SSC Napoli v PAOK - Preseason Friendly

Queens Park Rangers sign Chilean international Eduardo Vargas on loan

Leave a comment

Queens Park Rangers continue to be active in the transfer market on their return to the Premier League, as Chilean attacker Eduardo Vargas has arrived from Napoli.

Vargas, 24, has signed on a one-year loan deal after impressing QPR boss Harry Redknapp with his performances during the World Cup this summer. The West Londoners have now made six signings this summer, as Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker, Jordan Mutch, Leroy Fer and Vargas’ teammate with the Chilean national team, Mauricio Isla, have all joined the Hoops.

[RELATED: Fer joins QPR for $16 million]

Judging by their performance, not the disappointing 1-0 defeat, against Hull on the opening of the campaign, the R’s looked much better equipped for life in the PL than they did in 2012-13 when they were relegated. Vargas will compete with current strikers Charlie Austin, Bobby Zamora and Loic Remy for a place up front but the versatile attacker can play in a variety of positions.

Speaking to QPR’s website, Redknapp revealed the R’s have been chasing Vargas for quite some time and is delighted to get him on board.

“Eduardo is a quality player. He’s sharp, he’s bright, and he’s very lively on and off the ball. He can play as a number nine, he can play in behind, he can play wide – he’s very versatile. I really liked the look of him during the World Cup and he’s a player our scouts have been looking at for some time.”

Vargas will get the chance to showcase his talents in the PL and after seeing his career stall at Napoli last season under Rafael Benitez, we witnessed just how much of an impact he can make after he scored Chile’s opener in their 2-0 defeat of Spain at the World Cup. Since arriving at Napoli in 2012, Vargas has had loan spells at Gremio in Brazil, plus he spent time with Valencia last season. Vargas has scored 15 goals in 32 games for Chile and forged a great partnership alongside Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez during the World Cup.

Pacey, tenacious and not afraid to have a dig at goal, expect Vargas to add some extra spark to QPR’s offense as their main aim is to survive this season. Bringing in a player with World Cup experience will certainly help them on that front. Although Vargas will not be available this weekend as QPR clash with London rivals Tottenham. The South American still has to finalize his work permit and will return to Italy to do just that.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
Leave a comment

Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
1 Comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.