Premier League players dominate 2019 FIFPRO World 11 shortlist with Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City stars all nominated

5 Sep

For the first time since 2009 Premier League clubs have the most players on the FIFA FIFPRO World 11 shortlist.

English teams replace Spanish LaLiga clubs with the biggest representation on the list of 55 footballers announced today.

Raheem Sterling’s performances for Man City have earned him a place on the shortlist
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Premier League champions Manchester City have eight players on the list, including Joao Cancelo who played for Juventus last season, while European champions Liverpool have seven players selected.

Tottenham have three representatives – Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen – while Manchester United have two – David De Gea and Paul Pogba.

N’Golo Kante is the only Chelsea player selected, although Eden Hazard (now at Real Madrid) gets the nod for his performances for the Blues last season.

More than 23,000 professional footballers voted for the 2019 World 11, selecting one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who were the best in their position during the 2018-2019 season.


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The 11 players who received most votes on their position earn a spot on the World 11.

FIFPRO and FIFA will reveal the World 11 on Monday, September 23 during The Best FIFA Football Awards in the Scala in Milan.



Alisson Becker (Brazil, Liverpool FC)
David De Gea (Spain, Manchester United)
Ederson Moraes (Brazil, Manchester City)
Jan Oblak (Slovenia, Atletico Madrid)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany, FC Barcelona)


Jordi Alba (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England, Liverpool FC)
Daniel Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain/Sao Paulo)
Joao Cancelo (Portugal, Juventus/Manchester City)
Daniel Carvajal (Spain, Real Madrid)
Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus)
Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands, Liverpool FC)
Diego Godin (Uruguay, Atletico/Internazionale)
Joshua Kimmich (Germany, Bayern Munich)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal, SSC Napoli)
Aymeric Laporte (France, Manchester City)
Matthijs de Ligt (The Netherlands, Ajax/ Juventus)
Gerard Pique (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
Andrew Robertson (Scotland, Liverpool FC)
Alex Sandro (Brazil, Juventus)
Thiago Silva (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid)
Marcelo Vieira (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Kyle Walker (England, Manchester City)


Sergio Busquets (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Casemiro (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
Christian Eriksen (Denmark, Tottenham Hotspur)
Frenkie de Jong (The Netherlands, Ajax/FC Barcelona)
Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea/Real Madrid)
N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea)
Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid)
Arthur Melo (Brazil, FC Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
Paul Pogba (France, Manchester United)
Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, FC Barcelona)
Bernardo Silva (Portugal, Manchester City)
Dusan Tadic (Serbia, Ajax)
Arturo Vidal (Chile, FC Barcelona)

N’Golo Kante is the only current Chelsea player named on the shortlist
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Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid)
Roberto Firmino (Brazil, Liverpool FC)
Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico/FC Barcelona)
Harry Kane (England, Tottenham Hotspur)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich)
Sadio Mane (Senegal, Liverpool FC)
Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona)
Neymar Junior (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Juventus)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool FC)
Heung-Min Son (South-Korea, Tottenham Hotspur)
Raheem Sterling (England, Manchester City)
Luis Suarez (Uruguay, FC Barcelona)

The most expensive Premier League summer transfers rated so far, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea stars

5 Sep

The Premier League has paused for the international break so now is the perfect time to assess the early-season form of some of the new signings in the division.

Having seen four matches so far, we can safely say some of the business done has been excellent and some of it has been mystifying.

Ndombele was brought to Spurs from Lyon earlier this summer for £55million
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There are always winners and losers in the transfer market as not every club can keep hold of their best players and also sign improvements.

So who do believe has been the best signings so far? Find out below…

15. Ismaila Sarr (Stade Rennais – Watford) – £27m

After a summer spent at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, it is understandable that it has been a slow start for Sarr at Vicarage Road.

However, Hornets fans caught a glimpse of his quality after he netted a beauty against Coventry in the Carabao Cup and he is sure to have many more chances to prove his worth.

Sarr will need time to adapt to the Premier League
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14. Joao Cancelo (Juventus – Manchester City) – £60m

Cancelo missed pre-season and therefore Pep Guardiola has been reluctant to hand him a first start as he gears up his fitness for the Premier league.

The Portuguese has looked assured off the bench and the full-back will surely become a first-team regular after the international break.

13. Ayoze Perez (Newcastle – Leicester) – £30m

Perez started in the opening three matches of the season but struggled to make an impact in the side and was subsequently dropped by Brendan Rodgers for the match against Bournemouth on the weekend.

