[Translation] Which La Liga club fits each Premier League team?
Good morning lads and lassies of soccer. To celebrate that the Bundesliga finally comes back I bring you the transcripton/translation of a pretty interesting video I had watched some time ago, related (and literally titled) "Which La Liga team fits each team of the Premier League?" Now, I know the issue about fans that have simpathy for "second" teams is polarizing and as we all know after last year, it can become something completely vomitive, but this video is indeed trying to give fans of Spanish clubs reasons to like a particular English club, and with that said, tbh I believe at the end of the day most fans, plastic or not, do feel at least some simpathy for some clubs above others excluding their own. From the small town fan who supports their local club but also the "big" team that challenges for the league in the top division, to the Ultra that hates every club of their country that isn't his but do likes a foreign club of which he befriended their respective Ultras in the past, I'm pretty sure that most football fans do feel at least a bit of simpathy for some particular club of a foreign league. But well, that discussion shouldn't be the topic of this. The fact is that these Spaniards of the video do like particular English clubs and to guide other similar Spaniards analyzed the situation and created this "guidebook" about which Premier League club "currently" fits each La Liga club, and that is what will be shown here. With a last emphasis in the "currently", there's nothing else to say as preview. Just remember that these aren't my opinions and I'm only sharing what they decided.
Both have pretty big stadiums with almost the same capacity (52k and 53k respectively) that also coincidentally are in the center of their respectives cities, something that is laudable in these modern times where stadiums are being designed to be in the outskirts, and not few clubs are forced to traslate them from their original places because of the economical advantages.
And another thing that united them is that they are one of the few historical rich clubs that doesn't have a derby rival in their city. So, if you're born in Bilbao you better fucking support Athletic and there is no room for debate about it, and something similar happens in Newcastle. And in the same way, the derby that the clubs have actually have (Sunderland and Real Sociedad) goes beyond football and is a derby between the whole cities.
They faced each other in the 94/95 UEFA Cup Round of 16 and what highlights it was that it was an epic clash that ended in a global 3-3 draw where Athletic won thanks to away goals, and that in the second leg had a pitch invasion from Basque fans that after celebrating with their team, went to laud the away stand, as the English visitors had been great and even cheered for Athletic after the end of the match, thing that a lot of old fans from both clubs would remember forever.
That match would be so iconic for some that Rob Lee, one of the best Newcastle players of the last decades, would require his farewell match for the Geordie team to be... against Athletic. And such wish was granted.
Crystal Palace & Getafe
Both are clubs from the south of the metropolitan areas of the capital of their countries. Selhurst for London and Getafe for Madrid respectively.
Both are managed by tacticians with a similar ethos: Bordalás and Hodgson. The parallels of both teams are easily spotted when you watch both teams: strong rigid defenders, fast strikers, sitting back and counterattacks, the whole 4-4-fucking-2 package, et al.
Vicente Guaita played for both teams, and in fact was directly tranferred from Madrid to London.
Both have blue as their main colour,
Liverpool & Real Madrid
Both are the Europeanroyalty of their respective leagues. Real Madrid is just the most successful in history and nobody comes close, while Liverpool has the double of Champions Leagues than the second most succesful English team and only Milan between them and Real.
Both stand out for their mentality and comebacks. Istanbul and Lisbon, for example, are among the most dramatic Champions League finals in the whole history. One team comeback from a 3-0 in the first half, the other tied and later won a match that they were losing until the 90'+3.
Xabi Alonso, Steve McManaman, Alvaro Arbeloa, Dudek, Antonio Núñez, Rafa Benitez, Michael Owen, Fernando Morientes and the greatest of all, Nuri Sahin, served in both clubs.
Both stand out for being the best teams of the 20th century in their countries by far, which nevertheless suffered many years of drought after the golden years until they eventually achieved an epic again, being Mijatovic's goal and the penalty saved by Dudek, the final actions that crowned them for the first time in decades as European champions for the seventh and fifth time, respectively.
Norwich & Valladolid
Both won the league cup of their countries in the same years (84/85).
Both highlight for the atypical colour of their kits (violet and yellow/green).
Both are the biggest teams of relatively isolated counties.
The two smallest stadiums of each league. Dean Court has a capacity of barely above 11,000 in a league where the average is above 40k, while the Municipal de Ipurua has only... 8164 seats.
Likewise, both are clubs from pretty small cities that almost nobody would know if it wasn't for their football teams. Lets just say that Eibar isn't exactly in the same tier of the other Basque cities like Bilbao, San Sebastian or Pamplona, while Bournemouth only has 190k inhabitants and was founded as recently as the 19th century, something strange for English standards.
And finally and ringing the same bells, they are two small teams that were promoted to the top tier for the first time ever in recent years (2014-15) to the first division, and that also coincidentally, have never descended from that time despite their (lack) of historical status.
Burnley & Alaves
Both are extremely physical and defensive teams that also highlight for their lack of possesion (the lowest and second lowest of their leagues respectively).
Turf Moor and the Estadio de Mendizorroza have almost exactly the same capacity (20k).
Both are clubs with over a century of history, however, both are currently united by their quick promotions of recent years. Few clubs do it each season, but those who climb two divisions practically in-a-row, even less.
The English club was in the third tier of the English pyramid from 2013 to 2017, after which they won the promotion to the Championship after becoming champions with 100 points. After that, they finished 10th in their first season there, just to assure the promotion in dramatic tones after Leeds implosion in the late stages of the 18/19 season.
Meanwhile the island club was even more epic in their promotions. After failing to Segunda B (the third tier of Spanish football) for the first time in 40 years, they fired everybody but 4 players, but still were able to win their local group of the division and later compete in the final play-offs that gave the promotion spots, and in that they first assured a promotion spot and later become champions of the division. And then? they arrived to the Second Division with the hopes of not being relegated, but overperformed and in an epic way assured the last position that gave a spot to the play-off for the final promotion spot, and despite losing 2-0 in the first leg of the final, the won 3-0 the second leg and completed their return from the Third Division to La Liga in the fastest possible way.
Finally but not less important, both have red in their kits.
Brighton & Levante
Both are small clubs from coastal towns.
Both won the promotion from the second division in 16/17.
Brighton logo shows a seagull and they're known as such.
Levante's coast has a record for having the biggest number of a certain breed of seagulls in the whole world.
Leicester & Villarreal
Both are clubs that are relatively small when it comes to historical status... and for the same reason both were part of some of the best underdogs stories of the world in recent decades.
Villarreal, the Yellow Submarine, comes from a small Valencian city of around 50k, and despite having a history of almost a century, they never reached the top division until 1998, just to be relegated in the same year. But they didn't gave up and came back to La Liga as quickly, and this time they stayed, and in what a way! Pellegrini's Villarreal spearheaded by Román Riquelme and Diego Forlán surprised Europa by ending third in La Liga just behind the Galacticos and Ronaldinho's Barca and won the right to play the 2005/06 Champions League, in what would end being their greatest moment in history so far by eventually reaching semifinals and barely losing the chance of playing the final in their first season thanks to some cursed penalties against the Arsene Wenger club. Even in defeat, the history that they made was epic as few others.
But one that actually was it even more was what Leicester did exactly 10 years later in the Premiership. From barely avoiding being relegated to win the whole league was a FIFA Career-esque story, and for the same it will be remembered forever.
And finally, what made even more iconic both legendary performances was the charisma of some of their players. Vardy, Forlán, Riquelme more precisely.
Southampton & Leganés
Southampton are called the Saints and their stadium is named St Mary's.
Leganes' stadium is called after a religious figure (Virgen de Butarque).
The Pozzo family: originally known from being the owners of Udinese in the Serie A, eventually the Italian family diversified their investments, first buying the small Spanish team in 2009, and later the English one in 2012. Because of financial reasons they sold their participation in Granada in the late 2016, aye, however, there was a timelapse that lasted years were both clubs where effectively in the same hands.
And for the same reasons, a number of players have been "property" of both clubs. Isaac Success and Adalberto Peñaranda the most iconic of them.
Chelsea & Atletico Madrid
Both are pretty big clubs in the capital but that have lived in the shadow of their historically bigger neighbour for more time than not, a certain Arsenal and Real Madrid respectively.
