About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Emery admits top-four finish ‘difficult’ for Arsenalby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveUnai Emery admits consistency is jeopardising Arsenal’s top-four chances. The Gunners’ loss to West Ham United on Sunday saw them drop three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.And Emery thinks it will be difficult for his team to qualify for the Champions League if they continue to drop points.”Now it’s more difficult, it’s clear,” he told reporters. “I think the most important thing for us is to recover our confidence and be more competitive. We need consistency over 38 matches.”Now it isn’t enough at the moment. It’s a bad result. If we can win we are playing against Chelsea [on Saturday] with a three-point maximum distance.”The big opportunity for us is that we can take in our hands the possibility to be closer to them. This result makes that more difficult.”
Man Utd tell Solskjaer plans to bring in four new signingsby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer they plan to bring in four new signings next year.United have struggled to score goals this season and The Times says the board is willing to remain patient with Solskjaer as they acknowledge the scale of the task at hand in rebuilding his squad.The Norwegian has held meetings with the club’s hierarchy and they will be looking to make four signings next year, including a centre forward.United made three signings this summer, with Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James heading to Old Trafford. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s resuscitation of Southampton gathered momentum as they climbed three points clear of the Premier League drop zone with a 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town.The Saints led from the 15th minute through Nathan Redmond and navigated a nervy spell in the second half to deservedly prevail in a match with clear relegation implications.Danny Ings, twice on target in last weekend’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal, converted his side’s second from the spot before half-time and it proved a decisive buffer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Philip Billing’s bamboozling of Alex McCarthy briefly offered the Terriers a lifeline in the 58th minute but, as is often the case, they failed to build on a positive period and were consigned to a fifth straight Premier League loss when teenager Michael Obafemi buried his first professional goal.The confidence Southampton gained from overcoming Arsenal was evident in Redmond’s emphatic finish for the opener, the winger punishing Terence Kongolo’s ungainly attempt at cutting out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass.28 – Nathan Redmond has scored his first Premier League goal of the season with his 28th shot. Persistence. #HUDSOU pic.twitter.com/no0V8teC4V — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 22, 2018 Huddersfield were struggling to exert any kind of attacking threat and another defensive blunder cost them three minutes before the break.Mathias Jorgensen miscontrolled Ings’ wayward pass and compounded his error by tripping the Saints striker, who coolly sent Jonas Lossl the wrong way from the spot.McCarthy made an instinctive save from Jorgensen’s close-range header soon after the interval but the goalkeeper was far less impressive in allowing Billing’s swerving shot to beat him.That instigated a period of Huddersfield pressure that was relieved through a third mistake at the back.Christopher Schindler was all too easily robbed of possession, Redmond selflessly squared and substitute Obafemi was on hand to tuck away a landmark goal, leaving the hapless hosts four points from safety.That first #PL goal feeling #HUDSOU pic.twitter.com/J3yVYJGXLc— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Terriers in serious troubleSouthampton scoring three times for the second straight match made Huddersfield’s attacking woes all the more regrettable.Still, that concern will fade to minor irritation for manager David Wagner in comparison to the headaches served up by his defence, who could have prevented each goal.Hojbjerg at the heart of Saints’ successSouthampton were blessed with several impressive performers and chief among them was Hojbjerg.Wearing the captain’s armband, the former Bayern Munich man was a real leader in midfield as he got through a power of defensive work while registering an assist for Redmond’s opener.Jorgensen sets poor standardA defender of Jorgensen’s experience should have known better than to have been sucked into the challenge that allowed Ings to double the margin in the first half.The mistake plunged Huddersfield into a hole they were unable to escape from, and losing more than half of his duels did little to help.Key Opta Facts- Southampton have registered back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2017, when they were managed by Claude Puel.- Huddersfield have lost nine of their last 12 home Premier League games (W1 D2), netting just four goals in that time.- Hasenhuttl has won two of his three Premier League matches in charge of Southampton (L1) – only one fewer than Mark Hughes managed in 22 attempts as Saints boss.- Since the start of last season, Huddersfield have had more different players booked for diving than any other Premier League team (4 – Rajiv van La Parra, Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre and Chris Lowe).What’s next? Huddersfield must contend with a daunting trip to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, while Southampton will eye a result at home to West Ham the following day. read more
Watford ended West Ham’s winning streak with a 2-0 victory at London Stadium which saw Javi Gracia’s side climb to sixth in the Premier League.The hosts went into Saturday’s contest on the back of four wins on the bounce, but saw their momentum halted by Troy Deeney’s emphatic first-half penalty and a late Gerard Deulofeu goal.Manuel Pellegrini’s men were left to rue a number of near-misses as their search for a goal proved fruitless, Michail Antonio coming closest as he twice hit the woodwork in the second half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It represents the Hammers’ first loss since a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City last month, leaving them 12th in the table.