Premier League return: What did we learn?

Leave a comment

What did we learn from the Premier League return? The long-awaited Premier League return was a joyous, poignant and powerful moment all wrapped in one as the action returned to stadiums across England over the past week.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule

Following the suspension in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 season resumed and we learned plenty about how games will look between now and the end of July when the current season is scheduled to finish.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Here’s a look at some of the key things learned from the Premier League return.


United against racism

Powerful. Poignant. United. That summed up the Premier League protests against racism as players from every single team wore ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirts instead of player names for the first batch of games, plus will proudly wear the logo on their sleeve for the rest of the season. The moving moment at the start of each game when all 22 players, plus the officials, coaching staff and others at the stadiums all took a knee when the first whistle blew hit home just how strongly everyone connected with the Premier League feels about the Black Lives Matter movement. Goal celebrations from Olivier Giroud, Nathan Redmond and Allan Saint-Maximin were particularly poignant as they took a knee and raised one fist to the sky. The Premier League and its players sent out a clear message to everyone watching around the world: Black Lives Matter.

Slow starts and crazy second halves

It is fair to say most teams eased themselves into games. There were very few goals in the first half of games. In the opening 11 games there were just five first half goals scored and two of those came for Crystal Palace in their 2-0 win at Bournemouth. Players looked rusty, which is understandable, and it will be intriguing to see if that trend of slow starts continues. With cooling breaks now taking place at the midway point of each halves, that slows things down a little, so too do the multiple subs late in games to make use of the new five substitute rule.

Five sub rule benefit

There is no doubt the five sub rule will benefit the big boys with stacked squads. Mourinho made that point as Man United surged back into the game at Tottenham as they had Pogba, Greenwood and Ighalo to bring off the bench. Chelsea use it really well with Barkley, Pulisic and Abraham coming on, while teams lower down the table didn’t fare so well as they generally don’t have as many top quality options on the bench. The five substitute rule seems to swing in the favor of the big boys.

Relegation battle a little clearer

With their wins, Southampton and Newcastle all but secured Premier League safety for another season, while Brighton beating Arsenal was a massive shock and moment in the season for Graham Potter’s side. Home defeats for West Ham and Bournemouth highlighted the mountain they have to climb as they have ridiculously tough schedules remaining. Norwich look doomed, while Aston Villa are battling hard but may just come up short. It looks like three from Norwich, Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Watford will go down with 19th place and 16th place separated by just two points. This will be crazy.

Away form to improve

It’s a smaller sample size but we’ve seen in the Bundesliga already that away teams have picked up many more away wins that usual since the restart. It seems like that trend may continue in the Premier League. From the opening 11 games there have been just three home wins and a few weeks from know we can draw a better conclusion on this. It’s safe to say having no fans in your home stadium must feel stranger for home teams than away teams and will take plenty of getting used to.

Momentum will be key

Wolves, Man United, Newcastle and Man City have it. Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Sheffield United do not. When you’re winning games and have momentum on your side, this beautiful game just becomes easier. When you don’t have it, well, it can be a struggle. Having momentum will be key for these nine matchweeks wedged into five actual weeks to finish the season. Things can quickly get out of hand in a positive or negative way between now and July. Momentum has always been key but it is especially important now.

Premier League transfers: Every deal from all 20 clubs

Leave a comment

Premier League transfers will ramp up throughout the summer months and here you will find every deal from all 20 Premier League clubs ahead of the 2020-21 season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Premier League transfers window runs from July 27 to Oct. 5 in the summer, as the shortened offseason means there’s a flurry of action already happening and most clubs will want their squads sorted before the 2020-21 season kicks off on Sept. 12.

Given the fact that clubs have less than 40 days before the new season starts, you’d think that chairman, sporting directors and managers would all be pretty busy right now as they try and get their business done early. But we all know that when it comes to Premier League transfers, clubs can’t stay away from a deadline day.

[ MORE: Predicting the 2020-21 Premier League standings ]

Even during the coronavirus pandemic amid huge financial implications, huge sums of money are still being talked about when it comes to potential transfers.

Below are the lists of Premier League transfers for each club, as we will update this page as and when deals happen from now until Oct. 5 when the summer window shuts.


