Ten Hag Furious with VAR Decisions

Erik ten Hag’s frowns at VAR Decision

E. ten Hag

Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, found himself in the midst of a contentious VAR decision during a crucial match against Arsenal. The incident in question revolved around Alejandro Garnacho’s disallowed goal, a moment that Ten Hag vehemently disagreed with. His contention centered on the VAR’s choice of angle to assess the play, arguing that it led to an incorrect call.

The disagreement between the Manchester United manager and the VAR decision highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the use of technology in football. VAR has been introduced with the intention of providing precise and fair rulings, yet it often sparks controversy due to differing interpretations of incidents and the angles used for review.

To provide further insight into the decision, former referee Mike Dean weighed in on the matter, asserting that the VAR’s call was, in fact, correct. Dean’s perspective lends credibility to the decision but also underscores the subjectivity that can surround such decisions in football. The clash between the opinions of a seasoned manager and a former referee adds layers to the ongoing discourse regarding VAR’s effectiveness and impact on the game’s flow and fairness.

In the broader context of the match, Garnacho’s disallowed goal proved pivotal. Manchester United believed they had taken the lead, only to have their hopes dashed by the VAR decision. Subsequently, Arsenal capitalized on this shift in momentum, scoring shortly after and eventually securing victory with another goal.

This incident serves as a reminder of the acceptable margins that can define outcomes in football, particularly in matches of significant consequence. It also underscores the need for continued refinement and clarity in using VAR, as well as the enduring subjectivity and debates surrounding officiating decisions in the modern game.

The Disagreement Between Mike Dean and Erik ten Hag Over VAR Decisions

Alejandro Garnacho

During a high-stakes match, tensions ran high as Manchester United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, expressed his dissatisfaction with several key decisions made by VAR. Among the contentious points raised by Ten Hag were a denied penalty claim, an unawarded foul in the penalty area involving one of his players, and the disallowed goal scored by Alejandro Garnacho.

Ten Hag’s grievances reflect the frustration that managers often experience when their team’s fortunes seem to hang on the interpretation of such crucial moments. These instances not only impact the immediate result but also have broader implications for a club’s season and even its future. The influence of VAR on football continues to be a topic of debate, with managers like Ten Hag using their platforms to voice their concerns and seek clarity.

In response to Ten Hag’s objections, former referee Mike Dean provided a counterpoint by defending the VAR’s decisions. Dean acknowledged the manager’s frustration, recognizing that the Garnacho goal decision, in particular, was a very close call. However, he stood by the initial offside ruling, highlighting the subjectivity that often characterizes these judgments.

The divergent views of Dean and Ten Hag emphasize the complexity of VAR’s role in modern football. While VAR aims to provide accurate and consistent officiating, it is not immune to disagreements and debate, as seen in this instance. The very nature of the technology’s involvement in the game invites scrutiny and differing interpretations, making it a focal point of discussion among fans, pundits, and football professionals alike.

Ultimately, the case highlights the challenge of balancing technology’s role in improving decision-making with the need for transparency, consistency, and acceptance within the footballing community. As the debate surrounding VAR continues, finding a common ground that satisfies both managers’ concerns and referees’ objectivity remains an ongoing and evolving aspect of the sport.

Analyzing VAR’s Role

The controversial VAR decision that ruled out Alejandro Garnacho’s goal for Manchester United against Arsenal offers a nuanced look into the role of technology in modern football and its influence on match outcomes. In a tightly contested game, the decision hinged on Garnacho’s offside position, with VAR scrutinizing several angles before rendering its verdict.

The match, level at 1-1, witnessed a pivotal moment when Garnacho appeared to have secured victory for Manchester United, only for VAR to intervene and disallow the goal. The Argentine teenager was found to be marginally offside, leading to a cascade of events that ultimately saw Arsenal emerge victorious with two late stoppage-time goals.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s manager, voiced his displeasure with the angles used by officials to make the offside call. His frustration mirrors the sentiments of many managers who grapple with the interpretation of VAR decisions, as these rulings can profoundly impact the course of a match and, by extension, a team’s season.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher defended VAR’s eventual decision, shedding light on the calibration process involving multiple angles and the use of crosslines to determine offside. He emphasized that VAR’s primary function is to ascertain whether a player is onside or offside, with technology providing precise measurements for this purpose. Gallagher’s insights underscore the rigorous standards and the objectivity that VAR aims to bring to decision-making.

Mike Dean, another experienced referee, supported the decision and highlighted the use of multiple camera angles to reach a verdict. He explained that when the lines are placed accurately, the technology leaves little room for dispute. Dean’s perspective underscores the importance of the technology’s consistency and accuracy in making such determinations.

The Garnacho offside incident is emblematic of the ongoing debate surrounding VAR in football. While its introduction sought to reduce errors and increase fairness, it has introduced a new layer of subjectivity and interpretation. In this case, the focus was on the precision of technology and its impact on the outcome of a match.

Overall, the episode exemplifies the delicate balance between technological precision and the human interpretation of the game. As football continues to navigate the integration of VAR, finding common ground that satisfies the demands for accuracy and the spirit of the sport remains an evolving challenge for officials, managers, and fans alike.

Neymar signs with Al-Hilal

Unveiling the Transition: Al-Hilal’s Captivating Announcement

In a remarkable turn of events, Neymar Junior has provided a comprehensive elucidation for the rationale that underpins his unorthodox yet audacious choice to depart from the familiar realms of European football and embark on a new chapter in the opulence of Saudi Arabia.

At 31 years of age, Neymar Junior has orchestrated a pioneering transfer, transitioning from his previous club, Paris Saint-Germain, to the Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal. This momentous transfer was finalized on the 15th of August, marking a significant pivot in his career trajectory. An eagerly anticipated unveiling ceremony has been slated for the upcoming week, where his integration into the Al-Hilal team will be officially celebrated.

Under the terms and conditions of his freshly forged contract, the erstwhile Barcelona frontman has masterfully secured a commitment that spans two years. This contractual arrangement is poised to bestow upon him a lucrative annual income, estimated to hover around the formidable sum of $100 million. This financial package, while undoubtedly substantial, is intriguingly set at approximately half the reported earnings of the seasoned 38-year-old football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo, a fact duly noted by Al Jazeera.

This paradigm-shifting decision by Neymar Junior not only commands attention due to its departure from convention but also invites a profound analysis of the changing dynamics within the world of football. The move from the illustrious European stage to the burgeoning football landscape of Saudi Arabia speaks volumes about the evolving interplay between sporting ambition and financial incentive. It signifies a departure from the well-trodden path in favor of venturing into uncharted territory, where the prospect of substantial financial gain appears to have outweighed the allure of staying within the European football ecosystem.

Neymar Junior’s transition to Al-Hilal and the substantial financial compensation, he is set to receive prompts a deeper examination of the shifting currents within the football industry. It highlights the complex interplay between personal career aspirations, financial considerations, and the evolving geography of top-tier football. The decisions of renowned players like Neymar Junior can serve as mirrors reflecting the changing landscape of the sport and the intricate decisions that athletes are compelled to make in this ever-evolving era of football.

Neymar’s Vision: Becoming a ‘Global Player’ Beyond Conventional Metrics


Intriguingly, Neymar Junior’s transition to Al-Hilal, despite the alluring monetary benefits that accompany such a move and the existing perceptions regarding athletes migrating to the affluent oil-rich Middle East region, reveals a multi-dimensional decision-making process that transcends mere financial gains. His decision to relocate to the Middle East emerges as a testament to his ambition to ascend to the echelons of a ‘global player,’ signaling a profound shift in his personal and professional aspirations that extend beyond conventional football metrics.

This shift becomes palpable as Neymar Junior underscores that his quest for personal evolution and growth takes precedence over immediate financial gratification. By expressing his desire to be perceived as a ‘global player,’ he alludes to a desire to transcend geographical boundaries and cultural confines, aiming to impact the sport on a global scale. In effect, his move can be seen as a strategic move towards enhancing his international reputation and influence, beyond the confines of any particular league or region.

