Stoke City, under new manager Mark Hughes, finished 9th in the Premier League with 50 points — their best finish since the 1974-1975 season. With an approach less oriented toward Pulis-ball’s defensive tactics, and more toward a free-flowing style, the Potters are hopeful of signing more attacking players.
With that in mind, Stoke are pursuing Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic. The 23-year-old came through the ranks of the Barcelona youth system, making his senior debut when he was barely 17. However, Bojan soon fell behind the likes of certain players. Like, say, David Villa. Or Pedro. Or Lionel Messi.
So in 2011, Bojan made his way to Serie A side Roma, under a complicated deal agreeing certain fees for Roma’s retention or Barcelona’s buyback. Ultimately the forward returned to Barcelona, having stopped off for a loan at Milan along the way. At neither side did he become a regular in the starting XI.
In search of consistent playing time, Bojan spent the next season on loan in the Eredivisie. There he played in 24 of Ajax’s league matches, scoring four goals along the way.
It would be easy to right Bojan off as being a bit of a flop — after all, four goals in a season isn’t many, particularly for a forward. But it’s quite possible he’s simply yet to find the right fit. Stoke are eager to find out if he can shine in England:
Mark has met with the player and we’re quietly confident of getting it all completed soon. Attacking players have been very much the focus for Mark since the end of last season and obviously Bojan would be another very good addition.
What do you think? Would Bojan be a quality signing for the Potters?
Seemingly everything he touches turns to
Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 17 minutes of Wednesday’s League Cup third round match versus Burton Albion at Old Trafford, and the second was a beaut.
[ MORE: Everton fines Rooney ]
It was a classy little chipped finish that made it 1-0, but Rashford unleashed from outside the 18 to beat a flying goalkeeper and put a jewel on the scoreboard.
Well, not really a jewel, but picture that “2” as real shiny.
Rashford now has five goals in eight matches for Manchester United this season, and 22 in 78 for his career. He turns 20 next month, which is nice.
Wayne Rooney‘s move back to Everton was always going to benefit the Merseyside community, though it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Everton has fined Rooney two weeks’ wages following his admission earlier this week to a drunk driving charge.
[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]
According to the BBC, “Everton intend to give the entire sum – thought to be about £300,000 – to local projects through their Everton in the Community scheme.”
At a Monday court date, Rooney learned that he would not be allowed to drive for two years. He was also fined and assigned 100 hours of community service.
Rooney has two goals and an assist in nine appearances, all starts, for the struggling Toffees. He is not in the 18 for Everton’s third round League Cup tie versus Sunderland on Wednesday.
Five more League Cup third round games take place on Wednesday with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all hosting lower-league opponents.
[ LIVE: Latest League Cup scores ]
Holders Man United welcome Burton Albion to Old Trafford, while Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers, Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge, Everton clash with recently relegated Sunderland and Manchester City head to West Brom.
On Tuesday five Premier League teams were knocked out of the competition as Liverpool lost at Leicester City, Stoke were upset at Bristol City, Burnley lost to Leeds United on penalty kicks, Brighton lost at Bournemouth and Huddersfield were knocked out by Crystal Palace.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]
Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s League Cup games with all games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.
Click on the link above for live updates on all five games, while the fourth-round draw takes place after the games have finished.
Wednesday’s League Cup schedule
Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest
Everton vs. Sunderland
Manchester United vs. Burton Albion – 3 p.m. ET
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City – 3 p.m. ET
Rog and Davo break down Arsenal’s draw at Chelsea, Wazza’s return to Old Trafford, and a robotic performance from Pep’s City side. Plus, a musical number at the end.
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