Wilfried Zaha set for loan deal – Where might he end up?


The Daily Mail is reporting that Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha will be sent out on loan next month after struggling to break into the Red Devils’ lineup.

Since moving to Old Trafford on a £15m deal from Crystal Palace, Zaha has made a single Premier League appearance.

The bow came as a second-half substitute in last week’s 0-1 loss to Newcastle at Old Trafford. To his credit, Zaha looked lively in the match but based upon today’s news was not impressive enough to convince manager David Moyes.

While he lacks the pragmatic approach of Antonio Valencia, the flair of Nani, the skill of Adnand Januzaj or the incisive dribbling of Ashley Young, Zaha possesses a raw power and youthful exuberance to his game that provides a nice change of pace.

His ability to bully opponents is something that Moyes apparently feels he can do without. Competitors, however, will feel otherwise.

The Mail claims two clubs are pressing to complete a Zaha loan: Everton and Newcastle.

Typically a right sided player, Zaha would compete with the likes of Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu at Everton. Mirallas has underwhelmed this year while Deulofeu, with his goal against Arsenal, has quickly become the toast of the town. Unseating either, let alone both, would be a difficult objective for Zaha but one that’s hardly impossible.

Roberto Martinez would welcome the depth and be excited by the prospect of lining him up next to fellow physical specimens, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley. The Everton boss could even move Mirallas to the left wing for Steven Pienaar, which would then allow Deulofeu to keep his super-sub role. By no means a need for Everton, Zaha could nevertheless become a very valuable weapon.

Newcastle will be thinking the same. Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko have enjoyed brilliant seasons on the wing at St. James’ Park, meaning displacing either could prove difficult. The former has proved a knack for scoring key goals while the latter possesses immense power and game changing ability.

Perhaps the biggest compliment to Gouffran and Sissoko is the fact that their play has resulted in Alan Pardew having to sit Hatem Ben Arfa, who is arguably the Magpies most skilled and dangerous player albeit a liability on defense.

Like Martinez, Pardew would be overjoyed at acquiring Zaha. The winger’s physicality and direct nature would fit in seamlessly with Newcastle’s style.

But would Moyes really loan Zaha to a competitor like Everton or Newcastle?

It depends on the Scot’s school of thought. Old schoolers would emphatically say ‘no’ as adding to a competitor’s arsenal seems counterintuitive. The new line of thought set forth by visionaries like Jose Mourinho, however, would beg to differ.

By loaning Zaha out to a long-shot Top 4 competitor like Everton or Newcastle, there’s a greater chance these clubs will knock off the title favorites (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City) thereby making United’s climb back into the Top 4 more likely. Plus, since the loan rules prevent a player from playing against his parent club, Zaha wouldn’t be hurting United.

Considering the conservative nature of Moyes it’s likely he would fall under the ‘old school’ category. And in the case of Everton and Newcastle, he’d be justified in adopting that approach.

Why loan Zaha out to a long-shot Top 4 competitor who may just end up claiming that 4th spot?

It would seem much more likely that if Moyes does send Zaha out on loan that he’ll go to a relegation threatened club like Sunderland, Fulham, West Ham, or, the most likely scenario, Crystal Palace.

Toronto FC beats Crew 5-0 to extend unbeaten streak to 8

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TORONTO (AP) Victor Vazquez scored twice and Toronto FC routed the Columbus Crew 5-0 on Friday night to extend its unbeaten streak to a franchise record-matching eight games.

[ MORE: Pulisic pleased with U.S. Soccer’s improved landscape ]

Toronto (8-1-5) is 7-0-1 since its lone league loss of the season, a 2-1 decision in Columbus on April 15. Columbus (6-7-1) has lost five of seven since topping Toronto.

Justin Morrow and substitutes Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton also scored for MLS-leading Toronto. The Canadian team also was unbeaten in eight games (4-0-4) from May 8 to July 10, 2010.

Toronto was reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when midfielder Marky Delgado was red-carded for a studs-up tackle on Columbus captain Wil Trapp. Osorio and Hamilton then scored to pad the lead for Toronto in its sixth shutout of the season.