Moreover, Neymar Junior’s assertion of seeking ‘novel challenges and fresh prospects in different locales’ echoes a deep-rooted yearning for continuous self-improvement and a hunger for innovation. This inclination reflects a mindset characterized by an insatiable thirst for testing his abilities against diverse playing styles, teams, and environments. Such a perspective offers insights into his determination to cultivate his skills holistically, embracing challenges as catalysts for growth rather than merely pursuing comfortable routines.

Legacy and Beyond: Neymar’s Move as a Catalyst for Change

In the broader context of the football landscape, Neymar Junior’s decision holds significance as it mirrors a paradigm shift in how athletes perceive their careers. Beyond the traditional metrics of victory and individual accolades, this move illustrates the rising importance of holistic personal development and global recognition. By seeking a harmonious blend of financial security, personal expansion, and novel challenges, Neymar Junior projects himself as a trailblazer who carves a path less traveled, redefining success in a multi-dimensional manner.

This calculated move serves as a microcosm of the evolving ethos within modern football, where players’ decisions are increasingly shaped by a blend of global ambition, personal growth, and an unquenchable appetite for fresh experiences. Neymar Junior’s migration to Al-Hilal thus encapsulates not only a geographical transition but also a profound transformation in his footballing philosophy, one that mirrors the evolving nature of the sport itself.

Speaking to the press for the first time after he completed his move, he said:

“I have achieved a lot in Europe and enjoyed special times, but I have always wanted to be a global player and test myself with new challenges and opportunities in new places. I want to write new sporting history, and the Saudi Pro League has tremendous energy and quality players at the moment.”

Middle East Football Renaissance: Saudi Arabia’s Attraction of Football Stars

K. Benzema
N. Kanté
S. Mané

In a sequence of events that adds layers to Neymar Junior’s strategic move, the transition from Paris Saint-Germain to Al-Hilal unfolds against the backdrop of a meticulously orchestrated announcement. Al-Hilal’s announcement of the acquisition of Neymar reverberated through the footballing world. The captivating video unveiling marked not only the culmination of his illustrious six-season journey with the French club but also signified a profound shift in his career trajectory.

Neymar’s entrance into Al-Hilal places him in the esteemed company of other football luminaries who have similarly embarked on a distinctive path. Among these remarkable talents stand the reigning Ballon d’Or laureate, Karim Benzema, the distinguished two-time African Player of the Year, Sadio Mane, and the indomitable force of N’Golo Kante. This constellation of players, intriguingly, finds commonality in tracing their career trajectories through the footsteps of the revered Cristiano Ronaldo. The decision to relocate to the Middle East thereby becomes more than a simple transfer; it is a strategic alignment of careers, each character navigating their own unique voyage propelled by a shared understanding of ambition and legacy.

Within the context of the Saudi Pro League (SPL), Neymar’s position among the league’s highest earners is of particular interest. The affirmation of his new destination in the Middle East, as relayed by Sports Brief, triggers curiosity about his standing within the financial landscape of the league. His place among the league’s top earners undoubtedly casts light on the competitive appeal that the SPL has garnered in recent times, as international talents of his caliber seek to align their careers with the vibrant footballing ecosystem of the region.

Furthermore, Neymar’s transfer, occurring in the midst of a wave of prominent players transitioning from Europe to the oil-rich Saudi Arabian nation, epitomizes a broader trend reshaping the football landscape. This exodus serves as a testament to the shifting dynamics in global football, where financial incentives and unique opportunities presented by the Middle East region act as powerful magnets, redirecting the trajectories of established talents.

In the midst of these transformative shifts, Neymar’s relocation stands out as a defining moment. This two-year multi-million deal not only ushers him into a new chapter of his career but also places him at the crossroads of an evolving footballing narrative. As players venture beyond traditional footballing powerhouses, the decisions they make carry implications that resonate beyond individual careers, ultimately shaping the trajectory of the sport itself.

New rules about added extra time causes debate

Controversial New Injury Time Rules Raise Debate in English Football

The commencement of the English football season with the English Football League (EFL) and Community Shield matches brought with it not only excitement but also a wave of criticism due to the introduction of new time rules to injury time. This change has stirred up discussions among players, managers, and fans alike.

During the Community Shield clash between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, an unexpected 11 minutes of added time was granted, a decision that significantly impacted the outcome of the match. Arsenal capitalized on this prolonged period, securing an equalizer and eventually clinching victory over the Premier League champions through a penalty shootout.

The motivation behind these new rules stems from the need to address time-wasting tactics employed by teams, which have the potential to disrupt the fluidity of the game. However, the implementation of these regulations has triggered a storm of criticism from various quarters within the football community.

While the intention to curb time-wasting is commendable, some critics argue that these new rules might inadvertently distort the natural flow of the game. The added minutes, factoring in substitutions, throw-ins, and corner kicks, can disrupt the rhythm of play and lead to situations where the outcome of a match hinges on an extended period of injury time.

Managers and players have voiced their concerns about the impact of these regulations on the game. The unpredictability introduced by the extended injury time could potentially affect tactical decisions, team strategies, and even player fitness levels. Critics suggest that this may create an environment where teams focus more on managing time during injury time rather than playing the game in its true spirit.

Additionally, the extra minutes might not necessarily address the core issue of time-wasting effectively. Instead, they may introduce a different set of challenges, potentially leading to contentious situations and debates around referee decisions related to added time.

As the Premier League and other competitions gear up for the upcoming season, the implementation of these new time rules remains a point of contention. The football community continues to debate whether this approach strikes the right balance between eliminating time-wasting and preserving the essence of the game.

While the goal of enhancing the fairness and fluidity of matches is well-intentioned, the broader impact of these rules warrants thorough consideration and perhaps further refinement. As football enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the unfolding of the new season, the spotlight remains on how these new time rules will shape the dynamics and outcomes of matches.

A Concern for Player Safety and Fixture Congestion

K. De Bruyne

The recent implementation of new injury time rules in English football has ignited a firestorm of debate, with concerns arising not only about the impact on the game’s flow but also the potential consequences for player safety and an already packed fixture schedule. Players such as Raphaël Varane and Kevin De Bruyne have voiced their reservations about these regulations, highlighting the broader implications they might entail.

One of the primary criticisms directed towards these new rules is the potential elongation of match durations. Traditionally, football matches have adhered to a certain timeframe, but with the introduction of extra minutes to account for time-wasting and other interruptions, the games could significantly surpass their typical durations. This aspect has particularly drawn the ire of players who are already navigating a congested fixture schedule.

Kevin De Bruyne, in a candid post-match interview, articulated the players’ concerns. He highlighted that the addition of substantial injury time “does not make sense,” especially considering the players’ safety and well-being. De Bruyne noted that during the Community Shield clash, the match lasted 12 to 13 minutes beyond the stipulated time. He projected that in some cases, games might extend to as much as 20 to 25 minutes over the regular duration.

The Belgian midfielder’s apprehensions resonate with the broader issue of player safety. Football is a physically demanding sport that places immense stress on athletes’ bodies. An extended match duration could potentially lead to fatigue, increased risk of injuries, and compromised player performance. This concern is particularly pertinent given the current landscape of football, where players already navigate a hectic schedule that includes domestic leagues, cup competitions, and international fixtures.

Furthermore, De Bruyne pointed out the inherent contradiction in playing extended matches, especially when teams are faced with back-to-back fixtures. The UEFA Super Cup Final, for instance, could be followed by a league match in a matter of days. With the possibility of playing extra minutes in both games, players could effectively find themselves participating in the equivalent of two extra-time periods within a short span. This scenario raises questions about the feasibility and sustainability of such a format.

De Bruyne’s apprehensions are not isolated. Many players and even managers share these concerns. While the intention behind the new injury time rules is to ensure fairness and minimize time-wasting, the broader consequences on player safety and fixture congestion cannot be ignored. As the season progresses, these concerns will likely continue to be discussed and evaluated, potentially leading to adjustments or refinements in the rules to strike a balance between enhancing the game and safeguarding players’ well-being.

