Five worst EPL signings this season

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Okay, so this is one those end of season awards that, as a player, you do not want to receive.

With so much money spent last summer, plenty of Premier League sides splashed the cash with varying degrees of success.

Manchester United spent almost $40 million on Robin van Persie and that paid off, big time. But other clubs took similar gambles and well, Sir Alex Ferguson ended up looking like a genius, once again.

So with the 2012-13 season in the books, shall we take a look at which players underperformed, weren’t worth the hype and proved to be pretty bad buys for their sides? Oh, go on then. Here are five of… well, not the best.

Christopher Samba (Queens Park Rangers)

Arriving to aid Queens Park Rangers survival bid, Samba hampered it. The towering Congolese center back was brought in for $19 million from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala on wages in excess of $145,000 a week. Needless to say those figures look pretty stupid now. In the past Samba held Blackburn’s porous defense together but after moving to Russia for bucket loads of cash, he admittedly felt the differences in fitness levels when returning to the EPL. Two costly mistakes against Fulham and Twitter rants with fans further cemented his status as one of the worst buys of the season.

Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur)

Perhaps a little harsh on the Belgian, but after his $23 million transfer from Fulham, Spurs fans would have expected a lot more from him. Dembele has been hampered by injuries but when he was in the team he flattered to deceive, just two goals in 40 games tells the story. Usually his passing is efficient and sharp but it was so sloppy and wasteful. He will need to step things up big time to get back into Spurs staring lineup in midfield.

Marko Marin (Chelsea)

Well, not really sure why Chelsea bought Marin. But then again, we can say that about plenty of their signings. Yes the 24-year-old German winger arrived for a pretty small fee for someone once described as “the German Messi” however just 10 appearances and one goal to show for his efforts this season, suggests his future lies elsewhere. The likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Victor Moses have jumped ahead of Marin. Can the tricky winger get back into the Chelsea side under a new manager?

Jack Rodwell (Manchester City)

Perhaps one of the reasons why Roberto Mancini ended up losing his job, as the front office staff were rumored as trying to bring more homegrown English players into the squad without the Italian managers permission. Their was pressure on Mancini to sign such players, and so City signed Rodwell from Everton for a fee that could rise to $23 million. He scored two goals on the final day of the season against Norwich, his first for the club, after being injured from October to January. However the England international did little to suggest he will threaten the City regulars for their starting spots.

Danny Graham (Sunderland)

Switched Swansea for Sunderland during the January transfer window for $8 million. And not a lot has happened since. Well, apart from being berated by pretty much every Sunderland supporter at the Stadium of Light. Yes, he hasn’t become a bad player overnight. However Graham’s confidence levels are at an all-time low. The striker is from Newcastle (which immediately didn’t win him many friends with the Sunderland fans) and decided a move back to the North-East would be a good idea. Not so much. 11 EPL appearances and zero goals later, Sunderland could be hoping to offload Graham this summer.

Jadon Sancho to Man United off? Dortmund say he will not leave

Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
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Jadon Sancho to Manchester United may not happen after all, as Borussia Dortmund are holding firm over the talented winger.

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According to numerous reports Dortmund still want $140 million for Sancho, 20, but were said to be willing to accept a smaller initial payment and larger instalments for the England international and wanted a deal done before Aug. 10 when they ramp up preseason.

Aug. 10 is today and Sporting Director Michael Zorc has spoken as the team flew to Switzerland for preseason training and Sancho was with them.

“We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final. I think that answers all our questions,” Zorc said. “Last summer we adjusted Jadon’s salary to match the development of his performances. So in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then.” 

Reports had stated that Sancho had all but agreed personal terms on a five-year contract at Man United and was just waiting on the two clubs to agree a transfer fee. But Dortmund and Man United have both distanced themselves from that in recent days as the German giants have not received any bids for Sancho from Man United.

We have now reached an impasse.

The England international is wanted by so many top clubs around Europe but Jadon Sancho to Manchester United seemed like the best fit.

Now it may not happen at all and Man United can play hardball here. They don’t really need Sancho. He would be a luxury signing.

Sancho will be a menace out wide with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as United’s other forward options and Paul Pogba and the brilliant Bruno Fernandes creating just behind them. But he would be an extra sprinkle of stardust to an already star-studded attack rather than the cherry on top.

The summer transfer window closes on Oct. 5 and few will bet against Sancho leaving Dortmund between now and then.

Manchester United are going to wait for their man and Dortmund know it.

USWNT star Sam Mewis signs for Man City

Sam Mewis
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Sam Mewis to Manchester City is a huge move both for the USWNT star and the WSL club.

Mewis, 27, was a star for the USWNT as they won the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the central midfielder has left the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL to sign for the FA Women’s Super League side in England.

