midfield talent and they may need to sell a few players in order to give the squad more balance. There is currently a lack of defensive-minded midfielders in the squad, whilst there are several players competing to play in attacking midfield and on the wings. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Klopp lines up his team when they travel to the Emirates on the opening day of the Premier League.

Chelsea & Liverpool Could Bid £20m For France International At Euro 2016

Chelsea and Liverpool appear to be in the race to sign a France midfielder, currently representing his country at Euro 2016. 

Both clubs are looking to improve their midfield options this summer and now it seems that according to The Express, both teams view Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko as an option.

Despite being relegated, Newcastle are thought to be holding out for close to £20million for Sissoko, who was one of the clubs best performers last season.

Sissoko is ambitious as to the nature of his new club, targeting the very best and if Chelsea and Liverpool are seriously interested then he will certainly be keen.

On Arsenal’s interest, he has previously said: “It is very flattering. Arsenal is one of the best European teams.

“The beautiful Arsenal. We will see. I cannot tell you if I am going to go to Arsenal. For the moment, I am focused on the French national team and the Euros.”

But French publication L’Equipe report both Chelsea and Liverpool are now showing an interest in the France international, who is currently with his country at Euro 2016.

Klopp would demand a much more consistent high work rate from the powerful Sissoko should he join Liverpool. The Frenchman, despite his occasional brilliance had been criticised for a lack of consistency at Newcastle last season.

Sissoko stands at 6ft 2′ and is aged 26, he is in peak physical condition to make a big move, but whether he has the technical quality to play for a big club is another matter. It is pretty clear that if he were to move to a team like Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal, he would not start regularly. He needs to seriously consider what is more important, money or playing football. Rumours suggest he has turned down West Brom due to them not being a big enough club.

Sissoko is not a goalscoring midfielder, he only netted one league goal for Newcastle last season. Contrary to what some may think, he is quite creative though, making seven assists and 49 key passes in 37 games. But Sissoko’s real strengths lie where he can use his physical advantage. These are 84 successful take ons and 52 aerial duels won that he managed last season. These stats show that Sissoko would be a solid wide option. His ability to go past players regularly whilst also being good in the air makes him an attractive option for any club.

Obviously Sissoko is not of the highest calibre and £20million seems a little steep for a player who has just been relegated. £15million may be a more realistic valuation although his pass completion rate of 76% may be a worry to the more possession based suitors like Arsenal.

Sissoko seems well-built to a counter-attacking side and that could suit Antonio Conte at Chelsea should he deploy the 5-3-2 formation he has with Italy at Euro 2016. Sissoko, who has played as a winger and central midfielder could play in one of the wide central midfield roles and offer pace on the break and strength and height in defensive areas.

Report: Liverpool Prepare £50million Package To Sign Arsenal Forward

Liverpool are preparing a big-money move for an Arsenal forward whose future is somewhat uncertain. Although the player would like to stay at the club, he has been told by Arsene Wenger that his place in the starting eleven is far from secure.

Liverpool are looking to sign a new wide player and have already failed in a bid to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze. They will now turn their attentions to signing a long-term transfer target in Theo Walcott, according to reports. The reports suggest that Liverpool are willing to offer £25million to Arsenal, an amount they are likely to accept and offer the player £120,000 per-week. Liverpool have long been interested in Walcott, but unlike previous times, Arsenal may now be willing to accept an offer.

The 27-year-old was left out of Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2016, with a lack of first-team exposure the managers main reason. Walcott, although he seems adamant that he would like to stay in London, will know that he needs more regular first team football to have a chance of winning back his place in the England squad. Under Jurgen Klopp, Walcott could return to first team football and return to form.

Although he had a poor season, Walcott has previously shown that he can be a useful weapon at Arsenal. His pace helps stretch defences and his addition would give Klopp an alternative attacking dimension to play with.

