Andy King

Getty Images

Comparing this Leicester City squad to the title-winning team

1 Comment

Leicester City sits second place in the Premier League table in mid-November, eight points back of a historic Liverpool position.

Since winning the title, Leicester City has finished 12th, 9th, and 9th and suddenly are challenging for a Champions League place yet again. The simple fact that the Foxes have managed to sustain considerable top-flight success over the course of the last six seasons might be even more impressive than their lightning-in-a-bottle title run.

While there are a few holdovers from the title-winning campaign, like goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and striker Jamie Vardy who stand out among the crowd, there has understandably been considerable turnover from that title team. Midfielders N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater were sold for significant sums of money, as was winger Riyad Mahrez. Both members of the center-back partnership Wes Morgan and Robert Huth put together are 35 years old (Morgan is still with the club but has logged just 28 Premier League minutes thus far).

In now are rising stars like Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Ben Chilwell, and Youri Tielemans, looking to write their own place into Foxes history.

So, naturally, we thought it fitting to compare the two sides. In another universe where Liverpool doesn’t dominate the Premier League landscape in record-breaking fashion, could this current Leicester challenge for a title? The only way to find out is to pit them against the squad that did. Here we go.


GOALKEEPER – Kasper Schmeichel (15/16) vs. Kasper Schmeichel (19/20)

Now 33 years old, Kasper Schmeichel has become one of the faces of Leicester City. Fans adore his leadership and calming presence, and respect his dedication to the club. But how does he stack up now against the likes of his younger self? With five clean sheets in 12 appearances under Brendan Rodgers this season, Schmeichel is up to his old tricks. Among qualifying goalkeepers, Schmeichel ranks second in the league in overall score according to SofaScore’s rating system, and has has managed to do so without facing a ton of shots – Leicester City has conceded the fourth-fewest xGA according to UnderStat.com.

So how does that stack up to the legendary title-winning season of 2015/16? That year, Schmeichel recorded 15 clean sheets in 38 league appearances, one behind Petr Cech‘s 16 for the league lead. He had the fourth-highest saves per goal conceded total in the league at 2.8, behind just Cech and a pair of goalkeepers with higher volume in Vito Mannone and Fraser Forster.

VERDICT: DRAW – Schmeichel is up to his old tricks, and has kept his level of play high through the years. Leicester City still has a rock between the sticks.

CENTER-BACK – Wes Morgan/Robert Huth (15/16) vs. Caglar Soyuncu/Jonny Evans (19/20)

Wes Morgan and Robert Huth built an unlikely center-back partnership at Leicester City. A former Chelsea youth product, Huth was on his fourth club after spending six years at Stoke City toiling in the middle of the Premier League table. Morgan, meanwhile, had been a career Championship player, with the previous campaign his first in the top flight. Together, they logged a massive 6,570 Premier League minutes en route to a defensive performance that saw them concede just 36 goals in 38 games, one off the league’s stingiest defensive output. By April, the two led the top-four defenders in blocks, and both appeared in the WhoScored’s top 15 for center-back ratings at season’s end.

Today, an equally unlikely circumstance has led Leicester City to the league’s best defense. 23-year-old Caglar Soyuncu has developed into one of the best young center-back prospects in the league next to experienced former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans. Thanks to that pair, Leicester City is one of just two teams to have conceded a single-digit goal total through 12 matches alongside Sheffield United. Soyuncu ranks 3rd in WhoScored rating among CB’s with at least 7 appearances, while Evans is 11th, and the former is a beast in the air and pressures with accuracy. Also, he can dribble?

VERDICT: SOYUNCU/EVANS – While Wes Morgan and Robert Huth will live in club lore, the longevity potential for Soyuncu/Evans and their underlying statistics prove they are far more than a one-hit-wonder and can be a massive asset for this club moving forward.

FULL-BACK – Christian Fuchs/Danny Simpson (15/16) vs. Ricardo Pereira/Ben Chilwell (19/20)

One of the more under-heralded fan favorites of the 2015/16 title team, Christian Fuchs is another that will live on in club lore. He was energetic and a lively presence in the dressing room. Along with his full-back partner Danny Simpson, both players were seemingly on the decline before coming to Leicester – Fuchs had made 16 and 25 league appearances in his final two season at Schalke before being shipped out, while Simpson had lost his starting place at Newcastle two years prior and spent a season in the Championship with QPR before Leicester City gave him another shot at the Premier League. Somehow, things clicked under Claudio Ranieri and the two took off, providing both defensive cover and overlapping contributions moving forward.

