Tag Archives: Sadio Mane

Salah Signs: How Liverpool Could Line-Up Next Season

Liverpool secured their first major signing of the summer yesterday with the acquisition of Mohamed Salah from Roma, arriving for a deal reportedly worth around £34m.

The former Chelsea man has excelled following his move to the Serie A, after struggling to make an impact with the Blues at Stamford Bridge, and adds class to Liverpool’s wide options next season- which is crucial ahead of the Reds’ return to the Champions League.

Boasting an impressive 15 goals and 11 assists in 31 Serie A appearances last season, figures that are both more than any Liverpool players managed last season, Salah is a sensational coup for Jurgen Klopp’s side that could lead the Reds towards glory.

Anfield is sure to be rocking upon the club’s return to Champions League action and Salah could help the Reds enjoy a season to remember, as he slots into the club’s line-up next season comfortably- and he’s unlikely to be the final recruit for the Reds this summer.

Here, we’ve taken a look at how Liverpool could line-up next season with Salah in their ranks- and we’ve included some new faces who could follow the Egyptian ace to Anfield.

GK: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s capture of Loris Karius from Mainz last summer was supposed to bring the end of Simon Mignolet between the sticks for the Reds but the German’s inability to settle into the rigours of the Premier League meant Jurgen Klopp opted to hand Mignolet his spot again.

The Belgian stopper impressed last season with some fine performances but still seems a way off being the sort of goalkeeper that can lead Liverpool to success, which means he’ll remain under pressure next season- particularly in the Champions League.

5 New Signings: Klopp’s Ideal Liverpool XI To Push For Glory Next Season

Liverpool have once again endured a transitional season, with Jurgen Klopp’s men challenging for a spot in the Champions League but falling quite a way short of pushing for the Premier League title.

The Reds have certainly made a meal out of their European qualification too and have left themselves with a lot to do in the final weeks of the season, as top-four rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal could take advantage of their games in hand.

It’s clear new faces are needed at Anfield this summer and a wealth of top-names have been linked with a move to Merseyside, although fans need to be aware that their finances mean that the club run the risk of losing out to their rivals in the chase for big deals.

Liverpool can probably afford to go all-out to get one or two big names this summer though, especially with added funds from the likely sales of Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Sturridge, and this potential XI next season could certainly challenge for honours.

GK: Antonio Adan

Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks have come under intense criticism this season and Jurgen Klopp is likely to move to solve that this summer, with 29-year-old Spaniard Antonio Adan eyed as the ideal recruit- and his arrival could spark the end for Simon Mignolet.

Last summer’s signing Loris Karius has struggled in his debut season in the Premier League but, aged just 23, there’s plenty of time for him to develop and moving for an experienced keeper like Antonio Adan would be a wise move.

Currently with La Liga minnows Real Betis, Adan’s services shouldn’t be too difficult to capture.

Arsenal fans furious with with star forward’s Team of the Year omission

The PFA Team of the Year was announced on social media this morning and it’s fair to say it’s gone down like a lead balloon.

Hoards of football fans have been left angry by the eleven players selected by their fellow footballers, with Arsenal supporters particularly agitated to see star-man Alexis Sanchez left out of the side despite his sensational performances.

The two-time Copa America winner has excelled for the Gunners this season, scoring 19 goals and contributing nine assists in the Premier League- numbers that significantly dwarf the contributions of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who was selected in the team.

Doing what fans do best, Arsenal supporters flocked to social media in vast numbers to declare their dissatisfaction at what they believe is a major oversight, which is understandable given that Alexis is one of the top-scorers in the Premier League.

The omission was made more surprising by the fact that Alexis Sanchez is in the running for the PFA’s Player of the Year award, so why wasn’t there space in the team for him?

FF Premier League Team Of The Season: 4 Chelsea, 2 Spurs, 2 Liverpool & 2 Burnley Players Feature

We’re at that stage of the season now when we recognise the achievements of those we see week in, week out, with the PFA’s nominations for PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year kicking off the debates.

