Real Madrid quartet named in Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI 2019, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also make the cut

23 Sep

Eden Hazard was one of four Real Madrid players to make it into the Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI which was announced on Monday night.

The Belgian international played a starring role in former side Chelsea’s Europa League triumph last season, with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Luka Modric were also included in the team, with two members of Liverpool’s Champions League squad also making the cut.

Eden Hazard celebrates winning the Europa League with Chelsea in May

Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk were both crucial to the Reds’ sixth European Cup success in June.

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Juventus – like Liverpool –  have two inclusions from their respective sides.

Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong are Barca’s representatives – though the Dutch midfielder was part of the Ajax time which got to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.

The same goes for Matthijs de Ligt who captained Ajax before switching to Juventus, while Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly also get the nod in this star-studded side.

Joining Messi and Ronaldo in attack is teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, who flies the flag for Paris Saint-Germain.

Best FIFA Awards Men's World XI

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker

Defenders: Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe



FIFA 20: Career mode wonderkids with the highest potential

18 Sep

FIFA 20 is here and if you’re planning to get stuck into a game on Career Mode you’ll be desperate to land some top talent.
Everyone loves developing wonderkids and turning them into the best players on the planet, capable of demolishing every opponent you come up against.

Whether they’re to compliment the superstars already in your side and go from super subs to first-team heroes or whether you’re going to throw them in at the deep end, they can be a vital part of your squad.

But who are they players with the highest potential in FIFA 20? Thankfully EA Sports have let us in on the secret on their official website.

You can find you the top 20 below – so make sure you snap them up immediately.

20. Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Salzburg)

Current rating – 74

Potential rating – 89

19. Sandro Tonali (Brescia)

Current rating – 75

Potential rating – 89

Tonali has already featured in Italy squads
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18. Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

Current rating – 76

Potential rating – 89

17. Moise Kean (Everton)

Current rating – 76

Potential rating – 89

Moise Kean has joined Everton from Juventus
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16. Lucas Paquetá – (Milan)

Current rating – 79

Potential rating – 89

15. Houssem Aouar (Olympique Lyonnais)

Current rating – 81

Potential rating – 89

Aouar is a talented young midfielder who also offers versatility
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14. Lautaro Martínez (Inter)

Current rating – 81

Potential rating – 89

13. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Current rating – 83

Potential rating – 89

Alexander-Arnold is now a regular for England and Liverpool
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12. Luka Jović (Real Madrid)

Current rating – 83

Potential rating – 89

11. Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Current rating – 76

Potential rating – 90

There are high hopes for Foden at the Etihad Stadium
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10. Ousmane Dembélé (FC Barcelona)

Current rating – 84

Potential rating – 90

9. Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona)

Current rating – 85

Potential rating – 91

De Jong joined Barcelona in the summer after a stunning campaign with Ajax
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8. Vinícius Jr. (Real Madrid)

Current rating – 79

Potential rating – 92

7. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Current rating – 84

Potential rating – 92

Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho
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6. Kai Havertz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

Current rating – 84

Potential rating – 92

Havertz is making a name for himself in the Bundesliga
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5. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan)

Current rating – 85

Potential rating – 92

Donnarumma is now into his fifth season as a first-team regular
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4. Leroy Sané (Manchester City)

Current rating – 86

Potential rating – 92

Leroy Sane scored 16 goals for Manchester City last season
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3. João Félix (Atlético de Madrid)

Current rating – 80

Potential rating – 93

Joao Felix is already impressing at Atletico Madrid
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2. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus/Piemonte Calcio)

Current rating – 85

Potential rating – 93

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the best centre backs in the world
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1. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Current rating – 89

Potential rating – 95

Kylian Mbappe has again started the season well for PSG
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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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How Juventus may line up in Serie A opener featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Matthijs de Ligt and Aaron Ramsey

24 Aug

Juventus will be looking to win an unprecedented ninth straight Serie A title when they begin their 2019/20 campaign on Saturday.

