Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.
Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.
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At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.
Here’s some more news and notes from around the league:
SAKHO SET FOR LAYOFF
Crystal Palace received some bad news from the medical staff on Monday regarding one of the team’s best defenders.
Mamadou Sakho is set for a long layoff after suffering a muscle tear in his calf. Manager Roy Hodgson didn’t speculate on exactly how long Sakho would be out for, but he thought it was a matter of weeks, not days.
“He’ll be out a long time, how long a time, I don’t know, they won’t put a time on it, but it’s a serious muscle tear in his calf so I don’t know, but it’s weeks not days, I couldn’t say if it was months,” Hodgson said. “We’ll miss him, in this period he’s played a decisive role, been captain, shown his qualities and when you lose a player like that you can’t be anything other than disappointed and sad.”
Sakho suffered the injury during Crystal Palace’s 2-2 draw with AFC Bournemouth. Sakho has made 10 appearances for Crystal Palace this season.
Ruben Neves scored an amazing goal and Rui Patricio stopped a Paul Pogba penalty as Wolves took a point from Manchester United in a 1-1 match at the Molineux on Monday.
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United had two-thirds possession but could not find what would’ve been a deserved winner as Wolves flummoxed the Red Devils attack.
Anthony Martial scored for the second-straight match for United, who failed in a bid to go atop the Premier League.
Three things we learned
- Paul Pogba is to penalties as Shaquille O’Neal is to free throws – You just can’t understand how someone so good at his sport is so poor at what should be the easiest part of his game.
- Martial is a beauty, and is fully released from the shackles of Jose Mourinho. Whether he can take the next step is another story, but the Frenchman is a fitting winger for a Champions League club (even if United isn’t quite in the UCL).
- Patricio didn’t show the Premier League his very best last season, but has looked more like the Portugal national team goalkeeper so far in his sophomore PL campaign.
Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men were content to let the visitors have the ball and work on the counter, and United quickly moved the ball in possession over the first stages of the game.
United took a deserved lead through Martial who ran onto a Marcus Rashford through ball and belted a rocket over a flailing Rui Patricio.
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Neves brought Wolves level with a sublime bit of shooting, curling a majestic shot above and around the United back line to make it 1-1.
Watching the footage as it was being reviewed showed the margins so thin, but the goal held up and anyone hoping for some semblance of sanity was relieved.
United looked set to go back in front when Pogba drew a penalty off Conor Coady with a cutthroat move in the 18, but the Frenchman slammed his effort into the path of a diving Patricio.
Let us introduce you to your latest Goal of the Season contender.
Ruben Neves, who seemingly only scores beauties, struck again on Monday at the Molineux.
[ MORE: Neymar to Barca ]
The 22-year-old Portuguese playmaker loves to shoot as much as anyone, and set himself up clinically for his latest amazing marker.
Once Neves collected the ball atop the 18, he spun this magnificent effort over the flying David De Gea and off the underside of the bar to restore the deadlock in Wolverhampton.
De Gea may well have responded to this goal by quoting Ron Burgundy when Baxter ate the entire wheel of cheese.
Manchester United has a stylish opening goal in its quest to go a perfect 2-for-2 in Premier League play.
After quality passing in traffic ended with Marcus Rashford slipping a through ball in to
both Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, the Frenchman bolted a ball into the upper reaches of the net.
[ STREAM: Wolves – Man Utd ]
To be honest, Rui Patricio had little recourse.
The goal is Martial’s second of the season, and United is 45 minutes away from moving atop the league.
The most expensive player in the world may be going back to his old club…on loan.
According to a report by ESPNFC, Barcelona will make an official approach for Neymar on a loan with an option to buy next summer, similar to the switch Philippe Coutinho made from the Camp Nou to Bayern Munich earlier today. In fact, the report specifically states that Barcelona will look to copy Bayern’s approach of a one-year loan with a fee ($9.4 million for Coutinho’s loan) plus all wages paid, followed by an option to buy ($133 million).
Barcelona prefers this approach as they have already racked up a massive transfer bill this summer, spending over $220 million on the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Junior Firpo, and Neto.
While there have been numerous reports of potentially creative offers for Neymar over the past few weeks that mention players included in a swap deal, the ESPNFC report specifically states no players will be included in any current or future deal for Neymar either in the terms of the loan or as part of the option to buy. While Barcelona considered this approach in the past, Paris Saint-Germain was reportedly not interested in any players Barca offered, other than Coutinho. They apparently made an official offer already, ponying up $89 million plus Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic, but that was turned down.
The ESPN report does state that Coutinho’s loan to Bayern is seen by those close to Neymar as “a huge setback” as the Brazilian’s camp saw Coutinho as the key to making the deal happen, given that Barcelona is unwilling to put up a straight cash offer this summer. Unnamed Barcelona officials are also quoted in the report as stating that a for a potential Neymar deal, “it will be complicated,” but they are hopeful of progress.
The option to buy in Barcelona’s offer has reportedly not been decided upon as of yet, although previous reports have stated that PSG is unlikely to consider an offer that does not net them back what they paid for Neymar two years ago, to the tune of $245 million.