Competition has never hurt anyone and the ex-Newcastle striker will have to prove his worth to his boss in the coming weeks to get back into the side.

Perez has struggled to make an impact so far for Leicester
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12. Pablo Fornals (Villarreal – West Ham) – £25m

Fornals will need time to adjust to the Premier League and it looks like the more he plays the more he is adjusting to the tempo of the English game.

He had a run out in the Carabao Cup and scored against Newport County but will be looking to break into the first-team in the league in the coming weeks.

11. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham) – £55m

Ndombele had a good start in the Lilywhite shirt after netting his side’s equaliser against Aston Villa with a beauty of a strike.

However, injury has forced him out in recent weeks but he will be looking to continue his solid start after the international break.

10. Nicolas Pepe (Lille to Arsenal) – £72m

Arsenal’s club record signing has looked dangerous at times and is proving to be a real handful for defences.

The Ivorian just needs a goal to kick start his his Gunners career and so far he hasn’t shown composure in front of goal but he has plenty of skill.

Pepe has shown signs of promise in the early stages of his Arsenal career

9. Joelinton (Hoffenheim – Newcastle) – £40m

Newcastle had a difficult start to the campaign and the Brazilian struggled to make an impact as they were dominated by Arsenal and Norwich, but he has now seemingly come into his own.

Against Spurs he was a constant menace up front, holding the ball well and making direct, effective runs, reaping the rewards of his efforts with a goal.

8. Alex Iwobi – (Arsenal – Everton) £28m

The ex-Gunner has looked dangerous for the Toffees whenever he has been called upon and he scored his first goal for the club over the weekend against Wolves in an impressive performance.

He will now be hoping to kick on and have his best season in the Premier League to date.

Iwobi netted hist first goal for Everton on the weekend
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7. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid to Chelsea) – £40m

Kovacic was Chelsea’s only signing of the summer due to their transfer ban as he was already registered to the club following his loan move from Real Madrid in 2018.

The Croat has started this season very well, impressing with his surging runs from midfield and dribbling ability.

6. Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City) – £63m

Rodri has had a couple dodgy moments but on the whole he has looked an assured presence in the midfield when called upon by Guardiola.

At just 24 years old, he is the natural successor to Fernandinho and you sense he will be mightily impressive in the role given what we have seen of his technical ability so far.

Rodri is seen as the heir to Fernandinho
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5. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace to Manchester United) – £50m

Wan-Bissaka looks unbeatable in one-on-one situations but the Man United defence is still leaking goals due to the midfield being overrun.

Solskjaer needs to find cover for the back four as they are more than capable than defending well but just need more protection higher up the pitch.

4. Harry Maguire (Leicester to Manchester United) – £85m

Maguire had a brilliant debut performance against Chelsea but results have turned sour since then.

He will undoubtedly prove to be a good acquisition for the club but as previously mentioned, Solskjaer needs to sort out his midfield otherwise the defence are left with too much to do.

Maguire will eventually become a great signing for United
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3. Raul Jimenez  (Benfica – Wolves)  – £34m

This signing has gone under the radar because it was agreed in January but what a coup for Wolves it is nonetheless.

Jimenez was one of the best strikers in the league last season and he is continuing to prove a handful up top this term, having scored his first of the campaign against Everton on the weekend.

2. Youri Tielemans (Monaco – Leicester) – £40m

Despite impressing in each match so far, Tielemans only got off the mark in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth over the weekend.

The Belgium international was a revelation for the Foxes in the second half of last season and he has picked up where he left off this campaign.

Tielemans impressed during his brief loan spell at Leicester last season
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1. Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankurt – West Ham) – £35m

Haller had a difficult start to life at the London Stadium but in the last two games he has really come into his own.

He seems be in the right position at the right time constantly, and having netted twice from close range against Watford and against Norwich – West Ham have seemingly signed a real dime in the Frenchman.

Haller found the net again for West Ham against Norwich
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Top 20 most expensive transfers in Europe’s top five leagues this summer

4 Sep

The transfer window across Europe slammed shut on Monday until January with dozens of deals completed by the deadline.

Across Europe’s top five leagues, 1903 deals were completed worth £5.24billion.

Harry Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender this summer
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The transfer window for Premier League clubs shut before the season started in August while teams in Spain, Italy, France and Germany having longer to do their business.

English clubs could still sell but were not able to bring in replacements until the start of the next window.

There were several high profile deals that never materialised with Tottenham no doubt delighted that Christian Eriksen remains with them, for now.