They set new heights when they won their sixth in a row but to get nine in a row would be simply superb.

Juventus won Serie A in Massimiliano Allegri’s farewell season
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Rivals of Juve including Inter Milan have improved but it’s been an incredibly busy summer in Turin.

The Bianconceri have continued to recruit some star-studded names including Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey – the latter two coming in for free.

Maurizio Sarri has replaced Massimiliano Allegri as manager although the former Chelsea boss will miss the first two games of the season after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

The players will be more than ready for action though and their first game sees them go to Parma, who finished 14th in 2018/19.

Could former Arsenal man Ramsey start for Juve?

So how might Juventus line up for their first league match?

Below you can see’s predicted Juve XI featuring the likes of De Ligt, Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Option 1: With Ramsey and without Rabiot

Is this how Juve will line up against Parma?

Ramsey played for Juventus for the first time in a pre-season friendly against Triestina and he could play in the midfield three along with Miralem Pjanic and Emre Can.

Sarri could play Gonzalo Higuain – a player he’s coached at Napoli and Chelsea – meaning Ronaldo could play out in his preferred position on the left.

Meanwhile, Dutch superstar Matthijs de Ligt is in line to make his competitive debut and we suspect it will be alongside veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Option 2: With Rabiot and without Ramsey

It looks as though Ramsey and Rabiot will be fighting for starting spots this season

However, former Paris Saint-Germain star Rabiot will be vying for a place in the starting XI and has featured in Juve’s pre-season matches.

It will be a good competition between the pair for a starting spot.

Option 3: With Ramsey and Rabiot

Ramsey and Rabiot will provide competition for Emre Can too

However, this could be how they line up if Ramsey and Rabiot play together.

After all, Can’s place is by no means guaranteed in such a talented squad.

Option 4: Second XI

The depth to Juventus’ squad is incredible

It’s highly unlikely Juventus will do this but this is the team they could field if they wanted to rest a bunch of their first-team players.

You’d still back this lot to win though!

Cristiano Ronaldo questions huge transfer fees for unproven players as Manchester United spend £80m on Maguire

22 Aug

Cristiano Ronaldo says he disagrees with the excessive transfer fees spent on defenders and goalkeepers.

Manchester United paid Leicester £80million to make Harry Maguire the world’s most expensive defender, while Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus in a £67.5million deal from Ajax during the summer transfer window.

Harry Maguire has made a promising start to his Manchester United career

Last summer, Liverpool signed Alisson for £67million and Chelsea brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga for a goalkeeper world-record £71million fee, while in January 2018 the Reds spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk.

Juventus star Ronaldo told Portuguese broadcaster TV1: “It’s difficult to make calculations in modern football.

“Clubs gamble a lot on potential and the football industry is different.


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“Leaving the case of Joao Felix (who joined Atletico Madrid for £113million) to the side, any player can go for €100million, even without showing anything.

“There is more money in football. A centre-back and a goalkeeper can go for €70million or €80million.

“I don’t agree (with it) but it’s the world that we live in and you have to respect it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo will be team-mates with Matthijs de Ligt this season
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Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid for £80m in 2009 and Juventus for £99m in 2018, also teased a potential retirement from football.

However, the 35-year-old has three years left on his Juventus deal, and admitted he could play until he was 41.

When asked about hanging up his boots, he said: “I don’t think about that.

“Maybe I can finish my career next year, but I can also play up to 40 or 41.

“I don’t know. What I always say is to enjoy the moment. The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it.”

Antoine Griezmann’s Arsenal squad on Football Manager 2019 is unreal – meet the wonderkids starring for the Gunners in 2023

15 Aug

Antoine Griezmann may well have completed his move to FC Barcelona this summer, but the World Cup winner clearly has a soft spot for Arsenal.

The 28-year-old posted a screenshot of his Football Manager game onto Twitter and revealed he is currently undertaking a save as the Gunners’ gaffer.

