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Premier League legend Alan Shearer has revealed that Harry Kane’s injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
The Tottenham star has been ruled out for a few weeks with an ankle injury and Shearer believes that Kane will benefit from the lay-off.
He said: “He has been superb this season and one of their best players. If he keeps up his scoring record, they should be ok without Kane for a few weeks. From an England point of view, it could end up being a good thing. I know you are working hard behind the scenes but you are not travelling, playing the games or getting kicked”.
Kane has been a star player for club and country over the last few years and he has started almost every game when fit. The England international could certainly do with a short rest ahead of the World Cup.
Although he might not win the Premier League golden boot due to the injury, it could help him perform at a really high level in Russia.
Shearer explained that he had a similar lay-off right before the Euros in 1996 and the short rest allowed him to recover fully and he went on to have a memorable campaign with his country.
He added: “I then went on to finish as the top goalscorer at the tournament. The general feeling is that the top players are playing too much football so at least he is going to have a break. He has had the same injury before so he will know how to handle it and so will the medical team.”
Tottenham should be able to cope with Kane’s absence for a few weeks. Heung-Min Son has been in inspired form lately and the South Korean is expected to fill in for now.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Real Madrid could make a £52.4m bid for Liverpool-target Alisson, AS Roma’s in-form Brazilian goalkeeper. The £44k-per-week star has a number of clubs interested in his signature and could be on the move this summer as a result.
Alisson has greatly impressed this season, keeping 13 clean sheets in 29 Serie A games and four in the Champions League. The 25-year-old joined Roma from Brazilian side Internacional in 2016 and has gone on to make more than 50 appearances for the Italian outfit. However, his future is uncertain.
Liverpool and Real Madrid are two clubs battling for the Brazilian international, with the Reds searching for a replacement for Simon Mignolet and competition for Loris Karius, while Real consider Alisson an alternate option if they fail in their bid to sign David de Gea from Manchester United or Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea.
Real’s interest is bad news for Liverpool, as Corriere dello Sport are hinting at a ‘shivering’ £52.4m bid for the Roma stopper that they’d struggle to turn down. The 25-year-old has been on the Reds’ shortlist for some time, but they may have to turn their attentions elsewhere if Alisson looks La Liga-bound.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are ‘monitoring’ Manchester United’s Daley Blind, with a view to strengthening their defensive options this summer.
The 28-year-old, who joined United from Ajax in 2014, has struggled for playing time this season and is out of contract in less than 18 months. With Ashley Young first-choice at left-back while Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly battle it out at centre-back, Blind can’t get a game.
The lack of minutes afforded to the Dutch international suggests United would be open to a sale, as the £75k-per-week left-back and centre-back has managed just three Premier League starts in 2017/18, all coming in August. He’s racked up only four minutes of top flight football since.
Mundo Deportivo believe Barcelona are interested in procuring his signature but also consider the defender ‘unconvincing’ compared to their other targets – Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Joao Miranda (Inter Milan), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Lucas Hernández (Atletico Madrid) and Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan).
Blind wouldn’t break the bank like so many of their other targets, however, so he may appeal to Barcelona. The 28-year-old is a ball-playing defender too, having been educated in Ajax. He also played under Louis van Gaal for club and country so he’d seemingly be at home with the Catalan giants philosophy.
On this day in 1992, Chelsea midfielder Vinnie Jones set a new record in English football by getting booked after just three seconds in a game against Sheffield United.
Jones had a reputation for being a ‘hard man’ with little regards to discipline on the pitch. His aggressive approach became most famous during his time with Wimbledon with whom he won an FA Cup title.
The First Division tie against United, Jones former club, ended in a 2-1 defeat for Chelsea. “I must have been too high, too wild, too strong or too early, because, after three seconds, I could hardly have been too bloody late!” said Jones after the game.
Milan sign Gullit
On this day in 1987, AC Milan signed PSV Eindhoven superstar Ruud Gullit for a then record fee of £6 million.
The Dutchman had established himself as a world class attacker at Eindhoven having led the club to two consecutive Eredivisie titles and winning the Dutch Footballer of the Year award two years in a row.
Milan tasted almost instant success after Gullit’s arrival. Together with his compatriots, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard, Gullit helped Milan win the Serie A title after a nine-year drought. The former Eindhoven man won two more league titles and two consecutive European Cups with the Rossoneri before departing for Sampdoria in 1993.
With the 2018 World Cup in Russia less then three months away, there are numerous Premier League stars sweating on whether they’ll be playing at this summer’s tournament.
Injuries, loss of form and a lack of playing time at club level are amongst the main reasons why players can miss out on major championships, and there’s some high-profile names worried about what might happen over the next few weeks.
Read on as we take a look at four Premier League players who are hoping they’ll be on the plane to Russia in June.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur & England
The influential Spurs striker is expected to be out until at least the middle of April after damaging lateral ligaments in his right ankle against Bournemouth.
The England star will miss internationals against Netherlands on Friday and the Wembley clash with Italy the following Tuesday.
Kane has suffered two similar injuries to the same joint in the past and although this latest setback is not as bad as his previous knocks, national team boss Gareth Southgate will be desperate for Kane to navigate the rest of the season unscathed.
The 24-year-old has scored 35 goals in 39 games for his club this term and he is crucial to England’s hopes of progressing to the latter stages of the World Cup.
Benjamin Mendy – Manchester City & France
The French defender ruptured his knee ligaments against Crystal Palace back in September and he has not played since.
The 23-year-old stepped up his recovery from the injury by returning to training with City at the start of March, but it remains to be seen whether he can force his way back into the first team,
Mendy made an impressive start at City following his £49.1 million move from Monaco last summer, but made only five appearances before being sidelined.
