Tag Archives: PSG

Player Ratings: Arsenal 2–2 PSG

Here are the Player Ratings for Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at home to PSG.

David Ospina – 6

Coming in as usual for the Champions League, Ospina could do very little about Cavani’s opener. Didn’t really have much to do throughout the game as although PSG had a lot of the ball, he was rarely tested. Has nothing really to be rated on.

Carl Jenkinson – 5

Jenkinson looked a little out of his depth in truth. His crossing was constantly rash and his control and movement wasn’t much better. Fair play to him though he did put a decent delivery in for Verratti’s own goal. Lost his man for Lucas’ headed equaliser. Was subbed off for the Ox with 10 to go.

Skhodran Mustafi – 6

Lost Matuidi for the opener and then didn’t have the pace to get back on him. Not his best game in an Arsenal shirt by any stretch.

Laurent Koscielny – 6

Couldn’t do much for Cavani’s goal, but was caught in possession after 52 minutes, giving the ball away and proceeding to foul – it could’ve been fatal as Lucas’ resulting free kick hit the bar with Ospina nowhere near it.

Kieran Gibbs – 6

He’s in a personal battle with Nacho Monreal for the left back spot and although he hasn’t been a regular, he looked natural, albeit far from spectacular, in the Arsenal back four.

Francis Coquelin – 5

Coquelin was not at the races. Many wanted to see Xhaka start and I think it would have been better. Coq got a yellow card in the first half with a silly foul and his passing blunted Arsenal’s attack before it could even start. In the 2nd he was hampered by his yellow and didn’t do much – subbed off with 10 to go.

Aaron Ramsey – 8.5

Starting in his favoured central role, Ramsey was very strong in the tackle and looked keen to impress from the off. Arsenal’s best player in the 1st half without a doubt. He certainly showed that he is more natural playing in the middle.

Mesut Ozil – 7.5

Ran around a lot in the first half but to no avail. A great disguised ball to Alexis Sanchez for the penalty. He helped Arsenal retain the ball in the PSG half very well – using his small frame well to hold off the tough PSG midfielders.

Alexis Sanchez – 8

Quiet first half until the very end when his good run was found by Ozil and then a good quick turn saw him brought down to win a penalty. His carving pass opened up PSG for Verratti’s own goal and he deserves credit for that also. Looked fit enough and worked hard to create chances all night.

Alex Iwobi – 4

He looks tired even though he’s had a lot of rest recently. Was certainly one of the most anonymous players on the pitch on the night. To top off his bad night he headed the ball into his own net just before getting subbed off.

Olivier Giroud – 6

Wanted to get into the starting line up and probably deserved to following a couple of goals from the bench recently, but in the early stages he was poor and laboured. Got his one chance on the edge of half time from the penalty spot and credit to him, he converted calmly.

Subs

Granit Xhaka – N/A

Theo Walcott – N/A

On for Coquelin with 10 minutes to go in an attempt to get all 3 points, did he touch the ball?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A

Like at Old Trafford, the Ox came on at right back with 10 to go to try and win the game, couldn’t have any effect.

Xhaka Starts: The 4-2-3-1 Arsenal XI That Will Beat PSG In The Champions League

Arsenal need to get at least a draw on Wednesday night to keep their hopes of topping their Champions League group alive. The Gunners have performed well in Europe so far this season, picking up a draw in Paris and then maximum points since. The problem for Arsenal is that PSG are also yet to encounter any hiccups since that opening match day. Now Arsenal need either a 0-0/1-1 draw or a win to ensure they stay top of the group heading into the final match day where they travel to FC Basel.

The Gunners haven’t topped their group for some time now and it will be important for them to change that this time around if they hope to go past the last 16 of the competition, a hurdle where they normally fall.

Goalkeeper: David Ospina

I think we know that Ospina will start this game and quite rightly. Arsene Wenger has put faith in the Colombian in Europe and it has paid off so far. He

Defence: Carl Jenkinson, Skhodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs

There was a lot of worry about Jenkinson going into the game at Old Trafford but he did OK and didn’t stand out as a weak point as many expected him too. I am sure he will keep his place on Wednesday night. Mustafi and Koscielny continue to grow with every game and they must start at the heart of the defence. At left back I’d bring in Gibbs to show Monreal once again that his place is not safe. The Spaniard hasn’t been at his best this season and I think Gibbs deserves a chance in a big game.