| The skipper opens the scoring #watfordfc #WHUWAT [0-1]Listen live ⤵️https://t.co/mxkU36Cmjo pic.twitter.com/O4xpJMiObF— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) December 22, 2018West Ham threatened first and Christian Kabasele made a vital sliding interception to prevent Antonio’s dangerous delivery from reaching Javier Hernandez, while Fabian Balbuena was pressed into defensive action at the other end to thwart Deulofeu.The Hornets wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock in the 24th minute as Jose Holebas miscontrolled when he had the freedom of the penalty area after West Ham’s plan to play him offside backfired. It did not take long for the visitors to shrug off that disappointment, Balbuena’s clumsy challenge on Roberto Pereyra allowing Deeney to open the scoring with a powerful finish from the spot.West Ham twice came close to an equaliser either side of the break, Ben Foster making a smart stop to keep out Hernandez’s volley and then Antonio’s header hitting the post. Andy Carroll’s introduction in the place of Mark Noble underlined West Ham’s attacking intent and the hosts continued to press, Hernandez fluffing his lines to shoot tamely at Foster from just eight yards out. It took a fine save from Lukasz Fabianski to push Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stinging drive over the crossbar in the 71st minute as Watford sought to put the game to bed. Doucoure then made a timely intervention to deny the lively Hernandez just as the Mexican was lining up the target. There were chances for both sides late on with Deeney shooting straight at Fabianski and Foster saving from Antonio before watching his follow-up effort hit the bar, but Deulofeu had the final say with a cool finish to settle matters after being played in by Pereyra. What does it mean? Hornets flying highWith back-to-back wins under their belt, Watford now sit in the top six heading into a busy run of fixtures that will shape their season. West Ham arguably deserved at least a point and must quickly pick themselves up from a first defeat of the month.Fostering defensive confidenceIn a game of fine margins, the calm presence of Foster was key in Watford’s triumph, the Englishman making seven saves in a display that frustrated West Ham.Balbuena pays the penaltyIt was a day to forget for Balbuena, who went off after injuring himself in conceding the penalty that ultimately cost West Ham the game. His passing accuracy of 54.4 per cent spoke volumesKey Opta Facts- Watford have won five of their last eight Premier League games against West Ham (D1 L2), winning three away from home in this run (1-0 in February 2007, 4-2 in September 2016 and 2-0 in December 2018).- West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 Premier League home games.- Deeney has scored in three of his last four league appearances against West Ham, with two of those goals coming at London Stadium.- Deulofeu scored in consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time in his career.- Watford ended a run of seven consecutive Premier League games in which they failed to keep a clean sheet. What’s next? Pellegrini takes his side to a resurgent Southampton on Thursday, while Watford host Chelsea on Boxing Day. read more
It took just three minutes for Manchester United to take their first steps toward banishing the dark clouds of the end of the Jose Mourinho era as Marcus Rashford delivered a free-kick to put his side on top.After a sluggish start that saw the Red Devils mired on just 26 points, the club finally made the move to part ways with Mourinho after nearly two and half seasons.Former United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed to the interim role, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s old charge tasked with salvaging something from a campaign that appeared to drift dangerously off course. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? United entered their match in Wales against Solskjaer’s former side 22 points behind table-topping Liverpool and 11 behind Chelsea in fourth place as the new boss made four changes to his lineup.One of those changes was Paul Pogba, who had been dropped by Mourinho for the club’s last three Premier League fixtures, and did not play at all in the last two, against Fulham and the defeat to Liverpool.But it was Pogba who earned the first opportunity, as he won a free-kick just outside the Cardiff area minutes into the contest.Pogba and Rashford lined up over the ball, with Pogba faking as if he was going to take it before letting the forward run up and hit it.Rashford hit a low drive that went through the Cardiff wall and left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rooted to the spot.What a start to the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era! Get in Rashford! pic.twitter.com/b20Ct2jzaI— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 22, 2018GOALRashford’s free kick gives the new #MUFC boss the perfect start….Follow live: https://t.co/CNM3VdNsIT pic.twitter.com/PuHJTxku83— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2018The goal was Rashford’s fourth of the Premier League season and third in four games across all competitions, having scored against Fulham and Valencia in the past two weeks.The forward has now been involved in more Premier League goals than any of his team-mates this season, scoring four times and adding five assists.Pogba would later earn himself an assist as he found Ander Herrera in space with the Spanish midfielder then hitting a wicked strike from distance which deflected past Etheridge to double the United advantage.Rashford, however, would have his night dampened late in the first half as the forward was flagged for a handball in his area, giving Cardiff a penalty that was converted by Víctor Camarasa to make it 2-1. But moments later, Pogba was involved in the build-up with Jesse Lingard playing in Anthony Martial, who restored United’s two-goal advantage.
Franck Ribery scored twice as Bayern Munich ended 2018 by moving into second place in the Bundesliga with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.On Niko Kovac’s return to his former club, Bayern took the lead midway through the first half when Ribery swept in at the culmination of a slick counter-attack.Bayern could have been ahead earlier on, had Kevin Trapp not pulled off a superb double save to deny Javi Martinez and Thomas Muller, who later hit the woodwork. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Robert Lewandowski should have wrapped up the win early in the second half, but his blushes were spared when Ribery scuffed in a second, with Rafinha’s fortuitous effort adding further gloss to a victory that takes Bayern back to within six points of leaders Borussia Dortmund.Danny da Costa and Luka Jovic both went close as Eintracht started well, but the hosts would have been behind had Trapp not followed up a fantastic save from Martinez’s diving header by denying Muller on the rebound.Trapp was beaten in the 35th minute, though. Muller played in Lewandowski, who squared a wonderful reverse pass into the centre of the box, with Ribery on hand to tuck home.3 – @FranckRibery scores in 3 consecutive games in the Bundesliga for the first time since February 2015, after not scoring in his first 11 games in the Bundesliga in this season. Form. @FCBayernEN #SGEFCB — OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018 Lewandowski almost turned provider again on the stroke of half-time, but Muller could only direct his header onto the bar.Ribery should have had an assist when he teed up Lewandowski, though the striker’s first touch let him down, and that profligacy might have proved costly had Jovic connected with Da Costa’s cross.But any lingering hopes of an Eintracht comeback were ended when Ribery’s mishit clipped in off the woodwork, with Rafinha’s cross-shot then getting the better of Trapp as Bayern cruised to a fifth successive Bundesliga win. What does it mean? Kovac keeps the bragging rights Kovac has now come out as the winning manager in the last three meetings between these sides, once as Eintracht boss in the DFB-Pokal final, and now twice during his time in charge of Bayern.It also means that Bayern ensure that they stay within touching distance of Dortmund heading into the winter break, while Eintracht sit in fifth.Ribery’s scoring run rolls on It took until December 8 for Ribery to open his account for the season, but the winger has not looked back since then, and has now netted four times in his last three Bundesliga appearances.Haller, Jovic left isolated After initially struggling to cope with Eintracht’s high press, Bayern managed to stem the service into the hosts’ forward pair, and neither Sebastien Haller or Jovic had much to go off.Key Opta facts: – Thomas Muller played his 50th competitive game for Bayern in 2018 – no other player made so many appearances for Bayern in all competitions this year.