West Ham: Chicharito plus $45M to Marseille for World Cup winner?

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Florian Thauvin left the Premier League a transfer bust, and may be returning for a lot more money as a World Cup champion.

Thauvin, 26, is being linked with a move to West Ham United for $45 million and the services of Mexican national team star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

[ MORE: Lukaku latest ]

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren couldn’t coax a single goal out of Thauvin in 2015-16, and he was quickly back at Marseille.

He then scored 15, 26, and 15 goals over the next three seasons, breaking into the French national team and playing a single minute in France’s World Cup victory. Here’s the thing, though: you can’t prove they would’ve won it without that minute.

Hernandez has scored 15 Premier League goals in the two seasons since he arrived from a Bundesliga run with Bayer Leverkusen. He’s earned just two of his 108 caps since the 2018 World Cup, scoring against Paraguay after a sub’s turn versus Chile in March 2019.

Good deal for the Irons? Marseille probably likes what it sees from its end.

Tottenham boss Pochettino compares Spurs to Formula One driver

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Mauricio Pochettino is an avid Formula One racing fan, and he used an analogy from the popular racing series to help explain the razor thin margins at the top of the Premier League.

“You can be a winner but if you don’t have the tools to win, it’s difficult,” Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tottenham’s match against Newcastle United on Saturday. “If you have the car to win and you are good, then you win.”

Pochettino seemed to hint at his disappointment of injury-riddled Tottenham failing to add reinforcements in the January transfer window, the second straight window they have come up empty. Specifically, Pochettino pointed to Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, winner of four of the last five titles with Mercedes, and compared him to 17-year veteran Fernando Alonso, a two-time Formula One champion who has struggled of late driving for McClaren.

“If you have the same car as another who is good, then one is going to win and the other is going to lose,” he said. “Take the example of Fernando Alonso and compare with Hamilton. If you put Hamilton in McLaren last season and Alonso in Mercedes, it’s the same result: Hamilton at the bottom and Alonso at the top.”

Pochettino believes the same theory holds true in the Premier League, as coaches are looking to put their players in the best positions to win. His point is that most players at the top clubs in Europe are all capable of beings successful if they are pushed in training, drilled with the proper mentality, and utilized correctly on the field.

But after being serious – and as Pochettino put it, “too honest” – about the realistic chances of Tottenham competing for this year’s title, he ended the press conference with a lighthearted anecdote.

“McLaren lent [Tottenham chairman] Daniel [Levy] two cars for a week to try and Daniel gave me one to try,” Pochettino said. “So I used it once from my house to the training ground and it was so dangerous I gave it back. It was a good lesson.”

Geoff Cameron ready for “fresh start” at QPR

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Geoff Cameron completed his loan move to Queens Park Rangers on Friday, with the U.S. national team veteran signing on loan until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

The former Houston Dynamo star has spent the past six seasons at Stoke City in the Premier League but on transfer deadline day in the English Football League he has decided to freshen things up.

Pro Soccer Talk understands there is an agreement that if a club come in with a permanent move for Cameron, 33, in January then he can move on.

But until then he is focused on helping Steve McClaren‘s side climb up the Championship table after a tough start to the season in England’s second-tier, with the R’s conceding 13 goals in five games and losing four of their first five matches.

Speaking from QPR’s training ground in west London after being handed the No.5 jersey, Cameron revealed he is eager to start a new chapter in his career as he’s fit and available to make his debut at Birmingham City this weekend.

“It’s a fresh start, a new beginning for me. I was at Stoke for six seasons and I think I needed a new beginning and I am happy to be here,” Cameron said. “I had a tough injury last year with a concussion which set me back a little but, then with Stoke getting relegated it was a decision over the summer that I wanted a change and needed something new. I’m glad everything worked out. I know the boss, Steve McClaren, has been interested in me before and it always excited me to play for him.”

Cameron cited McClaren’s belief and long-term interest in him as one of the main reasons for joining QPR, as he also wants to play regularly after difficult times at Stoke over the past 12 months.

Cameron was asked if his experience will be helpful to QPR this season as McClaren’s young squad aim to push for a top half of the table finish.

After making 168 Premier League appearances since 2012 for Stoke, there’s no doubt he will be able to bolster QPR’s options in defense and become a team leader on and off the pitch.