Walcott can also be a very high goalscoring player if he gets into form. He has scored 55 goals for Arsenal in 236 games and he has played most of his games on the wing. Klopp may choose to utilise his pace as a striker, but it is the players versatility that makes him an attractive option.

Walcott’s main attribute is no doubt pace though and that is certainly fading with age. His lack of technical quality limits his influence, especially when he operates against deep defences or in tight areas. His work rate is also a worry and that is something that Klopp demands from each and every one of his players. For Theo to be successful at Anfield he would certainly have to adapt his style.

£25million also seems a bit steep for a player who has been on the bench for Arsenal for most of 2016. Although he is English, his performances mean he is valued at below £20million by most fans. Arsene Wenger has publicly said he will not sell Walcott but surely if Liverpool are really willing to pay £25million for a player who he no longer considers as a starter, he should be sold.

Arsenal are in talks to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund. The Armenian midfielder is predominantly a right midfielder and so if he did arrive, it may indicate that a deal for Walcott is on the horizon. West Ham had previously been linked but they have now ruled out their interest, leaving Liverpool as the club most likely to take a punt on the 43 time capped speedster.

Report: Liverpool Prepare £20m + Player Bid For Southampton Ace

Liverpool remain very interested in Southampton winger Sadio Mane this summer and are prepared to use Jordon Ibe as bait to sign their main target.

Mane inspired Southampton to a 3-2 win over Liverpool in March after coming on at half-time, Mane scored two goals which saw his side come back from 2-0 down to complete the dramatic comeback.

Now Liverpool are preparing a bid to bring Mane to the club and will use Jordan Ibe as a makeweight, according to reports.

Ibe, who has failed to impress new manager Jurgen Klopp could be going the other way if Sane does decide to join the Reds with the player already surplus to requirements.

Ibe has failed to impress Liverpool since his arrival in 2012 and has managed just one goal in 44 games. There is a strong feeling that Ibe won’t get chances under Klopp and he has not developed as much as the club had hoped.

Sadio Mane arrived in England in 2014 after signing for Southampton from Red Ball Salzburg for £11.8million signing a four-year contract.

Although he has only been in England for two years, his performances have not gone unnoticed. Mane has managed 21 goals in 67 appearances for the Saints and has managed to net double figures in both of his seasons at St Mary’s to date. Mane has also played 36 games for Senegal scoring 10 goals.

We take a look at how Mane compares to Liverpool’s current winger Ibe. Mane, who has once again had an impressive season with the Saints managed to score 0.38 goals per 90 minutes which is far more better than Ibe who manages just 0.08. Ibe, who has fallen out of favour at Anfield has managed to create 1.50 chances which is very impressive for a winger, this puts him ahead of Mane who is just behind on 1.42. Mane has not just contributed with goals as he has also set up a fair amount of goals after managing 0.21 assists which is once again just ahead of Ibe who managed 0.15. As a winger you are expected to beat your man to give yourself an opportunity to set something up for your team. Ibe, who is a very powerful runner scores an impressive 63.16% with successful take on’s which puts him ahead of Mane who scores 55%. Ibe also comes out on top with 1.35 key passes with Mane just behind on 1.21. In total attack score and unsurprisingly Mane comes out on top with 26.51 which surpasses Ibe with 21.17. [Stats via Squawka]

Liverpool will have to wait to secure any deal for the Senegal international as the Saints search for their manager after Ronald Koeman’s departure.

Mane is valued at £30 million by the Saints, but Liverpool are prepared to use their winger in the deal who is valued by the club at £10 million.

Liverpool will have a fight for the signature of Sadio Mane, with Manchester United also interested in Sadio Mane after having a reported bid of more than £25million rejected last summer.

Report: Liverpool ‘Agree Terms’ To Sign €25million Mexican Star

Liverpool have agreed terms to sign a Mexican midfielder, according to reports from Mexico, via Italy. 

