Liverpool Took A Long Stride Towards Qualifying For The Champions League

The street from academy potential to first-team routine is one that just a select few complete. The clubs particularly are not ready to be patient and wait to earn the grade. The requirements are great, the options in a transfer market tantalizing. When one does make a breakthrough it feels to take notice and when he’s currently curling in free-kicks on his Champions League debut. Playing to European contest — a leg, albeit for his club in their return — the 18-year-old scored a goal that he is going to relive into his dotage. After Ermin Bicakcic on 35 minutes had fouled outside the playground of Hoffenheim Sadio Mané, position over the ball 30 yards out and at a place, the right-back of Liverpool curled his shot and into the bottom corner of the net. The ball went out-to-in, left Oliver Baumann, the goalkeeper of the home side, shaking his head with the man and grief.

OK, that might be pushing it but what became evident on a night where Liverpool took a long stride towards qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in 3 years is that the club has a bona fide could-be-the-next-big-thing in their hands. For Alexander-Arnold not just shone with the goal that gave the lead in a match to the people in the Rhein-Neckar-Arena they went on to win 2-1 but also with his functionality. Besides the moment he let Mark Uth the room to pull one back for Julian Nagelsmann’s side three minutes from fulltime the adolescent was defensively sound while, going forward, he always threatened with his athletic runs and smart deliveries. Seeing in his role his praise was not held back by Steven Gerrard. That was close to 2 years ago and ever since there’s been the yearning, for another alike, from fans and employees to make the grade. Many have tried but all have failed — until today, it appears, from West Derby in the form of the scouser.

It would be unfair and unwise to pile too much stress on Alexander-Arnold but equally, there’s no denying his potential. Having joined the Liverpool academy at age six, he represented the team at different age levels before bursting into the first team last season, making 12 appearances under Jürgen Klopp and impressing the director to such an extent that he persuaded the player to miss England’s ultimately victorious European Under-19 Championship last month so as to embark on a complete pre-season at senior level. The decision proved a wise one following an inviting showing with last night’s standout at the draw at Watford screen up. Nathaniel Clyne no longer appears likely to return to the side after he recovers from his hamstring and back issues and, should Alexander-Arnold keep his progression, it is going to provide Liverpool with a supply of much-needed positivity in a time when the future of Philippe Coutinho remains uncertain and the club’s efforts to bolster a squad brief of depth and quality before the end of the transfer window seem to have come to a standstill.


“This child’s obsessed with improving and getting better on a daily basis,” added Gerrard, now back at Liverpool in his job as a Under-18s trainer, and on the evidence of last night something Alexander-Arnold might need to work on is staying awake for the whole 90 minutes. He had been badly out of position as Uth gathered a long diagonal pass and drove a shot past Simon Mignolet to shoot some of the sheens off Liverpool’s win ahead of the return at Anfield next Wednesday and after they had gone 2-0 up via an own goal by Havard Nordtveit. Alexander-Arnold was also booked for dissent but those were finally minor negatives on an overwhelmingly favorable night in south-west Germany for the participant, one where he had more touches than some of his team-mates (72) and scored his first senior goal in the most stunning and distinctive way possible. It is up to him to demonstrate that he has to go with that promise.

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Romelu Lukaku’s Value Has Almost Trebled In Three Decades

Last summer, thirteen of the 20 clubs in the league broke their transfer records but the mold was broken by Everton. Their record agreement dates back to 2014 when Chelsea was paid £ 28m for Romelu Lukaku by them. Lukaku has almost trebled in value in three decades, getting Everton’s most rewarding sale by a country mile, and the club is prepared to spend a massive chunk of the £ 75m they obtained from Manchester United to break their transfer record once more. They’ve bid £ 45m and £ 40m for Gylfi Sigurdsson but Swansea City are holding out for another £ 5m.

All of us know how this ends, with Swansea getting the fee they need and Everton getting their guy. Everton secured the help of the Swansea captain last season when they signed Ashley Williams and they’re only a few million short this summer of repeating the trick. Sigurdsson was instrumental for Swansea as they escaped relegation in the last few months of this season, so it is little surprise that the club has asked for an amount, but is he really worth all that money?

There is little doubt that Sigurdsson is an excellent player at Premier League level, but he turns 28 in September and isn’t likely to improve. You know what you are going to get but you understand what you are not getting: an elite player. Perhaps some signings from the £ 50m bracket — such as Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker — are not players but at least they’re among the best available in their own positions. That is not true with Sigurdsson. His statistics from last season reveal he’s a taker but his output is skewed by that truth. sbobet casino

However, just five of Sigurdsson’s assists came from open play, which places him outside the top 20 from the Premier League and equivalent 85th in Europe, beneath the man he’s tipped to replace at Goodison Park, Ross Barkley (that supplied six assists from open play), and level with the coming Wayne Rooney, who had less than half as much game time as Sigurdsson.

