Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspur

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

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

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

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

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

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

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

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

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

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

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

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

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

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

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

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

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

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

4 Home-Grown Players Who Could Follow Walker to Man City This Summer

Manchester City’s debut campaign under Pep Guardiola is set to end without a trophy, which is increasing the pressure upon the former Bayern Munich boss to invest heavily this summer.

Guardiola is set to oversee a major reshuffle in his squad, as he replaces players who aren’t cut out for the challenge and looks to replace the ageing guard- which includes his array of full-backs, which has led to the Citizens eyeing big recruits in this area.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Kyle Walker is reported to be the priority signing for Guardiola this summer, who’s understood to be eyeing home-grown talents to add to his squad as the Citizens look to battle up the Premier League standings.

British players come at a premium price this days but City can certainly afford to pay what’s necessary and we’ve identified four more home-grown players that could follow Walker to the Etihad Stadium.

Jordan Pickford

The England international is one of few Sunderland players who can hold their head high following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Pickford is more than likely going to be on the move this summer, as he battles for the number one jersey in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

With Joe Hart set to be ousted and summer-signing Claudio Bravo struggling, Pep Guardiola’s side have been linked to signing a new goalkeeper and Pickford could be the perfect fit for the Citizens as he’s young, homegrown and should be relatively easy to capture.

Agent Speaks Out On Transfer Rumours Concerning Spurs Star

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a fantastic season under Mauricio Pochettino and still hold an outside chance of winning the Premier League, as they trail Chelsea by just four points.

Whilst the likelihood is Spurs will endure heartbreak for the second season in a row, Pochettino’s men have come along leaps and bounds in recent years, with a squad breaming with star-players and potential world-beaters.

Naturally, that’s led rival sides to eye moves for Tottenham’s players and a recent transfer rumour has speculation that Barcelona’s major reshuffle this summer could see the Catalan giants make a swoop for Christian Eriksen.

With speculation Ivan Rakitic could leave the Nou Camp, Barcelona will have room in their side for a creative midfielder and Eriksen would certainly fit the bill. However, his agent has played down the exit rumours.

What’s been said?

Speaking to Danish outlet BT and quoted by The London Evening StandardEriksen’s agent Martin Schoots said:

“I prefer not to comment on what the newspapers write about the future. The only thing Christian wants to do is focus on playing his matches.”

“We let the rumours be rumoured, even now, when Christian’s merits as a player who sets up a goal are better than anyone else, and now he scores also very important goals.”

“Christian just wants to be important for the team, it is the only thing that matters to him.”

Could he leave?

Spurs definitely face a difficult summer as big clubs are likely to swoop for their star-men but Eriksen isn’t seen as a player who is deemed expendable, which means Barcelona would have to pay well over the odds if they wanted to bring the Danish international to Catalonia.

With Eriksen recently signing a new deal in September, worth a reported £75k-a-week, Tottenham have a good bargaining position. However, they may find it difficult to keep Eriksen if he has his head turned by the Catalan giants.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely Eriksen will leave this season, as Spurs seem to be on the rise, but a move after next summer’s World Cup could materialise if Tottenham fail to make progress next season- when they’ll be playing their home games at Wembley.

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

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

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

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

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

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

GK: Hugo Lloris

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

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

Spurs fans react angrily to surprise Team of the Year absentees

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a fantastic season and it’s no surprise to see the Lilywhites boast a wealth of names in the PFA Team of the Year.

Announced this morning, Spurs stars Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker all found their place in the starting eleven, although there were some questionable absentees from the ranks of Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Despite boasting the best defence in the Premier League this season, conceding just 22 goals so far, none of Spurs key defensive trio of Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertoghen made the cut- with their places instead going to Chelsea pairing David Luiz and Gary Cahill, with Manchester United’s David De Gea in goal.

It’s a decision that many Spurs fans cannot get their head around and fans flocked to social media to have their say on the situation, which they believe is a major oversight from the PFA and is one that cannot be ignored.

Tottenham v Bournemouth: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Match

Victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Bournemouth will all but secure their Champions League spot next season and these three battles will decide the outcome of the match at White Hart Lane.

Fraser v Davies

Tottenham Hotspur are without first-choice left-back Danny Rose once again this weekend, with Welsh international Ben Davies stepping in. Whilst he’s a capable player with bags of experience, he doesn’t have the same impact on the Spurs side that Rose has.

Therefore, the left-side of Spurs’ defence could be an area where Bournemouth look to exploit at White Hart Lane and the task will fall to 23-year-old Ryan Fraser, who manager Eddie Howe compared to Chelsea ace Eden Hazard this week.

With three goals and two assists in the Premier League, Fraser can certainly cause problems for Spurs’ defence and Ben Davies will have to be alert.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday afternoon (12:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Tottenham v Bournemouth: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Competition: Premier League Date: Saturday 15th April 2015 Venue: White Hart Lane Kick-Off: 12:30 BST

Team News

Tottenham will welcome Harry Kane back to the starting line-up after his return from injury off the bench last week but Victor Wanyama could start on the bench, despite being passed fit to feature.

Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and Harry Winks remain unavailable for the hosts.

Bournemouth welcome Tyrone Mings back to availability after a five-match ban but Eddie Howe could elect to not make any changes to the back-line that lost to Chelsea.

Midfielder Dan Gosling has suffered a set-back to his injury recovery and is unlikely to feature but Junior Stanislas could feature after returning from a groin strain.

Match Preview

Tottenham still have an outside chance of pipping Chelsea to the Premier League title but will have to overhaul a seven point deficit. With the Blues travelling to Manchester United on Sunday, Spurs can cut Chelsea’s lead to just four points tomorrow.

Spurs will be expected to take all three points against a Bournemouth side that sit seven points above the relegation zone, with Eddie Howe’s side on the verge of securing their Premier League status for another season. However, there’s still work to be done.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side secured their sixth consecutive win last weekend against Watford and should make it seven here, which would push the Lilywhites further towards their goal of finishing above North London rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995.

Likely Line-Ups

Spurs
Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Son, Eriksen, Alli; Kane

Bournemouth
Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Fraser, Arter, Wilshere, Pugh; King; Afobe

Key Stats

Tottenham have won six Premier League games in a row and have won their last 11 league matches at White Hart Lane.

Bournemouth have beaten Spurs just once, with that victory coming in an FA Cup tie in 1957.

Spurs have earned 32 points in 2017, five more than any other Premier League club.

Bournemouth haven’t won any of their last six away games in the Premier League (D3, L3).

Prediction
3-0

Davies & Kane In: The Tottenham XI To See Off Bournemouth Tomorrow

Tottenham Hotspur are on-course to secure their place in the Champions League next year and finally finish above North London rivals Arsenal. Victory against Bournemouth this weekend should assure their position and this team can easily see off the Cherries.

GK: Hugo Lloris

Captain at White Hart Lane and a crucial player for the Lilywhites, securing a top-four finish was vital to keeping goalkeeper Hugo Lloris happy at the club and the success of Mauricio Pochettino’s side will ensure the French international stays on.

Spurs have conceded just 22 goals this season, the lowest amount in the Premier League, and Lloris has helped to shape the North London side from top-four hopefuls to title contenders. Big challenges await next year but Lloris will be able to ensure Spurs campaign this term continues on it’s fine path.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday afternoon (12:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Manchester United Seek £40m Signing Of Spurs Midfielder To Kick Start Summer Spree

Manchester United were the biggest spenders in the Premier League last summer and the Red Devils are ready to splash the cash again at the end of the season.

