Premier League Team of the Week – Round 8

Leave a comment

There’s a real mixture in the Premier League Team of the Week this time out, as only two teams have multiple players selected.

Southampton’s star striking duo of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle got the nod up top, while Sergio Aguero’s five goals saw him sneak into the team alongside teammate David Silva.

[ PLAYBACK: Rodgers gone, but not forgotten ]

In goal Simon Mignolet made sure Brendan Rodgers‘ final game as Liverpool boss didn’t end in defeat with a string of fine saves, while Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez were both selected after netting doubles.

Below is the team of the week in full, while you can click on the archive link to see who has made the cut in the past.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 8 [ARCHIVE ]

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)

Defenders: Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City), Glen Johnson (Stoke City), Phil Jagielka (Everton)

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), David Silva (Manchester City), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Sadio Mane (Southampton), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Semedo completes $47 million move to Wolves

Semedo to Wolves
Getty Images
Leave a comment

“Nelson Semedo to Wolves for $47 million” is a statement most Wolverhampton Wanderers fans will be scratching their heads at.

But it has happened.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA

Semedo, 26, has joined Wolves from Barcelona in a deal which could rise to $47 million if certain add ons are met (top four, being successful in Europe etc.).

The Portuguese international right back had a tough few seasons at Barcelona which culminated in Alphonso Davies ripping him to shreds in Bayern Munich’s 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals in August.

Semedo is happy to have a fresh start and adds to the extremely strong Portuguese contingent at Wolves. If he can replicate his form at Benfica, then Wolves have got themselves one of the best right backs in Europe.

“I chose Wolves because it’s a very good team that plays very good football,” Semedo said. “Last year they did a very good season and it’s a very important team in England, in also Europe. I hope this year we can do very good things.”

This summer Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo has brought in new Portuguese signings Roderick, Vitinha (on loan), Semedo and Fabio Silva to strengthen his center back, central midfield, right back and forward options.

Add that quartet to Rui Patricio, Ruben Vinagre, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Daniel Podence and Wolves could have 10 of their 11 starters from Portugal. If they hadn’t just sold Diogo Jota to Liverpool they could have had all 11. No wonder Wolves’ new third kit is in the same color and design as the Portugal home kit. (Look at the photo above!)

Semedo will be better suited to being a right wing-back in Wolves’ 3-5-2 system and he is the replacement for Matt Doherty who joined Tottenham this summer. Semedo is very good going forward but isn’t a right back in the sense that he doesn’t excel defensively.

At Wolves he will have the cover of the three center backs next to him, so this should work out well.

We also can’t overlook the fact that super agent Jorge Mendes is Semedo’s agent and is also a senior adviser at Wolves as their Chinese ownership group has close links with Mendes. Hence a huge number of his best clients arriving to play for his first-ever client, Nuno.

This influence is having a huge impact on the players that Wolves can attract and despite Semedo’s shaky displays in a Barcelona side in disarray, overall this should be a very good signing for them.

Mourinho reveals details on Dele Alli’s future

Dele Alli future
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dele Alli future: Jose Mourinho believes that Dele Alli will be a Tottenham player when the transfer window shuts on Oct. 5.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA

Alli, 24, was subbed off at half time of Spurs’ opening weekend defeat to Everton and didn’t feature in the 5-2 win at Southampton on Sunday.

With Dele Alli reported to be wanted by both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in recent days, the arrival of Gareth Bale and potentially another forward player could push the England playmaker further down the pecking order.

“I believe [he will]. I can even say that I’m convinced that he will be,” Mourinho told our partners in the UK at Sky Sports when ask about the Dele Alli future reports.

Ahead of Spurs’ UEFA Europa League third round qualifier on Thursday at Macedonian club Shkendija, Mourinho revealed that Alli will be in the squad for that game.

“We all know since Dele arrived from MK Dons he had ups and downs, he had fabulous periods and he also had other periods where he disappeared from top-level performances. And with me it’s no different than before. He’s had moments where he was so good, but he also had moments where he was not so good,” Mourinho said.

“I think this lack of consistency, it’s normal that when you are in great form you play because you deserve it and your production is big for the team, but when you are not in a good moment you don’t play – and it’s as simple as that. The players have to prove on the pitch with their performances; they have to prove how good they are in that specific moment.”

Mourinho added that “performance are important” and Dele Alli is the same as every other player. So, essentially, Mourinho wants him to step it up. During the Nextflix documentary ‘All or Nothing’ Mourinho called Dele Alli lazy.

That led to many believing that Dele Alli was surplus to requirements at Spurs and although he has also been left out of the most recent England squad, Mourinho clearly believes in his quality. For now, it is best if he stays at Tottenham but it would not be a shock if he leaves in January after a few months as a bit-part player.