Central Midfield: Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin

I think in Cazorla’s absence it is essential that Xhaka starts, especially when Coquelin is the other deep lying midfielder. Arsenal need a midfielder at the heart of the game that can pass both long and short. Arsenal spent a lot of money on Xhaka and he performed very well against Spurs but was weirdly left out at Old Trafford. He simply must start this game.

Attacking Midfield: Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi / Alexis Sanchez

Alexis didn’t look 100% against United and I think if there is any doubt over his fitness he shouldn’t start this game. If that is the case then the fresh Iwobi should come in on the left. Elsewhere I think it is important that experienced pair Walcott and Ozil start the game, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being used as an impact substitute if needed.

Attack: Olivier Giroud

Giroud needs to be rewarded with a start in this game. He was clearly annoyed that he was on the bench again against Manchester United and he seemed pretty smug when he headed in the equaliser. He’s in a rich vein of form at the moment where everything he is touching goes in. He needs to show that when he starts he can perform at the same level though. He has a decent record in big games in the Champions League, having scored against the likes of Bayern Munich in the past. A winner against PSG would ultimately prove himself to be amongst the best.

Player Ratings: How Arsenal’s Player Fared Against PSG On Tuesday Night

These are the Fresh Football Player Ratings for Arsenal’s game against Paris Saint-Germain. We have rated all the Arsenal players below. Share your thoughts with us on the ratings by tweeting us @FreshFootball

David Ospina: 9 – Wenger decided to go with Ospina in goal for the Champions League again and it did not backfire this time around. The Colombian was unbelievable between the sticks. His speed off the line gave security to a new defensive bond and he was the match-drawer in my opinion.

Hector Bellerin: 6 – Struggled under intense wide pressure with the full back doubling up on him. Didn’t have much help at all from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which didn’t help. Had to work hard and for the most part covered his defensive duties well. Couldn’t effect the game in an attacking sense.

Skhodran Mustafi: 7 – Mustafi played his second game in a row, alongside Koscielny as it looks like the duo are Wenger’s first choice. Some confusion with positioning for the goal and a couple of times, but ultimately won a lot of headers and his fair share of tackles. Overall a good performance, will get better as his understanding with Koscielny grows.

Laurent Koscielny: 6 – Not sure where he was for the first goal and his positioning put Mustafi under pressure a few times. Was very committed though, and looked like he really wanted to win. He seemed a little slower than usual and he needs to develop a better understanding with Mustafi – it’ll come.

Nacho Monreal: 5.5 – Also struggled with two players up against him in wide areas. Alex Iwobi, in the first half at least did not offer much protection. Monreal was certainly not at his best, allowing Aurier in behind far too easily on the night.

Francis Coquelin: 5 – Looked out of his depth. Quality was too much for him with PSG’s midfield dominating and the play bypassing him for much of the first half. Was more disciplined in the 2nd but Arsenal looked better once Xhaka replaced him.

Santi Cazorla: 6 – Really struggled with the pace in the first half as he had to chase the game, but when Arsenal were in control in the second half he saw much more of the ball. The Spaniard needs the right midfielders around him to give the team the right balance and Wenger ultimately got that wrong today. Needs to be addressed in the long term.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 4 – This is getting really worrying. The Ox was hopeless yet again and the decision to keep him at the club for another season will raise eyebrows now. He really hasn’t progressed in the last few years.

Mesut Ozil: 6 – Struggled in the first half as Arsenal were made to chase the game. Made a great pass to open it up for the vital goal. Like the rest of the team, improved hugely in the second half and helped Arsenal retain possession high up the pitch.

Alex Iwobi: 6.5 – Bottled a chance to win the game for Arsenal right at the death with a brilliant chance to win it in a smash and grab for the Gunners. He was poor in the first half and still lacks perfection in his game, but I was pretty impressed overall by Iwobi considering he was one of the youngest players on the pitch. Played with more maturity than others.

Alexis Sanchez: 7.5 – Arsene surprised again by opting for Alexis to play at centre-forward. It didn’t work, but for the last 30 minutes Alexis was on the left and looked great. He was tracking back right until the end and ultimately scored the goal to give Arsenal a vital point away from home.

 

Substitutes

Olivier Giroud: 6 – Changed the game when he came on with his presence needed up top. Like last season though, he picked up two stupid yellow cards and was dismissed right at the death.

Granit Xhaka: 6.5 – Physical presence helped give Arsenal more control in midfield for the last 20 minutes.

Mohammed Elneny: N/A – Helped close the game out.