The Sun states Jose Mourinho’s side have set their sights on Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier, as they see as the ideal successor to Michael Carrick in the heart of the Red Devils midfield- with Carrick himself being a former Spurs man.

Carrick, now 35, is likely to leave this summer and, despite Daniel Levy being a shrewd negotiator, United are ready to spend big to bring Dier into their side- in a deal for the England international that could be worth in excess of £40m.

United have always prided themselves with boasting some of the best English talent and seeing a wealth of their stars represent the Three Lions at international level but Spurs now seem to have the advantage in this aspect, as they boast the likes of Dier, Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Dele Alli.

Where would Dier fit in?

Dier would slot into Michael Carrick’s role in central midfield, likely partnering Ander Herrera in a deep role and allowing Paul Pogba to become more effective in attack. With the likes of Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan supporting out wide, United’s side would look set for success.

The player himself may be tempted at a move too as first-team opportunities are not guaranteed at White Hart Lane and he continues to find himself used defensively rather than in midfield, where Mauricio Pochettino has preferred the likes of Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele.

Dier would also command a hefty pay-hike if he was to move to the North West of England and would follow in Carrick’s footsteps by switching North London for Merseyside, treading the path that has been laid out by the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Teddy Sheringham.

Would Spurs consider a sale?

Tottenham do not want to lose their prized assets but their focus will probably remain on keeping the likes of Kane, Alli, Walker and Rose at the club, so they may see Dier as expendable given his position in the squad- especially if new faces are brought in.

That doesn’t mean they’ll let Dier leave on the cheap though but a lucrative offer would certainly be worth considering, especially as it would see Spurs handed some funds to improve their squad in certain areas and push towards Premier League glory.

In fact, selling Dier may end up working out well for Spurs, providing they spend the money they receive wisely, but the fact that it would also significantly strengthen United would also be a concern.

Spurs looking to land cut-price deal for Bundesliga midfielder

Tottenham Hotspur have come a long way under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino and the Lilywhites are ready to bolster their ranks this summer to improve their chances of success.

TalkSport, reporting via German outlet Bild, states that Spurs are rivalling Atletico Madrid for the services of Hoffenheim ace Nadiem Amiri, who could be available for a cut-price fee as he’s entered the final 18 months of his current deal.

Hoffenheim have excelled in the Bundesliga this season, currently sat fourth and set to secure a place in the Champions League next season, but they may struggle to keep Amiri as interest from Europe’s elite clubs continues to rise.

Last year, Hoffenheim rejected a bid of £11m from German rivals RB Leipzeig for the 20-year-old but, given his contract situation, they’ll find it far more difficult to rebuff the interest of clubs this summer- especially if they come from a club like Spurs.

Who exactly is Amiri?

Since making his Bundesliga debut in February 2015, Amiri has established himself as one of the most exciting young attackers within German football and boasts 47 appearances to date; scoring five goals in the process.

Capped for German’s youth sides from U18 level all the way up to U21, where he has six appearances, Amiri is expected to push into the senior squad in the coming years and is further evidence to the spectacular depth of talent the World Cup champions boast.

Interest in his services is high and a transfer could occur this summer due to his contract situation, although it would be a risky move as he may not be guaranteed first-team assurances elsewhere.

Do Spurs need him?

With Pochettino’s side currently boasting the likes of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele and others, Spurs’ need for a midfielder like Amiri isn’t desperate and the youngster would see a significant decrease in first-team football if he moved to White Hart Lane.

However, given his talents, Spurs would be unwise to let the opportunity pass them by and his signature would add to the abundance of young talent that the Lilywhites boast- putting the North London outfit in a strong position for the coming years.

A major pay-rise would be handed to Amiri in the Premier League but a decision is unlikely to be easy for the young German, who has plenty of things to consider.

5 Things Tottenham Must Do To Secure A Top-Four Finish

Tottenham Hotspur are in the driving seat to land a top-four finish in the Premier League this season but there’s still work to be done in the next two months. To emerge successful in their pursuit, they’ll have to do these five things.

Extend their unbeaten run

Tottenham Hotspur are currently unbeaten in the Premier League since losing to top-four rivals Liverpool in early February and it’s vital the Lilywhites continue their fine form after the international break, ensuring that they go through April without handing themselves troubles.

Spurs have a favourable run of fixtures next month against the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace before a crucial North London derby at the end of April. If they approach that game on the back of a two-month long unbeaten stretch, then a top-four finish should be within their grasp.

Arsenal & Spurs go head-to-head for international midfielder

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are ready to take their rivalry to the transfer market in pursuit of this top-class midfielder.

The Daily Mirror states Arsenal have joined their North London rivals in the hunt for Schalke ace Leon Goretzka, who looks increasingly likely to move away from the Bundesliga side this summer as his contract discussions have hit a dead-end.

22-year-old Goretzka, already a full international with Germany, has earned a stellar reputation in Europe for his fine performances, including in the Champions League, and Arsenal consider him to be a bargain option this summer as they brace themselves for the potential losses of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere.

Spurs, meanwhile, have become a haven for young talent and Goretzka’s arrival would see him join the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Keane, with Mauricio Pochettino creating a youthful side capable of launching an assault for Premier League glory.

Will a deal go ahead?

Goretzka’s current deal with Schalke enters it’s final 12 months this summer and the youngster has refused to put pen to paper on a new deal, which is understandable considering the club currently sit ninth in the Bundesliga and are braced for a spell away from European football.

The rise of Hoffenheim and RB Leipzeig this season has given Schalke more rivals in the battle for European spots in the Bundesliga and they already have to deal with the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

There is a real threat that Schalke’s woes this season won’t be a short-term problem and the club are bracing themselves for bids this summer as their top players attract interest from elsewhere- and Goretzka is one of a few who could be on the move.

How much will he cost?

With all the inflation in the transfer market, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur could land themselves a real bargain in Goretzka as it’s stated a deal could be available for as little as £20m– which is a sensationally low price for a player of his calibre.

That fee wouldn’t be an issue for either North London side to match and both clubs could offer a higher sum if a bidding war was to emerge. However, Bundesliga players regularly move to other German sides so the Premier League pair must be prepared for interest to potentially rise elsewhere.

The most crucial factor in a deal could well be first-team opportunities, as Goretzka will be keen to earn a spot in Joachim Lowe’s World Cup squad next summer, where his nation will look to defend the title they won in Brazil three-years ago.

Tottenham ready to offload transfer flop in summer window

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

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

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

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

Where will he go?

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

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

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

What would Spurs get?

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

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

3 Players To Put In Your Premier League Fantasy Football Teams This Week

As the scenario gets tighter both at the top and bottom of the Premier League, the margin for error for all 20 clubs hits an all-time low with each coming week, adding greater intrigue to every upcoming matchday.

This week sees Manchester City hope to bounce back from their disarmament at Goodison Park last week when hosting Tottenham Hotspur, whereas José Mourinho’s men roam to the Bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City.

London duo Arsenal and Chelsea land more ‘favourable’ fixtures at home to Burnley and Hull City, respectively, in addition to Liverpool welcoming Swansea City to Anfield, which has the potential to alter the picture at both ends of the table. Here’s who we’re tipping for success in Fantasy Premier League this week.