- Franck Ribery scored in his third consecutive Bundesliga game – the last time he achieved this was in February 2015.- Robert Lewandowski had a hand in a goal for Bayern for the 50th time in all competitions in 2018 – tying his personal record for a single calendar year (50 goals scored/assisted in 2017).- Ribery (35 years, 259 days) became the oldest Bayern player ever to score at least two goals in a single Bundesliga game.- Niko Kovac has won five consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time as a coach – he also did not achieved this in his career as a Bayern player.2 – @FranckRibery is the oldest player of @FCBayernEN (35 years, 259 days) to score more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. Grandseigneur. #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/g2zyFpL2O7— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 22, 2018What’s next? With the Bundesliga taking a winter break, Bayern face Fortuna Dusseldorf in a friendly before restarting league duties away at Hoffenheim on January 18. read more
Kylian Mbappe made the difference in the absence of Neymar, scoring the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 1-0 to end 2018 in victorious fashion.Brazil star Neymar had been allowed to travel back to his home country to rest following recent struggles with a groin injury, and while PSG missed his craft, they scraped the win nonetheless.Angel Di Maria looked PSG’s biggest threat in the first half, though his two best strikes did not quite hit the target as the hosts failed to make the most of their superiority. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? PSG remained the controlling force after the interval and finally broke the deadlock through Mbappe in the 68th minute, and that proved to be enough as the hosts’ first Ligue 1 game since December 5 – due to the ‘gilet jaunes’ demonstrations – ended with a triumph.FULL TIME: PSG end the year on a winning note, beating Nantes 1-0 on @KMbappe’s lone goal! #AllesParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/kn6DKKRaUR— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018It took less than a minute for PSG to threaten, as Di Maria saw a controlled volley go agonisingly over Ciprian Tatarusanu’s crossbar.But that failed to usher in a period of PSG bombardment, with their next opportunity not presenting itself until the 25th minute, when Julian Draxler shot over from 20 yards after Mbappe’s cut-back.Di Maria went close again a few moments later, his 25-yard strike flying past the right-hand post with Tatarusanu looking beaten.PSG continued to threaten from distance after the break, with Di Maria – again – and Mbappe shooting just off target in the first 12 minutes.Draxler thought he opened the scoring after an hour, but VAR proved the ball went out of play in the build-up, despite Marco Verratti’s best efforts.There was no denying Mbappe 22 minutes from time, though, as he turned in – via the crossbar – from close range after Marquinhos flicked on Di Maria’s corner.Di Maria saw another effort thud against the crossbar but it mattered little as PSG secured victory to open up a 13-point lead over Lille – beaten 2-1 by Toulouse – at the top of the table.He’s not a teenager anymore #AllezParis #PSGFCN pic.twitter.com/r5zSMzNEjH— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 22, 2018What does it mean? PSG lacking sharpnessIt is fair to say PSG looked a little off the pace on Saturday, and it is easy to understand why, given the only teams they have faced since December 5 were Red Star Belgrade and Orleans. Considering the circumstances and the absence of Neymar, they will surely be happy to get this one out of the way.Di Maria provides PSG’s sparkWith Neymar not featuring, Di Maria took on the mantle of PSG’s creative hub and he was certainly lively, seeing several shots go close. He was unable to get a deserved goal, but there is no doubt about the quality he showed.Cavani blends into the backgroundPerhaps the service to him was lacking, but Edinson Cavani did little to make any openings for himself and rarely featured in build-up play before being hooked towards the end.Key Opta Facts- PSG have won their last 14 games against Nantes in Ligue 1, and become the first ever top-flight team to win 14 consecutive games against the same opponent.- Nantes have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games against PSG in Ligue 1 (2 goals).- Thomas Tuchel’s side have picked up 47 points after 17 games in Ligue 1, the highest tally in the history of the top-flight at this stage.- PSG are the only team to have scored in all of their Ligue 1 games this season (17/17).- Mbappé’s goal in the 68th minute was PSG’s first shot on target.- The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in Ligue 1 this season, only Lionel Messi (15) has scored more in the top 5 leagues.What’s next?After the winter break, PSG have games against Pontivy and Guingamp in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, respectively, before then returning to Ligue 1 action on January 11 at Amiens. Nantes will host Chateauroux in the Coupe de France, then Montpellier in the league four days later on January 8. read more
Bayern Munich are leading the race to sign Chelsea attacker Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Goal understands the Bundesliga champions could face competition from Borussia Dortmund, who have also shown an interest in the 18-year-old.Hudson-Odoi is a valued asset at Stamford Bridge, but the youngster is questioning his long-term future at the club despite his age, having earned only two competitive starts under Maurizio Sarri this season.Chelsea are still hopeful that they can tie down the forward to a new five-year contract, as previously revealed by Goal, but a serious offer from a big overseas club could tempt the Blues to cash in on a player who is eager for playing time and out of contract in 18 months.Dortmund’s approach for Hudson-Odoi came during Chelsea’s talks with the club over Christian Pulisic’s availability, with the German side’s offer of a swap deal rejected by the Blues as they aim to tempt the player to put pen to paper on a new deal in January. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It is understood that Bayern have a clear plan set out to bring the England youth to the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians eager to add some youth to their forward line as veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben enter the final years of their career.Juventus and Real Madrid also retain an interest in Hudson-Odoi, who brought himself to the attention of clubs all around Europe since helping Chelsea’s academy team to a stunning quadruple in the 2017-18 season.The Blues are also keen to hold on to goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, who is regarded as the best young shot-stopper currently on the London club’s books.They have, however, already cemented deals for fellow keepers Nathan Baxter and Jamie Cumming to ensure talent continues to come through between the sticks.