France boss Didier Deschamps has indicated he is willing to be patient where Mendy is concerned, although a lack of game time could prevent Mendy from making one of the most important football trips a player can make.
Joe Hart – West Ham United & England
Hart’s experience at international level could yet see him selected as England’s number one goalkeeper, but his lack of playing time with West Ham United is a major concern.
The 30-year-old played in the Premier League for the first time since November in the Hammers’ recent 3-0 defeat against Burnley and there are a host of keepers lining up to replace him in the England team.
Jordan Pickford (Everton), Jack Butland (Stoke City) and Nick Pope (Burnley) are all hoping to be included in Southgate’s squad, but Hart will be desperate for the England boss to remain loyal when he names his final 23 players for Russia.
Christian Benteke – Crystal Palace and Belgium
Recent reports in Belgium suggested that Benteke will need a ‘miracle’ if he is to make Belgium’s World Cup squad and it’s easy to see why.
Benteke has scored just two goals in 25 Premier League starts this year and although he had a decent game in Palace’s 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town his hopes of going to Russia look slim.
Roberto Martinez left Benteke out of his latest squad for their upcoming friendly with Saudi Arabia and it would take a major turnaround in form for him to force his way back in.
With Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi and Divock Origi all vying for forward roles, Benteke could well be the odd man out.
According to The S*n, Liverpool could be losing Mohamed Salah this summer, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs interested in his signature.
The 25-year-old joined Liverpool for just £34.3m and £90k-per-week wages last summer but could be worth six times that price after an outstanding debut season at Anfield. Salah has scored 36 goals in 41 games in all competitions for the Merseysiders and finds himself the subject of interest from nearly every big club in Europe.
Barcelona already signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for £142m in January and could well procure another player from Anfield this summer with Ousmane Dembele having an uncertain future.
Their fierce rivals Real Madrid are also being linked as they continue their search for a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. If Karim Benzema leaves this summer, they will need to act fast to bolster their attack.
Paris Saint-Germain have an impressive frontline containing Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, but Salah has more leagues goals than the trio this season so he’d improve their squad.
He won’t come cheap, however. The S*n say it may take a bid of £200m to land the Egyptian international’s signature, although reports state Liverpool are fighting back with a contract offer of their own.
Popular football pundit Stan Collymore has predicted Chelsea to beat Tottenham Hotspur to win the FA Cup this season.
Spurs defeated Swansea City to book a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they will face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Wembley.
In the other semi-final Chelsea will take on Mark Hughes’s Southampton who defeated Wigan Athletic in the quarter finals.
The former Liverpool striker predicts that both the London clubs – Chelsea and Tottenham – will progress to the finals and that Antonio Conte’s side will come out on top.
Chelsea defeated Leicester City in the quarterfinals and the FA cup remains the only competition they have a realistic chance of winning after they were knocked out from the Champions League by Barcelona.
Both Spurs and Chelsea will focus on winning the FA Cup along with securing a top four position in the league.
Conte’s future has been speculated on in the media and Collymore says he would love to see the Italian winning the trophy and then leaving the club to join the Italian national team or rejoining Juventus.
Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to win his first trophy at Tottenham and he will be boosted if Harry Kane makes a return from injury before the semifinal.
“And when they do, I’d love to see Antonio Conte go and plonk the famous old trophy on Roman Abramovich’s desk and say, ‘This is a madhouse and you’re all a bunch of [expletive deleted]. So ciao bello, I’m off back to the Italian national team or Juventus’.”
Former Aston Villa player turned football pundit Stan Collymore is unsure whether Steve Bruce’s side can secure an automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Villa were flying high in the Championship when they managed eight wins and a draw from mid-January in their 10 games to give themselves a very good chance of getting an automatic promotion to the Premier League.
After their fantastic 4-1 win over league leader Wolves, many expected them to finish within the top two and ride on with the momentum.
However, Bruce’s side fizzled out when it mattered the most. They lost 3-1 at Villa Park against QPR and 1-0 away at Bolton last Saturday.
Collymore claims that Villa have the best squad in the division but he is unsure whether they have the character to go on and finish in the second spot.
Villa are currently fourth in the Championship table, same on points with 3rd placed Fulham, and are seven points behind Cardiff City who have a game in hand.
At this moment, Villa need to win all their remaining games and hope Cardiff drop points if they are to have any chance of grabbing the second spot.
Collymore wrote in his column for The Mirror: “I got really excited when Aston Villa won eight and drew one in a nine-game run but, after back-to-back defeats by QPR and Bolton, I don’t know if Steve Bruces’s squad — arguably the best in the division — has the character and bottle to go on and finish second.”
Leeds United fans have taken to social networking site Twitter to react to the speculation, and we find a mixed reaction among the fans.
The 26-year-old was signed by Paul Heckingbottom when he was at Barnsley and featured regularly under him. Heckingbottom is now in charge at Elland Road and wants a reunion with his former player.
Yiadom has a contract with the Oakwell club till the end of the season which means Heckingbottom can sign him on a free transfer in the summer.
Many Leeds fans are not happy with the transfer link mainly because of Barnsley’s current position in the table. A lot of fans have questioned the club’s ambition, and also whether he is the right buy, given the depth Leeds have on the right hand side of defence.
However, there are other fans who believe that he will be an astute signing for the club as he can play as a left-back and will come on a free transfer.
Those that are complaining about Yiadom coming to #LUFC: Team of the Year last year, two Prem teams fought to sign him at the start of the season, plays LB or RB and he’ll be free. Better than what we have, so what is there to complain about? Great signing imo.
I have never known fans like Leeds fans. Bunch of moaning gits. Championship team of the year last season. Consistent. Back up at RB and LB and could push the players in those roles. Also a free. Literally no downsides….