  1. Héctor Bellerín
    Club:
    Arsenal
    Position: Defender
    Price: £6.5m

A home game versus Sean Dyche’s Burnley could prove to be a potential banana skin for the Gunners, as they try the utmost to leave the Emirates with at least a point.

Commonly, that could see the Clarets take to the field in a naturally rigid and organised manner, much like they did at Old Trafford and at home to Merseyside pair, Everton and Liverpool, subsequently earning themselves five points from a potential nine.

Burnley’s record away from home, however, isn’t so impressive, earning just one point altogether this season on their travels and scoring a mere three goals in the meantime.

A more conservative approach is sure to invite the likes of Héctor Bellerín further up the field, increasing the potential for defensive goal contributions, meanwhile also heightening the chance for clean sheet bonuses, given the visitors’ poor record on the road.

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

With yet more points dropped between the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal at the top end of the table, Tottenham Hotspur’s clash at home to Chelsea tonight sets itself up to be of the greatest importance for both sides.

For the Blues, a record 15th consecutive win opens up a nine-point-gap between them and 2nd place Liverpool, whereas a triumph for Spurs over their London rivals not only keeps Manchester United off their backs, but also sees them leapfrog 3rd and 4th placed Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as reducing the distance between themselves and top spot to seven points.

As both sides go toe-to-toe in tonight’s heavyweight encounter, Fresh Football has consulted its bubble of imagination to compile what we think an All-star Chelsea and Spurs combined XI would look like, relative to form. Here’s what we’ve conjured up:

Goalkeeper: Hugo LlorisTottenham Hotspur

There is, without a doubt, very little between Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois, who stand as two of the greatest shot-stoppers in the league, if not, the world.

Both come into the game with envious defensive records; Courtois has 11 clean sheets in the league to Lloris’ seven, but the latter has conceded just one more goal than the Belgian.

Last year was a totally different experience for Courtois, however, under-performing alongside his teammates in a season to forget for Chelsea. At the same time, no Premier League side conceded less than Spurs (and Man United), which is why Lloris takes our number one jersey.

Right Back: Kyle WalkerTottenham Hotspur

As impressive as Victor Moses has been in his new-found right wing back role, there’s the argument that the Nigerian formerly considered “deadwood” would struggle defensively without the added back-up of a third centre back in Antonio Conte’s lauded 3-4-3 system.

Further north in London, there’s few who operate better at right back than Kyle Walker. Blistering pace, coupled with well-built physicality and technical ability sees the Englishman boss the entire right flank more often than not, making him vital to the way Spurs play.

Moreover, Walker already has four assists to his name this season from defence, one more than he managed last season, and so concludes one of the easier decisions we’ve had to make in this line-up.

Centre Back: Toby AlderweireldTottenham Hotspur

The Belgian’s transition to English football has been no less than impressive, joining the north London club from Atlético Madrid to steal some of the thunder surrounding his compatriot, Jan Vertonghen, in becoming the main man at the back.

Reliable, refined in possession and a notable aerial threat, Alderweireld combines traits that sees him stand as one of the league best centre halves, therefore taking this spot in our combined XI ahead of the likes of Gary Cahill and John Terry without question.

Centre Back: David LuizChelsea

Many a human welcomed Chelsea’s £30 million signing of David Luiz, a man often synonymous with erratic defending, with smiles and laughter.

In its kindest form, his signing was branded as a complete panic buy in response to Chelsea’s failure to land the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer, but the Brazilian defender and Chelsea fans alike will be sure to be giving some stick back to the numerous critics.

Since the Blues’ tactical reinvention, Luiz has seen the defensive set-up form around himself at the at the heart of the defence, subsequently seeing the 29-year-old go from strength-to-strength in his return to Stamford Bridge.

So much so has been his success with Conte’s tactical shift that he’s now touted as one of the favourites to finish the campaign in the Premier League’s Team of the Season, so it’s only fair that he sits Vertonghen out of this one.

Left Back: César AzpilicuetaChelsea

Much like Kyle Walker, Rose plays a pivotal in Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressing side, doing so well, but meanwhile the Spurs product excels going forwards, César Azpilicueta comes up trumps going in the opposite direction, hence why he’s played across Chelsea’s backline across the years. The Spaniard gets our vote.

Right Midfield: PedroChelsea

Pedro looked to be on somewhat of a downward spiral in the past couple of seasons, falling out of favour at Barcelona before failing to crack life at Chelsea last season.

Things just abruptly clicked, however, after the Blues’ heavy 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal back in September, with Pedro scoring four goals, including one versus Spurs, and assisting six since the debacle at the Emirates.

With Erik Lamela still out injured and Willian only just now beginning to find his feet in the west Londoners’ new look outfit, Pedro claims his spot.

Centre Midfield: N’Golo KantéChelsea

The first name on the team sheet. By now you will have already heard that N’Golo Kanté picked up more points alone than any other team in the Premier League since joining Leicester City in the summer of 2015. The man is just ridiculous.

Centre Midfield: Mousa DembéléTottenham Hotspur

In the same vein as Kanté, Dembélé is equally crucial to a side hoping to get their hands on the coveted Premier League trophy.

Following recovery from injury in October 2015, Spurs didn’t lose once in his presence. Contrarily, once the Belgian was suspended for his ill-tempered altercation with Diego Costa back in May 2016, Spurs picked up just 12 points from their next 11 league games.

He was, undoubtedly, the cerebral driving force among the high praise solely directed at Dele Alli, Harry Kane, among others, and the aforementioned stars proved to be a lot poorer without Dembélé in the side. An underrated entity.

Left Midfield: Eden HazardChelsea

A shining light in Chelsea’s side, Eden Hazard finally looks to be back to his best in a free role given to him by Conte.

Nine goals and two assists in the league sees the Belgian playmaker spearhead his way as one of the favourites to take the Player of the Year gong, so he’s got his place reserved in our squad.

Striker: Diego CostaChelsea

Rivalling his teammate, Hazard, to Player of the Year award has been Diego Costa, so, again, there was little chance of us leaving him out of this combined XI.

The Brazil-born Spain international has been taken to the next level by Conte, at least from a disciplinary perspective, as the 28-year-old leads the goal-scoring charts with 14 league goals so far.

Striker: Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur

For the second season running, after Euro disappointment, Harry Kane started the season rather tentatively, but alas the constant stream of goals appear to be following the Spurs number 10.

The striker’s brace versus Watford in Tottenham’s 4-1 win saw the Englishman hit double figures in the league for the season, his 59th overall after 100 Premier League games, making him hard to overlook.

Player Ratings For Both Teams: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

These are Fresh Football’s player ratings for the game in between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Manchester United

David De Gea – 7

The Spaniard made some good, if uncomplicated saves to keep Man United’s register clean throughout the game.

Antonio Valencia – 6.5

Maintained a solid display from start to finish, entering in interesting disputes with Danny Rose out on United’s right flank.

Phil Jones – 7.5

The former Blackburn Rovers man continues to offer José Mourinho food for thought with yet another impressive performance, this time marking Harry Kane out of the game.

Marcos Rojo – 7

Solid once more, accommodating Jones from a technical aspect at the heart of defence. Rojo has been given lots of praise from the fans, see some reaction here.

Matteo Darmian – 6

The Italian had his hands full with both Kyle Walker, Son Heung-Min and later Moussa Sissoko bombarding his flank, but Darmian didn’t let his side down.

Michael Carrick – 6.5

At the base of United’s midfield, Carrick was on hand keep things compact, evade Spurs’ habitual high press and set purposeful counters.

