No Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, or Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Is this the England squad Gareth Southgate should name to face Bulgaria and Kosovo?

28 Aug

England manager Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the upcoming UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo on Thursday.

Speculation suggests Chelsea starlet Mason Mount could get his first call-up having impressed in his three appearances for the Blues this season.

Mount made it two goals in two games when he scored against Norwich and was later chosen as man of the match by talkSPORT’s Dean Ashton
Getty Images - Getty

The Three Lions currently top their group on goal difference thanks to their thumping 5-0 win against Czech Republic and could fire themselves well clear of their opponents with two victories at the start of September.

Southgate, though, can expect plenty of scrutiny about his squad with huge selection dilemmas throughout the group.

James Maddison’s good form continues despite the England boss’ seeming unwillingness to pick the Leicester ace, while at right Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Kieran Trippier have all started well.

Kieran Trippier appears to have acclimatised to life at Atletico Madrid very quickly
Getty Images - Getty

It promises to be a fascinating squad reveal but how would the 25-man group look if it was picked on statistics from the 2019/20 season?

Here at talkSPORT.com we’ve looked at the best English stars according WhoScored.com and made our selection based on their ratings (out of 10) – and there are some big shocks…

Goalkeepers (3)

Nick Pope (Burnley) – 7.10

Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 6.64

Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) – 6.55

Ramsdale denies Kyle Walker
AFP or licensors

Full-backs (4)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) – 7.29

Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid) – 7.23

Solly March (Brighton) – 7.13

Solly March is starring at left wing-back for Brighton under Graham Potter
Getty Images - Getty

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – 6.86

Centre-backs (5)

Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) – 7.42

Harry Maguire (Manchester United) – 7.39

Harry Maguire helped United keep a clean sheet against Chelsea
Getty Images - Getty

Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 7.32

Ben Mee (Burnley) – 7.31

Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United) – 7.14

Midfielders (7)

Mason Mount (Chelsea) – 7.73

James Maddison (Leicester City) – 7.50

James Maddison has been in fine form for Leicester this season
Getty Images - Getty

Ross Barkley (Chelsea) – 7.12

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 6.99

John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 6.89

Lundstram scored the winner for Sheffield United against Crystal Palace
Getty Images - Getty

Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) – 6.95

Forwards (6)

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 8.57

Jadon Sancho enjoyed a breakthrough season at Dortmund in 2018/19
Getty - Contributor

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 8.29

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) – 8.12

Ashley Barnes has started the season in rich vein for Burnley
Getty Images - Getty

Dwight McNeil (Burnley) – 7.23

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – 7.21

Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – 6.98

Southampton got off the mark with a win at Brighton – Nathan Redmond scoring in the game
1169949559

You can listen to England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo live on talkSPORT

Premier League fantasy football tips: 10 bargain defenders you should sign for your Dream Team

19 Jul

The Premier League is back and you cans still sign up to Dream Team fantasy football here.

Pick your best XI using your £50million budget and pick a hilarious name and then own your mates.

It’s fine picking up expensive star men like Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane – but you might need the odd cheap player so you don’t go over your limit.

Some coaches can find it tricky discovering the best bargains, but never fear, we’re here to help you and have done the research on some of the perfect players for you to pick up once you’ve signed up.

So which defenders should you be looking at if you need to save some pennies? Find out our top Dream Team tips below.



Matt Targett (Aston Villa) – £1.5m

Having never had a full season as a starting player, Targett has joined the Villans for £15m.

However, he did get three assists and a goal last term as he made 16 appearances for Saints, which isn’t too shabby.

Targett is set to play a major role for Dean Smith and he could offer cheap points.

Targett has moved on from Southampton and could kick-start his career
Getty Images

Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – £2.0m

A move to Leicester City appears to be in the works if Harry Maguire joins Manchester United this summer.

Dunk is good for a few goals a season, while last year was the first time he hasn’t averaged more than 7/10 on WhoScored.

Playing for a bigger club is also likely to see an increase in clean sheets – the Foxes got 10 compared to Brighton’s seven in 2018/19.

Dunk is a vital part of the Seagulls’ squad and has formed an excellent partnership with Shane Duffy
Getty Images

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – £2.5m

The Red Devils’ standing may have fallen and the ex-Saint might not quite have fulfilled the potential he once showed – but he’s a bargain on Dream Team.

If he remains fit all season he should improve on the one goal and four assists he got last-term.

He also got 14 WhoScored ratings of 7/10 or more, which will come in handy.

Luke Shaw won Manchester United’s Players’ Player of the Year and the Sir Matt Busby Fans’ Player of the Year awards in 2018/19
Getty Images

Ben Godfrey (Norwich City) – £1.0m

With four goals and two assists in just 31 Championship appearances from centre-back, Godfrey is a possible gem.

Yan Valery (Southampton) – £1.5m

French youngster Valery is on course to be Saints’ starting right-back this season and is very capable of getting goals and assists.

His number of clean sheets is likely to improve too as Ralph Hasenhuttl improves his squad.

If you’re looking for a Saint to be your saviour and help you perform a mini-league miracle then Valery might be your man.
Getty Images

Ryan Fredericks (West Ham) – £1.5m

The ex-Tottenham and Fulham right-back really kicked on at the end of last season and if he improves his final ball then he could be a huge winner for your XI.

Ryan Fredericks got one over on his former club by helping the Hammers beat Spurs 1-0 towards the end of last season
Getty Images

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) – £1.5m

Want an early season bargain? With Hector Bellerin still out injured it’s likely the Englishman will occupy the right-back role for a while.

Last season he ended up as one of the top 100 point-scorers in Dream Team, earning 46 points through his his WhoScored ratings alone.

If the Gunners improve defensively he’ll lose nowhere near the 20 he did last term and will be a valuable asset in the opening stages.

Maitland-Niles established himself as a valuable squad member under Unai Emery in 2018/19
Getty Images

Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) – £2.0m

The ex-Chelsea left-back didn’t have the best of campaigns last year but Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to be turning Saints around.

With a new attack to feed, we could see a far more productive Dream Team player, especially with new signing Moussa Djenepo ahead of him.

Bertrand may enjoy a return to form in 2019/20
Getty Images

Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) – £2.5m

He’s not the most consistent man in the world but he now has Tyrick Mitchell snapping at his heels so he needs to up his game.

Usually good for a few attacking contributions every season, if Palace land a goalscorer he could up his point-scoring ability.

Patrick van Aanholt was part of Chelsea’s academy and currently stars for Palace
Getty Images

Victor Lindelof (Manchester United) – £2.0m

Having a Red Devils centre-back isn’t the most desirable option right now but he’s more than capable of scoring points.

