Sevilla success and a sliding doors moment for Arsenal and Monchi

Morning, a quick Saturday round-up for you.

I didn’t see the game, but Sevilla won the Europa League last night, beating Inter 3-2 to win the tournament for the sixth time in fourteen years. They are to the Europa League what we are to the FA Cup. What an incredible record. Afterwards captain Jesus Navas dedicated the win, in part, to former Gunner Jose Antonio Reyes who was killed in a car accident last year, and Antonio Puerta, the 22 year old who died of a heart attacking during a game in 2007.

Manager Julen Lopetegui guided Sevilla to third place in La Liga this season, and has a European trophy under his belt, and it’s interesting to think that the squad that was built there was the work of Monchi. Perhaps it’s become lost in the mists of time, but following his disappointing spell at Roma, he was … Read the rest

Man United could have head turned by talented midfielder's availability

Juventus star Aaron Ramsey may be available for a transfer according to reports and that news may perk up some ears at Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself hasn’t been linked with the Welsh midfielder but his side have long held an interest.

Ever since it was clear Ramsey was going to leave Arsenal, United were said to be keen but it was the Italian giant who pounced on the opportunity to sign him for free.

Given how Solskjaer is said to be on the search for a creative midfielder, the transfer might be a bit of a natural one.

However, the report doesn’t claim the Red Devils are keen on him so there may be nothing to the former Arsenal man’s apparent availability.

According to Give Me Sport, Gazzetta Dello Sport report that Juventus are looking to make some sales this summer and so Ramsey could be available … Read the rest

Liverpool fans in awe of 6’4″ 17-year-old Koumetio after brilliant cameo against Stuttgart

Many Liverpool fans were blown away by young defender Billy Koumetio, as the Frenchman made his first appearance for the senior team, against Stuttgart in a friendly match.

The 6’4″ centre-half immediately caught the eye as soon as he stepped onto the pitch and dwarfed everyone, but his performance took it to another level entirely.

Being so confident on the ball and dominant in the air really made the 17-year-old turn heads, with even some of his own team-mates seemingly surprised by his ability.

MORE: (Video) Hilarious: Milner swears at Tsimikas on Greek’s debut after miscommunication

Loads of supporters took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Koumetio, with many of them tipping the young Frenchman for big things in his future at Anfield.

The defender was brought on late in the second-half as Jurgen Klopp looked to keep legs fresh, with another game in just three days’ time – … Read the rest

‘This is where I want to be’ – PSG superstar puts paid to transfer rumours

As Paris Saint-Germain gear up for an appearance in their maiden Champions League final, one of their star players has put paid to rumours suggesting he wants to leave the club.

Ever since the end of his first season in the French capital, Neymar has had to contend with stories linking him with former club Barcelona.

Though it may have been true at that point, and a link-up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez would surely have lit the blue touch paper at the Camp Nou again, it seems as though that particular ship has finally sailed.

“This is where I want to be,” he said to the Daily Star.

“The owners have a big project and part of that project is to be considered the best in Europe. We have never been closer than we are now – but we must stay focussed.”

If the Brazilian were to … Read the rest

Mikel Arteta will relish transfer responsibility

It’s amazing to think that a week from today we’ll be previewing the Community Shield. It doesn’t feel like there’s been anywhere enough time since the end of the season to the start of the new one. I mean, the European competitions are still going on. But, I suppose, this is the world we’re living in now, where everything we thought was set in stone, everything that was sacrosanct, has now been affected by Covid-19.

I know there are some clubs out there, and some high profile managers, who view the Community Shield as a trophy, adding it to their list of achievements. It’s not though, regardless of how much you try to convince people it is. It’d be like a musician releasing an album of farts and trying to tell you it was a rock opera. It’s the equivalent of a novelist producing an 80,000 word tome, but the … Read the rest

Harry Maguire latest: Player faces three serious criminal charges in court tomorrow

Further details have emerged throughout the day about Manchester United captain Harry Maguire’s arrest in Mykonos, Greece in the early hours of this morning.

As reported here earlier, Maguire along with two others was questioned by police following an altercation outside a bar in Mykonos town with another group of Englishmen.

Maguire was handcuffed and taken to a police station and was reportedly verbally abusive and physically assaulted police officers.

It is understood that he was arrested on charges of verbal abuse, aggravated assault and attempted bribery.

The Guardian quotes a police official as saying ‘the soccer player was verbally abusive to an officer and then hit him. The three were resisting when brought to the Mykonos police station.’

The same paper then quotes a police spokesperson as saying:

‘There were several policemen there. At some point, one of the three members of the group – they were aged … Read the rest

LFC predicted XI v. Stuttgart: Big rotation expected as Shaqiri, Ox and Origi miss training

Liverpool duo Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss out on the friendly match this weekend against VfB Stuttgart.

The German outfit is Jurgen Klopp’s hometown club and were an obvious option for an exhibition match, as they’re in the area.

But eagle-eyed Liverpool fan Jack Sear spotted that neither Shaqiri nor Ox were training with the squad today in Austria.

He does appear to be right, but the claim that neither were present in training yesterday as well is false – they were both pictured at the training camp.

Divock Origi was also absent, but he hasn’t trained with the squad for a few days now.

With that considered, it’s probably safe to … Read the rest

Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign world class centre back on a free transfer

Sometimes a club will need to find a short term solution to a ongoing problem, so bagging a world class veteran at the end of their career for a season or two can be the ideal solution.

Chelsea’s defence was a real weak point last season, but you could also argue that the general standard of defensive play has got worse in recent years.

That means we don’t see too many world class defenders going about, and it certainly means they won’t be available very often.

READ MORE: Transfer complete: Dutch side announce loan deal for promising Chelsea attacker

Thiago Silva is getting older but he’s still a top class player, and he’s available on a free transfer once he leaves PSG this summer.

There were some murmurings that Chelsea might hold an interest, and that’s been confirmed after a report stated they are in advanced talks with the player:… Read the rest

Damn it, Granit

One of my key frustrations in internet discourse is the failure to appreciate that more than one thing can be true at the same time. Contradictory positions can be simultaneously held and, truthfully, life is often quite complicated and there are few all encompassing answers- more often than not competing truths are simultaneously true.

Which brings me to my thesis for this column. Granit Xhaka is a very important player for Arsenal. Granit Xhaka is also a limited player whose flaws require a lot of corrective tactical surgery to cover. Shortly before Mikel Arteta’s appointment in December, writing a column on Xhaka’s weaknesses would have been considered the lowest of low-hanging fruit.

Xhaka’s tempestuous fallout with Arsenal fans during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October saw him stripped of the captaincy and demanding a January transfer. Wherever you stood on that particular incident– the overwhelming consensus was … Read the rest

Man United fans dread loanee's return amid summer mess

The majority of Manchester United fans are certainly not pleased to see Marcos Rojo return to the club amid a crucial summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s success in leading his men to a third-place finish meant that this transfer window would be central to any plans of a title challenge.

Supporters were hoping the legendary Norwegian would be sufficiently backed in the summer in order for him to build on his good work.

Instead, United are yet to make a signing and are welcoming many of their loanees back such as Rojo.

The chaotic Argentine was originally sent out on loan due to being surplus to requirements but it seems he may have a place in Manchester with the fans below reacting to the picture he posted.

Read the rest