An impressive number of illustrious names have passed through both teams, and not few times from one to the other and even in some times back again: Fernando Torres, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Thibaut Courtois, Mateja Keman, Tiago Mendes, Maniche, Radamel Falcao, Jesper Grönkjaer, Hasselbaink, Morata, and more.
Both suffered for tragic defeats in the Champions League final, Chelsea in 2008, Atleti in 2014 (and 2016). One team had their captain slip and missed the crucial penalty, the other ended losing a final that was winning until the 90'+3. Coincidentally, all those finals were between teams from the same country.
Tottenham & Sevilla
Both have white jerseys.
Both were managed in recent years by Juande Ramos.
Both are famous because of their fierce rivalry with a neighbour, that makes them part of one of the most iconic derbies in their country.
Both are clubs that have a long history and that in recent years have had a pretty great period, but still weren't able to truly displace or replace the historically bigger clubs from their place.
Both are of the biggest clubs with the biggest fanbases of their country, and both are currently underperforming when you see their historical status, which enrages such fans.
Both have some of the worse owners that a big club that want sportive instead of just financial success could have, and that are one of the main causes of their decline in recent years: the Glazers and Peter Lim.
And fanbases of both clubs also hate the right-hand of their owners that is the most direct responsible of the sportive issues of their clubs: Anil Murthy and Ed Woodward.
Both are proud clubs with an illustrious history despite being the smaller club compared to their more famous neightbours, and also are clubs that these days suffer more time than not.
Both had their peak in the 80's, with Everton two leagues and one cup, exactly the same numbers than la Real. That decade would also be the last one when they had any major success, with Sociedad only being able to say that they ended second in the 02-03 La Liga and the Toffees with that they won a FA Cup in 95'.
Also of the first stages of the changes after the arrival of the Sheikh was the creation of a sports city for young players, imitating la Masia, probably the second most famous thing of the Spanish club.
And another was the bet for a female team, in what now both are powers, unlike their historical rivals that are shamefully far behind them on it despite their historical status.
Also beyond Pep there are other people that both clubs share: Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, financial director and sports director respectively of both teams in the past and now.
Claudio Bravo played for both, although with different kind of performances.
And finally, not a few Barcelona fans today complain that the closest thing to the Barca that touched the sky today is Manchester City.
West Ham & Espanyol
Both are clubs of a big city where there are bigger teams. West Ham is arguably the 4th biggest London club these days after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, while Espanyol are the second biggest but loyalist club of Barcelona, where there is a certain secessionist bigger Catalan club.
Both are clubs that have been almost all their history in the top division and yet have never won it. Likewise, both had their peaks and almost did it in the 80s, where both ended 3rd, in almost the same year (86' and 87').
Both were clubs that had an old stadium as traditional as loved (Estadi de Sarrià and the Upton Park) that were eventually replaced by stadiums built by the city for the Olympics (Espanyol eventually left his one though).
Both have never being relegated to the third division of their countries despite being some of the oldest clubs around.
Both are the club with most Mexicans of their league, Raul Jimenez vs Diego Lainez plus Andres Guardado respectively, what makes their teams far more popular than what they should in the CONCACAF giant.
Joey Guðjónsson and Alfred N'Diaye played for both clubs.
Six Portuguese have played for Betis in this century. Six Portuguese play for Wolves this season.
They played a friendly last year.
Aston Villa & Celta de Vigo
Both are related to the sky-blue colour.
Both clubs are characterized for having a player that is almost a demigod for the fans and club overall: Jack Grealish and Iago Aspas.
Those demigods are local players who have been fans of their club since they were children, and love them so much that played for them even in the second division.
Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Our final preview of the season analyses our reigning champions, Manchester City. About
Established: 1880 (as St. Mark's)/1894 (as Manchester City)
It went well. It went very well. After Manchester City’s Centurions season in 2017/18 saw them run away with the title setting all manner of records as they went, there was a lot of expectation that we’d see a much closer race in 2018/19. That proved to be the case as City finished 2 points shy of their record-setting total and only won the league by a single point, yet it was still the second highest points total in Premier League history and was topped off with a unique domestic clean sweep (3 or 4 domestic trophies depending on your feelings about the Community Shield). The season kicked off with confident 2-0 victories over Chelsea in the Community Shield and Arsenal in the league opener before Kevin De Bruyne’s injury problems began (injury problems that would plague the majority of his season). His absence didn’t prove to be as pivotal as many feared/hoped, however, thanks in no small part to Bernardo Silva’s formidable season. After the opening months City had dropped just 4 points and were looking strong, and then December happened. The packed month included 9 matches across all competitions and it took its toll as City lost 3 of their 7 Premier League matches. Heading into January with Liverpool still unbeaten the title looked lost until the top two met at the Etihad. A true heavyweight clash delivered in entertainment and saw City take all three points by the very finest of margins as John Stones made a vital clearance through the legs of Mohamed Salah with just 11mm to spare. After beating Liverpool City dropped just 3 more points, ending the season on a remarkable 14-game winning streak to claim the first back-to-back Premier League trophy in 10 years.
While the squad is (on paper) quite comparable to the ones that set both the highest and second highest Premier League points totals in consecutive seasons, the loss of Vincent Kompany is difficult to quantify. Cynics might reasonably point out that City are losing an ageing centre-half who only plays sporadically and is prone to occasional hasty decisions meaning they will just have to give more minutes to a younger centre-half in John Stones, who also appeared sporadically and is prone to occasional hasty decisions. In a strictly material sense that might all be true, but in among Kompany’s hasty decisions was an improbable 30-yard potshot in the 70th minute against Leicester that won the match and kept the title race in City’s hands. It’s his remarkable force of will, his experienced leadership, and his eagerness to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders when no one else can that will be missed with the departure of Kompany and it remains to be seen if there is anyone that will step and lead in the same way. There’s some change at the back for City this season. Stones and Laporte are expected to be the first choice central pairing, but Otamendi (as the most experienced centre-half in the squad, capable of playing on the right or left side, and probably the best aerial defender in the squad) is likely to be leaned on more this coming season than last. The fourth spot will likely be a straight head-to-head between Fernandinho and the promising young Eric Garcia. At fullback there’s a little more attacking impetus than previously - Zinchenko increasingly looks like a real left back, but Mendy’s injury troubles continue, so Angelino has been brought back to maintain the depth that the outgoing Fabian Delph provided but with more of an attacking mindset. On the right you can expect Walker to finally get some days off with the introduction of another attack-minded option in Joao Cancelo. The future of the number 6 position looks to finally have been figured out with the signing of Rodri after various misfires in the transfer market and with any luck we’ll have the joy of watching a fully fit Kevin De Bruyne all season. It remains to be seen what role David Silva will play in his final year, especially with Phil Foden needing all the minutes he can get if he is to replace the Spanish stalwart long-term. Should Sane stay It will be the same again up top with quality depth abound all vying for their place in the matchday XI. Riyad Mahrez began finding his feet at the tail end of 18/19 with a run of strong performances so the hope, should Sane leave, is that Mahrez will continue that form and prove an ample replacement for the upcoming season. Last season there was a need to prove that the 100 point season wasn’t a fluke. 98 points and 5 out of 5 pieces of domestic silverware later it’s been pretty well established that City probably are in fact that good and may well be able to continue putting up these kinds of numbers until either Pep leaves or the rest of the league adapts (whichever comes first). Transfers Highlights
£26m + Danilo
All incoming/outgoing transfersFull 2019-20 squad 3 players to watch out for David Silva Worth watching out for if only because this is likely to be the last Premier League season for one of the league's greats. On top of that, with the departure of Vincent Kompany, David Silva will be the most senior member of the dressing room and is widely expected to take on the captaincy. Despite making his name as an archetypical number 10, David Silva has managed to stand out as a dynamic and modern number 8 - while at 33 he may not be quite the player he once was but he continues to provide much of the creativity in the final third so enjoy him while you can. Rodri The number 6 position in general will be one to watch this season. In previous years Fernandinho has been undisputed first choice, but at 34 years of age he can’t last forever. Ilkay Gundogan started to make a case for himself in the run-in last season having finally added a little extra defensive nous to his already outstanding passing range and ended the season as a starter. New signing Rodri (at age 23) appears to be the future of the number 6 role - touted by many as Busquets 2.0 and now training under the same coach that brought Busquets to the world’s attention, Rodri’s ascent seems inevitable, but arriving in a new league and playing rather a different style of football will test his adaptability in the short-term. Kevin De Bruyne Not exactly a hidden gem here but your life can only be improved by watching out for a fully fit KDB. De Bruyne was among the very best players in the League (if not world) in 2017/18 but struggled significantly with injuries and missed much of last season. It may seem like a stretch to say that he was “missed” given the levels City reached last season but when he’s in the team City can transition much more efficiently and there’s always a sense that one pass could cut open even the most resolute defence. What the fans think Thanks to /MCFCfor their help.
