Jack Colback

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Every Premier League transfer deal in January

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Did your club get its moves over the line? Or were they all settled before the window moved to Wednesday?

[ MORE: JPW grades every PL club ]

Thanks to PremierLeague.com, we’ve got the full list of ins and outs from the most competitive top league in the world.

Arsenal

In
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) Undisclosed
Konstantinos Mavropanos (PAS Giannina) Undisclosed
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man Utd) Swap

Out
Jeff-Reine Adelaide (Angers) Loan
Chuba Akpom (Sint-Truidense) Loan
Krystian Bielik (Walsall) Loan
Francis Coquelin (Valencia) Undisclosed
Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne) Undisclosed
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) Undisclosed
Stephy Mavididi (Charlton Athletic) Loan
Marcus McGuane (Barcelona) Undisclosed
Tafari Moore (Wycombe Wanderers) Loan
Julio Pleguezuelo (Gimnastic de Tarragona) Loan
Alexis Sanchez (Man Utd) Swap
Ben Sheaf (Stevenage) Loan
Theo Walcott (Everton) Undisclosed

AFC Bournemouth

In
Lewis Grabban (Sunderland) Loan return

Out
Baily Cargill (Partick Thistle) Loan
Mihai Dobre (Rochdale) Loan
Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa) Loan
Shaun Hobson (Chester) Loan
Connor Mahoney (Barnsley) Loan
Sam Matthews (Eastleigh) Loan extension
Ollie Harfield (Boreham Wood) Loan
Aaron Ramsdale (Chesterfield) Loan
Ben Whitfield (Port Vale) Loan extension

Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Warren O’Hora (Bohemians) Undisclosed
Jurgen Locadia (PSV Eindhoven) Undisclosed
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester) Loan

Out
Soufyan Ahannach (Sparta Rotterdam) Loan
David Ajiboye (Millwall) Loan
Jonah Ayunga (Poole Town) Loan
Charlie Ferguson (East Grinstead Town) Loan
Ben Hall (Notts County) Loan
Kazenga LuaLua (Sunderland) Free
Stefan Ljubicic (Bognor Regis Town) Loan
Jordan Maguire-Drew (Coventry City) Loan
Reece Meekums (Worthing) Loan extension
Jamie Murphy (Rangers) Loan
Mathias Normann (Molde) Loan extension
Rian O’Sullivan (Carshalton Athletic) Loan
Bailey Vose (Welling United) Loan

Burnley

In
Aaron Lennon (Everton) Undisclosed
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Spurs) Loan

Out
Dan Agyei (Blackpool) Loan
Tom Anderson (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Jimmy Dunne (Accrington Stanley) Loan
Harry Flowers (Guiseley) Undisclosed
Josh Ginnelly (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Luke Hendrie (Shrewsbury Town) Undisclosed
Alex Whitmore (Chesterfield) Undisclosed

Chelsea

In
Ross Barkley (Everton) Undisclosed
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) Undisclosed
Emerson Palmieri (Roma) Undisclosed

Emerson, pictured with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia (chelseafc.com)

Out
Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland) Loan
Jordan Houghton (Doncaster Rovers) Loan extension
Todd Kane (Oxford United) Loan
Kenedy (Newcastle) Loan
Charly Musonda Jr (Celtic) Loan
Baba Rahman (Schalke) Loan
Ike Ugbo (MK Dons) Loan

Crystal Palace

In
Jaroslaw Jach (Zaglebie Lubin) Undisclosed
Erdal Rakip (Benfica) Loan
Alexander Sørloth (Midtjylland) Undisclosed

Out
Keshi Anderson (Swindon Town) Undisclosed
Andre Coker (Maidstone United) Loan
Noor Husin (Notts County) Undisclosed
Sullay Kalkai (Charlton) Loan
Freddie Ladapo (Southend United) Undisclosed

Everton

In
Cenk Tosun (Besiktas) Undisclosed
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Undisclosed

