Premier League shirt numbers: Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea digits confirmed so far

21 Jul

The 2019/20 Premier League season is nearly upon us and as always, there will be plenty of things to keep an eye out for.

New ball, new teams, new signings, new kits and new numbers assigned to players who have just been brought, returned from a loan spell, or those who have simply changed their digits.

Who will wear the No.10 shirt left by Hazard at Chelsea

Some vacated squad numbers are sure to be snapped up, an example being Eden Hazard’s No.10 at Chelsea following his move to Real Madrid, with reports suggesting it will go to Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Here we take a look at the latest numbers (in brackets) announced by squads so far.

Arsenal – Bernd Leno (1)

Following the retirement of Petr Cech, Leno has taken the much-coveted No.1 shirt, having worn the No.19 last season.

Chelsea – Tammy Abraham (19)

Having spent last campaign on loan firing Aston Villa into the Premier League, Abraham will hope for a chance to lead the Blues’ attack and will do so wearing No.19 a number he had last season, but never wore under Maurizio Sarri.

Tammy Abraham could be a Chelsea first-team star this season
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Everton – Fabian Delph (8)

The former Manchester City midfielder joins the Toffees on a three-year deal and will wear the No.8, having been assigned the No.18 during his time with the current Premier League champions.

Everton – Andre Gomes (21)

After an impressive loan spell last season, Gomes signed permanently and swapped his number from eight to 21 and explained his reason.

“I really like the number, I wanted to keep the number and I’m now looking forward to having it on the back of my Everton shirt,” he said.

Gomes wore No.8 last season but has changed to 21

Liverpool – Alisson (1)

As debut seasons go, it was a huge success for the Brazilian goalkeeper, who won the Golden Glove Award for keeping 21 clean sheets, helped the Reds capture a sixth Champions League and won the Copa America with Brazil.

He will leave the No.13 behind but with fond memories of it.

Alisson had a superb first season for Liverpool

Liverpool – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (15)

A number he wore during his time with Arsenal, ‘The Ox’ returns to the No.15 and will hope it brings him better luck than the No.21, which he never got the chance to be seen in during the 2018/19 season, after being ruled out with a serious knee injury.

Manchester City – Gabriel Jesus (9)

Jesus has worn No.33 since his arrival in January 2017 and will hope to fare better than previous owners Nolito and Alvaro Negredo, who struggled to adapt to life in England.

“It will be an honour to wear the City number nine shirt and I’ll do so with great pride,” Jesus said in an interview with City.

Gabriel Jesus will swap No.33 for No.9

Oleksandr Zinchenko (11)

After establishing himself as the first choice left-back under Pep Guardiola, following another injury-ravaged season for Benjamin Mendy, the Ukranian has swapped his previous No.35 to No.11, last worn by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Manchester United – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (29)

The former Crystal Palace defender will don the No.29 shirt, the same number used by ex-United player Wilfried Zaha.

Hopefully his experience at Old Trafford is better than the Ivorian’s.

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Daniel James (21)

The 21-year-old will succeed Ander Herrera as the owner of the 21 shirt and United’s first signing of the summer has already looked impressive in pre-season.

Norwich – Sam Byram (3)

The right-back has joined the newly promoted Canaries on a four-year deal from West Ham and will take the No.3 strip.

Tottenham – Tanguy Ndombele (28)

The France international joined from Lyon for a club-record £55million and has been handed the No.28 shirt for his first season in the Premier League.

West Ham United – Sebastien Haller (22)

Neymar is a better player than Eden Hazard according to new Real Madrid team-mate Marcelo

20 Jul

Eden Hazard is not better than Neymar according to his new Real Madrid team-mate Marcelo.

After almost 12 months of intense speculation about his future, Chelsea finally accepted a bid for Hazard which could rise beyond £150million.

Neymar is better than Hazard according to Marcelo

The Belgian is the big name signing of the summer for Real and he will hope to have the same impact for Zinedine Zidane’s side as he did during his time at Stamford Bridge.