Antoine Griezmann has created an incredible Arsenal team on Football Manager
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Time had elapsed in the game until 2023 and it is fair to say the former Atletico Madrid striker has assembled a world class squad.

Packed with a host of stars, there is not a single current squad member in the team, much to the chagrin of Alexandre Lacazette.

Replying to his France international colleague in the replies, Griezmann revealed that after winning the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup in 2021, he sold the striker to Huddersfield for £23.5million!

Unai Emery may have splashed the cash on the likes of Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe this summer, but the Spaniard will be envious of the side Griezmann has built at the Emirates.

Bristling with young talent, the France international has built a very good Gunners team

But just who are the players Griezmann has picked for his Arsenal side? Given how much time has elapsed, there are a few ‘newgen’ players in the squad such as the goalkeeper – Hasan.

Below, has provided mini profiles on each real member of the team. ALl of the stats are from the game and are not the latest

Check out the sensational side Griezmann has created!


Right-Back: Alexis Saelemakers

Age: 18

Nationality: Belgium

FM19 Club: Anderlecht

FM19 Estimated Cost: £20m

Centre-Back:  Matthijs De Ligt

Matthijs De Ligt is a big improvement on Shkodran Mustafi
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Age: 18

Nationality: Netherlands

FM19 Club: Ajax

FM19 Estimated Cost: £44m

Centre-Back: Raphael Varane

Age: 25

Nationality: France

FM19 Club: Real Madrid

FM19 Estimated Cost: £76m

The France international won the World Cup with Griezmann
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Left-Back: Andrew Robertson

Age: 24

Nationality: Scotland

FM19 Club: Liverpool

FM19 Estimated Cost: £36m

Centre-Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

Age: 23

Nationality: Portugal

FM19 Club: Sporting Lisbon

FM19 Estimated Cost: £48m

Bruno Fernandes appears to have finally got his move away from the Premier League
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Centre-Midfield: Frenkie De Jong

Age: 12

Nationality: Netherlands

FM19 Club: Ajax

FM19 Estimated Cost: £26m

The Netherlands international starred for Ajax on their run to the Champions League semi-finals
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Right-Wing: Francisco Trincao

Age: 18

Nationality: Portugal

FM19 Club: SC Braga

FM19 Estimated Cost: £3m

Left-Wing: Jadon Sancho

Age: 18

Nationality: England

FM19 Club: Borussia Dortmund

FM19 Estimated Cost: £60m

Griezmann decided to bring Sancho back to England
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Centre-Attacking Midfield: Joao Felix

Age: 18

Nationality: Portugal

FM19 Club: Benifca

FM19 Estimated Cost: £52m

The Portugal international has replaced Griezmann at Atletico
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Striker: Brian Bobbey

Age: 16

Nationality: Netherlands

FM19 Club: Ajax

FM19 Estimated Cost: £2m

Sub 1: Jamal Blackman

Age: 24

Nationality: England

FM19 Club: Chelsea

FM19 Estimated Cost: £3m

Sub 2: Alex Telles

Age: 25

Nationality: Brazil

FM19 Club: Porto

FM19 Estimated Cost: £36m

Telles is an attack-minded full back for Porto

Sub 3: Jonathon Panzo

Age: 17

Nationality: England

FM19 Club: Monaco

FM19 Estimated Cost: £6m

Sub 4: Ruben Neves

Age: 21

Nationality: Portugal

FM19 Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers

FM19 Estimated Cost: £80m

Neves has starred for Wolves since his move from Portugal in 2017
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Sub 5: Chris Mepham

Age: 20

Nationality: Wales

FM19 Club: AFC Bournemouth

FM19 Estimated Cost: £15m

Sub 6: Phil Foden

Age: 18

Nationality: England

FM19 Club: Manchester City

FM19 Estimated Cost: £77m

Foden fits into the Homegrown Player quota
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Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Ajax have lost Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt but a new batch of wonderkids are ready to fire them to glory

26 Jul

It’s never easy watching a talented young football team get torn apart by the vultures after a stunning season.

