For more than six years, Christian Eriksen has been a key figure in the Tottenham Hotspurs squad. While Harry Kane has received much of the glory for his high goal-scoring tally, Eriksen was often the straw that stirred the drink.
However, it seems as if those days are coming to an end. Whether Spurs are able to unload him during the January window or watch him walk away from North London on a free transfer next summer, Eriksen’s days with the Lilly Whites are numbered.
The drama surrounding Eriksen and other players potentially leaving the club dominated most of Tottenham’s summer. The Danish midfielder seemed to have his heart set on a move to one of the giants in Spain or Italy, but such a move never came.
Just a couple of months ago, the idea of life without Eriksen seemed frightening for the club and its supports as well as anyone who bet on the club on https://all-bets.com/. But it seems as if Spurs have had a replacement for him right under their nose all along: Dele Alli.
With Eriksen stuck in limbo, it made it difficult for Mauricio Pochettino to use him. Undoubtedly, the Tottenham squad was better with Eriksen in the starting 11.
On the other hand, it didn’t make sense to give consistent playing time to a player who was unwilling to commit his future to the club. After all, sooner or later, Spurs would have to find a way to get by without him.
The quandary surrounding Eriksen made Pochettino’s job early in the 2019-20 campaign all the more difficult. The Dane’s presence in the lineup or not was a constant topic of discussion, and without his heart fully invested in Tottenham, Eriksen’s contributions were not as frequent or significant as in the past.
In the end, the situation with Eriksen was at least a contributing factor in the struggles that eventually led to Pochettino being fired in late November.
New Man In Charge
Then José Mourinho came along, replacing Pochettino as the Tottenham skipper. Among the tactical changes the Portuguese manager made early in his Spurs tenure was playing Dele at the No. 10 position, a spot frequently occupied by Eriksen under Pochettino.
While that’s not the only change Mourinho has instituted at Spurs, there’s no denying that Dele playing in a central position, often directly underneath Kane, has worked like a charm and been one of the biggest reasons why Tottenham has suddenly turned things around after the change of manager.
In the first five Premier League matches under Mourinho, Dele scored three goals and dished out six assists, directly contributing to six of the club’s 14 goals. With Dele in a new spot and starting to adjust to Mourinho’s tactics, Tottenham has come alive offensively, winning four of their first five matches under their new manager despite continued shortcomings on the defensive end of the pitch.
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More importantly, Dele has experienced a personal renaissance under the new manager. While his reputation as one of the most crafty and brilliant technical players in the Premier League never wavered, there’s no denying Dele experienced a drop in form late in Pochettino’s tenure.
Dele continued to play an important role during last season’s run to the Champions League finals, but he scored just one goal in his last Premier League games of the 2018-19 season. Those struggles continued into the current season, contributing to Dele losing his spot with the England National Team.
However, Mourinho’s subtle position change with Dele has made all the difference. Since Spurs first discovered him as a teenager while he was tearing apart League One at MK Dons, Dele has been best when he’s playing in the center of the pitch.
Pochettino’s style often afforded him the opportunity to move about freely. But he was often pushed to wide areas, with Eriksen serving as the main playmaker in the center of the field.
Given his ball control, creativity, and ability to operate in tight spaces, Dele is able to excel in the No. 10 role where Mourinho has positioned him.
“It’s just him coming back to his best. Playing in a position, in a system that he feels comfortable,” Mourinho said of Dele following the team’s 3-2 win over Bournemouth in late November, adding that when Dele is comfortable, he has the “freedom to express his amazing creativity.”
No Longer A Fear
Perhaps more important than Dele finding his way under a new manager is the fact that Eriksen’s inevitable exit no longer feels that daunting for Spurs. With Dele, they have found the creative force in the attacking band that they need.
With Kane at striker and Lucas Moura and Son Heung-Min playing on the wings, Mourinho has quickly found his preferred attacking lineup. With 14 goals in five Premier League games, the results speak for themselves. With Dele in top form, Tottenham is now able to not just survive but thrive without Eriksen in the lineup.
Finally, it’s best to keep in mind that Dele is just 23 years old. Even with more than four Premier League seasons, not to mention World Cup experience, under his belt, it’s easy to forget that he’s still one of the youngest players in the Tottenham squad and one of the youngest stars in the Premier League.
