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Transfer rumors: Man Utd after pair of midfielders; Liverpool eyes Lascelles

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The transfer rumors continue as players hope to have their futures sorted ahead of next month’s World Cup.

Manchester United is being linked with a pair of big money midfielders.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Anderson Talisca, 24, could be leaving Besiktas to join United following a $47 million offer, according to Metro. His 14 goals were fourth in the Turkish Super Lig and his seven assists tied for the team lead. He scored four more times in eight UEFA Champions League matches.

And then there’s highly-sought box-to-box midfielder Jean Michael Seri of Nice, linked with United as well as Manchester City. Club president Jean-Pierre Rivere hinted that the 26-year-old would certainly be headed somewhere this offseason.

Mika Seri is … a very good player who has brought a lot to the club and can legitimately have that desire to go and play abroad.”

— Liverpool could really strengthen its center back situation by buying captain Jamaal Lascelles from Newcastle United, though the hinted fee of $19 million seems low for an integral part of the Magpies’ back line (especially given that English players usually net higher fees on account of being English).

And Lascelles has said Newcastle “is the right club for me at the right time. We have a huge fanbase, an amazing manager, and this club is massive. It has so much history.”

The Chronicle also said Liverpool is also looking at Burnley star center back James Tarkowski, and that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has his eye on 19-year-old Sevilla mid Alejandro Viedma.

— A wild rumor out of Diario Gol says Alvaro Morata is set to fight for his starting role at Chelsea and is encouraging Real Madrid buddy Marco Asensio to join him at Stamford Bridge. The report says Asensio would be an important part of any Chelsea sale of Eden Hazard.

— Cardiff City is said to be signing Hamburg striker Sven Schipplock when his Hamburg contract expires in June. He did not score for HSV last season.

Premier League season reviews: Clubs 14-10

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With the 2017/18 Premier League season now done and dusted, it’s time to review the campaign for all 20 clubs.

[ MORE: Grades for all 20 PL clubs ]

Below we continue our season reviews by analyzing the key moments, the star men and how the managers performed for the teams who finished 14th to 10th in the PL table.

[ MORE: Clubs 20-15 | Clubs 9-5 ]

Let’s get to it…


Watford

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Final place: 14th with 40 points
Defining moment: Sacking new manager Marco Silva just six months into his reign. The Portuguese coach had his head turned by interest from Everton and everything fell apart after a superb start which had them in the top four. Sacking Silva in January undoubtedly refocused the players and saved Watford’s season.
Biggest victory: The comeback 2-1 win against Arsenal in October which pushed Watford into the top four and had the Hornets faithful dreaming of European qualification.
Low point: Losing 4-1 at home against newly-promoted Huddersfield in December was a crushing blow for Silva and he never really recovered. The defeat came amid a run of just one win in 11 games.
Star man: Abdoulaye Doucoure was the star man for the Hornets (and their top scorer with seven goals) and it will be very surprising if he remains at Vicarage Road over the summer. The two-way midfielder can score and defend and has a little bit of everything. Seems ready for a top six club. Richarlison should also get a shoutout for his fine start to the season.
Manager(s) marks out of 10: Marco Silva (4/10), Javi Gracia (5/10)
Grade for the season: C+


West Ham

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Final place: 13th with 42 points
Defining moment: After four defeats in five and ugly scenes as fans ran onto the pitch during a home defeat to Burnley, David Moyes‘ men went into a crunch relegation clash against Southampton knowing they had to win. They did and they were 3-0 up at half time. Emphatic.
Biggest victory: Following zero wins in eight games, West Ham beat London rivals Chelsea 1-0 at home to spark Moyes’ men into life. Arnautovic’s early goal stunned the Blues and the Hammers could’ve won by a bigger margin.
Low point: The 3-0 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion under Slaven Bilic has to be up there but there’s no doubt that the ugly scenes in March during their defeat to Burnley was the low point. Fan protests against owners David Sullivan, David Gold and Karen Brady will continue as fans revolt against their stadium move to the cavernous London Stadium.
Star man: Marko Arnautovic is the clear winner here. Many raised eyebrows when West Ham paid Stoke $28 million for him last summer but after a dodgy start (a red card against Saints didn’t help) he flourished in a central role under Moyes, scoring 11 times as the top scorer.
Manager(s) marks out of 10: Slaven Bilic (3/10), David Moyes (7/10)
Grade for the season: D-


Bournemouth

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Final place: 12th with 44 points
Defining moment: It’s a long time ago now but after losing their first four games of the season, trailing Brighton 1-0 at home in the South Coast derby wasn’t ideal. Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe then struck twice late on to seal victory and Bournemouth’s tag of the “comeback kings” continue throughout the season.
Biggest victory: The win away at Chelsea on Jan. 31 came amid a massive purple patch as the Cherries shook off early-season woes to win four times in six games. Howe’s boys pushed themselves away from the relegation zone with their exploits from Boxing Day until February.
Low point: Probably the opening two months of the season which were demoralizing with six defeats in eight games, but they had a tough schedule with losses to Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal.
Star man: Nathan Ake was sublime for most of the season after he joined permanently following his successful loan spell at Bournemouth in the first half of last season. The Dutch center back has a bright future in the game.
Manager(s) marks out of 10: Eddie Howe (7/10)
Grade for the season: C+


