Tag Archives: Romelu Lukaku

Who Will Be The Premier League Top Scorer: The Contenders

With the Premier League set to kick off tonight, there are more top strikers in the league than ever before, at least in terms of monetary value. Big money moves for Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette have seen the top clubs bolstered with more than £200m of talent – but are any of them capable of dethroning the might Harry Kane.

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Kane netted a massive 29 league goals last campaign at a brilliant rate of 87 minutes per goal. With 65% of the Englishman’s shots hitting the target, despite all of the money spent, can any of the new boys take the golden boot away from Tottenham’s main man? For me Kane still have to be the favourite and SportNation.com are offering tempting odds of 4/1 for Kane to top the Premier League goal scoring charts.

Romelu Lukaku is surely positioned best to challenge Kane, he’s already settled in the Premier League and with a hugely talented midfield behind him, Lukaku is likely to get on the end of a lot of United attacks. He was runner-up to Kane last season with 25 league goals, but with a stronger team behind him the Belgian international will be looking to justify his huge price tag and go one better this time around.

Arsenal’s big summer acquisition Alexandre Lacazette showed glimpses of his quality in the Community Shield and if he settles in the Frenchman will have every chance if Arsenal can get back to their best and Mesut Ozil can create the amount of chances we know he can. He’s consistently scored over 20 league goals in Ligue 1, but the Premier League is a different ball game, so I expect him to drop just short.

Alvaro Morata has been the headline move for Chelsea so far this summer, but it looks as if the Spaniard may take a little time to adjust to life in England.

Liverpool are unlikely to have a player that will challenge the likes of Kane for the golden boot, but what they do have is several sources of goals. The addition of Mohammed Salah has only added to their already strong attacking options which already include the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. With all of these options and if the club can keep hold of Coutinho, they may be worth a flutter on SportNation.bet, with huge odds of 20/1 on Liverpool to win the league on offer.

Manchester City are my personal favourites to win the league and if Gabriel Jesus continues to be preferred to Sergio Aguero as the clubs central strikers, then I can see the young Brazilian being right up there in the golden boot race. The amount of midfield quality he will have behind him will see him have plenty of opportunities to score. De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, the creative options just go on and on and that is what makes Jesus my wildcard to be top scorer this time around.

Five Strikers Chelsea Simply Must Consider After Transfer Embarrassment

Romelu Lukaku’s career will remain in the northwest of England. Though a transfer to Chelsea was seemingly nailed on for the Belgian, a twist towards Old Trafford has led Everton’s dominating striker to join up with his good friend Paul Pogba and former boss, Jose Mourinho. Whatever went on in the background to secure the deal is as good as irrelevant now; Manchester United have got their man and Chelsea are floundering in the market once again.

Antonio Conte might be furious, the Italian may even consider walking out of the club, but Chelsea cannot afford an internal crisis or post-mortem right now.

With Diego Costa edging towards an Atletico Madrid return, Michy Bathsuayi out of favour, Tammy Abraham on loan at Swansea and Bertrand Traore sold to Lyon, Chelsea’s line-leading options are perilously short. Lukaku’s signature was a matter of when, not if, until Mourinho swept in to snatch his man and the once Special One has potentially delivered a knockout uppercut to the club he once called home.

All is not lost for the Blues, mind, and here are FIVE players who can give them hope…

10 Stars Who Could Set A Transfer Record This Summer Ft. Man Utd, Arsenal & Chelsea Targets

The Premier League’s big spenders are set to do it all again this summer to bring some of the finest players to English football and strengthen their sides for the forthcoming campaign.

English football’s rise of TV revenue has lead to Premier League side’s paying a premium price on the transfer market and inflation over recent years has seen players cost more and more, with transfer records being set regularly.

Paul Pogba became the world’s first €100m player last year when he sealed a move from Juventus to Manchester United but his record is likely to be broken in the coming months, with audacious fees being mentioned- some in excess of £120m.

With the likelihood that records will be smashed this summer, we’ve identified ten players who could become the most expensive players in the history of world football in the coming  months if they secure a lucrative move- and it features a number of Premier League targets.

Kylian Mbappe (Monaco)

The hottest name in world football right now, teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has been linked with a host of Europe’s top-sides this summer, including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but Monaco are determined to keep hold of his services.

Mbappe’s ability and the fact Monaco don’t want to sell means his price-tag will be driven higher and higher, with reports already indicating a deal could cost in excess of £120m- a sensational figure for this year’s breakthrough star.