Arsenal

In
Gabriel Magalhaes (Lille) More info
Pablo Mari (Flamengo)
Cedric Soares (Southampton)
George Lewis (Larvik)
Willian (Chelsea, Free) More info
Tim Akinola (Huddersfield) Free
Salah-Eddine (Feyenoord) Free
Jonathan Dinzeyi (Tottenham) Free
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Loan

Out
Tobi Omole (Released)
Matthew Dennis (Released)
Zech Medley (Gillingham) Loan
Zak Swanson (MVV Maastricht) Loan
Dinos Mavropanos (Stuttgart) Loan
Trae Coyle (Gillingham) Loan
Matt Smith (Swindon Town) Loan
Jordi Osei-Tutu (Cardiff City) Loan
Sam Greenwood (Leeds)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Roma)
Ben Sheaf (Coventry) Loan
Tyreece John-Jules (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Aston Villa

In
Matty Cash (Nottingham Forest) More info
Ollie Watkins (Brentford)
Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal)
Bertrand Traore (Lyon)

Out
Ross McCormack (Released)
Callum O’Hare (Released)
Jack Birch (Released)
Anton Hooper (Released)
Colin Odutayo (Released)
Dimitri Sea (Released)
Jamie Searle (Released)
Matija Sarkic (Wolves) Free
James Chester (Stoke) Free
Indiana Vassilev (Burton) Loan

Brighton and Hove Albion

In
Jensen Weir (Wigan)
Adam Lallana (Liverpool) Free More info
Joel Veltman (Ajax)
Lars Dendoncker (Club Brugge)
Jan Paul van Hecke (NAC Breda)

Out
Leon Balogun (Wigan) Loan
Archie Davies (Released)
Lewis Freestone (Released)
George Cox (Fortuna Sittard)
Anthony Knockaert (Fulham)
Beram Kayal (Released)
Percy Tau (Anderlecht) Loan
Jan Mlakar (Maribor) Loan
Warren O’Hora (MK Dons) Loan
Taylor Richards (Doncaster) Loan
Martin Montoya (Real Betis)
Matt Clarke (Derby) Loan
Ryan Longman (AFC Wimbledon) Loan
Leo Ostigard (Coventry) Loan
Aaron Mooy (Shanghai SIPG) Undisclosed
Glenn Murray (Watford) Loan
Shane Duffy (Celtic) Loan
David Button (West Brom)
Jan Paul van Hecke (Heerenveen) Loan

Burnley

In
Will Norris (Wolves)
Marc Richter (Augsburg)
Will Rickard (Free)
Marcel Elva-Fountaine (Reading)
Connor Barrett (Leicester)
Ismaila Diallo (Arsenal)

Out
Joe Hart (Tottenham) Free
Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle) Free
Adam Legzdins (Released)
Aaron Lennon (Released)
Oliver Younger (Released)
Scott Wilson (Released)
Joel Senior (Released)
Ryan Cooney (Morecambe) Loan
Adam Phillips (Morecambe) Loan
Jordan Cropper (Chesterfield) Loan
Ben Gibson (Norwich City) Loan
Aiden O’Neill (Melbourne City)

Chelsea

In
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) More info
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) More info
Ben Chilwell (Leicester) More info
Malang Sarr (Nice) Free
Thiago Silva (PSG) Free
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Out
Josh Grant (Released)
Marcel Lavinier (Released)
Richard Nartey (Released)
Willian (Arsenal) Free
Pedro (Roma) Free
Danilo Pantic (Cukaricki) Loan
Jacob Maddox (Vitoria SC)
Jamie Cumming (Stevenage) Loan
Trevoh Chalobah (Lorient) Loan
Armando Broja (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan
Tariq Uwakwe (Accrington Stanley) Loan
Ethan Ampadu (Sheff Utd) Loan
Kenedy (Granada) Loan
Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) Loan
Conor Gallagher (West Brom) Loan
Lewis Baker (Trabzonspor) Loan
Davide Zappacosta (Genoa) Loan

Chelsea news
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Timo Werner of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the pre-season friendly between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at Amex Stadium on August 29, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Crystal Palace

In
Nathan Ferguson (West Brom) Free
Jake Giddings (Free)
Eberechi Eze (QPR)
Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea) Loan

Out
Kian Flanagan (Released)
Dion-Curtis Henry (Released)
Daniel Tupper (Released)