While Hazard is rightly considered to be one of the best in the world, Marcelo believes he is not on the level of Brazil colleague Neymar.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was excellent during his time with Barcelona, but left in August 2017 to join his current employees for a world-record fee of £198m.

“Eden’s a top player,” Marcelo said in an interview with YouTube channel De Sola.

“A player of high quality and, like Neymar, has the quality to be in the top five.

Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid last month

“He’s impressive, you cannot compare them, but Neymar is better for me.”

The Brazilian has reportedly considered Manchester United as his next destination, but is hopeful of a return to former club Barcelona.

UFC news: Tito Ortiz issues apology, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone set for return, Jorge Masvidal would not bother to train for Conor McGregor fight

20 Jul brings you a round up of all the biggest news and gossip from the world of UFC

Ortiz apology

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has apologised to both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier over comments he made about the pair recently.

Ortiz had said he would do better against Jon Jones than Daniel Cormier and said even at the age of 44 he would give ‘Bones’ a decent fight.

However, he has since backtracked and posted on social media, a video in which he speaks of his respect for both fighters.

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@JonnyBones and @DC_mma @ufc✊🏼

A post shared by Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz1999) on

“This message goes out to Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier,” Ortiz said. “I did an interview earlier this week and the reporter asked, ‘How would I do against Jon Jones in my prime?’ And my response was in a negative and disrespectful manner to both fighters.

“Jon Jones, you’re one of the greatest light heavyweight champions to ever grace the Octagon. Daniel Cormier, you’re one of the greatest light heavyweights and the greatest heavyweight champion to ever grace the Octagon. I respect both of you guys tremendously and for the first time in my career, I was in the wrong in this interview. So I hope you guys can take my apology because I respect both you guys like no other in and out of the cage.”

Cowboy is back

On Friday, UFC officially announced that a lightweight scrap between Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje will headline the upcoming UFC Vancouver card.

Cerrone will be seeking a return to the win column following a bizarre defeat to Tony Ferguson in June.

He was forced to apologise to fans after he retired from his fight with Ferguson after suffering a sickening eye injury.

Donald Cerrone lost to Tony Ferguson in June
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‘Cowboy’ admitted he made a mistake after trying to blow his nose between rounds – causing his eye to swell so tightly he was left unable to see.

Cerrone also holds several UFC records, including most most total wins (23), finishes (16), post-fight bonuses (17) and knockdowns (20).

Easy money

Jorge Masvidal’s manager Abe Kawa has said the fight with Conor McGregor would be so easy ‘Gamebred’ would not even bother having to train for it.

Masvidal has knocked out both Darren Till and Ben Askren so far this year and is keen to cash in on his momentum with a big pay day against McGregor.

Masvidal wants a fight with McGregor

Speaking to MMA Junkie on Friday, Kawa was in an extremely confident mood.

“He said all he would do is make sure he makes weight. He has no reason to train for a Conor fight, he said that’s the easiest money he would ever make.

“He feels there’s nowhere Conor can touch him. He’s a better striker, a better grappler, a better all-around MMA fighter.”

Manchester United transfer news: Inter Milan have £54m bid for Romelu Lukaku rejected

20 Jul

Manchester United have turned down an offer of £54million from Inter Milan for striker Romelu Lukaku, according to reports.

Lukaku has been linked with a move to Inter and has even spoken about his admiration for the Italian league and in particular new boss Antonio Conte, who is keen to bring the striker to Serie A.

Romelu Lukaku is wanted by Inter Milan

According to Press Association Sport, United received a €60m (£54m) bid from Inter two days ago, which was rejected out of hand as it falls well short of their valuation.

The Red Devils have put a £75m price tag on the 26-year-old and it appears the San Siro club are struggling to match it.

The two clubs met in the International Champions Cup in Singapore on Saturday, but Lukaku watched from the sidelines due to a knock as his team-mates sealed a 1-0 victory.