Dele Alli is a mercurial talent and Mauricio Pochettino did his best to fit him into a system and style of play while also allowing him to express himself. Is Mourinho going to do the latter? Probably not. And therein lies the problem.

Even if he stays at Spurs for now, expect ‘Dele Alli future’ to be a term you see trending on Twitter during upcoming transfer windows.

Transfer news: Tagliafico to Man United; Milik, Skriniar to Tottenham

Skriniar to Tottenham
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the latest transfer news Milan Skriniar to Tottenham and Arkadiusz Milik to Tottenham, plus Nicolas Tagliafico to Manchester United, have all been mentioned.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]    

Here’s a look at the latest transfer news in the Premier League.


Tagliafico to Manchester United the new frontrunner for a left back option?

Nicolas Tagliafico to Manchester United is gathering steam as the Argentine left back has been linked with Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester and just about every top 10 team in the Premier League over the summer. The Sun claim that Tagliafico is lined up as a $29.3 million target for the Red Devils, but only if they can’t sign Alex Telles from FC Porto.

Tagliafico, 28, has been a big part of Ajax’s recent success but along with Dusan Tadic and Andre Onana he is one of the few players who have moved on from the team which reached the UEFA Champions League semifinal in 2018-19.

With Brazilian left back Alex Telles wanted by Manchester United and a deal for the attacking full back said to be progressing, but Porto being stubborn with the transfer fee, is Tagliafico a good fit? He is a more defensive left back than Telles and it is tough to see him being an upgrade on Luke Shaw or Brandon Williams.

Skriniar to Tottenham talks reported; Milik could arrive too

Milan Skriniar to Tottenham is moving to the next stage as multiple reports claim that Spurs have opened talks with Inter Milan about signing the Slovakian international center back. Skriniar, 25, has been a top target for Spurs this summer and after they moved to strengthen their midfield and attack with Gareth Bale, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon, adding a new center back appears to be one of the final pieces of the jigsaw.

The Inter Milan center back featured heavily for Antonio Conte’s side who lost in the UEFA Europa League final and pushed hard to close the gap to Juventus as they finished second in Serie A. However, Skriniar only featured once since the restart for Inter and they could point to his future being elsewhere. Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are Tottenham’s current back options and all three have struggled at different stages in recent months, while Japhet Tanganga is still young and Juan Foyth is expected to leave this summer.

Arkadiusz Milik to Tottenham has also arrived as a possibility, as a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato claims that Spurs will meet with Napoli’s representatives as a move to Roma fell through for the Polish international striker. Per the report, Milik will be available on an initial loan deal and with an obligation to buy for a total cost of $28.6 million.

Milik, 26, has battled back from some serious injuries in recents seasons and is a mobile yet clinical forward. With Bale, Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn around, do Spurs need another striker?

Milik would be more in the role of Kane and would perhaps be signed to play in the Europa League and give Kane a rest. Whatever happens, Mourinho is making moves and Tottenham look to have momentum in the transfer market after signing Bale on a season-long loan.

De Bruyne nominated for UEFA player of the year

UEFA player of year
Getty Images
Leave a comment

UEFA player of year nominees are as follows: De Bruyne, Kevin. Lewandowski, Robert. Neuer, Manuel.

Which of those three superstars will win the award?

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]    

Considering Bayern Munich won a historic treble and surged to the UEFA Champions League title, it will likely be Lewandowski or Neuer, but Kevin de Bruyne has been consistently fantastic for Manchester City over the past 12-18 months.

This award is handed out by European soccer’s governing body and is based on players’ performances in UEFA club competitions and their own domestic leagues. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1 during the Champions League group stage draw ceremony, along with a host of other awards such as coach of the year and positional award winners.

De Bruyne equalled the record for the most assist in Premier League history with 20 and had 15 goals and 22 assists across all competitions. De Bruyne drove Man City to the quarterfinals of the Champions League but couldn’t do it all on his own as Man City’s defense collapsed in the UCL quarters against Lyon.

Lewandowski scored an incredible 55 goals in 47 games, including 15 in the Champions League to lead the way, while Neuer only missed one game all season for Bayern and kept six clean sheets, including in the final, as Bayern won the Champions League.


UEFA player of year, Top 10

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)

4 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 53 votes
= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) 53 votes
6 Thomas Muller (Bayern) 41 votes
7 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) 39 votes
8 Thiago Alcantara (Bayern) 27 votes
9 Joshua Kimmich (Bayern) 26 votes
10 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) 25 votes


How does UEFA voting work?

The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each of UEFA’s member associations.

Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.


Which players were snubbed?

Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Memphis Depay, Josip Ilicic, Mario Pasalic, Timo Werner, Dayot Upamecano