With Fuchs a bit-part player and Simpson off at Huddersfield Town, they have been replaced by two of the best full-backs in the Premier League. Ricardo Pereira was the second-best right-back in the league behind Trent Alexander-Arnold last season according to WhoScored, while Ben Chilwell has earned a regular spot on the England national team.

VERDICT: Pereira/Chilwell – Fuchs is an absolute fan-favorite and Simpson’s revival was stunning to behold, but like the current center-back pairing Pereira and Chilwell have the longevity to serve the club for years or become valuable assets, and the two have already earned personal accolades the previous duo would not have achieved.

DEFENSIVE MID – N’Golo Kante (15/16) vs. Wilfred Ndidi (19/20)

This is one of the most fascinating player comparisons in recent soccer memory. N’Golo Kante’s rise to become one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, earning PFA Player of the Year in 2016/17 and finishing 8th on the Ballon d’Or list for 2017. Kante was the most important player on the title-winning squad – quite simply, Leicester City doesn’t win the title without Kante leading the league in tackles per 90 (4.7) and interceptions per 90 (4.2). His ability to halt opponent counters in their tracks was mind-numbing.

And yet, Leicester City’s only gone and produced his clone.

Wilfred Ndidi leads the league in interceptions per 90 minutes and is second in tackles behind tackle machine Aaron Wan-Bissaka. At just 23 years old, the Foxes are staring another N’Golo Kante in the face, a player who many believed – rightly so – was a once-in-a-generation type midfield product.

VERDICT: N’Golo Kante – while Ndidi is a massively promising player who is producing another season like Kante’s in 15/16, it will be hard to top one of the most legendary performances of the past decade, one backed up by Kante’s rise to stardom over the past few years.

CENTER MID – Danny Drinkwater (15/16) vs. Youri Tielemans (19/20)

Danny Drinkwater has flopped since his move to Chelsea, but don’t let that cloud your memory of his performance as N’Golo Kante’s midfield partner. Drinkwater was massively important to Leicester City during the title run, scoring two goals in 35 league appearances and assisting seven more, providing a dynamic presence in midfield to both calmly hold possession and provide dangerous moves forward. Still, admittedly being next to Kante made Drinkwater look better, and that proved true through the rest of his career.

Tielemans, on the other hand, is putting up numbers of his own that prove he’s his own player outside of any lift he gets from being slotted next to Ndidi and James Maddison. His passing percentage is way up from his days at Anderlecht and Monaco, and while he still struggles with turning the ball over on occasion, his heavy volume (55 passes per 90, 13th among non-defenders) and key passes (1.8 per 90, 17th in the league) suggest Tielemans has settled into an important role with the club.

VERDICT: Tielemans – While Danny Drinkwater was important to Leicester City’s run, his peripherals suggested Chelsea probably should have been more careful with its money. Tielemans has made significant strides since his disastrous time at Monaco and has become an important cog in midfield.

ATTACKING MID/WINGER – Riyad Mahrez/Marc Albrighton vs. James Maddison/Ayoze Perez (19/20)

Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton offered vastly different skill sets that mixed well under Claudio Ranieri. (Getty Images)

Riyad Mahrez’s road to becoming Leicester City’s record sale was at times a bumpy tale, but there were no higher highs than he had in the 2015/16 title run. The Algerian international became a Premier League sensation with his 17 goals and 10 assists, doing it all for the Leicester City attack. He produced an xG of 11.88 for himself, with a silly goal conversion rate on top of that. In addition, he set his teammates up for a nearly equal 11.45 xA total, picking up 20 big chances created and dribbling successfully at a rate of 3.5 per 90 minutes. By contrast, Mahrez’s wing partner Marc Albrighton is a mostly forgettable player for casual fans, but he was massively important in other ways. Playing in every single Premier League match that season, Albrighton helped keep the shape and offered a more rigid foil to Mahrez’s marauding, with Fuchs overlapping on the left.