Fox Sports MX on Monday evening reported that Liverpool had agreed terms with Porto and Pachuca in what would be a complicated deal for Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera. Pachuca still earn 30% of Herrera’s rights, but Porto own the majority of the player and he currently plays for the Portuguese club.


There had been strong reports that Napoli were closing in on the signing of Herrera, but according to Football Italia Liverpool have now usurped the Italian side and agreed terms for the 26-year-old.

Herrera is a powerful midfielder who has managed 42 caps for Mexico. He joined Porto in 2013 from Pachuca, but the Mexican club retained 30% of his rights in the deal.

If these reports are true then it seems that all that remains is for Liverpool to agree a contract with the player and then Klopp will have completed his first signing of the summer as he looks to put his stamp on this Liverpool squad.

Herrera is a very well-rounded central midfielder, he can pass, shoot and tackle to a good ability. Rather than excelling or specialising in any one area, he is good across the board and it is that wide range of attributes that make him a very useful addition to any midfield. He can play in a deep, central or more advanced role and would be a good fit for Jurgen Klopp, who likes to tinker with his team and their roles.

Herrera’s best role is probably as a box-to-box midfielder because of his ability to be effective at both ends of the pitch. He’s energetic, which suits Klopp’s high-intensity system. He often plays with defensive responsibility and clearly enjoys the more physical defensive side of the game, whilst he also has an eye for goal, especially long range efforts.

It appears that Liverpool may have come in and paid the €25million asking price immediately, whereas Napoli were reluctant to pay an initial fee of more than €18million. This is another case which highlights the money in English football right now and although Liverpool have not managed to secure Champions League football, they have the money, manager and stature to still attract some top quality players.

Report: Liverpool ‘Contact Agent’ Over £11million Deal For Championship Star

Liverpool have contacted an agent of a Championship footballer in an attempt to complete an £11million deal, according to reports.

Liverpool appear to be interested in signing 22-year-old Jordan Amavi from Aston Villa. Amavi was impressive for Villa in the opening 10 games of the season but he picked up a season ending injury and that did not help Villa, who were eventually relegated.

But Amavi was impressive in his short time in the first eleven and when you statistically compare him to Alberto Moreno, he seems like an improvement. Amavi won 3.23 tackles per 90 minutes compared to Moreno’s 2.43, he also made 3.98 interceptions compared to Moreno’s 2.2. But Amavi is not just effective defensively, in his 10 games he averaged an amazing 2.69 take ons per 90 minutes, Moreno is way behind on 0.56. Moreno managed significantly more key passes though, almost four times as many, but that could be due to the fact that Aston Villa rarely got their full backs into attacking areas like Liverpool did.

Liverpool are also understood to be interested in Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs and German Jonas Hector. Amavi may well be a backup option at this stage, but what is clear is that contact has been made and a deal is a possibility. We included Hector in our article about 3 transfers Liverpool looked like they could complete this summer.

Amavi may not currently be at the level of Hector, or even perhaps Gibbs, but he does probably have a higher ceiling than that duo and he has already showcased his quality in the Premier League. Gibbs and Hector are four years older than Amavi, but with new breaking today that Liverpool have agreed a fee for Hector, it looks as if Jurgen Klopp’s focus may be on signing an established left-back at this stage.  They may be the best route forward for Liverpool at this stage, after the club kept faith in the young Moreno, now 23, for the last couple of seasons and it hasn’t worked out very well at all, with the Spaniard’s immaturity often showing on the pitch.

Liverool fans, would you rather Hector, Amavi or Gibbs? Have your say by tweeting us at @FreshFootball or by commenting below. 

Gossip: Man City To Seal €50m Deal, Liverpool To Sell Coutinho & Southampton Close In On Signing

The transfer window is now kicking into gear with a couple of completed deals already, Fresh Football will bring you all the gossip and breaking news throughout the busy summer period. We take a look at some rumours that are flying about this afternoon.

