Why Premier League is the best?

This weekend, the Premier League will host its first round of games since the transfer market closed. What a wonderful summer it’s been! The Premier League spent more money than all the other major leagues combined. That alone proves that it is the world’s top league. The top athletes are interested in playing here. According to financial services firm Deloitte, Premier League clubs broke their record spending on transfers in one season during the summer window alone, spending PS1.9bn ($2.2bn) in the period. Several other records were broken during the window, including Premier League clubs spending more than the Spanish LaLiga, Italian Serie A, and German Bundesliga.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal received PS 1.1bn in revenue during the same timeframe, which indicates that Manchester City earned PS 600m more in commercial deals compared to these other clubs, which are both similarly sized and similarly situated. The English club’s top-flight net spending was $1.35 billion, while that of Italy ($8 million) and Spain ($64 million) was lower. At this stage of last year’s window, Premier League clubs had spent a total of PS 895m, which increased by more than PS 200m over the closing weeks of the window. If add-ons for specific players are satisfied, at least half of the teams in England’s top division will have spent more than £100 million on new additions.

New ownership has been a catalyst in increased spending this summer, with Chelsea outspending every other Premier League club; PS 157.8m more than last summer (2022 PS 255.3m; 2021 PS97.5m), and PS 53.3m more than the next highest spender (Manchester United’s PS 202m). Total spending on summer transfers across the top-flight stood at PS 1.5bn as early Thursday, surpassing the 2017s record of PS 1.43bn. The total expenditure is 67% higher than in the previous summer transfer window, which was PS 1.1bn, according to the Sports Business Groups Deloittes, and 34% higher than the previous record spend.

The Premier Leagues record spending for a single season – covering the summer and winter transfer windows alike – was previously PS 1.86billion ($2.18billion) in 2017-18. A record-breaking summer transfer market spending spree among Premier League clubs passed the $2.2 billion mark ahead of Thursday’s closing window, as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and – latecomer – Chelsea all signed players to complete the overhaul of their teams. Not wanting to be surpassed by Manchester United’s title rivals, the Reds have further strengthened during the summer transfer window, too, though only on a pair of notable signings arriving. Manchester City had a squad which had spent a total transfer fee of EUR 1.063bn (PS 974m) before the start of the 2020-21 campaign, making it the most expensive in world football.

Munich trash Frankfurt in the Bundesliga opener, Sane set to move out?

Bayern Munich defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 in their opening match of the 2022-23 season at the Deutsche Bank Park on Friday. Defending champions Bayern Munich kicked off their Bundesliga campaign with a surprising victory on Friday evening against UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt. Bayern Munich’s first-ever Bundesliga win was finally paid off in the 29th minute when Sadio Mane scored Die Roten’s first-ever Bundesliga goal.

Bayern Munich started their pursuit for their 11th straight Bundesliga title as well as they could, as teenage striker Jamal Musiala scored twice and Bayern ripped apart a depleted Eintracht Frankfurt. Having defeated RB Leipzig 5-3 in the DFL-Supercup, in Bayern Munich’s first competitive game since the departure of Robert Lewandowski, Bayern were favoured to win their opening game. Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry joined Sadio Mane on the scoresheet.

New signing Sadio Mane was among the five different scorers in the first half, while a brilliant free-kick from Joshua Kimmich, which went off the post, opened the Champions Bayern Munich account in the fifth minute. Sadio Mane turned architect six minutes later to set up Bayern Munich’s fourth, drawing out Eintracht Frankfurt‘s defence to find Thomas Muller, who made it five before the break as Serge Gnabry squeezed home.

Nagelsmann thinks the match against Frankfurt was considerably better than the season’s opening match against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which finished in a 1-1 tie. He praised the exceptional enthusiasm in Deutsche-Bank Park as being lovely and expressed his delight that the team could join the fans in their celebration.

Apart from Matthijs de Ligt, Sadio Mané was arguably the greatest purchase the Bavarians made, and he has been outstanding for Bayern. Nagelsmann praised each player involved in Mané’s goal in the 29th minute, applauding Serge Gnabry for his lovely move, Kimmich for his fantastic pass, and Mané for his finish.