This season, James Maddison is the standout attacking player for the Foxes, with the 22-year-old developing into a key contributor up front. The youngster is eighth in the league in key passes per 90 minutes, and he himself is ripping off over three shots a game, with four league goals already to his name. Still, Maddison could be creating more – with 23 shot assists on the season so far, only two have qualified as “big chances” according to SofaScore. Ayoze Perez has not quite brought the explosiveness we saw in his Newcastle days over to the King Power Stadium, but his three-goal haul is also proving important early on.

VERDICT: Mahrez/Albrighton – while this duo was sorely one-sided, the season Riyad Mahrez had for Leicester City that title-winning campaign was an attacking display for the ages. Maddison is an extremely solid future asset contributing at a high level for such a young age, but he still has distance to cover to reach the heights of Mahrez that fateful year, who finished as the highest rated player in the entire league according to WhoScored.com.

STRIKER – Jamie Vardy (15/16) vs. Jamie Vardy (19/20)

Alongside Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy is the face of Leicester City. His out-of-nothing story makes him special to Leicester City fans, and his goalscoring prowess has been critical to the club ever since they were promoted to the Premier League. Vardy has made a career of scoring out of nothing – his top-flight career has seen him score 91 goals, a massive +11.5 differential over his 79.5 career xG.

Yet, a closer look provides a fascinating underscore of the evolution of the 32-year-old’s career. This season, in just 12 matches, Vardy has bagged 11 goals on an xG of just 5.19, meaning nearly 6 of that +11 career differential has come just this campaign. The Foxes striker is taking just two shots per 90 minutes, and yet has scored on nearly half of them – absolutely astronomical conversion numbers that are surely unsustainable, even if Vardy’s career has been built on exceptional finishing.

While those numbers are surely inflated by the relatively small sample size of 12 matches this year, they aren’t all that different from the title-winning season. That campaign, Vardy took 115 shots – 3.28 per game – and scored on 24 of them, and his 0.19 xG per shot is quite close to the 0.21 he is putting up this season. Most interesting, he scored 18 of those 24 goals with his right foot, a variance which has evened out this season as Vardy becomes more competent with his off side – four goals with his right, four with his left, and two with his head.

VERDICT: 15/16 Vardy – This season’s Jamie Vardy just isn’t shooting at the volume you’d expect from a striker of his finishing caliber, and he needs to find a higher volume if he wants to keep up the ridiculous goal conversion rate that will surely regress towards the mean.

BENCH – Leonard Ulloa/Shinji Okazaki/Andy King (15/16) vs. Demari Gray/Harvey Barnes/Hamza Choudhury (19/20)

It is impossible to discuss the epic season Leicester City had in 2015/16 without talking about Leonard Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki, who combined came off the bench 30 times in league play and were often called upon to rescue points. Andy King became a club icon as a Leicester City youth product who fans took a liking to, brought off the bench 16 times himself to close a game down.

Brendan Rodgers has Demari Gray and Harvey Barnes at his disposal to inject life into a game, while Hamza Choudhury is a talented young player who has shown flashes of being able to do the job himself should anything happen to Ndidi. Still, Grey – who was a member of that title-winning squad – has not become the star many thought he would a few years ago and Barnes is still showing his age at 21 years old. The group has yet to become true super-subs and Rodgers has been somewhat forced to run with his main group – five players have played every minute of this Premier League campaign so far (Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Evans, Vardy, Pereira) while another (Tielemans) is has seen just seven minutes of rest.

VERDICT: 2015/16 – It felt like every time Ranieri called upon the cavalry, they would deliver in the given situation. Gray has yet to develop into the player many believed he would years ago, and Barnes is still a raw product.

Complete list of January transfer deals in the Premier League

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Who moved, and who didn’t?

[ MORE: Club-by-club grades ]

Here are the hundreds of players on the move into and out of Premier League clubs this month.