Ander Herrera – 6

Combative in midfield, priceless in supporting Carrick up against the likes of Vincent Wanyama, Mousa Dembélé and Dele Alli.

Paul Pogba – 7

Among his best performances in a United shirt, the Frenchman took full advantage of the space beyond him in an open second half, threatening Spurs in a number of attacks and leaving his compatriot, Hugo Lloris, stunned when smashing the post from a dangerous free-kick. Better.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 8

Another man of the match performance from the Armenian, the man to break the deadlock with an emphatic finish in the first half. Mkhitaryan served as the main outlet in spearheading counter-attacks.

Anthony Martial – 5

Very passive and unsupportive of his full back partner, Darmian. The weak link in United’s side.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6.5

Far from being the main threat, but the spaces occupied by Ibrahimovic proved to be incredibly beneficial in confusing a high defensive line from Spurs.

Subs

Marcus Rashford – 5

There was nothing of note in the final third from the young Englishman, but his mere presence and fresh legs was enough to dampen Kyle Walker’s appetite to roam forwards.

Eric Bailly – N/A

Marouane Fellaini – N/A

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 6.5

Kept Spurs’ hopes of taking something from the game alive with a couple of good saves from Pogba and Ibrahimovic efforts.

Kyle Walker – 6

Often supportive high up on the right flank, but didn’t quite find the openings that have so often seen him inflict damage in Mauricio Pochettino’s set-up.

Toby Alderweireld – 6

A little rusty and limited further by United’s tactical approach to prevent him from playing the ball out from the back, but the Belgian was generally okay.

Jan Vertonghen – 5

Never quite managed to patch up the gap between him and Danny Rose, exposed fully by Mkhitaryan on his way smashing in the game’s only goal.

Danny Rose – 5.5

Lively as always, but second best up against Mkhitaryan and Valencia.

Victor Wanyama – 5

Missed a very good chance to equalise in the second half with a tame and inaccurate header, whereas the Kenyan, moreover, was an unnecessary quantity in midfield in Spurs’ search for an equaliser.

Mousa Dembélé – 5.5

Never quite got ahold of the game as he usually does, to Spurs’ detriment.

Son Heung-Min – 5.5

Appeared the most likely player in the first half to bring Spurs level, testing De Gea from range on a couple of occasions, but the South Korean was sacrificed for Pochettino’s tactical switch early in the second period.

Dele Alli – 4.5

Failed to link the midfield to a stranded Harry Kane in a toothless performance from the young Englishman. Tottenham fans aren’t happy with his performance, see some reaction here.

Christian Eriksen – 5

Always a threat from a set-piece, that’s almost a given, but Eriksen continued to be somewhat uninspired as one of Spurs’ chief creatives.

Harry Kane – 4.5

Buried in United bodies and culpable in Mkhitaryan’s goal, giving the ball away prior to the hosts’ quick counter.

Subs

Moussa Sissoko – 5

Came on to take full advantage of Martial’s flawed back-tracking, but the Frenchman lacked a little finesse in his thought process to ever hurt the Red Devils.

Harry Winks – N/A

Georges Nkoudou – N/A

Player Ratings For Both Teams: Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham United

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s London derby versus West Ham United at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 5

Nothing of note from the French goalkeeper, who was fairly powerless in stopping Michail Antonio’s opening goal and the penalty converted by Manuel Lanzini later on.

Kyle Walker – 5

Spurs will be left wanting more from the full back in the direct duel with Aaron Cresswell on the right flank, whereas his general play also proved to be a little rough around the edges, today.

Eric Dier – 6

A solid performance from Eric Dier, slotting in at centre back without any considerable concerns.

Jan Vertonghen – 7

Provided a platform to play out from the back, as always, and came up with a few crucial tackles at a time when the hosts were chasing the game.

Danny Rose – 6

Much like Walker, Rose looked unable to function down the flanks as he’s accustomed to doing, but he did manage to get the better of Antonio on a few more occasions in the second half, most importantly in the lead-up to Harry Winks’ equaliser.

Victor Wanyama – 6

The Kenyan undertook fairly simplistic duties throughout the second half, but did so very well, sweeping up possession in the middle of the park to set Spurs back on their way to attacking West Ham.

Mousa Dembélé – 6

He’ll have had more dominant performances, but Mousa Dembélé appeared relatively neat in possession nonetheless, before being replaced by Son Heung-Min

Harry Winks – 8

Intensity, tenacity, creativity and an important goal, all on the 20-year-old’s Premier League debut. A very mature performance.

Christian Eriksen – 5

The Dane is currently a long way away from what we’ve been used to seeing from him in a Spurs shirt, acting as a chief culprit in losing possession in this one.

Harry Kane – 6

Operating around Vincent Janssen in a two-striker formation, Kane never quite got into the game, but his mark on the occasion is there for all to see; Two goals, three points.

Vincent Janssen – 4

Lacking synergy between him and Kane, as well as many more of his teammates. The Dutchman is looking increasingly difficult to fit into the first XI, especially with Son thriving.

Subs:

Son Heung-Min – 6.5

A big introduction into the game, having a helping hand in both of Spurs’ late goals that gives the home side all three points and maintains invincibility in the Premier League.

Dele Alli – 5

Didn’t quite have the desired effect coming on in the second half, as difficult as it may be in a derby.

West Ham United

Darren Randolph – 7

Made a few key saves, particularly one from an Eric Dier header in point-blank range, but the Irishman was arguably at fault for the turnaround when his attempted save from Son’s cross diverted the ball away from Angelo Ogbonna and into Kane’s path.

Michail Antonio – 6

A great first half display up and down the right flank, complete with yet another headed goal, but the Englishman may well have blown his engine in the second period, as Rose and Son exposed his defensive flaws on a number of occasions.

Cheikhou Kouyaté – 7

A quality performance from Kouyaté, somewhat of a throwback to his Anderlecht days when instructed to play as the third central defender. The towering figure did very well, particularly in the first half when driving the ball out from defence to commence purposeful counter-attacks.

Winston Reid – 6

A solid performance from the captain was later marred by the Spurs turnaround and a second yellow card in injury time.

Angelo Ogbonna – 6

Another who, like Reid, performed to a good standard in the heart of defence.

Aaron Cresswell – 6

In the left wing-back role, Cresswell specialised in minimising Kyle Walker’s effectiveness

André Ayew – 4

West Ham will have been hoping for spurts of inspiration from Ayew, but the opportunities for the Ghanaian never came.

Pedro Obiang – 6.5

Stood his ground in quite an offensive midfield from the Hammers, on top of being the go-to-guy to settling down play in certain phases of the first half.

Manuel Lanzini – 7

Among the best in a West Ham shirt, it was Lanzini who spearheaded the counters for the visitors and caused Tottenham’s defence the greatest cause for concern.

Dimitri Payet – 4

Totally uninspired, perhaps fatigued, and how the Hammers could have done with an on-song Payet for certain openings late in the second half.

Diafra Sakho – 4

Lots of running and little else from the striker who was soon replaced by Simone Zaza in the second half.

Subs:

Simone Zaza – 6

Provided greater involvement from as a focal point, perhaps courtesy of the game opening up, but lacked any real conviction from shooting areas. A positive cameo, however.

Edimilson Fernandes – 5

The young Swiss was on hand to rejuvenate the West Ham midfield as best as he could and combat the eventual Dele Alli entrance.