Just small improvements – hopefully thanks to a full pre-season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – should mean United run a tighter ship at the back.

The possible arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City could help Lindelof too.

This will see an increase in Lindelof’s scoring for sure and may well make him a bargain if he gets enough clean sheets.

Lindelof will be key for the Red Devils even if Harry Maguire joins
Getty Images

You can sign up here for Dream Team Fantasy Football

Premier League fantasy football tips: 25 Bargains to sign for your Dream Team XI

17 Jul

The Premier League is back and so is Dream Team – sign up here for free!

It’s the fantasy football game you’ve all know and love with a prize pot of £100,000!

Who will you pick for your Dream Team?

You’ve got a £50million budget to spend on your XI and just three transfers a month to test your managerial skills to the max.

It’s easy enough picking star men like Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane but you will need some bargains to ensure you don’t spend too much.

Whether they’re cheap and cheerful first-team fillers or smart deals for a diminished dime, here at talkSPORT.com we’ve taken a look at the players you should be signing.

Get our top Dream Team bargain tips below and SIGN UP HERE.

Goalkeepers

Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United) – £2.5m

Only one shot-stopper averaged over 7/10 on WhoScored.com, and that was Polish ace Fabianski.

He might not get heaps of clean sheets, although this could improve with additions to the Hammers, squad but he’s a steady point-scorer.

Rui Patricio (Wolves) – £2.0m

The Portugal international had a fine first season in the Premier League and should do well again under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Signing Patricio last summer was a huge coup for Wolves
Getty Images

Ralf Fahrmann (Norwich City) – £1.0m

Landing a goalkeeper on loan with eight Bundesliga seasons under their belt is impressive for a newly-promoted side.
Sure, he was displaced at Schalke last season by talented youngster Alexander Nübel but he should be a fine performer at a cheap price.

Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – £2.0m

The Magpies are facing a tough campaign ahead and if he remains at St James’ Park then the Slovakian is likely to be a key star.

He’s been a fine signing and could almost certainly earn himself a big move if he is on top form again in 2019/20.

Dubravka has been linked with transfers this summer
Getty Images

Defenders

Matt Targett (Aston Villa) – £1.5m

Having never had a full season as a starting player, Targett has joined the Villans for £15m.

But, he did get three assists and a goal last term as he made 16 appearances for the Saints, which isn’t too shabby.

Targett is set to play a major role for Dean Smith and he could offer cheap points.

Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – £2.0m

A move to Leicester City appears to be in the works if Harry Maguire joins Manchester United this summer.

Dunk is good for a few goals a season, while last year was the first time he hasn’t averaged more than 7/10 on WhoScored.

Playing for a bigger club is also likely to see an increase in clean sheets – the Foxes got 10 compared to Brighton’s seven in 2018/19.

Dunk has been a vital part of the Seagulls’ squad and has formed an excellent partnership with Shane Duffy
Getty Images

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – £2.5m

The Red Devils’ standing may have fallen and the ex-Saint might not quite have fulfilled the potential he once showed but he’s a bargain on Dream Team.

If he remains fit all season he should improve on the one goal and four assists he got last-term.

He also got 14 WhoScored ratings of 7/10 or more, which will come in handy.

Ben Godfrey (Norwich City) – £1.0m

With four goals and two assists in just 31 Championship appearances from centre-back, Godfrey is a possible gem.

Yan Valery (Southampton) – £1.5m

French youngster Valery is on course to be the Saints’ starting right-back this season and is very capable of getting goals and assists.

His number of clean sheets is likely to improve too as Ralph Hasenhuttl improves his squad.

If you’re looking for a Saint to be your saviour and help you perform a mini-league miracle then Valery might be your man.
Getty Images

Ryan Fredericks (West Ham) – £1.5m

The ex-Tottenham and Fulham right-back really kicked on at the end of last season and if he improves his final ball then he could be a huge winner for your XI.

Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – £4.5m

Okay, in comparison to the other men in this list, the Scotsman isn’t a ‘bargain’ but bear in mind he got 11 assists last year.

Teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold got 12 and one goal and is valued at £5m, while Virgil van Dijk is £6m.

Robertson helped Liverpool win the Champions League
Getty

Midfielders

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – £2.5m

The English youngster can do it all in the centre of the pitch, creating and scoring, and is vital to Dean Smith’s squad.

If he stays, fit unlike last season, he could pitch up some nice Dream Team points.

A boyhood Villa fan, Grealish will need to continue his fantastic form in the Premier League
Getty Images

Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton) – £1.0m

He may have been a dud last season after his huge move from AZ Alkmaar but under Graham Potter he may flourish.

Jahanbakhsh got two assists in the Seagulls’ friendly win over FC Liefering and played in the no.10 role too. He’s a wildcard pick.

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – £3.0m

Another wildcard, many may steer clear of the new signing but we reckon he’s worth a go.

He grabbed two goals and an assist in his last three games at Borussia Dortmund and hit another three at the Gold Cup.

Pulisic shined for USA in the win over Trinidad & Tobago
Getty Images

Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) – £2.5m

He starred in the second half of the Foxes 2018/19 campaign and could well pick up where he left off after joining permanently.

There is a risk he could drop off but even so he’s a decent bet for points.

Naby Keita (Liverpool) – £2.5m

Another player who, points-wise, was a bit of a dud, we reckon he could really improve this season.

He may miss a game or two early on but could then really shine in midfielder as he did before he got injured at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Naby Keita has had a slow start to life at Anfield
Getty Images

Daniel James (Manchester United) – £1.0m

How involved the speedster will be under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unknown right now.

If we’re honest, though, the price is extremely tempting, even if he’s just a rapid super sub!

Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United) – £2.0m

After impressing with Paraguay at the Copa America, Almiron’s stock is steadily rising.

Magpies fans will be hoping he finally breaks his ducks when it comes to goal contributions and if he does you’ll be laughing to the top of your mini-leagues.

Almiron has caught the eye after starring in the Copa America
Getty Images

Emil Buendia (Norwich City) – £2.0m

A set-piece taker for the Canaries, we’re tipping the Argentine 22-year-old to make a splash in the Premier League.

Get on board this bargain early.

Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) – £1.0m

In total, the Senegalese youngster got 12 goals and seven assists last season, earning him his Premier League switch from Standard Liege.

The dribbler could be a smart signing for your XI.

Moussa Djenepo has signed a four-year contract with Southampton
Getty Images

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) – £4.5m

Like Andy Robertson, Silva is a relative bargain.