Despite some not going through, there was still a huge amount of money changing hands with plenty of clubs wanting to get their business done early.

Here are the 20 top deals completed by teams in Europe’s top five leagues.

20. Youri Tielemans – £40m (Monaco to Leicester City)

Tielemans is Leicester record signing
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19. Joelinton – £40m (Hoffenheim to Newcastle United)

Joelinton cost Newcastle £40m
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18. Mateo Kovacic – £40.2m (Real Madrid to Chelsea)

Chelsea activated their clause to purchase Kovacic from Real Madrid after the Croatian was on-loan at Stamford Bridge last season
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17. Sebastien Haller – £40.7m (Eintracht Frankfurt to West Ham)

Sebastien Haller is the new marksman at the London Stadium
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16. Ferland Mendy – £44m (Lyon to Real Madrid)

Ferland Mendy was signed by Real Madrid for £44million
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15. Eder Militao – £44m (Porto to Real Madrid)

Eder Militao cost Real Madrid £44million
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14. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – £45m (Crystal Palace to Manchester United)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined Manchester United in the summer
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13. Tanguy Ndombele – £55.5m (Lyon to Tottenham)

Ndombele arrived for £55.5m from Lyon
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12. Luka Jovic – £57.5m (Eintracht Frankfurt to Real Madrid)

Jovic scored 25 goals for Eintracht Frankfurt last season
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11. Joao Cancelo – £60m (Juventus to Manchester City)

Joao Cancelo joined Man City from Juventus
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10. Rodri – £62.6m (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City)

Rodri has become a star for Man City
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9. Frenkie de Jong – £65.3m (Ajax to Barcelona)

Frenkie de Jong helped Ajax reach the Champions League semi-final
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8. Matthijs de Ligt – £67.8m (Ajax to Juventus)

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the best centre backs in the world
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7. Lucas Hernandez – £68m (Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich)

Lucas Hernandez joined Bayern Munich for £68million
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6. Nicolas Pepe – £72m (Lille to Arsenal)

Nicolas Pepe is Arsenal’s record signing
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5. Romelu Lukaku – £74m (Manchester United to Inter Milan)

Romelu Lukaku scored on his debut for Inter Milan
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4. Harry Maguire – £80m (Leicester City to Manchester United)

Harry Maguire is the world’s most expensive defender
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3. Eden Hazard – £88.5m (Chelsea to Real Madrid)

Hazard joined Real from Chelsea earlier this summer
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2. Antoine Griezmann – £107.6m (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona)

Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona after they activated his release clause
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1. Joao Felix – £113m (Benfica to Atletico Madrid)

Joao Felix is already impressing at Atletico Madrid
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Manchester City transfer news: Joao Cancelo move from Juventus completed with Danilo heading in opposite direction

8 Aug

Manchester City have signed right-back Joao Cancelo from Juventus with Danilo heading in the opposite direction.

City have also paid £26.4million to complete the deal with the Serie A club.

Cancelo has signed a six-year contract at the Etihad while Danilo has agreed a five-year deal in Italy.

Joao Cancelo has joined Man City from Juventus
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“City are a fantastic club with a brilliant manager and I am delighted to be here,” Cancelo told the club’s official website. “Everything about them has impressed me, from the facilities to their style of play.

“I am always looking to develop my game and win trophies and I believe I can do that here, so now I’m really looking forward to the new season and testing myself in the Premier League.”

Danilo has joined Juventus as part of the deal
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City boss Pep Guardiola wants the pacy defender to provide competition for Kyle Walker, who was rarely pushed for his place by Danilo as the Brazilian made only nine Premier League starts last season.

Cancelo, capped 14 times by Portugal, spent only one season with Juventus after joining from Valencia following a campaign spent on loan with Inter Milan.

He revealed that former Benfica team-mate Bernardo Silva had given him a glowing report of City.

“We’ve spoken about it a few times, not regularly but occasionally,” he said. “He told me that it is an amazing club and the atmosphere is great. That’s also one of the reasons why I’ve decided to come.”

Danilo, who won two Premier League titles with City, said: “It’s been a pleasure to be part of the success City have enjoyed in my time here.

“The club have been fantastic with me from day one and I will always be grateful.

“The Premier League title wins will stay with me forever and I will always have City in my heart. The fans, the players and the staff have all been brilliant and I wish the club every success in the future.

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How Juventus could look next season with Matthijs De Ligt, Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot

18 Jul

Although Juventus are undoubtedly the most dominant football in Italian football at this moment, European supremacy is something the Bianconeri have failed to achieve since 1996.