Håvard Nordtveit – N/A

Few were the minutes the former Arsenal man had on the field, but it was he who turned out to be among the most decisive characters of the tale, sweeping Son’s foot and gifting Spurs the late penalty that won the clash.

Factfile: A closer look at Tottenham’s opponents, Bayer Leverkusen

Tottenham Hotspur made up for their Wembley debacle versus AS Monaco with an eventual, but steady 1-0 victory against CSKA Moscow away from home in the UEFA Champions League last month. Now rounding off the first round of their group stage campaign, the draw sees Mauricio Pochettino’s side hit the road once more, as Bayer Leverkusen awaits the north Londoners’ arrival in Germany.

A win tonight for Spurs could see them top Group E ahead of the reverse fixture at Wembley, but their opponents are unbeaten in the Champions League thus far, meanwhile they also search for their first victory following two draws to CSKA and Monaco respectively.

Here’s Fresh Football’s mini lowdown on the Bundesliga club.

The Journey

Much like Spurs, a 3rd placed finish in the top flight of German football saw Leverkusen gain automatic qualification for this year’s edition of the Champions’ League.

Despite big showings against competitive rivals such as Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach, Leverkusen failed to cover the huge gulf between them and the top two, finishing 28 points behind champions Bayern Munich and 18 away from 2nd placed Borussia Dortmund.

The Form

Leverkusen have strived to strengthen their squad with the arrivals of Kevin Volland, Aleksandar Dragovic and Julian Baumgartlinger, adding to the return of the injury-hit Charles Aranguiz and the emergence of Joel Pohjanpolo in the first team.

But strength in numbers has done little thus far to avert Roger Schmidt’s side’s rocky start to the season who, beyond a 2-1 win against Dortmund at the start of this month, has gone on to drop points against Gladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt and, most recently, Werder Bremen to leave the Group E side sitting in 10th place in the Bundesliga.

One to Watch

On paper, it’s difficult not to be struck by names such as Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Julian Brandt, the burden of pushing this side over the line may well fall on the shoulders of a familiar face to us all on the night.

Of the 16 goals scored so far by the German club in the new campaign, seven have come from ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, with the Mexican also starring last season when netting 26 goals from 43 games in all competitions.

Fantasy Football: 3 Premier League Players You Need In Your Team This Week

The Premier League comes early this week and, as always, Fresh Football will be here to try and second guess the professionals in aid of your Fantasy Teams. Here are our picks for this weekend:

1 – Kyle Walker

Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Position: Defender
Price: £5.7m

Sunderland come to town on Sunday, which might feel like quite a relief for Tottenham Hotspur after their midweek defeat to AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League. As slow starters, facing the Black Cats offers Spurs the chance to bounce back into a phase of positivity and, in our case, point us towards the most glaringly likely clean sheet of the week.

No team has conceded fewer goals than Spurs’ two so far, whereas Sunderland have found the back of the net just three times this season, a theme for those in the bottom half of the table. Toby Alderweireld might be a good player to back, but we think Kyle Walker’s enthusiasm on the right flank may offer you even more points via potential assists.

Factfile: Reviewing Tottenham Champions League Opponents, AS Monaco

It’s been a long time coming, but alas, Tottenham Hotspur have their UEFA Champions League spot back after a five-season hiatus. Competing against Europe’s elite isn’t the only thing that the north Londoners can look forward to, as they kick off their campaign at Wembley Stadium for the first time versus AS Monaco.

The Ligue 1 outfit are no strangers to Spurs, of course, with the away side losing 4-1 in their last visit to White Hart Lane. Monaco are, however, a year wiser and have since bolstered their squad with the likes of Torino’s Kamil Glik, French full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibé and their loan returnee Radamel Falcao.

Here’s how Tottenham’s opposition presents themselves ahead of their Group E clash:

The Journey

The club from the Principality will look back on a pair of 4-0 victories versus Angers SCO and Toulouse with some pride, as well as inflicting one of only two defeats amassed by Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-0 win, helping the Group E side finish third in the league table behind Olympique Lyonnais.

For Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, that meant trying to battle his way into the Champions League group stages via the qualifying rounds with a team that conceded more goals (50) than any other in Ligue 1’s top six, whereas the 57 goals scored was also the lowest count among those in the top four.

Serving as obstacles in Monaco’s route to the Champions League group stages were Turkish club Fenerbahçe and Villarreal, beaten on aggregate, respectively, by 4-3 and 3-1.

Form

The Monégasques are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Ligue 1 table, picking up 10 points from a possible 12 so far this season. Among the successes of the new season is their second consecutive triumph over PSG, winning 3-1 this time around, and, more recently, the 4-1 demolition job against Lille as early as last Friday.

On the other hand, prior to Monaco’s last two games, the Ligue 1 club started their league campaign with a 2-2 draw at home to EA Guingamp and a timid 1-0 victory over Nantes, whereas they’ve also scored just four goals from open play this season.

One to Watch – Bernardo Silva

Despite not being blessed with big names, there are plenty of rough diamonds in Monaco’s set-up, in particular Thomas Lemar, Tiemoué Bakayoko and 17-year-old Kylian Mbappe. The pick of the bunch, however, could well be Bernardo Silva.

Originally placed on the right flank, the left-footed playmaker is often given licence to roam inwards, which earned him seven goals from 32 league appearances last season. The 22-year-old Portuguese starlet is already underway on goal scoring terms this season with strikes versus Villarreal and a late equaliser against Guingamp back in August.

3 Must Have Players in Fantasy Football Premier League This Week

The wait was excruciating, so soon after welcoming the Premier League back, but alas the international break is over to give us a handful of weeks to focus solely on club football again. And what a way to return, as the Premier League gifts us a Manchester derby, Liverpool’s home clash versus champions Leicester City, among other potentially tight match-ups to sink our teeth into.

Such is the equilibrium in some of the games to take place in Gameweek Three that it’s fairly difficult to predict who’ll be your Fantasy Premier League kingpin this weekend, but Fresh Football might be able to push you in the right direction with these three:

1 – Ryan Shawcross
Club:
Stoke City
Position: Defender
Value: £5m

A trip to the Bet365 Stadium sees Tottenham Hotspur return to the place they last looked like a fully-functioning side, as they walked over Stoke City with a 4-0 victory. Since then, the Premier League title hopefuls slumped to a third placed finish behind rivals Arsenal, whereas they’ve tasted victory just once in the new season.

Admittedly, the likes of Everton and Liverpool are never the easiest of teams to face, but Spurs’ attack has looked worryingly laboured in each of their three league games. New boy Vincent Janssen appears to be going through the motions of settling in, whereas Christian Eriksen’s form, alongside that of Dele Alli’s, seems to have deserted him.

Under more concerning circumstances, the statistic haunting Spurs in relation to Mousa Dembélé’s absence, in particular the one that sees chief goal scorer Harry Kane find the back of the net just once without the Belgian midfielder in the starting XI, could again extend itself with a traditionally tricky away fixture for most.

In the receiving end of Tottenham’s attacking woes are Stoke, themselves needing a result to kick-start their season after just a point gained from a possible nine so far this season. The Potters will look to skipper Ryan Shawcross to lead the collective in thwarting a thus far toothless Spurs attack, meanwhile potentially causing an upset at the other end via his threat from set-pieces.