When you consider Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane are £6.0m, the Portuguese ace looks decent value.

Forwards

Michy Batshuayi/Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – £2.0m

It’s best to analyse this as pre-season moves further down the line but whoever looks like getting the staring role is an almost must-have for your XI.

Yes, they have lost Eden Hazard but they still have quality elsewhere to provide them with ammo.

Tammy Abraham was a huge hit on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea last season
Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – £3.5m

He’s not going to usurp Sergio Aguero any time soon but he will still get plenty of goals.

He got 17 in all competitions last season, not bad going at all.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – £3.5m

The Red Devils could have another tough campaign in the Premier League, or they could bounce back.

If they do the latter then Rashford, their current main striker, is likely to get the goals for them

Rashford has signed a new contract at Man United
Getty - Contributor

Che Adams (Southampton) – £1.5m

The 23-year-old hit 22 goals and got four assists in the Championship last season.

He really troubled defences in the second tier and you wouldn’t put it past him doing the same in the Premier League too.

One player every Premier League side cannot afford to sell in the transfer window

14 Jul

The return of the Premier League season is edging closer and, as ever, the summer transfer window is still providing fans with plenty of entertainment.

Although the new Merlin ball is yet to be kicked, all 20 sides in the English top-flight are still anxiously hoping to improve their squad.

The Premier League season is agonisingly close, with plenty of transfer business still to be done
getty images

Thus far, Manchester United have been the most aggressive side in the market. After capturing Daniel James from Swansea City for £15million, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went big and parted with £50m to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

Of course, there are no shortage of potential departures from Old Trafford this season.

Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba have both been linked with lucrative moves this summer, with the Belgium international seemingly set to move to a Serie A side.

And while the sales of both men would see a sizeable injection of cash pumped into Old Trafford, it begs the question as to how important they both are to United.

Pogba and Lukaku are both expected to leave Manchester United this summer
getty images

This is a question a number of Premier League sides are asking after seeing some of their star players also linked with moves away.

Wilfried Zaha is undoubtedly adored at Crystal Palace, but if you travel to south London and find Eagles fans who would not sell him for an extortionate price to Arsenal, they are probably in the minority.

Similarly, West Ham United sold Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG earlier this week. But fans in the East End remain optimistic about their prospects for the upcoming season.

So which players can be considering genuinely unstoppable for their sides? Scroll down to see the one player talkSPORT.com believes your Premier League side cannot afford to sell in the transfer window.

AFC Bournemouth – Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake has gone from Chelsea reject to Premier League powerhouse
getty images

Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are arguably Bournemouth’s two most important players. Going forward, the duo looked unstoppable at times last season.

But 24-year-old Ake is the main man at the Vitality, make no mistake about that.

Eddie Howe’s side have traditionally suffered dips of form throughout the season, but it is the fortitude of Ake which helped see them through last year.

Averaging 6.1 clearances a game, the Netherlands international is a classic example of what a good centre-back should be.

Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal’s player of the season, Lacazette is a cunning and selfless centre forward
getty images

Upon signing for Arsenal in 2017, many fans believed Lacazette was simply brought in to score goals. After all, he had managed to net 129 times in 275 games for previous side Lyon.

But the France international has a vast array of redeeming features which have endeared him to Arsenal fans.

His hold-up play, determination and willingness to play anywhere for his team were key factors behind the fan’s decision to award him the Player of the Year Award.

With 13 Premier League goals to his name last year, the Gunners striker is vital to the way Unai Emery wants to play.

Aston Villa – Jack Grealish

A boyhood Villa fan, Grealish will need to continue his fantastic form
getty images

It’s not very often modern day fans get to see a real-life Roy of the Rovers story played out, but Grealish is doing just that.

The boyhood Villa fan thought he was signing for Tottenham last summer due to the club’s financial struggles, but the owners came in and locked him down to a new deal.

He then struggled with a shin injury, but lead the Villans to 13 wins out of 16 in the Championship to lead them to the Play-Offs.

The 23-year-old is expected to retain the captain’s armband when the Premier League season kicks off and will be crucial to their survival chances.

Brighton and Hove Albion – Lewis Dunk

The centre-half is Brighton’s leader on the pitch
getty images

When Chris Hughton was surprisingly given the sack at the end of last season, a stunned silence must have fallen over the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls had just secured a third consecutive season in the Premier League and Hughton is recognised as being one of the nicest men in football.

Given Brighton are now experiencing an overhaul under new boss Graham Potter, the last thing they can afford to do is lose their captain.

The England international has helped Brighton keep 17 clean sheets since arriving in the Premier League, maintaining a tackle success rate of 54 per cent as well.

Burnley – James Tarkowski

After Michael Keane’s departure, Tarkowski stepped up to the mantle at Turf Moor
getty images

Michael Keane’s move to Everton threatened to send Burnley spiralling back into the Championship, but the stoic Sean Dyche dug his heels in and the Clarets are still a Premier League side.

Perhaps no player better epitomises that spirit than Tarkowski. The 26-year-old was promoted after Keane’s move to Merseyside and has worked hard to keep his place.

Now an England international, the centre-back is thriving at Turf Moor. Averaging 6.7 tackles and 1.6 clearances per game, Tarkowski is Burnley’s most important player.

With Harry Maguire potentially leaving Leicester, Dyche has been quick to slap a £40m price tag on the former Oldham Athletic defender.

Chelsea – N’Golo Kante

Kante is one of the best midfielders in the world, without a shadow of a doubt
getty images

Of all the players to suffer under Murizio Sarri’s reign at Chelsea, Kante was perhaps the one who bore the brunt of the Italian’s rigid tactics.

Played in a more advanced midfield role, the France international struggled to produce the calibre of performances fans have begun accustomed to. But you don’t win back-to-back Premier League titles and then the World Cup if you’re a bad player.

Despite Kante’s indifferent season, Frank Lampard simply HAS to keep the midfielder and play him in his strongest role.

On his day, there are few better defensive midfielders in the world. During the 2016/17 season, Kante made 127 tackles, 82 interceptions and a staggering 275 recoveries.

Crystal Palace – Luka Milivojevic

The Serbia international is vital to the Eagles
getty images

A deadline day signing from Olympiacos in 2017 under Sam Allardyce, few Palace fans knew just how influential Milivojevic would become.

The Serbia international has since become the first-choice midfielder, the designated set-piece taker and now Eagles captain.

Strong in the tackle and an excellent reader of the game, the 28-year-old is unerringly consistent and so reliable. He averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.9 interceptions a game, whilst maintaining an 80 per cent pass success rate.