Concerns Reverberate Among Managers and Broadcasters

Pep Guardiola

The implementation of extended injury time rules in English football has not only ignited concerns among players but has also drawn attention from managers and broadcasters, each grappling with the potential implications of the changes. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, renowned for his insightful perspectives, has joined the chorus of voices expressing apprehensions about the newfound length of football matches.

Guardiola acknowledged the inevitability of adapting to the new rules, stating, “We have to accept it. We have to do it.” However, his reservations about the impact on match durations were evident. He humorously quipped, “Now the games will be 100 minutes, that’s for sure,” alluding to the inevitable extension in playing time due to goals and other stoppages. Guardiola used the example of a high-scoring match to emphasize the point, envisioning how added seconds for multiple goals could lead to significantly elongated games. The lighthearted yet critical remark, “Tomorrow morning at 8am we will still be here playing,” underscores the potential exaggeration of match durations.

Guardiola’s stance reflects the broader concern that has reverberated across football circles – the unintended elongation of matches. The accumulation of time for goals and other interruptions, coupled with a game’s natural flow, could lead to matches stretching beyond their conventional duration. Such a scenario has implications for player fatigue, injury risks, and the overall experience for both players and fans.

As the football world grapples with these changes, another dimension of concern emerges – the impact on broadcasters. The initial backlash to the extended injury time rules prompted broadcasters like Sky Sports, ITV, and BBC to engage in internal discussions on the matter. These conversations stem from legitimate concerns that the elongated match durations might disrupt their broadcasting schedules.

Sources from within the broadcasting industry have voiced their unease about the potential alterations that these extended games might introduce to their programming. The implications of longer match durations could ripple across broadcasting plans, affecting the scheduling of other shows and events. This unforeseen consequence highlights the complexity of introducing such changes and the need to strike a balance between enhancing the game’s fairness and preserving the interests of various stakeholders, including broadcasters and fans.

In light of the multifaceted concerns raised by players, managers, and broadcasters, it remains to be seen how the footballing authorities address and navigate these challenges. While the intention behind the extended injury time rules was to curb time-wasting and improve fairness, the larger consequences on player welfare, fixture congestion, and broadcasting dynamics call for a comprehensive evaluation of the new regulations. As the season unfolds, football’s stakeholders will likely continue to assess and adapt to these changes in pursuit of a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation.

Varane’s Critique

R. Varane

Raphaël Varane, a prominent figure on Manchester United’s roster, has emerged as a vocal critic of the extended injury time rules that have sent ripples through the footballing world. The French defender has not minced words in expressing his discontent, highlighting the concerns shared by many players and managers. It was revealed that the implementation of the new rules was recommended by the Football Association (FA), a decision that Varane has condemned with passion.

In a statement shared on his social media platform, Varane conveyed his condemnation of the FA’s decision and illuminated the profound ramifications he believes the combination of a congested schedule and lengthier games will have on players’ well-being and the quality of the game itself.

Varane’s central concern revolves around the burgeoning fixture list and its adverse effects on players’ physical and mental health. He asserted, “From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for players’ physical and mental wellbeing.” The stark reality of modern football, with its relentless string of matches, has led to a call for a more balanced and player-centric approach.

The Manchester United defender further underscored the paradox created by the implementation of these rules. Despite the feedback and concerns raised by players and managers over the years, the authorities have now recommended changes that amplify the intensity of games and potentially dilute the emotions exhibited by players. Varane, speaking on behalf of many in the footballing community, questioned why the opinions of those directly involved in the game were not taken into account in shaping these decisions.

The heart of Varane’s critique lies in his belief that the changes being ushered in could detrimentally impact the essence of the sport. He questioned the priorities that seem to be guiding these decisions, asserting, “As a player, I feel very privileged to do the job I love every day, but I feel these changes are damaging our game.” The emphasis on player welfare, the balance between physical and mental demands, and the preservation of the game’s authenticity have become rallying points for Varane’s critique.

In the face of these candid and impassioned statements, it remains to be seen how the authorities respond to the concerns raised by players like Varane. As the footballing world grapples with the multifaceted challenges of modernization and tradition, players’ voices have gained prominence in advocating for a more holistic and balanced approach to shaping the future of the sport they hold dear. Varane’s words have added to the chorus of dissent, underscoring the importance of unity in safeguarding the essence of football.


How Rasmus Højlund will fit into Ten Hag’s System

Unveiling Rasmus Hojlund: A Critical Analysis of Manchester United’s Striking Prospect

R. Højlund

To revitalize their attacking options, Manchester United has made a bold move by signing Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta for a staggering €85 million. The 20-year-old’s acquisition represents Erik ten Hag’s ambition to shape a formidable frontline capable of challenging the Premier League’s tactical supremacy. Hojlund’s transfer brings a mix of potential, physicality, and goal-scoring prowess, positioning him as an archetypical striker the club needs to navigate the modern football landscape. In this article, we delve into the reasoning behind Manchester United’s investment in Hojlund, evaluate the player’s attributes, and discuss the potential impact he could have on the team.

In the competitive world of top-tier football, Manchester United has made its fair share of mistakes in the transfer market, resulting in players without substantial sale value. However, their latest signing, Rasmus Hojlund, brings immense potential as a physical frontman, aiming to bolster Erik ten Hag’s side and revolutionize their fortunes. With an eye on players with a solid future, Manchester United’s acquisition of Hojlund reflects a shift towards investing in young talents with the capacity to thrive in the ever-evolving tactical landscape of the Premier League.

Analyzing Manchester United’s Transfer Woes:

J. Sancho

Manchester United has faced criticism for their catastrophic transfer decisions in the past, lacking foresight in identifying players’ true potential. This scrutiny extends even to the high-profile signing of Jadon Sancho. In the unforgiving world of top-tier football, players often have a short window to impress before the price tag becomes irrelevant, as seen with Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal. Such past mistakes have prompted Manchester United fans to question why their club has struggled to secure players with significant sale value.

Erik ten Hag’s Reinvention:

E. ten Hag

Similarly to Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, Erik ten Hag did not initially receive complete trust from the club hierarchy. However, the Dutchman has spent significant sums, primarily on experienced professionals and potential talents. Last summer, his notable acquisition was Antony, who made a near-€100 million move to the club. This time, ten Hag has invested heavily in potential, finalizing an €85 million deal with Atalanta for striker Rasmus Hojlund, thereby elevating his attacking options.

Unraveling Rasmus Hojlund’s Potential:

Rasmus Hojlund, a 20-year-old striker, comes to Old Trafford with great expectations and pressure to justify the hefty price tag. With just a single season in one of Europe’s top-five leagues, the Danish international faces a formidable challenge. However, ten Hag sees him as an ideal fit for his style, a physical frontman who can significantly contribute to the team’s performance inside the box. If Hojlund can hit the ground running and showcase his abilities in the early games, the weight of the €85 million price tag will soon diminish.

His style of play aligns well with Erik ten Hag’s attacking philosophy, offering the manager a genuine No. 9 option. Hojlund’s ability to convert high-value chances inside the box, as evidenced by his impressive shot-to-goal conversion rate, showcases his effectiveness as a goal scorer. Furthermore, his ability to use both feet and heading strengthens his attacking repertoire and versatility.

The Trend towards Physical Strikers:

K. Havertz

Manchester United’s signing of Hojlund reflects a growing trend in the Premier League, with top clubs opting for physical strikers who excel inside the box. This change is evident in Pep Guardiola’s shift towards a system with a formidable presence like Erling Haaland, Jurgen Klopp’s acquisition of Darwin Nunez, and Arsenal’s interest in Kai Havertz. Manchester United, too, has joined the movement, looking for a striker who can thrive in a physical and tactical style.

Why Hojlund Fits the Bill:

Although Hojlund’s goal tally at Atalanta might seem modest, his profile as a 20-year-old striker with great potential commands a substantial fee in the current market. Highly rated by many, Hojlund’s attributes align with Manchester United’s requirements for a central striker. His ability to make shots count inside the box, as evidenced by his impressive conversion rate, bodes well for the team’s goal-scoring prospects. Additionally, Hojlund possesses superior skills in heading and using his weaker foot, making him a well-rounded striker.

