Stephane Sessegnon

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Man United interested in Fulham starlet

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Manchester United could be ready to replace Luke Shaw with the latest English left back blue-chip prospect.

According to The Guardian, Manchester United are prepared to bid $33.4 million for Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon while letting Shaw move to another club in January. Sessegnon, the cousin of former Sunderland and West Bromwich midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, was born in London and made his Fulham debut aged 16-years and 81-days in 2016.

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Since then, he’s made more than 50 appearances in all competitions for Fulham, scoring 13 goals, including a hat-trick this November in a wild 5-4 victory over Sheffield United.

The report states that while Man United are starting the bidding at $33.4 million, Fulham wouldn’t accept anything less than $40.1 million. Tottenham are reportedly also interested in both Ryan and his brother Stephen, but should Ryan move to Manchester United, Spurs could look to sign Shaw, who’s played just once in the Premier League and sparingly in cup competitions this season.

It’s unclear whether Sessegnon is ready for the bright lights of Manchester United, but he may find out soon enough whether he can sink or swim.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from across England and Europe:

(more…)

Free agents: Flamini to Crystal Palace? Chamakh, Sissoko trial with WBA

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With the transfer window closed, Premier League teams have turned to out-of-contract players for their squads.

There are plenty of rumored deals out there and we’ll delve into them here as well as give you some names to monitor moving forward.

[ MORE: Yaya out of City’s UCL roster ]

Victor Anichebe has already been scooped up by Sunderland, and Marouane Chamakh and Mohamed Sissoko are on trial at West Bromwich Albion today, where the Baggies face the Indian Super League’s Delhi Dynamos.

The Guardian claims that Crystal Palace could land longtime Arsenal man Mathieu Flamini, though the Frenchman is wanted by a number of teams across Europe.

Among the other recognizable and available Premier League names are Stephane Sessegnon, Charles N'Zogbia, Kevin Nolan, Bobby Zamora, Leon Osman, and Junior Hoilett.

Longtime Juventus man Martin Caceres is 29 and was expected to sign with AS Roma once rehabilitated from an achilles injury, but has yet to make anything official. We’re only mentioning the slight possibility because, when healthy, he’s quite good.

Not a lot to love there for those looking for help.

Premier League 2016-17 season preview: West Bromwich Albion

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The Baggies have forced themselves into the yearly top flight conversation, as they make their way towards their seventh consecutive season in England’s top flight, but could this be the year things go sour?

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Since promotion in 2008, West Brom have gone from perennial relegation candidates to mid-table contenders. However, yet still to take that next step towards a top-half finish, a poor finish to last campaign and a quiet transfer window has supporters worried headed into the 2016/17 season.

West Brom failed to record a single win in their final nine league games of the season headed into this summer, and the stretch run is often a relatively solid litmus test of what is to come.

[ MORE: Every PL season preview ]

The club has added Matt Phillips from QPR in the summer to replace the departed Stephane Sessegnon, but still have yet to find a reinforcement for Nigerian striker Victor Anichebe, and with Saido Berahino coming off a very poor season, the attacking ranks are quite thin. The club was ready to break its transfer record for Diafra Sakho, but the player had some fitness concerns and the deal was scrapped.

Chris Brunt, a Baggie since 2007, is coming off an ACL tear that left his chances of playing in Euro 2016 in tatters, and could be replaced by one of a host of different West Brom defenders in the squad.

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The Baggies will make a move up the table if…they grasp Pulis-ball to the fullest, play for their manager, and get a few attacking reinforcements. The squad as it stands is not relegation quality, but without another attacker and a focused Berahino, the strike unit is very underwhelming. If this team can figure out how to score goals to go along with the defensive work rate, the club will end up with more than a few impressive results.

More likely, however, they’ll be near the bottom again…Berahino still could be off. While the club usually leaves things to the end of the transfer window, the way things stand is somewhat worrisome. Nobody outside of Rondon hit double-digit goal tally last season across all competitions, and a right-back was their second-leading scorer. Goals are the key to success this season.


Best Possible XI

—– Myhill —–

— Dawson — McAuley — Evans — Chester —

—– Yacob —–

 —-Phillips —- Gardner —- Fletcher —- McLean —-

—— Rondon ——


Transfers In: Matt Phillips ($7m, Queens Park Rangers).

Transfers Out: Victor Anichebe (Free, Unattached), Anders Lindegaard (Free, Preston North End), Stephane Sessegnon (Free, Unattached).

Last Season: The Baggies did just enough last season to remain relatively obscure for most of the year. They hovered around the 12-15 position for almost the entire year, Tony Pulis‘s first full campaign with the club after saving them from relegation the last. Unfortunately, the nine-match winless run to end the year is most fresh on the supporters’ minds, and Pulis will need to put that to bed with a solid start to this new season to keep in the good graces of his bosses.

PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion in action during the pre-season friendly between Plymouth and West Bromwich Albion at Home Park on July 30, 2016 in Plymouth, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Star Player: Saido Berahino – Salomon Rondon was last year’s top goalscorer, but the brightest talent on the squad is the 21-year-old…or so we thought. After the club fought tooth and nail to keep him at the Hawthornes, fending off interest from plenty top-tier English clubs, Berahino rewarded them with a paltry four league goals last season, including just one after November. It was looking like he could be headed elsewhere should the club sign Sakho, but with that transfer off, they may not be able to afford selling Berahino, meaning they’ll need him to produce. He seemed disinterested for much of last season, and was a fringe player as a result. If he wants to return to the starting lineup, he’ll need to prove his intentions are pure, and the best way to do that is by putting the ball in the back of the net.

Coach’s Corner: Tony Pulis is known for his direct style of play, and it fits perfectly with the squad available to him at the Hawthornes. Pulis-ball will be back and bigger than ever this year, and they’ll need to deliver for their experienced boss if they have any hopes of staying in the league. Pulis is an expert in avoiding the drop, but not much else, having personally finished between 11th and 14th for eight consecutive seasons.

PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Tony Pulis, manager of West Bromwich Albion gestures during the pre-season friendly between Plymouth and West Bromwich Albion at Home Park on July 30, 2016 in Plymouth, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

PST Predicts: West Brom will find them outside the relegation zone, but only because there are even thinner squads out there. It’s going to be a struggle this year, with few attacking options outside the unsettled Berahino, but the squad has enough defensive experience and depth to make it through unscathed. Pulis just flat out doesn’t get relegated.

West Brom 0-1 Watford: Berahino has two PKs saved

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  • Berahino misses two PK
  • Watson’s first half goal enough
  • First win in 7 for Watford

Watford beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday with Ben Watson‘s first half strike the difference.

Watson flicked home before the half hour mark to put Watford ahead, then West Brom spurned two glorious opportunity to score. Saido Berhaino had two penalty kicks saved in the second half by the brilliant Heurelho Gomes.

With the win Watford secured its first victory for seven games, moving on to 41 points. West Brom remain on 40 points.

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After an even start Watford — the lowest scorers in the PL in 2016 before this game — opened the scoring through Watson.

Adlene Guedioura whipped in a corner to the near post and Watson nipped in to flick home into the far corner. 1-0 to the Hornets.

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In the second half West Brom came close to equalizing as Gareth McAuely’s header was superbly tipped away by Gomes.

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Troy Deeney had a shot saved well by Ben Foster and then West Brom were handed a great opportunity to draw level. Berahino was taken down by Gomes in the box and a penalty kick was awarded.

However, Berahino’s penalty was saved by Gomes and Watford remained ahead as Tony Pulis held his head in his hands.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on Stephane Sessegnon was fouled in the box as Berahino again stepped up and sent his penalty the other way but Gomes saved again. Watford’s goalkeeper was the hero as they warmed up for their FA Cup semifinal at Wembley against Crystal Palace next weekend in style.

Premier League roundup: Villa, Newcastle continue to suffer; Man City wins

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The Premier League’s relegation picture looks a bit clearer on Saturday, while Arsenal and West Ham United opened up the Top Four race for Manchester United and others.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Hyndman scores for Fulham ]

Manchester City 2-1 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Stephane Sessegnon‘s stunner of an early goal boosted the Baggies to an early lead, but City came back to keep control of its Top Three hopes with goals from Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero. And, man, how good is Kevin De Bruyne?!?

West Ham United 3-3 ArsenalRECAP

Andy Carroll could’ve been sent off of the last London Derby match at the Boleyn Ground. Instead, he scored twice just before halftime and again just after the break as West Ham and Arsenal staged a thriller. Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez scored for the Gunners.

Swansea City 1-0 ChelseaRECAP

Gylfi Sigurdsson, quite simply, is keeping his Welsh side in the Premier League. The Icelandic wizard has 11 goals this year, and nine of those have come since the start of 2016. Chelsea loses its first match under Guus Hiddink.

Southampton 3-1 Newcastle United — RECAP

Rafa Benitez is still without a win as Newcastle boss, as Saints rattled the Magpies makeshift defense and third-string keeper to build a 3-0 lead. With a center mid at left back and Steven Taylor next to him, Graziano Pelle, Shane Long and Victor Wanyama all scored in the route. Andros Townsend netted a beauty late, and maybe that will keep him in the Premier League next year because Newcastle’s chances look grim.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Norwich City — RECAP

Ring the bells! Palace has its first win of 2016, and it couldn’t have come in a bigger occasion. Jason Puncheon‘s goal pushed the Eagles past Norwich, more importantly moving them 10 points clear of the drop and six clear of 17th place Norwich. The Canaries are four points clear of Sunderland, which plays Sunday.

Aston Villa 1-2 BournemouthRECAP

Thanks to the Norwich loss, Villa hasn’t been formally relegated but it’s coming. The Villans managed a goal after going down 2-0 on goals from Steve Cook and Joshua King, but it was little consolation.

Watford 1-1 EvertonRECAP

All of the goals for these struggling sides came within the final three minutes before halftime, as James McCarthy and Jose Holebas each netted for their sides.