Along with it comes the often much-maligned Team of the Season that, in response, has streams of fans drafting up their own all-star XI. Many are flying about as we speak, which prompts us to give our two cents. Here’s Fresh Football’s Premier League Team of the Season:

Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton, Burnley

It’s on the basis of defensive solidity that Sean Dyche’s side has planned and, more or less, managed to crack their first season back in the Premier League. Tom Heaton’s heroics in between the sticks have certainly played a part in that.

The two-time England international, more fondly remembered for his displays against Liverpool at home and versus Manchester United at Old Trafford, comes 6th in the ongoing race for the Golden Glove, claiming nine clean sheets altogether.

That has seen him top the list of keepers in the bottom half of the table, which, unlike other lauded colleagues such as Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford, has contributed towards Burnley’s mid-table attainment and facilitated our choice for number one.

Right Back: Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur

Among the tightest of choices throughout the XI, the right back slot sees the likes of Kyle Walker go head-to-head with Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia, who’s gone from strength-to-strength under José Mourinho this season.

But for all the improvement from the Ecuadorian, Walker has continued to be a pivotal figure in a side targeting a top two finish, as opposed to scrambling for top four.

The Spurs man pips Valencia on end product, claiming two more assists than Valencia’s modest three, and also averaging 1.15 key passes and 1.33 chances created per game, which is marginally better than his full back counterpart.

Centre Back: David Luiz, Chelsea

Many a critic scoffed at the £30 million spent by Chelsea on the club’s former cult hero, with displays up until early October suggesting they were right to do so. In came Antonio Conte’s characteristic shift to a formation with three central defenders, signalling a straight run for top spot and David Luiz’s rebirth, as a result.

Free to explore his refined technical ability with the comfort of two other centre backs either side of him, Luiz’s maturity has also shun through in a side that’s collected 13 clean sheets thus far and strung together 13 consecutive wins from October to January.

Centre Back: Michael Keane, Burnley

We’ve spoken briefly of the work put in by Burnley in this season’s Premier League and just as focal to the Clarets’ success has been Michael Keane, a mainstay alongside Ben Mee in Dyche’s XI.

The centre back pairing have been virtually inseparable statistically, but the man under the radar has appeared as Burnley’s go-to-guy for defensive interactions, conquering 120 of his aerial duels and winning 60% of all duels in total, which is a 5% increase on what Mee registered.

Such has been his form that the Man United academy graduate has seen his trade recognised by England with his debut cap, meanwhile the likes of Everton reportedly plot a move for the 24-year-old in the summer.

Left Back: Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

Costing the champions-elect a total of £20 million from Fiorentina this summer, Marcos Alonso has done a decent job in allaying fears of his perceived sub-par status in world football.

The Spaniard prides himself on the time he’s spent in Serie A, which bodes well with Conte’s familiarities, whereas the player’s core attributes have seen him become a straight fit into Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation at wing back.

Five goals and two assists later for the Blues, few left backs in the league have come close to his level of consistency.

Centre Midfield: N’Golo Kanté, Chelsea

To make complete simplicity so hard to ignore takes some doing, yet N’Golo Kanté is already on his second consecutive season of leaving his critics in awe.

No sign of second season syndrome here, with the Frenchman providing a pivotal presence in Chelsea’s two-man midfield and eating up more ground than one could ever deem possible. An easy choice.

Centre Midfield: Adam Lallana, Liverpool

Under the core definition of a central midfielder, there’s a small number of options they may be more popular throughout the masses, but we’re striving to also conjure up a team that also makes some sort of footballing sense.

Adam Lallana is no scrub, however. The Englishman took his time to get going at Anfield, but he’s been among the players to have embraced Jürgen Klopp’s ethos the best in a mixed season for the Reds.

The England international has maintained a high level of performances throughout this season, contributing at both ends of the field, which sees us favour the ex-Southampton midfielder over the likes of Vincent Wanyama, David Silva and a more attacking iteration of Dele Alli, who’ve all hooked in their fair share of plaudits through central areas.

Left Midfielder: Eden Hazard, Chelsea

After a faint 2015/16 campaign, Eden Hazard has remerged as a top bracket Premier League star under Conte, making full use of the free role given to him in a 3-4-3 set-up. The Belgian is a hot favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award, which speaks volumes of our choice.