On the eve of the match, Inter head coach Conte confirmed his desire to sign a player he missed out on when Chelsea boss in 2017.

“I think frustrated is a big word,” he said in English when asked about the inability to complete a deal.

Lukaku is a United player and this is the reality. You know very well that I like this player, but also in the past when I was Chelsea’s coach and I tried to bring him to Chelsea.

Lukaku has spoke of his admiration for Serie A

“But I repeat, today Lukaku is a player of United and this is the reality and this is the truth.”

Pushed on Inter’s interest in him, Conte said: “I think that at this moment, I repeat, we’re talking about a player of another club.

“For this reason, I think that it’s right (we) don’t talk about Lukaku because I have great respect for United.

“As I said before, for sure, I like this player and I consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement. But, at the same time, there is a market, a transfer market.

“We know very well which is our situation at this moment. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens but now, for sure, Lukaku is a United player.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic tells LAFC coach to ‘f**k off and go home you little b**ch’ following El Trafico derby hat-trick

20 Jul

Zlatan Ibrahimovic told one of the Los Angeles FC’s coaches to ‘f**k off and go home’ following his stunning hat-trick for Los Angeles Galaxy in the ‘El Trafico’ Los Angeles derby.

The former Manchester United and Barcelona star earned his side a 3-2 win against against local rivals Los Angeles FC thanks to his treble, which included a stunning volley.

It took his tally in the MLS to 41 goals from 44 appearances, but his evening had only just begun.

As the striker made his way off the field, he exchanged words with one of the LAFC coaches and appeared to say: “F**k off, go home you little b**ch.”

Prior to the match, Ibrahimovic had used a car analogy to sum up the standard of football in America.

“MLS is not the level of Europe, to be honest,” he said before turning in a virtuoso performance.

“Before, I played with players either on my level or close to it which makes the game connect easier.

“Here, I am like a Ferrari among Fiats. And it can happen that the Ferrari can become the Fiat, or the Fiat can become the Ferrari. I had the same issue with the national [Swedish] team, though not as much.”

The 36-year-old then posted a picture on Instagram of him celebrating along with the caption: ‘I AM LA!!!

Boxing news: Eddie Hearn hopes for Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte fight for the undisputed heavyweight crown

20 Jul

Eddie Hearn has admitted Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte was “always the dream” and hopes the pair can battle each other for the undisputed heavyweight title.

Whyte takes on Oscar Rivas at The O2 this weekend in the headline bout and will be next in line to challenge for the WBC belt, currently held by Deontay Wilder, if he wins on Saturday.

Dillian Whyte lost against Anthony Joshua in 2015

Joshua was dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in a massive upset in June and will look to avenge that loss with a rematch to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO straps.

AJ will ultimately decide on the date and location, with two main options to choose between – November 29 back at MSG in New York, or December 14 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Back in December 2015, Whyte and Joshua engaged in a bitter grudge bout for the British title and ‘The Body Snatcher’ was beaten in the seventh round.

Since that night, there has been continued talk of a rematch and Hearn is hopeful it will happen one day.

“For the undisputed would be nice,” Matchroom boss Hearn told Sky Sports.

Dillian Whyte will go up against Oscar Rivas tonight

“That was always the dream. Obviously AJ got beat and, listen, Whyte has got a tough fight on Saturday night. But if Joshua can win the rematch, Dillian can go on and beat the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury, that could still happen.

“It looks a long way away at the moment, but in an ideal scenario, you would want a situation where you can make an undisputed fight very easily, and I think in that situation you would be.”

You can catch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 at the marquee event of his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so click HERE or more information on the event and get your tickets HERE.

Chelsea transfer news: Derby County manager Phillip Cocu not ruling out re-signing Blues stars Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on loan

20 Jul

New Derby County manager Phillip Cocu feels it will ‘difficult but not impossible’ to bring in Chelsea trio Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Ethan Ampadu on loan this summer.

Former Netherlands international Cocu is the club’s first ever foreign manager and has signed a four-year contract to succeed Frank Lampard.