His best days may very well be ahead of him, and those days appear to involve Dele replacing Eriksen as the creative force in Tottenham’s attack.
FA Cup: Confirmed Liverpool Lineup vs Shrewsbury Town
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is expected to make wholesale changes to his starting XI for the FA Cup fourth round meeting with Shrewsbury Town from the English League One division later this weekend as the German has his eyes on the upcoming outstanding game in the Premier League.
Klopp and his Liverpool charges play their outstanding game in the league away to West Ham United later this week (Wednesday night).
Some Liverpool players like Joel Matip and Fabinho are returning from respective lengthy injury layoffs and they are expected to be named in the starting XI for this VS Cup game at Tranmere Rovers.
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Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane is a part of the famed front trio at the club and he’ll definitely miss this game after limping out of the last game, the 2-1 away win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Thursday night.
Liverpool are bidding for a domestic treble that would match the achievements of the Manchester United team during the 1998/99 season.
The Reds are the Premier League leaders in addition to facing Atletico Madrid next month in the Champions League last 16.
Probable Liverpool XI: Adrian; Curtis Jones, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Sepp van der Berg; Fabinho, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xerdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.
How Arsenal Will Lineup When Pablo Mari Completes His Loan Transfer
Arsenal have moved quickly to strengthen their defence for the rest of the season after Spanish defender Pablo Mari agreed a deal to join the Gunners.
Pablo Mari is a key player for reigning Brazilian Serie A champions and COPA Libertadores title holders Flamengo who have an agreement in place with Arsenal for the Spanish centre back to join on loan till this summer.
The player touched down in London for his Arsenal medical earlier this weekend in the company of sporting director Edu.
Both Pablo Mari and Edu flew to London from Rio De Janiero in Brazil together.
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Pablo Mari was in the Premier League with Champions Manchester City before he completed a £1m transfer to Flamengo where he enhanced his reputation as a ball playing central defender.
He forged a very good centre back partnership with Rodrigo Ciao at Flamengo and that was instrumental to the end of their title drought in the COPA Libertadores as Flamengo won the competition for the first time in over three decades.
Flamengo also won the league title in the Brazilian top flight aided by the centre back pairing.
Arsenal XI with Pablo Mari in it is expected to be different a little bit with Sokratis Papasthathopoulos droppong out for him probably.
Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Sead Kolasinac; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli and Nicholas Pepe.
FA Cup: Confirmed Man United Lineup vs Tranmere Rovers
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer don’t have the luxury of resting players ahead of the FA Cup fourth round clash with English League One side Tranmere Rovers who were responsible for the exit of a Premier League club in the last round.
Tranmere Rovers defeated Watford 2-1 at the same venue of their game with Manchester United later this weekend.
Watford manager Nigel Pearson made a lot of changes to his usual lineup for that game which was the replay of the FA Cup third round clash with their lower league opponents.
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Both teams had played out a 3-3 draw in the first game at Vicarage Road as Watford lost a three-goal lead in front of their home fans.
For Manchester United and Solskjaer, a win is almost non-negotiable after a very bad week which saw them lost 2-0 at the home of arch rivals and league leaders before being beaten by the same scoreline at home by Burnley who were able to achieve victory for the first time in over four decades.
There are injuries to several key players and Solskjaer is not expected to make much changes.
Possible Man United XI (4-3-3): Sergio Romero; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Fred, Juan Manuel Mata; Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Jesse Lingard.
EPL: How Man United Hope To Complete Bruno Fernandes Transfer After Shock Twist
Manchester United officials are confident that they will sign top transfer target Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon before the mid-season transfer window ends later this week.
The two clubs started negotiations for Bruno Fernandes at the start of this month and there’s little sign that a transfer fee would be reached by both parties until now. As a matter of fact, Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United had walked out of a possible deal recently after it was obvious that a transfer fee agreement is far from being reached.
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The latest development from The Sun disclosed that Sporting Lisbon have invited the Red Devils back to the negotiation table and that they are now willing to do a deal for the 25-year-old midfielder with the end of the current transfer window fast approaching.
Manchester United had earlier offered an initial fee of £42.5m plus £7.5m in add-ons to make it £50m in total though it was still far from the £68m asking price from Sporting Lisbon.
The Portuguese giants have now lowered their price to £60m which is £8m less than the previous asking price slapped on their star player.