Player Ratings: PSG 1-1 Arsenal

These are the Fresh Football Player Ratings for Arsenal’s game against Paris Saint-Germain. We have rated all the Arsenal players below. Share your thoughts with us on the ratings by tweeting us @FreshFootball

David Ospina: 9 – Wenger decided to go with Ospina in goal for the Champions League again and it did not backfire this time around. The Colombian was unbelievable between the sticks. His speed off the line gave security to a new defensive bond and he was the match-drawer in my opinion.

Hector Bellerin: 6 – Struggled under intense wide pressure with the full back doubling up on him. Didn’t have much help at all from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which didn’t help. Had to work hard and for the most part covered his defensive duties well. Couldn’t effect the game in an attacking sense.

Skhodran Mustafi: 7 – Mustafi played his second game in a row, alongside Koscielny as it looks like the duo are Wenger’s first choice. Some confusion with positioning for the goal and a couple of times, but ultimately won a lot of headers and his fair share of tackles. Overall a good performance, will get better as his understanding with Koscielny grows.

Laurent Koscielny: 6 – Not sure where he was for the first goal and his positioning put Mustafi under pressure a few times. Was very committed though, and looked like he really wanted to win. He seemed a little slower than usual and he needs to develop a better understanding with Mustafi – it’ll come.

Nacho Monreal: 5.5 – Also struggled with two players up against him in wide areas. Alex Iwobi, in the first half at least did not offer much protection. Monreal was certainly not at his best, allowing Aurier in behind far too easily on the night.

Francis Coquelin: 5 – Looked out of his depth. Quality was too much for him with PSG’s midfield dominating and the play bypassing him for much of the first half. Was more disciplined in the 2nd but Arsenal looked better once Xhaka replaced him.

Santi Cazorla: 6 – Really struggled with the pace in the first half as he had to chase the game, but when Arsenal were in control in the second half he saw much more of the ball. The Spaniard needs the right midfielders around him to give the team the right balance and Wenger ultimately got that wrong today. Needs to be addressed in the long term.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 4 – This is getting really worrying. The Ox was hopeless yet again and the decision to keep him at the club for another season will raise eyebrows now. He really hasn’t progressed in the last few years.

Mesut Ozil: 6 – Struggled in the first half as Arsenal were made to chase the game. Made a great pass to open it up for the vital goal. Like the rest of the team, improved hugely in the second half and helped Arsenal retain possession high up the pitch.

Alex Iwobi: 6.5 – Bottled a chance to win the game for Arsenal right at the death with a brilliant chance to win it in a smash and grab for the Gunners. He was poor in the first half and still lacks perfection in his game, but I was pretty impressed overall by Iwobi considering he was one of the youngest players on the pitch. Played with more maturity than others.

Alexis Sanchez: 7.5 – Arsene surprised again by opting for Alexis to play at centre-forward. It didn’t work, but for the last 30 minutes Alexis was on the left and looked great. He was tracking back right until the end and ultimately scored the goal to give Arsenal a vital point away from home.

 

Substitutes

Olivier Giroud: 6 – Changed the game when he came on with his presence needed up top. Like last season though, he picked up two stupid yellow cards and was dismissed right at the death.

Granit Xhaka: 6.5 – Physical presence helped give Arsenal more control in midfield for the last 20 minutes.

Mohammed Elneny: N/A – Helped close the game out.

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.

 

Not Mahrez: Chelsea Confident Of Beating Arsenal To Sign ‘Premier League’s Best Player’

Chelsea are reportedly growing increasingly confident of signing Leicester City midfielder, N’Golo Kante, who recently won the Premier League.

Kante is thought to be looking to leave the club for a better contract financially this summer, despite his current club recently being crowned Champions. Leicester now appear willing to part with their star man, with Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho lined up as a replacement.

Carvalho is quite different to Kante in style, the Portuguese midfielder isn’t the hardest worker but is perhaps more confident on the ball than Kante.

 

 

Kante has been named as the best player in the league by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Leicester will reportedly ask for £30million for the Frenchman, an amount that will probably be paid considering the magnitude of clubs interested in him (PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal etc.)

Kante would add energy to a lethargic Chelsea midfield and it seems that Antonio Conte has identified him as a player who could improve the clubs first XI.

The benefits of Kante are clear. He’s a workhorse with extremely impressive defensive attributes. Kante has managed significantly more interceptions and tackles (4.68 and 3.64 per 90 minutes) than any other Chelsea midfielder this season. His limitations come in his passing and technical quality, completing just 81% of his passes this season. Leicester City have shown that you don’t need to be perfect passers to win the league, but a club like Chelsea would surely demand more efficiency from their midfielders passing performances.