Phillip Cocu has taken over at Derby

Derby acted quickly to find a replacement for Lampard, who left after one season at Pride Park to take over at his former club Chelsea.

Much of the success Derby had under Lampard, in which they narrowly missed out on reaching the Premier League, came from the impact of on-loan stars Mount and Tomori, who was named Derby’s player of the year.

“It will be difficult I think. I don’t say impossible,” Cocu replied when asked about the chances of bringing them back to Derby.

And is Ampadu, who has been linked with a loan move to Germany, a possibility?

“There are a lot of possibilities still, but I don’t want to name any names yet,” Cocu said.

“For our own players – they know our team is not 100% – we’re trying to get some replacements in. That’s logical with the players that have left, with the budget and possibilities we have.”

Mount was brilliant for Derby last season – scored 11 goals and providing six assists for the Rams

Mount recently signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, while Lampard is keen for Ampadu to get more first team football and he has reportedly undergone a medical ahead of a proposed loan to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

Chelsea news: Frank Lampard challenges Blues to win Premier League title in his first season as manager

20 Jul

Frank Lampard believes there is enough quality in his Chelsea squad to win the Premier League in his first season as manager.

The Blues are currently under a transfer ban and are therefore unable to make any signings compared to their rivals who have strengthened in order to challenge for the crown.

Lampard wants Chelsea to challenge for the title
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Last season, Chelsea finished third, but they were a massive 26 points behind eventual winners Manchester City, despite beginning the campaign well.

“The only way I know to change that gap is through absolute hard work and focus,” said Lampard.

“Those basics don’t change, and with the transfer ban there is even more clarity because we can’t bring in players.

“Every day I read City are buying and Manchester United are going to buy. All these teams are going to do business and that’s going to strengthen them.”

Lampard, who is only beginning his second season as a manager after one year in charge of Derby, has been impressed with what he has seen in his first weeks since taking over at his former club and insists aiming for the top is the best mentality to have.

“We have to be realistic, but then I see every day the quality we have here,” added the Blues legend.

“And I think about the players not here like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Antonio Rudiger and Reece James, and I think we have a competitive squad.

Lampard feels there is plenty of quality in his squad
Chelsea FC

“I believe in them and there’s more because we have a lot of younger players.

“There can be an uplift. That’s not me saying I’m going to make the difference.

“It will be the players who make the difference.

“So there’s the challenge. Now, can we win the league? It’s going to be a big ask. But we have to set out with that mind-set.”

On Friday, Chelsea suffered their first defeat under Lampard, losing 1-0 to Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale.

They face Barcelona at the Saitama Stadium in Japan on Tuesday in their next friendly fixture.

Manchester United transfer news: Romelu Lukaku told to remain at Old Trafford by former striker Dimitar Berbatov

20 Jul

Dimitar Berbatov has urged Romelu Lukaku to stay at Manchester United as speculation mounts over his future.

Lukaku has been linked with a move to Inter Milan all summer but a deal is yet to be agreed and he will not feature in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against the Serie A side.

Berbatov says Solskjaer can get the best out of Lukaku

Inter are yet to meet United’s asking price for the striker who cost them £75million from Everton in 2017.

Berbatov spent four seasons at Old Trafford and won two Premier League titles and a Golden Boot, before going on to join Fulham.

The Bulgarian admits he is a fan of Lukaku and wants him to stay and learn his craft under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“I think he [Lukaku] should stay, I like him and I don’t agree with all the criticism he gets,” Berbatov said to Sky Sports.

“He has some areas he needs to work, like every player, but his team-mates need to help him as well.

“For example, if I’m a midfield player, and I play with him, I should know how to pass him the ball, when to pass him the ball, which foot to pass him the ball.

“I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the good coach for him, because if Lukaku needed to ask something [to] the coach, he can go ask him.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a great striker so if you need striker advice, you should go to him.”