Santos youngster Rodrygo says that comparisons made between his talents and those of Neymar are “idiocy” as the forward prepares for life at Real Madrid.Los Blancos signed the 17-year-old on a six-year deal earlier this year, to take effect from June 2019, tying him to the Champions League holders until 2025.The teenager has struck up a friendship with Brazilian superstar Neymar following his involvement in the Selecao’s youth set-ups, but ahead of his move to La Liga he has played down talk describing him in the same terms as the Paris Saint-Germain star. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Neymar is Neymar and Rodrygo is Rodrygo,” he was quoted by AS . “What he does, no one else will do the same.“People want to compare us and there is no comparison. Neymar is 26 years old and has won everything.“He won the Copa Libertadores, the Olympic Games, the Champions League. I am in my first year as a professional.“It is idiocy. He’s one of my idols, but we cannot compare.”Neymar won the Copa Libertadores with Santos, where he started his career like Rodrygo, in 2011 before making the switch to Barcelona.With the Catalan club, he was a two-time La Liga winner and three-time holder of the Copa del Rey, as well as claiming Champions League and Club World Cup honours in 2015.At PSG, he also won a domestic treble, picking up medals for Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue this year.On the international stage, he won Silver with the Brazilian men’s Olympic football team in London in 2012 and went one better four years later in his home country to take Gold.He also won the Confederations Cup in 2013 and was part of the national side that finished fourth on home soil in the 2014 World Cup, though he endured a mixed campaign in Russia this year as Brazil were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Belgium.Santos struggled this season in the Campeonato Brasileiro, finishing 10th and missing out on qualification to the Copa Libertadores.They will instead play in the Copa Sudamericana next year.
Samuel Umtiti will return to Barcelona on December 30 for further “conservative treatment” on his knee after undergoing therapy in Qatar.The France international last featured for Barca almost a month ago in Barca’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on November 24, but a persistent knee issue has troubled him ever since.Umtiti had been having treatment with specialists in Qatar ever since the end of November. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He has played just seven times in La Liga this term, having also missed two months when the knee injury first flared up in September.Barca have been severely impacted by injuries at centre-back this term, with Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique the only fit senior players for the position in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.The club are yet to give a return date for Umtiti, though they will be helped by the loan signing of Jeison Murillo in January.A club statement on Umtiti’s return to Spain read: “Samuel Umtiti was evaluated by the club’s medical services staff at the team’s training centre this morning due to the discomfort in his left knee.”Samuel Umtiti will return on December 30 to continue undergoing conservative treatment on his knee.”This conservative treatment plan was announced on December 2, with the goal of allowing him to heal his left knee discomfort.”The player was in Doha, Qatar in recent weeks for physical therapy treatment under the supervision of the club’s medical services staff.”
Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed that former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz has been appointed as the Bundesliga club’s next coach.Leverkusen sit ninth in the Bundesliga table heading into the winter break and, despite securing a third win in four league games by beating Hertha Berlin on Saturday, Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his duties.And the club have revealed that Bosz, whose successful 2016-17 campaign with Ajax led to a short-lived stint at Dortmund, which came to an end in December 2017, will take over in the new year, having signed a contract until 2020. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Heiko Herrlich gave our team an important boost last year after a very difficult season,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said in a statement.”Until the end we had the conviction and the will to make it with him as head coach. Unfortunately, a stagnation in the development of the team is no longer deniable.”Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes added: “Bosz stands for offensive, fast-paced and inspiring football.”He has always shown a special passion for working with young players, that’s why he fits in very well with us.”Heiko Herrlich has been relieved of his coaching duties at #Bayer04.Peter Bosz will take over in January. pic.twitter.com/Hrtoy8CJ9J— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) December 23, 2018Bosz took charge of Ajax in July 2016, and guided the Eredivisie club to the Europa League final – where they were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United – and a second-placed finish in the Dutch top flight, before taking over at Dortmund.A seven-match unbeaten run in the league saw Dortmund flying at the start of the campaign, but an eight-game winless streak and no victories in the Champions League group stage resulted in Bosz losing his job at Signal Iduna Park.
Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has admitted that he could see himself remaining at the Bundesliga champions for another year after his impressive performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday helped them to victory.The Frenchman’s brace inspired Niko Kovac’s side to a 3-0 win in the final game before the winter break, to ensure that they stay within feasible distance of league leaders Borussia Dortmund.His two goals also ensured that, at 35, he became the oldest player in Bayern history to achieve a double in a game for the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ribery has been linked with an exit from the club he has called home for more than a decade at the end of the current campaign, with club officials Hasan Salihamidzic and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hinting that this could be his last season at the Allianz Arena.Speaking afterwards, the midfielder’s tune was more ambiguous, acknowledging that he could still see his future with Bayern while admitting that he has no concrete plans beyond next May.“Yes, of course,” Ribery told Sky when asked about remaining in Munich, before adding: “My situation is not easy to assess.