How do you think this season will go?
Last season was an unprecedened success, winning every domestic trophy possible. The aim for this season will obviously be to continue on as we have been domestically, and improve in Europe. The past two campaigns have been disappointing, and I think we can do better - but will we? It's hard to say. However, I think we're the most equipped team to fight on two fronts - especially after signing Rodri, in a position we've always lacked cover - so I think retaining the title is feasible, and I'd be happy with an improved performance in Europe.
I think we'll win the league. I think our fixture schedule is fairly kind to us (easier run-in than Liverpool and most of our tricky away games are in the first half of the season when we're usually on fire). I trust our players a lot more this time around - although you could argue that the Old Guard carried us in the final weeks of last season, the younger players have got experience and confidence now, and I think that's invaluable.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
KDB has looked frightening ever since he came off the bench at the FA Cup (not to mention his performance against Tottenham before his last injury). He seems angry and frustrated about last season, as if he's got something to prove. I think he's a shoe-in for our player of the season if he can stay fit. I can also see Jesus and Mahrez really coming into their own this season; both of them suffered from low confidence last season, and I think the summers that they had and their great performances at the end of last season signal a lot of growth from both of them.
I think we'll win the league again. This time around I don't think it'll be a close title race like it was last season. We'll get around 93 points while Liverpool will finish second and get around 88 points. In the FA and League cup, I think we'll win one the two and may get knocked out early in the other one. I think this season in the CL, we'll finally reach the final but lose the final.
Gonna go with Bernardo Silva. Let him play his own game and he is one of the best in the league. You would be hard pressed to find many better in the division. Down and up the pitch he works tirelessly. Never gives up. Gonna be hard to find anyone to outperform him this season. Run, pass, shoot, tackle, he can do it all. Around him he has an aura of a greatness.
4-3-3 like always, but with even more depth. Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri/Dinho, Silva, KdB; Sterling, Aguero, Bernardo, should be our first choice starting XI. Rodri vs Dinho is anyone's guess. If Mahrez steps up, we might see Bernardo moved to the midfield paired with KdB. Aguero will continue to start over Jesus, Nico will likely rotate with Stones and Cancelo (if he comes) will rotate with WalkeZinchenko. We might even see Mendy play a full match before the season ends.
And now we come to the hardest part, predicting the line up. Desert any dreams on consistency at the door. You are going to see a lot of rotation from City this season. Never assume we will have everyone healthy at the same time, but if we do I think this is how we will line up.
by NickTM The Manager: The legendary Pep Guardiola. Not much to say about him that hasn't already been said at length. A managerial genius, Guardiola's dogmatic adherence to the style of play he passionately believes in is no deterrence to the outright dominance of his teams. With 28 pieces of silverware in his collection as a manager alone, he's as close to a guaranteed title win as you can get from a manager of a top club. Entering his 11th year of top-level manager, his brilliance remains undimmed. The Team: Simply put, Manchester City's team is terrifying. It's unlikely any club team has brought to bear this level of depth in talent in the Premier League at very least. Ederson holds court between the sticks in his third season at the club, and Aymeric Laporte partners one of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones just in front. Danilo has been replaced by Joao Cancelo at right back, and Oleksandr Zinchenko's highly successful conversion to left back makes him the leading contender for that spot. It's in midfield where the team wins their games, though, a superlative array of talent fronted by Silvas David and Bernardo, held together by Fernandinho (and the newly arrived Rodri) and powered by Ilkay Gündogan's dynamism. An attacking trio containing Raheem Sterling, the supremely reliable Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus will be affected but not brought low by the unfortunate loss of Leroy Sane. That's without even mentioning the brilliance of the returning Kevin De Bruyne, the promise of Phil Foden or the absolute talent of Scott Carson. It is a glittering squad. Why to like them: Guardiola's teams play football 'the right way' (tm) and whilst their style of play isn't necessarily my favourite, it's hard to not appreciate the sheer fluidity of attack and technical prowess being displayed. Raheem Sterling has also blossomed from the kid with a dodgy agent who sacked off Liverpool at a moment's notice to England's leading attacking talent and icon for the fight against discrimination in football. Why to dislike them: Their owners essentially launder the image of a brutal, oppressive regime as well as their own grimy reputations simply by owning a successful football team, and it clearly worked for City fans. Personally, despite all the fanboying over their playstyle, I'm not really much of a fan. Pep Guardiola has a tendency to be unbearably smug at times. Also, they're really fucking good, so it's fun to watch them lose. Summary: Got it in the bag, surely? Man City replaced their major first team loss in Danilo and propped up Fernandinho's advancing age with his heir apparent in Rodri. Their strength in depth continues to be unrivaled, and Raheem Sterling continues to improve as Sergio Aguero has shown no signs of slowing down. The major questions for me revolve first around losing Leroy Sane, which takes away not just some options in depth but also a truly direct runner that City could well miss against certain teams. More notable might be the intangible loss of Vincent Kompany, the City legend departing to Anderlecht as player-manager. Kompany's leadership and will to win were obvious even in one of his numerous spells on the sidelines, and when he got on the pitch he'd produce moments of brilliance that have kept Man City alive when they were faltering - the most recent being that wonderful goal against Leicester that sent them top. It's a strong team with a lot of experienced leaders, but it's hard to calculate the value of such a talisman until he's gone. With all that said, you'd be a fool to bet against them retaining their title, and you have to make them favourites at this early stage.
Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Today from way down south we're going way up north, with Newcastle United. About
Pre-season began 12 months ago with a lot of Newcastle fans filled with hope after a 10th placed finish. Mikel Merino and Aleksandar Mitrovic were sold to Real Sociedad and Fulham respectively, with their replacements being Ki Sung-Yeung on a free and Salomon Rondon on loan. Chancel Mbemba was also sold to Porto, while Fabian Schär and Federico Fernandez came in at centre back. Martin Dubravka and Kenedy returned to the club after impressive loan spells, with Dubravka signing permanently. Yoshinori Muto was also signed from Mainz as the most expensive purchase for us at £9.5m. An awful start to the season saw us fail to win in our first 10 league games. In fairness, we did play 5 of the eventual top 6 in this time, but it was still a shocking run. Despite decent performances against Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City, we completely bottled games against Cardiff, Leicester and Manchester United, throwing away a 2-0 half time lead at Old Trafford. A scrappy game vs Watford in early November was our first win of the season. We beat Bournemouth and Burnley in our following two games, instilling hope into the fans that maybe we weren't terrible after all. We then won 1 game in our next 9. ¯\(ツ)/¯ 22 games into the season, we sat in 18th place on 18 points. we were 3 points away from Brighton in 15th and 7 points clear of Huddersfield at the foot of the table. Gameweek 23 saw us hosting Cardiff at home. We won 3-0 with a strong performance in a game that could have been the biggest result of our season, but 10 days later Manchester City came to St James' Park and we made headlines around the world by winning 2-1, in one of the biggest shocks of the season. Our midfield that game was Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff, who was thrust into the limelight after being praised by Pep Guardiola. The fans' mood was at an insane high, boosted again 2 days later when Miguel Almiron's arrival finally broke the club's record transfer fee. The back to back victories and Almiron's arrival revitalised the team, narrowly losing to Tottenham, drawing with Wolves and beating fellow relegation candidates Huddersfield and Burnley quite convincingly. A 2-0 defeat away to West Ham dented the team's form (we only picked up 4 points from the next 4 games) and saw Sean Longstaff ruled out for the remaining 9 games of the season with a severe knee injury. The following game saw us do what Manchester United had done to us 5 months prior. Everton led 2-0 at St James' Park at half time, but a Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez masterclass saw the game finish 3-2. This signalled the beginning of an unplayable run of form for Perez, scoring 8 goals in 9 games including a hat trick against Southampton in what might be the best performance I've ever seen from a Newcastle player. The final 3 games of the season saw us draw to Brighton, lose to Liverpool in the dying moments thanks to Origi being the biggest clutch player alive and a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Fulham. A 13th placed finish was far better than we hoped for after the winless streak at the beginning of the season. At the time we were overjoyed, but everything that has happened with the club since has made the positives from last season somewhat bittersweet.