Adapting to Ten Hag’s Style:

Home Away All
Played 19 19 38
Wins 15 8 23
Draws 3 3 6
Losses 1 8 9

Hojlund’s playing style complements ten Hag’s tactical approach. He primarily operates in the middle third of the attacking half, offering support to wingers or a second striker. His efficiency in avoiding low-value shots demonstrates his focus on creating superior chances. While he may not yet match Haaland’s shot volume, Hojlund’s work rate and presence inside the box provide a formidable threat in converting 50-50 chances into goals. With his physical attributes, he should adapt well to the rigors of the Premier League.

Assessing the Signing:

Manchester United’s investment in Hojlund is a smart move, aligning with the team’s needs in the current tactical landscape. Although more technically secure than Harry Kane, Hojlund possesses key elements that suit Manchester United’s requirements. His ability to link up play and compete against imposing defenders makes him a valuable asset. Moreover, his inclusion frees up Marcus Rashford to excel in his primary left-wing role, giving the team a dynamic attacking threat.

Manchester United’s signing of Rasmus Hojlund represents a strategic move toward investing in young talents with immense potential. As a physical striker with an eye for goal, Hojlund perfectly fits Erik ten Hag’s style and offers numerous attacking options. While the price tag may have sparked criticisms, Hojlund’s promising attributes make him a smart acquisition for the club. With time and nurturing, Hojlund has the potential to become a champion striker in Manchester United colors and elevate the team’s fortunes in the Premier League.


Klopp says “Trust us”

Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at Liverpool has been a transformative journey, centered around turning doubters into believers. Now, as the team faces the aftermath of a taxing and emotionally draining season, Klopp calls upon the fans to continue placing their trust in him and the club.

The 2021/22 season had brought unprecedented highs for Liverpool, but the following season saw them fall far from replicating those triumphs. The Reds appeared to be a mere shadow of their former selves, lacking the same vigor and life that had characterized their previous successes. Crucially, key areas that required attention during the transfer window remained unaddressed, leaving the team struggling to keep up with their competitors rather than looking ahead confidently.

Taking the bull by its horn

J. Klopp

However, this summer, significant changes have taken place, and more transformations lie ahead as the new season approaches. With just three weeks remaining until the opening game, Klopp has an important message to convey to the loyal supporters.

“Seven-and-a-half years ago, I don’t want to exaggerate, but I said we have to turn from doubters to believers,” Klopp reminisces during the ‘We are Liverpool’ official podcast. He recalls the significance of that phrase during those early days of his managerial journey at the club. At the time, Klopp himself might have had moments of doubt, but he soon became a staunch believer in the club’s potential and the fans’ unwavering support.

Over the years, Liverpool came tantalizingly close to achieving greatness, narrowly missing out on winning the quadruple and enduring a challenging season that shook the team’s confidence. Klopp acknowledges that such events can indeed create doubts among players and fans alike. Nonetheless, he is fully aware of the deep connection between the club and its supporters, even amidst the changing fortunes.

Fans’ expectations are diverse, and opinions on what needs changing can differ greatly. Klopp humorously highlights this by saying, “People want to change; one day, they want to change the team in 12 positions, and the next, only one. Then we change, and it’s the wrong player!” It’s a sentiment that rings true for many football supporters, as they grapple with the complexities of team management and player transfers.

Turning Memories into Memoirs

In the midst of these varying views and emotions, Klopp earnestly implores the fans to trust the club’s vision and the decisions made by the management. He emphasizes that the club feels a deep sense of responsibility for its actions and is fully committed to delivering a season that will be etched in the memories of the fans forever.

“We feel really responsible for what is happening here, and we will do absolutely everything to have a season, in the best possible understanding, we will never forget. That’s the plan,” Klopp reaffirms. His determination and passion are evident, as he recognizes the importance of the upcoming season and the need to leave a lasting impact on the supporters.

“In Jurgen, we trust” becomes the rallying cry that encapsulates the relationship between Klopp, the players, and the devoted fans. Klopp’s journey at Liverpool has been a testament to perseverance, belief, and the power of unity. Throughout the years, he has earned the trust and respect of the Liverpool faithful by guiding the team to moments of glory and instilling a fighting spirit that never wavers.

As the new season approaches, the fans are once again called upon to stand by their team, trust the process, and remain united in their support. In Klopp, they have a manager who understands the club’s values, its rich history, and the aspirations of the fans. His plea to “trust us” is not just an appeal for patience; it is a promise that the team will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of success.

With Klopp at the helm, Liverpool has the leadership and vision to overcome challenges, learn from past experiences, and continue striving for greatness. The road ahead may have its twists and turns, but as long as the fans remain steadfast in their belief and trust, the spirit of Liverpool will endure. The journey to transform doubters into believers is ongoing, and in the spirit of unity, resilience, and camaraderie, Liverpool marches on.


How Onana will change Man United

The transition

As Andre Onana’s £47 million transfer to Manchester United nears completion, the talented goalkeeper is setting ambitious goals for his future at the club. Having played a significant role in Inter Milan’s impressive Champions League campaign, which saw them reach the final but narrowly lose to Manchester City, Onana is now determined to challenge for the coveted European trophy with his new team.

The 27-year-old Cameroon international emerged as Manchester United’s top choice for the No.1 goalkeeper position, following uncertainties surrounding the future of David de Gea, who subsequently left the club as a free agent. After weeks of negotiations, the deal is now close to being finalized, with Onana scheduled to undergo a medical on Wednesday.

The reunion

E. ten Hag

Onana’s excitement about joining Manchester United is evident, especially due to the prospect of reuniting with coach Erik ten Hag, whom he previously worked with at Ajax. The goalkeeper described Ten Hag as a masterful coach and expressed his eagerness to embark on this thrilling new experience in the Premier League with the historic club.

While Onana had a positive experience at Inter Milan, he couldn’t resist the allure of playing in the Premier League for a club as prestigious as Manchester United. He explained that he is a person who always seeks new challenges, and the opportunity to represent United was simply irresistible.

Despite his eagerness for the new chapter in his career, Onana also shared a sense of pride and sadness about leaving Inter. He had hoped to win the Champions League with the Milan-based club and celebrate the victory with their devoted fans. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic about Inter’s future prospects and wishes the club success in their pursuit of glory.

With the formalities of his transfer expected to be concluded in the coming days, Onana will become Manchester United’s second summer signing, following the earlier acquisition of Mason Mount from Chelsea for £60 million.

Looking ahead, Ten Hag’s attention is turning towards signing a new striker, with Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund being a top target. However, to secure the services of the Danish talent, United may need to raise funds, as Atalanta is likely to demand an excess of £60 million for their prized asset.

As the new Premier League season approaches, the anticipation among Manchester United fans for the arrival of Andre Onana is building. With his determination to succeed, previous experience under Erik ten Hag’s guidance, and his desire to win the Champions League, Onana has all the ingredients to become an integral part of United’s squad and help the club achieve its ambitions in both domestic and European competitions.

Ball-playing ability

A. Onana

Andre Onana’s rise to prominence as one of the best goalkeepers in the world can be attributed, in part, to his exceptional ball-playing ability. The Cameroonian shot-stopper has drawn comparisons to the legendary Manuel Neuer during his prime years at Bayern Munich, where Neuer revolutionized the sweeper role with his remarkable skills.

Onana’s evolution in the sweeper role has been remarkable, adding a new dimension to his team’s defense when they have possession. His composure and comfort on the ball set him apart from many other goalkeepers, including his predecessor David de Gea, who struggled to play out from the back, especially in recent times.

In contrast, De Gea was renowned for his exceptional shot-stopping ability, which earned him praise and admiration throughout his career. However, as time went on, his shot-stopping prowess seemed to have declined somewhat.

Onana’s ball-playing abilities have given his team an advantage in building play from the back and initiating attacks. His distribution and decision-making have been vital in maintaining possession and launching swift counter-attacks, showcasing his ability to influence the game beyond traditional goalkeeping duties.