Speaking about her move to Man City, a club among one of the most ambitious in the women’s game, Mewis is delighted to start a new adventure after three seasons with NC Courage.

“I’m so happy to have everything sorted. The opportunity came along at a really great time – as soon as I heard about the chance of coming to play for Manchester City, I was immediately interested,” Mewis said. “The club is one of the best in the world and I’ve heard such good things about the women’s side as a whole and the incredible facilities. I’ve followed the men’s team too for a long time. This is a really cool, unique and amazing opportunity in my career and I’m so excited to come and see Manchester as a city, be a part of this incredible Club and hopefully help the team achieve their goals.”

Mewis follows in the footsteps of USWNT legend Carli Lloyd who played for Man City in recent seasons, while Canadian star Janine Beckie is also in City’s squad and England captain Steph Houghton is also the captain at City. The new WSL season in England kicks off on Sept. 5-6 and Man City are among the favorites to win it all in England and will also compete in the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21.

Man City battle with Chelsea each season to be crowned the WSL champions and the arrival of Mewis will give them a big boost towards becoming the dominant force in the women’s game in England. She is an unsung hero for the USWNT and has been instrumental in the NC Courage dominating the NWSL in recent seasons with back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.

It will be intriguing to see if more USWNT players follow Sam Mewis to Manchester City, and other WSL clubs in England, in the coming months.

Report: Blaise Matuidi to sign for Inter Miami

Blaise Matuidi
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A report has stated that Blaise Matuidi will sign for Inter Miami from Juventus.

According to our partners at Sky Sport in Italy, the World Cup winner, 33, has signed a contract with Inter Miami, as the clubs have agreed the transfer and the medicals are now scheduled in order to complete the move.

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The French central midfielder has been linked with a move to Manchester United and plenty of other Premier League clubs in recent seasons, as he has been a consistent performer for Juventus as he won three-straight Serie A titles since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Blaise Matuidi would be a major coup for David Beckham’s Inter Miami and although they have been linked with several big-name forwards to help solve their lack of goals — Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Willian to name a few — this is a very smart pick-up.

Beckham knows Matuidi well from their time playing at PSG together and he’s a talented central midfielder who simply makes every player around him better.

We’ve seen that at PSG and more recently at Juventus and Matuidi isn’t the most glamorous player around but was a key cog in France winning the 2018 World Cup.

This is one of those deals which makes sense for everyone concerned.

Matuidi’s injury record has been very good and he’s the perfect type of player to help Inter Miami boss Diego Alonso instil a winning a mentality in his squad.

Inter Miami are serious about being a successful MLS team and their debut season has obviously been tough so far for many reasons as they’ve lost their opening five games and scored just three times.

This move is a smart one and there will no doubt be many more signings of the caliber of Matuidi arriving in the coming months and years. Miami do have one DP spot open so you’d expect Matuidi to take that position alongside Rodolfo Pizzaro and Matias Pellegrini.

Report: USMNT’s Robinson to sign for Sheffield United

Antonee Robinson
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Antonee Robinson looks to be heading to the Premier League, as the USMNT left back is closing in on a move to Sheffield United who have reportedly had a bid accepted.

Robinson, 23, has been sensational for Wigan Athletic in the second tier this season but due to Wigan going into administration, their 12-point penalty saw them relegated to the third-tier on the final day of the 2019-20 Championship season.

The Everton academy product, who joined Wigan permanently in the summer of 2019 after a successful loan spell, almost joined AC Milan in January but a medical uncovered a heart issue which required surgery and the deal fell through.

Robinson has recovered superbly from that setback and several Premier League clubs including West Brom, Newcastle, West Ham and Sheffield United were battling to sign him for $2.6 million.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have more information on Robinson’s potential move to Sheffield United, as it appears he will join the Blades this week.

“Sheffield United have had a bid of around £2m accepted by Wigan for Antonee Robinson. The former Everton defender is expected to agree terms with the Yorkshire club and complete a deal this week.”

This would be a very, very good move for Robinson and this is the perfect Chris Wilder move.

He is an attacking left back who gets up and down the pitch well and in Sheffield United’s 3-4-3 formation he will be a very useful asset. Robinson will battle with long-term Blades left wing-back Enda Stevens for minutes but when he does play he will be encouraged to get forward and support attacks and link-up with those famous overlapping center backs.

Robinson will also be asked to improve his defensive capabilities and although he’s been a regular in the Championship, the step up to the Premier League and learning Sheffield United’s unique system will take a little time.

Sheffield United have a habit of picking up gems in the second and third tiers of the game and turning them into gems. USMNT fans will be hoping Robinson’s move to the Premier League sees him progress to the next level as he is the clear frontrunner to be the USA’s starting left back for many years to come.