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EPL

EPL: Key Man United Player Back In Training, Solskjaer Confirms

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Paul Pogba

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that star player Paul Pogba is back in training as he prepares his team for the Premier League clash with bottom club Watford.

Solskjaer revealed that Pogba is back in training during his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the Watford game in the Premier League.

According to him, Paul Pogba is not yet match fit for him to be selected but the Frenchman is on the road to full recovery.

Pogba has not represented Manchester United on the pitch since the Arsenal game in the Premier League at the end of September.

The Frenchman has been battling with an ankle problem since week four of this current Premier League season.

He sustained the ankle problem during the away game with Southampton at the end of August and was out of action for some weeks before the French World Cup winner returned to the pitch for the Carabao Cup third round win over Rochdale of League One.

Pogba played the entire duration of the aforementioned Arsenal game some days later and that turned out to be his final Manchester United game till date.

Solskjaer expects Paul Pogba to return to action before the end of this year.

I am Segun Amuda , Journalist at Thewistle.com. You can also find my articles here on topics related to Football. Outside Blogging, I have a keen interest in watching English Premier League Games. For any queries or issues related to articles on our website, kindly get in touch.

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Chelsea

Top Three Replacements For Kepa Arrizabalaga Revealed

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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could leave the club this summer after manager Frank Lampard dropped him from his starting XI.

The Spanish international has sat on the bench in the last two games in the Premier League after some questionable performances in the Chelsea goal.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has one of the worst save ratio in the Premier League this season and that prompted Lampard to drop him for the away game at Leicester City in the league.

The Spaniard was replaced in the Chelsea starting XI by 38-year-old ex-Argentine international shot stopper Willy Caballero for the Leicester City game which ended in a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium.

Willy Caballero was then retained for the next league game at home to top-four rivals Manchester United on Monday night. He was unable to influence the result which was in favour of the visitors.

Manchester United completed the double over Chelsea for the first time in the Premier League era after the 2-0 away win at Stamford Bridge via the goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire either side of the halftime interval.

The Red Devils had thrashed Chelsea 4-0 at home in the reverse fixture on the opening weekend of the season.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in world football after Chelsea paid £71m to sign him from Athletic Bilbao. Here are four goalkeepers that could replace him:

1. Nick Pope

The Burnley goalkeeper is one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League this season and he has emerged as a strong contender to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Chelsea number one.

2. Dean Henderson

Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson has been in good form since his loan move to Sheffield United from the Red Devils. French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Sheffield United and many more are interested in a permanent deal for him.

3. Bartlomiej Dragowski

Fiorentina goalkeeper  Bartlomiej Dragowski is a major target for Chelsea.

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Arsenal

EPL: Arsenal’s Top Centre Back Target Revealed

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The top centre back target for Arsenal ahead of this summer’s transfer window has been revealed via popular German newspaper SportBild.

According to the popular media portal, Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah is the top centre back target for the Gunners later this year.

It was further disclosed that Jonathan Tah has a release clause of £40m.

The Arsenal defence has been shaky in the past years but there have been signs of improvement in recent times under new manager Mikel Arteta.

Under Arteta, Arsenal have conceded just seven goals in eight appearances in the Premier League.

In addition, the Gunners signed two defenders in the January winter transfer market.

Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari joined the Gunners on respective loan deals last month but they are yet to make an appearance for their new team.

Portuguese international right-back Cedric Soares is presently injured as a result of the knee injury sustained last month during the league game between his former club Southampton and visitors Crystal Palace.

He joined Arsenal on loan from the Saints on deadline day of last month’s transfer window.

Cedric Soares is expected to return to full fitness by the end of February.

For Pablo Mari, the Spanish centre back signed on loan from Brazilian Serie A giants Flamengo last month after the Gunners paid around £4m for the transfer with the option of a permanent transfer for £8m this summer.

He has already played for the Arsenal u23s during the 2-1 loss to the Chelsea u23s earlier this week.

Arsenal have been linked with a lot of centre backs ahead of this summer including the aforementioned Jonathan Tah.

Apart from the German international, the Gunners are also interested in RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano and Premier League star Nathan Ake who is on the payroll of Bournemouth.