Arsenal
In: Denis Suarez (Barcelona) Loan
Out: Emiliano Martinez (Reading) Loan, Emile Smith Rowe (RB Leipzig) Loan

AFC Bournemouth
In: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) Loan, Chris Mepham (Brentford), Keelan O'Connell (Morton) Loan, Dominic Solanke (Liverpool)
Out: Jermain Defoe (Rangers) Loan, Alex Dobre (Yeovil Town) Loan, Tyrell Hamilton (Salisbury) Loan, Jordan Holmes (St Mirren) Loan, Corey Jordan (Eastbourne Borough) Loan, Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) Loan, Marc Pugh (Hull City) Loan, Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Wimbledon) Loan, Charlie Seaman (Dundee United) Loan, Matt Worthington (Yeovil Town) Free

Brighton & Hove Albion
In: Tudor-Cristian Baluta (Viitorul Constanta), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentinos Juniors), Jan Mlakar (NK Maribor)
Out: Billy Arce (CS Emelec) Loan, Ben Barclay (Notts County) Loan, Aaron Connolly (Luton Town) Loan, George Cox (Northampton Town) Loan, Anders Dreyer (St Mirren) Loan, Josh Kerr (Derry City) Loan, Jordan Maguire-Drew (Leyton Orient), Mathias Normann (FC Rostov), Oliver Norwood (Sheff Utd), Ezequiel Schelotto (Chievo) Loan, Markus Suttner (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan, Ben White (Peterborough) Loan, Alexis Mac Allister (Argentinos Juniors) Loan, Stefan Ljubicic (Eastbourne Borough) Loan

Burnley
In: Peter Crouch (Stoke City)
Out: Jimmy Dunne (Sunderland) Loan, Ali Koiki (Swindon Town) Loan, Ntumba Massanka (RWD Molenbeek) Loan, George McMahon (Ashton United) Loan, Conor Mitchell (Linfield) Loan, Sam Vokes (Stoke City)

Cardiff City
In: Leandro Bacuna (Reading), Oumar Niasse (Everton) Loan, Emiliano Sala (Nantes)
Out: Omar Bogle (Portsmouth) Loan, Ciaron Brown (Livingston) Loan, Mark Harris (Port Vale) Loan, Gary Madine (Sheffield United) Loan, Paul McKay (Morecambe) Loan, Anthony Pilkington -Released, Lee Tomlin (Peterborough)

Chelsea
In: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) Loan
Out: Lewis Baker (Reading) Loan, Cesc Fabregas (Monaco), Josh Grant (Yeovil Town) Loan, Matt Miazga (Reading) Loan, Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid) Loan, Victor Moses (Fenerbahce) Loan, Lucas Piazon (Chievo) Loan, Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) Loan, Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) Loan, Charlie Wakefield (Coventry City) Free, Karlo Ziger (Sutton United) Loan, Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) Loan

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace
In: Lucas Perri (Sao Paulo) Loan, Bakary Sako (West Brom), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea) Loan
Out: Joseph Hungbo (Margate) Loan, Sullay Kaikai (Breda), Nya Kirby (Blackpool) Loan, Jordon Mutch (released), Jason Puncheon (Huddersfield Town) Loan, Alexander Sorloth (KAA Gent) Loan, Oliver Webber (Greenwich Borough) Loan, Jonny Williams (Charlton)

Everton
Out: Beni Baningime (Wigan Athletic) Loan, Callum Connolly (Bolton) Loan, Kieran Dowell (Sheffield Utd) Loan, Antony Evans (Blackpool) Loan, Mason Holgate (West Brom) Loan, Shayne Lavery (Falkirk) Loan, Cuco Martina (Feyenoord) Loan, Oumar Niasse (Cardiff City) Loan

Fulham
In: Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim) Loan, Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)
Out: Stephen Humphrys (Southend), Stefan Johansen (West Brom) Loan, Aboubakar Kamara (Yeni Malatyaspor) Loan

Huddersfield Town
In: Jaden Brown (Spurs), Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) Loan, Karlan Grant (Charlton Athletic)
Out: Jaden Brown (Exeter City) Loan, Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Brighouse Town) Loan, Rekeil Pyke (Rochdale) Loan, Collin Quaner (Ipswich Town) Loan, Ryan Schofield (Notts County) Loan, Ramadan Sobhi (Al Ahly) Loan, Rajiv Van la Parra (Middlesbrough)

Leicester City
In: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco) Loan
Out: Yohan Benalouane (Nottingham Forest), Fousseni Diabate (Sivasspor) Loan, Callum Elder (Ipswich) Loan, Vicente Iborra (Villarreal), Darnell Johnson (Hibernian) Loan, Andy King (Derby) Loan, Josh Knight (Peterborough United) Loan

Liverpool
Out: Pedro Chirivella (Extremadura UD) Loan, Nathaniel Clyne (AFC Bournemouth) Loan, Ovie Ejaria (Reading) Loan, Liam Miller (Kilmarnock) Loan, Dominic Solanke (AFC Bournemouth), Lazar Markovic (Fulham)