Calum Chambers heading back to Southampton (Daily Mirror)

According to the Daily Mirror Calum Chambers is on Southampton’s radar this summer with the club looking to sign the defender on a one-year loan deal. It is being reported Arsene Wenger has been very reluctant to send out his versatile defender, but after rebuffing previous attempts from The Saints to bring their academy product back to St Marys’s, Wenger now feels Chambers needs game time in order to fulfil his potential and take the next step of his career.

21-year-old Chambers showed his defensive abilities recently helping England secure their first Toulon Tournament title since 1994 and more noticeably being picked for the “team of the tournament”.

Wenger is only likely to sanction a move for Chambers this summer if Arsenal sign a senior defender with Medhi Benatia and Kalidou Koulibaly both reported targets for the Gunners.
Chambers, who joined Arsenal for £16 million in 2014, has only played 35 games for the Gunners scoring one goal. The Saints will be very keen on Chambers and his versatility to play right-back, centre-back and even as a holding midfielder.

Arsene has claimed many times he sees his future as a centre-half and now want’s the young defender to gain much-needed experience. Chambers, who is a ball playing defender, is seen as a long-term replacement for Mertesacker, although he has only managed 12 games this season his tackle’s won ratio is incredible managing 2.09 per 90 minutes compared to Mertesacker who managed just 1.06. Standing at 6ft tall Chambers also impresses with aerial duels won after winning 3.39 which is one again more superior to Mertesacker’s score of 2.29. Although Chambers has hardly played his defence score is sublime, scoring a total 22.25 which one again put his ahead of team mate Mertesacker who managed just 14.68.

Arsene sees Chambers long-term future at Arsenal, but without guaranteed minutes Chambers will need a loan move to hopefully fulfil his bright potential.

Laporte set to complete €50million Manchester City switch (Guardian)

According to The Guardian Manchester City are ready to pay the €50m (£39m) release clause in order to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

Pep Guardiola sees central defence as a priority for City this summer and they are prepared to spend big on Laporte in order to get their man, the French International is just 22-years old and already thought of as one of the best young central defenders in Europe.

Laporte has been ruled out until August with a broken leg and dislocated ankle and will miss the Euro’s with France this summer, but this has not put City off the prospect of signing him.

Laporte has already played over 120 games in La Liga and his impressive defensive abilities have caught the eye of most teams around Europe most noticeably Barcelona, but it is now likely Manchester City will pursue their interest in Laporte and land their man.

Manchester City are still trying to strengthen their defence with question marks constantly raised over club captain Vincent Kompanys long term fitness issues.

Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have both been brought in by City to toughen up their defence but it hasn’t gone as well as they hoped and both players have failed to really nail down a position. Laporte will be brought in as a hopeful starter for City and if Kompany can stay fit that will likely be the partnership, with Mangala and Otamendi’s futures at the club in doubt.

The likelihood is Laporte will partner Kompany in central defence so we take a look at how the two have compared this season. Something that will impress City is the amount of tackles Laporte has won, manging 1.47 per 90 minutes. His opponent Kompany is not too far behind with 1.06. Aerial duels are a real factor to being a great defender, especially in a tough league. Kompany, who stands over 6ft show’s why he is thought of so highly, winning 85.37% of his aerial duels. Laporte, although he hasn’t won as much as Kompany still shows his aerial presence winning 69.86%. Kompany has been one of the most impressive defenders to grace the Premier League in recent seasons managing to win 58.82% of his total duels which just beats the impressive Laporte (54.19%).

Manchester City look destined to sign their long term target after beating off interested from European giants, the fee being paid will of course raise expectation but Laporte looks destined to fulfil his potential.


Philippe Coutinho wanted in Paris (Liverpool Echo)

According to the Liverpool Echo French Champions PSG are very interested in signing Brazilian ace Philippe Coutinho this summer. Coutinho has once again had an impressive season for Liverpool and more noticeably since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival and has caught the eye of PSG with the club ready to pursue their interest this summer.

