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PST ranks 10 best Premier League summer signings

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With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to reflect on the first half of the Premier League season.

Manchester City’s dominance at the top of the table might finally be tested as the club faces several key injuries, while the relegation battle sees eight teams separated by a mere five points at the halfway point.

[ MORE: Leon Goretzka expected to join Bayern on free transfer ]

Below, PST takes a look at the 10 best PL signings from the summer transfer through the midway point in England’s season.

10. Richarlison (Watford)

The Hornets have had difficulty finding goals on a regular basis, but the Brazilian has provided Watford with a strong outlet up front. The 20-year-old striker has a lot of room to improve, and that is a good sign for Watford.

9. Chris Wood (Burnley)

The Clarets still need more production out of the forward position, but Wood has been a steady figure in the Burnley attack with his five goals in all competitions. The ex-Leeds man has done well, but he’ll have to continue to score if Burnley want to remain in contention for top four.

8. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

After a hot start, Lukaku has cooled off a bit, but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the shelf the Belgian’s presence has been ever-important for Jose Mourinho’s side. He’s on pace to score over 30 goals in all comps, which would be a career-high, so it’s safe to say the money was well-spent by United.

7. Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)

The loss for Chelsea has proven to be Man United’s gain. The holding midfielder has provided cover brilliantly for a Red Devils backline that has suffered a great deal of injuries defensively. Matic is the model of consistency and has helped provide another line of defense for a side that has only conceded 16 goals all season.

6. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)

The Aussie midfielder has controlled the center of the park for the newcomers, and been rewarded with four goals to boot.

5. Pascal Gross (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Similar to Mooy, the former Ingolstadt midfielder has helped ease the transition into PL life for Brighton. Gross is a dynamic talent, who has also tallied four goals this season to go along with his creative presence for the Seagulls.

4. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

The Frenchman has adapted quite well to life in the PL, despite Arsenal’s ups and downs this season. In a summer where many top attacking players were added to PL rosters, Lacazette has been very impressive.

3. Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Pep Guardiola made several important signings ahead of this season, but the one area where the Cityzens looked vulnerable last year has since been plugged. Walker has been strong defensively, and given the club another dimension getting forward in the attack.

2. Alvaro Morata (Chelsea)

He’s a bit different from Diego Costa, but the Spaniard really knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. He’s built a tremendous relationship with Cezar Azpilicueta, and it seems like every header ends up in the goal. Morata has been every bit the player Chelsea had hoped for.

1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

The Egyptian would probably win Player of the Year if the season ended right now, and for the price Liverpool paid they’d take Salah’s performances for the next five years with no questions asked. He has the most-deadly left foot in all of England, and arguably is only second in the world to Lionel Messi. Don’t be surprised if he cracks the 30-goal mark in 2017/18.

VIDEO: Top 10 players in the world as soccer resumes

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Who are the top 10 soccer players in the world right now as the season is about to resume in multiple leagues?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With the Bundesliga in full flow for a few weeks, Spain’s La Liga will return next week and the Premier League and Serie A will follow the week after.

Given that there are so many superstars scattered across those four leagues, here’s a list of the top 10 players set to be in action over the summer months as we will be treated to a sort of bonus World Cup with multiple leagues spreading out games over multiple days as top four, title and relegation battles take center stage.

From Manchester to Milan and Barcelona to Berlin, there will be so many superstars in full flow in the coming months.

Of course, the Ligue 1 season in France is canceled so we can’t watch Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for at least a few months. If we could, the Paris Saint-Germain duo would be high up on the list of top 10 players in the world right now as the soccer world gets ready to resume in empty stadiums.

Top 10 players in the world who will be in action this summer

10. Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

8. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

7. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

6. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

5. Bruno Fernandes (Man United)

4. Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)

3. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Liverpool, Man United show support for Black Lives Matter

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Liverpool and Man United have joined the growing number of clubs and players across the world offering their support to the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA and honoring George Floyd.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN last Monday there have been widespread protests across the USA.

A video showed former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes. Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with murder, authorities confirmed.

Over the weekend Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi revealed messages of support on their jerseys, while USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband saying ‘Justice for George’ and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram took a knee after he scored in the Bundesliga.

On Monday Liverpool players posted a photo of their entire squad taking a knee around the center circle at Anfield during a training session with the message Black Lives Matter and Unity is Strength, while Man United star Marcus Rashford released a powerful statement on the widespread protests across the USA.

Paris Saint-Germain and France superstar Kylian Mbappe also posted an image on social media with the caption “police with us, not against us.”

Across the soccer world clubs and players are speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and honoring George Floyd.

Report: MLS threaten lockout, players on the clock

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Reports have emerged that MLS may lock out their players as the owners put the MLS Players’ Association (MLSPA) on the clock when it comes to negotiating a plan for the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Per a statement released by the MLSPA late Sunday, they say that players have formally submitted a package to the league so that “players can return to competition as soon as they are safely able to do so.”

However, it is believed that package has been countered by the owners and the league want a decision by Tuesday or will sanction a lockout.

The MLS players’ statement detailed that they voted in favor of “economic concessions for the 2020 season, modifications to the recently agreed-upon CBA, including its extension by a year, and their agreement to participate in a summer tournament in Orlando.”

They also accepted salary reductions across the board, reduced bonuses and additional concessions to existing and future terms of the CBA.

Multiple reports, including this one from ESPN’s former USMNT striker Hercules Gomez, states that MLS owners are giving the players until Tuesday to come to an agreement or they will shut the league down.

MLS reportedly say they have already given the players their best offer and they are not budging, with a report from Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN saying that the league want the players to take a 8.75 percent pay cut, while the players have agreed to 7.5 percent. There is also the ‘force majeure clause’ which would allow either side to back out of a CBA due to a diastrous event such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The top-flight of soccer in North America has been shut down since Mar. 12 and talks have been ongoing for several weeks between MLS and the MLSPA regarding the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the league.

With players making big concessions across the board, the fact that MLS shot that offer down so quickly suggests both sides still have a long way to go around the virtual negotiating table. Time is running out.

Right now, the 2020 MLS season looks like being a mini-tournament in Orlando for six weeks to hold things over and who knows what comes after that. But given the location of many of their teams in states which still have strict lockdown orders, plus fans not being allowed to attend sporting events across the country, the situation appears bleak for MLS for at least the next few months and probably much longer than that.

Man United extend Ighalo loan deal

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Man United have announced they have extended the loan deal for Odion Ighalo.

The initial loan deal for Ighalo, 30, was due to run out on May 31 but Man United came to an agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua to extend the loan until January 31.

In a statement the Red Devils said the loan extension would “enable Ighalo to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a huge fan of the Nigerian international striker, who was signed as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford in January and scored four goals in eight games in all competitions.

“They [Shanghai Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us,” Solskjaer told MUTV.

Ighalo has given United more than a Plan B option up top since he arrived. The former Watford striker has held the ball up, brought other attacking players into play and scored a stunner against LASK in the Europa League. He has truly taken his chance at the club he supported as a boy and he deserves this extension.

Now that Rashford is back fit as the suspension allowed him to recover, how often will Ighalo play for Man United? He will likely get plenty of minutes in the FA Cup and Europa League, plus jump off the bench in the majority of Man United’s Premier League games and start a few. Ighalo won’t start every game but he’s proved he can be trusted to deliver goals, hold up the ball and add an extra dimension to United’s attack when they need it late on in matches.

Many people ridiculed Solskjaer and Man United for making his loan move in January but Ighalo has proven the doubters wrong and he’s perfect for a back-up option to Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack.

Extending this loan deal makes sense for everyone.