Out
Ross Barkley (Chelsea) Undisclosed
Harry Charsley (Bolton Wanderers) Loan
Louis Gray (Carlisle United) Loan
Gethin Jones (Fleetwood Town) Undisclosed
Aaron Lennon (Burnley) Undisclosed
Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig) Loan
Boris Mathis (Northampton Town) Loan
Kevin Mirallas (Olympiacos) Loan
Sandro Ramirez (Sevilla) Loan
Antonee Robinson (Bolton Wanderers) Loan extension
Liam Walsh (Bristol City) Undisclosed

Huddersfield Town

In
Terence Kongolo (Monaco) Loan
Jack Payne (Oxford Utd) Loan recall
Alex Pritchard (Norwich City) Undisclosed

Out
Jack Boyle (Clyde) Loan
Dylan Cogill (Clyde) LoanFraser Horsfall (Kidderminster Harriers) Undisclosed
Danny Kane (Cork City) Undisclosed
Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Jack Payne (Blackburn Rovers) Loan
Ryan Schofield (AFC Telford) Loan
Tadhg Ryan (Released)
Cedwyn Scott (Dundee) Undisclosed

Leicester City

In
Fousseni Diabate (Gazalec Ajaccio) Undisclosed
Callum Wright (Blackburn Rovers) Undisclosed

Out
Andy King (Swansea City) Loan
Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow) Loan
Islam Slimani (Newcastle United) Loan
Raul Uche (Real Betis) Loan
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester) Loan

Liverpool

In
Tony Gallacher (Falkirk)
Ryan Kent (Freiburg) Loan return
Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton) Undisclosed

(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Out
Cameron Brannagan (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) Undisclosed
Ovie Ejaria (Sunderland) Loan
Jon Flanagan (Bolton Wanderers) Loan
Marko Grujic (Cardiff City) Loan
Lloyd Jones (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Ryan Kent (Bristol City) Loan
Lazar Markovic (Anderlecht) Loan
Daniel Sturridge (West Brom) Loan
Matty Virtue (Notts County) Loan
Corey Whelan (Yeovil Town) Loan
Harry Wilson (Hull City) Loan

Manchester City

In
Jack Harrison (New York City) Undisclosed
Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao) Undisclosed

Out
Kean Bryan (Oldham Athletic) Loan
Isaac Buckley (Oxford United) Loan
Jacob Davenport (Burton Albion) Loan
Shay Facey (Northampton Town) Undisclosed
Jack Harrison (Middlesbrough) Loan
Marlos Moreno (Flamengo) Loan
Ashley Smith-Brown (Oxford United) Loan

Manchester United

In
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Leeds) Loan recall
Matej Kovar (FC Slovacko) Undisclosed
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Swap
Matty Willock (Utrecht) Loan return

Out
James Wilson (Sheffield United) Loan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) Swap
Alex Tuanzebe (Aston Villa) Loan
Matty Willock (St Johnstone) Loan
Charlie Scott (Hamilton Academical) Loan
Demi Mitchell (Hearts) Loan

Newcastle United

In
Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague) Loan
Kenedy (Chelsea) Loan
Islam Slimani (Leicester City) Loan

@NUFC

Out
Rolando Aarons (Hellas Verona) Loan
Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) Loan
Dan Barlaser (Crewe Alexandra) Loan
Kyle Cameron (Queen of the South) Loan
Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) Loan extension
Lewis McNall (Gateshead) Loan
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) Loan
Henri Saivet (Sivasspor) Loan
Islam Slimani (Leicester City) Loan
Ivan Toney (Scunthorpe United) Loan
Callum Williams (Gateshead) Loan
Freddie Woodman (Aberdeen) Loan

Southampton

In
Guido Carrillo (Monaco) Undisclosed

Out
Marcus Barnes (Yeovil Town) Loan
Ryan Seager (Yeovil) Loan
Matt Targett (Fulham) Loan
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) Undisclosed

Stoke City

In
Moritz Bauer (Rubin Kazan) Undisclosed
Moussa Niakate (Paris FC) Undisclosed
Badou Ndiaye (Galatasaray) EUR16million
Kostas Stafylidis (Augsburg) Loan

