Jordan Rhodes

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Premier League preseason roundup: Leicester comes from behind, Hull wins, West Ham pegged late

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Leicester City needed a comeback, but they prevailed in their first preseason friendly, a 2-1 victory over League One side Oxford United at Kassam Stadium in Oxford.

The hosts got on the board first with Chris Maguire burying a free kick 14 minutes in. But Leicester City took control from there, and goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and 20-year-old Demarai Gray put the Foxes into a winning position. Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth, Danny Drinkwater and Wes Morgan all featured for Leicester, while new signing Ahmed Musa also logged minutes. 18-year-old hometown kid Hamza Choudhury started next Drinkwater in N'Golo Kante‘s old position.

The Foxes weren’t the only Premier League side on a winning end today as Hull City brushed aside League Two side Mansfield Town 1-0 at One Call Stadium. 20-year old Jarrod Bowen scored the game’s only goal, but there were two other talking points. On the positive side, Peter Odemwingie featured for the Tigers on trial, as the experienced striker looks for a new club. Unfortunately for Hull, captain Michael Dawson was injured, picking up damage to his MCL.

[ MORE: Full Premier League preseason schedule ]

West Ham went to Austria to take on Czech side FC Slovacko, and put in a positive performance before two late goals pegged them back to a 2-2 draw. Mark Noble bagged a long-range goal and Ashley Fletcher added a header just after halftime to put the Hammers up 2-0, but with Slaven Bilic having taken out most of the regulars as the game wound down, the Slovacko scored twice in the final five minutes.

Middlesbrough is gearing up for a return to the Premier League, but they have some work to do after a 2-1 loss to La Liga club Real Betis in Marbella, Spain. Jordan Rhodes scored his third goal of the preseason in the second half, but it was too little too late after Dani Ceballos and Ruben Castro had put the Spaniards comfortably ahead. The match was quite the step up in quality for Aitor Karanka’s side, having beaten lower-division sides York City and Doncaster so far.

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Burnley came from behind, needing a late goal to draw level with League Two minnows Morecamb, finishing with a 1-1 scoreline. There was plenty of squad rotation, but Morecambe took the lead midway through the second half before Andre Gray brought it back level 10 minutes later.

Finally, Watford downed 2.Bundesliga club Union Berlin 3-1 in Austria behind goals from Etienne Capoue, Troy Deeney and Steven Berghuis. Capoue needed just 13 minutes to put the Hornets ahead, and Deeney bagged one from the penalty spot just before halftime. Odion Ighalo was also bright, assisting Capoue’s opener and nearly scoring soon after.

Middlesbrough changes mind on new striker twice, Rhodes deal off

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Proper treatment of players is often a talking point during transfer windows. With teams wheeling and dealing, often up to the last minute, players can often be left in the dark about where their final destination will be.

Championship side Middlesbrough is suddenly under fire in the player treatment department.

According to multiple reports across England, first from The Telegraph’s John Percy, Middlesbrough was on the verge of completing the purchase of Blackburn strike Jordan Rhodes until they decided to call off the deal at the last second. This comes days after their reported attempts to secure Fulham frontman Ross McCormack that didn’t come to fruition either.

[ WATCH: Transfer Deadline Day show live, Monday, 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra ]

Percy writes that Rhodes had met with the club on Saturday, but that Sunday morning Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson “had a dramatic change of heart.” The cancelled deal left the 25-year-old “baffled and disappointed” according to the Daily Mail, and puts him in a very awkward situation back at Blackburn.

Middlesbrough released a statement immediately following the reports that simply stated they had “held talks with Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes over the weekend but have failed to agree terms,” which was the same ending the McCormack deal came to.

With one of the best defensive records in the Championship over the last two years – just 14 goals allowed this season – Middlesbrough sits in a promotion position at the moment, but has been looking to bolster its goalscoring abilities for the last few weeks. It seems they can make up their minds about who to acquire, because hanging both McCormack and Rhodes out to dry isn’t exactly a good look. It’s possible agents or team valuation had a something to do with both deals falling apart, but having advanced so far in talks twice only for both to fail appears to cast the club in poor light.

They could now go back to McCormack, except that oops, he’s probably staying at Fulham.