Transfer Window Rankings (12th-9th): Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea & West Ham Feature

As two of the most free-spending managers in football history, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, paved way for the arrival of more high-profile managerial switch-a-rounds, it’s perhaps no surprise to see Premier League clubs shatter the records of expenditure once more with a £1.165 billion bill, surpassing the £870 million mark set just last season.

In its trail, the relentless cash burning has left a bunch of euphoric agents, players and, for the most part, many satisfied fans with the acquisitions made by their favourite clubs. Some teams went about their business better than others, however.

In the past couple of the days, we’ve brought to you those ranked by Fresh Football as 20th – 17th and 16th – 13th, so here are the next four teams in our power rankings.

12th – Liverpool

Key Incomings: Sadio Mané (£34m), Georginio Wijnaldum (£23.4m), Loris Karius (£5.25m), Joel Matip (Free), Ragner Klavan (£4.25m), Alex Manninger (Free)

Key Outgoings: Christian Benteke (£26.5m), Joe Allen (£13m), Jordon Ibe (£15.3m), Martin Škrtel (£5m), Mario Balotelli (Free), Lazar Marković (Loan), Brad Smith (£3m), Luis Alberto (£4.25m), Kolo Toure (Free), Andre Wisdom (Loan), Ádám Bogdán (Loan), Jordan Rossiter (Free), Jerome Sinclair (Free), José Enrique (Released).

Sadio Mané was signed from Southampton for an elevated fee in expectation that he could be a difference maker in Liverpool’s new fluid attack, with the Senegal international doing just that in his debut versus Arsenal last month.

The signing of Georginio Wijnaldum might also be a little too expensive, but if Jürgen Klopp can mould him into a consistent system, he too will be very useful for the Reds. Weaknesses elsewhere have been addressed with the arrivals of Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius and FC Schalke centre back Joel Matip, both for nominal fees.

Liverpool also managed to shift much of their deadwood and excess, but the failure to land an alternative to Alberto Moreno at left back could well inflict some damage throughout the season.

11th – Tottenham Hotspur

Key Incomings: Vincent Janssen (£18.8m), Moussa Sissoko (£29.75m), Victor Wanyama (£12.25m), Pau López (Loan), Georges-Kévin N’Koudou (£9.3m).

Key Outgoings: Nacer Chadli (£13m), Ryan Mason (£13m), Nabil Bentaleb (Loan), Federico Fazio (Loan), Clinton N’Jié (Loan), DeAndre Yedlin (£5m), Alex Pritchard (£8 million).

Despite spending £70 million in this transfer window, it’s difficult to see just how much this Tottenham squad has improved from last season. Dutch striker Vincent Janssen is one Spurs fans will hope helps share the burden of scoring goals with Harry Kane after a 27-goal season in the Netherlands, but whether he will or not is another matter. The Premier League isn’t short of expensive Eredivisie flops and Janssen has only had one season of top flight football prior to his move to White Hart Lane.

Victor Wanyama adds depth to Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield for a relatively small price in comparison to the norm transfer fee between Premier League clubs these days, whereas there’s also a healthy-looking profit made in replacing West Brom’s latest recruit, Nacer Chadli, with Georges-Kévin N’Koudou from Olympique Marseille.

Shelling out close to £30 million on Moussa Sissoko, however, does look like a questionable signing when looking at the options Pochettino already has at his disposal, but in the meantime, some nice fees were recuperated with the sales of Ryan Mason, Alex Pritchard and more.

10th – Chelsea

Key Incomings: N’Golo Kanté (£30m), Michy Batshuayi (£33m), David Luiz (£32m), Marcos Alonso (£19.5m), Eduardo (£4.25m).

Key Outgoings: Mohamed Salah (£12.75m), Juan Cuadrado (Loan), Loïc Rémy (Loan), Baba Rahman (Loan), Bertrand Traore (Loan), Patrick Bamford (Loan), Kenedy (Loan), Nathan Aké (Loan), Charly Musonda (Loan), Jeremie Boga (Loan), Lewis Baker (Loan), Christian Atsu (Loan), Tammy Abraham (Loan).

N’Golo Kanté’s big-money move from Premier League champions Leicester City is already proving to be fruitful for the Blues, adding some much-needed balance to their midfield, whereas Michy Batshuayi’s impact in attack hasn’t been far behind.

On the other hand, Antonio Conte’s side did struggle to capture a left back and centre back as effectively as they would have liked. Rumours of a move for Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli came to nothing, with it looking increasingly likely that the club were forced to settle for the likes of Marcos Alonso and Chelsea old boy David Luiz on deadline day, all for packed out price tags.

9th – West Ham United

Key Incomings: Sofiane Feghouli (Free), André Ayew (£20m), Simone Zaza (Loan), Jonathan Calleri (Loan), Gökhan Töre (Loan), Håvard Nordtveit (Free), Arthur Masuaku (£6m), Álvaro Arbeloa (Free), Edimilson Fernandes (£5.4m), Ashley Fletcher (Free).

Key Outgoings: James Tomkins (£10m), Enner Valencia (Loan), Reece Burke (Loan).

After a solid debut season for Slaven Bilić in the West Ham United hot seat, the east London club have given themselves all the conditions to improve upon their 7th placed finishing position with the transfers made ahead of the new campaign.

Valencia’s Sofiane Feghouli joins as a real coup for the side West Ham promise to become, arriving satisfyingly on a free transfer. Håvard Nordtveit and Álvaro Arbeloa also join the Hammers for free, who, alongside the loan signing of Gökhan Töre and £6 million move for Olympiakos’ Arthur Masuaku, back up Bilić’s squad nicely.

The injured André Ayew stands as the most expensive acquisition for West Ham, with his price tag arguably over-exaggerated, but he’s another who can contribute extensively after a good showing at Swansea City in 2015/16.

The options up top were the big worry throughout the transfer window, and meanwhile Jonathan Calleri’s had a hard time in his first set of games in front of goal, his potential has all the time to shine through this season. In the event that things don’t work out for the Argentine often associated with clubs like Barcelona, the Hammers also have Italy international Simone Zaza to turn to, joining on loan from Juventus.

Fresh Football Team of the Week: Ft. 3 Arsenal, 2 Chelsea, 1 Man Utd & 1 Liverpool Player

This is the Fresh Football team of the week for Gameweek 3. 

Michel Vorm – Tottenham

Despite Danny Rose’ second half equaliser, Mauricio Pochettino can have Hugo Lloris’ deputy, Michel Vorm, to thank for his side sharing the spoils with Liverpool at White Hart Lane. The Dutch goalkeeper made a crucial save early on to deny Philipp Coutinho from close range, whereas he was also on hand to snuff out the dangers posed by Sadio Mané rushing towards his goal on two separate occasions.

Héctor Bellerín – Arsenal

It was almost like a return home for Héctor Bellerín, who spent time out on loan to Watford in the season prior to his big Arsenal breakthrough. In that vein, Bellerín made himself feel at ease down the right flank, additionally leading a couple of dangerous counter-attacks in the second half that could have seen the hosts lose sight of the Gunners in a hotly-contested affair between the two London neighbours.

Joel Matip – Liverpool

As far as debuts go, there can’t be many complaints about keeping a 25-goal Harry Kane quiet, in particular with Vincent Janssen alongside the Englishman to deflect attention. Three interceptions and 11 clearances rounded off a promising start from Joël Matip in a Liverpool shirt.