“But I just work, I’m having fun and I’m performing. What will happen next season, we’ll see.”Ribery joined Bayern from Marseille in 2007 and has gone on to win virtually every major honour with the club.He is an eight-time winner of the Bundesliga and also holds medals for the DFB-Pokal and DFB-Supercup domestically.In Europe, he has won the Champions League and the Super Cup as well as the Club World Cup in 2013.He was also a runner-up with France at the 2006 World Cup, featuring in the final for Les Bleus as they were beaten on penalties by Italy.Ribery has also been named in UEFA’s Team of the Year twice, both times while playing for Bayern, in 2008 and 2013.If he is to depart, he would become the second big-name winger to exit the club in the space of a season, after Arjen Robben confirmed he would call time on his 10-year Bayern career at the end of the current season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must influence Manchester United’s future transfer dealings, according to former defender Gary Neville.The interim boss made the perfect start to life back at Old Trafford with a 5-1 win over Cardiff City, to end a week which included Jose Mourinho’s sacking.Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane are reportedly being lined up by the United hierarchy to take over on a long-term basis. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Solskjaer does have an agreement in place to stay on if his six-month spell in charge is a success but regardless of whether he remains, Neville says the Norwegian has a major role to play.”Ole’s job in the next six months is to be head coach, head scout, head of recruitment and making sure he feeds back really good information into the recruitment department of what the club needs,” he told Sky Sports’ Gary Neville Podcast of his former team-mate.”My concern over the last three to four years is who has been signing the players. “That needs cleaning up and I am certain the club in the next six months will appoint the right people who are best in class to run that side of things.”Manchester United have to start getting it right otherwise they will struggle, but it was a good start yesterday.”Having never managed to score five times in any of Mourinho’s 144 games in charge, United reached the landmark in the opening 90 minutes of Solskjaer’s tenure.Though United showed a greater amount of freedom in their first game since the exit of the Portuguese boss, Neville insists the 19-time English champions are far from out of the woods.He added: “The hard work starts now for United. Anybody who thinks sacking Jose Mourinho is the answer, it is not, the hard work starts now and I am sure the people in the club are wise enough and knowledgeable to know that.”There was an immediate bounce and impact from Ole, however it was Cardiff and we need to see if they can do it over six months.”If they can do that then they will get the opportunity to play for the club next season. “If they do it over six games and then drop back they won’t play for the club next season.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Marco Asensio is honoured to be on Inter’s radar but has no plans to leave Real Madrid, according to his agent.Reports have suggested the Nerazzurri are considering a January bid for the Spain international, who has started 11 of Madrid’s 17 La Liga matches this season and scored only once.Asensio’s representative, Horacio Gaggioli, acknowledged his client would be proud to hear of an offer from the Serie A club but says the 22-year-old wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “It’s an honour if a club like Inter are interested in Marco,” he told FCInternews.”I don’t know if it’s true, but for now the player has no intention of leaving Madrid.”Asensio has won eight major trophies for Madrid since 2016, including the 2018 Club World Cup this month.Otro título para vosotros, Madridistas. ¡Tricampeones del mundo! / Another cup for us, Madridistas. World Tri-champions! pic.twitter.com/8PJSFYWGRI— Marco Asensio (@marcoasensio10) December 22, 2018
Football clubs are “not ready” to effectively harness the work of sports psychologists, according to Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri.The Blues went down to a surprise 1-0 home defeat against Leicester City at the weekend, where their disjointed response to Jamie Vardy’s 55th-minute goal was at odds with an earlier control of the contest.Sarri suggested his players’ mentality was the issue, rejecting suggestions that they are not physically prepared to implement his style of football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? However, the 59-year-old Italian’s previous experiences mean he is not ready to call in a psychological specialist.”No [we don’t have one]. Not at the moment, because it’s not easy,” he told reporters, with a Boxing Day trip to Watford next on the agenda for the Blues.”I had a sports psychologist 15 years ago in Italy, it was really very difficult because the clubs were not ready in that moment, but I think that they are not ready also in this moment.”The physical performance, I don’t know the numbers but in the match against Bournemouth [last week’s 1-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win], it was one of the best of the season, maybe the best in quality.”I don’t think it’s possible for the physical conditioning to change in two minutes. [Against Leicester] we were very well for 55 minutes and two minutes after the goal we were in trouble, so I think there is another reason.”We lost the match because the reaction after the goal was in the wrong direction, I think we had only to continue.”We were in full control of the match. We were dangerous without conceding anything to the opponents so we had only to continue.”Back to it on Boxing Day! pic.twitter.com/z5Epj9jLjX— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 23, 2018Cesc Fabregas made a rare Premier League appearance from the bench during the closing stages of the Leicester defeat and Sarri suggested his plight is indicative of an overly stocked squad – especially when it comes to attacking midfielders.”At the moment we are too many. We have 28 players and it’s impossible to use all of them. I think 25 is the right number,” the former Napoli boss added.”We have a lot of offensive midfielders and we have only [N’Golo] Kante as a defensive midfielder, so it’s not easy now for the midfield to have the right balance.”