The former Manchester City player is the subject of a “shock enquiry,” according to a report in the Mirror, as United looks to bolster their offensive options before the transfer market closes at the beginning of next month. The Ajax star Antony has been mentioned frequently over the summer as someone United is looking to add to their arsenal of wide forwards. The Dutch side has no intentions to sell the Brazilian, and thus, that has made the Red Devils look for the star winger Sane. Since Leroy Sane started on the bench in the first game and as per the tactics and the performance by Gnabry make it a bit difficult for the manager to give more time to Sane.

Erik ten Hag already laying down the law at United

Erik ten Hag has previously established the rule at Manchester United, dismissing a player as punishment for missing two team meetings.

The Dutchman took over at Old Trafford this summer, hoping to turn around the club’s fortunes after a disastrous season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick last season.

The first part of that has been instituting severe discipline among the group ahead of his first season in command, and it looks that majority have embraced the new regulations thus far. Having said that, not everyone has gotten up to speed yet.

According to The Athletic, one unknown player violated the new regulations about timeliness during the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of Asia and Australia. They were allegedly late for two team meetings, which resulted in their being dropped for a game during the trip.

According to the article, Ten Hag had planned to utilise the player during the game but instead prioritised the rules, with tardiness regarded as standards slipping inside the group.

This method, of course, is not unlike to the sanctions imposed by previous United managers – Ten Hag’s colleague Louis van Gaal, for example, imposed heavy punishments for tardiness of only a few seconds.

It remains to be seen whether that fresh attitude to discipline will produce fruit, but the Red Devils have had a successful pre-season trip thus far. They have won against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, and Crystal Palace.

However, the Red Devils came unstuck against Aston Villa on Saturday. Steven Gerrard’s team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to secure a point, with Leon Bailey’s stoppage-time equaliser leaving United disappointed.

Ten Hag has stated that his team will need to learn from that encounter before their first Premier League match of the season against Brighton in less than a fortnight.

Speaking after the match, he said: “First half was a decent performance, 2-0 up, but, the second half, we came back out of the dressing room, we had control of the game and we gave it away. That’s not good so that is a lesson.

“For the players, for the team, I think we make a lot of progress, a lot of positive aspects. I would say also, at the end, a setback, but it’s also part of the season, a season is not always going up, you also have to have setbacks and have to deal with it.

“They [the players] can have a lot of confidence because they are good but they only have to know we have to work hard and play as a team, then we will have good performances.”

Key man to stay with Man United?

Eric Ten Haag says Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is “not for sale” and is “in Manchester United’s plans for next season. No, Ronaldo is not for sale and is actively involved in the club’s plans for the season, noting that he had previously “terrific conversations” with the Portuguese forward on the way. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United did not join the team for a pre-season tour that kicked off in Thailand. Family issues and questions about the players’ future dominated the Ten Hags press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against English rivals Liverpool. Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo did not participate in the pre-season with Manchester United for personal reasons, as the club allowed him to leave.

New manager Erik ten Hag declined to say what the discussion was about and whether Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo had agreed to stay at the club this season. Eric ten Hag revealed that he had a conversation with Cristiano Ronaldo before word got out that the 37-year-old wanted to leave Manchester United this summer but said the couple had not spoken. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists that Cristiano Ronaldo is not available for transfer and that Erik ten Hag plans to have Cristiano Ronaldo in his team next season. Eric Ten Haag has spoken for the first time since his speech before a friendly against Liverpool in Thailand, with Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo occupying the interrogation line at a crowded press conference. Ten Haag insisted at a news conference in the Thai capital Bangkok on Monday that Cristiano Ronaldo had not personally told him of his desire and is currently planning to join his team at the start of next season.

Sky Sports News reports that Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been touting the Cristiano Ronaldo effect to clubs over the past few weeks after he compiled a report on Ronaldo’s agent’s massive sponsorship, social media and Archives of new market impacts. Some reports have linked Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo with a direct transfer to rivals Chelsea. His Jorge Mendes allegedly held a meeting with the Blues’ new owners to discuss a move.