With Zaha seemingly off, Palace will need Milivojevic’s leadership abilities to steady the ship at Selhurst Park.

Everton – Gylfi Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson is one of the most creative players in the Premier League
getty images

A £45m signing from Swansea City, Sigurdsson is finally getting the recognition he deserves at Everton.

The Iceland international may not possess the pace of modern day attacking midfielders, but his technical ability is impressive.

Last season, he scored 13 goals and registered six assists as the Toffees enjoyed a comfortable season under Marco Silva.

But the Portuguese boss will want to push on and with Andre Gomes signed on a permanent deal, Sigurdsson’s role at Goodison Park has become even more vital.

Leicester City – Wilfred Ndidi

It may not be long before the biggest clubs in the Premier League start to go after Ndidi
getty images

While it would be terrible to lose Harry Maguire to either Manchester City or Manchester United, there are question marks about how much further the England international can develop.

Already an outstanding ball-carrier as well as a solid defender, the 26-year-old is nearing his prime years. And while he is already fantastic, Ndidi could be exceptional. He made 143 tackles in the top-flight last season – more than any other player.

It is almost scary to think the midfielder is only 22 years of age, he was a regular starter for Nigeria at the World Cup last summer and appeared in every Premier League game for the Foxes in 2018/19.

Tenacious in the tackle and averaging 52.2 passes per game, the youngster is exactly what a manager wants from a holding midfielder. If they lose him, there are very players in world football with as much potential they could afford to get.

Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk

The world is running out of superlatives to describe Van Dijk
getty images

Perhaps the easiest name to put on this list, Van Dijk is one of the best players in the world and is set to become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro since 2006.

Statistically, the Netherlands captain was superb; no-one has completed a dribble past Virgil van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool. While Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are important, Van Dijk is irreplaceable.

So even if a ludicrous bid comes in for the 27-year-old, Liverpool simply cannot afford to sell him. Not just because of his on-pitch performances, but for the message it sends to the rest of the world.

After winning the Champions League, bowing to the financial pressure of a Real Madrid or a Barcelona suggests the Reds are weak. Keeping Van Dijk transcends football, it is a power move to reject any and every offer which finds its way to Anfield.

Manchester City – Bernardo Silva

The Portuguese epitomises the football Pep Guardiola wants to play
getty images

When the little Portuguese rocked up at the Etihad in 2017, many felt he would sit on the bench and play a bit part role for a few years until his namesake David decided to call it a day.

However, the 24-year-old has established himself as one of, if not the most important player in Pep Guardiola’s well-oiled City machine. He epitomises the type of football the Spaniard wants to play.

Silva made 1.4 tackles per game on average in the Premier League, but also managed to keep an exorbitantly high 86.1 per cent pass success rate, which for an attacking is sensational.

With seven goals and seven assists last season, the relentless Guardiola will expect more from a player whose pattern of growth seems exponential.

Manchester United – Paul Pogba

Love him or loathe him, Pogba has a star quality you cannot ignore
getty images

Perhaps the most divisive figure in world football at this time, everyone has an opinion on Paul Pogba.

Talented, yet temperamental, the France international wants out of Old Trafford. But it seems like a huge mistake to get rid of him.

Statistically speaking, Pogba was unmatched at Old Trafford. The 26-year-old scored 13 goals and got nine assists, more than anyone other Red Devil.

But, as with Van Dijk at Liverpool, selling Pogba would be a decision which transcends football. He is a marketable asset and letting him go suggests United can no longer keep, nor attract the best players in world football. He is the last genuine star in that squad.

Newcastle United – Fabian Schar

The centre half is cultured and composed on the ball
getty images

Newcastle United are in danger of free-falling out of the Premier League trap door and tumbling into the Championship.

Back in May when rumours of a wealthy investor began to circulate, odds began to shorten drastically on the Magpies signing Kylian Mbappe. But the rumours proved to not be true, with Rafael Benitez quickly plotting his escape route to China.

If relegation is to be staved off, the club MUST hold on to the quality players they have in the squad, with Schar the first.

The Switzerland international was Newcastle’s best player according to WhoScored, with a rating of 7.30. His no-nonsense defensive style is complimented by a knack of scoring important goals too.

Norwich City – Tom Trybull

The midfielder has played for many of the Germany youth teams
getty images

Daniel Farke’s revolution at Carrow Road is nothing short of spectacular, taking an average Canaries side from finishing 14th in the Championship to winning it in spectacular style.

And Trybull’s emergence from Alex Tettey’s shadow to become a first-team regular is testament to Farke’s ability. He will be crucial to Norwich’s chances of staying the division, especially considering they are unlikely to enjoy as much possession in the top-flight as they did last year.

A regular amongst the German youth teams, the midfielder seemed destined for mediocrity until he took his chance in East Anglia. According to Norwich’s Sporting Director, Stuart Webber, Trybull’s new coach had fought hard for the midfielder to come to Carrow Road.

He said: “He is lucky he has an outstanding coach who believes in him. Daniel fought for the opportunity for Tom. He came through very much on Daniel’s advice. I like people who are brave and willing to put themselves out of their comfort zone and pretty much beg for an opportunity.”

Sheffield United – John Egan

Egan is as crucial to the team on the pitch as he is off it
getty images

A club-record signing from Brentford, Egan has the potential to follow in the footsteps of former Blades hero Harry Maguire.

Egan endured loan spells with Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Southend United, and has represented Ireland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.

He was released by Sunderland at the end of the 2013–14 season, and signed a 2-year deal with Gillingham in July 2014.

But now, he has established himself as a crucial member of Chris Wilder’s’ defence and his willingness to put his body on the line (as illustrated by his red card at Millwall) will be invaluable to securing a second Premier League season.

Southampton – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

With Mario Lemina seemingly off, the Saints cannot afford to lose another influential midfielder
getty images

A former Bayern Munich midfielder, Hojbjerg made the decision to join Southampton in 2016 after being convinced by Claude Puel.

Now working under his THIRD permanent manager in three years, the 23-year-old has taken over the captain’s armband and diligently carries on in midfield.

It is this behaviour which the Saints desperately crave and will need throughout the season. After having some of their best talents ripped from the south coast, Hojbjerg’s single-mindedness and determination is exactly what the club needs.

As illustrated by Mario Lemina, the upheaval at St Mary’s can unsettle players. But Hojbjerg’s unerring consistency will give fans hope of genuine progression in years to come.