Jurgen Klopp does not believe Manchester City are cracking under the pressure of Liverpool’s ferocious pace at the top of the Premier League.The Reds will celebrate Christmas with a four-point lead over the reigning champions following recent defeats for Pep Guardiola’s side against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.Both of those reverses came when Liverpool had played earlier that weekend and won against Bournemouth and Wolves respectively. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But Klopp baulked at the idea that City are struggling to respond to his still unbeaten side – pointing to the overall quality of their performances in what he felt were ill-deserved results.”You saw the two games they played? It didn’t look like they felt a lot of pressure. They were outstanding in these games,” he told a news conference to preview the Boxing Day clash with Newcastle United at Anfield.”If you don’t finish off your chances against Chelsea you can lose. They were the better team this game”Crystal Place did an outstanding job and scored outstanding goals. That always makes life uncomfortable.”It [means] absolutely nothing. It’s difficult to win football games, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”They were just a bit unlucky in these two games and this happens from time to time.”City host Liverpool on January 3 and the gap between Guardiola’s men in second and Tottenham in third is narrower than the one between themselves and Liverpool after Spurs’ resounding 6-2 win at Everton on Sunday.Klopp thinks Mauricio Pochettino’s team are very much part of the title picture – having never sought to rule them out in the first place.”You make these stories about who is in, who is out,” he said.”I saw the game yesterday against Everton and the first goal of Tottenham was obviously a situation Tottenham needed. Everton played more than okay in the first couple of minutes.”Then they hit everything, it was really impressive how Tottenham did. The same can happen with Chelsea, Arsenal and all those teams. Nobody can feel safe, nobody can feel out of the race or whatever. It’s not a time to think about it.”It’s just a fantastic football team and I said a few times that Tottenham had the most difficult summer period, and I don’t mean [because of them] not signing players. Eight or nine players played the full World Cup and playing how they have so far this season is more than impressive.”A lot of teams are in whatever you call the title race and that’s the only difference to last season, when no-one was in at this time [due to City’s dominance]. That’s good for all supporters.”Instead of looking too far ahead, Klopp wants his players fully focused for the expected challenge of breaking down a well-manned Newcastle defence under the charge of ex-Reds boss Rafael Benitez.”The Wolverhampton game was a big challenge for us after winning against Napoli and Man United,” he added, having confirmed defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in full training following a foot injury.”In players’ minds they could drop focus a bit. I was really happy when I saw the attitude for that game as well.”That’s what we need – stay angry, stay greedy.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Mohamed Salah toiled with the after effects of his shoulder injury at the start of this season, says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.A deft finish from the Egypt forward opened the scoring for Liverpool in the Premier League leaders’ 2-0 win at Wolves last time out and moved him on to 14 goals for the campaign in all competitions.Five of those have come in the past two weeks and Klopp believes the 2017-18 PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Season is now firing on all cylinders – not that this was always the case in the months after his ill-fated grapple with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “He is young enough to involve a lot more things in his game. It’s not just speed, it’s not just finishing, it’s keeping the ball,” Klopp told reporters at a news conference ahead of Newcastle United’s Boxing Day visit to Anfield.”But you need your body for that and that was the only problem with Mo at the beginning of the season. Part of his body was still not perfect.”If you work in an office and your shoulder is not 100 per cent, it’s okay. If you are a professional football player, it just takes 10-15 per cent away.”He’s still a world-class player but we knew we had to wait until the moment when everything was fine again.”Klopp has made a subtle change to Salah’s role in Liverpool’s much-vaunted forward line this season, meaning the 26-year-old has often been stationed in a central attacking position as opposed to his customary spot on the right wing.”It’s good. He had to adapt a bit to a slightly different position. Not that different, but slightly. We need his link-up play,” the former Borussia Dortmund coach explained.”He still has that desire and the speed in the first few yards, which is impressive. And of course, he is a very important part of our finishing situations.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Benjamin Pavard has denied having an agreement in place which will see him link up with Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019.Ever since helping France to World Cup glory over the summer, the 22-year-old defender has seen his club future called into question.It has been suggested that Bayern are leading the chase for his signature, with it widely reported that a deal has already been done. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Pavard, who remains under contract at Stuttgart until 2021, insists that is not the case.He told Le Parisien: “I have not signed anything with Bayern. “The interest of such a club makes me happy, but today I am focused on Stuttgart. I do not think about next summer.”While reluctant to look to the future, Pavard is prepared to reflect on events of the past.He still feels that France’s efforts in Russia should have earned greater recognition, with the likes of Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann overlooked in the 2018 Ballon d’Or vote.Pavard said of an award which went to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, who suffered World Cup final heartache with Croatia: “I would have liked to see a Frenchman win it, knowing that players such as Raphael Varane – who is the only one to have won the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year – and Antoine Griezmann had a great years. “They would have deserved it.”World Cup-winning exploits were not enough for that pair, but nobody can take France’s achievement away from them.Pavard played a leading role in their global triumph, with a spectacular strike during a 4-3 victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina at the last-16 stage set to live long in the memory.Recalling that effort, the highly-rated full-back said: “That goal has changed my life. “Things have gone to another dimension. That goal went around the world. “Before, few people knew me, but since then, things have changed. I am recognised everywhere. I am asked about that goal almost every day.”While Pavard will forever have those happy memories, he is currently trying to avoid making some unhappy ones.Stuttgart have endured a difficult 2018-19 campaign to date and sit just outside the Bundesliga drop zone as a result.