Bruno Fernandes has been in sensational form for Sporting Lisbon since his transfer from Sampdoria two years ago.
EPL Transfer News Live: Dani Olmo Transfer To Man United
Manchester United have missed out on the signing of Dani Olmo after the Spaniard left Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb to join German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
His transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to RB Leipzig was confirmed on Saturday.
The Spanish international has signed a contract that will run until 2024 at RB Leipzig who are at the top of the German Bundesliga.
RB Leipzig have a four-point advantage over Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the German Bundesliga summit.
Before his move to Germany, Dani Olmo scored eight goals in 19 appearances for Dinamo Zagreb who crashed out of this season’s Champions League at the group stage.
Dani Olmo scored against Manchester City during the 3-1 home defeat to the Premier League champions which confirmed their edit from the competition.
Manchester United were not the only club that missed out on the 23-year-old attacking midfielder.
The likes of Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Barcelona were also linked with Dani Olmo before his transfer to RB Leipzig was confirmed.
RB Leipzig have moved swiftly to replace young French attacker Jean-Kevin Augustin who has joined English Championship outfit Leeds United on loan.
Dani Olmo scored his first goal for Spain during the European Championships qualifier against Malta last year.
EPL Transfer News Live: Olivier Giroud Transfer To Inter Milan
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is closing in on a transfer to Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A after the Nerazzurri finally agreed on a transfer fee for him to make the move before the winter window closes next week.
Inter Milan have been in negotiations with Premier League giants Chelsea over Giroud who’s keen to leave Stamford Bridge for more first-team opportunities so as to boost his chances of retaining his place in the starting XI for France.
According to respected Italian journalist Nicolo Schira, Inter Milan have made a breakthrough in their negotiations with Chelsea after several weeks and that they have agreed a fee of €5m plus €1.5m for Giroud.
The Frenchman would be expected to travel to Milan to complete the transfer to the San Siro where he would link up with former Arsenal teammates Alexis Sanchez.
Giroud and Sanchez played together at Arsenal for over three years before they signed for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively in the 2018 January winter transfer market.
Alexis Sanchez is at Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United until this summer.
For Olivier Giroud, he has already agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Inter Milan worth €10m until 2022.
EPL Transfer News Live: Aubameyang Transfer To Barcelona
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be joining Spanish champions Barcelona this month according to the London Evening Standard.
Earlier reports had stated that Barcelona want to sign the Arsenal skipper on loan till this summer before they spend big on a striker like Lautaro Martinez who plays for Italian Serie A title contenders Inter Milan.
The above mentioned report stated that Barcelona are no longer interested in signing Aubameyang as they have concerns over his age (the Gabonese international will be 31 by June), the difficulty of doing a deal for him in the middle of the season.
Barcelona are looking for a new striker after Luis Suarez was ruled out for several months as a result of the knee injury he sustained earlier this month.
Luis Suarez has undergone knee surgery and rehabilitation will take close to four months.
Apart from Gunners skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Barcelona have been linked with Valencia and Spanish international striker Rodrigo Moreno who has a €60m release clause in his contract.
Valencia are open to the negotiation table for Rodrigo Moreno meaning that Barcelona can sign the striker for a lesser transfer fee than the release clause in his present deal with the Spanish Copa Del Rey holders.
Transfer News Live: Pablo Mari Transfer To Arsenal
Flamengo defender Pablo Mari is expected in London this weekend for his Arsenal medical after the two clubs agreed for the player to move back to the Premier League.
According to Arsenal correspondent for Goal Charles Watts, Pablo Mari will join the Gunners on loan for the remainder of this season with the option of a permanent transfer available this summer when his loan period at the Emirates Stadium comes to an end.
Pablo Mari was on the books at Premier League champions Manchester City for three years before his exit last summer.
The 26-year-old Spanish center-back was sent on loan to three different clubs during his time at Manchester City as he failed to register an appearance for the Citizens during his time with the club.
He was first sent on loan to feeder club Girona in Spain and then Dutch top-flight side NAC Breda before ending up at Deportivo La Coruna also in his native Spain.
Pablo Mari left Manchester City for Flamengo in the Brazilian Serie A at the start of this season for just £1m and went on to become a key player for the Brazilians whom he helped to win both the COPA Libertadores title and the league title.