A good deal of Jose Mourinho’s recent soundbites have concerned his Chelsea side’s lack of striking options. The site of Samuel Eto’o playing a part in Tuesday’s training, therefore, was a welcome site.
With 11 goals and three assists in all competitions, the Cameroonian striker is Chelsea’s most potent striking option but has been absent from the side since suffering a hamstring strain during the 6-0 victory over Arsenal on March 22nd.
In the three matches since then, Mourinho has handed starts in the #9 role to Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle, neither of whom made the score sheet. This lack of attacking bite was devastating to Chelsea, losing 0-1 in the league to Crystal Palace – a result that likely cost the Blues the title – and losing 1-3 to Paris Saint Germain – a result that will be incredibly difficult to overturn in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
Granted, Eto’o’s participation on Monday was limited to some stretching and light work with assistant first-team coach Rui Faria but it was marketable progress for a player not fit to travel to the Parc des Princes last week.
Overturning the deficit against PSG remains priority #1 for Mourinho, who admitted that he “may risk” plugging Eto’o in.
“Maybe I will pick him,” Mourinho said. “To risk a player you need to have minimum conditions. If you think he’s going to be out after 10 minutes of the game you can’t take that risk.
“If there is a minimum of conditions of risk, then, yes, I will pick him. We need to score goals. If we don’t score a minimum of two goals, we are out. We know that. If we can have everybody available who can give us a chance to score goals, then let’s do that.
“I wanted Eto’o to be on the bench on Saturday [against Stoke] and play 15 or 20 minutes but he was not fit enough. He did not train with the team on Sunday, so we have to see.”
PRAGUE (AP) After 15 years at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, Czech playmaker Tomas Rosicky is returning to his former club Sparta Prague.
Sparta announced the move on Tuesday. Details were to be announced at a news conference later in the day.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
The 35-year-old Rosicky, whose career with Arsenal was marred by frequent injuries, finished his 10 years with the English Premier League club when his final contract expired after the season.
Considered one of the most talented Czech players in decades, he spent three seasons with Sparta before moving to Dortmund in 2001 for what was then a record transfer fee in the Bundesliga.
Rosicky played 105 internationals, and has yet to decide if he wants to continue with the national team.
A record-breaking summer transfer window is slamming shut on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET.
Premier League clubs have spent over $1.3 billion on new players this summer and a late flourish should considerably add to that amount in the next 24 hours or so.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
With deals being done all the time right up until the window, Aug. 31 promises to be a lively day for all 20 Premier League teams.
Across our platforms we will have every base covered for you with a special three-hour Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN, transfer news as it happens on ProSoccerTalk and a Facebook live chat with PST’s Lead Writer and Editor Joe Prince-Wright in the final hours of the window.
Below you will find details on how to stay on top of all of the deals as another frantic Transfer Deadline Day is almost upon us.
Here is your lineup for Transfer Deadline Day:
- You can stay up to date all day long and find out about the latest deals as they happen – Transfer news, live updates
- Joe Prince-Wright will have a Facebook live to wrap up the deals on Deadline Day and discuss who needs what in the final hours – 3 p.m. ET, Watch live
- Stream and watch a live Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN with the Premier League crew – 5-8 p.m. ET, Watch live
Sergio Aguero did not get away with it.
In the second half of Manchester City’s 3-1 win against West Ham United on Sunday Aguero appeared to elbow Winston Reid in the face in an off the ball incident.
As soon as that happened, perhaps Jose Mourinho made a call to his friends at the English Football Association…
The English FA believe it was intentional and Man City’s top scorer from last season has been handed a violent conduct charge which could lead to a retrospective ban.
That is likely to see Aguero, City’s main man up front, miss the Manchester derby against Manchester United on Sept. 10.
Ouch. Coupled with a calf injury, not a good few days for Aguero.
Here is the statement in full from the FA as Pep Guardiola has been dealt a huge problem ahead of his first Premier League showdown against arch rival Mourinho.
Sergio Aguero has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.
The Manchester City forward was involved in an incident with West Ham United’s Winston Reid in the 76th minute of the game on Sunday [28 August 2016].
He has until 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to reply.
Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite match officials.
Each panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.
For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.
As the seconds tick away, Premier League teams will become more desperate.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
The summer transfer window for PL clubs closes at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday and there seems to be plenty of business still to be done by all 20 teams.
[ MORE: Wilshere to leave Arsenal? ]
Below is a look at the top 10 players to keep an eye on in the next 24 hours or so, as deals for them to move elsewhere already seem to be in motion.
- Jack Wilshere (Arsenal): English midfielder wants to head out on loan. Juventus, Roma are interested, plus several PL clubs. A mercurial talent who just needs to play regularly.
- Wilfried Bony (Manchester City): Out of the picture completely at City, Bony could head to West Ham, Stoke or Everton. Powerful striker who needs to regain confidence.
- Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon): Leicester have apparently had a huge bid rejected for the bustling Algerian striker, but should up their offer to bag him.
- Saido Berahino (West Brom): This guy is always around on Deadline Day and that’s the case again. Stoke City are now the main contenders with Palace signing Remy and Benteke.
- Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon): Portuguese national team midfielder has said he wants to join Leicester but Sporting aren’t keen on losing him. Has a $50 million release clause.
- Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina): Chelsea could be set to seal the signing of the left back. The versatile Spaniard is good on the ball and had previous PL spells with Bolton and Sunderland.
- Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool): Told to go out on loan by Jurgen Klopp, it is believed he turned down a move to Stoke. Could the French international arrive at West Brom?
- Samir Nasri (Manchester City): Pep Guardiola lambasted Nasri for being overweight during preseason and although he appeared as a sub last weekend, he could be off to Sevilla.
- Lamine Kone (Sunderland): Everton and Chelsea are said to be battling it out for center back who had an impressive finish to last season. Powerful center back, worth over $25 million.
- James McCarthy (Everton): Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Leicester are interested in McCarthy with Ronald Koeman not seeing the Republic of Ireland midfielder in his plans.