The vast majority of Sigurdsson’s assists came from set pieces — eight of the 13 — that was enough to place him together with Toni Kroos as the very best in Europe’s top five leagues, but Everton have just traded their large target man and none of Lukaku’s replacements in assault — Sandro Ramírez, Davy Klaassen, and Rooney — are equally as powerful in the atmosphere, indicating Sigurdsson’s greatest asset won’t be put to use too frequently. His tally of six assists for Fernando Llorente season was the combination in the Premier League, but Everton doesn’t have a player on the books.

Sigurdsson wasn’t quite as successful from open play last season. His figure of 25 moves from the play was modest, to say the least. It’s the exact same amount that Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye made for Everton from keeping midfield and shorter than half of Barkley’s total (56).  The Iceland international may have valuable Premier League encounter but you will find considerably cheaper alternatives out there. Ronald Koeman should think about the Ryad Boudebouz, that are both available at a fraction of the purchase price of Montpellier and Chievo’s Valter Birsa.  In regards to creating opportunities, Algeria global Boudebouz is streets ahead. The midfielder — that is regarded as available for approximately £ 15m — created the most chances per match in Europe’s top five leagues last season (3.5), with 68 of them coming from open play.

At 27, he’s the exact same age as Sigurdsson but he offers much more by means of dribbling ability — 2.7 dribbles per game compared to 0.8 — while fitting Sigurdsson for lunges per game (both 1.2) — and he also produced those characters while playing under similar conditions in a relegation battle. He did not score as many goals or lay on as many aids — seven goals and seven assists for Viera opposed to nine goals and 13 assists for Sigurdsson — but he’s a lot more inventive in overall play, with 67 important moves when excluding set bits. With a larger number of dribbles (two per game) and tackles (1.4 per game), the Spanish playmaker would also be much cheaper option — and he’s capable of playing deeper in midfield or wide on the left if needed. He might not have been given time to impress but his failure force himself and to make the grade should be a concern. Sigurdsson did not look close to a £ 50m player and he does not know. It might not be the fee in the window, from checking players who may offer them more for less money, but that should not stop Everton.


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Chelsea vs Burnley On Premier League

There are name defenses. And there are Chelsea title defenses. As an exercise in exploring a winning team that is steamrollering could be reduced to a frazzled rabble, Chelsea’s opening 45 minutes of the Premier League season here against Burnley is very likely to take some beating.

But this was a start for the champions, and an opening day defeat that some will indicate came trailed.
It’s no secret there’s been discontent around the area, not least friction between club and manager hierarchy. So deep was the ambient gloom in the summer when Chelsea replenished instead of enlarged their squad that casual observers may have assumed Antonio Conte’s team would begin here already tracking on minus five points, or by the kit-man squeezed into a spare set of shorts in kick-off. Jérémie Boga made his debut nine years after moving from Marseille and joining the club. Antonio Rüdiger began at a defense and the assault, albeit only during 59 in title feeble minutes on the pitch was led by Michy Batshuayi. On the seat, Kenedy emerged out of his doghouse to sit alongside a variety of a signing No9, children, and the goalkeeper. agen sbobet

And Burnley was impressive here, pressing high and hard up the pitch and beginning in a hurry. When Cahill received a decent red for a challenge the game had got out of gear. As he missed the ball, Cahill overstretched. His studs were observable. The card was made by Craig Pawson. Modern precedents indicate it was fair, even though it was a foul that is vicious. Seconds later Vokes had the ball on the web from an offside position after a bout of led ping pong as Chelsea fought to rejig. And on 24 minutes Burnley went via another goal on the weekend that the world forgot to defend. Matthew Lowton advanced floated and unimpeded the best down beat Thibaut Courtois with a contact that dribbled to the corner.

The Burnley end rejoiced, Dyche struck the air and Chelsea continued to play as a team, surprisingly short on passing rhythm or any sort of mixes going forward without Eden Hazard on the pitch. From the shakeup following Cahill’s red, Conte had removed Boga and caused by Andreas Christensen to maintain his defense the exact same form but there was a surprising debility to Chelsea’s right top as Burnley went 2-0 up five minutes ere half-time. Not that anything should take following away from the standard of Ward’s goal, the left-back weaving into the area spanking a shot into the corner. The center can’t hold.

At least, this appears to be the case when David Luiz is involved. Within three minutes it was 3-0: another cross from the right by Defour, another bit of indicating by the Brazilian and another led finish in hectares of distance by Vokes. Alonso had a well preserved by Tom Heaton. Morata added some guile, producing a finish after the cross from the right of Willian and holding the ball up well. And from the end Stamford Bridge was in an uproar for the appropriate reasons as Chelsea pressed hard, Burnley hung on with terrific heart and the home audience could at least cheer their bloodied winners in the pitch at the end of a crazy season’s opener.

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