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EPL

EPL: Top Four Players To Replace Paul Pogba Next Season

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Paul Pogba

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will almost likely leave the club ahead of next season and the Red Devils have already started the hunt for a replacement for him.

Pogba has one year to go on contract at Old Trafford though Manchester United have the option of activating the extra year clause in that contract to take him till the end of the 2021/22 season.

His agent Mino Raiola has already talked up his exit from Manchester United with the likes of Real Madrid and former club Juventus interested in him.

Paul Pogba was a big target for Real Madrid and manager Zinedine Zidane last summer but club bosses led by president Florentino Perez deemed him to be too expensive.

Real Madrid and other interested clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) can sign him for £100m this summer.

Here are viable transfer options to replace Pogba this summer:

Boubakary Soumare

The Lille midfielder was a serious target for Manchester United and Chelsea in January but he opted to stay at his French club until this summer at least. He has been a regular in the Lille lineup this season.

Jack Grealish

The English midfielder has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and he has been the catalyst for Aston Villa as they aim to avoid relegation to the English Championship in their first season back in the top flight. The former champions are one point and one place better than West Ham United who occupy the last relegation spot.

James Maddison

The England international is one of the top targets for Manchester United ahead of this summer. He has scored nine goals for Leicester City this season.

Declan Rice

The West Ham United star is one of the young English midfielders on the radar of Manchester United.

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Arsenal

Arsenal Make Transfer Phone Call In Pursuit Of This Player

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Samuel Chukwueze

Arsenal have made an enquiry for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze according to one of their former players, Santi Cazorla.

Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla was an Arsenal player for six years until the summer of 2018 when the then new manager Unai Emery decided to let him leave the club on a free transfer after two years of several injury setbacks.

At one point, doctors told Santi Cazorla that it would be hard for him to play football again but the Spanish international was able to recover from what was the lowest part of his football career.

Cazorla has since returned to full fitness and he’s a big player for Villarreal in the Spanish La Liga. The midfielder has also returned to the Spanish national team setup.

Arsenal officials have contacted Santi Cazorla to enquire about Super Eagles star Samuel Chukwueze as confirmed by the ex-Gunners player during his last interview via the Daily Express.

The Gunners are not the only club interested in Samuel Chukwueze who was part of the Super Eagles squad to last summer’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Samuel Chukwueze and Nigeria finished the tournament in third place.

Apart from Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are also keen on the Villarreal star.

On Samuel Chukwueze, Santi Cazorla revealed that the Nigerian player has the quality to represent Arsenal before adding that the winger is on the payroll of Villarreal.

Arsenal have started their plans for the summer as regards new players though the focus would be mainly on the defensive side of things.

The Gunners were able to strengthen their squad in the last transfer window with the capture of both Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares on respective loan deals.

The two players will go a long way to boost North Londoners Arsenal on the defensive side of things.

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Chelsea

EPL: Top Three Favourites For 4th Place Revealed

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The Premier League title race is all but over with leaders Liverpool way above every other team in the league. The Reds have 25 points more than nearest challengers Manchester City and it’s just a matter of time before the league title is officially confirmed.

With the league title race almost over, the most intriguing race in the Premier League this season is the battle for fourth place. Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City are almost confirmed for the top three spots.

Seven teams are in the frame for just one Champions League spot with 11 games left to play though the slot could increase to two slots with the European ban on Manchester City.

The Citizens have appealed against the ban from European football for two seasons as imposed on them by UEFA. With one or two Champions League spots available, here are the top three favourites for next season’s Champions League:

1. Tottenham Hotspur

Jose Mourinho made a bright start to his managerial career at Spurs upon his appointment in November before a below par festive period set his team back a little bit but things have improved in the past few games. Spurs have won their last three matches in the Premier League ahead of the crucial London Derby clash with hosts Chelsea this weekend. Mourinho and his players are in fifth spot and just one point from fifth-placed Chelsea.

2. Chelsea

The former Premier League champions are in pole position for a top-four spot but their form has not been good. Chelsea are without a win in the last four league games ahead of the next game at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

3. Manchester United

The Red Devils are firmly back in the race after the win over Chelsea on Monday night. Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scored either side of the halftime interval to give Manchester United a 2-0 away victory over the Blues.

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Chelsea

Chelsea Latest Deal For Matias Vecino Revealed

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Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a move for Inter Milan midfielder Mattias Vecino ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are on the verge of making the Uruguayan international player their second signing of this summer.

