Raiola asesta otro golpe

No es por casualidad que tenga la etiqueta de Superagente. Mino Raiola lo ha vuelto a hacer. Mientras los grandes clubes de Europa se pelean y se posicionen por firmar a una estrella en ciernes, él ya le tiene en su escudería. Raiola acaba de firmar a a Zion Atta, como confirma el Daily Mail, el niño prodigio del Crystal Palace. El representante se asegura otro futuro golpe y se ha adelantado a muchos de los grandes clubes europeos, que ya se habían dirigido al jugador para tentarle. Ahora tendrá que pasar por él y ya saben lo que toca. 

Escudo/Bandera Crystal Palace

Era una carrera de velocistas y Raiola ha vuelto a ganar por la mano. La temporada pasada el Crystal Palace se defendió como pudo evitando que el jugador se marchara al City o al Liverpool, que se pelean por ficharle. Y el que ha aprovechado todo eso ha sido Raiola. El Ajax, la Roma y, como no, el Dortmund también habían llamado ya a su puerta, ahora tendrán que descolgar el siempre caliente teléfono del agente. Y el precio, se disparará. La maquinaria ya está en marcha. Atta rechazó firmar un contrato profesional con el Crystal Palace y ahora Raiola tomará los mandos.

El agente de Haaland entre otros muchos es garantía suficiente para la familia del jugador, que viene declinando becas y contratos profesionales para aclarar su futuro en la élite. El Crystal Palace le pagó al Milwall algo menos de 70.000 euros por Zion Atta hace tres años, cuando tenía 13. El extremo izquierdo es internacional Sub-16 con Inglaterra, pero todavía podría por lazos familiares jugar para Italia o para Costa de Marfil y tiene ya un contrato firmado con Adidas. 

Arteta eager to avoid a repeat of Ozil soap opera

Mikel Arteta is hoping that Arsenal never get themselves into a situation similar to the Mesut Ozil transfer saga which has lasted since June.

The German playmaker is on the cusp of a move to Fenerbahce, having been frozen out of the first-team picture at the Emirates since football’s Covid-19 enforced hiatus last spring.

transfers

Arsenal target Bertrand, Mbappe considers his future – Paper Round

6 HOURS AGO

With the Gunners struggling creatively throughout this season prior to the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe, Ozil was the focal point for attention, but Arteta is hoping lessons have been learned.

Madrid identify top two targets to replace Zidane – Euro Papers

“You don’t want to get into this position again, that’s for sure,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“Not for the player, not for the club – but it’s happening more and more at every club and this situation you can see in other clubs things happening like that.

“I think you have to have that communication open, obviously to prevent it as much as possible and if they happen, just make a decision and don’t try to delay a situation that is not working for much longer.”

Ozil is one of three players to be leaving north London this winter, with Sead Kolasinac having returned to Schalke on loan and Sokratis released from his contract by mutual agreement.

transfers

Arsenal land surprise deal as Ryan joins from Brighton

A DAY AGO

Premier League

Arteta urges Chelsea to keep faith with Lampard

YESTERDAY AT 09:58

Ibe relata su depresión: “Me encuentro en un lugar oscuro…”

Jordan Ibe ha querido relatar abiertamente el duro momento personal que está viviendo. No es habitual ver a un futbolista hablar sin tapujo de un tema como la depresión y menos cuando ha alcanzado la élite del fútbol. El extremo del Derby County, sin embargo, ha publicado un post en su cuenta de Instagram en el que se disculpa con todos los aficionados por lo que le está pasando. Se espera, eso sí, que pueda volver pronto a los terrenos de juego.

Quiero disculparme con todos los aficionados del mundo. Me encuentro en un lugar oscuro, debido a sufrir de depresión. No es un plan para los medios de comunicación o para que mi nombre esté en boca de todos. Simplemente encuentro las cosas difíciles de verdad. Agradezco todo el cariño y los mensajes de todos en todo el mundo. Son tiempos difícil en general, no solo para mí, sino para todos debido a esta pandemia. Tengo el apoyo total de toda mi familia y del Derby County. Me curaré a mí mismo y a esto, con lo que estoy cien por cien comprometido. No solo por mi familia, amigos cercanos o mi hermosa hija, sino por mí”, explica el futbolista a través de una historia en su cuenta de Instagram.