This comparison highlights the changing demands in modern football for goalkeepers to be not only shot-stoppers but also active participants in the team’s overall tactical approach. Onana’s proficiency in the sweeper role showcases his adaptability and versatility, making him a highly sought-after goalkeeper in the current football landscape.

As the footballing world witnesses the evolution of the goalkeeper position, Onana’s emergence as a complete shot-stopper and playmaker serves as a testament to his dedication and hard work. His style of play aligns with the modern philosophy of building from the back and controlling possession, demonstrating how goalkeepers’ roles have evolved beyond traditional shot-stopping.

Moving forward, Onana’s performances will undoubtedly continue to be scrutinized as he aims to maintain his status among the elite goalkeepers in the world. His development and impact in the sweeper role may even inspire other goalkeepers to hone their ball-playing skills, ushering in a new era where shot-stopping is only one aspect of a goalkeeper’s overall skill set.

Prior experience with Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag’s managerial approach has garnered a reputation for placing trust in players he has previously worked with. Since joining Manchester United, he has already brought in Tyrel Malacia, Antony, and Lisandro Martinez, all of whom had prior experience under the Dutchman’s guidance and featured prominently for the Red Devils in the previous season.

Andre Onana’s football journey saw him develop his goalkeeping prowess during his time at Ajax, where he was under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag and his coaching staff from 2016 to 2022. The Dutch manager played a significant role in shaping Onana’s abilities as a goalkeeper, contributing to his impressive development over the years. The fact that Onana now seeks to reunite with his former Ajax mentor at Manchester United speaks volumes about the positive working relationship they share and the optimism it brings for both the player and the club.

Reports suggest that Onana turned down offers from Saudi Arabia in favor of a move to Manchester United this summer, indicating his genuine desire to join the club for the right reasons. This decision further underscores the level of commitment and eagerness Onana has to work with ten Hag once again and showcase his talent at one of the most prestigious clubs in world football.

The prospect of reuniting with a familiar coach can often provide a sense of familiarity and support, which can be crucial in helping a player settle into a new environment and adapt seamlessly to the tactical systems and philosophies in place. Onana’s previous experience with ten Hag at Ajax likely played a role in his decision to pursue a move to Manchester United, as it represents an opportunity to continue his footballing journey under the guidance of someone who has significantly influenced his growth as a player.

As Onana prepares to join Manchester United, there is a palpable sense of anticipation regarding his impact on the team and how he will fit into ten Hag’s tactical framework. The goalkeeper’s previous familiarity with the manager’s coaching methods and his apparent willingness to embrace the challenge at Old Trafford bode well for a fruitful partnership.

In the dynamic and competitive world of football, the chemistry between players and their coaches can often play a pivotal role in determining success on and off the pitch. Onana’s decision to follow his former mentor, Erik ten Hag, to Manchester United, coupled with his commitment to the club’s vision, creates an encouraging foundation for his tenure at the Red Devils. As fans eagerly await his arrival, the prospect of seeing Onana in action, working alongside a trusted coach, adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season.

Stats don’t lie

When objectively assessing a player’s performance, sentimental values aside, the metrics and statistics provide valuable insights. A thorough comparison of Andre Onana’s recent stats with David de Gea’s reveals that the 27-year-old Cameroonian excels in almost every category, making a strong case for him being an upgrade over the Spaniard.

Onana’s performance places him among the top goalkeepers in the Big 5 European leagues. Notably, his saving percentage stands at an impressive 76%, outshining De Gea’s 71%. Moreover, in terms of goals conceded per game, Onana boasts a favorable statistic of 0.95 compared to De Gea’s 1.1, indicating his ability to prevent goals more effectively.

Perhaps the most significant stat that highlights Onana’s superiority over De Gea is his efficiency in stopping crosses. Onana successfully stopped 6.1% of crosses, a remarkable feat compared to De Gea’s 3.1%, emphasizing Onana’s command in dealing with aerial threats and crosses into the box.

While De Gea may have accumulated more clean sheets than the 27-year-old in the previous season, it is evident that Onana’s overall goalkeeping ability surpasses De Gea’s performance. Onana’s proficiency in crucial aspects of goalkeeping, such as shot-stopping, handling crosses, and minimizing goals conceded, positions him as a more well-rounded and effective goalkeeper.

These statistics not only showcase Onana’s individual excellence but also underscore his potential to make a significant impact at Manchester United. As the club’s new No.1 goalkeeper, Onana brings a wealth of talent and skill, evident in his impressive numbers across various categories.

For Manchester United fans and the coaching staff alike, these statistics offer an encouraging glimpse into the capabilities of their newly acquired goalkeeper. Onana’s presence in the squad is poised to strengthen the team’s defensive setup and provide a solid foundation in their pursuit of success in domestic and European competitions.

While numbers provide valuable insights, football is a dynamic sport where individual performance is influenced by various factors, including team tactics, support from the defense, and overall squad chemistry. Nonetheless, Onana’s remarkable statistics serve as a promising indication of the caliber of player Manchester United is acquiring, raising expectations for an improved defensive setup under his stewardship. As Onana prepares to take on the responsibility of guarding United’s goal, supporters eagerly await his performances, confident that he possesses the necessary ability and skill to excel as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.


Can Liverpool challenge Arsenal and Man City?

Gunners fall short

B. Saka

The 2022/23 season of English top-flight football stands out as a remarkable case study, showcasing the importance of peaking at the right time and the perils of spiking too early. Arsenal’s journey during this campaign vividly illustrates the impact of timing on a team’s fortunes.

Throughout the season, Arsenal experienced a significant period of 248 days in the coveted first place position. Their strong performances and consistency saw them leading the league for an extended period, which in itself was an impressive feat. However, the final weekend of the season presented an unexpected twist, as they found themselves sitting in second place, narrowly missing out on the title. Notably, no team in the history of English top-flight football had ever held the top spot for such a lengthy duration without ultimately clinching the championship.

This unique scenario emphasizes the significance of peaking at the right moment in a highly competitive league. The ebbs and flows of a football season can be unforgiving, and the timing of a team’s form can make all the difference between success and falling short. Arsenal’s journey serves as a lesson for other teams, underlining the need for consistent performance throughout the entirety of the campaign, as well as the ability to maintain peak form during crucial stages.

The intricacies of such a season also highlight the psychological aspects of the sport. Leading the league for an extended period can create immense pressure and expectations for a team, and how they manage these psychological challenges can significantly impact their performance during the crucial run-in. Conversely, teams that manage to build momentum and peak at the right time often demonstrate resilience, mental fortitude, and tactical adaptability, all of which play pivotal roles in securing coveted titles.

Beyond Arsenal’s example, the 2022/23 season serves as a reminder of football’s captivating unpredictability. In this dynamic sport, no team’s success can ever be guaranteed, regardless of their form during the majority of the campaign. The league’s competitive nature keeps fans on the edge of their seats until the very last fixture, with dramatic changes in the league table and title race possibilities occurring in the blink of an eye.

This season’s lessons should resonate with teams across the footballing spectrum. It’s crucial for clubs to avoid complacency when leading the league early on, as the competition can swiftly catch up and overtake them. Likewise, those who find themselves trailing in the standings must remember that opportunities for a turnaround can arise at any moment, and a late-season surge can lead to remarkable comebacks.

The implications of this season’s events extend beyond the specific case of Arsenal, offering valuable insights for players, coaches, and football enthusiasts alike. Success in English top-flight football hinges on much more than just individual talent or early-season brilliance. It requires strategic planning, tactical versatility, mental resilience, and the ability to peak at precisely the right time.

As we reflect on the events of the 2022/23 campaign, let us appreciate the dynamic nature of football and the captivating narratives it weaves. The journey towards the title is often an intricate and unpredictable one, shaped not only by the quality of teams but also by the timings of their peaks and troughs. This season serves as a compelling testament to the enduring beauty and drama of the beautiful game.

The champions of the trio

E. Haaland

It’s true that Manchester City has been dominant in recent years, securing their fifth league title in six years. Their consistent success has certainly established them as a force to be reckoned with in English football. However, it would be premature to disregard the other traditional top clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham as irrelevant.