In those 23 years, the club have appointed 12 managers and still the Champions League trophy has evaded the clutches of the Old Lady.

After Massimiliano Allegri’s departure earlier this summer, the club moved quickly to bring Maurizio Sarri back to his native country and end his Chelsea nightmare.

Maurizio Sarri will be tasked with leading Juventus to Champions League glory
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And the former Napoli manager has wasted no time in recruiting the players he feels can help Juve reclaim their place amongst the elite.

Aaron Ramsey had already agreed to move to Turin upon the expiration of his Arsenal contract, but Adrien Rabiot had seemed set to move to Barcelona before Sarri took charge.

The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder also arrived at the Allianz Stadium on a free transfer, joining Ramsey and a trio of domestic imports.

Cristian Romero, Luca Pellegrini and Merih Demiral have all joined Juventus, but their most recent acquisition is by far the most impressive.

Aaron Ramsey will be playing in black and white next season, as opposed to red and white
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Despite some of the biggest clubs in the world chasing him, Matthijs De Ligt touched down in Turin on Tuesday evening before signing on the dotted line just 36 hours later.

The former Ajax captain is just 19 years old and moved for a fee of £67.5m – a figure which could seem nominal in years to come.

De Ligt infamously knocked Juve out of the Champions League last season with his towering header securing a famous win for Ajax on their incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals.

But now, after speaking with Cristiano Ronaldo after the Nations League final, the centre-back will be doing his utmost to go one step further with Juventus.

De Ligt and Ronaldo will be teammates at club level next season
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One question remains; just how will Sarri fit his squad of superstars into one team next season?
The Italian certainly has an enviable task when you look at the team he has at his disposal, but will perhaps need to show more flexibility than he did during his stint at Stamford Bridge.

Scroll down to see two potential starting XI’s for the Serie A champions next season.

Sarri’s Choice (4-3-3)

Sarri is more than likely to stick to his tried and tested 4-3-3 formation

The former bank manager made his name in Naples by playing a 4-3-3 formation which centred on a lone pivot at the base of midfield.

At Napoli, and then Chelsea, this player was Jorginho. The Brazilian-born midfielder acted as a metronome for both sides, with his best work often going unnoticed. Keeping possession and taking the ball in tricky situations is what the Italy international thrives on.

At Juve, it is likely this player will be Miralem Pjanic. Last season, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international maintained an incredible 92.1% pass accuracy in Serie A, also chipping in with six assists.

His composure on the ball and football intelligence will allow the more athletic Rabiot and Ramsey to play further forward and get into the box.

Up front, the main man himself is likely to start on his own, with Ronaldo changing his game completely.

No longer a flamboyant forward, the Portugal captain has stripped back all the unnecessary fat and muscle from his frame to allow him to score goals at the highest level. He is now a clinical poacher who does his best work inside the six-yard box.

Alongside club legend Girogio Chiellini, De Ligt will slide effortlessly into the back four, with Cristian Romero and Leonardo Bonucci exceptional alternatives.

Dybala Debacle (4-2-3-1)

The new Juve manager could find himself under pressure to start Paulo Dybala in his XI

When you utter the name Paulo Dybala across Europe, fans immediately think of the Argentina international as one of the best in the world.

However, the 25-year-old endured a tough season last year and could well be on his way out of Turin. Despite the heavy marketing around the forward, his substance has failed to match up to the style,

He scored just five goals and registered four assists in Serie A last season, with Juve romping to the title without him. While there is no doubting the No.10’s talent, consistency is a trait he must add to his game if he is to start under Sarri.

In midfield, Pjanic could be joined in his deeper role by either Adrien Rabiot or Emre Can, with both midfielders more suited to a deeper role than Ramsey.

And in the wide positions, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa are direct and capable of supplying constant service into the box for Ronaldo. Federico Bernadeschi will also be chomping at the bit to get into Sarri’s plans, the 25-year-old provided three assists and made just 4 starts last season.

How Manchester City could line up against Liverpool for the Community Shield at Wembley, including Rodri and Angelino

5 Jul

Manchester City are the most dominant force in English football at this very moment in time.

Not content with winning the Premier League in 2018 by a record point margin and by beating more opponents than anyone else, Pep Guardiola went and did it the following season.

And the Spaniard also retained the Carabao Cup and added the FA Cup to the growing trophy collection at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola won a treble of domestic trophies last season

The only side that were able to get close to City were Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp’s men pushing the champions all the way to the final day of the season.