Manchester City
Out: Brahim Diaz (Real Madrid), Ed Francis (Wolves), Luke Bolton (Wycombe Wanderers) Loan, Rabbi Matondo (Schalke)

Manchester United
Out: Ethan Hamilton (Rochdale) Loan, Joel Pereira (KV Kortrijk) Loan, Regan Poole (Newport) Loan, Ro-Shaun Williams (Shrewsbury Town)

Newcastle United
In: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Antonio Barreca (Monaco) Loan
Out: Ronaldo Aarons (Sheff Wed) Loan, Liam Gibson (Accrington) Loan, Achraf Lazaar (Sheff Wed) Loan, Jacob Murphy (West Brom) Loan, Elias Sorensen (Blackpool) Loan, Jamie Sterry (Crewe) Loan, Josef Yarney (Chesterfield)

Miguel Almiron, Newcastle United (Photo credit: nufc.co.uk)

Southampton
Out: Steven Davis (Rangers) Loan, Manolo Gabbiadini (Sampdoria), Wesley Hoedt (Celta Vigo) Loan, Ryan Seager Released, Cedric Soares (Inter Milan) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur
Out: Jaden Brown (Huddersfield Town), Mousa Dembele (Guangzhou R&F), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Monaco) Loan, Kazaiah Sterling (Sunderland) Loan

Watford
In: Adam Parkes (Southampton)
Out: Ashley Charles (Barnet) Loan, Michael Folivi (AFC Wimbledon) Loan, Stefano Okaka (Udinese) Loan, Jerome Sinclair (Oxford United) Loan, Ben Wilmot (Udinese) Loan, Randell Williams (Exeter City), Marvin Zeegelaar (Udinese) Loan

West Ham United
In: Samir Nasri (Unattached) Free, Mesaque Dju (Benfica)
Out: Sead Haksabanovic (Norrkoping) Loan, Moses Makasi (Stevenage) Loan, Toni Martinez (Lugo) Loan, Vashon Neufville (Newport) Loan, Reece Oxford (FC Augsburg) Loan, Joe Powell (Northampton) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers
In: David Wang (Jumilla B), Ed Francis (Manchester City), Jonny (Pictured, Atletico Madrid)
Out: Benik Afobe (Stoke), Danny Batth (Stoke), Harry Burgoyne (Falkirk) Loan, Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Rochdale) Loan, Bright Enobakhare (Coventry) Loan, Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) Loan, Dominic Iorfa (Sheffield Wednesday), Phil Ofosu-Ayeh (Wurzburger Kickers) Loan, Connor Ronan (FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda) Loan, Jack Ruddy (UD San Sebastian) Loan, Ben Stevenson (Colchester United), David Wang (Sporting Lisbon) Loan

Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog — As It Happened

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Once a non-event, the January transfer window has become busier and busier as the teams of the Premier League deem improving their lot for the second half of the season almost as important as the first.

Makes sense, right?

[ MORE: Earlier done deals ]

We’re monitoring things at Chelsea and Newcastle amongst other venues before the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Be sure to follow the Sky Sports deadline show on NBCSN until 5 p.m. ET before the NBC Sports Soccer crew picks up for three more hours of dynamite coverage.

So here we go.


6:21 p.m. ET — Yannick Bolasie is leaving Everton on loan to Anderlecht for the rest of the season after cutting a loan with Aston Villa short.


6 p.m. ET — The window is closed, but that just means deal sheets had to be submitted to the Premier League. Stay tuned for further announcements.


5:56 p.m. ET — Celtic have pushed another deal over the line in its bid to hold off Rangers and Aberdeen and win another Scottish Premiership title.

Jeremy Toljan will join the Bhoys from Borussia Dortmund on loan, having struggled to get playing time on the Bundesliga leaders.


5:52 p.m. ET — A couple late deals coming through for peripheral PL players.

Everton’s Beni Baningime will go on loan to Wigan Athletic, having seen his playing time pretty much disappear after Sam Allardyce left Goodison Park.

And long time Leicester City man Andy King is leaving the King Power Stadium to join Derby County for the rest of the season.