Crystal Palace

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Final place: 11th with 44 points
Defining moment: When Frank De Boer was fired after just four games in charge. Roy Hodgson came in and worked wonders with Palace. Plus, Zaha’s return from injury was a huge boost and season-defining. He’s probably the best player in the PL who doesn’t play for one of the “top six” clubs.
Biggest victory: So many huge wins down the stretch with five victories in their final eight games, but you have to say the win against reigning champions Chelsea to snap their seven-game losing streak to start the season. That gave the Eagles players, fans and Hodgson belief they could get out of the relegation zone.
Low point: That start. Woof. Seven defeats on the spin (without scoring a single goal) to kick off the season in record-breaking fashion. Enough said.
Star man: There is only one star man at Palace: Wilfried Zaha is the top boy at Selhurst. His pace, trickery, goals and assists mean Palace will have to brush off several big-money offers for him this summer.
Manager(s) marks out of 10: Frank de Boer (0/10), Roy Hodgson (9/10)
Grade for the season: B


Newcastle United

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Final place: 10th with 44 points
Defining moment: The 3-0 home win against Southampton pulled them away from the relegation zone in March and sparked a run of four-straight wins which pushed them into midtable. Kenedy was unplayable during that stretch and the Rafalution was in full flow.
Biggest victory: The 1-0 home win against Manchester United in February was huge. Newcastle had won just twice in 13 PL games before that, but taking down Jose Mourinho’s side comfortably not only gave every at Newcastle hope they’d survive, it was also so sweet for Rafa…
Low point: Probably the 3-0 home defeat against Watford early in the season. That came smack bang in the middle of a run without a win in nine games.
Star man: Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made a massive impact when he arrived on loan from Sparta Prague in January, while Kenedy had a huge impact after his loan arrival from January. But Jonjo Shelvey turned it on in the second half of the season and his passing coupled with a defense led by Jamaal Lascelles made the difference. In all honesty, Newcastle’s success was due to a total team effort but Shelvely’s quality on the ball gets him the nod.
Manager(s) marks out of 10: Rafael Benitez (9/10)
Grade for the season: B+

Newcastle United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion: Not dead yet

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  • West Brom stays alive
  • Phillips continues NUFC mastery
  • Magpies outshoot WBA 17-8

West Bromwich Albion earned itself a stay of relegation with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Matty Phillips scored for the Baggies, who have 28 points and sit five points behind 17th place Swansea City. Interim manager Darren Moore has collected eight points in four matches.

Newcastle remains 10th with 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chances both ways early, with James McClean ripping a shot wide for West Brom and Dwight Gayle sending a low shot into the arms of Ben Foster.

The Baggies went ahead through a net-battering shot from Phillips, who took advantage of Jake Livermore‘s lid-opening pass cooking Paul Dummett.

Kenedy looked to have leveled the score in the 34th minute, trading passes with Ayoze Perez but dinking his shot off the outside of the post.

Mo Diame had a close shot deflected over the bar, and Newcastle were refused shouts for a penalty kick off the ensuing corner kick. Foster also made an outstanding in-tight save prior to the uncalled foul.

The counter attack saw Martin Dubravka make a fine save on Jay Rodriguez.

West Brom stayed stingy in the second half, hoping to avoid formalizing its Championship status for another week.

Diame had a second shot deflected out for a corner, and Jamaal Lascelles couldn’t get on the end of Jonjo Shelvey‘s attempt.

DeAndre Yedlin served a second ball into the mix, and substitute Joselu nodded his attempt wide in the 86th.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Benitez: 41 points an “amazing achievement” for promoted Newcastle

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Rafa Benitez has done a heck of a job with very few resources, and Newcastle United is now as close to 7th as it is to the drop zone following a 2-1 comeback win over Arsenal at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

[ RECAP: Newcastle 2-1 Arsenal ]

Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez had the goals, with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and captain Jamaal Lascelles just as important to the effort against a much-changed by powerful Gunners side.

Unable to land any of his top striker targets, Benitez got an assist from Leicester loanee Islam Slimani in the win that kept Newcastle unbeaten at home since the start of the new year.

Rumors of a club takeover and Benitez quitting abounded this winter, but the Magpies have rebounded behind a defense which has conceded the seventh-fewest goals in the league.

“I think we are safe with 41 points. It’s a massive achievement for the players, the city and the fans. I want to congratulate everyone.

“Today we didn’t play amazing football because we played an amazing team but you have to manage how you play and compete for the win.”

Newcastle has a match-in-hand on ninth-place Everton, and can leapfrog the Toffees with a win at Goodison Park next week. Not bad for a team which sat in 18th when the Gunners beat them 1-o in December.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Newcastle United

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Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles anchor Newcastle United’s effort to slow Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Magpies held the Reds 1-1 at St. James’ Park, but away is another story against Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Co.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Dejan Lovren pairs with Virgil Van Dijk in the center of Liverpool’s back line as the Reds aim to go second.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino. Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Gomez, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke, Matip

Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Murphy, Diame, Merino, Kenedy, Atsu, Gayle. Subs: Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden, Ritchie, Perez, Joselu