What do we expect from Neymar at PSG

What exactly do we expect from the most expensive football signing ever? Well we already know his quality as he didn’t look out of place at Barcelona playing with Messi and Suarez but now Neymar has his own stage.

At Barcelona, Neymar touched the ball, on average, 73 times per-game. In 2 games for PSG, he averages 121 touches on the ball per-game. The average number of passes distributed by Neymar at Barcelona was 51 but it jumped to 82 now in PSG. Messi was always the first-choice, and at Barcelona, Neymar received the ball from a teammate, on average, 52 times. At PSG, it’s 87. Against Guingamp and Toulouse, Neymar had an average of 6 shots. At Barcelona, he only had 3.2 chances to score per-game.

Given a team that’s playing to his strengths and him being the main man, Neymar will certainly score more goals and be easily rested for Champions League matches. With Monaco being stripped of their best players, PSG will talk the league and cups and will put all their eggs in the Champions League basket.

Neymar MUST perform in the Champions League and if they fail again to reach the final or win the cup, fingers will surely be pointed at the most expensive player in history.

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Champions League Is Back: More great comebacks to come?

Over the years, football has witnessed some amazing comebacks. In fact, the greatest comebacks that spring to mind include Newcastle leveling with Arsenal from 4-0 down, Manchester United’s late turnaround against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final and Liverpool’s most recent drubbing of Borussia Dortmund to snatch a last-minute winner to reach the 2016 Europa League Final.

However, for over a decade Liverpool’s performance against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final, turning around a 3-0 deficit at the half time remains to be the ultimate bench mark. Not only was LFC’s performance one of the greatest comebacks in football history but arguably one of the most remarkable sporting events ever.

Due to Liverpool setting such a high bench mark, this makes you wonder whether history could ever repeat itself again…

8th March 2017, a truly astonishing day that will be remembered for years to come. The day Barcelona overcame a 4-0 first leg deficit, defeating PSG in extraordinary circumstances.

To start with, it was no secret that Camp Nou needed a miracle to qualify for the next round. Much to the delight of Barcelona fans, Luis Suarez provided the perfect start with a second-minute opener. PSG then tactically sat back and absorbed the pressure without doing any of the pressings that won them the first leg in such incredible circumstances. However, much to the frustration of Barcelona fans, the PSG game plan was working. Andres Iniesta was restricted and the men behind the ball proved difficult to break down.

However, with a touch of good fortune, the breakthrough came in the 40th minute when Layvin Kurzawa mistimed his clearance, kicking the ball into the back of his own net. Shortly after half-time, Barcelona was then awarded a soft penalty, making them in just touching distance of completing the ultimate comeback.

BANG! PSG respond through a devastating Edinson Cavani strike to silence the Camp Nou. Going into the final quarter of the game, hope seemingly faded. It appeared as if it was almost a matter of time before PSG qualified to the next round.

However, Luis Enrique’s men had other ideas. Neymar curling in a sublime free-kick in the 88th minute and then scoring a controversial penalty in the 92nd minute spurred Barcelona on.  Coming this far; Barcelona was crying out for a hero. A Messi? A Suarez? A Sergi Roberto… surely not? BANG! Sergi Roberto win’s it for Barcelona in the dying seconds of the game to complete one of the greatest Champions League comebacks ever.

Filled with anticipation, nail biting moments and controversy on the night; Barcelona managed to win 6-5 on aggregate to progress through to the next round and mark their names down in history books.

Do you think Barcelona completed the greatest football comeback ever? Does it top the famous Istanbul 2005 Champions League Final?

Have your say!

Have Swansea City done the best business during the transfer window?

In one of the busiest summer transfer windows on record, we’ve seen outrageous money trading hands all across the globe with the two most expensive purchases being made and smashing previously held records. The Premier League has been no exception as the English elite looked to strengthen their sides for the new campaign. But while many debate over which of the country’s leading clubs accomplished the most successful business, allow me to direct your attention to a club who may well have pinched this title from under the noses of the league’s best – Swansea City.

Most notably, their acquisition of Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on a season-long loan ranks highly amongst the best business achieved by any club. The 20-year old midfielder has struggled to lock down regular game time for the German champions and thus, speculation grew surrounding a potential loan move. The biggest question hanging in the balance was: where would the Portuguese prospect end up? But what nobody could have answered with a straight face was Swansea City – until yesterday. His agility, skill and unwavering energy will introduce a dynamic that could not only fill the looming void left by Joe Allen’s departure, but surpass it.

Earlier in the window, they agreed another loan move for a youngster tipped for the big leagues in the foreseeable future. Tammy Abraham stepped up from a spectacular campaign in the Championship last season with Bristol City where he netted 23 times in 41 appearances to try his hand in the Premier League. Chelsea and England fans will be licking their lips at this forward’s hunger and eye for goal and after scoring his first Premier League goal last weekend, many believe Abraham will have no trouble finding the net over the course of the season for Swansea.

