Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Getty Images

Report: Liverpool favorites to sign Jadon Sancho

Leave a comment

Jadon Sancho could be on the move sooner than we think.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

A report from Norwegian journalist, and former Premier League striker, Jan Aage Fjortoft  from Viasat claims that Sancho wants to leave Borussia Dortmund in January and he says that current Premier League leaders and European champions Liverpool are favorites to sign him.

That has led to #Sancho2020 trending on Twitter as Liverpool fans are having a moment, just as they did when reports a few months ago linked Kylian Mbappe with a move to Anfield.

As for Sancho, the England international, 19, has excelled at Borussia Dortmund over the last 18 months but after he was hauled off by BVB coach Lucien Favre in the first half of a humbling defeat at Bayern Munich last month, then criticized by his coach, Sancho’s future has come into discussion once again after previous fallings out with the hierarchy at Dortmund.

On the pitch he continues to deliver as he scored in Dortmund’s win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday, in their UEFA Champions League defeat a Barcelona last week and against Paderborn before that, as those goals added to two assists in his last five games for the German giants.

Sancho has a host of Europe’s top clubs forming a not so orderly queue to sign him, with Man United, Barcelona, Chelsea and PSG all heavily linked with a move for the teenage sensation.

It is expected that Sancho would cost over $130 million, and Dortmund have previously admitted he won’t be with them for much longer, but do Liverpool need to strengthen in the attacking midfield/wing areas?

Nope. But what was it Sir Alex Ferguson always said about adding new players when you’re in a position of strength…

Sancho would no doubt provide serious competition to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for a starting spot right away, but if you look at Klopp’s options after those three, things start to get pretty thin.

Divock Origi is the next man up and aside from his legendary status among Liverpool fans, will he strike fear into the hearts of opponents if he replace one of the aforementioned trio? Probably not. After Origi there is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who can play in a wide role, then teenagers Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones are up and Xherdan Shaqiri is around but often an injury doubt.

Liverpool are stacked in the defense and midfield but the front three have been so good and have largely remained injury free that they haven’t had to worry about their attack.

Sancho’s arrival could also suggest that one of Mane or Salah may move on in 2020 as both have been linked with moves to Real Madrid in the past. Having Sancho come in to replace them would be ideal, but a move in January seems unlikely.

But maybe Liverpool will want to get in ahead of the competition in January to sign the former Watford and Man City product before he excels at EURO 2020 for England and his transfer value skyrockets. Right now Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are ahead of Sancho in the England pecking order but the Dortmund winger is pushing them all the way and seems to be a perfect fit for the way Liverpool play. His pace and trickery is a combination of Salah and Mane and at such a young age he has delivered at Dortmund and is starting to for England.

For Liverpool to stay on top, they need to be ruthless and strengthen their squad even when it looks like they don’t need to. Moves like this are when a great team starts to feel like a dynasty is on the way.

10-man Liverpool edge past Brighton

1 Comment

10-man Liverpool edged past Brighton and Hove Albion despite a late scare at Anfield.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Jurgen Klopp‘s side were flying in the first half as two Virgil Van Dijk headers set them on their way but Brighton were dangerous throughout and especially after Alisson was sent off.

Liverpool’s star goalkeeper was sent off for a deliberate handball and from the resulting free kick Lewis Dunk made it 2-1. Substitute goalkeeper Adrian had a tough time late on but managed to hold his nerve as Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points, momentarily.


3 things we learned

1. Van Dijk stands tall: He beat Brighton’s towering defense to score two headers in the first half and without Fabinho ahead of him and Matip alongside him, VVD put on a show. He was the leader in attack and at the back for Liverpool and when they went down to 10 men late in the game their leader stood tall.

2. Brighton not clinical enough: On another day Graham Potter‘s side should have scored three or four. Dunk missed a big chance in the first half and they squandered several opportunities. Brighton play some very good stay from box to box but must be more clinical if they’re going to get to the next stage.

3. Alisson adds to Klopp’s woe: Liverpool will now have to do without Alisson to add to Klopp’s woes, as he was put in a terrible situation by his defenders. He didn’t need to handle the ball, but the way Adrian played when he came on proved this is now a big problem for Liverpool going forward.

Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk – Dominant at the back, especially late on, and popped up with two headers in the first half. With Joel Matip, Fabinho and now Alisson out, VVD has to step up once again in the coming weeks. A superb overall display.


A bright start at Anfield saw both teams have chances as Mooy and Connolly combined to cause havoc, while Liverpool’s front three were looking as dangerous as ever.

Roberto Firmino forced Mat Ryan into a fine save down low and from the ball then broke for a free kick as Alexander-Arnold’s cross found Van Dijk who nodded home.

Soon after Firmino and Mane were both denied by Ryan as Liverpool put their foot down on the accelerator, and then a second arrived in very similar fashion to the first.

A corner from the left found Van Dijk as he beat Shane Duffy and flicked home his and Liverpool’s second goal of the game with his meaty Dutch forehead.