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FIFA 20 VERSION!There is nothing that gets a club’s fan base more excited than the prospect of having a wonderkid on their books, a game-changing player who can define the team for years to come and propel them to silverware at home and in continental competition.FIFA 19 is no different, with an astute signing of a young player turning your Career Mode team from also-rans into genuine contenders. There are loads of talented young players from around the world that end up becoming superstars with the right tuition and game time, including many bargains that may even be willing to sign for teams outside the top flight.Goal compiles all the wonderkids in FIFA 19, listing the players with the highest potential rating under 20 in the game. This list is ordered by position, with the players separated into the category of their primary position. For example, Kylian Mbappe’s preferred position is on the wing, so he is listed as a forward, but he’s also the best young midfielder in the game too as he’s just so talented, he can play almost everywhere! Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? PO. = Position(s) CR = Current Rating PR = Potential Rating VA. = Value *Clubs listed are the clubs the players are assigned to in FIFA 19 Career Mode, while ages shown are the age at the start of Career ModeFIFA 19: BEST YOUNG GOALKEEPERS NAME AGE CLUB PO. CR PR VA. G Donnarumma 19 AC Milan GK 82 93 £25.5m A Lafont 19 Fiorentina GK 77 89 £10.6m A Lunin 19 Real Madrid GK 76 88 £9.2m C Fruchtl 18 Bayern Munich GK 65 86 £900k M Svilar 18 Benfica GK 67 85 £1.1m A Plizzari 18 AC Milan GK 66 84 £950k W Farinez 20 Millonarios GK 73 83 £4.4m J Biljow 20 Feyenoord GK 72 82 £3.4m B Dragowski 20 Fiorentina GK 71 82 £2.8m F Uzoho 19 Deportivo GK 68 82 £1.4m F Muller 20 Mainz GK 67 82 £1.2m Diogo Costa 18 Porto GK 66 82 £950k O Mandanda 19 Bordeaux GK 64 82 £700k Y Diouf 18 Troyes GK 62 82 £400k S Laiton 18 Auxerre GK 60 82 £350k G Kobel 20 Hoffenheim GK 66 81 £1m L Plogmann 18 Werder Bremen GK 60 81 £350k A Semper 20 Chievo Verona GK 67 80 £1m M Schubert 20 Dynamo Dresden GK 67 80 £1m P Dahlberg 19 Watford GK 67 80 £1m A Muric 19 Man City GK 61 80 £400k L Ingolotti 18 Atletico Aldosivi GK 58 80 £200k Once again, AC Milan and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is the best young shot-stopper in the game, reflecting his real-life status where he won Goal’s NxGn in 2017 and finished as runner-up in 2018. Donnarumma’s price in FIFA 19 will probably scare off many potential suitors, but he is the only young goalkeeper who ends up with a rating over 90.Andriy Lunin starts Career Mode on loan from Real Madrid, so is not an option in the first transfer window, but value can be had if you look to Bayern Munich’s Christian Fruchtl or Benfica’s Mile Svilar, who impressed last season against Manchester United in the Europa League despite conceding an own goal.Those two will probably not get into your team straight away, with the vast majority of talented young goalkeepers having ratings less than 70 at the start of the game.FIFA 19: BEST YOUNG DEFENDERS NAME AGE CLUB PO. CR PR VA. M de Ligt 18 Ajax CB 80 91 £18m T Alexander-Arnold 19 Liverpool RB 78 88 £12.3m D Upamecano 19 RB Leipzig CB 76 88 £10.6m Diogo Liete 19 Porto CB 74 87 £8.4m B Kamara 18 Marseille CB,CDM 71 87 £3.9m A Bastoni 19 Inter CB 67 87 £1.3m Pablo Maffeo 20 Stuttgart RWB,RM 78 86 £11.4m N Mukiele 20 RB Leipzig CB,RB,RWB 77 86 £10.6m Eder Militao 20 Porto RB,CB 75 86 £8.8m J Kounde 19 Bordeaux CB 73 86 £5.7m E Ampadu 17 Chelsea CB,CDM 63 86 £650k M Saracchi 20 RB Leipzig LB 75 85 £8.4m A Hakimi 19 Real Madrid RB,LB 75 85 £7.9m P Restos 19 Bayer Leverkusen CB,RB,LB 75 85 £7.9m J Foyth 20 Spurs CB 70 85 £3.1m M Varnier 20 Cittadella CB 70 85 £3.1m G Itter 19 Wolfsburg LB 67 85 £1.3m F Benkovic 20 Leicester CB 76 84 £8.8m T Herndandez 20 Real Madrid LB,LWB 76 84 £8.4m F Udokhai 20 Wolfsburg CB 76 84 £8.8m Lato 20 Valencia LB,LWB,LM 75 84 £7.9m T Fosu-Mensah 20 Man Utd RB,CB 74 84 £7m I Konate 19 RB Leipzig CB 73 84 £5.3m D Maresic 18 Sturm Graz CB 72 84 £4m Diogo Dalot 19 Man Utd RB,LB 72 84 £4.1m Dodo 19 Vitoria Guimaraes RB 71 84 £3.4m N Perez 18 Argentinos Juniors CB 70 84 £2.9m C Carter-Vickers 20 Spurs CB 69 84 £1.8m N Cozza 19 Montpellier CB,LWB 68 84 £1.5m R Gummy 20 Lech Poznan RB 68 84 £1.6m K Ruegg 19 Zurich RB,CM 67 84 £1.3m L Mai 18 Bayern Munich CB 64 84 £750k R James 18 Wigan RB,CB 64 84 £725k Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt is one of the most in-demand defenders in world football, but is surprisingly affordable in FIFA 19 – if you have that budget that is! He has a current rating of 80, meaning he’s probably good enough to be a starter at most clubs before getting better and better each season.Trent Alexander-Arnold’s breakthrough season at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp has earned him the prize of the best young full-back in FIFA 19. It’s not quite a trophy, but with an opening value of just over £12 million, you may be able to tempt him away from Anfield to win silverware elsewhere.Wales international Ethan Ampadu is a versatile defender, having already played for his country in midfield, and is available relatively cheaply at the start of the game. If you can sign him in the first transfer window, you’ll be greatly rewarded as he develops into a brilliant talent on and off the ball.FIFA 19: BEST YOUNG MIDFIELDERS NAME AGE CLUB PO. CR PR VA. L Bailey 20 Bayer Leverkusen LM,RM 82 89 £27.7m E Barco 19 Atlanta United LM,CAM,ST 74 89 £10.6m C Pulisic 19 Borussia Dortmund RM,LM,RW,LW 79 88 £16.7m H Aouar 20 Lyon CM,LW,CAM 78 88 £14.5m K Havertz 19 Bayer Leverkusen CAM,RM,CF 79 88 £16.7m P Foden 18 Man City CAM,CM 73 88 £7m Riqui Puig 18 Barcelona CM 68 88 £1.6m S Tonali 18 Brescia CDM,CM 66 88 £1.2m A Diawara 20 Napoli CM,CDM 77 87 £12.3m I Sarr 20 Rennes LM,RM,ST 76 87 £11.9m Y Karamoh 19 Inter RM,RW 73 87 £7.5m J Sancho 18 Borussia Dortmund LM,LW 72 87 £5.7m A Davies 17 Vancouver Whitecaps LM,RM 72 87 £5.3m Sergio Gomez 17 Borussia Dortmund CAM,CM 68 87 £1.6m A Gomes 17 Man Utd CAM,LW 66 87 £1.2m A Dabo 17 Nantes LM,CM 63 87 £700k V Tsygankov 20 Dynamo Kyiv RM,LM 79 86 £15.8m Wendel 20 Sporting CP CM 75 86 £10.1m S Berge 20 Genk CDM,CM 75 86 £8.8m Gedson Fernandes 19 Benfica CM 74 86 £8.4m Ferran Torres 18 Valencia RM,RW,LM 73 86 £6.2m Jovane Cabral 20 Sporting CP RM,LM 73 86 £6.6m Paulinho 17 Bayer Leverkusen RM 71 86 £4.1m Kangin Lee 17 Valencia CAM,LM,RM 70 86 £3.1m S Diop 18 Monaco CAM 65 86 £1.1m Alfa Semedo 20 Benfica CDM,CM,CB 76 85 £9.2m Dani Olmo 20 Dinamo Zagreb LM,CAM 75 85 £9.7m M Locatelli 