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EPL

Manchester’s battle for Oyarzabel intensifies

Timothy Aiyeku

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There is a new turn in the chase of Mikel Oyarzabel from Spanish La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, according to Todofichajes which claims that the two English Premier League clubs in Manchester are keen to land his signature.

This means Man United and Man City are both locking horns to snap up the signature of the 23-year-old winger who is available on a release clause of £64 million.

According to reports, the Red Devils have shown more interest in the Real Sociedad player but have valued the player for £45 million.

The Red Devils have shown more interest in England international, Jadon Sancho of German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, having made him their top priority but in case they fail to secure his signature, Mikel Oyarzabel will serve as a good option as a result of his quality.

Borussia Dortmund have slammed an asking price of £100 million on the young England forward and seem not ready to come down on the negotiation table, a fee the Red Devils will not be able to afford if they must secure other deals.

Meanwhile, Man United’s chance of landing Jadon Sancho is highly dependent on their qualification to the Champions League as he will not want to play n a club without European football at that level.

Timothy Aiyeku is a Mass Communication graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a sports, everything football analyst.

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Arsenal

EPL: Why Mikel Arteta is assured of a good Arsenal defence in coming years

Timothy Aiyeku

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Mikel Arteta

The presence of Gabriel Magalhaes in the Arsenal defence has been able to give it a better standing amongst other top clubs in the English Premier League and that’s expected to continue for a longer time with the list of superb youngsters in the books of the North London outfit.

Mikel Arteta still has an unused talent in William Saliba as he has been tipped to be a quality defender who has a lot to offer when the time is right for him to have the stage.

The news coming from Arsenal loanees have further brightened the hope for the Gunners that the future is secured as regards the defensive department of the team.

Daniel Ballard is one of the names that give hope to Arsenal with his impressive performance with Blackpool in his current loan term at the club. He won the second Man of the Match award on his first start for the club against MK Dons on Saturday.

It’s appealing to learn that Daniel Ballard had won the Man of the Match award in his first start for Blackpool despite starting from the bench as his performance in the remaining time left was enough for him to prove his quality.

The second Man of the Match award was won by Daniel Ballard after he replaced suspended James Husband and it is obvious he has nailed down the position to himself for subsequent games.

A total of eight clearances were recorded, two tackles, and blocking of shots without any infringement from Daniel Ballard’s game. He was solid to have won all individual duels and completed 33 of his 44 passes to earn him the award.

More to the award is the fact that he has shown great presence on the pitch with his good size and ability to fight hard. This is the quality that would be enjoyed by the North London outfit when he returns from loan and when the opportunity comes s calling for him at the Emirates Stadium.

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Chelsea

EPL: N’Golo Kante’s time at Chelsea might be finally over

Timothy Aiyeku

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NGolo Kante

After watching N’Golo Kante’s performance in the goalless draw between Chelsea and Man United, one could be forced to conclude that N’Golo Kante’s time at Chelsea might be over as his game continues to drop.

The West London outfit had an opportunity to steal all three points when they had a breakthrough into the Red Devils’ 18 at the other end. The ball got to the former Leicester City midfielder but his poor touch on the ball made him lose it and that happened to be Chelsea’s final attack in the game as he also had a number of such changes in the game.

N’Golo Kante joined Chelsea as a match-winner and a leader who can win a game for the team with his brilliant performance but that was not seen against Man United as he has not been his usual self this season. No wonder he was linked away from the club during the summer transfer window.

Going to the social media after the game, it’s obvious that the fans have taken note of the World Cup winner and they are more concerned about having him get back to his best as the player he was known for.

Some of the fans via their tweet stated that he was good off the ball but he is not the player that he used to be on the ball. He is also accused of breaking the transition from the defence to the attack with his passes.

Others even argued that he should have been substituted from the game for Matteo Kovacic or Olivier Giroud to help the attack.

With all of the concerns raised and expected to be observed by manager Frank Lampard, he could have his playing time reduced and that could lead to his exit as he currently has suitors across top European clubs.

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Chelsea

Chelsea have bigger Kepa Arrizabalaga issues than you think

Timothy Aiyeku

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The West London outfit Chelsea now have a bigger challenge of doing away with their Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who seems to have been relegated from being the first-choice goalkeeper at the club.

The start of the season saw the Spanish goalkeeper pull out some mistakes that cost the team some points and that was what forced manager Frank Lampard in the summer transfer market to secure the signature of Edouard Mendy as a replacement. His time at the club might be over.

Since given the opportunity to start for the Blues, Edouard Mendy has been impressive and his last outing against Man United on Saturday got manager Frank Lampard talking with lots of accolades coming from him.

However, the Blues are now concerned with the fact that the world’s most expensive goalkeeper is sitting on the bench just two years after investing in him but reports have claimed that there is more to this worry.

According to Estadio Deportivo via Sport Witness, the West London outfit have concerns about selling Kepa Arrizabalaga because he cannot continue to sit on the bench for a goalkeeper at his level, in addition to his age and the need to get him off the books.

While several clubs will want to give Kepa Arrizabalaga a change in their team, his weekly wage will be an issue for the Blues to contend with because they will not be able to pay. It happened in the summer transfer window when Spanish la Liga outfit Sevilla made efforts to land the Spanish goalkeeper on loan but they backed down because of his wage at Chelsea.

Chelsea’s only chance in offloading Kepa Arrizabalaga is to accept a loss on their £71 million investment earlier made on eh signature and the player could be forced to receive a pay cut as well.

Kepa Arrizabalaga currently earns £150,000 a week as the fourth-highest earner at Stamford Bridge and that could be reduced if he must leave the club as soon as in the coming January transfer window.

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