Mane almost squeezed in another before half time as Liverpool totally dominated, but Brighton had a few chances as Davy Propper forced Alisson into a decent stop, then Lewis Dunk shanked an effort wide when wide open at the back post and the Seagulls put the hosts under pressure late in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

At the start of the second half Brighton continued to impress as Dunk flicked a header inches wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost wrapped up the win in style as he cut inside but Dunk denied him with a brilliant block.

Then, all hell broke loose.

A long ball over the top found Leandro Trossard who tried to lob Alisson but the Brazilian goalkeeper handled outside his box and was shown a straight red card. From the resulting free kick Lewis Dunk rolled in a bizarre finish to make it 2-1, and substitute goalkeeper Adrian was put under severe pressure late on.

Adrian denied Aaron Mooy but almost spilled a routine effort into his own goal as Liverpool held on for their 13th win from their first 14 games this season.

England finishes EURO 2020 qualifying by beating Kosovo

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
1 Comment

England’s 2020 European Championship qualification campaign wrapped up on Sunday with a slightly flattering 4-0 victory away to third-place, and playoff qualifiers, Kosovo.

[ VIDEO: Game stopped for racist chanting; player targeted later scores goal ]

Gareth Southgate‘s side was hardly at its best just three days after thrashing Montenegro and securing qualification to this summer’s tournament. They only led by a score of 1-0 through 78 minutes, before scoring a trio of late goals to put the game out of reach and rob the hosts of any potential moral victory.

Harry Winks opened the scoring, and his England account, in the 32nd minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Winks near the top of Kosovo’s penalty area and though Winks’ first touch appeared quite poor, every player in blue stopped and stood as the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder walked in on goal and coolly slotted the ball home to make it 1-0.

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

From that point forward, Kosovo enjoyed control of the game’s tempo and looked every bit the Three Lions’ equal. That is, until Harry Kane finished an open chance at the back post in the 79th minute and opened the floodgates.

Marcus Rashford added a third four minutes later, followed by another first England goal — this time, scored by Mason Mount — in the 91st.

England finishes EURO 2020 qualification with a record of 7W-0D-1L and a +31 goal differential, which is second only to Belgium who sit at +32 with one game still to play. England required Sunday’s victory to confirm its place as a Pot 1 team at the draw for the group stage.

Southgate to rest stars, give youth a chance v. Kosovo

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With qualification to the 2020 European Championship secured earlier this week, England manager Gareth Southgate is set to rest most of his star players in favor of giving a number of younger players a chance to impress when the Three Lions take on Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday (12 p.m. ET).

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

According to a report from Sky Sports, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will be rested to make way for Chelsea youngsters Tammy Abraham (four caps) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (two caps). Finally given a chance to play regular minutes for the Blues, Abraham has already scored 10 goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season. The 22-year-old former journeyman loanee scored his first England goal in the 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro on Thursday. Hudson-Odoi is yet to score in PL play this season, but has shown well following his return from a ruptured achilles late last season.

John Stones and Jordan Pickford will be moved to the bench after starting against Montenegro. They will likely be replaced by Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Burnley’s Nick Pope. Mings has made just one appearance for England, while Pope would be making his first start. Stones is seen as having taken on an excessive workload this season due to the ongoing defensive injury crisis at Manchester City.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Lionel Messi negotiating a new deal ]

Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez departed England camp on Saturday, due to illness and injury respectively. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Declan Rice and Mason Mount could start in midfield with James Maddison (calf) and injury doubt.

Another Chelsea youngster, 21-year-old Fikayo Tomori, is also said to be in line for his first England cap, most likely as a late-game substitute along the backline.

Halftime: England races out to 5-0 lead

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Coming off a 6-0 rout of Bulgaria last March, England picked up right where it left off as it ran away with a 5-0 lead at halftime.

Captain and striker Harry Kane bagged himself a first half hat-trick, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marcus Rashford found themselves on the scoresheet as well. It’s the latest data point that predicts England to be one of the contenders for next summer’s European Championships, set to take place across Europe but with Wembley Stadium hosting the semifinals and final.

Oxlade-Chamberlain started the fun in the 11th minute, in his first England start for 19 months, since suffering a torn ACL in April, 2018 which ended his season and most of the next one. Left back Ben Chilwell floated a cross from left to the right wing where Oxlade-Chamberlain controlled it perfectly and fired a strike into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later, it was Kane with a header goal through two Montenegro defenders off a Chilwell corner, giving the young left back his second assist of the game. In the 23rd minute, Kane again headed home a Chilwell corner from the edge of the six-yard box, beating his defender to the spot.

Rashford made it 4-0 to the Three Lions in the 30th minute after collecting a rebound off a save from Montenegro goalkeeper Milan Mijatovic. Rashford then curled a strike around the Montenegro defenders and inside the post for another goal. In the 37th minute, Kane finished off his hat-trick with a strike inside the box after a great feed by Trent Alexander-Arnold.