20 AC Milan CDM 75 85 £8.4m Bruno Xadas 20 Braga RM 74 85 £8.4m M Mount 19 Chelsea CAM 74 85 £8.4m G Chakvetadze 18 Gent CAM 72 85 £4.8m A Maier 19 Hertha Berlin CM,CDM 72 85 £5.3m M Cuisance 18 Borussia M’gladbach CM 72 85 £4.8m M Zaracho 20 RC Avellaneda RM,CM,CAM 72 85 £5.3m A Tchouameni 18 Bordeaux CDM,CM 71 85 £3.9m S Ozcan 20 Koln CM,CDM 70 85 £3.4m M Sharapenko 19 Dynamo Kyiv CM,CDM,CAM 69 85 £2m B Woodburn 18 Liverpool CAM,LW,ST 68 85 £1.6m M Edwards 19 Spurs RM,CAM 66 85 £1.2m T Kubo 17 Tokyo CAM,RM,ST,LM 63 85 £700k Bundesliga duo Leon Bailey and Christian Pulisic are well known around the world already and their values in FIFA 19 reflect this. They’re both first-team ready at the start of the game, just like Bailey’s team-mate Kai Havertz, who is the perfect young player to support the attack through the middle.Manchester City’s Phil Foden is available for half the price of the German-based players, and with excellent ball control and passing, he can be a midfield anchor for many years. Most of the midfielders have multiple positions, with attacking midfielder Takefusa Kubo capable of playing anywhere across midfield or even in attack. He’s a very affordable option as he starts the game on loan at J-League club Yokohama F Marinos. Oh, and he’s also nicknamed the ‘Japanese Messi’. Who wouldn’t want him in their team?Aside from Kubo, there are number of talented 17-year-olds available at reasonable prices, but they will need plenty of game time to reach their potential. Luckily you can train them in FIFA 19 or even better, give them game time.FIFA 19: BEST YOUNG FORWARDS NAME AGE CLUB PO. CR PR VA. K Mbappe 19 PSG RW,ST,RM 87 95 £63.4m Vinicius Junior 17 Real Madrid LW,RW 77 92 £15.4m M Rashford 20 Man Utd LW,ST,LM 81 89 £23.3m P Cutrone 20 AC Milan ST 77 89 £14.1m R Sessegnon 18 Fulham LW,LB 75 88 £10.6m J Arp 18 Hamburg ST 69 88 £1.9m C Under 20 Roma RW,LW 77 87 £12.8m M Kean 18 Juventus ST 72 87 £5.7m Joao Felix 18 Benfica LW,CAM 70 87 £3.2m C Hudson-Odoi 17 Chelsea LW,CAM,RW 68 87 £1.6m P Pellegri 17 Monaco ST 67 87 £1.3m L Martinez 20 Inter ST 79 86 £15.8m F Chiesa 20 Fiorentina RW,CF 77 86 £12.3m J Kluivert 19 Roma LW,RW 75 86 £9.7m Rafael Leao 19 Lille ST,LM 72 86 £5.7m C Kouame 20 Genoa ST,CF 71 86 £4.4m T Weah 18 PSG ST,LW 69 86 £1.9m Brahim Diaz 18 Man City LW,RW,CAM 69 86 £1.9m A Gouiri 18 Lyon ST 67 86 £1.4m W Geubbels 16 Monaco ST 64 86 £900k S Bergwijn 20 PSV LW,RW 77 85 £11.4m K Dolberg 20 Ajax ST 76 85 £10.6m E Mor 20 Celta Vigo LW,RW,ST,CF 74 85 £8.4m T Abraham 20 Chelsea ST 74 85 £8.8m D Rossi 20 Los Angeles FC LW,ST,RW 72 85 £5.3m O Okwonkwo 20 Bologna LW,CAM 70 85 £3.4m M Romero 19 PSV ST 70 85 £3.4m M Maolida 19 Nice LW,ST,LM 70 85 £3.3m J David 18 Gent ST 68 85 £1.6m Matheus Cunha 19 RB Leipzig ST,RM,CF 67 85 £1.4m M Boadu 17 AZ Alkmaar ST 66 85 £1.1m V Supriaga 18 Dynamo Kyiv ST 66 85 £1.2m R Nelson 18 Arsenal RW 65 85 £980k T Chong 18 Man Utd RW,LW,CAM 65 85 £980k M Odegaard 19 Real Madrid RW 74 84 £7.9m E Dennis 20 Club Brugge ST,RM,LM 73 84 £6.2m H Bande 19 Ajax LW,ST 72 84 £4.8m D Solanke 20 Liverpool ST 70 84 £3.5m C Stengs 19 AZ Alkmaar RW 69 84 £2m Leo Jaba 19 PAOK ST,LM 69 84 £2m Han Kwang Song 19 Cagliari ST 68 84 £1.7m E Haland 17 Molde ST 67 84 £1.3m M Sylla 18 Monaco ST 65 84 £990k G Middleton 18 Rangers LW 64 84 £810k J Sargent 18 Werder Bremen ST 64 84 £840k E Nketiah 19 Arsenal ST 64 84 £860k R Brewster 18 Liverpool ST 62 84 £620k R Griffiths 18 Lyon ST 61 84 £500k It’s no surprise that Kylian Mbappe is the highest rated young player in FIFA 19 as well as the teenager with the highest potential. The PSG superstar starts off at 87 rated but can reach as high as 95 – which is better than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s current ratings!Unfortunately signing Mbappe is all but impossible for the vast majority of clubs, so you will likely have to look elsewhere to find your talismanic frontman. Hamburg teenager Jann-Fiete Arp can become an 88-rated striker while Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is a brilliant young winger who can also play through the middle.Two young Americans who start off relatively cheap and low-rated are PSG’s Timothy Weah and Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent, but both can become an unstoppable force by the time the 2026 World Cup in North America rolls around.
Liverpool should be weighing up a future approach for Jadon Sancho, says Paul Ince, but a new striker is considered to be Jurgen Klopp’s top priority for the January window.The Reds are expected to recruit over the winter, with their manager having left the door open for possible additions.It is unlikely that an England international currently starring for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund will figure on that wish list. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Sancho, though, may be targeted by Premier League sides in the future and Liverpool have been urged to ensure that they are in the mix whenever that day comes.Former Reds midfielder Ince told Express Sport of the talented teenager: “I think when you look at Sancho, let’s not go overboard. He’s only 18.“We don’t want to make these players better than what they are the moment, they’re still only young and have a long way to go.“We as a nation have a tendency to build people up from such a young age and then knock them back down.“I feel with Sancho, the boy’s done well and he’s been brave to make that decision to go and play in Germany.”He needs to keep playing games until he’s 19 or 20.“Then maybe Liverpool should start looking at him. And not just him, there’s other kids out there [in Germany] doing well.”With Sancho an option to pursue at a later date, Ince believes Liverpool should be looking for added firepower in the coming weeks.The Reds boast plenty of goal threat at present, but cover is considered to be required for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.On what Klopp should be trying to bring in, Ince said: “I feel maybe he needs another striker, I really do.“It’s always hard to get the best players in January. The best don’t really want to leave then.“But you’ve got to say if Salah got injured who’s necessarily going to replace him?“Sturridge flits in and out and hasn’t really done it.“I think as a manager you’re always looking to improve the team.“And I think if they are up there – and they will be up there – like City and like United they’ll be looking to bring in some extra faces to improve the team.“It’s exciting. Everyone thought City would run away with it but Liverpool are right there.”Klopp’s side top the table at present and, having gone unbeaten through 18 games, are currently four points clear of reigning champions Manchester City heading into a busy Boxing Day. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web