Papy Djilobodji – Sunderland

Saturday’s performance versus Southampton shows there may have been some science behind Chelsea picking Papy Djilobodji up from Nantes last summer, who, alongside the coveted Lamine Koné, would have led Sunderland to their first victory of the season had it not been for an unfortunate blunder by Jordan Pickford between the sticks.

Daley Blind – Manchester United

Few would have expected José Mourinho to conform to Louis van Gaal’s habits, in particular that of placing the aesthetically inadequate figure of Daley Blind at centre back. The performances have been very sound, however, much like last season, and last Saturday’s display versus Hull City makes it increasingly tricky for the new Man United boss to justify replacing him with someone like Chris Smalling in the first XI.

Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City

The Danny Drinkwater of old? After the heartbreak of being left out of England’s Euro 2016 squad in France, the ex-Manchester United man was back to doing what he knows best – assisting Jamie Vardy with a pass over the top. A pretty decent one at that, too!

N’Golo Kante – Chelsea

The France international is proving to be an instant hit at Stamford Bridge, just as he was in his time with the current Premier League champions. On top of the two tackles and interceptions made, N’Golo Kanté’s 93.6% pass accuracy culminated in another dominant, yet fascinatingly simplistic performance by the ex-Leicester City man.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

In a hope of things to come by Arsenal fans, Granit Xhaka’s range of passing was on full show versus Watford at Vicarage Road, as he racked up the most passes (71) made throughout the encounter with a 85.9% success rate.

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

The former Liverpool man’s rich form continues with a brace against West Ham United, with his second solo effort in the dying moments of the game being the particular highlight.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

On the topic of wingers being back to their best, Eden Hazard leads the way with another idyllic performance reminiscent of his pre-2015/16 season. His goal, coming as early as the 9th minute in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Burnley, proved to be the pick of the bunch.

Alexis Sánchez – Arsenal

Quite a bit has been made of the prospect of Alexis Sánchez leading the line for Arsenal, with his latest exhibition opening up the debate once more. The Chilean excelled with Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka all feeding into his movements, as he earned the Gunners a penalty in the 8th minute, scored their second five minutes shy of the interval and went on to assist the third in a 3-1 victory.

Player Ratings: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s home clash versus Liverpool in the Premier League:

Tottenham Hotspur:

Michel Vorm – 7

Deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm came up with a coupled of crucial saves in the first half to keep Liverpool within touching distance.

Kyle Walker – N/A

Forced off with an injury in the 26th minute.

Toby Alderwiereld – 6

The Belgian struggled to thwart Liverpool’s attacking cavalry on occasions, only for the Reds to not take full advantage of their chances. Alderweireld did, however, prove to be a threat from set pieces.

Jan Vertonghen – 5.5

Perhaps courtesy of his injury sustained during Euro 2016, Vertonghen looked fairly rusty, just as he did versus Everton, as Sadio Mané and co. tormented him all afternoon with runs in behind.

Danny Rose – 6.5

Not the most impressive defensively, but Rose was typically enthusiastic going forward and pulled Spurs back with a goal in the 72nd minute.

Eric Dier – 6

The ex-Sporting man struggled under Liverpool’s intense pressure in the first half, but improved steadily as he covered for the injured Kyle Walker at right back.

Vincent Wanyama – 6.5

Spurs’ summer signing came out on top in his fair share of midfield battles, surprising a few with his technical attributes.

Dele Alli – 6

He’s far from the Dele Alli from last season thus far, but there were some encouraging signs in the second half with the positions taken up by the Englishman, who was dropped back into the double pivot role for much of the game.

Erik Lamela – 4.5

An ineffectual performance from Lamela, whose biggest contribution to the game was giving away a penalty late into the first half.

Christian Eriksen – 5.5

Fairly uninspiring stuff from Eriksen, but he did offer a handful of well-placed set-pieces.

Harry Kane – 5

The wait for Harry Kane’s 50th Premier League goal continues, as does his below-par form.

Subs:

Vincent Janssen – 4.5

Mobbed completely by Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip from the moment he stepped onto the pitch.

Anthony Onomah – N/A

Harry Winks – N/A

Liverpool:

Simon Mignolet – 6.5

Mignolet provided some decent saves, meanwhile also demonstrating some uncharacteristically good footwork throughout.

Nathaniel Clyne – 6

Clyne brought additional intensity to the game from the flanks, but his end product wasn’t such a welcome feature to Liverpool’s game.

Joel Matip – 7.5

A very good Premier League debut from the Cameroon international, marking the likes of Vincent Janssen and Harry Kane out of the game.

Dejan Lovren – 6.5

Some solid stuff from Lovren throughout the encounter, who worked in unison next to Matip.

James Milner – 6.5

Composed throughout all the hustle and bustle, as he also tucked away Liverpool’s only goal in the game via the penalty spot.

Jordan Henderson – 7

The Liverpool captain upped his game hugely since the visit to Turf Moor, evading pressure well and leading his attacking midfielders simultaneously with the pressure applied.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6

Despite being somewhat eclipsed by most in Liverpool’s attack, but the Dutchman’s bursts from midfield, on top of the ability to press accordingly, concluded a decent performance.

Adam Lallana – 7

Everywhere the ball was, from the first to last minute. Laudable energy and quality from Lallana when on the ball.

Philippe Coutinho – 6

Not the Brazilian’s best of performances. Coutinho could, and probably should, have put Liverpool ahead early in the first half, whereas nothing quite came off for the playmaker in other associative moves.

Sadio Mané – 7.5

Perhaps a little fortunate not to see a red card, but other than that, Mané looked lethal with his runs in behind Spurs’ high line.

Roberto Firmino – 6.5

Drifted in and out of the game, but Firmino was another to press Spurs into making mistakes and aid Liverpool’s chance creation.

Subs:

Divock Origi – N/A

Kevin Stewart – N/A

Player Ratings: Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Here are Fresh Football’s ratings for Everton’s game versus Tottenham Hotspur for the Premier League:

Everton

Maarten Stekelenburg – 7

The Dutchman looked confident aerially and pulled off a big save to stop Janssen scoring on his debut in the 80th minute, whereas he had little hope of stopping Erik Lamela levelling the game.

Mason Holgate – 6.5

A really assured performance from young Holgate, keeping his corner of defence locked up in the first half. His inexperience showed, however, when he granted Lamela that extra yard to head in the equaliser.

Phil Jagielka – 7

The Everton skipper provided numerous blocks in dangerous areas, coupling his defensive actions with keeping Harry Kane detached from the game.

Ramiro Funes Mori – 7

A solid performance from the Argentine defender, who also offered some nice involvements in Everton’s attacking phases.

Leighton Baines – 6.5

Maintaining a fairly reserved approach throughout, Baines’ crosses rarely failed to threaten whenever he had the chance to whip one in.

Gareth Barry – 7

The veteran was disciplined and led by example at the heart of Everton’s midfield.

Idrissa Gueye – 7

The ex-Aston Villa man constantly hovered around those in possession, contributing with combative and energetic play.

James McCarthy – 6.5

Tireless work from the Republic of Ireland international contributed to a decent performance.

Ross Barkley – 7

Often the ball carrier in transitions, Ross Barkley also scored the Toffees’ first goal with an inviting free kick.

Kevin Mirallas – 7

The Belgian proved to be difficult to pick up, as he formed part of a fluid front three for Everton.

Gerard Deulofeu – 7

A good performance that saw Deulofeu bother Spurs’ defence by finding pockets of space to run into, but the ex-Barcelona winger will rue his missed one-on-one at the end of the first half.