I think Kante could be a really good midfield partner for Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard recently admitted his favourite midfield partner of all time was the then workhorse, Mathieu Flamini – ahead of the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta. This highlights that for Cesc to be at his best and most comfortable, he needs an engine alongside him, allowing the Spaniard to focus on his creative influences.

Analysis: Man United and PSG Step Up £45m Chase For Statistically Creative Romelu Lukaku

PSG are reportedly very interested in bringing Romelu Lukaku to Paris this summer, the 22-year-old will be in high demand with Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Lukaku’s former club Chelsea also interested in the Belgium striker.

Lukaku has 25 goals already this season and is clearly a very important player for Everton, but with the club underachieving and not able to promise him Champions League football, they will be concerned they are unable to keep one of their best assets.

According to a report this morning by the Daily Mirror the French giants will tempt Everton by tabling a £45 million bid for Lukaku this summer. PSG manager Laurent Blanc personally watched Lukaku on Sunday in Everton’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United and has reportedly identified him as the clubs number 1 target this summer with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract running out and uncertainty over the future of Edinson Cavani.

Manchester United have scouted Lukaku several times this season and feel they can tempt the striker away from Everton even if they do not qualify for the Champions League. If Everton were to sell Lukaku they would want to make a profit on the original £28million they spent on bringing the striker to Goodison Park from Chelsea in 2014. PSG remain confident they are able to seal the deal and convince him that they can win the Champions League; an ambition of Lukaku.

Romelu Lukaku recently suggested he doesn’t want to leave Everton in a fight, this may come after the John Stones incident last summer were the club rejected several bids from Chelsea and then rejected his transfer request. Lukaku has recently hinted he may leave Everton this summer in search of Champions League football, he says in a recent interview:

“I am 23 this summer. I have been playing since I was 16 and never had a taste of the Champions League; it is going to be seven years. You think about it – if it is going to happen? Champions League football is really the next step. Playing every three days is something I really enjoy. At one point, we were in the Europa League and we were playing constantly, it was enjoyable. You travel, you play a hard game, you have a good result, play well, it gives you confidence to play well in the league – you play well in the league. People acknowledge that you’re performing”

He goes on to say he doesn’t want to leave the Merseyside club with a fight and understands Everton showed faith in him when Chelsea didn’t but doesn’t deny a move may happen this summer.

“I don’t want to leave in a fight, if it happens, I won’t say this or that – it is going to be good for me personally and for the club. They were the ones who believed in me at the time nobody believed in me, and gave me a platform to perform. I have tried to repay them with good performances, but I have an agent who deals with the interest. I do not want to be bothered with it. I just want to play my football.” – See full interview.

So how does Lukaku currently compare to PSG’s current strikers, will he be an improvement on Cavani or Ibrahimovic?

lukaku

A stat that really impresses me is the chances Lukaku has made compared to Ibrahimovic and Cavani, he scores an impressive 1.63 per 90 minutes which is better than both Ibrahimovic (1.53) and Cavani (0.83). Every team in the world wants a striker who can score goals outside the area, unfortunately, Lukaku doesn’t score too well in this stat with (0.03), Ibrahimovic scores a much more impressive score with 0.17 and Cavani 0.09.

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There is no doubt that Cavani and Ibrahimovic are two of the best strikers in the world, that is why Ibrahimovic especially impresses me with his goals scored stat with 1.27 miles ahead of the other two, Lukaku is in second place with 0.62 and Cavani narrowly behind on 0.61. Strikers who can score goals are of course needed at all clubs, but strikers with that clinical edge in the box helps clubs win championships, Ibrahimovic once again scores a very impressive 1.10 with Lukaku second on 0.59, surprisingly Cavani is last with 0.53. Ibrahimovic once again leads the three strikers with shot accuracy scoring a very impressive 59%, Cavani is second on 57% and Lukaku third on 53%, this is really impressive for Ibrahimovic as he has had a total of 5.22 shots and has the best shot accuracy, Lukaku scores 3.50 with total shots and Cavani 3.16.

Considering his age and potential, it’s impressive how Lukaku holds his own against the two heavyweights from Paris, although if he is to ever reach the heights of Zlatan he will have to develop more of a clinical edge.

In summary, Lukaku would be a very good signing for any club in the world and at just 22 there he will only get better, PSG are likely to lose Ibrahimovic this summer and there is uncertainty over Cavani’s future, he would be perfect for PSG but they must be willing to pay a lot as Everton won’t sell easily, they’ll also have to fend off interest from Manchester United who are also likely to make a move for the Belgium international. Wayne Rooney’s decline has meant that United are also desperate for a world class striker and there is no doubt that in Lukaku, there is potential for him to fill that void.