With seven games of the season to go, Hazard has already equalled his highest scoring seasons of 2013/14 and 2014/15 with 14 goals, three shy of the club’s regular goal-getter Diego Costa, after finding the back of the net against the likes of Man United, Manchester City and Arsenal this season.

Whispers of a switch to Real Madrid have followed suit, which is yet another testament to the qualities displayed by the re-energised Belgian.

Right Midfielder: Sadio Mané, Liverpool

Alongside Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté, Sadio Mané leads the line for signing of the season since arriving for £34 million from Southampton.

Fully engaged with Klopp’s ‘Gegenpressing’, the Senegalese winger has hit the back of the net 13 times and turned in a further six assists, numbers that aren’t too dissimilar to that of Eden Hazard’s. It’s no wonder many were left arguing for the Liverpool man’s presence in the six-man shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Thus far, Liverpool’s dependency on Mané has been clear, winning just twice in eight games without their summer signing, which includes defeating League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle. Such is the importance he holds that the wide man is far too difficult to overlook, even with Alexis Sanchez and Nathan Redmond presenting stellar seasons of their own in the meantime.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku, Everton

He’s a striker that often divides opinion, but time and time again Romelu Lukaku finds himself among a hatful of goals.

The Belgian’s technical ability, although appearing more refined this season, is some way off your traditional top class striker, but his laudable ability to strike gold with frequency may well see the Everton forward claim this season’s Golden Boot.

It’s a feat that can’t be ignored, giving him the edge over Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and many more favoured strikers.

Striker: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

If there’s one player who knows just how to time an appeal for all relevant gongs, that man is Harry Kane. The England international, rather characteristically, started the season slowly with just five non-penalty goals in the first half of the season.

Fast-forward four months and that figure has doubled in his favour, culminating in a late charge to defend his Golden Boot award with 19 goals at this stage of the season.

No period displayed Kane’s string of exemplary performances quite as well as February, scoring six in four games before crowning his work with the Player of the Month award. It’s because of this and many more performances since the turn of the year that Kane has battled his way into our Team of the Year.

 

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The Liverpool XI That Will Emerge Victorious Against Everton on Saturday

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

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

GK: Simon Mignolet

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

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

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

With the importance on every point fought for growing every week at both ends of the Premier League spectrum, so too are the ones currently being picked up in the world of Fantasy Football, as we drift ever closer to this season’s conclusion.

West Bromwich Albion introduce the fixture list with a home clash at home to morale-devoid Arsenal, this week, but the pick of the bunch is undoubtedly reserved for the City of Manchester, as Pep Guardiola’s men host like-minded top four hopefuls Liverpool.

Sunderland versus Burnley, Bournemouth at home to Swansea City and Crystal Palace’s London Derby against Watford stick out in between the aforementioned fixtures, and with them will come this weekend’s heroes. Here’s Fresh Football’s Fantasy Premier League shortlist:

1 – Chris Smalling
Position:
Defender
Club: Manchester United
Price: £5.8m

The big news coming out of Manchester United’s away fixture versus Middlesbrough is that the relegation-bound side will take José Mourinho’s men on without his protégé, Aitor Karanka, following the latter’s resignation as manager of the club.

As has so often been the case, and the Premier League has clear examples in Hull City, Swansea and, contrarily, Crystal Palace, such parting of ways can go one way or the other.

It’s difficult to predict Boro’s mental state, whether or not change will give them the kick they need, but in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba in the visitors’ end, the Riverside outfit might well be hoping for the desired result to spring an end-of-season relaunch.

Unfortunately for Karanka’s old flame, Middlesbrough have looked equally toothless in attack, even at full strength, as their regular source of goals sit on the bench, dipped in poor form.

So in the event that the 2004 League Cup winners fail to light up the Riverside with goals of their own, we’re backing United’s defensive sector to clock up a satisfactory display, complete with a clean sheet.

Mourinho’s men should be able to keep out a side that’s scored just 19 goals in the league all season, whereas without their key attacking components, the scene is set for a dreamy set-piece to be the decisive difference, one way or another. The likes of Chris Smalling could come up big, here.