While Manchester City has been exceptional in terms of winning league titles, the other clubs have had their moments of glory as well. Liverpool, for instance, won the Premier League title in the 2019-2020 season after a 30-year wait, showcasing their own quality and competitiveness. Chelsea has also been a formidable team, winning the Champions League title in the 2020-2021 season.

Football is a dynamic sport, and the landscape can change rapidly. Other clubs have the potential to rise again and challenge Manchester City’s dominance. The notion of the “Big Six” has been based on historical success, financial resources, and fan base, and it remains relevant despite Manchester City’s recent achievements.

It’s important to remember that the beauty of football lies in its unpredictability, and no club’s dominance is ever guaranteed in the long term. While Manchester City may be the standout team at the moment, the “Big Six” concept encompasses the overall strength and historical significance of these clubs in English football.

The heavyweight encounters

D. Szoboszlai

Liverpool’s 2022-23 campaign was undeniably challenging, resulting in a fifth-placed finish and the absence of Champions League football for the following season. This stark contrast from their impressive second-place finish with 92 points in the previous season marked a significant fall from grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Reds’ determination to reclaim their spot among the elite and compete for the Premier League title in the 2023-24 term will be a driving force for the team.

The opening fixture against Chelsea on August 13 holds great significance, as the two clubs boast a storied history that spans several years. Breaking a streak of four successive draws between them will be a crucial objective for Liverpool as they aim to start the season on a positive note and gain momentum.

While the Reds have developed a heated rivalry with Manchester City in recent years, their clashes with the current Premier League champions on November 25 in Manchester and March 9 at Anfield are anticipated heavyweight encounters. These pivotal matches will serve as litmus tests for Liverpool’s title aspirations, as they look to challenge Manchester City’s dominance in the league.

The Premier League fixture list for Liverpool also presents intriguing battles against traditional rivals. Bitter enemies Manchester United await the Reds on December 16 at Anfield and April 6 at Old Trafford. These encounters are always highly charged, and securing favorable results against their long-standing foes will be essential for Liverpool’s ambitions.

The Merseyside derby against Everton, who narrowly avoided relegation, remains a significant fixture on Liverpool’s calendar. With the clash taking place on October 21 in a home game for Liverpool and March 16 at Goodison Park, the rivalry between the two clubs is sure to add another layer of intensity to the season.

Liverpool’s fixture in August against Newcastle holds particular interest, as it was Newcastle that pipped the Reds to the top four in the previous season. Meeting on August 26 at St James’ Park and again on December 30, these matches will be of immense importance for Liverpool’s redemption and quest for a top-four finish.

Amidst these challenges, March looms as a crucial month for Liverpool. They will face the formidable combination of Manchester City and Everton, as well as Roberto De Zerbi’s impressive Brighton side. Navigating this demanding period successfully will be vital for Liverpool’s chances of a strong finish in the league.

As Liverpool sets out on their 2023-24 campaign, their focus on reclaiming their position among the elite and challenging for the Premier League title will be underscored by the memories of a difficult season. Klopp’s tactical acumen, player performance, squad depth, and mental resilience will all play crucial roles in shaping their fortunes.

The fans’ passion and unwavering support will undoubtedly fuel the Reds’ pursuit of success. The fixtures against their rivals, particularly the high-profile clashes with Manchester City and Manchester United, will serve as captivating spectacles for football enthusiasts around the globe. The season ahead promises to be one filled with drama, excitement, and fierce competition as Liverpool endeavors to rise once again to the pinnacle of English football.


Transfer News Weekly

PSG pushes to sign Veiga

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is making a determined push to outmaneuver Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City in the race to sign Celta Vigo’s highly coveted midfielder, Gabri Veiga.

Chelsea has identified Veiga as a potential replacement for Mason Mount, who is poised to undergo a medical examination before completing a move to Manchester United. The young Celta midfielder garnered widespread recognition as one of Europe’s brightest talents during the previous season, and his contract includes a release clause of €40 million (£34.4 million).

Liverpool and Manchester City have also expressed interest in Veiga, who primarily operates as a No. 6 or No. 8 midfielder. Additionally, Barcelona has been monitoring the player’s progress. However, PSG is intensifying its efforts to reinforce its midfield and secure Veiga’s signature. The French champions have yet to trigger the 21-year-old’s release clause, leaving room for other clubs to enter the picture.

Chelsea, having lost Mount, N’Golo Kanté, and Mateo Kovacic, are in need of midfield reinforcements. Veiga features prominently on their shortlist, and sources suggest that the London club is likely to make a move for the Spanish midfielder this month.

While Chelsea’s priority lies in securing a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moisés Caicedo, with hopes that a bid of £80 million will be sufficient, they have no intention of including Levi Colwill as part of the Caicedo deal. The club intends to offer Colwill a new long-term contract. Still, the 20-year-old center-back wants to hold discussions with the newly appointed head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, before making a decision about his future.

Furthermore, Chelsea has shown interest in Southampton’s Roméo Lavia, as the 19-year-old midfielder is expected to leave the club following their relegation from the Premier League. Southampton is demanding £45 million for Lavia, who is also being targeted by Arsenal and Liverpool. However, the asking price may prove too steep for Manchester United.

In the midst of a major squad overhaul, Chelsea is also open to selling Christian Pulisic. Lyon has submitted a £21.5 million bid for the American winger, but Pulisic has set his sights on joining AC Milan, who have only offered £12 million. Chelsea may explore the possibility of acquiring additional creativity by pursuing Lyon’s young talent, Rayan Cherki.

Brighton has identified Ajax’s Calvin Bassey as a potential alternative to Colwill. Bassey was previously of interest to Brighton before he joined Ajax from Rangers in a £18.7 million transfer last summer. Manager Roberto De Zerbi is seeking a left-sided center-back, and Bassey, who can also provide cover at left-back for Pervis Estupiñán, possesses the desired profile for the role

Spurs bid to retain Kane

H. Kane

Tottenham Hotspur has tabled a significant new contract offer to their star striker Harry Kane, aiming to enhance his current £200,000-a-week terms. However, Kane, who is celebrating his 30th birthday on July 28, has no immediate plans to accept the offer and is unlikely to do so while the transfer window remains open.

Kane has entered the final year of his six-year contract with Spurs, and his exceptional performances have attracted interest from several top clubs, including Bayern Munich, who recently made an initial bid of €70 million. Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel is actively pushing for Kane’s acquisition.

Tottenham’s firm stance is that Kane is not for sale. Chairman Daniel Levy, conscious of the negative consequences of a potential departure after a disappointing season, believes that Kane will eventually realize that his long-term future is best served at Spurs, not solely because of the financial benefits of the new contract. There is hope that under new manager Ange Postecoglou, the team can turn things around. Postecoglou intends to adopt an attacking 4-3-3 style of play, and with the support of Levy and influential chief scout Leonardo Gabbanini, the squad is being shaped accordingly.

Tottenham has already secured the signings of goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario and midfielder James Maddison, while the imminent arrival of winger Manor Solomon is set to be announced. The club’s priority now lies in bolstering the central defense, and they are in advanced negotiations for the £30 million-rated Micky van de Ven from Wolfsburg. Another target is Edmond Tapsoba from Bayer Leverkusen, although signing either player would suffice. Tapsoba would command a higher fee of £50 million. Additionally, Spurs are interested in making Clement Lenglet’s loan move from Barcelona permanent. They hope to persuade Barcelona to release Lenglet on a free transfer, highlighting the wage savings that the Spanish club would enjoy as a potential incentive.

Kane, who is expected to report for pre-season training in the coming week, has yet to meet with Postecoglou. The player has maintained that all options remain open to him, including leaving during the summer transfer window, staying for the upcoming season before departing as a free agent, or even extending his contract, although the latter possibility is regarded as less likely.

Kane’s comments at the end of the previous season, expressing concerns about Tottenham losing some of their values under former manager Mauricio Pochettino, continue to resonate. Postecoglou’s primary task is to revitalize the club’s culture and rebuild a strong connection with the fanbase, hoping to bring back the harmony and success experienced in previous years.