Alongside Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham up top, Clement added another option to his enviable forward line during deadline day with Wilfried Bony making a return to the Liberty Stadium for a £13 million fee from Manchester City. Bony established himself as one of the most natural goal scoring talents in the division during the 13/14 season where he found the net seventeen times. A second season plighted by injury saw him only register nine goals but having only featured in twenty, the statistic holds up pretty well. During spells at Manchester City and a loan move to Stoke last season, Bony’s form dipped considerably due to a lack of appearances. The chance to find his feet on familiar soil is too perfect of a story to not get behind and if anyone can restore Bony’s form, it is Swansea.

The signings of Sam Clucas and Roque Mesa from Hull City and UD Las Palmas respectively, have added some much needed competition on the left-hand side and through the middle of the park. Former Heerenveen stopper Erwin Mulder has strengthened the numbers between the sticks after signing on a free transfer.

But what most will point towards to argue against the Welsh side’s chances are the losses they’ve suffered. Playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson finally completed his switch to fellow Premier League club Everton for a reported figure of just under £50 million. Fernando Llorente made his switch to the capital with the 32-year old leaving for Spurs for £13 million. In addition to these, midfielder Jack Cork left the club in favour of Burnley and both Modou Barrow and Marvin Emnes left the club in permanent deals to lesser clubs.

It’s easy to see why some will attach a negative stimulus to the business conducted but in the short term, the ins far outweigh the outs. More importantly, there is enough time between now and the next window and even longer between now and next season for Paul Clement and his team to consolidate the side and plan appropriately for the club’s longevity in the division

If their business is anything to go by, we could well see the beginning of a resurgence at Swansea under Clement after successive years of misery following the incredible feats achieved during the Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup eras.

Have your say. Do you agree? If not, who has had the best transfer window?

Comment below!

End of Transfer Window: Cristiano Ronaldo, will he go or stay?

The million-dollar question every Real Madrid fan fears; will Ronaldo actually leave the Santiago Bernabeu after 8 success filled years at the club?

The lowdown

On the 17th June 2017, marked a very strange day for both Real Madrid and neutral football fans. Strangely quoted by a number of highly reliable sources such as Sky Sports, BBC, and Telegraph; Ronaldo now wants to leave Madrid because he no longer wants to play in Spain. It was then clarified on the 18th of June 2017 that the underlying reason behind Ronaldo’s reaction is because of wrongfully being accused of avoiding a whopping £14.7m in tax fraud.

It is evident that the Portuguese captain is now facing serious allegations from Madrid’s regional state prosecutor of four counts of tax fraud relating to image rights payments. Tax investigators claim that Ronaldo has used an ‘’off shore company to hide a substantial portion of his income ‘’ from the tax office.

As a result, the treatment from Spanish tax authorities has infuriated the 4 time Ballon D’or winner and now wishes to leave the country. Real Madrid Football Club has formally defended their star man by publicly quoting they are ‘’ absolutely convinced by his innocence’’.

Source A Bola recently claim that Ronaldo would be the subject of a 180 million euro bid this summer which questions whether this outcome has actively been in the pipe line for some time. However, it is only a matter of time before all in unfolded.

Where would he go?

It doesn’t surprise you that the biggest clubs in the world are now closely monitoring Ronaldo’s situation. From being a shy Lisbon boy to grow into arguably the greatest footballer to ever embrace the football field; Ronaldo has many potential suitors. Recent speculation has only added excitement and hopes to Manchester United fans when Ronaldo commented on a dream move back to Manchester ‘’ I’m very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can’t just turn off the memories’’.

Other teams are also quite capable of affording Ronaldo’s hefty transfer fee and excessive wage demands including the likes of the Chinese Super league, PSG and even the blue side of Manchester.

After winning several titles at Madrid including three Champion’s League trophies, multiple La Liga trophies, and domestic competitions; Will he really move away? If yes… where to? Or has this just been used as a scapegoat to avoid fraud charges?

Have your say!

End of Transfer Window: The Virgil van Dijk dilemma

On the 5th June 2017, it seemed as if Liverpool FC had finally won the race for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk after the player verbally agreed to choose the club over giant rivals Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC.

The centre backs training has well and truly paid off with the modern-day qualities Van Dijk possesses; incredible strength, positioning and ability to play out from the back, it was inevitable one of the big guns come knocking. However, after penning down a huge 6-year deal at the backend of 2016, Southampton just will not budge their stance on the player. In fact, they simply do not welcome any sort of negotiations with their captain or his representatives.

This is what had truly fuelled fire to the speculation. It was reported that Liverpool had taken an ‘illegal approach’ to sign the former Celtic man via not having the permission to directly contact the player. It was then clear, Southampton had formally complained against LFC’s unethical approach for the player to the Premier League. Dependant on investigation outcomes, Liverpool could be served with a hefty fine and substantial transfer ban.

More worryingly, Liverpool chairman then came out with a public statement; “We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk. We respect Southampton‘s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player’’.