Out
Jake Dunwoody (Curzon Ashton) Loan
Julien Ngoy (Walsall) Loan
Harry Souttar (Ross County) Loan
Josh Tymon (MK Dons) Loan

Swansea City

In
Andre Ayew (West Ham) Undisclosed
Andy King (Leicester City) Loan
Jack Withers (Boston United) Undisclosed

Out
Ryan Blair (Falkirk) Loan
Jay Fulton (Wigan) Loan
Adam King (Mansfield) Loan
Oliver McBurnie (Barnsley) Loan
Roque Mesa (Sevilla) Loan
Tyler Reid (Newport County) Loan
Joe Rodon (Cheltenham Town) Loan
Josh Sheehan (Newport County) Free
Jack Withers (Boston United) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

In
Lucas Moura (Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed

Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Moura  (Rick Osentoski/AP Images for International Champions Cup)

Out
Luke Amos (Stevenage) Loan
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town) Loan
Marcus Edwards (Norwich City) Loan
Ryan Loft (Exeter City) Loan
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Burnley) Loan
Anton Walkes (Portsmouth) Loan

Watford

In
Pontus Dahlberg (IFK Gothenburg) Undisclosed
Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona) Loan
Dodi Lukebakio (Charleroi) Undisclosed
Didier Ndong (Sunderland) Loan

Out
Pontus Dahlberg (IFK Gothenburg) Loan
Brice Dja Djedje (RC Lens) Loan
Michael Folivi (Boreham Wood) Loan
Alex Jakubiak (Falkirk) Loan
Brandon Mason (Dundee United) Loan
Costel Pantilimon (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Charlie Rowan (Accrington Stanley) Loan
Isaac Success (Malaga) Loan
Ben Watson Released
Randell Williams (Wycombe Wanderers) Loan
Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield) Loan

West Bromwich Albion

In
Ali Gabr (Zamalek) Loan
Rekeem Harper (Blackburn) Loan return
Jonathan Leko (Bristol City) Loan return
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) Loan

Out
Tahvon Campbell (Forest Green Rovers) Loan
Shaun Donnellan (Yeovil) Undisclosed
Kyle Edwards (Exeter City) Loan
Kyle Howkins (Port Vale) Loan
Jasko Keranovic (Kilmarnock) Loan
Max Melbourne (Ross County) Loan
Dara O'Shea (Hereford FC) Loan extension
Tyler Roberts (Leeds) Undisclosed
Kane Wilson (Exeter City) Loan extension

West Ham United

In
Joao Mario (Inter Milan) Loan
Reece Oxford (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Loan return

Out
Reece Burke (Bolton Wanderers) Loan
Moses Makasi (Plymouth Argyle) Loan
Reece Oxford (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Loan
Diafra Sakho (Rennes) Undisclosed
Martin Samuelsen (Burton Albion) Loan

Who needs what in the final days of the window?

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What does each club need to do in the final days of the transfer window?

[ MORE: All the latest transfer news ]

We take a look below with plenty of business to be done with just three days to go.

Remember, there is a live transfer window show on NBCSN from 5 p.m. ET on Thursday as the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Let’s dig in.


Arsenal
Needs: Center back, winger – The same as each window, they need a commanding defender and/or defensive midfielder. They will likely get another winger and a striker.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton), Jean Seri (Nice)
Likely departures: Alexis Sanchez (Man City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Chelsea, Liverpool), Theo Walcott (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)

Bournemouth
Needs: Winger – Eddie Howe‘s side have been lackluster in attack and that’s concerning. Adding an exciting winger could freshen things up.
Key targets: Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Likely departures: None

Brighton & Hove Albion
Needs: Striker, defender – Chris Hughton‘s side will be tough to break down but Hemed and Murray need help up top.
Key targets: Oumar Niasse (Everton) Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal)
Likely departures: None

Burnley
Needs: Center back, striker – James Tarkowski has slotted in well for Michael Keane but more cover at center back is necessary. A new striker would be handy too.
Key targets: Abdul Majid Waris (Lorient)
Likely departures: None