5:38 p.m. ET — A bit slower now with 22 minutes to go in the window. Of course, moves can be announced after 6 p.m. ET but there is paperwork to be filed…

Will Michy Batshuayi finish his move to Palace? Jacob Murphy to West Brom?


5:11 p.m. ET — A report out of Italy has a couple of eye-popping notes.

DC United has reportedly turned down almost $12 million from Paris Saint-Germain for Luciano Acosta, hoping to get closer to $14m for the 24-year-old former Boca Juniors man.

Acosta does not hold an international roster spot for DC, who saw the playmaker team up with Wayne Rooney to push the Black-and-Red up the Eastern Conference table last season.

Acosta has 19 goals and 27 assists in 103 appearances for DC, and would help PSG plug the hole opened by Neymar’s 10-week layoff.


5:03 p.m. ET — The BBC is reporting that Fulham has landed former West Ham midfielder/defender Havard Nordtveit.

The Norwegian will arrive on loan from Hoffenheim. The 28-year-old has mostly played center back in 11 matches between the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.

Fulham also sold combustible striker Aboubakar Kamara to Malatyaspor.


4:35 p.m. ET — Woah. Michy Batshuayi has apparently reached terms with Crystal Palace in the hopes of a permanent deal.

UPDATE: Sky reports that Palace CEO Steve Parrish says the deal is ON.

The big Belgian striker, 25, would take more attention off of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and hopefully feed off the crosses of the latter, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

This could be a big, big deal and a stunner of a lower-half signing.


4:32 p.m. ET — Our noted KC writer Andy Edwards has thoughts on an exciting report that longtime USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem may move from Arsenal to Major League Soccer.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes has a knack for developing young talents, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this is a loan or a permanent deal (should it happen).


4:30 p.m. ET — A note from Major League Soccer, where Toronto FC is ready to splash some cash to replace outgoing megastar Sebastian Giovinco.

Remember, their last few Designated Players include Giovinco, Jermain Defoe, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley…


4:22 p.m. ET — Everton’s potential sale of Idrissa Gana Gueye of Paris Saint-Germain has been quiet, but Sky Sports has broken into their coverage to say that Gana is now the subject of a $34 million bid.

The Toffees still do not plan on selling the industrious center midfielder, but he’s also 29 years old and the Toffees are neither in danger of being relegated nor finding their footing as a European club.


4:07 p.m. ET — Michy Batshuayi is one of the topics of conversation, as the Belgian striker looks to find regular playing time away from Chelsea.

Batshuayi, 25, tore up the Bundesliga on loan at Borussia Dortmund last season, but could not find the back of the goal often in a half-season at Valencia.

He’s been linked with moves to Real Betis, West Ham United, and — most unlikely — Spurs, but his wages are reportedly holding up the deal. Speaking on Sky Sports’ transfer deadline show, Sam Allardyce unsurprisingly said West Ham would be the best place for him.


3:49 p.m. ET — Some Americans in Scotland (and America) news.

A pair of players have signed with Celtic, though neither will spend the rest of this season with Brendan Rodgers‘ men.

It looks like MAC Hermann Trophy winner Andrew Gutman was not able to get the proper papers to activate his time at Celtic, as the Indiana University left back and USMNT hopeful has been sent on loan to Nashville SC.

Also signing leaving Celtic on loan is NC State’s Manny Perez, who is off on loan to North Carolina FC.

And there’s a Yank making a move to the Scottish Championship, as 23-year-old Evansville product Ian McGrath makes the move from Nashville SC to Queen of the South.


3:18 p.m. ET — It’s a loan swap deal, but the big piece moving between Monaco and Leicester City is versatile and dangerous Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans.

The 21-year-old has five goals and an assist in Ligue 1 play, and operates in the center of the park.

Going back the other way is Adrien Silva, 29, who just hasn’t settled at Leicester following a paperwork snafu at the start of the 2017-18 season.


3 p.m. ET — A move from MLS to a top European team, but it’s more for the future.

Real Salt Lake’s Taylor Booth is on the move to Bayern Munich. The U.S. U-19 midfielder, 17, joins FC Dallas youngster Chris Richards and Vancouver Whitecaps star Alphonso Davies at the Allianz Arena.

More info: Here.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN today from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Championship Sunday, rounded up

Leave a comment

The Premier League put a bow on its remarkable season with a 100-point flourish from Man City, and a new single-season scoring mark.