“I look at it as a challenge to come in and use my experience, it is an opportunity to take my game to the next level in that aspect of kind of becoming a leader,” Cameron said. “I know we have four, five guys with experience, with us coming in we can help the team.”

Cameron’s first game for QPR will be against Birmingham City on Saturday, with fellow loaness from Premier League clubs Tomer Hemed and Nakhi Wells also bolstering their squad for the long Championship season ahead.

Geoff Cameron to complete QPR move

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Pro Soccer Talk understands that U.S. national team star Geoff Cameron is close to sealing a loan move to Queens Park Rangers in England’s second-tier.

With the summer transfer window for clubs outside of the Premier League in England closing this Friday, Aug. 31, the Stoke defender has been mulling over plenty of options in recent weeks.

Cameron, 33, is travelling to London on Thursday for a medical and will sign at QPR on loan for the 2018-19 season.

Per a source, it is believed Cameron will be able to leave Stoke permanently in January if a deal is arranged between now and then. La Liga clubs were interested in signing Cameron right up until the transfer deadline by rules over the number of non-EU players per squad hampered any move to Spain’s top-flight, for now.

Teams from Major League Soccer, Spain and elsewhere in Europe remain interested in Cameron but a loan move for the next few months is the best situation for him to play regularly.

Cameron hasn’t played for Stoke this season under new manager Gary Rowett after making it clear he’d like to move on following their relegation from the Premier League.

The former Houston Dynamo man, who joined Stoke in 2012, will offer QPR boss Steve McClaren plenty of experience and options in both midfield and defense with his versatility.

QPR currently sit third from bottom in the Championship with three points from their opening five games. If he signs in time Cameron will be available to make his QPR debut at Birmingham City on Saturday.

Analyzing Benitez’s risk in reported Mitrovic out, Rondon in moves

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As Newcastle cut ties with Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of the Serbian striker Fulham move and Salomon Rondon seemingly moves into his old squad spot, it’s worth asking, at least in theory, whether the Magpies can defy the age math of the move.

There’s a load of well-earned respect amongst the Geordies for manager Rafa Benitez, who has rarely had time or patience for the productive but combustible Mitrovic.

[ MORE: Pochettino hopeful for signings as injuries pile up, deadline looms ]

Still just 23, the powerful forward had an amazing half-season on loan at Fulham and was a handful for defenses at the World Cup.

But Benitez has kept a short leash on Mitrovic since he took the reigns at St. James Park. Mitrovic scored 12 goals in 17 Championship matches for Fulham after scoring just five times in 31 appearances between the Championship and Premier League for Newcastle from 2015-17 (His first year at Newcastle was a nine-goal, four-assist, two red card campaign under Steve McClaren and then Benitez).

Given Mitrovic’s young age and success rate at Craven Cottage, there’s no reason for Fulham not to spend the reported $28 million.

The Magpies are expected to use a lot of that money to sign big West Bromwich Albion forward Rondon, who has scored 24 goals in three seasons as the focal point of one of the Premier League’s most conservative attacks.

Newcastle’s bet has to be that Benitez believes that feeding pieces around Rondon — Ayoze Perez, Yoshimori Muti, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin and Kenedy — are going to produce more feast-able material for the big man than the Baggies’ recent pieces (Chris Brunt, Matty Phillips, Kieran Gibbs, Jay Rodriguez, Jake Livermore, and James McClean).

Mitrovic played with such fury that cards were never too far away. Rondon is no shrinking violet, but has only taken one red in his career (going head-first into Bournemouth opposition, who was doing the same).

This is a pretty big risk for Benitez, who is one even marginally-big Mitrovic season away from having a $40-plus million striker on his hands. But Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s stingy nature has forced Benitez to find creative solutions to his squad needs.

Rondon is a short-term fix and the striker market is never going to be low cost, but the Magpies do have plenty of crossers and playmakers should they stay healthy. Might Rondon be the tonic for an attack dreadfully shy of finishers last season? He’s no doubt an upgrade on Joselu and Dwight Gayle, but that’s not saying a ton.

It’s not a big gamble, but admittedly it’s a gamble. Rondon can be a 10-goal man with terrific hold-up play for teammates, but a behaved Mitrovic has 15-20 in his locker. That’s asking a lot though.