Chelsea Eyeing Four Stars In Incredible £240m Spending Spree

Chelsea have been relatively quiet in the few months since the Premier League campaign drew to a close but it appears Antonio Conte is ready to make big waves on the market in the coming weeks.

The majority of transfer reports regarding the Blues so far this month have orientated around potential departures, with Nemanja Matic said to be closing in on a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United whilst Diego Costa has been informed he’s surplus to requirements.

That leaves Chelsea under pressure to bolster their ranks, as Conte’s side lacks significant depth and will be tested by a return to Champions League football next season- but the Italian is ready to spend big and improve his side.

The Daily Express reports Conte is eyeing quality over quantity and is ready to splash an incredible £240m in the transfer market over the course of the next few months, with numerous deals likely to surpass the club-record £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres.

Additions are set to be made from front to back, leaving Chelsea with a phenomenal side that’s certainly capable of defending their Premier League crown next season.

Who’s being targeted?

The reports state that Alex Sandro is closing in on a £61m transfer from Juventus, adding depth to Chelsea’s defensive ranks, whilst Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is set to join the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge.

Those stellar additions would slot straight into the first-team and another defensive signing is being eyed in the form of Virgil Van Dijk, who is another player likely to surpass Chelsea’s current transfer record if a deal goes ahead.

Conte’s final target is Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, with a £70m deal said to be on the table, but the Toffees could demand a further £10m to see a deal go ahead- which would put the Belgian up there with the most expensive players in the history of world football.

How would Chelsea line-up?

These four huge additions would likely come straight into Chelsea’s starting XI, leading to a number of changes from the side that stormed to Premier League success last season- with the most notable additions coming at the back.

Signing Sandro would likely replace Marcos Alonso on the left-side, with Van Dijk’s addition in the centre allowing Cesar Azpilicueta the opportunity to return to his more natural position on the right-side of defence.

Bakayoko would join N’Golo Kante in the centre of midfield, handing the two-time Premier League champion the midfield partner he lacked in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, whilst Lukaku would replace Diego Costa up-front.

Chelsea’s Double Denial Reinforces Need For Summer Spending

Chelsea weren’t meant to lose this FA Cup final. Everything was pointing towards the Blues sweeping an injury-riddled Arsenal aside having been able to rest after securing the title. Antonio Conte was going to notch the club’s second double and Arsene Wenger would be left in a muddle once again.

From the off Arsenal were far the better side. Chelsea were dominated centrally, as N’golo Kante and Nemanja Matic could not handle the quartet of Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Conte could have seen his side fall behind by several goals and, in truth, the Blues were fortunate not be humiliated.

Whether we want to buy the ‘complacent’ narrative or see this as a renaissance for an Arsenal side that have recently embarked on a rare tactical adaptation, it was a reminder that this Chelsea incarnation are far from invincible. Impressive at their best, sure, the Blues have been flawed all too often and comparatively limped over the line this season. Defeats to Crystal Palace and Manchester United are hauntingly familiar memories, while the 93 point total still represents a remarkable achievement.

Chelsea’s squad appeared weak in August. Those weaknesses have been masked by a lack of injuries and superb management from the ever-likeable Italian manager. Those holes remain, however, and cannot be simply papered over this summer.

After other title wins, Chelsea have floundered and faffed in the transfer market. Cutting corners or pinching pennies, the Blues have left themselves in too weak a position the next season to reach their objectives or been forced to splash excessively in January.

As a Manchester arms race begins, Liverpool are linked with half the Bundesliga and Spurs’ young squad will improve, Chelsea cannot afford to lean on a roster that’s flaws have gradually reached greater prominence. It does not need to be brash, flash or brutally expensive like the spending from the northwest will be, but Chelsea’s summer is as definitive as anyone’s.

Bad team performances like Saturday’s will happen, but the club will not compete domestically or in Europe without significant additions, even if the financial burden can be lessened by the return of Andreas Christensen and Bertrand Traore from loan spells at Borussia Monchengladbach and Ajax respectively.

Tiemoue Bakayoko or Romelu Lukaku would not have avoided defeat at Wembley, but the defeat and relative indifference in 2017 should serve as a stark wake up call for a club that must be ruthless in this window.

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.  

4 New Signings: The Potential Chelsea XI To Conquer Europe Next Year

Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic season this term but Antonio Conte’s side face a challenge in the summer to bolster their ranks and prepare for a return to the Champions League next season.