Hasta ahora, se desconocían los motivos por los que Jordon Ibe estaba apartado del equipo. Incluso el técnico Wayne Rooney contó en conferencia de prensa que se había iniciado una investigación interna. Dicho estudio concluyó, tal y como anunció la leyenda del Manchester United, pero se negó a desvelarlo públicamente. Es el propio jugador el que se ha encargado de darlo a conocer, pese a que sigue siendo un asunto tabú en la sociedad en general y en el deporte en particular. Pese a la reciente revelación, el propio entrenador reconoció que la vuelta del atacante a los entrenamientos es inminente.

Ampliar

El Derby County le espera con los brazos abiertos. Unos problemas de salud le dejaron fuera los primeros meses de competición. Incluso llegó a jugar con el equipo B para coger ritmo. Con los ‘mayores’, solo ha disputado tres minutos en lo que va de temporada con el Stoke City y se ha sentado en el banquillo ante Millwall, Brentford y Preston. Desde aquel 26 de diciembre, Ibe acumula cuatro partidos sin entrar en la lista, por los motivos que él mismo ha decidido contar en sus redes sociales.

Pese a que esta campaña todavía no ha ofrecido el nivel que se esperaba de él, Jordan Ibe apuntaba a un gran futbolista en la Premier League. Llegó a jugar doce partidos de Premier con el Liverpool, en la temporada 2014-15, con tan solo 19 años. En la siguiente gozó de más confianza, vistiendo la camiseta red en 27 ocasiones y con galones. No ofreció el rendimiento que se esperaba de él y se acabó marchando al Bournemouth. Tampoco vivió allí su etapa más brillante. Pese a ser titular, fue perdiendo cota de protagonismo. Se esperaba que en el Derby County recuperara su mejor versión y se asentara como un gran jugador de primera categoría en años posteriores. Por el momento, problemas varios y la depresión que sufre se lo han impedido. Pero, como él mismo dice, ya está más cerca de salir de su agujero.

Me encuentro en un lugar oscuro, debido a sufrir de depresión

Jordan Ibe

El ejemplo de Saúl

Pese a que el futbolista del Atlético de Madrid no ha mencionado en ningún momento la palabra depresión, sí que se ha atrevido a hablar públicamente de los problemas que ha tenido en los últimos meses por la situación que sufre como colchonero. El jugador ha perdido la titularidad y ha explicado delante de las cámaras que le ha afectado en el plano personal: “El fútbol no es solo once contra once, se siente mucho y lo que pasa en el césped se traslada a la familia, a la relación con las personas y si ves que no te sale es complicado, al final el trabajo paga. No es solo el trabajo que se ve, parece que se ve un jugador que va perdiendo confianza… Hay gente que no ayuda mucho, luego otra que sí y es con la que te quedas“.

Saúl, emocionado, agradeció a los aficionados todas las muestras de apoyo que le han dado en los últimos meses: “Tengo que dar las gracias a mucha gente. El otro día una parte de la afición vino a darme ánimos y eso ayuda mucho. Les doy las gracias y seguiré trabajando para que vuelvan a estar orgullosos del trabajo sobre el campo”. El caso del rojiblanco es uno más de entre todos aquellos jugadores que no pasan por una buena situación personal, pese a la idea generalizada de que un futbolista tiene una vida de ensueño. Jordan Ibe lo ha narrado públicamente y seguirá luchando por hacer frente a esta dura enfermedad.

“Havertz necesita que alguien lo zarandee ya”

Havertz es otro de los jugadores que está bajo sospecha en el Chelsea. El alemán ha supuesto una inversión astronómica para el club inglés. 80 millones pagados que todavía no se han visto reflejados en su rendimiento. El Chelsea apostó por Havertz para acompañar a Timo Werner, aplazando su intento por Oblak, al que el club inglés tenía entre ceja y ceja. Finalmente la inversión por el ex del Leverkusen y que no hubiera ofertas concretas por Kepa invitaron al Chelsea a centrarse en reforzar más su ataque. Havertz ha dejado muestras con cuentagotas, cada vez más exiguas. En la derrota contra el Leicester estuvo prácticamente desaparecido, mientras en el lado rival Maddison dictaba sentencia. 

