Cardiff City sign England international Steven Caulker, in club record deal

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The Bluebirds have been pretty quiet in the transfer market so far this summer.

But they’ve made everyone sit up and take notice with this signing. Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker has joined for a fee of over $13 million and will marshal the Welsh sides defense, as they prepare for their first-ever season in the Premier League.

Caulker, 21, is no stranger to Wales after spending the 2011-12 season on loan at Swansea City and winning rave reviews. The composed central defender then returned to parent club Tottenham and played 28 times for the White Hart Lane outfit last season.

Cardiff’s new defender captained England’s U-21 side this summer and played for the full national team in November 2012, scoring on his debut as England lost to Sweden in a friendly. He is powerful, dominate in the air and possesses tremendous pace.

This is a seriously good bit of business by Cardiff.

They’ve managed to snap up a 21-year-old defender who has already racked up two full seasons in the Premier League, the Europa League and has international experience. Guys like that are hard to come by. And the transfer fee of $13 million shows they mean business.

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Owner Vincent Tan recently spoke out after Cardiff missed out on signing the likes of Victor Wanyama and many more. He assured fans the club would be patient and wait for the right deals to come along. So far Tan is a man of his word.

Caulker’s arrival adds to the signing of Danish international striker Andreas Cornelius for $13 million and suddenly Cardiff City are setting themselves up quite nicely for their first-time in the top flight. Add in the quality of fiery Welsh attacker Craig Bellamy, their amazing new stadium and hugely passionate fans, then you have a recipe for success in the PL.

Today’s signing of Caulker really sends out a statement to the rest of the Premier League. Cardiff are here to stay. So it certainly helps to have one of the most promising young defenders in the English game at the heart of your defense.

Great addition. Now Cardiff’s fans will be saying “pwy sydd nesaf?” Well, the ones who speak Welsh anyway.

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.