Everton

In
Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) More info
Niels Nkounkou (Marseille) Free
Allan (Napoli)
James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) More info

Out
Morgan Feeney (Released)
Alexander Denny (Released)
Matthew Foulds (Released)
Luke Garbutt (Released)
Oumar Niasse (Released)
Morgan Schneiderlin (Nice)
Leighton Baines (Retired)
Maarten Stekelenburg (Released)
Nathangelo Markelo (FC Twente) Loan
Kieran Dowell (Norwich City)
Manasse Mampala (Released)
Korede Adedoyin (Released)
Cuco Martina (Released)

Fulham

In
Antonee Robinson (Wigan) More info
Mario Lemina (Southampton) Loan
Harrison Reed (Southampton)
Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain) Loan
Kenny Tete (Lyon)
Ola Aina (Torino) Loan

Out
Cody Drameh (Leeds)
Marlon Fossey (Shrewsbury Town) Loan
Jordan Archer (Released)
Zico Asare (Released)
Tristan Cover (Released)
Magnus Norman (Released)
Nicolas Santos Clase (Released)
Toni Stahl (Released)
Cameron Thompson (Released)
Ben Tricker (Released)
Luca de la Torre (Released)
Matt O’Riley (Released)
Alfie Mawson (Bristol City) Loan
Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City) Loan
Marcus Bettinelli (Middlesbrough) Loan

Leeds United

In
Helder Costa (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Illan Meslier (Lorient)
Jack Harrison (Man City) Loan
Joe Gelhardt (Wigan)
Cody Drameh (Fulham)
Sam Greenwood (Arsenal)
Rodrigo Moreno Machado (Valencia)
Robin Koch (Freiburg)
Crysencio Summerville (Feyenoord)

Out
Ryan Edmondson (Aberdeen) Loan
Kun Temenuzhkov (Real Union) Loan

Leicester

In
Timothy Castagne (Atalanta)

Out
Calvin Bassey (Rangers)
Viktor Johansson (Released)
Ryan Loft (Released)
Connor Tee (Released)
Daniel Iversen (OH Leuven) Loan
Bartosz Kapustka (Legia Warsaw)
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)
George Hirst (Rotherham) Loan

Liverpool

In
Konstantinos Tsimikas (Olympiacos) More info
Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) More info
Diogo Jota (Wolves) More info

Out
Daniel Atherton (Released)
Pedro Chirivella (Nantes) Free
Nathaniel Clyne (Released)
Shamal George (Released)
Jack Walls (Released)
Dejan Lovren (Zenit)
Adam Lallana (Brighton) Free
Morgan Boyes (Fleetwood Town) Loan
Ovie Ejaria (Reading)
Tony Gallacher (Toronto) Loan
Ki-Jana Hoever (Wolves)

Thiago to Liverpool
Getty Images

Manchester City

In
Pablo Moreno (Juventus)
Ferran Torres (Valencia) More info
Nathan Ake (Bournemouth) More info
Scott Carson (Derby County) Loan

Out
Ernest Agyiri (Released)
Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)
Jack Harrison (Leeds) Loan
David Silva (Real Sociedad) Free
Claudio Bravo (Released)
Lukas Nmecha (Anderlecht) Loan
Yangel Herrera (Granada) Loan
Paolo Fernandes (Castellon)
Angelino (RB Leipzig) Loan

Manchester United

In
Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua) Loan More info
Donny van de Beek (Ajax) More info

Out
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Released)
Dion McGee (Released)
Angel Gomes (Released)
Ethan Hamilton (Released)
Michael O’Hara (Released)
Largie Ramazani (Released)
George Tanner (Released)
Alexis Sanchez (Inter Milan) More info
Tahith Chong (Werder Bremen) Loan
Aliou Traore (Stade Malherbe Caen) Loan
Joel Pereira (Huddersfield) Loan
James Garner (Watford) Loan

Newcastle United

In
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) Free More info
Mark Gillespie (Motherwell) Free
Niall Brookwell (Liverpool) Free
Jeff Hendrick (Burnley) Free More info
Jamal Lewis (Norwich City)
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) More info