At the time of writing, Summer has been nothing short of disastrous so far. The season ended with some optimism that Rafa Benitez was going to sign a contract extension, we would sign Salomon Rondon permanently and that a wealthy group from the Middle East were interested in buying the club and finally ending Mike Ashley's reign as the owner of the club. Rafa left has left and signed for Chinese second division Dalian Yifang, with Rondon joining him. The takeover seems to be dead in the water, with Steve Bruce being appointed as manager on a 3 year contract. As of yet, there have been no players signed to the senior team, while Ayoze Perez and Joselu have been sold. We're expecting Joelinton to be announced in the next few days for what will be another record breaking fee, but I'm not optimistic that he will be good enough to drag us up the table. The most I can currently hope for this season is a relegation battle that sees us narrowly stay up. Right now, I'm not sure I'll even care by the time we get past January. A sad reality that a good number of Newcastle fans are facing. Transfers Highlights
Jose Salomon Rondon
End of Loan
West Bromwich Albion
All incoming/outgoing transfersFull 2019-20 squad 3 players to watch out for Sean Longstaff Longstaff's recovery from injury is something I worry about a lot. Rolando Aarons' progress at Newcastle was similar; a handful of promising appearances ended by severe knee injuries. We have slapped a £50m price tag on him to ward off Manchester United this summer, which I hope we don't end up looking foolish for. Longstaff's tireless work rate, tidy passing and his threat from range (he scored numerous screamers when at Blackpool 2 years ago) will be instrumental if he returns as strong as he was last season. Florian Lejeune While Fabian Schär and Jamaal Lascelles have been the centre backs to receive the plaudits in the last 2 seasons, Florian Lejeune has gone somewhat under the radar when he has been equal to, and sometimes even better, than the pair of them. His involvement in the squad has at times been restricted by the two anterior cruciate ligament tears he has suffered, despite him returning from both of them in half the time footballers usually take to recover. Lejeune's positional awareness and composure on the ball made him a consistently effective defensive partner to Lascelles and Schär, while his passing accuracy and range on the left side of a back 3 was a great asset to the attacking movements under Rafa Benitez. With Steve Bruce likely opting for a very direct approach this season, Lejeune's distribution will be very important. Jonjo Shelvey I wanted to say Miguel Almiron, as the only player remaining from the Perez-Rondon-Almiron front 3 that was so promising last season, but I think Jonjo Shelvey could be very pivotal player. A number of Rafa's outcasts from last season like Dwight Gayle, Rolando Aarons and Jack Colback will return to the fray much to the dismay of many fans. It's Shelvey however, that catches my eye. Shelvey has talent that few players in the Premier League possess, a pinpoint accuracy with diagonal long passing that is a dream to any wide player capable of exploiting space. The downside to him is just about everything else. His poor work rate and lacking athleticism means he often can't provide adequate cover to the defence and his temper (albeit improved in recent times) means he is always a potential red card. He's a player to watch for better or worse. His performances could result in us gaining 10 points this season, or losing that many. What the fans think Thanks to /NUFCfor their help.
How do you think this season will go?
Not as well as any of us want it to, but also not as bad as many think it will go. So (optimistically) somewhere between 11-16.
I think we'll finish 13th if (and it's a big if) we make another couple of decent signings. I loved Rafa, but he would often freeze players out of the team for unknown reasons, and I think some of those coming back will have something to prove. My call for player of the season is Shelvey for that reason, I think he'll be called back in and his long Hollywood passes will work well with Almiron and another fast winger (ASM?).
We will all get increasingly annoyed as historically 'smaller' clubs than us like Wolves, Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester take an easy three points from us home and away. Their owners have actual ambition for their clubs and have proper facilities and coaching. We've got Steve Bruce in command and some wheelie bins for ice baths. The big 6 teams will beat us despite our plucky performances, we will play out grinding draws or fluky 1-0 wins against other relegation fodder teams like Brighton and Sheffield United. Meanwhile beloved ex-players like Shola Ameobi will get airtime on Sky Sports to tell everyone how great Mike Ashley is. If we don't get relegated then it will be a miracle, some fans hope that we do go down because they believe Fat Mike might be more likely to sell if we are in the Championship/League One.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
Lejeuene. He's arguably our best player but his time with us has been marred with injuries. However, when he has played he has given us that boost we needed out from defence. He's a ball playing centre-back who also has great defensive capabilities. A trio of him, Schar and Lascelles will be key for us this coming season.
Isaac Hayden. He was quality at the back end of last season, and his personal problems appear to have subsided/been resolved to an extent. Hopefully, this means he will push on and make a case for a potential national team call up.
by NickTM The Manager: Well, beloved manager Rafa Benitez finally decided that enough was enough after his contract expired in the summer and went off to enjoy being filthy fucking rich in China, smuggling his boy Salomon Rondon through customs along with him. Equally beloved owner Mike Ashley decided that the logical choice to replace this Champions League-winning, multiple time La Liga-winning, two-time UEFA Manager of the Year was with... Steve Bruce. Oh boy. Look, as much as I like to use this section to poke some fun, I'm still a Palace fan, and thus I can't quite bring myself to align myself anywhere other than in line with your average Newcastle fan's reaction towards him. It was a pathetic appointment. Bruce, fresh off jumping ship from Sheffield Wednesday as soon as he saw an opportunity in the Premier League - managing to land Newcastle in hot water legally whilst he was at it, true to form - arrives with a mediocre track record in the Premier League and a spell managing bitter rivals Sunderland for one and a half incredibly average seasons. Baffling. The Team: Benitez managed to cut out quite a lot of the deadwood and refresh the squad significantly during his tenure, which left Newcastle with a team that was reasonably balanced and able to compete across the pitch. Unfortunately, his departure was followed in quick succession by the aforementioned Salomon Rondon's loan finishing and also Ayoze Perez, a flaky but talented forward, departing to Leicester City for a hefty £30m sum. In order to compensate for the shortfall up front, a huge £40m was shelled out for Hoffenheim's Joelinton, who arrives with an okay-but-not-really-that-good goal record spread across two years out on loan at Rapid Wien and one at his former parent club. Much will be expected of him between donning the coveted number 9 shirt and the so-far limited effectiveness of last year's signing Yoshinori Muto. Elsewhere, the defence will look to continue the form that saw it become the most effective unit in the bottom half, and much has been made of the admittedly limited gametime Sean Longstaff has had in the Prem so far. Ultimately, it looks like Newcastle will be relying heavily on Joelinton to hit the ground running and Miguel Almiron to really show his class tucked in behind him. Why to like them: I quite like DeAndre Yedlin as one of the United States' attempts to plonk a superlative athlete on a football pitch in hope he'll become a superstar. Miguel Almiron's a treat to watch play, and if the team loses there's always the faint hope one of their fans will go full Little Mac on an ungulate. Why to dislike them: Half their identity is based on beating a League One team that they haven’t beat in 8 years. Their fans claim to hate Mike Ashley - which, let's be honest, they get a little hysterical about given they make him out to be absolute footballing Lucifer when there's probably half a dozen owners in English football alone that you'd choose him over - and yet have had about one sort-of-effective protest in the entire time he's been an owner. They're still so mentally broken by a bedsheet some bloke had scribbled a half-baked pun on that there's genuine animosity towards Aston Villa to this day. Couple that with all the proclaimations of being a 'big club' despite not really ever having achieved that much comparatively and you can see why so many fans in England often end up a little irked by them. Also, Steve Bruce can fuck off, the pudgy northern mercenary wrister. Summary: Newcastle weren't really good last year, and you feel the strength of Benitez' management was the thing really holding them together. With Rafa gone and an already significant outlay spent on a single transfer, things look even more grim this season. You wouldn't bet on Steve Bruce to maintain their integrity defensively, their forwards have been weakened at very least in depth, and whilst the midfield is solid it's not entirely inspiring. If you can find good odds on a midseason managerial sacking, I'd be tempted.