Real Madrid wins the race for Guler

Real Madrid has officially completed the signing of highly talented 18-year-old midfielder Arda Guler from Fenerbahce. Guler, who recently made his breakthrough into the Turkish national team, has committed to a six-year contract with Real Madrid, opting for the Spanish club over their rivals Barcelona. Real Madrid will pay an initial fee of €17 million (£14.5 million), with an additional €8.5 million in potential add-ons included in the deal. Furthermore, the agreement incorporates a sell-on clause, which could provide further benefits for Fenerbahce in the future.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has secured the services of two prominent players on free transfers. The club unveiled the signing of defender Milan Skriniar and attacking player Marco Asensio on Thursday.

Skriniar, the Slovakian center-back, has agreed to a five-year contract with PSG. He arrived at the French club following the expiration of his contract with Internazionale in June. Skriniar joined Inter from Sampdoria in 2017 and made a notable impact during his time at the club, accumulating nearly 250 appearances. With 60 international caps for Slovakia, Skriniar brings both experience and defensive prowess to PSG’s backline.

The 28-year-old defender had been linked with a move to PSG during the January transfer window. However, negotiations between the two clubs failed to reach a resolution before the deadline. Skriniar’s final season in Italy was marred by injuries, causing him to miss over 20 matches across all competitions, including the Champions League final in which Inter suffered a defeat against Manchester City.

Expressing his thoughts on joining PSG, Skriniar acknowledged the pressure that comes with joining a prestigious club like Paris Saint-Germain. He stated his readiness to be part of the team and emphasized his affinity for handling pressure as a defender. Skriniar’s arrival adds defensive depth and stability to PSG’s roster.

Additionally, Marco Asensio, a Spanish winger, has agreed to a three-year contract with PSG, extending until 2026. Asensio gained prominence during the 2016-17 season at Real Madrid under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane, particularly making an impact with a goal in that season’s Champions League final. However, the 27-year-old gradually fell out of favor at the La Liga club and mainly featured as a substitute last season, making 51 appearances and scoring 12 goals across all competitions.

The signings of Skriniar and Asensio mark PSG’s first acquisitions of the current transfer window. The announcement of these signings came a day after the club appointed Luis Enrique as their new manager, succeeding Christophe Galtier. PSG aims to strengthen its squad and compete at the highest level under its new leadership.

Chelsea’s bid for Moisés Caicedo may be shortlived

M. Caicedo

Chelsea remains resolute in their negotiations for Moisés Caicedo, as Brighton stands firm in their demand for a significant fee of at least £100 million for the talented midfielder.

Caicedo is Chelsea’s primary target as they aim to strengthen Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield options. While Chelsea had initially hoped that an offer of around £80 million would be sufficient to secure the services of the Ecuadorian international, Brighton believes that the benchmark has been set by Declan Rice’s impending £105 million transfer from West Ham to Arsenal.

Rice’s prospective move is set to make him the most expensive British player, and it is worth noting that Chelsea themselves broke the British transfer record in January when they signed Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernández from Benfica for £106.8 million. Brighton is well aware of these figures, and their demands have reportedly slowed down talks with Chelsea regarding Caicedo this week.

Brighton, having already lost midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, is determined to drive a hard bargain. They had previously rejected offers from both Arsenal and Chelsea for Caicedo during the January transfer window. The 21-year-old midfielder has since signed a contract until 2027, with an additional one-year option. The positive aspect for Pochettino is that Caicedo is keen to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea, who are in need of midfield depth after losing players like N’Golo Kanté, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, and Mateo Kovacic, are scheduled to hold talks regarding a potential move for Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga next week. Veiga possesses a buyout clause worth £34.4 million and is attracting interest from clubs such as Liverpool, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City.

Chelsea aims to avoid overpaying for Caicedo and is cautious of being burned in negotiations with Brighton once again. The two clubs have engaged in extensive dealings over the past year, starting with Marc Cucurella’s move from Brighton to Chelsea for £62 million. Subsequently, Chelsea secured the services of Brighton’s head coach Graham Potter in September, and their co-sporting director Paul Winstanley also joined the club from Brighton.

Winstanley, a key figure in Chelsea’s transfer operations, is familiar to Brighton’s negotiators. Both parties will strive to find a compromise regarding Caicedo, although Chelsea is determined not to include Levi Colwill as part of any potential deal. Colwill spent the previous season on loan at Brighton, who had a £30 million bid rejected, but Chelsea intends to offer the 20-year-old center-back a new long-term contract.

A rebuilding phase is underway at Stamford Bridge, with César Azpilicueta becoming the latest long-serving player to depart. The 33-year-old defender, who joined the club in 2012, has left on a free transfer and signed a one-year deal with Atlético Madrid.

Additionally, Chelsea is engaged in talks regarding the potential sale of Christian Pulisic to Milan, who appears increasingly likely to secure the services of the American winger. Chelsea also hopes that Al-Nassr will revive their interest in signing Hakim Ziyech.


How Declan Rice can help Arsenal win the title


Mikel Arteta

As talks between Arsenal and West Ham United intensify regarding the potential transfer of English midfielder Declan Rice, fans and football pundits are eager to uncover any hints or clues about the player’s plans for the upcoming pre-season. The 24-year-old is reportedly Mikel Arteta’s top target this summer, with a substantial £105 million fee allegedly agreed upon by both clubs. While negotiations are ongoing, Rice’s recent activities and past statements suggest that he may already be preparing for a move to Arsenal, focusing on his fitness and readiness for the new season.

The possible acquisition of English midfielder Declan Rice has become the focal point of Arsenal’s transfer strategy this summer. Manager Mikel Arteta has consistently emphasized the need to strengthen the squad through recruitment, and the club’s board has backed this approach, evidenced by their willingness to break British transfer fee records for Rice. While some may question the massive investment, Arsenal’s determination to secure Rice’s services stems from the belief that his addition is essential for the team’s progress. This article delves into the reasons behind Arsenal’s unwavering pursuit of Rice and examines how his potential role in the squad aligns with the club’s evolving recruitment strategy.

With members of Arsenal’s first-team squad expected to return to their training base at London Colney for pre-season, the possibility of Declan Rice joining them becomes increasingly plausible. Edu Gaspar, the Gunners’ sporting director, is currently engaged in talks with West Ham United, with the structure of the deal being the only remaining hurdle to overcome. As the transfer discussions progress, Rice’s presence at Arsenal’s pre-season training would be a significant indication of his impending move. It would undoubtedly please both Arteta and the club’s supporters.

The pursuit of Declan Rice by Arsenal did not happen overnight. The club has identified the 24-year-old as their primary target for this summer’s transfer window. Building on the previous summer’s strategy of signing experienced players in their mid-twenties, Rice serves as a continuation of this approach. Having been a crucial figure in England’s recent major tournaments, captaining West Ham United to win the Europa Conference League final, and featuring prominently in the Premier League, Rice possesses the attributes to elevate Arsenal’s level.

Playing a vital role

Player Position

Declan Rice’s versatility and quality make him an ideal fit for Arsenal’s midfield. While he has developed into a box-to-box midfielder during his time at West Ham, his experience in playing deeper roles for both club and country showcases his adaptability. Rice’s defensive prowess, especially his anticipation, and tackling timing, is exceptional, as evidenced by his impressive tackle-win rate. Comparisons to other Premier League midfielders highlight Rice’s defensive prowess, potentially making him an asset to Arsenal’s squad.

In possession, Rice’s role remains a bit of an unknown. His tendency to switch the ball to the wings at West Ham may complement Arsenal’s attacking options, such as Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka. However, the Gunners typically rely on their No. 6, whether it be Thomas Partey or Jorginho, to provide vertical passes through the lines. While Rice has demonstrated this ability with England, he might need to further develop his progressive passing to align with Arsenal’s style of play.

Fitness, training, and relaxation

D. Rice

Rice’s commitment to maintaining his fitness during the off-season is no surprise. In June 2022, the English international shared his thoughts on pre-season training during an interview on the Tubes & Ange Golf Life YouTube channel. His comments shed light on his approach to training and offer valuable insights into his current preparations ahead of a potential transfer to Arsenal.