Out
Luke Charman (Released)
Jack Colback (Released)
Robert Elliott (Released)
Liam Gibson (Released)
Nathan Harker (Released)
Victor Fernandez (Viitorul Constanta) Free
Jake Turner (Morecambe) Loan
Tom Allan (Accrington Stanley) Loan
Freddie Woodman (Swansea) Loan
Kell Watts (Plymouth) Loan
Florian Lejeune (Deportivo Alaves) Loan
Yoshinori Muto (Eibar) Loan

Premier League transfers
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 07: Callum Wilson poses for photographs in the tunnel at St.James’ Park on September 07, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Sheffield United

In
Wes Foderingham (Rangers) Free
Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth)
Jayden Bogle (Derby County)
Max Lowe (Derby County) 
Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea) Loan
Ismaila Coulibaly (Sarpsborg 08)
Oliver Burke (West Brom

Out
Mark Duffy (Released)
Keenan Ferguson (Released)
Oliver Greaves (Released)
Jake Eastwood (Kilmarnock) Loan
Tyler Smith (Swindon Town) Loan
Luke Freeman (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Luton Town) Loan
Sam Graham (Notts County) Loan
Ismaila Coulibaly (K Beerschot VA)
Callum Robinson (West Brom)

Southampton

In
Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham)
Mohammed Salisu (Real Valladolid)

Out
Alexander Cull (Released)
Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) Loan
Maya Yoshida (Released)
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham)
Cedric Soares (Arsenal)
Mario Lemina (Fulham) Loan
Harrison Reed (Fulham)
Alfie Jones (Hull)
Jack Bycroft (Weymouth) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

In
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton)
Joe Hart (Burnley) Free
Matt Doherty (Wolves)
Sergio Reguilon (Real Madrid)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) Loan, More info

Out
Jan Vertonghen (Released)
Michel Vorm (Released)
Tariq Hinds (Released)
Rayan Clarke (Released)
Jonathan Dinzeyi (Released)
Phoenix Patterson (Released)
Maxwell Statham (Released)
Maximus Tainio (Released)
Troy Parrott (Millwall) Loan
TJ Eyoma (Lincoln City) Loan
Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)
Armando Shashoua (Atletico Baleares)
Luke Amos (QPR)
Oliver Skipp (Norwich) Loan
Jack Roles (Burton) Loan
Shilow Tracey (Shrewsbury Town) Loan

West Bromwich Albion

In
Matheus Pereira (Sporting Lisbon)
Cedric Kipre (Wigan)
Grady Diangana (West Ham)
David Button (Brighton)
Callum Robinson (Sheff Utd)
Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) Loan

Out
Chris Brunt (Released)
Finn Azaz (Cheltenham Town) Loan
Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town) Loan
Jonathan Leko (Birmingham City)
Oliver Burke (Sheff Utd)
Nick Clayton-Phillips (Solihull Moors) Loan
Rayhaan Tulloch (Doncaster Rovers) Loan

West Ham United

In
Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague)
Ossama Ashley (AFC Wimbledon)

Out
Sead Haksabanovic (IFK Norrkoping)
Carlos Sanchez (Released)
Pablo Zabaleta (Released)
Roberto (Real Valladolid) Undisclosed
Dan Kemp (Blackpool) Loan
Grady Diangana (West Brom)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Matija Sarkic (Aston Villa) Free
Fabio Silva (Porto)
Fernando Marcal (Lyon)
Vitinha (Porto) Loan
Ki-Jana Hoever (Liverpool)

Out
Jordan Graham (Released)
Connor Johnson (Released)
Callum Thompson (Released)
Helder Costa (Leeds)
Tsun Dai (Shenzhen)
Ryan Giles (Coventry) Loan
Elliot Watt (Bradford)
Will Norris (Burnley)
Morgan Gibbs-White (Swansea) Loan
Matt Doherty (Tottenham)
Matija Sarkic (Shrewsbury Town) Loan
Benny Ashley-Seal (Northampton)
Terry Taylor (Grimsby) Loan
Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Club Zurich) Loan
Renat Dadashov (Grasshopper Club Zurich) Loan
Dan Csoka (AFC Wimbledon)
Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

Premier League transfers
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05: New Wolverhampton Wanderers record signing Fabio Silva is unveiled at Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground on September 05, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Stewart Manley Photography/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Getty Images)

WATCH: 17-year-old USMNT mid Reyna scores for Borussia Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna goal video
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

American teenager Giovanni Reyna has his first Bundesliga goal and it’s come on a big stage.