Welcome back to the Premier League Previews series, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. Today we're popping our Bournemouth cherry with a trip to the south coast. About
Things started fairly well, despite being narrowly robbed by West Ham and beaten by both Manchester sides our early skirmishes included beating a very strong Everton team 1-0 with a superb performance, smashing Hull 6-1 and a creditable 0-0 draw against a (usually) free scoring Spurs side. Things started to go awry around christmas and our defence became a meme- consistently conceding three goals (at least) every game (in seven out of eight games between November and January). Despite this horrendous spell the period did contain two of our most memorable games- Beating Liverpool 4-3 after being 3-1 down (Thanks Karius!) and a rare tactical error from Howe allowing Arsenal to claw back a 3-0 defecit to draw 3-3. Eddie Howe always pulls it around in March though, and after a spirited draw at Old Trafford which will forever be remembered for Mings vs Zlatan, we only lost 2 more games all year, to Chelsea and Tottenham. Given that by all accounts we have the 17th highest wage bill in the division 9th should be recognised as an enormous achievement and a testament to the faith Howe has in his attacking football. To sum up, aside from an 11 game spell through xmas in January the side competed well and never really looked in trouble of relegation, so I’m going to get on my soapbox about Eddie Howe’s deplorable attitude to cup competitions. After previous seasons where Howe would have played the under 10’s team if he could, all of us Cherries knew what to expect- but Howe peaked this year with one of the worst cup performances in the history of the club, an insult to fans. Selecting one of the most bizarre squads ever which included winger Marc Pugh at right back and Lewis Grabban ludicrously used as a professional footballer (I'm so, so sorry Sunderland fans), the 3-0 to League 1 Milwall should be a sign to Howe that things need to improve this year, especially as we also went out to Preston in the EFL cup. It’s no insult to the teams who quite soundly beat us to say that Howe’s selection and attitude to the defeats was disappointing to all of Bournemouth’s supporters.
Whisper it quietly but for the first time since we came up I don’t expect we’ll be in trouble this year. My Dad always says ‘are there 3 worse sides in the division?’, and unless things change enormously between now and the end of the transfer window I think most fans would agree that on paper there are more than three. As a result I would be extremely surprised if we ended up going down. Having said that 46 was such a low number of points to finish in 9th position it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we matched or beat last season’s total but still finished in the bottom half. 13th is my best guess, but if everything clicks at the back and we stay injury free I don’t think we’ll be scared of many teams. Steve Cook basically is our defence, on his own, so you can dismiss all of the above positivity if he does get a long term injury. We’d immediately find ourselves in real trouble. THINGS I WANT. -To take a point from Manchester City. We’ve never even got close to looking competitive against them and they’ve smashed us 15-1 on aggregate over the 4 times we’ve played them. -Finally beat Watford. We’ve now drawn four games in a row and six of the last seven, beating them only once. Given that their fans have this weird obsession with us I’d love to do the double over them this year, especially as me & Whiffers have a charity bet on who’ll finish higher. -Finally, finally sort out the defence. Signing Ake and Begovic is a huge help, but tactics also contribute to our leaky back line. -Dignified, and serious cup performances. (See above) Transfers Highlights
All incoming/outgoing transfersFull 2016-17 squad 3 players to watch out for Lewis Cook Everyone is saying 'why don't Bournemouth want Wilshere back' and the truth is, of course we would want him back- if we didn't have Lewis Cook. Whisper it quietly, but he looks like he has the potential to be even better. After recovering from a broken foot last year his performances at the back end of last season showed real talent, backed up by winning the U-20 world cup as captain. He needs to improve his pass completion in the final third and maintain posession a little more often but I have a feeling this will be a huge season for him. Nathan Ake Signed for a club record £20M he gives Eddie Howe an interesting dilemma at the heart of defence. Club Captain Simon Francis has been starting here since we were promoted but he now looks like his best years are behind him at times. I've picked him as a player to watch not just because he's our record signing, but because it's going to be a big change to the dynamic at the heart of defence. Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels and Simon Francis have been playing as a unit since we were in the third tier. Will Ake cock it up or finally fix our "concede three goals per game" defensive frailties? Dan Gosling Conclusive proof that if Eddie Howe is your manager it doesn't matter how poor your first touch is, as long as you run your absolute tits off you've got a job for life. Prepare for some comedy gold, energetic, error strewn performances. Inexplicably a fan's favourite but odds on to be bloody entertaining for all the wrong reasons on Match of the Day. What the fans think Thanks to /AFCBournemouthfor their help.
How do you think this season will go?
I think the season will be good. I feel we have more depth than we have had in the past and should be able to compete strongly with anyone all season. I like to think that 8th is somewhere we can finish but there will be steady competitition for that spot. I believe we'll finish anywhere from 8th to 10th.
We will stay up again, but potentially a little lower in the standings and maybe a few less points as last year. For a team that can beat anyone and lose to anyone i think form is always going to be an issue. I hope that when we do struggle it's not for too long. After 2 good seasons I wouldn't want to find us in the relegation zone, young team may feel the pressure. On a more positive note, I think Eddie will want a cup run this year which I'm hoping will mean a quarter final in one of the cups.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
Hard to say a star of the season because we're very much a team. Last seasons player of the year, steve cook, will be in with a big shout and if Defoe or king can get 15 goals so will they. Ake will be a dark horse too.
---------------------Begovic-------------------- ---S. Cook------Daniels---------Aké------------Mings/Cargill----- ----Ibe/Stanislas------Arter-----Cook------------Fraser- ------------------King--------------Defoe/Afobe---------------- Bench: Ibe/Stanislas, Mousset, Boruc, Defoe/Afobe, Mings/Cargill, Ramsdale(?). I can't predict the rest of the bench due to youth players such as Worthington and Surridge maybe wiggling their way in.
by NickTM Summary: A third consecutive season for the Cherries sees them strengthening their squad in all departments, but for how long can they continue to punch above their weight? What to say: It's a whole new spiiiiine! What you might end up saying: Who put Dan Gosling on technique training?! Why to like them: Plucky underdogs. Jermain Defoe was well-liked before the Bradley Lowery story, but now is verging on footballing sweetheart terrain. Eddie Howe's a canny young manager with a rare eye for a tactical switch. Why to dislike them: Despite playing decent enough stuff when on the ball, Bournemouth have no qualms about snippy rotational fouling which is enough to annoy anyone. Artur Boruc won't be starting, which means we won't get many comedy moments from the goalkeeper. If the team was a Simpsons character, it would be: Ned Flanders. The upbeat nature of Bournemouth in general does tend to get a little grating.
Vote for where you think Bournemouth will finish here.
Chelsea are finally starting to get going in this summer's transfer window, according to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. "For me, Courtois is one of the best," the former Man Utd captain told Sky Sports' Premier League launch show. "I absolutely love him. I know people say I’m critical of 'keepers, but I also love quite a few keepers and I absolutely love Courtois. "He’s [Kepa] got big shoes to fill and it’s a big price. Pep Guardiola said in an interview with us that Chelsea are going to do quite a lot of business in the next few days and obviously the market talks and agents talk. "Chelsea look like they are moving. They have been a little slow in the transfer market and a little bit less obvious in the transfer market over the last few years than they have been previously. It looks like they are making a move again." 18:22
MILAN IN BAKAYOKO TALKS
AC Milan in talks to sign Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan, according to Sky Italy. The France international arrived from Monaco last summer for £40m. 18:15
'KEPA A BIG GAMBLE'
Chelsea's potential world-record capture of Bilbao 'keeper Kepa is a big risk, according to former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason. "It is a big gamble," he told SSN. "It is going to be very difficult to replace Courtois because for me he is in the top three to five 'keepers in the world. He has proven that over a number of years now. "I do not see many 'keepers who can come in and replace that. So to now go and sign someone for an extortionate amount of money that is not proven to be one of the so-called best in the world is a big risk." 17:57
Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign Bilbao 'keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Sky sources. It is understood the 23-year-old – a Spain international with one cap – would cost the Blues £71.6m, which would be a world-record fee for a 'keeper. Reports in Spain this evening have gone as far as to say that Chelsea’s intentions are fly the player to London on Wednesday and have him train on Thursday, with the hope he could make his debut in their season-opener against Huddersfield on Saturday. 17:37
BOURNEMOUTH SEAL £25M LERMA DEAL
Bournemouth have completed the £25m signing of Levante's Jefferson Lerma, according to Sky sources. 17:31
Here is a quick roundup of where we stand with today's main transfer stories... 17:23
BOGLE BACK WITH BIRMINGHAM ON LOAN
Cardiff City striker Omar Bogle has joined Birmingham City on a season-long loan. The deal marks a return to St Andrews for the 25-year-old, who came through City's youth ranks before being released in the summer of 2011. Bogle dropped into non-league football with Hinckley United, Solihull Moors and Grimsby Town, who he helped secure promotion from the National League. He joined Wigan in January 2017 but was on the move again at the end of that season, joining Cardiff for a fee of £700,000. 17:16
PEP: CITY'S BUSINESS OVER
Man City manager Pep Guardiola has told Sky Sports' Premier League launch show that the champions will not sign anymore players this summer. City have so far signed just Riyad Mahrez from Leicester for £60m and Claudio Gomes on a free from PSG. 17:09
Leicester 'keeper Kasper Schmeichel has hit out at the "exceptionally harsh" treatment of new Burnley signing Joe Hart, saying people have very short memories. He said: "I've known Joe for a long time and I think he's been exceptionally harshly treated in many respects. "Not just what happened at Man City, where I don't think he was given a chance to prove what he could do, and then the whole England debacle I found that quite staggering at the time. "But for Joe, the important thing is to get home, stay living at home and get a bit of normality back into his life." 16:44
COURTOIS OUT, KEPA AND KOVACIC IN?