Chelsea have already signed one player after the £38m agreement for Ajax Amsterdam star Hakim Ziyech.

The Moroccan international will join the Blues this summer after the two clubs reached an agreement for his transfer.

Hakim Ziyech has been the star of the Ajax Amsterdam squad over the last two seasons and he’ll be playing his club football at Stamford Bridge next season.

The Moroccan attacker can play in each of the four front attacking positions effectively and efficiently.

Hakim Ziyech helped Ajax Amsterdam to a double last season. Ajax ended the last campaign with the Dutch Eredivisie title and the Dutch Cup.

Chelsea were not able to sign players in the last two transfer windows, but they could end up with two new players before the transfer window reopens. The Blues could wrap up a deal with Inter Milan for Mattias Vecino in addition to the Hakim Ziyech’s transfer.

Mattias Vecino has a release clause of £23m in his Inter Milan contract at the moment and Chelsea are willing to pay that amount to secure his transfer.

The Uruguayan midfielder was seriously linked with Manchester United last month but the Red Devils opted to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

Manchester United signed Bruno Fernandes in a £44m deal that could rise to £68m.

Bruno Fernandes made his debut for the Red Devils during the penultimate league game at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Wolves game ended in a goalless draw and Bruno Fernandes played the entire duration of the game. He was also prominent in the last league game, a 2-0 away victory over Chelsea on Monday night.

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EPL

Why A Fit Paul Pogba Is Crucial For Manchester United

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Paul Pogba

Manchester United gave themselves a fighting chance in the top-four race after the big win over Chelsea in their second League meeting of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were 2-0 winners at the home of Chelsea who are at the forefront of the race to finish as the fourth best team in the English top flight.

League leaders Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City are far ahead in the race for Champions League football next season thus leaving the other teams to fight for just a slot. It must be pointed out that Manchester City could open up one more slot after the Citizens were slapped with a European ban for two seasons for allegedly breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

The fifth-place team in the league will qualify for the Champions League next season if Manchester City lose their appeal against that ruling.

For now, the target for Manchester United and other teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Sheffield United etc is fourth place and the Red Devils boosted their push for that spot via the away win over Chelsea.

The win over Chelsea took Manchester United to within three points of their opponents with 11 games left to play. Manchester United have put themselves in a fantastic position to meet their target and the return of star player Paul Pogba could help in the following ways:

1. Creativity

Paul Pogba has barely played for Manchester United this season but the Frenchman is still the best player at the club despite the recent arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January. He’s still the best creative force at the club when everyone is fit.

2. Goals

Paul Pogba’s absence has coincided with a lack of goals from the Manchester United midfield and his return is expected to guarantee goals in the middle of the park.

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Arsenal

Top Three Defensive Targets Arsenal Must Sign Revealed

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Dayot Upamecano

North London giants Arsenal have improved significantly on the defensive front since new manager Mikel Arteta was appointed in December 2019.

The Gunners were known for their numerous defensive errors before Mikel Arteta returned to the club as a manager. He was at Arsenal for five years before he retired from football.

Arsenal have conceded just seven goals in eight games in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta. He has been able to improve the Arsenal defenders but that has not stopped him from strengthening that part of his team.

The Gunners signed two defenders in January 2020 and more will follow this summer.

Arsenal signed Portuguese international player Cedric Soares on loan till this summer when he’ll become a free transfer. Right-back Cedric Soares is still injured and yet to make his debut for the club.

The Gunners also signed a new centre back in Pablo Mari who joined on loan from Flamengo in Brazil. He’s also yet to make an appearance for Arsenal though the Spaniard played for the Arsenal reserves on Monday night.

Despite the signings of Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are still expected to sign more defenders. Here are four potential defensive signings.

1. Dayot Upamecano

The French junior international is a major defensive target for the North Londoners who tried to sign him last summer. His German club RB Leipzig rejected a big money move for him from the Gunners last summer. He has one year left on his RB Leipzig contract meaning that the Gunners have a good chance of signing him this summer.

2. Nathan Ake

Bournemouth defender is also a top target for Arsenal. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in him.

3. Lewis Dunk

The Brighton skipper is a transfer target for London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea.

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