The clubs will meet for the chance to lift the Community Shield on August 4 at Wembley stadium in the season’s traditional curtain-raiser.

Keen to carry on the Citizens’ dominance, Guardiola has already made signings in this transfer window and is looking to complete more.

Left-back Angelino has returned to Manchester after signing for PSV Eindhoven last summer, while Rodri has also completed his move from Atletico Madrid for £62.5million.

Rodri is officially a Man City player

With Vincent Kompany returning to Anderlecht, there is a gaping hole at the heart of the defence alongside Aymeric Laporte for someone to fill.

John Stones has struggled for consistency in recent years, with his performances at the Nations League doing little to dispel suggestions he can be a liability on the ball.

Instead, Guardiola has reportedly turned to Stones’ England colleague Harry Maguire. Rivals United are also interested in the Leicester defender, who is valued at £80m.

Maguire could be joined in a new look backline by Joao Cancelo. The Juventus defender is reportedly wanted by City, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich interested. So how could City look for the start of the new season?

Guardiola has favoured a 4-3-3 formation with a central pivot in midfield around which to start his attacks. One thing fans began to notice at Man City was the way in which the inverted full-backs to almost act as playmakers.

By playing Maguire and Laporte on the ‘wrong side’ (i.e. with their weaker foot) the full-backs can tuck inside and condense the middle. This means City can afford to commit more bodies forward and be comfortable in the knowledge a counter-attack coming back the other way will not be as dangerous.

Aymeric Laporte in action for Man City
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Although Sergio Aguero is still one of the most lethal strikers in world football, the decision to hand Gabriel Jesus the number nine shirt, coupled with his incredible performances at the Copa America, suggest he could get more starting game time this season.

With Raheem Sterling and BernaRdo Silva supplemented by Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan (with David Silva from the bench) City could well dominate for years to come.

Could this be Manchester City’s XI to face Liverpool in the Community Shield?

Is this how Manchester City will look in August?

Benfica: How the Portuguese side would look if they kept their best players, including Raul Jimenez, Angel Di Maria, and Jan Oblak

5 Apr

Wolverhampton Wanderers announced the club-record signing of Raul Jimenez on Thursday, who had initially joined on a year-long deal from Benfica last summer.

He is Wolves’ top scorer with 15 goals, which has helped send the club to seventh in the Premier League, as well as firing them into Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford.

Raul Jimenez has joined Wolves permanently from Benfica

A Mexico international, Jimenez spent three years with Benfica, scoring 22 times in 101 games after joining from Atletico Madrid in 2015.

The Portuguese giants are renowned for their excellent academy which has produced players like Goncalo Guedes and Renato Sanches in recent years, while they have also had a number of top-class South American players such as Angel Di Maria and David Luiz pass through their club on the way to superstardom.

Over the years, Benfica have sold many of their players who have gone onto become world-class, achieving much success in other leagues and had they kept hold, they would have had a pretty formidable starting XI.

But what would it look like? Find out below.

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak

Oblak moved to Benfica from Olimpija Ljubljana in 2010 at the age of 17. Several loan spells followed and it would be three years until he finally got the chance to impress.

A series of mistakes from first-choice Artur prompted Oblak’s inclusion into the first-team in 2013/14 and impressive spell in the side saw him named goalkeeper of the year.

Oblak in action in 2014

He then moved on to Atletico Madrid in 2014 and is now considered one of the best in the world.

In 2017/18, he had the best save success rate (85.8%) of keepers in Europe’s top five leagues and in November 2018, he kept his 100th clean sheet for Atletico, a feat which he achieved in just 178 games.

Right-back – Nelson Semedo

After coming through the ranks at third division side Sintrense, the full-back was signed by Benfica and after a loan spell and two-and-a-half years with the club’s B team he was in the first XI.

Once there he impressed enough for Barcelona to swoop for his services in 2017 and while his debut campaign at the Camp Nou wasn’t a smash hit, he’s now adapted and is an asset to the Blaugrana.

Semedo celebrates scoring for Benfica.

Left-back – Joao Cancelo

A full-back capable of playing on both flanks isn’t as common as it used to be but they’re highly sought after when they’re as good as Cancelo.

The Portugal ace is now having a fine time of it at Juventus after spell at Valencia and Inter Milan and it’s understandable when he’s playing with compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in a team who seem set to win the Serie A title.

He only made one appearance for Benfica’s senior side but was a regular with their B squad for two campaigns.