SSN reporter Dharmesh Sheth brings us all the latest on what is going on at Chelsea as we approach TDD... 16:38
AGBOOLA JOINS COLCHESTER
Defender David Agboola has joined Colchester following a successful trial. The 18-year-old defender, formerly of Dagenham & Redbridge, has signed a one-year deal having caught the eye with his performances in pre-season. Agboola will initially join Kevin Horlock’s U23 squad, who get their season under way at Hull on Sunday. https://twitter.com/ColU_Official/status/1026827308756287489 16:32
LERMA FINISHING BOURNEMOUTH MEDICAL
SSN reporter Mark McAdam has been updating us on Bournemouth's club-record £25m pursuit of Levante's Jefferson Lerma. "Lerma has just been meeting Eddie Howe and various members of the Bournemouth management," he said. "And he is now heading off to a local hospital to put the finishing touches to his medical at the club." 16:24
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has confirmed that 'keeper Keylor Navas is part of his plans for this season. 15:44
CHELSEA OFFERED KOVACIC
Real Madrid have offered Chelsea Mateo Kovacic on loan in order to persuade them to sell Thibaut Courtois, say Sky sources. Croatian midfielder Kovacic has been told he can leave Madrid this summer. They are prepared to let him join Chelsea on a season-long loan. Chelsea will not let Courtois go until they find a replacement. 15:39
PUEL: IMPORTANT TO KEEP MAGUIRE
Leicester manager Claude Puel says it is important they keep Harry Maguire amid Man Utd's interest in the defender. "For me it's good for Leicester to keep a valuable player, and it's important to show good ambition for the next season," Puel told Sky Sports News. "I can understand some speculation about our player because he has good attributes, but I am happy to keep him and hopefully start a great season. "We lost Riyad Mahrez, who was a very good player for us. After Riyad it was important to keep our players and add some good players to strengthen the team." 15:33
DEADLINE DAY ON SKY SPORTS
The summer transfer window closes on Thursday and you can follow all the Deadline Day news and drama with Sky Sports. Clubs have until 5pm to do business as the window shuts for the first time before the new Premier League season starts and as managers scramble to bolster their squads before the big kick-off, we will make sure you don't miss a thing. From timings, key dates and deal sheets to following the developments at home or on the move, here's all you need to know... 15:21
Here is a quick roundup of where we stand with some of the day's main transfer stories...
Thibaut Courtois seems determined to force through a move away to Real after the Chelsea 'keeper failed to report for training for the second day in a row
Man City 'keeper Joe Hart's future is already sorted with he former England No 1 having joined Burnley on a two-year deal
Sky sources are telling us Burnley make an improved £18m offer for West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez
Rodriguez not the only target for Sean Dyche as we understand they're in talks to sign Matej Vydra from Derby. That move would see Nakhi Wells move to Pride Park as part of the deal. If it goes through Vydra's transfer would be permanent, while Wells would move to Derby on loan...
Levante's Colombia international Jefferson Lerma is having a medical at Bournemouth ahead of what will be a club-record transfer
'JOSE SHOULD MAKE POGBA CAPTAIN'
Jamie Redknapp and Danny Murphy believe Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho should make Paul Pogba his captain at Old Trafford in order to keep the France playmaker at the club. 14:43
JACKETT BACKS WHEELER
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett expects new signing David Wheeler to boost the club’s goal threat. The 27-year-old forward has joined Pompey on a season-long loan deal from QPR. Wheeler joined the Rs last summer from Exeter but was hampered by injury and made only nine appearances, scoring one goal. But Wheeler had netted 39 times in four seasons with Exeter before his move to Loftus Road. 14:30
BURNLEY & DERBY IN VYDRA-WELLS TALKS
Burnley are in talks to sign Matej Vydra (pictured) permanently from Derby County, with Nahki Wells moving in the other direction on loan, according to Sky sources. Both players are understood to be ready to take medicals at their respective new clubs on Tuesday. Vydra was set to join Leeds United, who had agreed an £11m fee with Derby, but the Czech Republic international turned down the move. Sky Sports News understands he failed to agree personal terms with Leeds, and preferred a move to the Premier League. 14:26
'CHELSEA SHOULD LET COURTOIS GO'
Jamie Redknapp and Danny Murphy told The Debate that Chelsea should allow unsettled goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to leave Stamford Bridge. 14:11
Shrewsbury Town midfielder Bryn Morris has joined Wycombe Wanderers on-loan until January. The 22-year-old midfielder featured 30 times in all competitions last season, but was not included in their opening-day defeat away to Bradford. 13:51
Manchester United will resist any offers for Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial while continuing their search for a centre-back, ESPN report. Jose Mourinho has made it clear he wants to secure two more signings before Thursday’s 5pm deadline, but acknowledges that signing a defender is a priority, with Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina linked with a move to Old Trafford. As a result, United have no intention of losing Pogba or Martial, two of their high-profile players, although they are willing to listen to offers for Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo. 13:23
DEMBELE AS POGBA MAKEWEIGHT?
