Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has edged clear in the Premier League Golden Boot race after his brace in the Aston Villa game on Saturday evening.
With the help of the two goals against former European champions Aston Villa, Jamie Vardy was able to stretch his lead ahead of Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.
Jamie Vardy started the weekend with 14 goals in the Premier League, while his Chelsea counterpart Tammy Abraham had 11 goals.
Tammy Abraham was not able to add to his goal tally at Everton despite playing the entire duration of the league game which ended in a 3-1 win for the Toffees at home in the first game of week 16 matches.
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On his part, Jamie Vardy was in very good form as he scored the first and last goal of the game for Leicester City who thrashed hosts Aston Villa 4-1 to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool to eight points.
Kelechi Iheanacho gave the assist for the first goal of the game scored by Vardy before he turned scorer off a James Maddison to double the Foxes advantage with four first-half minutes left.
Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish halved the deficit for the home side at the end of the first half but Leicester went on to score their superiority further with second-half goals from Jonny Evans and Jamie Vardy who now has 16 goals in the league.
EPL: Does Giroud Deserves A New Chelsea Contract?
The suspension of Premier League due to the Coronavirus menace came at a wrong time for some clubs including West London giants Chelsea and their ageing striker Olivier Giroud.
Giroud and Chelsea were getting their groove back before the Coronavirus pandemic forced matches to be suspended until further notice.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard didn’t fancy French international Giroud as his main striker until February when results had completely taken a turn for the worse, especially in the Premier League. Blues boss Lampard started with Tammy Abraham as his first-choice striker, while Michy Batshuayi was his understudy leaving Olivier Giroud to be the third choice striker despite being the most experienced of the three players.
Giroud became the third choice striker under Frank Lampard and that restricted him to few leagues starts before February 2020 when he became the first choice partly because of the injury to Tammy Abraham as well as the inability of the aforementioned Batshuayi to fill the vacant striker void.
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Olivier Giroud is a World Cup winner having led the line for France at the last edition of the tournament in Russia some two years ago and all of his experience came to the fore for the Blues as he was a major catalyst as Chelsea improved their league results which had been very poor either side of the winter.
Lampard introduced Giroud back into the Chelsea starting XI during the home London Derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur and that decision led to 7 points from three Premier League clashes until the league was suspended. Giroud scored twice and also provided three assists in those three league games as he helped Chelsea maintain their place in the top four.
Giroud will be a free agent in the next few months but he would be hoping that he has done enough to get a new contract at Stamford Bridge despite coming close to leaving the club to Inter Milan FC of Italy in January. The picture will definitely be clearer in the coming weeks.
Premier League: Best Free Transfers This Summer
Premier League clubs have been left in a spot of bother as regards the players whose contract will expire this summer and this is due to the suspension of all things football including the top flight of English football.
When Premier League football will resume is yet to be certain though the 20 clubs agreed for April 30 which is not feasible going by the struggles of breaking free the dreaded Coronavirus. Football was suspended across the world because of the virus which started from Wuhan city in China.
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The uncertainty of a return date for the Premier League has left the 20 clubs with decisions to make concerning the players with contracts up by the end of May. Here are five of the best from those players:
1. Olivier Giroud – The French international hardly played football for Chelsea this season until February when manager Frank Lampard turned to him to partly save the club from losing their grip on a Champions League spot. Giroud was the third choice striker behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi. The Frenchman was brought back into the Chelsea XI for the Spurs game in February and has scored two goals in three league games since then.
2. Claudio Bravo – The Manchester City shot-stopper is the back up to first-choice Ederson Moraes. The Chilean international has spent four years at the Etihad Stadium since his transfer from Barcelona.
3. Willian – The Brazilian winger is one of three Chelsea players who will be a free agent in the summer. He has been one of the best players at Stamford Bridge this season.
4. Jan Vertoghen – Age is not on the side of the Tottenham Hotspur centre back but the Belgian international is still a quality defender.
5. Pedro Rodriguez – Alongside Chelsea teammates Willian and Olivier Giroud, Spanish international Pedro Rodriguez will also be a free agent this summer.