[ MORE: Full match replays | Final table | Final grades ]

It also waved goodbye to Arsene Wenger, at least at Arsenal. All that and more in the PL roundup.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Gabriel Jesus‘ stoppage time winner — man, does this club play to the final season’s whistle — made sure Man City added “first 100-point club” to its list of amazing accomplishments.

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton and Hove Albion — RECAP

Mohamed Salah set the new Premier League scoring record, while Dejan Lovren, Andy Robertson, and Dominic Solanke also scored to lead Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League regardless of the final against Real Madrid.

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Arsenal — RECAP

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the fastest Gunner to 10 Premier League goals and notably has status as the last player to score in Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal.

Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea — RECAP

Newcastle fans are dreaming of the transfer market after Rafa Benitez put another fine line on his resume with a demolition of the Blues. Ayoze Perez scored twice and Jonjo Shelvey also scored to clinch a Top Ten finish for the Magpies, who were in a relegation battle deep into the season. Chelsea is off to the Europa League, and in poor form ahead of next week’s FA Cup Final against Manchester United.

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City — RECAP

Spirit remains at Stoke despite its relegation, as it dragged Swansea down with it. An early goal for Andy King was long forgotten after Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch gave the traveling Potters support a win in their final Premier League match for at least 15 months.

Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City — RECAP

Don’t tell these clubs they had nothing to play for…

Harry Kane became the second Premier League player to score 30 goals this season, as Spurs trailed 1-0 and 3-1. They also were level at 4 following Jamie Vardy‘s second of the night when Kane completed his brace.

What a way to end a season.

West Ham United 3-1 Everton — RECAP

David Moyes‘ Irons hammered his former club, in doing so embarrassing former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce. The Toffees spent big this season and hired Big Sam to fix their season and lead them back into European contention. He largely failed. As for Moyes, has he reclaimed his Premier League mojo?

Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth — RECAP

Chris Wood‘s early goal was canceled out by Joshua King, then substitute Callum Wilson claimed all three points for the Cherries in this match-up of two of the finest British managers in the game.

Crystal Palace 2-0 West Bromwich Albion  — RECAP

Wilfried Zaha and Patrick Van Aanholt ended Roy Hodgson‘s Manager of the Year campaign with another win, as left-for-dead Palace finishes 11th despite an 0-7 goalless start!

Manchester United 1-0 Watford  — RECAP

Marcus Rashford scores the lone goal on a play began by Michael Carrick and helped along by Juan Mata. That’s why Mourinho plays Lukaku so much (#jab).

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City: Swans relegated

Leave a comment
  • Swansea relegated after seven-year stay
  • Swans finish in 18th place 
  • Stoke finish in 19th with relegation already confirmed

Swansea lost 2-1 against Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday with the South Wales side relegated from the Premier League after a seven-year stay.

The Swans took the lead via Andy King but Stoke scored twice in the first half through Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch to seal a comeback win and just their second victory under Paul Lambert. Xherdan Shaqiri misses a penalty in the second half as Stoke eased to victory.

With the win Stoke finish in 19th, level on points with Swansea in 18th but five goals worse off in goal differential.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke were forced into an early change as former Swansea midfielder Joe Allen was forced off and Darren Fletcher replaced him.

Xherdan Shaqiri whipped in a cross which Lukas Fabianski punched clear and the other end there was an almighty goalmouth scramble with Jack Butland saving and several blocks from the Stoke defense keeping Swansea out.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Moments later King put Swansea ahead as Andre Ayew nodded the ball into his path and he calmly slotted home. The chances kept coming for Swansea as Wayne Routledge then went close with Stoke sinking back towards their own goal.

Before the break Stoke were level as a counter saw Ndiaye get free in-behind and he lobbed home a wonderful effort to make it 1-1. And it got better for the Potters as Crouch headed home a free kick from the left to make it 2-1.

Jordan Ayew curled a free kick inches wide just before the break but the Swans were heading for the drop.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

In the second half Ayew went close again as Stoke sat back and soaked up pressure but Swansea had simply ran out of steam.

Stoke missed a penalty as Fabianski denied Shaqiri after a handball call in the box and Swansea just couldn’t find an equalizer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the final whistle the likes of Leon Britton and Fabianski were in tears as Swansea were relegated on the final day.