In truth, Chelsea’s squad depth is fairly lacklustre across the board and injury problems this term could have created havoc, had they occurred. Therefore, it would be unwise to run the same risks next season by failing to strengthen.

Whilst Chelsea have been defensively solid and impressive in attack, it turns out that those areas are where the Blues are keen to strengthen most this summer- with star striker Diego Costa looking inevitable to leave, whilst veteran skipper John Terry is also on his way out.

Conte has identified targets already though and these four signings could leave the Blues boasting an exceptional side, as shown by this incredible line-up.

GK: Thibaut Courtois

Chelsea’s goalkeeper is widely regarded to be one of the best in the world and the Blues will face a battle to retain his services in the summer, with Spanish giants Real Madrid reportedly eyeing the Belgian as an alternative to long-term target David De Gea.

Courtois seems loyal to Chelsea though and the Blues would command an audacious fee for any move to materialise, so it seems highly likely that the goalkeeper will remain at Stamford Bridge for the forthcoming Premier League campaign.

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.

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 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.

5 Lacazette alternatives Arsenal should consider this summer

Arsenal are in the market for a top-class striker this summer but Alexandre Lacazette may not be their man. If things don’t work out in a pursuit for the Frenchman, here’s five alternatives for the Gunners.

Andrea Belotti

The 23-year-old Italian has caught the eye on the continent this season with stunning performances for Torino, netting 27 goals for club and country this season- putting him with the chance of landing Europe’s Golden Shoe award at the end of the campaign.

With a World Cup just over a year away and Belotti’s Torino not set for European ventures next season, the young striker could consider an exit to increase his standing within the national team and Arsenal should definitely eye a move.

Belotti would be an expensive addition but Arsenal can reap the rewards for years to come.

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.

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.

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.

‘Better Than A Prime Drogba’ Fans React To Magnificent Performance From Everton Forward

Everton picked up their first Premier League win since September with a 2-0 triumph over Slavan Bilic’s West Ham. Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley secured the three points for Ronald Koeman’s men. The win cements Everton’s position in sixth spot, three points ahead of Watford in seventh. 

Romelu Lukaku put in another excellent performance for the Toffees today, playing a huge part in the win over West Ham, scoring the first goal and setting up the second as Everton eased past the Hammers.

The Belgian striker has been an extremely influential figure for Everton this season, and has still been in-form when provided the service even during Everton’s poor period over the last month. Lukaku has been at his best in the box getting on the end of crosses and finishing off moves, but showed a different part of his game today, making an excellent run in behind before producing an excellent cross that Ross Barkley got on the end of for the second goal.

Lukaku was top quality throughout and his statistics help back that up. An impressive stat was that he completed 5 dribbles, he also made 2 key passes, one being the assist for Barkley’s goal. This creativity helped silence those doubters who had previously suggested that the Belgian struggled creatively. He also attempted 2 long balls and was accurate with both, and he attempted a through ball which was also accurate. It total he made 27 passes and was successful with 75% of all passes he attempted, which isn’t too bad for a striker of his ilk.

Fans took to Twitter to react to another magnificent performance from Everton’s top scorer. Here is how they reacted.

Ronald Koeman and his side will be glad to finally get a win after a poor string of results, and may bring a new-found confidence into their next game where they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

As mentioned by a fan on Twitter, it will always be a mystery as to why Chelsea let Lukaku go. Yes, they do have Diego Costa in form and scoring a considerable amount of goals, but to let him go to a Premier League rival is beyond me. However, they did receive a considerable transfer fee for the Belgian. We will see if Lukaku makes an impression the game next week against his old club.

Reports & Analysis: 3 Big Money Signings Manchester United Could Make In January

Having spent £150m over the summer, Manchester United haven’t had a terrific start to the season that many expected them to have. They sit 6th in the Premier League table after seven weeks, and as we head into the October international break, Jose Mourinho may have one eye on the January transfer window. Here are three players he could potentially bring to Old Trafford in the New Year

1) Danny Drinkwater

The United defensive midfield may not look like it needs strengthening, with Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marouane Fellaini battling for first-team places, but according to The Sun, Jose Mourinho wants to add to his midfield options with the acquisition of Danny Drinkwater.

The Sun claim that Mourinho is willing to pay up to £30million in order to land his January target, which would see the Englishman return to the club that turned it’s back on him just four years ago.