Ronaldo is said to have notified the club that he will consider leaving if a decent bid comes in. There is also discussion over the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s compatibility with Ten Hag’s strategies. However, the Dutch coach has claimed since the beginning of the season that the player is definitely in his plans for the season. Manchester United think they may persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at the club.

Transfer Gossip in top European Leagues

Sadio Mane is set to travel to Bayern Munich on Tuesday to undergo medical tests before joining the club on an imminent transfer away from Liverpool. Former Manchester City and Liverpool keeper David James cannot see why Gabriel Jesus is considering joining Arsenal this summer. Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus reportedly would instead join champions league winners La Liga side Real Madrid than Arsenal and Mikel Arteta this summer. Arsenal is said to have hedged Arsenal’s gamble to sign Gabriel Jesus by also making a bid for ex-Chelsea failure Alvaro Morata; the Atletico Madrid forward has spent the past two years on a long-term loan with Juventus, which is looking to make that arrangement permanent this summer.

Manchester United was among the Premier League sides enquiring last season about the availability of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior, according to reports in Spain. Manchester United and Arsenal both had expressed an interest in taking Tammy Abraham back to the Premier League. Darwin Nunez is said to be joined Liverpool rather than Manchester United, with the Mirror Football exclusive reporting that Nunez wants to keep playing in Europe’s top-flight next season. Timber, Ajax’s current starter, is highly rated amongst the best players in the division, with both United and Liverpool heavily linked.

Pep Guardiola describes current Ajax star Timber as the perfect fit at City. A big-money move to Manchester’s blue-side would be far more palatable given their historical rivalry with United. Manchester United would have the opportunity for Champions League football again, and finally, some real identity and structure for their team. They insisted, following the departures of Darwin Nunez, Calvin Ramsay and Fabio Carvalho, that they would not be signing any more players this summer. That is because Dortmund already lost one of their key players to Manchester City’s signing of Erling Haaland and did not want to lose Jude Bellingham to a similar window.

Manchester United are set to renew their bid to sign Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong from Ajax, but the clubs are still about PS 15m apart in valuation. Starting what is probably already the most talked-about transfer of the summer transfer window, Man United are looking to persuade Frenkie de Jong to switch the Nou Camp for Old Trafford. With Eric Ten Hag set to manage United this summer, United could become a much more dangerous proposition on the transfer market next time around. Pau Torres is reportedly in United’s transfer wishes, along with Tottenham. Gabriel Jesus, in particular, remains open to leaving City, and his representatives have been said to have held talks with Arsenal in recent months.

Match Review: The Finalissima

A 10/10 performance from Lionel Messi and his team, helped them to grab The Finalissima title after beating the current EURO Champions Italy for three goals. 

First-half goals by Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria put the South American champions in complete control against an Italy side who were back at Wembley 11 months after beating England to win the delayed Euro 2020.

Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala scored to lead Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Italy on Wednesday in the first Finalissima meeting of the South American and European champions. The opener was created by Lionel Messi’s solo brilliance taking him past Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and the Argentina captain squared for Martinez to slot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 28th minute.

Martinez turned creator in first-half stoppage time by threading a pass through for Di Maria to chip Donnarumma, having got past Giorgio Chiellini. The 37-year-old Italy captain came off at halftime of his 117th and final international appearance. The win was wrapped up in the fourth minute of stoppage time, with Messi again providing the assist — this time for the substitute Dybala to strike low into the net.

Mesmerizing

Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, lifted his second international trophy with Argentina in 11 months. This win is all the more special for Argentina’s number 10 because the last La Finallisima holder was another Argentina number 10, one Diego Maradona.

In a one-off meeting of the European and South American champions, the latter came strong, courtesy a player of the match performance from Lionel Messi, who’d put in a player of the tournament performance last summer to win the Copa America.

The 34-year old has now made 46 goal contributions in the 45 finals that he has played in his career. And judging by the two assists that he recorded on his record-extending 161st Argentina appearance last night, there is no sign of Messi slowing down with the chance to win a first World Cup title later this year.

It was a second trophy lift at Wembley for Messi, who had won the Champions League Final here with Barcelona in 2011, beating Manchester United 3-1 and putting in another player of the match performance. The celebrations for La Albiceleste were not so different as they threw their captain in the air, forming a huddle around him. Same as they did after their Copa America win last year in Brazil.