Chelsea
Needs: Central midfield, striker, winger – More depth is needed if Chelsea will challenge to win the PL and Champions League.
Key targets: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Cedric (Southampton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Fernando Llorente (Swansea), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Ross Barkley (Everton)
Likely departures: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

Crystal Palace
Needs: Center back, striker – Frank De Boer needs new additions all over the pitch but defense is his most pressing concern.
Key targets: Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Jose Fonte (West Ham), Oumar Niasse (Everton)
Likely departures: Andros Townsend (Leicester City)

Everton
Needs: Striker, center back – Koeman has made it clear he wants a new striker but an audacious move for Diego Costa seems unlikely.
Key targets: Diego Costa (Chelsea), Nikola Vlasic (Hadjuk Split), Stefano Okaka (Watford)
Likely departures: Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos), Ross Barkley (Chelsea)

Huddersfield Town
Needs: None – A rare case of the Terriers doing all of their business early in the window.
Likely arrivals: N/A
Likely departures: N/A

Leicester City
Needs: Winger, center back – The Foxes have leaked goals early in the season, albeit against top teams, but they continue to chase Jonny Evans.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)
Likely departures: Riyad Mahrez (Chelsea, Roma), Demarai Gray (Bournemouth), Islam Slimani (Watford)

Liverpool
Needs: Center back, winger – The Reds need to strengthen their defense but a deal for van Dijk still seems unlikely.
Key targets: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Likely departures: Divock Origi (Monaco), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)

Manchester City
Needs: Striker, center back – Having another forward player seems excessive but who would put it past them to land Sanchez?
Key targets: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Jonny Evans (West Brom)
Likely departures: Raheem Sterling (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (West Brom)

Manchester United
Needs: Winger – All summer long Mourinho has been trying to sign one more wide player. Deals for Perisic and Bale seem a little too ambitious though, especially the way United’s wide players have started the season.
Key targets: Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Serge Aurier (PSG)
Likely departures: None

Newcastle United
Needs: Striker, winger – Rafael Benitez has tried multiple times to get deals over the line during the summer but failed. Will he have late success?
Key targets: Divock Origi (Liverpool), Danny Ings (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) Vidar Orn Kjartansson (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Likely departures: Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace), Jack Colback (Hull City)

Southampton
Needs: Striker, attacking midfielder – The Saints need a bit of pace in attack. Could former forward Walcott return to St Mary’s? It is all about keeping hold of Virgil van Dijk, even though the Dutchman has handed in a transfer request
Key targets: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Likely departures: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal)

Stoke City
Needs: Striker, midfield – Still short on options up top, Mark Hughes may look to add a loan signing on deadline day.
Key targets: Vincent Janseen (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Man City)
Likely departures: Giannelli Imbula (Torino)

Swansea City
Needs: Striker, midfielder – Seems like there is plenty of work left to do at Swansea as they aim to splash the Gylfi Sigurdsson cash.
Key targets: Wilfried Bony (Manchester City), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven)
Likely departures: Fernando Llorente (Chelsea)

Tottenham Hotspur
Needs: Right back – More competition at right back seems to be the only area where Pochettino wants to strengthen.
Key targets: Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Juan Foyth (Estudiantes)
Likely departures: Moussa Sissoko (Inter Milan)

Watford
Needs: Left back, striker – Marco Silva wants more firepower and a new left back in the final days of the window
Key targets: Alberto Moreno (Liverpool), Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
Likely departures: Stefano Okaka (Everton, West Brom), Jerome Sinclair

West Bromwich Albion
Needs: Left back, central midfield, striker – After a strong start Tony Pulis is trying to do some wheeling and dealing in the final days with three positions the focus.
Key targets: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Stefano Okaka (Watford) Josef de Souza (Fenerbache)
Likely departures: Nacer Chadli (Swansea City)

West Ham United
Needs: Central midfield – Hammers will try to finish off their summer of spending with a new holding midfielder
Key targets: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
Likely departures: None

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Newcastle United

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Newcastle’s not your typical newly promoted side.

