Would Thomas Muller improve Manchester United?


Thomas Muller has reportedly had his head turned by the incredible amount of money on offer in the Premier League. Who wouldn’t?

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Following the German international suggesting a lucrative move to England would be hard to turn down and his constant links with a move to Manchester United, plus also turning down a move to Old Trafford in the past, one question popped into my mind: would Muller improve United’s current options in attack?

The answer, on the surface and somewhat predictability from a purely playing standpoint, is yes. But the money Muller would cost (given his interest in economics, let’s discuss it), may not be worth it. Sure, if Muller, 26, arrives for a transfer fee in excess of $100 million and on wages of $500,000 per week, then that is a huge financial outlay by United but if he scores goals and builds partnerships with Memphis, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney which helps deliver United the title or UEFA Champions League glory, he will easily pay off that hefty fee in shirt sales and sponsorship fees United would recoup. Plus, since when have United been shy of splashing the cash as they aim to get back among the big boys at home and abroad?

[ MORE: Behind-the-scenes at Klopp’s unveiling ]

Back to the question of whether or not he would actually improve United on the pitch, and you can’t help but salivate when thinking about a predatory finisher such as Muller playing alongside Rooney’s creativity and the pacey duo of Memphis and Martial providing crosses and through balls from wide positions. Many would argue that Muller would be the missing man in Louis Van Gaal‘s project, a goalscorer who can genuinely deliver at least 20 goals every season, which is something he has achieved at Bayern in each of the past three seasons, while he has scored 131 times in 315 games since LVG promoted him to the first team when he was in charge at the Allianz Arena. That factor mustn’t be overlooked either, as LVG gave Muller his big chance and the Bayern academy product has spoken in the past about how he enjoyed his soccer under the Dutch manager.

If you look at United’s options in attack right now, Rooney as the central striker clearly isn’t working with the England forward only scoring once through the opening eight games of the PL season. Memphis has been in and out of form on the left flank, while Martial is an exciting, raw young talent who cannot be expected to lead the team just yet. Juan Mata has been supporting Rooney, and even though the Spaniard has chipped in with assists and goals, you do wonder if United will be capable to blow teams away 3-0 or 4-0 this season. Of course, if Bayern do not want to sell Muller then that’s perfectly understandable. He is incredibly important to the way they attack and his composure in the final third complements the power of Robert Lewandowski perfectly. However, Muller has had a few rumored arguments with manager Pep Guardiola in the past and given his feelings towards the salaries in England, the German striker — who playing centrally or out wide has scored 31 goals in 67 games for Germany — seems to be warming up to the idea of joining the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil in the PL.

Let’s leave you with the words of Muller, when talking to German publication Welt am Sonntag, as he was asked about the lucrative nature of the PL for any player.

“Ultimately, we should not forget that football is our job, and that’s why people must accept that salaries play a role in our decision-making,” Muller said. “Of course, such salaries [like those in the Premier League] are tempting; to say anything else would be hypocritical.”

Would it be wide of the mark to say Muller would be the final piece of van Gaal’s three-year jigsaw at United? I’d go as far as saying that if the Red Devils manage to land him, their ascent back towards the top of the PL and Europe could be complete.

VIDEO: Haaland scores 20-minute debut hat trick

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Teenager Erling Haaland came on for his Borussia Dortmund debut with his side 3-1 down against Augsburg.

He then score a hat trick in 20 minutes as they won 5-3.

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Haaland, 19, has been on fire all season long with RB Salzburg and ahead of his $23 million January move to Dortmund he was linked with a move to Manchester United.

The Norwegian striker has now scored 27 goals in 23 appearances for club and country this season.

Whatever happens in the rest of his Bundesliga career with Dortmund, this start will live long in his memory.

Take a look at his incredible hat trick below.