2 – Sadio Mané
Position:
Midfielder
Club: Liverpool
Price: £9.7m

If there’s a player in Liverpool roster worthy of the Player of the Year title, that man is Mané and in Sunday’s trip to the Etihad Stadium the Senegalese winger has another big occasion to rise up to.

He’s not short of exemplary showings, putting Arsenal to the sword on two separate occasions this season, meanwhile also punishing their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, in much the same way.

Man City’s domestic form may have picked up in recent games but their midweek defeat and subsequent elimination at the hands of AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League has only accentuated their defensive shortcomings further.

We don’t expect Pep Guardiola to alter his constructive system in any particular way from what we’ve already become accustomed to, which could spell danger against a side that preys so heavily on one’s mistakes.

Much like Mané, Liverpool love a big-game performance – the Reds have practically relied upon them this season – so there’s every chance of it being their day come Sunday.

3 – Fernando Llorente
Position:
Striker
Club: Swansea City
Price: £6.5m

We’re at the stage now where clubs become desperate for a hero. Swansea have found three in Gylfi Sigurðsson, Fernando Llorente and manager Paul Clement, who’s responsible for pulling the foundations of this potential great escape together.

Saturday’s fixture brings forward another battle for the Swans, taking on a below-par Bournemouth side that sees three points separate the two teams in the league table, such is the latter’s poor form.

The pair are also the leaders for the most amount of goals conceded this season, so it’s one that’s set-up to be a bit of a goal-fest, statistically.

With or without a thriller, we suspect Llorente, who’s gone three in three for goals, will inflict some damage upon a Bournemouth defence that’s depleted by suspensions and mid-season departures.

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.

3 Must Have Players For Your Fantasy Football Teams This Week ft. Liverpool Midfielder

Another week has come and gone, and Fresh Football returns with its weekly edition of Fantasy Premier League hotpicks, bracing ourselves for the action ahead in Gameweek 13.

In between that time, the current title holders, Leicester City, continue to impress on a continental stage, so much so that the 13 points amassed in Group G by the Foxes has already surpassed their current mark of 12 points in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s murky relationship with the month of November continues, but, in the meantime, the Gunners are also still unbeaten since their 4-3 defeat to Liverpool back in August – an improvement from past seasons.

Elsewhere, the Manchester City continue to show signs of being anything but the finished article under Pep Guardiola, whereas Tottenham Hotspur’s return to the European elite has proven to be short lived; a 2-1 defeat at the hands of AS Monaco sealing their fate.

In fear of a European hangover, but also due to potentially glaring opportunities to pick up points elsewhere, we’re avoiding games between the aforementioned clubs altogether.

So here’s who we’re topping to come up trumps this weekend.

1 – Jonny Evans

Club: West Bromwich Albion
Position: Defender
Price: £4.5m

Tony Pulis and his club appear to have gotten their mojo back. After claiming just two wins from their first 10 league games, West Brom have proceeded to pick up back-to-back victories versus Leicester City and, most recently, Burnley, defeating the newly-promoted side 4-0 on Monday night.

Next up for the Midlands club are Hull City, who continue to slip down the table after winning just once since August. 19th placed Sunderland were the latest side to snatch three points from the Tigers, so one can imagine morale isn’t great at the moment, because the form certainly isn’t.

On the ascendancy, West Brom have every chance of making it three wins on the spin, and failing that, a clean sheet at the very least. We’ll settle for that, tipping Jonny Evans to star.

‘He’s The Signing Of The Summer’ Twitter Praises Liverpool Ace After West Brom Performance

Liverpool were one of the only teams in the top half of the table to win in the Premier League at the weekend, and it meant the climbed to joint top of the table.

Their brilliant campaign so far continued – and the scoreline of 2-1 flattered West Brom in all honesty. Liverpool fans have Sadio Mane to thank for getting the 3 points though. The summer signing crucially found the net once and assisted the other goal to help Klopp’s men secure 3 points.

Beyond the goal and assist though, there were some more impressive stats from the former Southampton man. He made 3 key passes and completed 80% of his passes overall, not a bad % for a wide man. He’s only 24 and the only thing I would say that needs definite improvement is his consistency. Mane needs to deliver these kind of performances week in week out to realise his world class potential and perhaps earn the tag of ‘signing of the season’.

Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter. His goal on the day was particularly impressive, and now many fans are labelling him as a bargain at £30million – perhaps even the signing of the summer. Is that OTT?

So is Mane the signing of the season? I think it’s far too early to be saying things like that. One thing his early form does show us though is that he can hack it at a big club in Liverpool, contrary to what many initially thought. It also shows that those who initially labelled Mane as overpriced were completely wrong. In this market, if £30million can buy you a player of Mane’s quality then you’ve done pretty well.

Mane and Klopp appear the perfect fit. The player has great pace and desire about him to win the ball back quickly and his dynamic attacking approach makes him unpredictable for defenders, and there is nothing that Jurgen loves more than just that.

Liverpool – Manchester United Combined XI: Only 3 Liverpool Players Feature, Your Thoughts?

Few have been the times that these two colossal clubs of English football have come into a clash with lofty ambitions as of late, as Liverpool welcome Manchester United to the newly-renovated Anfield stadium on Monday night.

The Jürgen Klopp project and it’s suffocating press system has begun gaining some notable traction in the Premier League, in particularly in big games, whereas Man United and their array of expensive talent look to force their way back into prominence under new boss José Mourinho.

The match-up promises plenty, and in its lead-up, Fresh Football has sought to bring you a combined XI. Here’s how we’d line-up:

GK: David De Gea (Manchester United)

There won’t be many more straightforward choices to be made than including David De Gea, one of the best shot-stoppers in the world and, arguably, the main man between the sticks in Premier League football. Even if we weren’t to see him in such light, Simon Mignolet’s shaky past and new boy Loris Karius don’t offer us any great alternatives from Liverpool’s end.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

Nathaniel Clyne’s Man United counterpart, Antonio Valencia, has gained his fair share of plaudits so far this season from a right back position, but his systematic nature in the final third, particularly his over-hit crosses, raises a few question marks. Meanwhile Clyne’s associative play makes him our preferred option, we’re not even sure Valencia, despite good form, is the best right back at his own club.

CB: Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

Among the trickiest of introductions to this combined XI is Eric Bailly, simply because Joël Matip has excelled so much in his short time in the Premier League as well. Whereas the latter might be better at reading the game, we think Bailly’s physicality, especially once his aggression is more refined, sees the Ivorian pip the ex-Schalke man.

CB: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

As someone who can blend his ability to read the game, bring the ball out from defence and impose himself physically upon attackers, Smalling’s addition is a no-brainer. On his day, he’s one of the very best centre backs in the Premier League.

LB: Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Alberto Moreno came to mind, who, based on his Liverpool career thus far, is enough to hand the left back slot to just about anyone else. Such is his unreliability that Klopp has chosen to deploy James Milner at left back, a successful invention in the meantime, but we’d prefer to go down the old-fashioned route and opt for a natural left back. It’s also Luke Shaw, by the way, so we’re in good hands.

CM: Daley Blind (Manchester United)

We’re striving for a team that makes sense, here, which in turn sees us scramble a little for a convincing midfielder to play deep in this combined XI. Although talented, Emre Can’s yet to leave his definitive stamp at Anfield, whereas his teammate, Jordan Henderson, is more box-to-box than deep-lying. The same goes for Ander Herrera at United, who’s come into the fold ahead of Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger. We’re trusting the versatility of Daley Blind on this one, who’s put in exemplary displays at left back and centre back in the past.

CM: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

He’s been fairly underwhelming since his blockbuster transfer from Juventus this summer, but it’d take a brave man to overlook his talent in order to shut him out of this combined XI. We wouldn’t dare.

RM: Sadio Mané (Liverpool)

At last, some more Merseyside-based presence, and it goes to their new acquisition. Many an eyebrow was raised at the £34 million price tag of Sadio Mané when joining from Southampton, but the Senegalese winger has been quick to allay any fears and become an instant hit at Anfield. The 24-year-old provides a constant threat with his movement in behind, whereas his trickery and pace make him a real handful across the attacking third.