Subs

Arouna Koné – N/A

Aaron Lennon – N/A

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 5

The Spurs captain gambled on a deflection from Ross Barkley’s free kick and paid the price. He then had to be substituted in the first half for Michel Vorm due to an injury.

Kyle Walker – 7.5

One of Spurs’ best bets to unlock Everton’s defence, the England right back was as enthusiastic as a ever and assisted Lamela for the equaliser.

Jan Vertonghen – 5.5

You could tell the Belgian had just returned from injury, looking off the pace and often tortured by the likes of Mirallas and Deulofeu running in behind him.

Toby Alderweireld – 6.5

Took full responsibility in bringing the ball out from defence, whereas he struggled slightly with Everton’s fluidity up top.

Danny Rose – 5

He was all over the left flank, but Rose’s passing and decision making looked particularly sketchy. The full back almost gifted Everton a second goal at the end of the first half when his pass back to goal was intercepted by Deulofeu.

Victor Wanyama – 5

Ronald Koeman’s former midfield enforcer often occupied the same position as Dier, making his presence fairly pointless for the most part.

Eric Dier – 5.5

Without his habitual midfield partner, Mousa Dembele, the Englishman left the creative duties to Alderweireld behind. Dier was then replaced by Vincent Janssen in the 55th minute.

Christian Eriksen – 6

Tried to make things happen, but the ex-Ajax man will have had better days.

Dele Alli – 4.5

The 20-year-old was drowning in Everton’s midfield bodies all game.

Erik Lamela – 7

The wide playmaker offered creativity on the right, roaming centrally, on the left and, most importantly, scored the equaliser. Lamela also saw a deflected effort hit the top of the bar with little more than ten minutes of the game to go.

Harry Kane – 4.5

Much like Dele Alli, Kane was taken out of the game completely by Everton’s defence.

Subs:

Michel Vorm – 6.5

Substituted the injured Lloris in the first half and denied Everton’s second goal of the game when saving Deulofeu’s one-on-one opportunity.

Vincent Janssen – 6

His mere presence inside the box was a contributing factor in Lamela’s goal, meanwhile the second half substitute also saw his compatriot, Stekelenburg, deny him a debut goal with a snap-shot deep inside the box.

4-3-3, Continuity Is Key: How Tottenham Are Likely To Line-Up This Season

No sane Tottenham Hotspur fan would have twisted their nose at the prospect of direct qualification for the Champions League at the start of last season, let alone a small dash for the title in the months of April and May. What they didn’t subscribe to, however, was the emotional capitulation that ensued versus West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, subsequently rounded off with a 5-1 hammering at the hands of relegated Newcastle United on the final day of the season that saw the north Londoners finish behind rivals Arsenal. Again.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is now tasked with lifting the spirits of his team, which includes those who suffered further humiliation at Euro 2016 with England, meanwhile also attempting to transform his also-rans into something even more memorable than the work exemplified throughout most of last season. Here’s how the starting XI could pan out: Formation: 4-3-3.


Back Five: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose

Hugo Lloris’ spot as number one is pretty much uncontested, the antithesis of what is found on the flanks. With Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to choose from, it’s the latter two who conveyed Pochettino’s message best of pressing high up the pitch and, when in possession, offering a solution to attack via overlaps.

No full back to have played consistently throughout last season won more duels for the ball than Rose (6.21 per game), whereas Danny Simpson was the only right back to top Walker’s number of 92 interceptions throughout the season, as the England international also ranked in the top 10 for tackles won with 72.

In the Belgian duo of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Spurs had the foundations of the tightest defence all season, sharing that particular title with Manchester United after conceding 35 goals after 38 league games. Vertonghen could miss out on Spurs’ first game of the season away to Everton after he tore his ankle ligaments during Euro 2016, but in Kevin Wimmer, who missed out on much of pre-season as well, Pochettino should be left at ease.

The left-sided centre back only featured in one Premier League defeat all season, losing 1-0 to West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, as he deputised for a then injured Vertonghen. That’s seven victories in ten league appearances. With Spurs again involved on the continental stage, Davies, Wimmer and Trippier will all be key in allowing Pochettino to rotate his hard-working squad in confidence.

Tottenham Fans Excited Amid Reports Of New Signing

Tottenham Hotspur look to have won the race for Ukrainian star Yevhen Konoplyanka, with reports from L’Equipe suggesting the Lilywhites have agreed a contract ahead of a free transfer.

A former target for Liverpool, Konoplyanka was part of the Dnipro side that reached the Europa League final last season, losing to Sevilla, and he is stated to be seeking a move to a club that can offer European football.

Whilst the saga is extremely complicated, with other reports stating he is set to move to Spain and sign for either Atletico Madrid or Sevilla, Spurs fans have been celebrating the possibility of the signing.

Mauricio Pochettino is targeting a major squad overhaul this summer, with numerous players set to be pushed out the exit door, and Konoplyanka is seen as the ideal addition.

Whether Spurs can complete a deal this week remains to be seen, as the variation of reports are leading to a lot of uncertainty.

Tottenham Fans Happy With Midfielder’s Imminent Watford Move

Tottenham Hotspur fans are happy with reports of Etienne Capoue’s reported move to Watford, as they eye spending the funds on some big targets.

Reports suggest that the Premier League new-boys are on the verge of a £9m move for the French international, as The Hornets look to strengthen their side to avoid an imminent return to the second-tier of English football.

Capoue is due to leave Tottenham this summer as part of Mauricio Pochettino’s planned squad overhaul, which is also expected to see Paulinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado expelled from White Hart Lane.

Pochettino is busy making a competitive side for next season and Spurs fans are happy with the potential sale of Capoue, believing £9m could go a long-way for them to capture some high-profile targets.

Is this a good deal for all parties?

Lost All Respect! Spurs Fans Furious With Youngster’s Comments

Nabil Bentaleb has recently spoken of his frustration towards his contract situation at Tottenham, and to say the very least, it hasn’t impressed Spurs fans at all.

The Algeria international has become a key part of the Spurs midfield alongside fellow teammate Ryan Mason in the middle of the park, and many fans are keen for Spurs to get a new contract sorted for the Algerian.

The 20-year-old has said that he has become frustrated by the situation, and he has said that negotiations have been dragging on for nine months now.

Despite saying that he plays every game like it is his last for the club, he has still angered many Spurs fans about speaking out about what has been happening regarding a new contract.

Bentaleb has also established himself as a fans favourite, but some fans on Twitter have expressed their disapproval of the midfielder speaking about his current contract situation.

Fans Beg Club Not To Sign ‘Overrated’ £32million Striker

Tim Sherwood revealed on Saturday that Cristian Benteke could be sold this summer, because of a £32.5million release clause in his contract.

That news has seen several top Premier League clubs linked with a move for the Belgian striker. These include Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Benteke exploded onto the Premier League scene over two years ago now, but suffered a serious injury which halted his progression. Since Sherwood has taken the helm at Villa park though, Benteke has rediscovered his old explosive form.

Until he proves himself as a more consistent goalscorer, Benteke’s valuation of £32.5million seems a little steep, and that opinion is shared by most fans on Twitter.

Liverpool fans seem particularly scared of another expensive flop joining the club, comparing a potential deal to that of the £35million Andy Carroll purchase.

Here’s what the fans are saying about a potential deal involving Benteke this summer:

 

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