After bouncing straight back from relegation and returning to the Premier League, where they spent have spent every season except two since the league’s inauguration in 1992. Both times Newcastle were relegated, they won the Championship and came straight back up.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live ]

This time, they have as experienced a manager as a newly promoted side can have along for the ride. Newcastle proved strong in their bid to keep Rafa Benitez after relegation, and he delivered on his promise to get them back to the top flight. Now, staying there will be another battle altogether.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best-case scenario is that Newcastle returns to its former pedigree as a perennial top-half finisher. That’s not out of the question at all, considering they have a strong side that pulverized the Championship at times. Newcastle can break down any defense, with attacking talent that could surprise the Premier League with its quality.

Worst-case, this team flops hard and battles relegation again. The Magpies’ biggest weakness is facing a team like them, that possesses the ball and storms forward. They lost twice to Fulham last season in Championship play, a team most comparable to Newcastle’s style at that level. Should teams look to replicate this strategy, Benitez would be powerless as he watches his team pinned back and unable to push forward. This team isn’t vastly changed from when they were relegated, and that could prove a major downfall.


Best possible XI is…

Elliott

Yedlin — Lascelles — Lejeune — Dummett

Shelvey — Diame

Ritchie — Perez — Murphy

Gayle


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Jacob Murphy (Norwich City, $13.3 million), Florian Lejeune (Eibar, $11.7 million), Christian Atsu ($9 million), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, $5.9 million), Mikel Merino (Borussia Dortmund, Loan).

Transfers Out: Florian Thauvin (Marseille, $12.9 million), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest, $2.7 million), Sammy Ameobi (Bolton, Free), Vurnon Anita (Leeds United, Free), Haris Vuckic (FC Twente, Free), Yoan Gouffran (Goztepe, Free).

Last season:

— 1st Place finish in Championship (Automatic promotion)
— FA Cup 4th Round (Lost to Oxford United)
— League Cup quarterfinals (Lost to Hull City)

Star player: Ayoze Perez — If asked for most important player, I probably would have gone with one of the two central defenders, who anchor this club. Florian Lejeune is a quality addition and will strengthen this defense considerably. However, it’s “star” player and that is without a doubt playmaker Ayoze Perez. The 22-year-old Spaniard can both create and score, and he racked up 12 goals and 7 assists last season in the Championship despite playing 1,400 less minutes than leading creators Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. Perez will be a critical part of this Newcastle squad, and he’ll need to blossom this time around after misfiring in his first go at the Premier League campaign the Magpies’ relegation season.

Coaches’ Corner: Rafa Benitez is as experienced as they come for newly promoted sides. He is the only manager in history to have won the Champions League, Europa League, Club World Cup, and Super Cup titles, and he has Newcastle in good hands. While he fell from grace at Napoli and Real Madrid, taking charge of Newcastle is a completely different animal, and he passed the Championship meat grinder with flying colors. Back in the Premier League for a full season for the first time since 2010, Benitez has a quality squad to work with as Newcastle looks to continue its slow build back up.

PST predicts: This is a very deep team, which will be of utmost importance when the injuries inevitably hit. The attacking trio of Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, and new signing Jacob Murphy have plenty of support in Christian Atsu, Siem De Jong, Henri Saivet (should he stay). In addition, the midfield is strengthened by Borussia Dortmund loanee Mikel Marino and Jack Colback. The quality in depth coupled with Rafa Benitez’s guiding means this squad should be comfortably in the Premier League, with a safe bottom-half finish. The only slip could be if the players who failed to keep the club afloat last time perform below standards a second time.

Sunderland’s Pickford: “I would never” play for Newcastle

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Jordan Pickford is going to be a man in-demand if he chooses to leave Sunderland this summer.

The England U-21 keeper has been one of few shining lights for the Black Cats in their moribund season, and has not ruled out helping Sunderland’s quest for Premier League promotion next season.