Drinkwater featured alongside N’Golo Kante last season in Leicester City’s title-winning season, and having seen Kante move to Chelsea over the summer, Claudio Ranieri won’t be keen on Drinkwater also leaving the club.

Mourinho is reportedly keen on making another defensive midfield signing not only to bolster his options in that area, but to also allow Paul Pogba to feature in a more attacking role in the midfield, implying that the Portuguese boss is not content with the current defensive unit protection of Ander Herrera, who has featured in that role for United this season.

Comparing the two, Danny Drinkwater has won more tackles than Herrera, winning on average just under three per game, with Herrera winning just 2.25 per game. However, Herrera makes almost two more interceptions per game, wins a higher percentage of total duels, makes more clearances, and just about loses less tackles per game.

Looking at those facts, is Drinkwater really worth the reported £30m investment?

‘Most Underrated Player In The World’ Twitter Heaps Praise On Everton Ace

Twitter was full of praise for a certain Everton player after his performance helped the team come back from a goal down to win 3-1. 

As a team, Everton were very impressive. They look very good under Ronald Koeman and are so far unbeaten in the Premier League – currently sitting at 2nd in the table. One player Koeman has managed to get the best out of is Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku – who managed to score a goal and grab an assist in Saturday evenings win at home to Middlesbrough.

Lukaku’s stats were impressive too. He managed an impressive 88% pass accuracy, a part of his game where he often struggles. The Belgian was not involved as much as he would have liked throughout the game, but the important thing was he managed to get a goal and assist. Lukaku needs to continue consistency with his goalscoring record in order to be considered amongst the best. The start to the season he has made under Koeman will give a lot of optimism to the Everton fans that they may well have one of the best young striker on the planet at their club.

Lukaku was withdrawn after 65 minutes because of a slight injury, but after 3 goals against Sunderland and one more against Boro, the fans will be hoping that this injury is just a short term problem.

Here’s what Twitter thought of Romelu’s performance.

With 4 Premier League goals already this season, Lukaku is only behind Antonio and Costa in the scoring charts, both of whom have scored 5 goals. I’m sure he will have his personal sights on winning the golden boot for the season, but also helping Everton qualify for Europe – something that is long overdue.

Analysis: Koeman Provides Shock Update On £65m Transfer, How It’ll Effect Everton

When Ronald Koeman joined from Southampton this summer he was probably almost resigned to the fact that both John Stones and Romelu Lukaku would leave the club.

Whilst Stones’ move did go through, Chelsea appear to have been priced out of a move for Lukaku, who is now willing to stay at Everton according to Koeman. He had been widely linked with a £65million move to Chelsea.

Koeman wrote in his column in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “Ten days before the transfer deadline he (Lukaku) came into the manager’s office and said he was no longer leaving and had decided to stay at Everton.

“His decision is the same value as a big money transfer. He is not only a good player but a fine person. He lives his football in the fashion that you would want a top footballer to.

“It is great to work with him and I think he had seen that we want to engineer improvement at every corner. To develop him into a really top player is the challenge before me.”

That is a boost to Everton, and Koeman can now plan for the future with the young Belgian striker spearheading the attack. With Lukaku’s future uncertain the club Koeman opted to put play Gerard Deulofeu as a striker, this didn’t really work and the Dutchman will now be pleased to have Lukaku back and focussed on Everton.

Lukaku is just 23 years of age, still giving him plenty of time to improve as a footballer. Although he has some obvious weaknesses, for example his lack of a first touch, Lukaku has the ability to take Everton to European football. If Koeman can harness the raw ability of Lukaku and put the right players arond him, Everton can really take a step up this season.

Traditionally Koeman likes to have a target up top, it was Graziano Pelle at Southampton. Lukaku has similar physical attributes, capable of winning aerial duels as a habit and using his strength to hold off defenders. Something Lukaku has that Pelle doesn’t is pace, and the ability to beat a man. I wanted to take a closer look at this.

Although statistically Pelle has the edge over Lukaku in terms of being successful in aerial duels, defences often found it easy to defend against Pelle (with a high line) due to the Italian’s lack of pace. This meant Koeman would have to sacrifice a midfielder to play a faster striker alongside Pelle, Shane Long for example. Lukaku’s speed and ability to beat a man gives Koeman a completely different animal and allows the Dutchman to play with just one striker, his favoured formation. Lukaku made 41 successful take ons last season compared to Pelle’s 7.