A farce. An embarrassment. A humiliation. A joke. This is what Liverpool fans most likely think of the Virgil van Dijk conundrum.

Virgil Van Dijk is yet to make any sort of indication as to whether he will continue to push for a move to Jurgen Klopp’s side, elsewhere or remain at Southampton FC.

What do you guys think? Will he remain at the saints? Do LFC have any chance of reigniting their interest and signing him?

Comment below!

Is Andrea Belotti Chelsea’s answer to replacing Diego Costa?

23-year-old Andrea Belotti has been on Antonio Conte’s wishlist since the end of last season.

He is just an old fashion striker. Look at Harry Kane he doesn’t score the best goals but he is there like a real striker always in front of the goal to score the tap ins. Belotti does the same thing and he can pass it back with his head to the midfielders if they are running to the goal. He just does the job as a striker.

Being able to do ALL the things a striker is needed to do in this day. That gives Andrea Belotti the ability to play in any system which suits Chelsea and Conte a lot. 3-4-3 as a lone striker or 3-5-2 up front with Morata, Andrea Belotti won’t look out of place in either system.

Strong, good in the air, great technique and he also has that Diego Costa kind of grit in him.

The fact that Italy finally has a good striker they can rely on helps him settle in with the manager who if is there next year, will also be able to work with him on the international stage.

Andrea Belotti is a complete No. 9 and with a release clause of £87m, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Chelsea player come September

‘Scary’ City… Again

It seems like for the last 5 or so years, Manchester City has had the best squad in the Premier League and every year when pundits make their predictions, City are more times than not the favourites. Put the fact that they have the ‘best manager in the world’ and already during this transfer window have broken the spending record. Manchester City

Starting 11’s  but their attacking players Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling etc. will certainly carry them and win them a lot of points by turning losses to draws/wins and draws to wins.

I think what last season was supposed to be, we will see this season and that is Pep vs Jose. Both managers have had a full season to get used to their teams and both didn’t deliver last season.

Transfers

I’ve got it! A way to describe the way these transfer prices have changed over time and it’s simple. IT’S DOUBLED! It’s strange that this happens mainly in England as when European teams buy and sell to each other many of us here think wtf why didn’t my team bid for him. Bayern have loaned James Rodriguez with an option to buy for 35 million Euros, there is no way in hell Real Madrid do that deal with an English club.

I’m starting to think other leagues have seen the money coming into the Premier League and have conspired with each other to drain English teams as much as possible and sell to each other moderately but that topic is for another time.

Even though it isn’t always correct, more times than not a players price is relative to their talent/skill level and you can even use the fee as a way to describe a player. “He’s a £20m kind of player” or “Buy him whatever the cost” John Stones is not a £50m pound player, Michael Kean is not a £30m player. Chelsea bought Diego Costa for £30m and if the new Chinese tax law didn’t come into effect this transfer window, teams were willing to pay up to £75m.

Are Everton Winning The Transfer Window So Far?

With all the money in the Premier League, it has enabled not just the bigger clubs but the medium to small clubs the ability to have a lot more purchasing power than before.

So far Everton have bought:

Michael Keane from Burnley for £30.0m
Davy Klaassen from  Ajax for £23.6m
Henry Onyekuru from Eupen for £7.0m
Jordan Pickford from Sunderland for £30.0m
Sandro Ramirez from Malaga for an Undisclosed Fee

Sold Lukaku for a reported £100m fee altogether but we’ll talk about that fee which does include WAYNE ROONEY later. Again the acquisition of Wayne Rooney is a brilliant coup for Everton as a hometown hero coming back. It’s unsure the role he will play but off the pitch, his experience will be immense.

With all the signings Everton have made THUS FAR, the expectations in the league will surely be to get into Europe.

 

Transfer Market Officially Open

The transfer window has only officially opened but we have already had many stories to look at.

Diego Costa has come out and said he recieved a text from manager Antonio Conte informing him that he can not rely on him and it’s time to move on. We only have the 1 sided version coming from Diego which shouldn’t have come to the public light in the first place and has put Chelsea in an even more difficult situation when it comes to negotiating fees for Lukaku and others.

Manchester City have once again got a lot of business done before the rest of the world. With money no object and Pep Guardiola at the helm, City have gone out and bought Bernardo Silva and broke a transfer record on Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes whilst they still have Claudio Bravo and Joe Hart.

The transfer rumours have been going on non stop since Arsenal won the FA Cup but the biggest story must be Liverpool and their approach for  Virgil van Dijk. With betting platforms suspending betting on the Dutch man joining Liverpool it looked all but done with Liverpool doing the ‘impossible’ beating Man City and Chelsea to one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

High hopes from the Merseyside fans only for Liverpool to apologise to Southampton for ‘misunderstanding’ regarding the transfer of Virgil van Dijk after approaching him without the permission of Southampton. Liverpool now face harsh repercussions which could include a transfer ban.

The transfer window has already opened and it’s sure to be an exciting one.