Toronto played without the starting forward tandem of Sebastian Giovinco (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended for yellow card accumulation). Defender Nick Hagglund also is injured.

Agent: Barcelona offered more than Real for Vinicius Junior

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If Vinicius Junior can become half the player at Real Madrid that Neymar has lived up to be at Barcelona, Los Blancos will be pretty pleased.

[ MORE: Man City closing in on Monaco’s Silva ]

Real closed the deal for the 16-year-old Brazilian this week, but there were several other lucrative offers on the table, according to the player’s agent, Frederico Pena.

[ MORE: Totti leaves future uncertain heading into final Roma match ]

That includes bitter Spanish rivals Barcelona.

The agent stated that the Blaugrana did in fact offer a higher deal to acquire the Brazilian, however, he felt it would have complicated matters further to seek a greater offer from Real.

“There is practically unanimous view of the deal as a success,” Pena said. “If anybody gets criticised it is Real Madrid, for the risk they have taken, but they are sure that it will work. There were other clubs interested, and one offered to pay more money … Barca’s remuneration package offer for the player was higher than Real Madrid.

“But as we had reached an agreement with Real, we did not want to make this last push for them to match it. That could have embittered the relationship. Many people think it is crazy what Madrid are doing, but they were not alone in this craziness. They were not the only ones willing to pay this much for Vinicius.”

Pena also clarified as to why Vinicius chose Real over Barcelona, citing the player’s excitement about the development of Los Blancos during recent seasons under manager Zinedine Zidane and prior.

“Because Vinicius liked Madrid’s project better. There is always the feeling that players choose based on financial reasons, but that is not true. I assure you of that. Real Madrid’s negotiating posture was better.”

Real is on the verge of winning its third UEFA Champions League trophy in the last four seasons as the club prepares to face Juventus in the upcoming final.

Zidane’s men also won La Liga during the 2016/17 campaign.

Pulisic pleased with U.S. Soccer’s improved landscape

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U.S. Soccer has come a long way over the years, and one of the nation’s most promising young players recognizes the progress the United States has made.

[ MORE: Man City acquire Monaco’s Silva after passing medical ]

Christian Pulisic, who plays for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, is one of several young talents that U.S. hopes to finally bring the American men a moment of glory on the biggest of stages — the World Cup.

The 18-year-old has done just about everything a player of his age could do. He’s played in one of the top leagues in the world, appeared in various UEFA Champions League matches and now he’s likely on pace to appear in the 2018 World Cup, assuming the USMNT advances out of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The U.S., who have reached the World Cup during seven straight cycles, have come a long way in a short period of time, and Pulisic is happy with the improving U.S. Soccer landscape.

“It’s been big flaw of ours in the soccer department that a lot of our best athletes go and play other sports,” Pulisic told The Guardian. “But I think young players have seen me, and others, go over to Europe and play in some of the best leagues — and MLS is improving so much too.

“There’s so much potential and I think it’s changing: we’ve had some bigger athletes in the past but I don’t think that defines us anymore.

“We’re going to keep moving forward, developing young players and we’re going to have a really good shot in the next few years.”

During this past Bundesliga season, Pulisic recorded three goals and added six assists for a club that has become well known for its high-powered offensive attack.

Report: Kyle Walker a top target for Manchester City

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Manchester City could be looking to bolster its backline further this summer, and the Citizens could turn to Tottenham for help.

[ MORE: Man City closing in on acquiring Monaco’s Silva ]

According to ESPN FC, Pep Guardiola‘s side is growing more and more enamored with Spurs defender Kyle Walker and believes City can acquire the experienced outside back prior to the 2017/18 Premier League season.

With City already losing Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna since the end of the PL season, Guardiola will have to address the club’s lack of depth at outside back.

Several other big clubs have been considered in the running for Walker’s services, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old has been at White Hart Lane since joining Spurs in 2009 from Sheffield United and has made 222 appearances for the club in that span.