Tottenham Hotspur – Heung-Min Son

While Harry Kane and Dele Alli are undoubtedly superstars, Son continues to defy critics on a regular basis
getty images

For several years, the former Bayer Leverkusen attacker was touted as just an ‘underrated’ option up front for Spurs.

But Son is much more than that, his pace and trickery make him a constant threat for 90 minutes, but it it his consistency and the addition of goals which makes him so special.

Harry Kane has shown a pattern of breaking down throughout the course of a season, perhaps linked to his importance for both club and country. In his absence, the South Korea international has led the line superbly.

Stats last season suggested Spurs actually won more games and scored more without Kane in their side, but with Son leading the line.

Watford – Abdoulaye Doucoure

The central midfielder has been linked with a move to PSG in the past
getty images

Watford enjoyed a terrific season last time out under Javi Gracia, reaching the FA Cup final. Although they were thumped by Manchester City, the season can still be classed as a success.

Much of that can be attributed to the presence of Abdoulaye Doucoure at the base of the Hornets’ midfield. Gracia was able to play a diamond in midfield which, thanks to Doucoure, meant Will Hughes and Roberto Pereyra flourished further forward.

Even from a deeper position, the 26-year-old managed to record six assists and chipped in with five goals. His strengths lie in winning the ball back and driving forward, maintaining a 83.5 per cent pass success rate and averaging 1.5 shots per game from a deeper position.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly still interested, with Liverpool also in the frame. The Frenchman wants to play Champion League football, but the Hornets must retain their star man if they want to build on their 11th-placed finish.

West Ham United – Declan Rice

If Rice were to leave, the Hammers would be very threadbare in midfield
getty images

For those who watched West Ham regularly last season, you will understand the hype around Rice.

A centre-back by trade, Maneul Pellegrini moved the 20-year-old into the heart of the midfield and he has not looked back, making his England debut later in the season.

He made more tackles than any other West Ham player (98), was second in passes (1,518) and third in interceptions (52).

Quite simply, he is the defensive shield Manuel Pellegrini needs in order to play the attacking brand of football he is famed for. Without Rice at the base of midfield, West Ham lost their opening four games of last season in convincing style.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – Diogo Jota

Jota scored nine goals and registered five assists last season
getty images

Ruben Neves is a superstar and Raul Jimenez is also an integral member of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad, but Jota quickly showed he had the quality to become the main man.

Aged just 22, the versatile forward embodied all that was good about Wolves last season. Fearless and not afraid to attack, Jota scored nine goals and five assists in his debut campaign.

But what is more important is the calibre of opposition he scored against. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all conceded against the Portuguese star.

He picked up 11 yellow cards which, although suggests a lack of discipline, is also an indicator of how he is willing to get stuck for his team and even make the necessary cynical fouls when tracking back to stop the momentum of the opposition.

Aubameyang to Man United? Zaha at Arsenal? Looking at players who could move within the Premier League this transfer window

6 Jul

The Premier League transfer window can be a ruthless place, with some of the biggest deals taking place on these very shores.

Following the World Cup in Russia last year, clubs splashed out on a combined £1.24BILLION to bring in new talent.

Perez joined Leicester for £30m
@LCFC

The total expenditure was just over £200million shy of 2017’s total but smashed the £1bn threshold for a third year running.

Leicester City have become the latest side to buy from within the league, signing Ayoze Perez for £30m.

The forward has penned a four-year contract at the King Power Stadium to become Brendan Rodgers’ second summer capture.

Rodgers had been looking for a versatile forward and it is understood the Foxes triggered Perez’s release clause.

But who else could make the move within the league?

Below, talkSPORT.com has looked at 10 players who could complete moves between Premier League clubs this summer. See if your side features and who they could bring in.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City)

Harry Maguire could have played his final game in a Leicester shirt
Getty Images - Getty

Two years ago, Maguire suffered the agony of relegation with Hull City. Now, the England international has played in a World Cup semi-final and could well become the most expensive defender in the world.

Both Manchester clubs are reportedly interested in a deal, with United already lodging a £70m bid.

Reports on Friday suggest City are no longer interested, but would the centre-back want to leave Leicester just to play Europa League football with United?

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Zaha wants to join ‘boyhood club’ Arsenal this summer
Getty Images - Getty

After coming through the youth academy at Selhurst Park, Zaha hit the big time when he became Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing in football management.

But his move to Man United was a disaster and he ended up back where he started with Palace. Since rediscovering his form, Zaha has become one of the most dangerous attackers in the Premier League.

But the Ivory Coast international reportedly wants a move to ‘boyhood club’ Arsenal and looks set to leave south London once again.

James Maddison (Leicester City)

James Maddison enjoyed a stunning debut season at Leicester
Getty Images - Getty

Much like Leicester teammate Maguire, Maddison had to work his way up the ranks in the lower leagues. The former Norwich City starlet dazzled at Carrow Road before making a switch to the King Power.

And the England Under-21 international proved he had the quality in the Premier League by creating more chances than anyone else in the top-flight in his debut season.

Manchester United, Livepool and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested, but the attacking midfielder has been coy when asked about speculation thus far.

Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)

Ake’s performances have seen him linked with a multitude of top sides
Getty Images - Getty

Proving there is in fact life afater Chelsea, Ake moved to the south coast and has established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League at Bournemouth.

Calm on the ball and strong in the air, the Netherlands international has all the attributes required to play at a higher level.

Tottenham are reportedly considering him as an alternative to Toby Alderweireld, with the Belgium defender expected to leave this summer.

Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion)

England international Dunk could be on the move this summer
Getty Images - Getty

Every team needs a player who gets on with their work with little fuss and can be relied upon to do the business. Fortunately have a whole squad worth, but Dunk is the best of the bunch.

Apart from a brief loan spell with Bristol City, Dunk has spent his entire career with the Seagulls and captained the side to promotion to the Premier League in 2017.

Leicester are reportedly lining the star up in case Maguire goes, while rumours linking new boys Aston Villa with a move for the England international gathering pace.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 31 goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season
Getty Images

Last month, talkSPORT’s very own Andy Goldstein revealed Manchester United were making inquiries into the potential signing of Aubameyang from Arsenal.

The striker has scored 32 goals in 49 games since moving from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and is a threat whether he is deployed on the left or through the middle.

But with just £45m in the transfer kitty, Arsenal may be forced to sell their star man to fund a move for other targets.

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Eriksen has spoken of his desire to leave Spurs for a new challenge
getty images - getty

As if losing the Champions League final to Liverpool was not bad enough, Spurs fans had to contend with midfield maestro Christian Eriksen revealing his desire to leave just a few days later.