Cancelo in action against Porto B

Centre-back – Victor Lindelof

Now at Manchester United, the Sweden international joined the Portuguese club at 16 and spent a year in their youth team, before making the step up. After an extended period in the B team, Lindelof made 73 appearances for the first-team and this earned him a move to the Premier League and after initially struggling in England, he has been a consistent performer this season.

Lindelof earned a move to the Premier League

Centre-back – David Luiz

The shaggy-haired Brazilian played 132 times for Benfica after initially joining the club on loan from Vitoria in 2007.

He would remain with the club until January 2011, when he would move on to Chelsea.

In his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Luiz helped the Blues to win the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League. Paris Saint-Germain came calling and he left for two and-a-half years, but rejoined Chelsea once more in 2016.

Luiz spent five seasons at Benfica

Midfield – Nemanja Matic

After only playing three times in his first stint at Chelsea, the towering midfielder moved to Benfica, where he played for three seasons, winning the league title and Portuguese League Cup.

Like Luiz, Matic returned to Chelsea and was integral to their success under Jose Mourinho. He remains in the Premier League with Manchester United although his form is now showing some signs of decline.

Matic against Chelsea in 2012

Midfield – Renato Sanches

A product of the Benfica academy, Sanches went on to play 35 games for the first team, before being snapped up by Bayern Munich and in turn became the first Portuguese player to ever sign for them.

The club loaned him out to Swansea in 2017 and he endured a nightmare spell in the Premier League, with injuries and poor performances denting his reputation.

He has since returned to form with Bayern and is enjoying a sustained run in the team.

Sanches was brought by Bayern Munich

Midfield – Axel Witsel

As is common among several players on this list, Witsel spent just one season at Benfica after joining them in 2011 from Standard Liege.

He became a fan favourite in that short period and later joined Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg, and then Chinese side Tianjin Quanjin.

The Belgian, who is his country’s second most capped player on 97, has returned to Europe and is plying his trade with Borussia Dortmund.

Witsel was another player to only spend a year at the club

Right winger – Bernardo Silva

Amazing to think that Silva only played three times for the first-team, before going on to make his name with Monaco.

Once in Ligue 1 he helped Leonardo Jardim’s men to win Ligue 1 in 2016/17.

The skilful midfielder is now an integral part of Manchester City’s dominant side and won the Premier League title in his first season at the Etihad.

Silva only played three times for the first team

Left winger – Angel Di Maria

In three seasons, Di Maria played 124 games in the colours of Benfica before moving to Real Madrid in 2010.

A first-team regular at Los Blancos, he memorably scored in the 2014 Champions League final and then signed for Manchester United, but failed to settle in England, despite a promising start.

Now with PSG, he remains a regular with Argentina too.

Di Maria was hugely popular with Benfica fans

Striker – Raul Jimenez

After a less than impressive spell at Atletico Madrid upon his arrival in Europe, Jimenez moved to Benfica where in all competitions he was competent, yet not prolific, forward, netting 31 goals in 120 matches.

At Wolves he has flourished further, scoring 12 times in the Premier League, which is no mean feat in a debut season for a promoted club.

Now his permanent deal is done he could well continue to thrive under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Jimenez celebrates scoring a vital Champions League goal against Bayern Munich.
How Benfica could have looked if they had not sold their stars



Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils ‘ready £146million bid’ for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Juventus’ Joao Cancelo

6 Mar

Manchester United have made ‘ready’ a nine-figure sum as they prepare to bid for Kalidou Koulibaly and Joao Cancelo this summer, according to reports.

Koulibaly, the Napoli centre-half, and Juventus’ full-back Cancelo top the Red Devils’ transfer shortlist, with Tuttomercatoweb stating the pair will be targeted whoever is appointed United’s manager on a permanent basis this summer.

Cancelo plays for Juventus having signed for the Serie A giants last summer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is favourite to take the position after excelling as the club’s caretaker manager, though others such as Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane and Massimiliano Allegri have also been named as potential successors for Jose Mourinho.

With Koulibaly and Cancelo identified as summer targets, it is reported United have already prepared the money required to bid for the pair.

Cancelo will cost the Red Devils around £52million (€60m) while the fee for Kouliably almost hits the £95million (€110m) mark; in total, United have readied £146millon (€170m) to sign the defensive duo.

Koulibaly has been known as a Manchester United target for quite some time now, with Jose Mourinho wanting the Senegal international while he was in charge the Red Devils.

