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Pulisic linked with Tottenham. Which club suits him best?

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Fresh from making his first appearance back with the U.S. men’s national team in over eight months in the 3-0 blitzing of Bolivia in his home state of Pennsylvania on Monday, Christian Pulisic is waking up to reports that another Premier League team want to sign him.

This time, according to the Telegraph, it’s Tottenham Hotspur.

With Pulisic ambivalent about continued reports that both Liverpool and Manchester United want to sign him, last week the Borussia Dortmund teenager told Pro Soccer Talk the following in an exclusive interview.

“I really don’t look or read into it very much,” Pulisic said. “People know more about it than I do! Of course, the Premier League is a great league. It was a dream to play there when I was younger but I’m under contract with Dortmund and I’m just working hard there at the moment.”

Yet it is worth considering what the next step holds for Pulisic, still just 19, even though he only signed a new long-term deal with Bundesliga giants Dortmund last year and is coming off a record season in terms of output in the league campaign with four goals and five assists in 2017/18.

At first glance the Spurs link seems the most intriguing out of Premier League clubs who are reportedly in buying him for close to $65 million.

Chelsea are also mentioned in the report but with their track record of stock-piling, then failing to give chances to young talents, plus Jose Mourinho’s lack of belief in young players, surely Pulisic should rule out United (despite his affinity for the club as a child) and Chelsea right off the bat.

Liverpool and Tottenham should be his first two choices, if he leaves Dortmund anytime soon.

Jurgen Klopp remains in touch with Pulisic as he oversaw his move from the U.S. to Germany during his time as Dortmund boss. Liverpool will be desperate to sign Pulisic to not only be a long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho but also to excite their considerable fanbase in the USA.

That fact, despite Pulisic’s obvious playing qualities, is why Spurs, Liverpool, United and Chelsea are lining up to sign him.

Yet it’s hard to look past the fact that Pulisic’s development into a true world-class player could be fast-tracked at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine coach has put faith in the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane and in the past he helped nurture Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Calum Chambers at Southampton.

Pochettino would be the perfect mentor for Pulisic and, if the reports regarding Christian Eriksen attracting interest from Barcelona are true, then a spot may open up for him to be a starter sooner than many would expect.

That’s the main problem for Pulisic right now.

Does he leave a situation at Dortmund where he played in 43 games over the past season to head to the Premier League where he might only appear in 20-25 games, with many of those substitute appearances? That is what will likely happen if he joins Liverpool or Spurs over the summer due to their depth in attacking areas and the obvious adjustments he will have to make to his game.

Right now it seems that the best decision Pulisic can make is to see where he slots into Lucien Favre’s plans over preseason as the Swiss coach takes charge of Dortmund this summer after his arrival from Nice. Favre is known as a manager who trusts youth too and Pulisic seems happy to continue his journey at Dortmund with another season in the UEFA Champions League to look forward to.

There’s a growing sense that Pulisic will eventually move to the Premier League but it seems that he would be best suited to wait at least one more year before he heads to one of England’s big boys.

Player ratings, UCL final: Bale the hero, Karius the zero

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Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe (again, for the third straight season) on Saturday, spearheaded by an all-time great goal scored by Gareth Bale and an all-time shocking performance from Loris Karius.

[ MORE: Benzema’s opener | Mane’s equalizer | Bale’s winner ]

Liverpool

GK – Loris Karius – 0/10: A goalkeeper has never committed a worse, more egregious, more senseless error in the history of soccer. Just watch it (unless you’re a Liverpool fan). Then he did this, in the same game. He can’t go back to Liverpool.

RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10

CB – Dejan Lovren – 6.5/10

CB – Virgil Van Dijk – 6.5/10

LB – Andrew Robertson – 6.5/10: Robertson’s heroic sliding block to snuff out Cristiano Ronaldo’s breakaway in the 75th minute kept Liverpool’s hopes and dreams alive.

CM – Jordan Henderson – 7/10

CM – James Milner (83′) – 6/10

CM – Georginio Wijnaldum – 6/10

RW – Mohamed Salah (31′) – 5/10: Injured by a highly questionable “challenge” from Sergio Ramos (WATCH HERE) inside the opening half-hour, the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner was unable to find his footing (through little fault of his own) during a cagey opening 25 minutes.

CF – Roberto Firmino – 5.5/10: A brilliant season for the Brazilian ends with one of his least impactful, quietest outings of the campaign. To Madrid’s credit, they put him on an island up top and denied any and all service to the frontman.

LW – Sadio Mane – 7/10: Scored Liverpool’s only goal (WATCH HERE), but was rendered largely ineffective following Salah’s departure, as Madrid were able to shift their defensive focus to the other side of the field.

Sub – Adam Lallana (31′) – 5.5/10

Sub – Emre Can (83′) – N/A

[ MORE: Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool — Los Blancos make it three straight ]

Real Madrid

GK – Keylor Navas – 7.5/10: Navas made a pair of truly world-class saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless, at a time when the Reds were beginning to find their way and build up a head of steam.

RB – Dani Carvajal (37′) – 5/10

CB – Raphael Varane – 8/10: Kept Firmino in his hip pocket all game long.

CB – Sergio Ramos – 6/10: Responsible for the injury to Salah (no matter your feelings his about intent), but Ramos managed to avoid getting sent off over 90 minutes, which is a big win for him.

