Dieumerci Mbokani

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Hull City loses big forward Mbokani for critical stretch

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Dieumerci Mbokani was a force in Hull City’s 1-1 draw with Burnley this weekend, but the Tigers will have to continue their relegation scrap without him.

Mbokani, 31, picked up a hamstring injury that will sideline the striker for six weeks, a stretch which includes critical six-pointers against Leicester City, Swansea City, and Middlesbrough.

[ MORE: Dempsey “fully cleared” ]

The giant Congolese center forward has not scored in 10 Premier League matches this season, but has featured often for new manager Marco Silva.

Hull has Oumar Niasse, Abel Hernandez, and Adama Diomande as potential center forwards in Mbokani’s stead.

Five most impactful signings of Premier League Transfer Deadline Day

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From panic buys to the resolution of long sagas, Wednesday’s Transfer Deadline Day was eventful and actually exciting.

Some deadline days see a flurry of loan deals and little else, but we had a bit of everything on Wednesday.

Moussa Sissoko finally found a home away from Newcastle, Mario Balotelli is off to France, and David Luiz (!!!) returned to Chelsea.

[ MORE: Every PL move from Deadline Day ]

But, in all honesty, the big names aren’t the Wednesday deals we think will really cut the muster. For those, read on.

5. Enner Valencia, loan with option to buy from West Ham to Everton — Watch out for this one, as the Hammers’ man could pair with Romelu Lukaku to be a potentially devastating problem for opposing Premier League defenses. With Ross Barkley and Idrissa Gueye in the midfield, Everton has done a ton to strengthen its run toward European qualification.

4. Marcos Alonso, permanent from Fiorentina to Chelsea — He’s solid, but more importantly represents an upgrade in depth and experience for the Blues’ back line. Alonso is the sort of back who fits Antonio Conte‘s desires, and will work well behind N'Golo Kante.

3. Dieumerci Mbokani, loan from Dynamo Kyiv to Hull — While Robbie Brady, Timm Klose, and Nathan Redmond got a lot of the headlines, Mbokani was a powerful part of the Canaries’ attack in an ill-fated campaign. At 30 he’s far from a long-term fix, but Mbokani should provide strength and skill to a Hull City side facing a very challenging campaign. Per 90 minutes, no one on Norwich touched him last year (courtesy advanced stats site Squawka):

http://www.squawka.com/football-player-rankings#performance-score#player-stats#english-premier-league|season-2015/2016#norwich#all-player-positions#16#37#10#0#90#08/08/2015#17/05/2016#season#1#all-matches#total#desc#90
Squawka.com

2. Jack Wilshere, loan from Arsenal to Bournemouth We want so badly to make this our No. 1 for many reasons, but can’t take that risk thanks to the risk presented by Wilshere’s injury history. For Jeff Mostyn, Eddie Howe, and the Cherries to win the rights to bring Wilshere to town is big for a lot of reasons. That Arsene Wenger allowed him to go is another. Frankly, this could be a game changer for two clubs’ PL fortunes.

— Honorable mention — Wilfried Bony is a nice pick-up for Stoke, but Bruno Martins Indi gives the club freedom to use Geoff Cameron in other ways. … Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is another good piece for Spurs’ attacking depth ahead of the UEFA Champions League.

  1. Islam Slimani, permanent from Lisbon to Leicester — The Algerian striker was sold on King Power Stadium by fellow Desert Warriors attacker Riyad Mahrez, and now gives the Foxes even more danger whether counterattacking or taking their talents to the opposition. With Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and Ahmed Musa joining Slimani, Leicester has the depth to dance in Europe.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 32

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Dieumerci Mbokani‘s last couple weeks surely fit in with the more poignant stories of the Premier League season.

[ MORE: Leicester-Saints recap | 3 thingsKoeman steams ]

The Congolese striker was a few minutes behind en route to the Brussels’ Zaventem airport, a delay that kept him safe from the horrible terrorist attacks that killed 31 people.

From the Eastern Daily Press:

“At the moment of the explosion, I was on the pavement outside,” Mbokani told Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.

“If we had been a minute earlier, we would have been dead. It is my wife who saved our lives. I wanted to get there earlier but she said, ‘Let’s wait for Nathan’ who was on the same flight. She told me he would arrive in a minute or two’. It is a miracle. I stayed calm at the time to assure my wife who was really hysterical. On getting back home, I went to get my boy from school and hugged him.”

Mbokani scored and had another called back in Norwich City’s crucial 3-2 win over Newcastle United, and he earns a place in the Premier League Team of the Week.

The win boosted Norwich four points clear of Sunderland and six ahead of Newcastle in the race for the PL’s final safety spot.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 32

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Robert Huth (Leicester City)

Midfielders: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Forwards: Pedro (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City)

Norwich striker Mbokani was at scene of Belgium attacks: “Shaken but unharmed”

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Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels are hitting even closer to home for Norwich City.

[ MORE: Norwich in for “next Vardy” ]

Canaries striker Dieumerci Mbokani was at Zaventem Airport in Brussels when the attacks happened, though he is fortunately safe and was not near the explosions.

From Canaries.co.uk:

The on-loan Dinamo Kiev striker was unharmed but shaken by the tragic events at the airport, in which a number of people were killed or injured.

The Club is in constant dialogue with Dieumerci, who has now returned home to be with his family.

Just horrifying stuff for Mbokani and the Norwich team, let alone the people of Belgium.

The Belgian national team canceled its practice and French authorities admitted they have big security concerns for this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France.

The DR Congo national has four goals in 19 appearances for Norwich this season.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 19

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With all 20 Premier League club having now played 19 games, we’re officially at the halfway point of the 2015-16 season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

The just-completed 19th round of PL fixtures saw a change at the top of the table, as Arsenal regained the league lead; another potential title contender emerge; the inevitable firing of Louis Van Gaal creep ever closer; and a candidate for game of the season.

From round no. 19 of PL fixtures, this week’s Premier League Team of the Week…

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 19 ARCHIVE ]

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Defenders: Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal), Wes Morgan (Leicester City)

Midfielders: Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)

Forwards: Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City), Romelu Lukaku (Everton)