[ MORE: The way back for Sunderland ]

Teammate Jermain Defoe has been linked with PL moves including one to Tyne-Wear Derby rivals Newcastle United, and ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback made the move, but that’s literally a bridge too far for Pickford.

From The Express:

“Jack’s playing on the other side of the water these days unfortunately. I would never do that,” Pickford said. “I couldn’t do it myself. I would never go to Newcastle.

“[Leaving Sunderland] is not something I’ve looked at yet and it’s not something I want to look at either.”

Colback was a Newcastle United supporter as a kid before joining Sunderland’s academy at age 10, so Pickford is obviously a different story. One of the many shames regarding Sunderland’s relegation is another year without a league derby against Newcastle United.

Thank goodness Pickford gave us a little bitter reminder of the feud, though we’re wondering how he’ll feel if Rafa Benitez lodges the biggest bid for his services. Easier said than done, Jordan.

Lynden Gooch is living the American dream, at Sunderland

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SUNDERLAND — Lynden Gooch is living his dream in the Premier League.

From Santa Cruz, California, Gooch left home at the age of 16 in 2012 to join Sunderland’s academy and pursue his dream of becoming a Premier League player.

So far, so good.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC ] 

Gooch, 20, made his Premier League debut for Sunderland away at Manchester City on the opening day of the season back on Aug. 13 and from an early age he’s been driven to chase his ultimate dream in England.

The confident yet softly spoken American midfielder has an English father and an Irish mother, something which helped open his eyes to opportunities across the pond, and Gooch began training with Sunderland every summer from the age of 10.

Speaking exclusively to ProSoccerTalk, Gooch revealed that after watching the Premier League throughout his childhood in California, he had to make the move.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Premier League player and I’ve always wanted to play in England. I’m English, you know? I’m Irish as well. I’ve got so many family members over here and it has always been a dream to play in this league,” Gooch said. “It is an amazing place to play. To be here for four years and to be here for another three, it is amazing.”

After being handed a surprise debut by new Sunderland manager David Moyes, Gooch has made six starts so far this season for the Black Cats in all competitions. He admitted in a Facebook live chat with ProSoccerTalk on Thursday, see below, that Sunderland’s passionate fans generate the “best atmosphere in the Premier League” and he is striving to do whatever he can to help the team he supports recover from a poor start to the season which has seen them fail to win any of their opening six games in the PL.

Sunderland square off against West Bromwich Albion this Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBC Sports) in what is being billed a must-win game to kick-start their season.

Gooch said that after making his initial breakthrough into the first team in both central midfield and out wide, he aims for consistency to help his team get back to winning ways. What does he see himself adding to Sunderland’s midfield?

“Getting the ball, giving it and getting it back, committing a player and dribbling past someone. I like to create things. I like to hit long balls. I like to switch the play. I think I’ve got a bit of everything,” Gooch said. “I’ve got that long ball in me and I can play the simple pass but I can dribble past someone and I’ve got a bit of pace. I just try to give as much as I can and be creative and add some flair. I just want to be a positive player and make sure I can make an impact going forward.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

As we chat in the players lounge at Sunderland’s Academy of Light training ground, with a strong breeze whipping up outside the window as trees creaked in England’s north east, there are pictures on the wall behind us of scholars who have made the grade at Sunderland. Jordan Henderson, Jack Colback and Jordan Pickford are among them and there was Gooch, signing on with former manager Martin O’Neil smiling widely. Gooch had a huge grin on his face too. “That was one of the best days of my life,” said the self-confessed Mackem.

The debate about innate ability vs. learned ability arose. Gooch grew up in a soccer mad family in Santa Cruz and played for PDA center of excellence which went to Sunderland when he was 10. On that tour of England he played in a trial game against Sunderland’s academy and scored a hat trick in the first half. The Black Cats kept tabs on him ever since and he trained with the club each summer until he signed a two-year scholar deal in 2012 and then a new three-year pro deal in April.

Can you teach how to ghost past defenders and pick out passes?

