Falcao

Transfer needs – Everton, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City

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With the summer transfer window either rushing or creeping toward completion, depending on whether you want your club to buy a new player or hold onto an asset, it’s due time we address the needs of each team with time ticking away.

[RELATED: Summer transfer window news]

[RELATED: Balotelli arrives at Anfield]

Everton

Roberto Martinez has added some key pieces over the summer with the main signing Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea for a whopping $47 million. That’s a lot of cash for the Toffees to splash but they needed to. Bringing in free agents Gareth Barry (who spent last season on loan at Everton) and Samuel Eto’o will proved the squad with plenty of experience and the additions of Christian Atsu on loan and versatile Bosnian international Mohamed Besic are good pick ups. Unlikely that Martinez will do much more business but with Everton in the Europa League this season, he may need to get a few more players in to bolster the squad.

Hull City

The Tigers need to do some business and it will hinge on their progress to the Europa League group stage. Steve Bruce has sold Shane Long for $20 million to Southampton and is desperate to bring in some more attackers with his big summer signing, Robert Snodgrass, out for six months after suffering a horrible injury on his debut. Defender Michael Dawson has arrived from Spurs but Hull will need plenty more signings between now and next Monday if they’re going to stave off relegation and compete in Europe. New additions up front, especially after their failed attempt to sign Jordan Rhodes, are key with just Yannick Sagbo and Nikica Jelavic as their recognizes strikers.

[RELATED: Transfer needs – Arsenal, Aston Villa, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace]

Leicester City

The Foxes have been frugal in the summer window with four free transfers incluing Matt Upson, Jack Barmby and Marc Albrighton but they did bring in forward Leonardo Ulloa from Brighton in a club record $14 million move. They need to strengthen throughout as Nigel Pearson’s men have looked solid yet unspectacular against Everton and Chelsea to open the season. Esteban Cambiasso has been mentioned as an option in central midfield, while they are closing in on James McArthur from Wigan. Work needs to be done if Leicester are going to shake off their tag as relegation candidates.

Liverpool

Mario Balotelli. Adam Lallana. Dejan Lovren. Lazar Markovic. Rickie Lambert. Emre Can. Javier Manquillo. Alberto Moreno. Divock Origi. Yeah, it’s been a busy summer at Anfield after nine new arrivals. Luis Suarez has left and Brendan Rodgers has splashed $193 million in transfer fees after receiving $128 million from Barcelona for Suarez. Liverpool;s business seems to be done for this window but their are still rumors around that Radamel Falcao could be heading to the Reds ahead of their first Champions League campaign since 2009-10.

Manchester City

They didn’t really need to sign many players over the summer, did they? City brought in a few top players, just for arguments sake, as young French defender Eliaquim Mangala arrived from FC Porto for $59 million and destructive Brazilian midfielder, Fernando, also came from Porto for $20 million. A back up goalkeeper, Willy Caballero, and Bacary Sagna on a free from Arsenal, also arrived as Manuel Pellegrini added to his squad prudently. This summer was all about keeping their best players around as Samir Nasri, Vincent Kompany, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all signed new contracts. Don’t expect City to make any late signings unless an offer too good to turn down presents itself. Falcao has also been touted as a potential target for City before the window slams shut.

Premier League AT HALF: Arsenal fights back, Hull City on top

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (L) and Francis Coquelin of Arsenal (R) celebrate after Theo Walcott of Arsenal (not pictured) scored Arsenals first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on December 10, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Goals and controversial penalty decisions are a big part of Saturday morning’s quartet of Premier League matches, all of which are at the break.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

Arsenal 1-1 Stoke City

Joe Allen took an elbow from Granit Xhaka inside the 18, and Lee Mason awarded a PK that Charlie Adam converted to give the visitors an early lead. But Theo Walcott scored his 100th goal as a Gunner off a classy Hector Bellerin cross to make it 1-1 before the break.

Burnley 2-1 Bournemouth

The Cherries will have to dig out of another hole this week, and it all began with Jeff Hendrick‘s phenomenal opener. Fellow Irishman Steven Ward scored an economical to goal to double the lead.

But Ryan Fraser continued his fine December with an assist on Benik Afobe‘s goal before halftime.

Hull City 1-0 Crystal Palace

Robert Snodgrass drew a penalty with a pretty easy grass grab, and the Tigers have a

Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland

Not much cooking at the Liberty Stadium.

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Koeman: “Nervous” Everton has a problem after another loss

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Ronald Koeman manager of Everton arrives prior to the Premier League match between Watford and Everton at Vicarage Road on December 10, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
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One win in 10 for Ronald Koeman‘s Everton has the Dutchman on the hot seat.

Koeman seems to be clawing for air after the Toffees’ latest setback, a 3-2 loss at Watford.

The loss puts the Hornets ahead of Everton on the PL table, and — while unlikely — it’s a mathematical possibility that the Toffees could be a bottom half team by the end of the weekend.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

That’s a brutal development for a club expected to challenge for a European place this season.

Here’s Koeman:

“I see a lot of similar problems in the team. The team is too much reactive. Of course it’s maybe a lack of confidence, but if you start the game well, 1-0 up, you need a bigger belief in the team and not going back and defending, and nervous, and not enough ball possession. In my opinion that’s a problem.”

A big problem with that? It can be put down to the manager. Is Koeman in trouble already?

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VIDEO: Hendrick scores incredible volley from distance

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Jeff Hendrick, take a bow.

Burnley’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder pulled off a stunning piece of skill on Saturday to put the Clarets ahead against Bournemouth.

[ STREAM: Every PL game online ] 

A long ball forward was flicked on to Hendrick and he took a stunning first touch to tee himself and then settled himself before spanking a volley into the top corner.

Sensational goal from Burnley’s club-record signing.

Click play on the video above to watch it.

Messi’s latest goal dares you to count the touches (video)

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between CA Osasuna and FC Barcelona at Sadar stadium on December 10, 2016 in Pamplona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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There’s a danger in observing Lionel Messi on a week-by-week basis, and it has a lot to do with how he makes greatness look routine.

So while it’s easy to dismiss yet another mazy dribble through a defense, one of those “Frogger” style with calm-but-vicious cutbacks, try to consider everything that goes into Messi’s second goal against Osasuna early Saturday.

[ MORE: Watford 3-2 Everton ]

On first look, you might count 9 touches for Messi starting with his right-footed collection of the ball. But move to the slow motion replays, and recognize the truth: Often Messi is letting the ball do the work for him, essentially moving the duo closer to goal while he used his preferred left foot as a must-respect threat.

That he does it in such traffic and at full speed is incredible. It’s literally one of those goals in which a linguistic luminary like Ray Hudson would have trouble over-emphasizing the greatness.

Messi now has 11 La Liga goals in 12 matches, and 22 in 19 overall.

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