Foto de Kai Havertz

Havertz tiene, sobre todo, un problema posicional, como lo tiene Werner en el Chelsea. Lampard anda todavía buscando cómo encajar a todo su arsenal sin debilitar aún más un equipo con un equilibro en entredicho, sobre todo si Kante no está en el campo. El caso es que la paciencia se acaba y sobre Havertz se están vertiendo ya críticas importantes. “Está muy bien decir que tiene que ser el principal jugador, pero está en un gran club y necesita que eso suceda ya mismo. Ahora es el momento de brillar”, asevera Huth en Stadium Astro. El que fuera central alemán del Chelsea cree que a Havertz no le ha sentado nada bien salir de su zona de confort en Leverkusen y que el traspaso exige que madure rápido para guiar a un equipo del más alto nivel. A Huth no le gustan las maneras de Havertz, desconectado. “Simplemente no me gusta su lenguaje corporal en absoluto, parece un poco frágil. Es su primer año, pero parece que a veces no le molesta. Pierde la pelota, la regala y no vuelve a trabajar. Es un momento difícil para venir con algo así, pero lo ves y solamente piensas que necesita que alguien lo zaradee para que reaccione”, sentencia el defensa que vivió un caso parecido cuando era jugador del Leicester.

Escudo/Bandera Chelsea

“Teníamos a Mahrez en el Leicester y mejoró mucho, pero el equipo fue el que le implicó diciéndole: ‘No puedes jugar solamente en un lado del campo, o aparecer solamente durante 10 minutos del partido”, afirma. Huth cree que en esta fase de reconstrucción del Chelsea faltan hombres fuertes sobre los que asentar la idea y que tiren de los demás. “Quizá el Chelsea carece de ese líder o líderes internos que pueden sacar ese tipo de conversaciones. No siempre es una buen trago tener esa conversación cuando no se está desempeñando bien, pero es algo que debe suceder. Necesita que alguien le diga lo que se necesita para jugar en la Premier League. Tal vez todo el vestuario”, esgrime Huth.

Vardy facing a few weeks out due to hernia operation

Leicester City’s in-form striker Jamie Vardy will be sidelined for a few weeks to have a hernia operation, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Friday.

Vardy, 34, has scored 11 Premier League goals this season and is in the running for the Golden Boot but Rodgers said the hernia operation could not be put off any longer.

Premier League

Draw ‘the least Leicester deserved’ – Rodgers

26/12/2020 AT 15:30

“Jamie Vardy will be out for a few weeks. We’ve been managing him over these number of months and he’s been fantastic but we have a window now that allows him to have an operation on his hernia. Then he’ll be back,” Rodgers told reporters.

“It’s one that doesn’t keep him out for too long. It’s a repair around that area. It’s one that we feel we can’t put off much longer.

“This is a window where we can get it done. That will leave him with a good opportunity to be influential.”

Leicester, who visit Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, play Everton, Leeds United, Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league in the coming weeks before hosting champions Liverpool on February 13.

Rodgers said he expected Spaniard Ayoze Perez to fill the void in Vardy’s absence, even if he does not have similar traits such as the English striker’s pace.

Madrid identify top two targets to replace Zidane – Euro Papers

“We’ve played without Jamie before and scored and won,” Rodgers added. “When you don’t have one of the top strikers in the league, it’s always going to be disappointing.

“It’s not overly concerning. It’s our best chance of getting him back. Ayoze Perez is a natural striker, he doesn’t threaten the backline as quickly as Vardy but he’s a great finisher.”

Premier League

Leicester can cope with Premier League pressure, says Rodgers

26/12/2020 AT 10:43

Premier League

Vardy pounces in last minute to give Leicester win at Sheffield United

06/12/2020 AT 15:09

Lampard hits out at Chelsea journalist over 'confirmation bias'

Frank Lampard launched an astonishing attack on a journalist at his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Luton in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Chelsea boss is under huge pressure following a poor run of five defeats in their last eight games in the Premier League.

Premier League

Arteta urges Chelsea to keep faith with Lampard

5 HOURS AGO

He cut a forlorn figure in his post-match interviews following the defeat to Leicester on Tuesday, and it appears his mood has not improved over the past couple of days.

The Athletic’s Liam Twomey asked Lampard a question about whether Petr Cech could help lend his experience if the players are low on confidence at the moment, and received a response he was not expecting.

“To be fair, Liam, I think their confidence would be shot if they read some of the pieces you are writing at the minute,” Lampard said. “I read some of them and some of the confirmation bias that you always reflect on games with. It is almost like a social media pundit to try and get a reaction in a negative way.

“I read the pieces when we were going well and they did not go both ways.

“So for a journalist to be objective would be a big start, as if players do read it I’d feel like that.”

Twomey took to Twitter with a response, saying: “I’m reluctant to respond at all because I’m really not important to what’s happening at Chelsea (certainly not enough to be discussed in a presser), but I’ll just say I respectfully disagree with Lampard’s opinion of my objectivity.

“Good or bad, it’s never personal.”

Lampard was also asked about his own future, and has insisted he does not give speculation any attention.