In the wake of Gareth Bale’s departure in 2013, the Dane is the only player to have thrived at Spurs on a consistent basis.

But Manchester United are keen to make a move, especially if Paul Pogba moves to either Real Madrid or Juventus.

Dwight McNeil (Burnley)

Dwight McNeil has enjoyed a spectacular break out season
Getty images- Getty
When Burnley named McNeil in their starting XI to face West Ham shortly before New Year’s Eve, there was a feeling of dread lingering around Turf Moor.
Relegation was looming, form was poor and Sean Dyche’s voice seemed croakier than ever. But McNeil’s performances from that point until the end of the season were a huge help for the Clarets.
The 19-year-old has since been linked with Arsenal, Manchester City and even Juventus in the past fortnight.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool)

Xherdan Shaqiri could be on his way out after one season at Anfield
getty

After suffering relegation with Stoke City in 2018, Shaqiri moved to Liverpool in a deal which left many sceptics confused.

Although undoubtedly talented, the Switzerland international was inconsistent. But he proved to be one of the bargains of the summer and helped the Reds lift their sixth European Cup in Madrid.

However, after just one season, rumours have begun to spread suggesting Jurgen Klopp could cash in. Former side Inter Milan are reportedly interested, with West Ham United keen to reignite their interest from 12 months ago.

Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)

Fernando Llorente could be on the move this summer
getty images- getty

On Tottenham’s incredible run to the Champions League final last season, few players contributed as much as the Spaniard.
At the age of 34, Llorente scored against Manchester City in the quarter-final and then helped set up Lucas Moura for his dramatic injury-time strike against Ajax in the semi-final.
Technically, he is out of contract after is deal expired on June 30. But the club have not announced it for some reason, something which has not deterred West Ham from expressing an interest in the veteran.

Current longest-serving Premier League players, including West Ham’s Mark Noble and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny

30 Jun

David Silva will leave Manchester City at the end of the 2019/20 season.

The Spaniard announced the news on Tuesday which will see him end a trophy-laden 10-year spell with the club.

David Silva will be missed by Manchester City fans when he leaves
Getty

Silva has won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four EFL Cups in 396 appearances for City.

He will go down as one of the most talented players in the Premier League era.

Below, talkSPORT.com look at 10 other long-serving players who are currently plying their trade in the Premier League.

10. Matt Doherty (Wolves)
Signed: August, 2010
Debut: January, 2011

Matt Doherty is one of Wolves’ best players
Getty

Doherty was a standout performer in Wolves’ first season back in the Premier League last term as he played a crucial role in their seventh-placed finish.

After joining for a modest fee from Irish club Bohemians, the right-back made his debut in an FA Cup game against Doncaster.

Brief loan spells with Hibs and Bury followed before Doherty established himself as Wolves’ first-choice right-back in 2013.

He stayed loyal to the club after back-to-back relegations to League One and helped them back into the Premier League in 2018.

9. Winston Reid (West Ham)
Signed: August 2010
Debut: August 2010

Winston Reid is still recovering from a knee injury
Getty

Reid has become somewhat of a forgotten man at West Ham. A serious knee injury has sidelined him since March 2018.

He returned to training at the back-end of the 2018/19 campaign and is expected to be fit for pre-season.

Reid has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past, but showed his loyalty to the club by signing a long-term contract in 2017.

8. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Signed: July 2010
Debut: August 2010

Laurent Koscielny is one of Arsenal’s longest-serving players
Getty

Koscielny’s Arsenal career got off to the worst possible start when he was sent off on his debut against Liverpool.

A mistake by Pepe Reina in injury-time saw Arsenal salvage a draw, before Koscielny was given a second yellow card in the 95th minute.

The Frenchman has captained Arsenal on many occasions and is set to enter the final year of his contact.

7. Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
Signed: Academy graduate
Debut: May 2011

Lewis Dunk earned a first senior England cap last year
getty

Dunk has come through the ranks at Brighton and is expected to be named the club’s official captain following the retirement of Bruno.

He made his senior debut against MK Dons in League One and is now an ever-present in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old is reportedly being chased by Premier League new boys Aston Villa, but after signing a five-year deal last October, the defender’s loyalty appears to be with Brighton.

6. Paul Dummett (Newcastle)
Signed: Academy graduate
Debut: January 2013

Paul Dummett has struggled with injuries in recent seasons
getty

After loan spells with Gateshead and St Mirren, Dummett finally made his Newcastle debut in a 2-0 defeat to Brighton in the FA Cup.

Alan Pardew gave the the 27-year-old his first real chance at St James’ Park as he made 21 appearances during the 2013/14 season.

His form resulted in a first senior Wales appearance against the Netherlands in June 2014.

5. Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Signed: July 2010
Debut: August 2010

Manchester United fans are divided on Chris Smalling
Getty

While Manchester City’s Silva will be due a testimonial next year, Smalling will be entitled to one, too.

The 29-year-old has endured a topsy-turvy nine years at Old Trafford, but has always managed to be a regular under managers David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils are believed to be on the hunt for a centre-back this summer, which could put Smalling’s starting place at risk.

4. Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Signed: January 2009
Debut: October 2009

Seamus Coleman is a fans’ favourite at Goodison Park
Getty

Coleman had to have surgery on a career-threatening infected blister, which delayed his Everton debut.

But after getting the all clear from club doctors, the right-back made his first appearance in a 5-0 defeat to Benfica in the Europa League.

He is just 11 games away from playing his 300th game for Everton.

3. Leighton Baines (Everton)
Signed: August 2007

Debut: August 2007

Leighton Baines is set to be a bit-part player for Everton next season
Getty

Earlier this month, Baines signed a one-year extension to extend his 12-year stay at Goodison Park.

He has been a superb servant to the club.

The 34-year-old lost his starting place to Lucas Digne last season, but his experience off the pitch will be invaluable to Marco Silva’s side.

2. Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Signed: July 2007
Debut: August 2009

Danny Rose has been loyal to Tottenham over the years
getty

Rose, who signed for £1million from Leeds, featured in Tottenham’s youth teams and suffered a serious knee injury, which affected his first-team chances.

But two years after arriving at White Hart Lane, the England left-back made his debut in a 5-1 EFL Cup win over Doncaster.

His Premier League bow happened in style when his stunning volley helped Tottenham to a 2-1 win against bitter rivals Arsenal in April 2010.

Injuries have hampered Rose’s time in north London, but he featured more regularly under Mauricio Pochettino last season.