Ajax thrilled Europe last year with their carefree run to the Champions League semi-finals, dispatching powerhouses Real Madrid and Juventus on their way.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have left Ajax but more wonderkids are set to step up and replace them
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Most neutrals were rooting for them when they were eventually sent packing by Lucas Moura’s late strike at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Delightful midfield ace De Jong was already snared by Barcelona, a £65million fee was shelled out for the 21-year-old who is set to learn the ropes next to Sergio Busquets at the Camp Nou.

De Light’s future was uncertain with a possible extra season stay in Amsterdam mooted but after a battle between Manchester United, Barcelona, and Juventus, the commanding centre-back – just 19-years-old – left for Turin in a £67m switch.

The Ajax coffers were loaded and their rebuild has been impressive but they won’t abandon their academy aces either.

So who are the wonderkids who could help them pick up where they left off as they star their season with the Johan Cruyff Shield against PSV Eindhoven this weekend?

Already at Ajax

Serginio Dest

With Nicolas Tagliafico back late due to his exertions with Argentina at the Copa America, 19-year-old Dest has gabbed his pre-season opportunities by the scruff of the neck.

Manager Ten Hag has been suitably impressed and already suggested he will start against PSV on Saturday.

An American youth international, he could be set for many more games across the season, particularly with Daley Sinkgraven sold to Bayer Levekusen.

Carel Eiting

With De Jong gone, the man who the Barcelona man replaced in the Ajax midfielder looks set to get another chance to build a career in Amsterdam.

The 21-year-old saw his 2018/19 curtailed by injury but could really make an impact this season should Ten Hag give him a run in the first XI.

His main competition will be new signing Razvan Marin.

Eiting will be hoping for an injury free season at Ajax
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Perr Schuurs

Having burst onto the scene as the 17-year-old captain and free-kick maestro of Fortuna Sittard in 2017/18, Ajax snapped up the youngster in January 2018.

He spent the rest of the campaign back in Sittard before playing for Jong Ajax last season, making 29 Dutch second division games and making one appearance for the seniors.

This summer, with De Ligt gone, he’s looked the business in his place, comfortable on the ball and real leader.

Like Eiting, he faces competition from new signings with Edson Alvarez and Lisandro Martinez coming in but you wouldn’t put it past him claiming a starting spot.

Noa Lang

Tipped by fans for a breakthrough season, 20-year-old Lang may benefit the most from David Neres’ summer absence.

With the Brazilian away winning the Copa America, the ex-Feyenoord kid could well get minutes in the Johan Cruyff Shield and early in the campaign.

His showing against OFI Crete in pre-season was a particular highlight, while he can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger.

Lang is a Dutch youth international
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Ryan Gravenberch

Still just 17, hopes are high for the midfielder and he’s another man who could push himself into the first-team reckoning this season.

Already composed and mature on the ball he can play in a number of roles in the centre of the pitch if required.

Jurgen Ekkelenkamp

Having featured in pre-season, the 19-year-old could find himself splitting his time between the Eredivise and the Eerste Divisie with Jong Ajax as he continues his development in Amsterdam.

Ekkelenkamp played in Ajax’s Champions League tie with Juventus last season
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Lisandro Martinez

A spritely young left-sided centre-back, we backed Arsenal to target Martinez this summer but instead he’s moved to Ajax for £6.2m.

While some may baulk at his 5ft 9in height, the Argentine’s incredible technique with the ball at his feet makes him an attractive proposition in the modern game where centre-backs must be just as blessed with the ball as they are without it.

He’s got an excellent long range pass on him too if you’re looking for someone to spread the play. He’s can operate in a back-three or a back-four, and has also spent time at left-back, giving some versatility.

Martinez is on the small side for a centre-back but he more than makes up for it with his skill and passing
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Kik Pierie

Set to be with Jong Ajax this year after a tough pre-season, the 19-year-old has bags of potential.