Berbatov spent four seasons with United

Inter boss Antonio Conte has spoke of his admiration for Lukaku and how he tried to sign him during his time in charge of Chelsea.

“You know I like this player,” Conte told reporters.

“In the past when I was Chelsea’s coach [from 2016 to 2018] I tried to bring him to Chelsea.

“As I said before, I like this player and consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement but at the same there is a transfer market.

“We know very well what our situation is at the moment and we will see what happens, but for now Lukaku is a United player.”

Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea: Five things we learnt as Ross Barkley impresses but Tiemoue Bakayoko flops in defeat

19 Jul

Chelsea suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale in their third pre-season match as they continue preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign.

In hot, humid conditions, the Europa League winners created few clear-cut chances and were made to pay, when Leandro Damiao headed in on 88 minutes.

Frank Lampard suffered his first loss as Chelsea boss
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It was a first loss for Chelsea under Frank Lampard, who would have been pleased his players got more minutes under their belts, but ultimately disappointed with a loss.

While these games are not necessarily indicative of what lies ahead, it showed there is still much for Chelsea to work on, while there were moments of promise. takes a look at five things we learned from the Yokohama friendly.

Lack of goal threat

The departure of Eden Hazard has left Chelsea with a massive void that they will struggle to fill anytime soon.

In his final season, the Belgian netted 21 times and assisted a further 17, showing just how important and decisive he was.

Olivier Giroud is crowded out as he jumps for a header
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In Yokohama, Chelsea lacked any real cutting edge with Michy Batshuayi starting the first-half, flashing one shot wide, and Olivier Giroud entering for the second 45, and while he is excellent in his role as target man, prolific striker he is not.

Tammy Abraham, who shone for Aston Villa, watched from the stands due to tonsillitis.

The fact right-back Davide Zappacosta had Chelsea’s first shot on target says it all and Lampard will hope for more efficiency against Barcelona on Tuesday.

Barkley and Mount impress

Lampard is a huge fan of Mount and rewarded him with a new five-year contract.

The 20-year-old has looked impressive since returning from Derby and offered flashes of his quality against Kawasaki Frontale as he began in the No.10 role.

Ross Barkley impressed for Chelsea
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After the break, Barkley came on, with Mount moving to the left, and made an instant difference, with several probing passes, including two for Kennedy, who really should have finished at least one of them.

Barkley’s introduction gave Chelsea fresh impetus and Lampard will have been more than pleased with the performances of both men.

The Bakayoko conundrum

Tiemoue Bakayoko spent last season on loan at AC Milan following a disastrous first season at Stamford Bridge.

While he took time to settle in Italy, he soon found his feet and showed much of the quality that made Chelsea buy him from Monaco in 2017.

However, the Frenchman is simply not good enough to play for Chelsea.

His decision making leaves so much to be desired and in the Premier League, this lack of decisiveness will cost Chelsea dearly if they are to persist with trying to get the best out of him.

Coming on for Mateo Kovacic, Bakayoko looked ponderous and struggled to assert any authority, choosing to run with the ball as apposed to passing it, which is worrying against opposition of this calibre.

Tiemoue Bakayoko in action against Bohemians in an earlier pre-season friendly
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Pulisic debut

It was a first appearance in a Chelsea shirt for Christian Pulisic and he made a positive contribution when he did come on.

A couple of driving runs down the left and a willingness to get the ball in first time, is something Chelsea fans can expect to see more of once the American international grows into the team.

Zouma here to stay

Last season, Kurt Zouma spent the season on loan at Everton and at one point, it looked as if he may move from Chelsea for good.

But, the appointment of Lampard has changed that, with the manager wanting Zouma to stay put.

“In terms of Kurt Zouma, he’s a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional,” he said.

“I want him here, simple as that. We are competitive with the centre backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton and I can understand why they want him.

“He’s a Chelsea player and I want him.”

While there will be much sterner tests in front of him, Zouma looked more than comfortable at the back and will play a vital role in in what will be another hectic year.