1. Mark Noble (West Ham)
Signed: Academy graduate
Debut: August 2004

Mark Noble is a West Ham legend
Getty

Noble joined West Ham’s academy after leaving the Arsenal set-up in 2000.

He made his Hammers debut at the age of 17 in a 2-0 win over Southend in the EFL Cup.

Noble stayed with West Ham following their relegation to the Championship in 2011 and led them to promotion at the first time of asking.

He is dubbed Mr West Ham – and it’s easy to see why.

At 32, the midfielder has clocked up 467 appearances for the club.

Premier League players with most errors leading to goals this season include stars from Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham

29 Apr

David De Gea was under more pressure following another mistake leading to a goal on Sunday against Chelsea.

He should have done better with Antonio Rudiger’s shot than palmed it into the path of Marcos Alonso, who scored to make it 1-1.

David De Gea made a costly error against Chelsea

The Manchester United goalkeeper has made three errors leading to goals in four games, in all competitions.

His three previous errors came in 129 appearances and there have even been calls for him to be dropped.

The 28-year-old was at fault for a Barcelona goal as they were dumped out of the Champions League.

He then should have done better with a Leroy Sane shot in the Manchester derby last week as they were beaten 2-0.

De Gea’s mistake proved costly

De Gea has not made the most errors leading to goals, though, in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has even made more than the United stopper.

Here are the players with the most errors leading to goals in the Premier League.

=7. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) – 2

Granit Xhaka has made two errors for Arsenal leading to goals this season

=7. Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) – 2

Kieran Trippier is Tottenham’s only player on the list

=7. James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) – 2

James Tomkins has made 29 Premier League appearances for Palace this season

=7. Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) – 2

Jean Michael Seri was relegated with Fulham this season

=7. Sergio Rico (Fulham) – 2

Sergio Rico has been on loan at Fulham from Sevilla

=7. Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle) – 2

Jamaal Lascelles is one of two Newcastle players to feature

=7. Ben Hamer (Huddersfield) – 2

Ben Hamer has made just seven appearances for Huddersfield this season

=7. Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff) – 2

Bruno Ecuele Manga battles for the ball with Shane Long

=7. Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 2

Lewis Dunk has been a key member of the Brighton defence

=7. David De Gea (Manchester United) – 2

David De Gea has come under fire for his performances
Getty

=7. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) – 2

Charlie Daniels is facing six months out because of a knee injury

=7. Harry Arter (Cardiff City) – 2

Harry Arter is one of three Cardiff players to make two or more errors leading to goals

=7. Cedric Soares (Southampton) – 2

Cedric Soares has since gone out on loan to Inter Milan

=3. Alisson (Liverpool) – 3

Alisson has kept 18 Premier League clean sheets this season but made three errors leading to goals

=3. Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – 3

Bernd Leno won the starting position from Petr Cech

=3. Martin Dubravka (Newcastle) – 3

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has made three errors leading to goals

=3. Sol Bamba (Cardiff) – 3

Sol Bamba is part of the Premier League’s third worst defence this season

2. Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 4

Jordan Pickford has been under pressure at Everton this season

1. Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) – 5

Asmir Begovic has the most errors leading to goals this season

The Premier League players who have made the most errors leading to goals including Pickford, Alisson and Trippier

14 Mar

Gareth Southgate’s admission that Jordan Pickford is still England’s No.1 certainly raised a few eyebrows.

The Three Lions boss named his squad to face Montenegro and the Czech Republic on Wednesday and declared Pickford is still the main man between the sticks.

Origi capitalised on Jordan Pickford’s error in the Merseyside derby in December

Not only is Burnley shot-stopper Tom Heaton in terrific form, but the Toffees star has made a rather unfortunate habit of making costly errors this season.

In Russia, the 25-year-old became something of a cult hero with his performances for the national side.

His penalty save in the shootout against Colombia and a series of gravity-defying stops against Sweden captured the imagination – even inspiring Ross Kemp to take his short off and film a number of questionable videos….

But his mistakes in the big games are beginning to cost Marco Silva’s men and the fact his position in the national team seems secure is surprising, to say the least.

Kieran Trippier missed a penalty in the 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup

Pickford is not the only Englishman to struggle after an incredible summer, with Kieran Trippier failing to replicate his form from Russia for Tottenham Hotspur.

But who has been the most error-prone player this season according to official Premier League statistics?

Scroll down to see the top 15 players who have made errors leading to goals.

Kieran Tripper (Tottenham Hotspur) – 2

Kieran Trippier even had his Wikipiedia page changed after an own goal against Chelsea

Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) – 2

Seri was once courted by Barcelona and Arsenal, but that is hard to believe now

Sergio Rico (Fulham) – 2

The shot-stopper has been woeful for the Whites

Alisson Becker (Liverpool) – 2

The Brazilian No.1 opted against joining Chelsea in the summer

Ben Hamer (Huddersfield Town) – 2

Hamer is not even the Terriers’ first choice keeper…

Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) – 2

The centre back is powerful and aggressive in his style of play

Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) – 2

Dunk has not made it back into Southgate’s England squad

David De Gea (Manchester United) – 2

De Gea is normally assured between the sticks for the Red Devils

Charlie Daniels (AFC Bournemouth) – 2

The left-back is one of the first names on Eddie Howe’s team sheets

Harry Arter (Cardiff City) – 2

Arter is on loan from Bournemouth this season

Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – 3

The German has struggled at times in his first season in English football

Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – 3

The goalkeeper allowed this shot from Heung-Min Son to pass through his body

Asmir Begovic (AFC Bournemouth) – 3

The former Chelsea keeper has endured an error-strewn season

Sol Bamba (Cardiff City) – 3

The Ivory Coast international will not play again this season

Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 4

Pickford has made the most errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season

The best players from Premier League relegation-threatened clubs who could earn top-flight summer moves

14 Mar

The race for survival is heating up with just eight Premier League games to go.

It seems like only a matter of time before Huddersfield and Fulham are relegated, and there are at least six other clubs battling to avoid the drop.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is being watched by the Premier League’s top clubs

Last season, Xherdan Shaqiri went down with Stoke City but earned a move to Liverpool. And now, the Switzerland international is loving life in the top flight at Anfield.

Lukasz Fabianski also suffered the heartache of relegation with Swansea City, but has proved to be a shrewd acquisition for West Ham United.

talkSPORT.com looks at the best players from relegation-threatened clubs who could earn a top-flight summer move.

Huddersfield – 20th, 14 points:

Philip Billing
Philip Billing has been a regular starter for Huddersfield this season

With just three wins, two of those coming against Wolves, it’s been a miserable season for Huddersfield.