Barcelona do not have an agreement in place with Paul Pogba but the La Liga champions are working hard to sign the Manchester United midfielder. Barca are hoping to tempt United into selling the Frenchman by putting forward cash-plus-players proposals. Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Rafinha are the Catalan club’s preferred makeweights but Mundo Deportivo claim they may also be willing to consider using Ivan Rakitic or Ousmane Dembele. 13:17
COURTOIS FUTURE LATEST
Reporter Jane Dougall has been speaking on Sky Sports News to update us on the latest news regarding Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. She said: "We understand after failing to turn up at Wembley on Sunday, Courtois didn't turn up for training two days in a row. He was due to have talks with Maurizio Sarri yesterday, but it has been reported he will not stand in Courtois' way if he wants to leave. "Chelsea are reluctant to let him go, though, without a new number one to replace him, which will be tricky with two days of the transfer window left." You can see those in the frame to replace Courtois below (14.04)... 13:16
WATCH: HOT DEADLINE DAY TIP
Sky Sports News reporter Jamie Weir cuts through the froth to find out what's really going to be brewing on Transfer Deadline Day. 13:04
CHELSEA EYE UP COURTOIS REPLACEMENTS
Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga is a goalkeeper target for Chelsea, Sky Sports News understands. With the Blues resigned to losing Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid before the deadline after he missed training for a second day today, the club are focusing their attentions on securing his replacement. Stoke’s Jack Butland remains their first choice because of the nature of the deal, according to Sky sources, which is expected to cost them £30m if they can act quickly - but that price will rise the close to the deadline it becomes. Arrizabalaga would cost Chelsea much more, and a fee of around £70m would make him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world - eclipsing Alisson only weeks after the Brazilian joined Liverpool. Maurizio Sarri would also like to go for Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but his £89m release clause is a stumbling block. 13:01
TERRIERS WANT NEW WINGER
Huddersfield are interested in signing Montpellier winger Isaac Mbenza, according to Sky sources. 12:53
GUDJOHNSEN SON JOINS REAL
Eidur Gudjohnsen's son Andri Lucas Gudjohnsen has joined Real Madrid, the 16-year-old has revealed. Writing on Instagram after moving from Espanyol, he said: "Very excited and pleased to announce that I have signed with Real Madrid! Looking forward to the future." The move could provide some friction in the Gudjohnsen household - dad Eidur famously turned out for Barcelona after leaving Chelsea during his playing career. And should he play for his national team at any point, he will follow in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. 12:42
MINA ABSENT FROM BARCA TRAINING
Everton and Manchester United target Yerry Mina missed Barcelona training this morning, reporter Vinny O'Connor has just confirmed to Sky Sports News. The Colombian defender, who scored three goals from centre-back at the World Cup, is being chased by both clubs - so his absence will increase speculation over his future even more. 12:37
CELTIC REJECT BOYATA BID
Brendan Rodgers has been speaking ahead of Celtic's game with AEK Athens tomorrow night (preview here), and confirmed Fulham have rejected a firm bid for Dredryk Boyata. Rodgers said the Bhoys had knocked back the bid because "it would be very difficult for us to replace him at this late stage". 12:24
LEVERKUSEN LOAN FOR THELIN
Bayer Leverkusen have signed Sweden forward Isaac Kiese Thelin on a season-long loan from Anderlecht. The 26-year-old, who was in Sweden's World Cup squad, spent last season on loan at Belgian side Waasland-Beveren. "He has developed excellently in the Belgian league," Leverkusen head coach Heiko Herrlich said on the club website. "Isaac is an additional option for us up front." 12:19
BURNLEY BACK IN J-ROD HUNT
Sky Sports News understands Burnley will make an improved £18m offer to West Brom for striker Jay Rodriguez later today. Sean Dyche is becoming increasingly frustrated by the situation and wants a new striker in before the deadline - it's thought Rodriguez is keen on a move back to the Premier League in his home town, but is prepared to stay and try to get Albion back into the top division if a deal can’t be done. 12:14
LEICESTER CLOSE TO DEFENDER
Leicester City have a broad agreement with Dinamo Zagreb for young defender Filip Benkovic, Sky Sports News understands, with the Croatian Under-21 international due to fly to England later today for further talks. The deal could cost Leicester more than £10m, but it’s understood Claude Puel considers him as a good prospect for the future, rather than someone who can go straight into the first team - and is not viewed as a Harry Maguire replacement. 12:09
SWANSEA WANT YEOVIL DEFENDER
Swansea are in talks over a potential deal to sign Yeovil’s Tom James, according to Sky sources. The defender’s deal to West Brom collapsed over personal terms last week, giving the Swans renewed hope. James is predominantly a right-back can cover anywhere across the back-four - making him an attractive possible squad member. He played in Yeovil's 1-0 defeat to Bury on Saturday - but was sent off. 12:07
WHO IS RYAN EDMONDSON?
He's just signed a new deal at Leeds United, but who is 17-year-old striker Ryan Edmondson? There's no test on this, but if he ends up as England's star striker remember where you heard his name first... https://twitter.com/LUFC/status/1026796377110654976 12:00
With Deadline Day rapidly approaching, it’s been a hectic day on the transfer front. For those just joining us, here’s a round-up of the today’s top stories...
Sources: Thibaut Courtois has failed to report for Chelsea training for the second day running.
Burnley have confirmed the signing of Joe Hart from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee on an initial two-year contract.
Sources: Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore is undergoing a medical ahead of a club record £18m move to Premier League new-boys Wolves.
Sources: West Ham close to agreeing deal to sign Arsenal striker Lucas Perez.
Brighton have completed the signing of winger Anders Dreyer from Danish Superliga side Esbjerg.
Sources: Jefferson Lerma will undergo a medical at Bournemouth today.
Sources: Middlesbrough are attempting an ambitious move for Everton winger Yannick Bolasie.
Sources: Kevin Mirallas has undergone a medical at Fiorentina this morning ahead of his season-long loan move from Everton.
Rangers have confirmed the signing of Croatian international full-back Borna Barisic from NK Osijek on a four year deal.
TRANSFER TARGET: THIBAUT COURTOIS
We take a look at some of Thibaut Courtois’ best Premier League saves, as the Chelsea goalkeeper continues to be linked with Real Madrid. 11:47
Aitor Karanka confirms Nottingham Forest are interested in signing West Ham defender Sam Byram. 11:25
McGINN ARRIVES FOR VILLA TALKS
Hibernian midfielder John McGinn has arrived at Aston Villa’s training ground for talks about a possible move to the Midlands, Sky Sports News understands, but Celtic are still very much in the frame to sign him. No fee has yet been agreed between Villa and Hibs for the 23-year-old Scotland international. Celtic have seen several bids for McGinn rejected this summer, and it’s thought both the player and Hibs prefer a move to the English Championship. 11:16
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has not reported for training for the second day in a row, Sky Sports News understands. 11:06
‘I WILL GIVE MY HEART TO IBROX’
New Rangers signing Borna Barisic has vowed to repay the faith of the fans after sealing his move to Glasgow. “I think the most important thing is that in every game I give 100 per cent,” the Croatia international told Rangers TV. “I think the Rangers fan recognise that and I will give my heart for Ibrox – I think that is important. “I want to give back for all the messages the fans have sent me, and all the belief the manager has shown me. I need to back all this up on the pitch, and I will do that.” 10:57
BARISIC SEALS RANGERS MOVE
Rangers have confirmed the signing of NK Osijek captain Borna Barisic on a four-year deal. The Croatia full-back, who scored against Steven Gerrard's side in the recent Europa League qualifiers, has joined the club for a fee believed to be around £2m. Although he missed out on the final squad for his country's recent World Cup campaign, he has three caps at international level and is the 11th signing for Gerrard since taking over as Rangers boss. 10:48
KOVACIC TO CHELSEA?
Mateo Kovacic is closing on a season-long loan to Chelsea, reports Marca. Kovacic trained with Real Madrid on Monday but after speaking with the club he has decided he will not train or wear their shirt again, for the time being. He publicly announced his desire to change clubs during the World Cup and has asked the club to leave on three occasions. The club had declared Kovacic non-transferrable and the player, who is determined to leave the Bernabeu in search of regular first-team football, did not understand their stance. But Marca claim Madrid have given up with their efforts to keep Kovacic and the Croatia international is on the verge of joining Chelsea on a season-long loan. 10:36
Sprint legend Usain Bolt has been handed a trial at Australian side Central Coast Mariners. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist has committed to an indefinite training period with the A-League club, with the aim to develop him into a professional footballer. Bolt is not guaranteed a professional playing contract but the trial presents him with an opportunity to fulfil his burning desire to play professional football. “I am very excited about coming to Australia and would like to thank the owner and management of the Central Coast Mariners for giving me this opportunity,” Bolt said. 10:29
WATCH: TRANSFER BULLETIN
Up-to-the-minute transfer news from Sky Sports News, with updates on Paul Pogba, Thibaut Courtois and more! 10:19
WOLVES MEDICAL FOR TRAORE
Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore has undergone a medical at Wolves this morning, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News understands the 22–year-old Spaniard is now on the verge of a club-record £18m move to the newly-promoted Premier League club. Wolves triggered Traore’s £18m release clause after an initial bid of £12m was turned down by Boro. 10:13
HAMILTON CONFIRM DOUBLE DEAL
Hamilton have announced the signings of Delphin Tshiembe and Jacob Marsden. Born in DR Congo, 26-year-old Tshiembe, who can operate at centre back or in central midfield, came through the youth ranks at FC Copenhagen but most recently played with AC Horsens in the Danish Superliga. Marsden, is a 21-year-old goalkeeper who signed professional terms with Ipswich before moving into non-league to gain experience at clubs including St Ives Town and Mildenhall. 10:08
Kevin Mirallas underwent a medical at Fiorentina this morning ahead of his proposed season-long loan from Everton, according to Sky in Italy. 10:03
Adama Traore is having a medical at Wolves ahead of club-record £18m move from Middlesbrough, according to Sky sources. 09:48
Joe Hart has left Manchester City to join Burnley on an initial two-year deal. The England international has brought a trophy-laden 12-year spell at City to an end by agreeing to move to Burnley in a deal worth around £3.5m. Burnley have an option to his extend Hart’s contract by a further year. The signing is a timely addition to Sean Dyche’s squad, with goalkeepers Nick Pope and Tom Heaton injured with less than three days to go until the start of the Premier League. 09:30
Rio Ferdinand has warned Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward not to sell Paul Pogba, amid reported interest from Barcelona. Ferdinand, who made over 450 appearances for United during a trophy-laden 12–year spell at Old Trafford, has called on his former club to dismiss the speculation surrounding Pogba’s future and sign Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld. "Don't you dare allow this ED... #MUFC is Pogba's home!!” Ferdinand wrote on Twitter. “Silence these rumours ASAP & get @AlderweireldTob through the door." 09:21
POGBA ‘AGREES BARCA TERMS’
Barcelona have agreed terms with Paul Pogba as reports in Italy claim the La Liga champions are stepping up their pursuit of the Manchester United midfielder. A story from the Daily Mirror, based on the Italian reports, claim Pogba has agreed a five-year deal worth £100m with Barcelona. Sky Sports News brought you the news earlier that United had rejected a cash-plus-player offer - £45m plus Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina - from Barca for Pogba. 09:14
BORO CHASE BOLASIE
Middlesbrough have launched an ambitious move for Everton winger Yannick Bolasie, Sky Sports News understands. The 29-year-old is surplus to requirements at Goodison Park and is available for around £15m, despite joining the Toffees two years ago for £26m. Boro boss Tony Pulis knows Bolasie from his time as manager of Crystal Palace. We understand the DR Congo international is also interesting former club Palace and Burnley, but Boro have money to spend after selling Ben Gibson and Patrick Bamford for a combined £25m this week. 09:05
Middlesbrough are attempting an ambitious move for Everton winger Yannick Bolasie, according to Sky sources. 09:02
Burnley are closing on the £3.5m purchase of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, Sky Sports News understands. Hart has agreed a two-year deal, with an option of a further year, after personal terms were finalised late last night. Burnley are expected to confirm the signing later today. 08:44
Joe Hart is leaving Manchester City for Burnley in deal worth around £3.5m, according to Sky sources. 08:40
WHO STILL NEEDS WHAT?