Watch Live: Newcastle United v. Chelsea

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Chelsea seeks back-to-back league wins for the first time since Nov. 9 when it visits surprising Newcastle United on Saturday at St. James’ Park (Watch Live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The hosts have scrapped their way to 26 points, five points both clear of the drop zone and back of seventh place. A draw at Wolves last weekend snapped a three-match league losing streak.

[ STREAM: Newcastle v. Chelsea ]

Chelsea maintains a five-point gap over Manchester United in its bid to claim a Top Four place, with the Red Devils meeting unbeaten Liverpool this week.

Electric winger Allan Saint-Maximin returns for the Magpies, who appear to set up in a 5-2-3 against the Blues.

Chelsea has N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the midfield with Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the wings.




Transfer rumor roundup: Moses reunited with Conte, Lazaro to Newcastle

Premier League transfer rumor roundup
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Inter Milan is still working the wings and it’s now affecting two Premier League sides.

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One day after Ashley Young left Manchester United to join Antonio Conte‘s project, Chelsea and Newcastle are set to be impacted by a Milanese departure and arrival. Jacob Bruun Larsen

First, Sky Sports Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio says Newcastle has agreed to a $3 million loan fee with a $27 million option to buy Austrian international Valentino Lazaro. The player’s agent is reportedly on Tyneside.

The 23-year-old made his name with Red Bull Salzburg, going on to earn 28 caps for Austria. He moved to Hertha Berlin and earned five goals and 13 assists in two seasons before a transfer to Inter.

He’s only collected 513 minutes under Conte, registering two assists. Lazaro has played a lot of right midfield but is capable up and down the flank on either side. He’s played pretty much everything but center back and center forward in his career.

Fun fact: Lazaro’s middle name is Lando.

As for the arrival, ex-Chelsea boss Conte is looking set for a reunion with Victor Moses. The 29-year-old Nigerian is currently on loan at Fenerbahce, where he’s got a goal and an assist in seven matches.

A thigh injury has cost Moses spells of six and four matches on the sidelines this season, but he should have plenty of treads left on the tires considering Maurizio Sarri only used him for 176 minutes last season.

Finally, Bournemouth looks ready to tempt Borussia Dortmund’s resolve over Jacob Bruun Larsen.

The 21-year-old Dane certainly has the goods to improve Eddie Howe‘s stagnant attack, but he may be rusty. Larsen has only played 158 minutes this season, grabbing an assist.

Prolific for BVB at youth levels, perhaps a change of scenery would trigger senior success for a man who made his Denmark senior debut in March.

Sky says BVB wants the deal to be a loan with an option to buy in the summer.

PL AT HALF: Goals, goals everywhere as Arsenal leads, Man City trails

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The Premier League’s six 10 a.m. ET kickoffs provided loads of late goals and a red card that’s a hilarious look for everyone but Bournemouth.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

West Ham 1-1 Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

The Irons went ahead through an Issa Diop header of a Robert Snodgrass header, as the Scottish playmaker is having a day at the London Stadium, but Calvert-Lewin nodded home a Lucas Digne corner before halftime.

Southampton 2-0 Wolves – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Saints’ rocket up the Premier League table continues at St. Mary’s, where Jan Bednarek and Shane Long have a two-goal lead on Nuno Espirito Santo‘s struggling men.

Brighton 1-0 Aston Villa – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Leandro Trossard smashed a shot home to give the Seagulls an advantage at the break.

Arsenal 1-0 Sheffield United – NBCSN [STREAM]

Gabriel Martinelli missed the first best chance of the match, cued up by exceptional passes from Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe. The youngster didn’t miss his second, punching home a 45th minute deflected cross from Bukayo Saka.

Man City 0-1 Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

We told you Cenk Tosun‘s numbers were better than you thought, and the Everton loanee has nodded a Gary Cahill flick past Ederson at the Etihad.

Norwich 1-0 Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Bad, bad times for the Cherries; Steve Cook handled a ball in the box and was sent off, Teemu Pukki dispatching the penalty moments later.

Cook, wyd?