Koulibaly is widely regarded as one of the best central defenders in world football

talkSPORT revealed last month that United will also move for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the Crystal Palace full-back, and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic when the transfer window reopens in July.

Top 20 best value transfers of the summer, according to statistics

22 Jan

We all know transfers can either be hits or misses.

Some players take time to settle and others adapt easily to their new clubs, having an instant impact.

And the CIES Football Observatory have attempted to find out which summer moves have so far yielded the most value.

Fabinho was bought by Liverpool for a big fee but has his value increased?

The Swiss statisticians have taken every player’s reported fee in the summer and their current estimated value – worked out by their own impressive algorithm – and calculated the best deals so far this year.

So, which stars have since the biggest increase in their value from their transfer fee in the summer? Find out below.

20. Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea) – Value increase from fee – €18.2m
Reported fee – €57million
Current estimated value – €75.2million

Jorginho has struggled in recent games

19. Krzysztof Piatek (Cracovia to Genoa) – Value increase from fee – €18.4m
Reported fee – €4.5million
Current estimated value – €22.9million
18. Thilo Kehrer (Schalke to Paris Saint-Germain) – Value increase from fee – €18.5m
Reported fee – €37million
Current estimated value – €55.5million
17. Jonathan Ikone (Paris Saint-Germain to Lille) – Value increase from fee – €19.4m
Reported fee – €5million
Current estimated value – €24.4million
16. Felipe Anderson (Lazio to West Ham) – Value increase from fee – €19.9m
Reported fee – €37million
Current estimated value – €56.9million

Anderson has been a revelation since joining the Hammers in the summer

15. Richarlison (Watford to Everton) – Value increase from fee – €20.2m
Reported fee – €56million
Current estimated value – €76.2million
14. Alban Lafont (Toulouse to Fiorentina) – Value increase from fee – €20.9m
Reported fee – €8.5million
Current estimated value – €29.4million
13. Alassane Plea (Nice to Borussia Monchengladbach) – Value increase from fee – €21.7m
Reported fee – €23million
Current estimated value – €44.7million
12. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid to Juventus) – Value increase from fee – €22.2m
Reported fee – €105million
Current estimated value – €127.2million

Ronaldo is still scoring for fun at Juventus

11. Clement Lenglet (Sevilla to Barcelona) – Value increase from fee – €27m
Reported fee – €35million
Current estimated value – €62million
10. Bryan Cristante (Atalanta to Roma) – Value increase from fee – €27.2m
Reported fee – €30million
Current estimated value – €57.2million
9. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea to Real Madrid) – Value increase from fee – €29.5m
Reported fee – €40million
Current estimated value – €69.5million
8. Fabinho (Monaco to Liverpool) – Value increase from fee – €31.5m
Reported fee – €55million
Current estimated value – €86.5million
7. Alisson (Roma to Liverpool) – Value increase from fee – €33.1m
Reported fee – €72.5million
Current estimated value – €105.6million

Liverpool star Alisson Becker has been superb this season

6. Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient to Arsenal) – Value increase from fee – €34.2m
Reported fee – €9million
Current estimated value – €43.2million
5. Joao Cancelo (Valencia to Juventus) – Value increase from fee – €37.6m
Reported fee – €40.4million
Current estimated value – €78million
4. Fabian Ruiz (Real Betis to Napoli) – Value increase from fee – €40.1m
Reported fee – €30million
Current estimated value – €70.1million
3. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City to Liverpool) – Value increase from fee – €40.3m
Reported fee – €14.7million
Current estimated value – €55.0million

Shaqiri has shone at Anfield, surprising fans and pundits alike

2. Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria to Arsenal) – Value increase from transfer fee – €44.3m
Reported fee – €30million
Current estimated value – €74.3million

Lucas Torreira has been a revelation in north London

1. Rodri (Villarreal to Atletico Madrid) – Value increase from transfer fee – €45.1m
Reported fee – €25million
Current estimated value – €70.1million

Atletico Madrid ace Rodri

Top 50 players with the biggest estimated transfer value, including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United stars

8 Jan

The January transfer window is open and we could see some big moves happening before the month is out.

Last year we saw Philippe Coutinho (£142million) and Virgil van Dijk (£75million) both make huge switches – both involving Liverpool – and they’re now amongst the top 50 players with the biggest estimated transfer values.

Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk was a big money signing last January

It’s a list, created by the CIES Football Observatory, and calculated using their algorithm which takes into account information about the player’s form and statistics, while also looking at their current club too.