Why Liverpool will not be crowned champions if EPL is cancelled
Liverpool are topping the English Premier League table and are expected to be crowned champions, but there is been a new twist as UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin said Liverpool will not be the English Premier League champions if the coronavirus pandemic forces the season to end prematirely.
All the English football fixtures are currently on suspension until April 4, because of the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan China.
Liverpool are 25 points clear at the top of the EPL table, but are not sure to be crowned Champions this season – they last won the league 30 years ago.
Aleksander Čeferin has now puts through is argument on whether Liverpool should be awardedthe trophy, if the epl fixtures are not completed.
“I’ve seen and heard some again fake news that UEFA will advise leagues to finish the championships now and decide that the winners are the ones who are number one now.
“I can say that it’s not true. Our goal is to finish the leagues and we didn’t recommend anything like that to any association or league,” Ceferin said according to Daily Mail.
EPL: Chelsea Star Rejects New Contract Offer
West London giants Chelsea have been rocked by the news that first choice striker Tammy Abraham has turned down the offer of a new contract from the club.
The Daily Mirror via its report stated that Tammy Abraham wants more money before signing a new deal.
Nigerian-born Three Lions of England striker was recently named the Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.
Tammy Abraham has two years left on his Chelsea contract and he’s holding out for financial terms synonymous with the £180,000 weekly salary paid to fellow England international Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is the biggest earning young player at the club and Tammy Abraham is said to be holding out for parity or more money than his £180,000 on a weekly basis.
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Tammy Abraham came through the ranks at Chelsea before becoming a regular in the starting XI this season. He spent last season on loan at Aston Villa when they were in the English Championship as well as a previous loan spell with Championship club Bristol City.
He was part of the Swansea City team that suffered relegation two seasons back. He was on loan at the Welsh club from Chelsea.
Young players like Mason Mount, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have signed respective new contracts this season.
Tammy Abraham scored 26 goals in 40 games for Aston Villa in all competitions last season as he helped the team secure Premier League promotion at the expense of Derby County managed then by Frank Lampard.
Aston Villa beat Lampard and his Derby team 2-1 in the Championship play-off final to seal promotion to the top flight. Club legend Frank Lampard was named the Chelsea manager some weeks later.
Tammy Abraham has scored 15 goals in all competitions for Chelsea this season and he has been struggling with an ankle injury in recent games.
In other news, there are report that Chelsea might sack Frank Lampard.
EPL: Chelsea Eyeing Summer Swoop For £25m-rated Man United Loanee
Europa League holders Chelsea are said to be plotting a summer swoop on Manchester United for one of their players out of the club on loan.
According to the Daily Mirror, Chelsea are keen on signing £25m-rated Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson in the summer.
Dean Henderson has impressed a great deal during his loan spell at Sheffield United whom he joined from Manchester United at the start of the season.
The 22-year-old shot-stopper had earlier spent one year at Sheffield United on loan as he helped the Blades secure promotion to the Premier League via a second-placed finish in the English Championship last season.
Sheffield United secured his services on loan for another season and he has been immense for the Blades who have been the surprise package of the current Premier League season. The Blades are in the mix for Champions League football.
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They are in sixth position with 43 points and they are just two points off Chelsea in fourth place plus they have the same points with Wolverhampton Wanderers in fifth place.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has doubts over Kepa Arrizabalaga who was previously the first choice goalkeeper at the club before the Spanish international was dropped in January in favour of his deputy and 38-year-old Willy Caballero.
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s form has been questionable this season despite the fact that he’s the most expensive goalkeeper ever as a result of the £71m Chelsea paid to sign him from Athletic Bilbao at the start of the last campaign.
Lampard has identified Dean Henderson as the man to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea if the club is able to sell the Spaniard with former club Atheltic Bilbao interested in him.
Dean Henderson could also return to Manchester United as the number one goalkeeper if current recipient David De Gea leaves the club.
EPL: Defender In Talks With Chelsea Over Summer Transfer
VFL Bochum of Germany defender Armel Bella-Kochap is in talks with Chelsea over a transfer to the West London giants this summer according to the latest media reports in the United Kingdom.