“I don’t listen to it (speculation), it is only everywhere if you want to scroll through social media,” he said. “I don’t do that, I’m not stupid. I know what pressure comes with managing a top football club but the talk doesn’t matter to me.”

When pressed on whether he had any conversations with the club’s board, Lampard said: “I don’t want to talk about private conversations. The situation changes when you are a manager, you have a lot more conversations with the hierarchy.

“My concern is not the pressure on me, I understand how it goes. The pressure needs to be positive on the players. I don’t mind taking it. The players want to get some form back.”

Premier League

‘Not a tier-one manager’ – Do Chelsea need Hasenhuttl, not Tuchel?

A DAY AGO

transfers

‘Not convinced he can challenge Klopp or Pep’ – Is Tuchel really the man for Chelsea?

A DAY AGO

City blow: De Bruyne faces six weeks out with hamstring injury

Manchester City have been dealt a crushing blow with confirmation that Kevin De Bruyne is likely to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

The inspirational Belgium international limped out of City’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Premier League

Aguero suffers fresh setback with Covid-19 diagnosis

A DAY AGO

Reports swirled as to the severity of the issue, and it has been confirmed by manager Pep Guardiola that the midfielder could be sidelined until March.

“Kevin, like the doctor said today after reviewing the scan, will be four to six weeks out,” Guardiola said at a press conference ahead of City’s clash with Cheltenham in the FA Cup on Saturday.

“I’m not saying anything that anyone doesn’t know, it is unfortunate for him and for us and we have to find a solution because everyone in their own life is struggling in the situation we are living and we have to adapt.”

Kyle Walker will miss the game at Cheltenham, but Guardiola said his hip complaint is not a serious one.

De Bruyne took to Twitch to provide his own update, saying he was ‘alright.’

“I’m alright,” he said. “I’m alright, part of football. It’s not too bad.

“I’m getting old you know, not a young chicken anymore. I’m thirty in the summer.”

‘We have to score goals – it’s not rocket science’ – Klopp after Burnley loss

If De Bruyne is out for six weeks, he would miss games with West Brom, Sheffield United, Burnley, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Borussia Monchengladbach, and West Ham.

A potential return date could be the Manchester derby on March 6.

Premier League

‘We need Aguero’ – Guardiola not sure when striker will return

19/01/2021 AT 15:05

transfers

Transfer news LIVE – United set sights on new defender

18/01/2021 AT 08:22

Saint-Maximin set to return for Newcastle after coronavirus illness

Newcastle United’s French winger Allan Saint-Maximin is set to return following two months out after suffering the long-term effects of coronavirus.

Saint-Maximin has not played for Newcastle since their 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea on November 21, but Bruce said he could feature in Saturday’s Premier League game at Aston Villa.

Premier League

Arsenal are back, plus motivational lessons from Steve Bruce – The Warm-Up

19/01/2021 AT 08:28

The 23-year-old returned to light training last week.

“The good news for everybody is that Saint-Maximin is in the squad,” Bruce told reporters. “He’s trained well all week and his fitness levels are very, very good.

“We have to get the balance right and I wouldn’t expect him to be starting but he’ll be in the squad.

He looks in decent shape, which is important and no doubt in this particular moment in time, he gives everyone a huge lift because we know how important he is, especially in the forward area.”

Argentine centre-back Federico Fernandez will be unavailable for the Villa game due to hamstring and muscle problems, while Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark are doubtful. Striker Dwight Gayle is unwell, but the 30-year-old tested negative for coronavirus.

Newcastle are 15th in the league, with 19 points from 18 games, and are without a win in nine games in all competitions. They have scored one goal in their last five league games.

Bruce said he was not worried about their goal drought and that the players were ready to fight to turn things around.

Madrid identify top two targets to replace Zidane – Euro Papers

“If Liverpool, the champions, can’t score for six hours then it shows how tough this league is,” Bruce said of Jurgen Klopp’s side who have not scored in their last four league games.

“We’ve made so many changes, too many changes, which has been levelled at us. But we’ve had some serious problems with injury and illness… We’re going through a bad run.”

Premier League

Aubameyang on target as Arsenal cruise past Newcastle

18/01/2021 AT 18:06

Premier League

Tierney and Martinelli return to full training with Arsenal

17/01/2021 AT 15:27

Klopp and Werner: Liverpool’s decision to pass on German has backfired – for both men

Time waits for no man. Even Jurgen Klopp.

The Liverpool manager is one of the most charismatic and player-orientated coaches in the world. He is one of the managers who players genuinely dream of playing for. In the same way people dream of being tactically developed by Pep Guardiola they dream of being motivated and hugged by Klopp, there’s no denying that.