 

Zlatan Heading To The Premier League? Arsenal, Chelsea & Man United Interested

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all reportedly interested in signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer. The Swedish striker has decided to leave PSG, with his contract expiring at the end of the season. 

Although the 34-year-old won’t require a transfer fee, his status will demand a significant financial package to lure him to his next destination. At his age, would Arsenal be willing to pay him the large signing on fee and wage that he would demand?

Are Manchester United and Chelsea enough of a lure with Champions League football uncertain at both clubs next season? Jose Mourinho and a 4th placed finish may convince Zlatan to head to the red side of Manchester.

His agent, Mino Raiola has suggested the player already knows where he will play next season: “We know what we want, but we will not say anything until this summer when the season is over, but we are now clear about what we want to happen. I know what he’s decided, but we don’t want you to know yet.”

Zlatan is unlikely to want to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with their relationship quite publicly frail. The next club that could afford him and will more than likely have Champions League status is Arsenal. Can Arsene Wenger accommodate a player with such ego into his harmonised dressing room? Will Wenger even be at the club next season? All of these questions will not be answered for a few more weeks yet, but it is worth thinking about because it looks like Zlatan is heading to the Premier League next season.

Manchester United and Arsenal seem the most in need of a striker of Zlatan’s calibre, but Chelsea would probably try and get involved too, although Diego Costa is unlikely to want to sit on the bench.

Since his move to Paris in 2012, Zlatan has scored an incredible 102 goals in 115 games and he’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Reports on his future are changing day by day, with our gossip column last week suggesting Arsenal were favourites, but today’s reports suggest that Chelsea are confident of signing the Swede on a two-year deal.

Analysis Focus

Arsenal and Chelsea have been the strongest linked with the Swedish international, so how does he compare to the clubs current top strikers, Olivier Giroud and Diego Costa?

Zlatan may be 34 years old, but he is still one of the best strikers in world football and he is showing no signs of slowing down. With 27 goals in 24 apps, he blows Costa (11 from 24) and Giroud (12 from 29) out of the water. Zlatan has also managed 11 league assists, more than Costa and Giroud combined (9). It is fair to say he trumps the Premier League duo in pretty much every attacking aspect. It is also fair to say that the Premier League is a much more complex environment for a striker to succeed than Ligue 1, but you would be pretty confident that someone of Zlatan’s stature could transfer his qualities into almost any environment. One misconception about Ibrahimovic is that he is selfish – he is certainly not. With 11 assists, an average of 79% pass success and 1.5 key passes made per game, he consistently demonstrates selfless and create behaviour, although his off-pitch egotistical statements may lead to different conclusions.

For now, I wouldn’t put any money on Zlatan’s next destination, but it would be bloody brilliant to see him in the Premier League, don’t you think? It would be a shame for the striker to never play in England in his career.


 

Where will he be playing next season? Join the conversation and tweet us @FreshFootball. 

Twitter Reacts To Top 100 Player Value Rankings List

Football fans must have thought they’d woken up in a parallel universe this morning, as reports emerged claiming Eden Hazard is more valuable than Cristiano Ronaldo, amongst numerous other things.

According to valuations, made by the CIES when taking various factors into consideration, Chelsea’s Hazard is the second-most valuable player in the world behind Lionel Messi- whilst they rated Raheem Sterling as more expensive than Paul Pogba.

Other surprises include Merseyside duo Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley above Arturo Vidal and Marco Reus, whilst Tottenham’s squad is the ninth most valuable in the world- ahead of Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and almost all of next season’s Champions League sides.

Fans laughed off the findings on social media, whilst others have ignored things completely. We’re yet to find one person that agrees with these rankings at all, which says a lot.

Somebody please stop the CIES Football Observatory

— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) June 9, 2015

Chelsea Fans Look Ahead To Champions League Clash

The Champions League returns this evening after a two month hiatus, with a mouth watering clash between Premier League leaders Chelsea and defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, in a rematch of the same stage last year.

12 months ago, Chelsea advanced due to the away goals rule over two legs and it seems likely that it will be another close call, though the advantage in in the Blues hands with the second-leg at Stamford Bridge.

However, despite the Parc De Princes being a difficult place to travel and get a result, Chelsea fans on Twitter are fairly confident that Jose Mourinho will lead the Blues to victory this evening. Here’s what the fans have to say.