Pierie also has the potential to play at left-back and was being watched by Southampton.

Kjell Scherpen

Hilariously made to ‘write lines’ when he signed for the club from Emmen due to the fact he’s a Feyenoord fan.

At just 19 he was a first-team regular with his former club and looks set to join Dominik Kotarski in line to replace Andre Onana.

Edson Alvarez

Another versatile player, Alvarez currently looks like the main man to ‘replace’ De Ligt in defence.

Comfortable on the ball, you’ll see him bring it out from the back – a lot, while he’s capable of playing at right-back and in defensive midfield.

Edson Alvarez is in line to take De Ligt’s spot in defence
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Ajax transfers in - 2019

Can these signings help the Dutch giants recover from the loss of De Jong and De Ligt?

Razvan Marin (Standard Liege) – midfielder – £11.15million (23-years-old)

Lisandro Martinez (Defensa y Justicia) – centre-back – £6.2million (21-years-old)

Kik Pierie (Heerenveen) – centre-back – £4.4million (19-years-old)

Kjell Scherpen (Emmen) – goalkeeper – undisclosed (19-years-old)

Edson Alvarez (Standard Liege) – centre-back – £13.6million (21-years-old)


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.

Matthijs de Ligt joins Juventus: ‘Man United should have pursued £67.5m star instead of £80m-rated Harry Maguire’, say Alan Brazil and Stuart Pearce

18 Jul

Manchester United should have tried to beat Juventus to the signing of Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, rather than chase the £80million signature of Harry Maguire.

That’s according to talkSPORT hosts Alan Brazil and Stuart Pearce, who cannot believe the 19-year-old Dutchman has joined the Italian champions for just £67.5m.

De Ligt’s move to Turin was finally confirmed on Thursday morning after the youngster had passed a medical the previous day.

It ends one of the biggest sagas of this transfer window, with Juventus beating a host of European giants to the young Ajax captain’s signature.

United were one of the many clubs interested in the defender, who turns 20 in August, but their lack of Champions League football next season seemingly killed off their chances of signing him.

Instead, the Red Devils have been chasing Maguire – but Leicester City’s £80m asking price has so far proven a stumbling block.

And given the England international’s lofty price tag, Brazil and Pearce are stunned at the value for money in Juve’s acquisition of De Ligt.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Sports Breakfast host and former Man United striker Brazil said: “Manchester United, could they not have gone in there with £68m?

“This is nothing to do with Harry Maguire – I like him as a player – but they are talking about £80m for Harry who is 26 and De Ligt is 20 next month but he goes for just £67.5m…”

Pearce added: “We covered the Nations League in the summer and how this kid has only gone for £67.5m, I’m not sure.

“From what I saw of him playing alongside Virgil van Dijk, he was outstanding. He plays well above his years.

Manchester United want to sign Leicester’s Harry Maguire this summer – but is he worth £80m?

“When you think of that direct comparison with the £80m for Maguire or even the £50m Manchester United paid for Aaron Wan Bissaka, you think it’s out of tilt slightly.

“There is great value with De Ligt. He’s got leadership about him.

“The only think he lacks a little bit is a turn of pace, but I think he’s got a yard in his head with the way he plays the game.”

Matthijs de Ligt: Juventus announce signing of Ajax defender for £67.5million

18 Jul

Juventus have signed Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax in a deal worth £67.5million, the Italian club have confirmed.

De Ligt leaves his homeland to sign a five-year deal with the Serie A champions, and become their sixth signing of the summer.

Juventus released a statement to confirm the signing on Thursday morning.

“Juventus Football Club SpA announces that it has reached an agreement with Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax NV for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Matthijs de Ligt for a fee of € 75 million payable in five years over accessory charges for € 10.5 million,” the statement read.

“Juventus signed a five-year performance contract with the same player until June 30, 2024.”

More follows.