According to Sun Sport, the 18-year-old has emerged as a target for the Blues for this summer and that the club has already contacted his representatives over a possible transfer in the summer.
The player has made 14 appearances for VFL Bochum in the German Bundesliga II this season and he has a contract that does not end until the summer of 2024.
Bochum officials are open to the idea of selling one of their prized assets.
The Paris-born German u-18 player is attracting interest from a lot of clubs on the European football stage.
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The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona are also on his trail. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Tottenham the four Premier League sides keen on his signature plus Chelsea thus making it five teams from the top flight of English football alone.
The defender is not expected to slot into first team football at Chelsea if they can pull off a move for him. Chelsea are still expected to make a move for a senior centre back this summer with two candidates mentioned in the Media.
The first candidate is former player Nathan Ake who is the best defender at Bournemouth. With the Cherries facing a bleak future in the Premier League, Chelsea could use that opportunity to re-sign their former player.
Bournemouth are in the relegation zone on goal difference with ten league matches left to play before the current season ends.
Chelsea are also said to be interested in Brighton and Hove Albion captain Lewis Dunk who has been an ever present for the Seagulls since they were promoted to the top flight three seasons ago.
EPL: Man United Target Sancho ‘Rejected’ Historic Offer Before Quitting Man City Academy
According to the Daily Star, Premier League target Jadon Sancho rejected a very good offer from English champions Manchester City before his transfer to German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in the summer of 2017 after the England international turned down an offer of £30,000 on a weekly basis.
The player had to leave Premier League champions Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in search of regular first-team football.
Manchester City paid around 500,000 pounds for Jadon Sancho when they signed him from Watford at the age of 15. The Citizens were not able to hold on to his services despite their huge financial offer.
Jadon Sancho has grown from a player that hardly played first-team football at Manchester City to a world-beater at Borussia Dortmund.
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The 19-year-old has been a key player for Borussia Dortmund in the last two years and his form has attracted the interest of former club Manchester City as well as other Premier League sides like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Recent reports claimed that Jadon Sancho will cost any team a Premier League record of €140m if he leaves Borussia Dortmund for England this summer.
Manchester United are seen as alight favourites for his signature ahead of the other three interested teams.
Jadon Sancho has scored 31 goals in 88 games for Borussia Dortmund who are still in the mix for the German Bundesliga title and the Champions League title.
He has 14 league goals and 14 assists this season and the winger is expected to be an important player for the England national team ahead of the 2020 European Championships in the summer.
Jadon Sancho has been a regular for Gareth Southgate since he made his debut for the team during an away game at Croatia in the UEFA Nations League in 2018.
EPL: Chelsea Winger Rejects New Contract Offer
Europa League holders Chelsea have been rocked with the news that winger Willian has turned down a contract offer for the club as he’s holding out for better terms.
According to Brazilian news portal UOL Esporte, Chelsea have offered Willian a two-year contract extension and that the player turned it down immediately.
Willian has few months left on his current Chelsea deal meaning that the Brazilian international will be a free agent by the end of this campaign.
The player wants a three-year deal and the aforementioned publication said that Willian is ready to leave Chelsea if club officials don’t meet that demand with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur also keen to sign him.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is no stranger to Willian having managed him while he was the Blues boss for the second time between 2013 and 2015.
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Willian won his first Premier League title at Chelsea under the guidance of Jose Mourinho and both parties could reunite at Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
Jose Mourinho will definitely bolster his squad in the summer, and Willian could be a very cheap option for him since the Brazilian player would be a free agent by then. Spurs fans have a little history with the Brazilian winger after he snubbed the club for Chelsea.
Willian was closing on a move to Tottenham Hotspur before Chelsea hijacked the deal. He has won two Premier League titles at Chelsea since his transfer to the Premier League.
He showed his quality for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and senior clubs officials after his opening goal vs Liverpool during the week.
Willian scored the first goal of the game during the FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Liverpool before Ross Barkley added a second goal after the halftime interval. Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 at home to setup a quarterfinal tie at Leicester City.