Getty Images

Transfer news: Soumare to Liverpool; Lemar to Man United

Leave a comment

Transfer news continues to rumble on despite the lack of games due to the coronavirus pandemic, as plenty of the Premier League big boys are said to be in talks over summer signings.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Let’s take a look at some of the latest Premier League transfer news below.

Do Liverpool need a new box-to-box midfielder? Apparently so.

With Fabinho in and out of the team through injury, plus Naby Keita linked with a move back to RB Leipzig and James Milner becoming more of a bit-part player, it is perhaps one of the only areas where Jurgen Klopp can strengthen his incredible Liverpool squad.

A report from Spanish outlet Sport claims that Liverpool have held talks with Lille over signing Boubakary Soumare, 21, for some time and are keen on the young Frenchman.

Soumare was linked with a move to either Chelsea or Man United in January but remained at Lille and it appears he will have even more options this summer, or whenever the transfer window opens.

As for Man United, they are said to be interested in Atletico Madrid winger Thomas Lemar, 24, who has totally fallen out of favor with Diego Simeone.

After it looked like he could sign for Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal in the summer of 2017, Lemar joined Atletico from AS Monaco in 2018 but has struggled to adapt his game to La Liga and according to ESPN his agents have been in discussions with Man United earlier this week.

The French international has quality on the ball and is a fine dribbler and his arrival could perhaps spell the end at Man United for the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Perreira, as Lemar can operate across all three attacking midfield positions. Alongside the brilliant Bruno Fernandes, Lemar would provide something a little different for Man United’s attack with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford leading the line. Daniel James has faded a little in recent months after a strong start to life at Old Trafford but is still young but Lemar’s quality and experience would surely see him become a regular at Man United.

As the report notes, Lemar will not come cheap as he has three years left on his contract at Atletico but his direct dribbling style and pace on the counter would suit this Man United side very well. His qualities aren’t suite to the way Atletico play but that would not be the case at Man United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

USMNT forward Weah undergoes season-ending hamstring surgery

Timothy Weah
Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

United States men’s national team forward Timothy Weah will miss the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals and is a question for the start of World Cup qualifying after undergoing surgery.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Weah suffered a torn hamstring with Lille on Feb. 16, reports The Associated Press. He had just returned to the lineup after missing six months with another hamstring tear.

“Hopefully we can have him back for the start of next season,” said manager Christophe Galtier.

Weah, who turned 20 last week, has managed just 84 minutes for Lille this season after joining from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The injury-riddled season has also caused his USMNT cap total to stall at eight. He scored against Bolivia and has an assist versus Colombia, all in friendlies.

The son of football legend and Liberian president George Weah, Timothy Weah had two goals in six appearances for PSG and a 17-appearance loan with Celtic. He scored four goals with an assist in Scotland.

USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter will hope Weah can get back to health before CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in the Fall, but he would’ve planned to give him plenty of run before then. Harsh times for the youngster. Get well soon.

USMNT starlet Weah returns to Lille training after long absence

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

American winger Timothy Weah is finally back training with Lille, five months after arriving on a $12 million deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

Weah started Lille’s Ligue 1 opener as an attacking mid and came off the bench in the second match on Aug. 17 before suffering a long-term injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The “bad hamstring tear” cost the 19-year-old the chance to stake his claim to a spot in Lille’s young attack. Blossoming center forward Victor Osimhen (21) has 10 goals and four assists this season while attacking mid Jonathan Ikone has three and three.

A former Golden Boy nominee, Weah scored twice in six first team matches for PSG before going on loan to Celtic. His half-season in Scotland saw four goals and an assist in 17 appearances.

Lille’s fourth-place finish in its Champions League group mean its European season is over, but the side is still plenty busy.

Lille sits fourth in Ligue 1 with 31 points, two back of third and 14 behind leaders PSG. The club beat Amiens in the French League Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday and is in the French Cup’s Round of 32.

Will Weah be back in action before his 20th birthday on Feb. 22?