The Borussia Dortmund 17-year-old scored the first goal of his side’s season, at home against top four rivals Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

[ MORE: Bundesliga season preview ]

Reyna, the son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, ran onto a slick feed from English teenager Jude Bellingham and belted a shot across goal and past Gladbach keeper Yan Sommer.

The attacking midfielder’s first half showed the trademark tidiness that earned the trust of Lucien Favre despite the teen still six weeks from his 18th birthday.

Reyna was a perfect 19-of-19 passing in the heart of the attack, making one key pass while winning two-of-five duels and drawing two fouls.

There’s nothing in the way of Reyna becoming one of the biggest names in CONCACAF and Dortmund is reveling in high-level youth with Erling Haaland, Bellingham, Reinier, and Jadon Sancho (for now) joining Reyna in creating energy and goals.

Leeds’ Bielsa happy as the great entertainers deliver

Bielsa on Leeds
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bielsa on Leeds: The manager of Leeds United was happy, yet relieved, as the Yorkshire club sealed the first Premier League win in over 16 years.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]    

Leading 4-1 with 25 minutes to go against fellow new boys Fulham, Leeds let in two quick-fire goals but hung on to win 4-3. Leeds’ first two games back in the Premier League have ended 4-3 and they are clearly going to be the team to watch for neutrals this season.

Speaking to BT Sport after Leeds’ first Premier League home game at Elland Road for 16 years, head coach Marcelo Bielsa praised his side for sticking to their task.

“It was a difficult game, it was difficult for us to defend and to attack and it was difficult for us to impose our style on our opponents,” Bielsa said. “In the first half we allowed them to play out from the back too easily and even though we didn’t defend too badly, we couldn’t attack. In the second half after 4-1 they reduced the scoreline in a short amount of time but it was because they played well rather than we played badly. From then on, we played well.”

Bielsa on Leeds is always intriguing, because he tells it how it is, and even though he spoke through a translator you could tell he was happy with the win and was more than a little relieved.

Leeds should have been out of sight as they had chances galore throughout and in true Bielsa style they kept trying to pour forward even when they were 4-1 up. Fulham battled hard to get back into the game and had attacking quality of their own, but both teams struggled defensively and that will be their main issue this season.

New Leeds signings Rodrigo and Robin Koch have struggled to settled in thus far and need to be given time to adapt to Bielsa’s high-pressing tactics and the intensity of Leeds’ play.

Defensively the Yorkshire giants have to improve but there’s no doubt they have quality in attack and with Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo, Helder Costa, Jack Harrison, Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips in midfield and up front, they have plenty of options.

Bamford revealed just how hard it is to keep the pressing going for 90 minutes but believes Leeds will get even better.

“It’s hard. We only really had two preseason games and then the last two games. Not everybody is up to full speed yet,” Bamford said. “In the first 20 minutes of last weekend and this weekend, I was really blowing. It’s something we’ll just adjust to. We’re very demanding. Marcelo Bielsa has installed that into us. Everybody is willing to learn. He has shown we can become better players.”

With games against Sheffield United, Manchester City and Wolves coming up in their next three, by mid-October we will get a much better idea as to just how good this Leeds side is.

Gareth Bale to Tottenham official: Welsh hero back in North London

Leave a comment

Gareth Bale to Tottenham Hotspur is official, the Welsh hero bringing his talents back to North London on loan from Real Madrid.

Bale will wear the No. 9 shirt, and it’s fair to guess we may see the 31-year-old not just as a part of a trident with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son but also deputizing for Kane as the club is shy on center forwards.

[ MORE: Bale to Spurs a good idea? ]

Bale scored 105 goals and 68 assists in 251 appearances for Real Madrid, but scored just three and two in around 1250 minutes last season.

Can he recapture the prowess that made him one of the most prolific scorers in the world? We will certainly find out in the coming months.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

Spurs say they expect Bale to be ready to play after the October international break. From TottenhamHotspur.com:

Gareth sustained a knee injury whilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month and this together with La Liga’s later start compared to the Premier League means he has had a limited pre-season. We currently anticipate that he will be match fit after October’s international break.