The summer transfer window closes on Thursday but who still needs what ahead of Deadline Day and which players could yet leave? Some top-flight clubs will be content with their business, while others - including Manchester United and Jose Mourinho - are keen to add further reinforcements before the cut-off time of 5pm. Here, we assess where each Premier League club may still look to trade before this weekend's big kick-off but you can have your say on the deals you would still like to see - tweet us @SkySportsPL. Read the feature here. 08:31
Jefferson Lerma will have a medical at Bournemouth today ahead of his proposed move from Levante, according to Sky sources. 08:13
EZE SIGNS QPR DEAL
Ebere Eze has committed his future to Queens Park Rangers by signing a new three-year contract at Loftus Road. The 20-year-old has agreed a two-year extension to his existing deal, and has been handed the No. 10 shirt by manager Steve McClaren. “I am delighted to have it all sorted so I can focus completely on playing football,” Eze told the club’s official website. “It’s a great feeling to know you have the trust of your manager, the fans and your team-mates. Everyone believes in me and it’s a real confidence boost. “This is the best place for me at this moment in time. I know that I can be free to play how I like to play. “If I keep my head down I have got a good opportunity to play here and that’s the main thing.” 08:02
Sky Sports News understands West Ham are close to agreeing deal to sign Arsenal striker Lucas Perez. The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at Deportivo La Coruna, whom Arsenal signed him from for £17m two years ago. Once complete, Perez will become West Ham’s ninth signing of the summer and will take their spending close to £100m. 07:51
West Ham close to agreeing deal to sign Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, according to Sky sources. 07:42
VAN AANHOLT FLATTERED BY JUVE LINK
Patrick van Aanholt admits he is flattered to have been linked with Serie A champions Juventus but insists he is "happy" at Crystal Palace. 07:33
So Steve Bruce has had his say on Jack Grealish’s future but with two days to go until Deadline Day, how do things stand? Well, Sky Sports News understands talks between Aston Villa and Tottenham remain ongoing over the 22-year-old. It is understood that Villa and Spurs remain apart on their valuation of the player. We have previously reported that Villa value Grealish between £30m and £40m. 07:23
BRUCE: BATTLE TO KEEP GREALISH
Steve Bruce admits Aston Villa have a fight on their hands to keep hold of Jack Grealish before the window closes. The midfielder, who has been linked with Tottenham, helped Villa win their opening Sky Bet Championship game of the season against Hull last night. Speaking after the game, Bruce told Sky Sports: "We'll do our best to keep hold of him but obviously it's going to be difficult. “We understand the human side. He'll want to play in the Premier League, he'll want to play in Europe, and he’ll want to play in the Champions League. “I'm sure it's going to be a fraught few days! The owner has made clear he wants him to stay and that's what we'll try to do. To be fair to Jack, he's just got on with it. Roll on Thursday!" 07:12
EVERTON MEDICAL FOR BERNARD
Chelsea have lodged a late bid to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Bernard, according to Sky sources, but the Brazilian is on his way to Everton and is expected on Merseyside for a medical in the next 48-hours. Bernard’s move is subject to that medical and a work permit being granted. Sky Sports News understands that AC Milan were convinced Bernard was on his way to the San Siro, and another source tells us Atletico Madrid also pushed hard to sign him, while West Ham were also interested. 06:56
BUTLAND TO THE BRIDGE?
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is Chelsea's top target to replace Thibaut Courtois if he leaves this summer, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News understands there has already been informal contact between Chelsea and Stoke over the England international. It is understood the Sky Bet Championship side would be prepared to allow Butland to leave for around £30m - but want any deal to be resolved quickly. 06:48
'LIVERPOOL HAVE ADDRESSED PROBLEMS'
The Debate returned to Sky Sports last night as the build-up to the new Premier League season continued. And, speaking on the show, Jamie Redknapp said Liverpool must be considered as genuine title contenders after signing wisely to address their problems from previous seasons. 06:34
HAS ANYONE SEEN COURTOIS?
Chelsea are facing a race against time to find a replacement for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who seems intent on forcing through a move to Real Madrid. The Belgium international failed to report back to Chelsea training on Monday as scheduled, where head coach Maurizio Sarri was expecting to hold face-to-face talks with Courtois about his future. Over the weekend Courtois' agent revealed that his client wants to move to Madrid to be closer to his family. Courtois has one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and is valued by Real at £32m, but Sky Sports News understands that Chelsea will not resume talks with the European champions until they find a suitable replacement. 06:14
There’s only one place to start this morning and that concerns Barcelona reported interest in Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Sky Italy report that United have rejected a cash plus player offer for the France international from the La Liga champions. It's understood Barca offered £45m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes in exchange for Pogba. That deal has been rejected. However, it's worth remembering that Spanish clubs are not subject to the early closure of the window like English clubs - and they can buy players until August 31. Sky Sports News understand Barca are serious about bringing Pogba to the Nou Camp. 06:00
RISE AND SHINE!
Good morning and welcome to the Transfer Centre! With just two days and 10 hours to go until the summer transfer window slams shut, we’re expecting a busy day here at Sky Sports News as clubs across the country scramble to get any late deals over the line. Stay tuned with us throughout the day as we bring you the very latest done deals, news, rumours and much more! 06:00
Watford vs Manchester City Prediction & Betting tips . Next weekend, this strange 2019/20 season is in Premier League history. If you think that the last few games don’t have much to offer anymore, you’re wrong. On Tuesday there is a duel between Watford and Manchester City and there is great unrest among both teams. The reason for the Get our Watford vs Manchester City Match Preview, stats and info. Team news, Predicted Lineups, Starting 11s, Odds, Injuries & suspensions Watford vs Manchester City Free prediction - 21-Jul-2020, Free betting tip, preview, H2H, latest results. Free Asian Handicap Main betting tip by salahsyh. Watford vs Manchester City Tips And Predictions City are offered at evens (2.00) to score over 2.5 goals which has paid out in six of their last seven clashes with Watford. Watford vs. Manchester City Preview and Predictions. Watford are still not certain of their Premier League status for the 2020-21 campaign, with a three-point cushion outside of the bottom three. Nigel Pearson’s side will be hopeful of having done enough before this clash, but they could be needing a result against City.
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