Jack Butland

Getty Images

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Butland to Liverpool; Malcom to Arsenal

1 Comment

Liverpool could be set to spend more of the $197 million they received for Philippe Coutinho on shoring up their defense.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

After splashing out a club-record $100 million on Virgil Van Dijk earlier in January to make him the most expensive defender in the world, the Daily Star says that the Reds will try to sign Jack Butland in the summer.

The Stoke and England goalkeeper, still just 24 years old, will reportedly be a top target to replace Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius in goal who have both struggled at times over the past 12-18 months.

With Butland battling relegation with Stoke between now and the end of the season, the Potters won’t sell him in January, but if they do go down then surely they won’t stand in the way of their England international moving on.

Butland has all the attributes to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper for the next decade and beyond and after recovering from his recent injury problems he is one of the few Stoke players who performed well this season.

Arsenal continued to be linked with a move for Bordeaux’s Brazilian forward Malcom.

On Friday, Arsene Wenger said that Malcom, 20, was a “good player but at the moment nothing is happening” with regards to a $55 million deal.

However, later in his press conference the Arsenal manager did hint that if Alexis Sanchez was allowed to leave in January then it would only be if the Gunners had a replacement lined up.

So, what is Malcolm all about? Firstly, this screamer he scored last month turned plenty of heads and the youngster has put in consistent displays in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons for Bordeaux. He arrived in France from Brazilian powerhouse Corinthians in 2015 and is a member of the Brazilian U-23 national team.

Malcom has scored seven goals in 20 appearances for Bordeaux this season and 18 in 78 appearances since 2015.

Close to $60 million is a lot to play for a promising young attacker, especially when Arsenal appear to have plenty of talent coming through the system, but if they sell Theo Walcott to Everton and offload Sanchez, Wenger will be a little short in attack.

With Tottenham and others said to have been sniffing around Malcom, Arsenal will likely have to act in January before his name is added to Wenger’s now infamous list of players “he looked at” as a youngster…

Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City: Blues sail past Potters

Leave a comment
  • Chelsea 3-0 after 23 minutes
  • Willian wins, scores PK in 73rd
  • Potters concede PL-worst 45 goals

Chelsea had very little challenge from Stoke City in a 5-0 blowout at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, Willian, and Davide Zappacosta scored for Chelsea, who advanced into second with 45 points before Manchester United plays Southampton.

Stoke sits 13th with 20 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea had a corner kick inside of a minute, as the Blues looked to establish its expected upper hand.

(Narrator voice) They did.

Rudiger nodded a third minute free kick inside the far post from Willian’s sweeping offering.

Drinkwater made it 2-0 with an outside of the boot screamer in the ninth minute, leaving Jack Butland hopeless.

Butland made a stop on Alvaro Morata four minutes later, under siege but unrelenting between the sticks.

Pedro then forced a save out of Butland at 21 minutes, and beat the keeper from the chalk of the 18 two minutes later to make it 3-0.

Thibaut Courtois stopped a Saido Berahino shot early in the second half as the English attacker aimed to end his goal drought.

Butland had another stop on Morata at the hour mark, the third or fourth time he thwarted a decent chance for the Spaniard.

Willian won a penalty off Geoff Cameron in the 73rd minute, and the Brazilian converted his opportunity.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Three (young) Lions: Southgate adds more youth to squad

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gareth Southgate‘s task(s) at hand have been anything but a walk in the park during his 14 months as England manager (as an aside, the England job has never been an easy one, for anyone), but the 47-year-old can be quite pleased with what he’s achieved thus far.

[ MORE: One of the favorites — Spain in fine form, thrash Costa Rica 5-0 ]

Having qualified the Three Lions for the 2018 World Cup as one of four sides (Germany, Spain and Belgium) to finish qualifying without a loss, Southgate’s focus is now fully fixed on next summer’s tournament in Russia. As such, the current international break has provided England’s former U-21 boss a golden opportunity to bring a number of peripheral players into the squad to make their case, and Southgate sure is making the most of it.

Friday’s draw with defending world champions Germany saw eight non-regulars feature for England, prompting Southgate to bring an additional trio of youngsters into camp ahead of Tuesday’s clash with another heavily favored side, Brazil.

[ MORE: Shaqiri promises “nice party” in Switzerland “when we qualify” ]

21-year-old goalkeeper Angus Gunn (Manchester City, on loan to Norwich City) was brought in on Friday to replace the injured Jack Butland (broken finger). On Saturday, Southgate announced the arrivals of Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook, both 20 — and both of whom starred during England’s recent U-20 World Cup triumph, as top goalscorer and captain, respectively.

These are, clearly, the perks of qualifying during the initial round and avoiding the playoffs altogether. While other nations battle for their place in Russia, Southgate has been afforded an extra month — and two more fixtures — as he begins to assemble his 23-man squad. The three players added this weekend are, admittedly, long shots at this point, but their progression from youth to senior setup is undoubtedly an encouraging sign.

Phil Jones has also withdrawn from the current squad after suffering a thigh injury against Germany.

Jack Butland breaks finger, out for England

Getty Images
1 Comment

Jack Butland has once again suffered from terrible luck when it comes to injuries.

[ MORE: Allardyce a good fit for USMNT? ]

Stoke City’s goalkeeper was set to start for England against Germany on Friday at Wembley, marking the first time that he had started successive games for the Three Lions, but Butland has returned to Stoke after suffering a broken finger in training on Thursday.

He will not be available for England’s game next Tuesday against Brazil either.

A statement on Stoke’s website said Butland will “now return to the club where the extent of the injury will be ascertained by the Potters’ medical staff.”

Butland, 24, has impressed all season long for Stoke after a torrid time with injuries from March 2016 onwards. Butland broke his ankle during England’s friendly win at Germany in March 2016 which kept him out of EURO 2016.

He suffered many complications after that injury and only returned to full fitness at the very end of the 2016-17 campaign.

Of course, breaking a finger is a much smaller injury compared to the previous issues Butland suffered from his serious ankle problem but this is still a setback.

Gareth Southgate was making a big statement by starting Butland against Germany with many believing that the youngster had finally overtaken Joe Hart as England’s undisputed No.1 goalkeeper.

That may now have to wait for a little while as Hart will likely get the nod against Germany and Jordan Pickford may well play against Brazil next Tuesday.

Southampton 0-1 Stoke City: Crouch’s unprecedented goal seals deal

Leave a comment
  • Crouch header makes history
  • Saints finish 8th
  • Stoke at 13th

Peter Crouch nabbed his 50th Premier League headed goal to help Stoke finish the season with a 1-0 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Saints finished the year on a 450-minute plus run without a goal at St. Mary’s.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mame Biram Diouf came close with a 56th minute header off a corner kick, but he pushed his offering wide.

Geoff Cameron swept a gorgeous cross from the right that Crouch powered home for his 10th of the season.

Jack Butland made a terrific save following the goal, and then stopped Manolo Gabbiadini on an 80th minute breakaway.

Butland then denied Sofiane Boufal with a left leg stop that showed he’s back in international form, then swatting away Gabbiadini’s attempt off a corner kick.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]