LB – Marcelo – 6.5/10:

CDM – Casemiro – 6.5/10

CM – Luka Modric – 7/10: Bossed the midfield and marshaled (par for the course) with four tackles and completed 94 percent of his 72 passes attempted. Madrid’s metronome, oftentimes their most important players lying in the shadows.

CM – Toni Kroos – 6/10

CAM – Isco – 7.5/10 (61′): Far and away Madrid’s best player for the entirety of the first half, and was inches from putting Los Blancos ahead in the 48th minute, when he lifted the ball over Karius and was denied by the crossbar.

FW – Karim Benzema (89′) – 7/10: Scored the game’s opening goal, could have scored a second goal late in the second half if not for a great save by Karius, and continues to (somehow) remain underrated when he so consistently shows up in the big games.

FW – Cristiano Ronaldo – 6/10: Little to no impact from minute 1 to 90. All that was missing was an 89th-minute goal to make it 4-1 and a wild shirt-off celebration like he’d scored the winner.

Sub – Nacho (37′) – 6/10

Sub – Gareth Bale (61′) – 10/10: When you score a goal like this, you got a 10/10 every time, no matter anything else you did while on the field (he scored again in the 83rd minute).

Sub – Marco Asensio (89′) – N/A

Why Pulisic could be more likely to stay at Dortmund

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Christian Pulisic isn’t short of potential suitors this summer as he ponders his future.

Without a World Cup, Pulisic has plenty of time to recover from another full season of European football, one where he fully experienced the harsh realities of soccer at the highest level – two managers in and two managers out.

[READ: Emery set to replace Wenger at Arsenal]

With Dortmund hiring another coach, it seemed there was a chance Pulisic could decide to leave Dortmund and reunite with former manager Jurgen Klopp, or head elsewhere for a more stable situation. But Tuesday’s news that Dortmund has hired Lucien Favre may change all of that.

The 60-year-old Swiss native signed a two-year contract Tuesday, and his preferred style of play fits perfectly into how Pulisic performs best on the field.

The Bundesliga recently posted a detailed look at Favre’s tactics from his time at Nice, where he led the club to finishes of third and sixth the last two years, while rejuvenating the careers of Mario Balotelli and Younes Belhanda as well as unearthing young gems in Jean Seri and Allan Saint-Maximin.

In Favre’s 4-3-3, you could easily see Pulisic lining up on the right of the forward trident, running to the byline and dishing out assists, with Marco Reus on the left, cutting inside and firing shots home with his howitzer of a right leg. Or we could see the pair switch.

One thing that is currently missing is a dynamic No. 9, but with the whole summer transfer window ahead, Dortmund could easily re-sign Michy Batshuayi or find a new powerful center forward (Balotelli, anyone?).

In short, while Pulisic may have had a reason to leave Dortmund had another Peter Stoger-type manager been hired, Pulisic now has no reason why he can’t be a wild success at Dortmund for years to come. The 19-year-old (he’s still a teenager!) American star will have plenty of chances to bend in crosses or cut in and score goals himself, as well as the opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League.

England announce 23-man World Cup squad

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The English national team have announced their squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Unlike plenty of teams who have released preliminary rosters for the tournament, Gareth Southgate has gone straight for his final 23-man squad.

There is a place for Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, while the likes of Adam Lallana, Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere and Ryan Bertrand have been out.

With Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out through injury, Southgate has had to get a little creative with his selections but, for the most part, he’s chosen to go with youth as he’d previously discussed.

“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about. It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance,” Southgate said. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.”

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling will likely be the stars for the Three Lions this summer, while the likes of Loftus-Cheek and TAA being included show a clear pathway to the senior team for youngsters.

Below is a look at the squad in full, plus a pretty cool video to announce the squad from England’s media team as they traveled around the country.


England’s 23-man World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Gary Cahill, Harry Maguire, Phil Jones, John Stones, Danny Rose, Ashley Young, Fabian Delph
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling
Strikers: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck

Reserves: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore, Adam Lallana


Jurgen Klopp hails “unbelievable season”

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Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Liverpool securing UEFA Champions League qualification on the final day of the Premier League season.

Liverpool went into their home game against Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield knowing a draw would be enough to finish in the top four and make the UCL for the second-straight season.

The Reds started with intensity and purpose and were 2-0 up at half time via Mohamed Salah and Dejan Lovren, then Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson added goals in the second half as they coasted to victory.

Klopp told Sky Sports the following after the game.

“What the boys did this season was unbelievable. We missed Adam Lallana for the whole year and I can’t believe we have achieved this without him. I’m really proud of the boys, a nearly perfect season,” Klopp said. “We had no chance to challenge Man City so the only thing you can go for is a Champions League spot. It is a big thing.”

“When everyone tells you you are fantastic all season it is hard to stay on track so I am pleased with Mo Salah. Congratulations to Man City, it is incredible to get 100 pionts, Thoroughly deserved. We need more consistency to challenge and a little bit more luck with injuries. But we have got a lot of experience from this season. We have matured and we will do that again. In our good moments it is not easy to play better football. We will add to the squad, we need more players but I’m a big believer in developing the team. These boys made a big step.”

With Liverpool now having a two week break before they face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev, they look sharp, fired up and ready to try and win a sixth UCL trophy in club history.

Salah’s record-breaking season with 32 goals a new record in a 38-game PL campaign, will steal the headlines but across the board this Liverpool team is in fine form and Klopp will be hoping they can produce the goods one more time to seal immortality.