“Players just have that. You either see it or you don’t,” Gooch said. “I think I’ve had that since I was a kid and I’ve always been brought up by my dad to play with both feet. I’m very strong with both feet and always have been. I think that is really important, to be able to go either side of where a defender is or play a pass. You have to be able to do that if you want to play in this league.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

When you watch him play, Gooch reminds you of a certain U.S. national team legend.

With his ease on the ball, ability to dribble and penchant for scoring and creating goals (that helped him win the Premier League U-21 Player of the Month last September) you can see a similarity to Landon Donovan. That’s probably because Gooch grew up idolizing him when Donovan played for the San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer.

“I was at Spartans Stadium every week watching him play,” Gooch said of Donovan. “He was my idol as a kid, as much as probably every American kid who was playing. It’s amazing to see him come back and continue playing and score a goal against Kansas City. He has definitely been a role model. I actually got to meet him last year in Manchester which was really nice. It was good. He is a nice guy and nice to meet him but I was a bit starstruck. It was amazing to meet him.”

There’s another goalscoring hero who is an idol of the Californian’s too.

“I’ve always looked up to Wayne Rooney,” Gooch said, nodding his head. “I think I was watching the game when he scored against Arsenal for Everton, his first goal, and now I am working with the same manager [David Moyes] so it is funny how things work out like that. I see a lot of myself in Wayne. Obviously he is in a different league with the career he’s had but in terms of strength and being able to play in so many different positions, I’ve always looked at him as a role model and to try and be like him.”

Tales of Gooch’s rise is music to the ears of U.S. national team fans as many salivate over the prospect of a USMNT young talent playing regularly in the Premier League. Jurgen Klinsmann has already reacted positively to Gooch becoming a starter at Sunderland and it would not be surprising to see him play for the full U.S. national team in the coming months.

He admits that he wants to play for the USA, despite qualifying for both the English national team and Republic of Ireland, but being left out of the U.S. U-20 World Cup squad in 2015 by Tab Ramos was not only a tough pill to swallow but something which spurred him on.

“That really hit me quite hard,” Gooch said. “I thought that without a doubt I deserved to be in that squad. I’d been in every single squad up until that point. That was very hard to take but it definitely made me want to prove them wrong even more and show them that they made a mistake.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Bacary Sagna of Manchester City (L) attempts to black Lynden Gooch of Sunderland (R) shot during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

On the U.S. front, Gooch is one of a number of promising attack-minded midfielders coming up through the ranks. Christian Pulisic has stolen most of the headlines at Borussia Dortmund with his stunning breakthrough, and that success is spurring Gooch on to reach new heights.

“I played against him [Pulisic] in preseason when we played Dortmund but obviously I’ve heard and I’ve seen him play. Even here people are talking about him in the dressing room so everyone can see how good he is and what he brings,” Gooch revealed. “Being so young, he just turned 18 years old, he is doing fantastic and it will be great to play with him as well.”

That burning desire to push on to bigger things with Sunderland and the U.S. national team drives Gooch on. Even if many still question his decision to leave the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Cruz behind to pursue his dream in the chilly, windswept city of Sunderland in the far north east of England. He lives with his girlfriend and her family (who Gooch says he owes so much too for taking him in over 5,000 miles from his home) and he and Talia are moving in together for the first time in November.

Even with his entire family now back in Santa Cruz (including his brother who is, of course, a professional surfer), life is good for Gooch.

“People still ask me ‘why have you come to Sunderland from California!?’ Well, I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be a professional footballer. I wanted to play in the Premier League and I want to play for this football club. Hopefully I can do that for a long time,” Gooch said, proudly. “Some people are still surprised at how far I’ve come. It was a no-brainer for me. As soon as I could’ve come to this club. I would’ve come early at aged 14, or 12, whenever… I would’ve came.”

Is he surprised how fast all this has happened?

“The start of the season has been surprising not only for me but for everyone around the world, in the States and here at the club as well. It came as a shock to start the first game and to continue playing. I’ve started six games so that’s been amazing so far. It is something I didn’t see coming but I’ve worked really hard to get this opportunity.”