It is understood PSG have already sounded out Coutinho’s representatives about swapping life in England for France and it is believed Liverpool are also aware of their interest in the 23-year old.

No official approach has been made for Coutinho, but it is certain he is on PSG’s radar this summer as they look to strengthen their squad to compete more fiercely for the Champions League.

Coutinho signed a five-year contract with Liverpool in February 2015 and it is understood Liverpool will fight to keep their playmaker and rebuff any attempts from clubs to sign him. Coutinho has been influential for Jurgen Klopp in the second half of the season and the player himself has found some excellent form with the manager clearly desperate to keep hold of him. The lack of any European football whatsoever at Liverpool next season will make it hard for Klopp to convince the player to stay, especially with the likes of PSG interested.

PSG ace Angel Di Maria has thrived since his arrival in France, after a disappointing spell at Manchester United. Coutinho would certainly be brought in to link up with the delightful attacker. Di Maria has had a sublime season and has been a key player in PSG’s title dominance. He has contributed with 0.81 assists per 90 minutes which is far better than Liverpool’s Coutinho who has managed just 0.23. Di María also comes out on top with chances created with 4.15 which is brilliant; Di María has been one of the most influential wingers/playmaker in Europe this season, Coutinho who has shone in the Premier League has managed just 2.21. The bonus with both of these players is they don’t just help create chances or assists. They also contribute with goals: Di María swoops a clean house once again coming out on top to Coutinho after managing 0.42 goals per 90 minutes which is slightly better than Coutinho who manages 0.36.

Coutinho may not yet be at the level of Di Maria but he is still a top quality player and aged just 23, has time to improve further.

If PSG are to sign Coutinho this summer they will certainly have a fight on their hands, with long-term admirers Manchester City still keen on the midfielder if he was to become available.


Man Utd Boost: Club Decides To Cash In On Mourinho’s Number One Target

Jose Mourinho could complete his first Manchester United signing after AS Roma have declared they could cash in on their star man this summer. 

According to reports, Mourinho had made signing Miralem Pjanic one of his priorities this summer and he will have been boosted by the news from Italy that Roma are willing to cash in on the Bosnian.

Pjanic has scored 10 and assisted 12 goals in 33 appearances for AS Roma this season. His impressive form has caught the local eye of Juventus, whilst also capturing interest from Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp. Mourinho may have his work cut out to convince Pjanic to join a Manchester United team with no Champions League football – especially if Juventus firm up their interest with an official offer.

Pjanic is very effective in the final third but he has predominantly played in a deeper central role than you might expect. He is the most creative Roma midfielder, but likes to dictate a game from deep, highlighted by his 84.9% passing accuracy. His through balls and long shots are other notable strengths of his.

His impressive form combined with the clubs interested in him is sure to demand a high asking price from Roma. Despite the fact they don’t want to sell him, Roma cannot give Pjanic the wage he wants to extend his contract past 2018, so they want to cash in now whilst his value is at the highest possible. They will hope to raise in excess of £30million for the 26-year-old.

Pjanic has been with Roma since 2011 and has improved with every season, leading to his most recent being his most succesful. In terms of where he’d play for United, it is likely he would play in the number 10 role, due to Manchester United’s large amount of holding midfielders currently at the club. With Pjanic’s experience playing in a deeper role, he can add some defensive qualities and that will be attractive to Mourinho, who often likes to play with 10 men behind the ball. Pjanic could be the replacement for Juan Mata who has been told he can leave the club this summer.

So is Pjanic better than Mata? In short, yes. He’s outperformed the Spaniard in recent seasons and in more efficient in attacking areas and defensively. Pjanic would certainly improve the starting eleven at United, but how much is he worth? Mourinho will hope to raise in excess of £20million for Mata and put that money towards signing Pjanic. This could be his first of many first team upgrades Jose makes this summer. Here’s three more he’s reportedly plotting.