It was a painful return for the Italians to Wembley Stadium, who’d won their Euro title last year on the same turf. The Azzuri will miss playing at the World Cup for the second successive time.

 

UEFA announces Champions League team of the season

UEFA has picked its Champions League squad of the season, just days after Liverpool were defeated by Real Madrid in the competition’s final in Paris.

Los Blancos beat the Reds 1-0 in the French capital in a game marred by ugly scenes outside the ground before and after.

The two finalists, predictably, dominate the XI, with each side fielding four players. The other three names are PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City players.

Thibaut Courtois was selected in goal, most likely motivated by his final heroics, which included a number of brilliant saves from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

The Belgian will be particularly pleased that UEFA’s committee had shown him the requisite ‘respect’ that he demanded in many of his post-final media interviews.

Meanwhile, Liverpool dominates the back line, with three of their players picked with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger in defence.

Virgil van Dijk was picked in the centre of defence with German Rudiger, with Andrew Robertson starting at left back. Despite his high-profile loss to Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior for the game’s lone goal on Saturday, Trent Alexander-Arnold completes the Liverpool defence.

Luka Modric was the clear choice in midfield despite tight competition. His efforts against PSG and Chelsea, particularly in the round of 16 and quarter-finals, appeared to guarantee him a place regardless of what transpired in the semi-finals and final.

Fabinho, who returned from injury for Saturday’s final, was named to the midfield three. His defensive performance for Liverpool has been consistently impressive this season, but his goal away at Villarreal in the semi-finals was critical to the Reds’ success.

Kevin De Bruyne was picked alongside Modric and Fabinho, with the City star playing pivotal roles in each of City’s knockout matches.

In attack, Liverpool fans may be surprised that neither Salah nor Mane made the starting lineup. Despite his team being eliminated at the first knockout stage, UEFA chose Kylian Mbappe to play in Salah’s normal right-side position.

However, the Frenchman had scored twice across the tie with Real Madrid prior to Karim Benzema’s astonishing second half rescue act.

After one of the genuinely great continental campaigns, Benzema’s 15 goals across the competition ensured him a berth in the squad.

Hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea, in particular, will live long in the memory of a club that has had many memorable nights on the European stage.

Vinicius’ deployment on the left completes the team. Having slipped under the radar due to Benzema’s out-of-this-world heroics, the Brazilian burst into the tournament at a critical juncture.

His goal to drag Real Madrid back to 3-2 at the Etihad was essential in the circumstances of that match, while his finish on Saturday night is self-explanatory!

So yeah, that is the team of the season! You can check out the entire team by clicking here!

 

 

Kylian Mbappe to join Real Madrid or to stay with PSG

Real are optimistic about sealing the deal before the transfer window shuts in a few months since they believe Kylian Mbappe is not signing a new agreement in Paris, as his current contract is set to expire at the end of this season. PSG rejected a transfer request for an estimated PS145.8m in summer 2021, the same summer Kylian Mbappe entered the last 12 months of his PSG contract, and they have turned down approaches once more in January 2022, hoping that they can persuade the three-time Ligue 1 player of the year to sign a new contract. With Kylian Mbappe set to be a free agent in 2022, Real Madrid was still thinking such a pricey deal was worth doing now, while PSG decided to hold out, hoping Mbappe would eventually sign an extension, though a shorter one. The question is whether clubs can agree on a fee. Since his current contract ends in 2022, meaning that Kylian Mbappe can talk to Real Madrid about a free transfer, it seems to be Paris Saint-Germain’s responsibility to secure a fair price.

Goal understands Kylian Mbappe has turned down no less than half a dozen offers for an extension at PSG, and agreeing to a personal terms deal with Madrid would be a non-issue. The forward is now entitled to talk to other clubs, as he is entering the final months of his contract at PSG. While it is thought that PSG is still trying to persuade the forward to remain in the capital, Real Madrid is confident he will sign with them as soon as the PSGs season ends next week.