Chelsea controls Lille to clinch UCL knockout round berth

Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chelsea advanced to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds as the second team out of Group H after a 2-1 defeat of Lille at Stamford Bridge that flattered the visitors.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta scored for Chelsea on a rain-splattered night in London, with Lille scoring via the Blues’ old friend Loic Remy.

Valencia beat Ajax in the other Group H match to send last season’s semifinalists to the Europa League.

Three things we learned

1. Uneven finishing almost undoes Blues: Make no mistake about the fact that Chelsea was in total control of this match right up until the point they looked at the scoreboard following Loic Remy’s 78th minute strike. Chelsea’s two goals came from a remarkable nine shots on target, and this could’ve been over long before any lone concession put the result in jeopardy. It happens to youngish teams, sure, but jeopardy came out of almost nothing, truly.

2. All roads lead to Abraham: You can read more about Pulisic’s strong day here, but he was one of three or even four players who drove Chelsea to so many of the above chances. Pulisic’s chemistry with Kovacic is a very real, but both joined Willian and N’Golo Kante in bamboozling the Lille backs.

3. Well, give the keeper some credit: Mike Maignan was Lille’s captain at age 24 in a Champions League match, and nothing he did made the arm band anything other than fitting. Six saves — four from inside the box — joined a clearance, a high claim, and two aerial duels won in making for an impressive afternoon.

Man of the Match: Kovacic, who won nearly duel he entered and barely put a pass wrong.

The match started under heavy rain, both sides adapting to the slick ball and pitch.

Tammy Abraham couldn’t find Pulisic with an early flick, and the American winger spun a left-footed shot wide of the far post in the 10th minute.

Emerson Palmeiri ripped wide of the goal and then Abraham did the same after an N’Golo Kante shot was blocked into his path.

Pulisic played a big role in Chelsea’s breakthrough, dribbling across the 18 before finding Willian, who drove the touch line and cut back for Abraham’s tap-in.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

It was 2-0 before long, Azpilicueta darting to the front post to turn a header home off a corner kick.

Great header, bad defense here:

The Blues were superior in nearly every moment of the match, with Willian and Pulisic very much at the forefront. Lille did a decent job of keeping them from truly dangerous positions, and Abraham had a little trouble finding his finish when the duo found him.

Jonathan Bamba cued up Remy’s 78th minute goal, as Frank Lampard and his men suddenly had a match to play.

Azpilicueta probably lost his Man of the Match nod when he allowed the Bamba cross to get through, though it was admittedly clever work.

LIVE, UCL: Chelsea’s last 16 hopes on the line; Inter, Dortmund need wins

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It is chaos across the UEFA Champions League for as the group stage finales kick off on Tuesday.

Across multiple groups there is plenty on the line going into the final 90 minutes of action, with plenty of giants scrambling to reach the knockout round.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

In Group H Chelsea host Lille and Ajax host Valencia as three of the four teams in the group can still win and qualify for the last 16. One will miss out.

Frank Lampard‘s Blues are the favorites to advance but it won’t be straightforward, even against the team guaranteed to finish bottom of the group, Lille.

Chelsea know they will reach the last 16 with a win at home but Ajax only need a draw to make the last 16, while Valencia need a win at Ajax to advance. Chelsea will also reach the last 16 if they draw against Lille and Ajax beat Valencia.

[ MORE: Who needs what to reach UCL last 16? ]

Elsewhere, Inter Milan host Barcelona knowing a win at the San Siro against the Group F winners will put them through. But Borussia Dortmund know if they beat Slavia Prague at home and Inter lose or draw against Barcelona, they will instead reach the last 16.

In Group G, Leipzig are already through but both Lyon and Zenit can join them in the last 16, while Benfica are out of contention.

Below is the full schedule for the last UCL games on Tuesday, as all games kick off at 3 p.m. ET and you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.


Group F
Borussia Dortmund v. Slavia Prague
Inter Milan v. Barcelona

Group G
Lyon v. Leipzig
Benfica v. Zenit

Group H
Chelsea v. Lille
Ajax v. Valencia