Rice emphasized the importance of utilizing the off-season wisely to continually improve, especially considering the high level of competition in the Premier League. Acknowledging the need for adequate rest, he highlighted the significance of balancing downtime with a structured training regimen. He revealed his personal routine of taking a week and a half off before gradually resuming training to rebuild his fitness levels. Rice’s dedication to self-improvement and his understanding of the physical demands of the Premier League demonstrates his professionalism and ambition.

Furthermore, the midfielder stressed the distinction between running fitness and football fitness. While individual running sessions contribute to overall fitness, Rice emphasized the unique challenges posed by football-specific drills and match situations. He expressed how possession drills and game-related exercises provide a more comprehensive workout, requiring constant movement and engagement of different muscle groups. These insights indicate Rice’s commitment to honing his skills and adapting to the demands of competitive football.

Rice’s awareness of the need for an upper edge and the consequences of lacking it on the pitch further exemplify his determination to excel. He acknowledged that playing against high-caliber opponents necessitates maintaining a competitive advantage. Understanding that being outpaced by opponents can lead to negative outcomes, Rice emphasized the importance of remaining physically and mentally prepared to meet the challenges of top-level football.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber could also influence Rice’s role. If Timber’s signing allows him to invert from right-back and provide support through the middle, it could create exciting possibilities for Arsenal’s play. Building a squad with multiple quality options in the same position is a strategic move to enhance performance and add variety to their game.


Transfer Daily News

Man United confirms 6 players exit as free agents

P. Jones

The departure of six players from Manchester United this summer has been officially confirmed, as their contracts have reached expiration. As we enter the month of July, the players are now considered free agents and are eligible to join other clubs without any transfer fees.

Among the departing players, the most prominent name is that of goalkeeper David de Gea. Despite having a one-year extension clause in his previous contract, Manchester United decided not to activate it due to concerns over his hefty weekly wages of £375,000. However, there is still a possibility for De Gea to remain at the club, as negotiations continue with the 32-year-old, even though his contract is due to expire on the day of his wedding.

According to an official statement, discussions are ongoing with De Gea, indicating that Manchester United is keeping the door open for the experienced goalkeeper. Another departing player is Phil Jones, now 31 years old, who arrived at the club from Blackburn in 2011. Unfortunately, Jones struggled with injuries throughout his tenure at Old Trafford, accumulating 229 appearances, with only four of his 12 seasons witnessing him making over 20 Premier League appearances.

Additionally, academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe bids farewell to his childhood club, having made 37 appearances for Manchester United. The departure list also includes 22-year-old midfielder Ethan Galbraith, along with 20-year-old right-back Charlie Wellens and 22-year-old center-back Di’Shon Bernard. Among these three young talents, both Galbraith and Bernard had a single appearance for the senior team under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, back in November 2019’s Europa League clash with Astana.

Liverpool confirms 11 players exit as free agents

Roberto Firmino

Following the expiration of their contracts, a total of 11 players have left Liverpool, prompting Reds manager Jurgen Klopp to initiate a squad remodeling process after a disappointing campaign. Klopp has been actively involved in the transfer window, securing the services of midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and reaching an agreement to acquire RB Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlai for a fee of €70 million.

With the departure of these players, Liverpool now has vacancies in their squad, particularly in the midfield department, as three midfielders bid farewell: James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita. Milner, who spent eight years at the club, amassed an impressive record of 332 appearances before sealing a deal to join Brighton, ensuring a swift reunion with Liverpool.

Similarly, Naby Keita has also secured a new club. The Guinean international has returned to the Bundesliga, signing with Werder Bremen, five years after departing Germany for Anfield. However, the departure that carries the most emotional weight is that of striker Roberto Firmino. Liverpool has already paid tribute to the Brazilian, who contributed 111 goals and 79 assists in his remarkable 362 appearances for the Reds. Firmino is now poised to embark on a new adventure this summer, with strong indications suggesting that he will significantly move to the Saudi Pro League in the Middle East.

In addition to the senior team departures, seven talents from the Liverpool academy have also left the club: Jack Bearne, Fidel O’Rourke, Iwan Roberts, Liam Hughes, Oscar Kelly, Charlie Hayes-Green, and Oludare Olufunwa. Among this group, Bearne stands out as the sole player to have made an appearance for the senior side, coming off the bench in the FA Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa in 2019.

Athletico Madrid’s 11th-hour move for Azpilicueta


Atletico Madrid has made a last-minute offer to Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta, surpassing Inter in the race to secure his services.

Earlier this month, Azpilicueta had reached an agreement on personal terms with Inter and was expected to join the Italian club on a free transfer. Chelsea, recognizing his 11 years of dedication, had granted him the opportunity to decide his future. However, Atletico Madrid has now emerged as a strong contender by presenting an offer to bring Azpilicueta back to his homeland.

A return to Spain holds an appeal for Azpilicueta and his family, leading to the expectation that Atletico will secure the 33-year-old’s signature. Atletico’s recent release of former Tottenham right-back Matt Doherty has created a clear vacancy in Diego Simeone’s defense, which Azpilicueta is poised to fill.

The next step for Azpilicueta is to finalize the details of his departure from Chelsea. Although the veteran defender still has 12 months remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, reaching an agreement to part ways this summer is not anticipated to be problematic.

Chelsea has already made preparations for Azpilicueta’s departure, as they secured a deal in January to acquire 20-year-old Malo Gusto from Lyon for a fee of £30 million. Gusto’s arrival will provide competition for Reece James at right-back, while the return of Levi Colwill will bolster Chelsea’s options at center-back.

Meanwhile, uncertainties persist regarding the future of Trevoh Chalobah, who also has attracted interest from Inter. Additionally, the situations of Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remain unresolved and require further attention and resolution.

Dos Blancos’ next moves in the transfer window


Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies is currently in a holding pattern, awaiting a potential offer from Real Madrid before engaging in contract negotiations with his current club. This suggests that Davies might be considering a move to the Spanish giants, which could have significant implications for Bayern Munich’s plans.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid seems to have alternative options in mind if their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe falls through. They are reportedly considering a loan deal for Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, indicating that they are actively exploring different avenues to strengthen their attacking options.

Real Madrid has also been in contact with the representatives of Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga, expressing their interest in securing his services in 2024. This signifies the club’s forward-thinking approach to identifying young talents and planning for the future.

Interestingly, there is growing interest in Real Madrid’s left-back Ferland Mendy from officials in Saudi Arabia. This suggests that Mendy’s performances have caught the attention of other clubs, potentially opening up the possibility of a future transfer.

Arsenal, on the other hand, has identified midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni as a target. They believe that Real Madrid’s potential acquisition of Jude Bellingham could lead to them entertaining offers for Tchouameni, presenting an opportunity for Arsenal to make a move for the Frenchman.

New Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique has reportedly expressed his desire for a move to bring Real Madrid forward Rodrygo to the French club. This indicates Enrique’s confidence in the abilities of the young Brazilian and his intention to bolster PSG’s attacking options.

A battle seems to be brewing between Real Madrid and Barcelona over the talented Fenerbahce youngster Arda Guler, who possesses a release clause of €17.5 million. The interest from both clubs suggests that Guler is highly regarded and could potentially become a sought-after prospect in the near future.

Real Sociedad has expressed a desire to sign right-back Alvaro Odriozola, who was previously signed by Real Madrid for a substantial fee. However, they are aiming to secure his services without having to pay any additional transfer fees, indicating their intent to negotiate a favorable deal.

Lastly, Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid’s manager, is keen to assess the potential of Castilla winger Nico Paz and has decided to include him in the senior team’s pre-season training. This demonstrates Ancelotti’s interest in nurturing young talents and evaluating their capabilities within the first team.

Overall, these developments indicate the active and dynamic nature of Real Madrid’s transfer activities, with the club exploring various options, targeting young talents, and potentially making strategic moves in both incoming and outgoing transfers.