Premier League

Carragher says Premier League title ‘slipping away’ from Liverpool

2 HOURS AGO

However the Klopp effect can only turn a head for so long, eventually time will force a decision.

And last summer time forced Timo Werner to join Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, rather than Klopp’s Liverpool. Consider this tweet from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano at the end of May.

It tells you everything that you need to know. 1) Timo Werner wanted to join Liverpool and had spoken to club. 2) He would only join another club if Liverpool pulled out.

The same day Romano published a story for the Guardian saying that Klopp was persuading the Liverpool hierarchy that Werner would be the perfect striker for his system. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane hit 19 and 18 Premier League goals respectively in the 2019-20 season but Roberto Firmino forebode his drop this season by failing to reach double digits. Liverpool told RB Leipzig they wanted a little more time to make their decision before Werner’s €52.7 million release clause expired on June 15.

The rest is history, Liverpool hesitated and eventually pulled out, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Chelsea swooped, activating the release clause and brought Werner to Stamford Bridge, to much fan-fare.

(Side note – there’s various reporting as to the fee due to the fluctuation of the pound’s value against the Euro and confusion over the eventual expiration date of the Werner release clause.)

Fast-forward to now and it’s fair to safe both parties are probably experiencing more than a small element of regret. Following last night’s disastrous 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League. The champions are six points behind leader’s Manchester United and they are only one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth and local rivals Everton in sixth. The two teams chasing Liverpool have one and two games in hand respectively.

Chelsea are even further back, five off the reds and 11 behind United. Since Christmas Liverpool have failed to score in four of their five Premier League games. Chelsea have scored in four of their five matches over the same period but never more than once, resulting in just one win (over 10-man Fulham) and three defeats. Werner has scored just four Premier League goals all season (despite being an ever-present) and hasn’t scored in the league since early November.

Last night, for what feels like the first time, Klopp visibly spoke of his frustration about the transfer situation at Liverpool.

“These decisions are not my decisions,” Klopp said of any potential January signings.

Jürgen Klopp

Image credit: Getty Images

“I cannot decide if we do something in the market or not.”

Klopp’s frustration is visible and Liverpool fans would be right to question their club about the Werner decision when the club decided to splash on Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota later on in the window. Both have been fine signings but Thiago has missed a lot of time with injury and Jota has only scored twice since his purple patch at the end of October/start of November.

Jota is nine months younger than Werner, with less of the pedigree, particularly as a central striker, so couldn’t Liverpool have found the money for the Germany international by moving a couple of other pieces about? Last year we were all talking about how much of a no-brainer Werner was for Liverpool and all of those arguments hold true.

Werner is a striker who is used to playing in a high-intensity system. He is best deployed centrally but can occasionally shift out wide. Liverpool as a team were crying out for a player like Werner. A central goal threat who could take some of the pressure off Salah and Mane. In turn that pair would be able to cover for Werner when he, inevitably given his history, went through a run without scoring. He was a streaky player in Germany, it should be no surprise he’s doing the same in England, Liverpool’s star duo could have helped when that happened. It’s not as if Werner is a selfish player either, he had 15 assists over his last two Bundesliga seasons with Leipzig, that’s one more than Firmino over the same time frame.

FC Chelsea | Timo Werner

Image credit: Getty Images

Instead Werner joined a Chelsea team who had a central striker who notched 15 Premier League goals the season just gone. Of course there’s an argument to be made that Chelsea needed another source of goals, but they signed a player who is best deployed centrally, and then played him wide because Abraham also has to play centrally. Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur all function because they have wide players or midfielders who score goals to complement their central striker. Chelsea signed another central striker. Yes the Kai Havertz signing to go along with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic was supposed to provide that but why sign Werner? Surely going after another wide forward or perhaps a central midfielder was a better use of funds?

The concept of flops is a bit of a misnomer, these are all exceptionally gifted footballers. The concept of fit seems like a far better philosophy to adopt. Liverpool and Werner looked the perfect fit on the outside and they still do now, instead Chelsea shoehorned Werner into a team as they desperately tried to jump ahead of their rivals thanks to the pockets of Roman Abramovich. Liverpool showed the value of signing a player for a purpose rather than for the sake of it, they just ended up second-guessing themselves with Werner, and it could come back to bite them when all is said and done.

Premier League

Okay, Liverpool are now legitimately bad – The Warm-Up

4 HOURS AGO

Premier League

Klopp: Burnley defeat ‘a massive punch in the face’

13 HOURS AGO