He knows how well Deulofeu and Lukaku can combine, the important thing for Koeman will be to ensure the duo deliver consistently. Under Koeman’s guidance Lukaku needs to develop a ruthless streak in front of goal and increase his goalscorers instinct.

Although £65million, the amount Everton reportedly wanted for Lukaku, is somewhat of an over valuation, Lukaku can become worth that amount if he perfect his game. He’s never going to have the best first touch but something he can improve is his off the ball movement. His finishing is brilliant and if he can get into positions where he can score more often then I would expect his goal tally to keep rising throughout his career. At the moment too often he is caught labouring around the pitch, not putting his body on the line to get into the box and on to the end of all crosses. I think with Deulofeu/Lennon on the right, Lukaku would benefit from a less direct winger on the left.

I think with Deulofeu/Lennon on the right, Lukaku would benefit from a less direct winger on the left. This is because Deulofeu relies on fast counter attacks to break down defences and get the ball into the box. Kevin Mirallas has a similar approach, I think Lukaku would benefit from a creative midfielder more capable of breaking down crowded defences – similar to what Dusan Tadic did for Koeman’s Southampton.

Now Everton have the boost of Lukaku wanting to stay at the club, they need to make the most of it. He could change his mind again next summer.

Reports: 4 Big Transfers Arsenal Could Complete In The Coming Weeks

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will certainly be keen to add to his squad this summer after another disappointing season passes. Wenger has been under major pressure from the fans in recent months and will look to rectify his squad weaknesses this summer. Arsenal have already announced the signing of Granit Xhaka this summer and will not stop there, will the club expected to spend around £100 million this summer.

1 – Luciano Vietto

Arsenal will rival Manchester United to the signing of Atletico Madrid’s Luciano Vietto this summer as both clubs look to bolster their attacking options.

Vietto signed for Madrid in June 2015 after successfully securing a move from Villarreal for a fee of €20m (£15.4m).

The 22-year-old has fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone after scoring just three goals in all competitions which has not impressed the Atletico boss, his abysmal form could see him leave Spain this summer.

As reported, Arsenal are desperate to land a striker this summer and Arsene Wenger has now identified Vietto as a potential target after losing out on their number one target Jamie Vardy who has signed new four-year contract with Leicester City.

Vietto has managed 19 games for Atletico this season and has been uninspiring in front of goal, he has managed just 0.09 goals per 90 minutes. Vietto has made 1.03 key passes which has led to him grabbing 0.28 assists. Vietto’s successful take on rate isn’t the best and has managed just 44% but a bit of form and confidence could give him the boost he needs to kick start again.

Although his goal-scoring form would put off many clubs, Arsenal and United will be wary of the 22-year-olds potential. With the right guidance he could easily rekindle his fine form that bagged himself a big money move to Atletico.

Vietto clearly has high hopes and has his sights on playing for Barcelona but could be tempted at the prospect of signing for the Gunners this summer.

Dortmund Move Ahead Of Chelsea & Manchester United In Race To Sign Everton Ace

Everton appear set to part ways with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku this summer following an extremely poor showing in the league from the Merseyside club.

Lukaku wants to be playing at a higher level and with the calibre of clubs interested in him, you can understand if he pushes for a move away this summer. Everton will demand in excess of £40million, but that will not deter Manchester United and Dortmund, both of whom are likely to be cash loaded this summer. Aubameyang is likely to join Real Madrid for a fee in excess of £50million, whilst United continue to have a loaded bankroll.

Lukaku was allegedly spotted at the Dortmund training ground this week, adding more fuel to the speculation.

Martinez has tried to distract the rumours with the club heading into a pivotal week, he said: “The response is very clear [on Lukaku]… You just said that we are in the defining week of our season and if you think we are going to be distracted by reports you are mistaken”.

Analysis

So is Lukaku worthy of filling Aubameyang’s boots? The Belgian has a long way to go to become as efficient in front of goal as the Gabon international, but at 22, he has already shown himself as a top-level striker.

A statistical comparison between the duo highlight the differences, Aubameyang has been much more prolific this season, scoring 0.9 goals per 90 minutes – whilst Lukaku has managed just 0.58. In terms of assists, they are pretty even (0.19 vs. 0.20), Aubameyang’s shot accuracy is 57%, 4% higher than Lukaku’s. The only real area where Lukaku edges this battle is in terms of duels won (40.87% vs. 35.88%). He also makes more key passes per game (1.39 vs. 0.90) – this highlights his effectiveness as a link up striker.