Jan Siewert has failed to improve results since David Wagner’s departure in January. But one shining light has been the performances of Billing.

The Denmark international has started 25 of their 30 games and with his contract up in 2020, Premier League clubs could make a move this summer.

Aaron Mooy

The 28-year-old will not be short of suitors at the end of the season. Partnering Billing for most of the campaign, Mooy has been a standout performer for Huddersfield.

He is a dead-ball specialist which could interest top-flight clubs.

Fulham – 19th, 17 points:

Ryan Sessegnon
Ryan Sessegnon has bags of potential

At about this time last year, Sessegnon was being tipped for a shock call-up to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad after scoring 16 goals in Fulham’s promotion-winning season.

But the return to the top-flight has not gone as planned and the Whites are 13 points from safety and set for a swift return to the Championship.

Despite Sessegnon’s struggles in his debut Premier League season, clubs will no doubt be monitoring his situation in the forthcoming months.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Scoring goals in a relegated team does not do your chances any harm of staying in the Premier League. Last summer, Salomon Rondon joined Newcastle on loan from West Brom, who suffered relegation in the 2017/18 campaign.

Mitrovic is likely to be in demand after his ten goals and two assists this season.

Cardiff – 18th, 28 points:

Neil Etheridge
Neil Etheridge has been Cardiff’s star man this season

The fact that Cardiff are just two points from safety proves how well they are doing. The Bluebirds were written off before the start of the season, but Neil Warnock has done a tremendous job.

One of their star performers has been goalkeeper Etheridge, who has played every minute of their Premier League campaign.

He has saved three penalties this term, including one in a shock 1-0 win at Leicester in December.

The Philippines international has certainly made a name for himself.

Burnley – 17th, 30 points:

James Tarkowski
Gareth Southgate is a huge admirer of James Tarkowski

Players don’t usually receive England call-ups while battling relegation with their club, but that is exactly what’s happened with Tarkowski.

The 25-year-old has been named in the England squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro this month.

Liverpool’s shortage of centre-backs in January saw them linked with a move for Tarkowski, who has become a consistent performer in the Premier League.

Southampton – 16th, 30 points:

Danny Ings
Injuries have slightly hampered Danny Ings’ season

On loan from Liverpool, Ings has scored eight goals in 19 appearances for Southampton. That record is even more impressive when you consider how badly they have struggled this season.

His move to Southampton will be made permanent in July, but it remains to be seen whether Ings would want to play Championship football next season if the Saints go down.

James Ward-Prowse

After forcing his way into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, the 24-year-old has become a key player in Southampton’s relegation battle.

He has scored in three successive games to help keep the Saints out of the bottom three.

With his contract up in 2020, he could be a target for mid-table clubs.

Brighton – 15th, 33 points:

Lewis Dunk
Lewis Dunk is an ever-present in Brighton’s defence

He was unlucky not to be recalled to the recent England squad after making his international debut in November.

Brighton’s vice-captain has missed just two Premier League games this season and has formed a solid partnership with Shane Duffy.

Keeping hold of Dunk could be hard if Brighton are relegated.

Pascal Gross

The German playmaker scored seven goals and registered eight assists last term and has failed to replicate that form in the current campaign.

However, his creativity from midfield could interest top-flight clubs in Europe.

Crystal Palace – 14th, 33 points:

Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha is continually linked with Europe’s elite clubs

This is an obvious one but relegation to the second tier would guarantee Zaha’s Selhurst Park exit.

He has contributed to almost a third of Palace’s 36 league goals this term, scoring eight and assisting two.

Borussia Dortmund are reportedly interested in the Ivory Coast international, who only signed a new Eagles deal last year.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back has been linked with big-money moves to Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.

It is easy to see why he has been Palace’s breakout star over the past year. His tackling, pace and ability on the ball have put England’s top clubs on red alert.

Even if the Eagles survive this season, Wan-Bissaka could be on the move.

Newcastle – 13th, 34 points

Fabian Schar
Fabian Schar won the February goal of the month award

Schar has played a crucial role in Newcastle’s five successive home wins, helping the club climb away from danger.

In those games, Schar has scored twice, including a wonder strike against Burnley which won him the February goal of the month award.

Reports claim Arsenal and Tottenham are monitoring the Switzerland international, who only joined Newcastle in a bargain £3m deal last summer.

But the Magpies could make a substantial profit on their star defender this summer.

How a North v South Premier League All-Star game might look featuring Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool stars

18 Feb

The NBA All-Star game dominated the weekend’s sporting action in America this weekend as the best in the game went head-to-head at the Spectrum Center in North Carolina.

The team led by LeBron James was able to defeat Team Giannis 178-164 at the All-Star Weekend, which included musical performances from J-Cole and Meek Mill during half time as well.

The NBA All-Star game is a huge part of the American sporting calendar

One of the most exciting and fun-filled weekends in the sporting calendar, there was also the Slam Dunk Contest, the Skills Challenge and the Rising Stars game for fans to indulge in across the three-day event.

For English football fans, such an event can only be dreamed about as the Premier League have never even considered putting on an event of this magnitude.

The NBA teams are chosen by fans, players and members of the media voting to decide each starting line-up, with the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference squaring off.

However, the question has always been posed; how would the contest play out if a team from the north played a team from the south?

Here at talkSPORT.com, we have assembled two teams from the north (and Midlands) and the south in a 4-4-2 formation and tried to spread the distribution of players as evenly as possible.

Scroll down to see who made the potential lineups and let us know who you think would win.

NORTH XI

GK: David De Gea (Manchester United)

David De Gea

RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Kyle Walker

CB: James Tarkowski (Burnley)

James Tarkowski

CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk

LB: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Andrew Robertson

RW: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling

CM: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Ruben Neves

CM: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Paul Pogba

LW: Richarlison (Everton)

Richarlison

CF: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero

CF: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Mohamed Salah

SUBS: Ederson (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), David Silva (Manchester City), James Maddison (Leicester City), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

The North starting XI

SOUTH XI

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

Hugo Lloris

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Cesar Azpilicueta

CB: Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion)

Lewis Dunk

CB: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)

Toby Alderweireld

LB: Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth)

Charlie Daniels

RW: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)

Heung-Min Son

CM: Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)

Lucas Torreira

CM: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Dele Alli

LW: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard

CF: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

CF: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Harry Kane

SUBS: Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Felipe Anderson (West Ham United), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotpsur), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

The South starting XI