Kylian Mbappe has yet to sign paperwork for Real, and his current club, PSG, are still trying to persuade him to change his mind. The offer comes as several reports in Spain and France suggest that Kylian Mbappe is close to joining Real Madrid on a free transfer once his PSG contract ends after the season ends. It now looked as though he would depart in January, the first, with the upcoming galactico set to leave arrangement next summer, with Madrid likely agreeing to take him for free in January. PSG sporting director Leonardo said that he expected Kylian Mbappe to remain past this season and denied PSG had received the latest deadline-day bid of EUR 200m from Real Madrid for Kylian Mbappe.

However, according to transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Mbappe is “likely to remain with PSG.” According to another story in Sports Bible, PSG has apparently given Kylian Mbappe the position of the owner of their sporting endeavour, with absolute ability to replace coaches and choose whoever players he wants.

Jack Grealish vs Aston Villa for the title decider

Jarrod Bowen’s first-half brace prevented the Blues from expanding their lead at the top of the table to six points ahead of Liverpool’s midweek visit to Southampton.

After a dreadful first 45 minutes in which City conceded twice against the run of play, Jack Grealish hit back to cut the deficit in half and give his side hope of a comeback in their penultimate league game of the season.

An own goal by Vladimir Coufal with just over 20 minutes remaining levelled the score, but City were denied a late winner when Riyad Mahrez’s penalty was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

Grealish, on the other hand, is convinced that his team will win the title when they face their old employers and boyhood club on the final matchday of the season this weekend.

Grealish’s first major honour would be to win the Premier League, and the game against his boyhood club on Sunday is full of stories.

Villa is managed by Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard, and their squad features former Reds players Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho. Grealish stated that despite the many tales, he is not distracted.

“Of course, we are going to be confident. We have got a great record at the Etihad this year and we have scored a lot of goals, so it is down to us,” the 26-year-old said after Sunday’s draw at the London Stadium.

“We have to just try and get the three points on the last day. It is not about me (playing Aston Villa) or the opposition, it is about the team and the club. That is what I have got in my head.

“It is going to be a big day for this city and for this football club. Hopefully we can go and lift the trophy. All we can do is go out there and try to get three points so we can get our hands on the trophy.

“Of course, it will be a nice occasion for me, but it is about the team and we have a job to go out there and get three points. I am looking forward to it and I cannot wait.”

Aurelien Tchouameni prefers Premier League

The Reds have already sealed a deal for Fulham attacker Fabio Carvalho ahead of next season. But Klopp and the management are scouring the market for new arrivals, with a midfielder likely to be top of that list.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni could potentially join Liverpool this summer.

One player who has been linked with a move to Liverpool is Tchouameni, who is arguably one of Europe’s most highly-rated young midfielders.

The 22-year-old has been an influential performer for Monaco throughout this season, averaging 2.5 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game in Ligue 1.

Tchouameni is an enormous prospect who has been described as extraordinary by Paul Pogba, and he looks like someone who could be the perfect addition to Liverpool’s midfield.

He could come in as a squad player initially, but it likely wouldn’t take long before he was an integral part of Klopp’s team, combining quality on the ball – he enjoyed a 90.9% pass completion rate across five appearances for France in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, with tireless work off it.

With the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Thiago all now in their 30s, and Fabinho turning 29 this year, it is vital that fresh legs come in in the middle of the park. Tchouameni is perfect in that respect.

Monaco star Tchouameni has no interest in signing for PSG as he wants to further his career by leaving France this summer. That will give Liverpool and United a major boost ahead of the Ligue 1 champions, who could blow them both out of the water with money alone.

This summer, the France international is hot property ahead of the transfer window after a sensational campaign in Ligue 1. He even breaks into the national set-up where Didier Deschamps is spoilt for choice.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are also interested in the midfielder, but Liverpool and United might be able to entice the player should he decide to move to the Premier League. Both clubs are looking at strengthening the middle of the park, where they have looked light.

United have made signing a defensive midfielder a priority after a miserable campaign where their lack of a specialist has left them brutally exposed. At the same time, Liverpool have yet to truly replace Georginio Wijnaldum.
The French giants are expected to revamp their squad despite winning the title at a canter with the Champions League their main priority, and that could also include a change of manager with Mauricio Pochettino clinging to his job. But they will have to look elsewhere in the engine department.