Getty Images

Man United correct to push for young signings

Leave a comment

Unperturbed by Crystal Palace rejecting their first bid, Manchester United is going back in for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

And that is exactly what they should be doing.

The talented right back, 21, has burst onto the scene over the past two seasons with the Eagles, and the South London club aren’t keen on selling one of their best players.

However, a fee of around $75 million is expected to see them cash in on AWB as the future England international continues to impress in the Premier League. So far United have had a bid of close to $50 million rejected, and this second bid will apparently be in the region of $60 million as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer badly wants to add youth and pace to his side.

For United, this push to sign young players is smart and much-needed.

After agreeing to sign Daniel James, 21, from Swansea, Solskjaer is staying true to his word that he wants to sign young, hungry British players this summer. Declan Rice and Jadon Sancho have also been linked with moves to United, but they could both prove too expensive. They are also said to be pushing hard to sign Matthijs de Ligt, 19, from Ajax, although he is expected to join either PSG or Barcelona, while Harry Maguire, 26, is also a top target once again but Man City may beat United to his signature.

Even if some of these deals do not happen, the right intentions for United are there.

United are no longer trying to sign the finished article and big name players just because they can. Solskjaer needs to assemble a team of young talent who can grow together over the coming years and build their own playing identity. In recent years it has been about juggling a squad of players signed by David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho who were given lengthy contracts, then cobbling them together into a team.

But now they are on the verge of a huge squad overhaul. Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata are all out of contract, while the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and David De Gea are rumored to be leaving this summer.

An almighty clear out is needed, but just as important is bringing in young talent. AWB fits the bill perfectly and if United have to pay close to $70 million for him, it will be worth it. The same should be spent on Sancho and Rice if they can afford it, because having a long-term plan and bringing in young talent will not only buy Solskjaer time in the short-term but also provide United with a solid platform and an identity for years to come.

With the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City so vast at the moment, they have to do something different. The pull of United is still strong, but they must resist signing star names for the heck of it.

Haiti stuns Costa Rica to claim Group B at Gold Cup

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Leave a comment

Poetic justice, put it in a Song.

Haiti’s Djimy Alexis made up for his early own goal by scoring a deserved winner as Haiti won Group B of the Gold Cup with an upset of Costa Rica on Monday.

[ ROUNDUPS: AFCON | Copa America ]

Los Ticos got everything they could handle from the upstart Gombey Warriors, who are now 3-0 on the tournament, and the World Cup mainstays tossed aside their early lead to meet Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Haiti will challenge Canada in the quarters, guaranteeing the semifinals an intriguing participant.

An early own goal had Costa Rica in control, but Duckens Nason’ 16th international goal was a part of a hard charge from the Haitians in the second half.

The other match saw Bermuda earn a 2-0 win over Nicaragua via goals from Lejuan Simmons and QPR’s Nakhi Wells. That gives the Gombey Warriors a 1-2 record while dropping Nicaragua to 0-3.

Bermuda was ranked 174th by FIFA to Nicaragua’s 129, but that will certainly change next month.

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

(Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]


Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

AP Photo/Leo Correa
Leave a comment

Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7
Final

Norwich City adds Switzerland international Drmic on free transfer

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.

Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.

Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.

Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:

“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.

“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.