AM: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

The Brazilian can offer the odd irritation with his relentless attempts at goal from range, but when it works, there’s little left to do but admire. Coutinho’s general low centre of gravity coupled with his dribbling ability and flair are the real reasons why we think he’s best suited to the free role in attacking midfield, however.

LM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)

Up against the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, our preference is to go with Henrikh Mkhitaryan on this one. Being quick on the turn, the Armenian is lethal in transition, just as he was in his storming 2015/16 season with Borussia Dortmund prior to his transfer to Manchester United. We’re yet to see the versatile wide man exemplify the same prowess at Old Trafford, but should he be given the chance, it’d be no surprise to see him star.

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)

Even with Rashford and Martial in the equation, Daniel Sturridge might well serve as the biggest opposition to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at striker. With both representing different profiles of strikers, this one comes down to consistency, and almost by default, Sturridge’s injury prone history and mix-and-match attendance when fit under Klopp sees Ibrahimovic pip him. Additionally, the Swede’s hold-up play and playmaking ability is quite the sight when coupled with aforementioned runners in the attacking third.

Fantasy Football: 3 Premier League Players You Need In Your Team This Week (ft. Liverpool, Chelsea)

Following the EFL Cup interlude, the Premier League returns with a series of games to draw our eyes to, in particular the London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea, Leicester City’s visit to Old Trafford ahead of their clash against Manchester United and Tony Pulis’ return to the newly-named Bet365 Stadium, where his West Bromwich Albion side face-off versus former club Stoke City.

As always, Fresh Football will be here to attempt to aid your Fantasy Teams, as we switch our attentions to a list made up entirely of potential goal-getters ahead of Gameweek Six. You can read more advice in our Fantasy Football section. Here are our three hotpicks:

1 – Sadio Mané
Club:
Liverpool
Position: Midfield
Price: £9m

Liverpool, with two wins against Leicester City and Chelsea in their last three Premier League games, have emerged as potential candidates for the league title this season, as they welcome a Hull City side, currently winless in their last three outings prior to this week’s league cup clash, to the newly-renovated Anfield stadium.

The Tigers struggled to cope with Arsenal’s pressing game last weekend in their 4-1 defeat at home, a style so synonymous with Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool; meanwhile the Reds will be boosted further by the likely returns of Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum following a 3-0 win versus Derby County in midweek.

In front of an excited home crowd, we’re tipping Sadio Mané to cause Hull’s defence all sorts of trouble in what *should* be a routine victory for Liverpool.

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.

3 Transfers Southampton Should Try To Complete This Month To Break Into Europe

Southampton fans will have seen this summer before, Liverpool come knocking with a substantial offer for one of their star players and in turn the Saints reinvest a portion of that cash in order to attack the spots for European qualification.

The latest instalment of the growing relationship saw the Reds swoop in for Southampton’s Sadio Mané for £34 million back in June of this year, meanwhile new boss Claude Puel has wasted no time in welcoming Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Alex McCarthy and Jeremy Pied to the St. Mary’s Stadium for little less than what they received for the Senegal international.

Puel hints the summer shopping won’t end there, stating: “We will see if there is an opportunity or not [to add to the squad].” But who might Arsène Wenger’s protégé have in mind? Here’s Fresh Football’s pick:

1 – Theo Walcott

The Arsenal winger was steadily growing into the unique player he had always promised to be before his anterior cruciate ligament injury side-lined him for approximately 11 months. Walcott’s woes were soon followed by pelvic and calf problems, whereas poor form upon his long-awaited return has subsequently displaced him from Arsenal’s XI.

The Gunners are now reportedly ready to approach the likes of Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler and Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, which in turn should mean that Joel Campbell and/or Theo Walcott become surplus to requirement at the Emirates Stadium.

Walcott may well have the greater amount of soul-searching to do, so what better place to do so than at home? Fears over the fitness of Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin could see Southampton dip into the transfer market once more before August 31st, keen to replace the 22 goals amassed last season by high-profile departures Mané and Graziano Pellè.

Redmond has entered the equation as a potential striker option for the Saints this season, but old boy Walcott is sure to offer greater assurances in front of goal, meanwhile Wenger has a vested interest in seeing Arsenal’s number 14 return to his habitual form. An ambitious loan move could well make sense, here.