It only involves superstars from Europe’s top five leagues (England, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany), in case you’re wondering where Matthijs de Ligt or Frenkie de Jong are.

So, who are the top 50 most valuable players, according to statistics? Find out below…

50. Joao Cancelo (Juventus) – Estimated transfer value €78million (£70m)

48= Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid) – Estimated transfer value €78.2million (£70.2m)

48= John Stones (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €78.2million (£70.2m)

John Stones celebrates Man City’s recent win against Liverpool

47. Goncalo Guedes (Valencia) – Estimated transfer value €80.1million (£71.91m)

46. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) – Estimated transfer value €81.2million (£72.9m)

45. Joe Gomez (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €82.1million (£73.7m)

44. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €82.4million (£73.97m)

Robertson has been in brilliant form for Liverpool since signing for the club in the summer of 2017

43. Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – Estimated transfer value €82.9million (£74.42m)

42. Antonio Rudgier (Chelsea) – Estimated transfer value €83.1million (£74.6m)

41. Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) – Estimated transfer value €84million (£75.41m)

Samuel Umtiti has been sidelined with a knee injury for some of this season

39= Memphis Depay (Lyon) – Estimated transfer value €84.3million (£75.68m)

39= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €84.3million (£75.68m)

Manchester City stars celebrate Sergio Aguero’s opener against Liverpool.

38. Fabinho (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €86.5million (£77.65m)

37. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – Estimated transfer value €90.2million (£80.98m)

36. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – Estimated transfer value €90.4million (£81.16m)

Man United star Marcus Rashford scores against Newcastle

35. Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan) – Estimated transfer value €91.8million (£82.41m)

34. Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur) – Estimated transfer value €93.6million (£84.03m)

33. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur) – Estimated transfer value €93.9million (£84.3m)

Heung-min Son celebrates in Spurs’ 5-0 win over Bournemouth

32. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €95million (£85.29m)

31. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – Estimated transfer value €95.4million (£85.64m)

30. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €95.6million (£85.82m)

29. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – Estimated transfer value €97.2million (£87.26m)

Kante has had to adapt to a new position in Maurizio Sarri’s midfield so far this season

28. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona) – Estimated transfer value €98million (£87.98m)

27. Ederson (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €100.1million (£89.86m)

26. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €104.3million (£93.63m)

25. Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) – Estimated transfer value €104.7million (£93.99m)

Lorenzo Insigne scored Napoli’s winner against Liverpool in October

24. Alisson (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €105.6million (£94.8m)

23. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €109.3million (£98.12m)

22. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – Estimated transfer value €112.6million (£101.09m)

Sancho in now a full England international.

21. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €117.2million (£105.22m)

20. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) – Estimated transfer value €120.3million (£108m)

19. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – Estimated transfer value €127.2million (£114.19m)

Ronaldo has continued his form with Juventus

18. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Estimated transfer value €129million (£115.81m)

17. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – Estimated transfer value €130.3million (£116.98m)

Pogba has been unstoppable since Mourinho’s departure

16. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €133.2million (£119.58m)

15. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €134.6million (£120.84m)

14. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €137.4million (£123.35m)

13. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €145.6million (£130.71m)

Firmino has looked jaded at points this season

12. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) – Estimated transfer value €150.2million (£134.84m)

11. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) – Estimated transfer value €155.2million (£139.33m)

10. Leroy Sane (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €156.1million (£140.14m)

Leroy Sane scored City’s winning goal against Liverpool

9. Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) – Estimated transfer value €157million (£140.95m)

Coutinho’s has had a mixed time with Barcelona

8. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) – Estimated transfer value €162million (£145.43m)

Manchester United signed Romelu Lukaku as a £75m star striker in 2017

7. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – Estimated transfer value €171.2million (£153.69m)

Messi scores against Spurs in Barcelona’s 4-2 win in the Champions League.

6. Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – Estimated transfer value €171.9million (£154.32m)

Dybala pokes the ball past De Gea in the United goal during Juventus’ Champions League clash at Old Trafford

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Estimated transfer value €184.3million (£165.45m)

Mo Salah has been a revelation since returning to the Premier League

4. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – Estimated transfer value €185.8million (£166.80m)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola congratulates Raheem Sterling.

3. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – Estimated transfer value €197.1million (£176.95m)

Neymar is a star in Paris

2. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – Estimated transfer value €200.3million (£179.82m)

Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane celebrates scoring against Barcelona.

1. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – Estimated transfer value €218.5million (£196.16m)

Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe.