Why signing Joel Asoro will be a brilliant move for Swansea City
According to a report by BBC, Sunderland have accepted a bid from Swansea City for Joel Asoro. The report further states that a deal of £2million is on the table which is quite a decent fee for the 19-year-old.
Since joining the Black Cats from Swedish outfit IF Brommapojkarna in 2015, the teenage powerhouse has performed admirably. In fact, he was a consistent presence for them in the previous campaign but unfortunately, his exploits were not enough to save them from dropping down to the League One.
Swansea endured a similar fortune last season, except that they made the drop from the Premier League to the Championship. A lot has changed at the club since then.
The Swans have appointed Graham Potter as their new manager and their dealings in the transfer window seem quite impressive so far. If they manage to secure a deal for Asoro this summer, it goes without saying that it will be a brilliant move by the newly-relegated outfit.
Now, one might wonder as to how often Asoro will play at Swansea next season. At the tender age of 19, it will be important for him to prioritize regular game time above everything else. And interestingly enough, Swansea have struggled to a great extent with their wingers in recent times.
To that end, Asoro has gained a good amount of experience in the Championship, meaning he could be a part of Potter’s first-team set-up. Even if he is sent to the youth teams initially, the player could make a solid breakthrough the next term.
Blessed with excellent pace and quick feet, Swansea could truly benefit from the youngster’s goalscoring prowess. He was a lethal force at Sunderland and displayed excellent determination with the way he grasped every opportunity that came his way.
After a lacklustre season that saw them struggle in front of the net, the Welsh outfit could benefit from Asoro’s presence. His pace and directness could lead to a good number of goals for the club in the near future.
Over the course of the previous campaign, Asoro usually played on the wings but he is a striker by trade. It remains to be seen if Potter entrusts the centre-forward job to the youngster anytime soon.
However, he should definitely provide him with first-team opportunities on the wings. The attacker is quite strong at dribbling as well, making him a nightmarish prospect for opponent defenders.
That said, Asoro is still quite young and he has a long way to go before he reaches his true potential.
Go for it Karanka – This Iranian goalscoring machine could be an excellent addition to Nottingham Forest
Why Nottingham Forest must snap up Karim Ansarifard
Iranian centre-forward Karim Ansarifard has dropped a huge hint suggesting he could join EFL Championship outfit Nottingham Forest (h/t Nottingham Post).
The 28-year-old striker, who is a free agent after being released by Greek outfit Olympiacos, recently seemed to confirm his move to England in an interview.
“I know that I have a difficult task ahead since Nottingham Forest are among the best teams in Championship but I will do my best and I’m happy and I hope to help the team to achieve our goals,” he told the Tehran Times newspaper, as quoted by Nottingham Post.
“I think so many football players dream of playing in England.”
Nottingham Forest haven’t made the best start to the new season and find themselves in the 15th spot, with just a solitary win in seven matches (5D, 1L). Karanka made as many as 16 signings over the past couple of months but that hasn’t translated into performances on the field. The former Middlesbrough boss must get things back on track at the earliest.
The centre-forward department was strengthened in the summer by signing Lewis Grabban, who was one of the top scorers in the second tier last season. However, going into the season with just the former Bournemouth man and an ageing Daryl Murphy has left them exposed. Murphy, 35, missed last weekend’s game against Swansea City with an injury as the match ended in a goalless draw.
As things stand, a new centre-forward would come as a great boost for the Reds. And Ansarifard could prove to be a useful addition to the squad.
The 28-year-old is a vastly experienced operator, having served spells with the likes of Osasuna, Panionios Athens and Olympiacos during his professional career. The marksman spent the last eighteen months with Olympiacos, scoring 22 goals and providing 8 assists in 48 appearances.
Ansarifard is a regular for the Iranian national team as well and has 68 international caps to his name, finding the back of the net on 18 occasions. The striker was part of the 23-man squad that travelled to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In fact, he scored a goal in the 1-1 draw against Portugal.
The 28-year-old is quite similar to Iranian legend Ali Daei in terms of playing style. Standing at 183cm, Ansarifard offers a physical presence in the box and is strong in the air, while being equally good on the ground. Since he has often played on the right flank in the early parts of his career, the striker offers added options in the final third.
With his experience and proven goalscoring abilities, the Iranian international will add more depth to the attacking contingent at Forest and should help them improve their tepid start to the ongoing campaign.
Two ideal destinations for this former £8m Sunderland star – including Premier League outfit
Two ideal destinations for sacked Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji
According to The Guardian, Sunderland have sacked Papy Djilobodji for alleged breaches of contract. The Senegalese centre-back failed to report for his duty at Sunderland and waited until the end of the month to return to training. Furthermore, he returned in poor shape and comprehensively failed the fitness test. (h/t The Guardian)
The former Chelsea man made his move to Sunderland in 2016 for a fee of £8m and featured in 23 games across all competitions in his debut season at the club. He came up with some impressive performances but they were not enough to save the club from relegation to the Championship.
The 29-year-old returned to France’s top-flight with a loan deal at Dijon, where he made a total of 30 appearances. On the other hand, Sunderland suffered their second consecutive relegation as they were relegated from the Championship to the League One.
Given that he has been sacked by Sunderland after the transfer deadline, Premier League and Championship clubs cannot sign Djilobodji before January. However, here are two ideal destinations for Djilobodji to join in January.
1. West Ham United
Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham have made a torrid start to their Premier League campaign. To be fair, much of their woes have been down to sloppy defending this season.
Although Pellegrini revitalized the defence by signing Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop in the summer, the new duo is yet to establish a solid partnership at the back. Meanwhile, Angelo Ogbonna has lacked composure and has been out of sorts lately.
The Hammers conceded 10 goals from their first four games and they need to achieve a better defensive record if they are to have any chances of avoiding relegation. And they could do that by signing Papy Djilobodji. He has loads of experience under his belt and could bring a strong sense of physicality to West Ham’s defence with his towering frame.
2. Aston Villa
Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa were expected to compete for top-flight promotion this season but much like West Ham, their performances have suffered due to a poor defensive record.
Villa have conceded 12 goals from their initial seven games in the Championship and currently sit 12th in the standings. The 4-1 drubbing against Sheffield Wednesday, in particular, should be enough to force the manager to seek defensive reinforcements in January.
To that end, signing an experienced free agent like Djilobodji should be a good ploy to solve their defensive issues.
Tips for Karanka – Signing this experienced Premier League attacker could solve Nottingham Forest’s goalscoring woes
Why Nottingham Forest must sign Bakary Sako for free
According to Nottingham Post, Nottingham Forest are interested in signing Bakary Sako on a free transfer. The Mali international is a free agent after seeing out his contract at Crystal Palace. To sign him, Forest must see off interest from fellow Championship side West Bromwich Albion to land the 30-year-old (h/t Nottingham Post).
Manager Aitor Karanka has one of the most exciting squads in the second tier of English football. However, despite making 16 signings in the summer, Nottingham Forest have failed to hit the ground running. After the first international break of the season, the Reds sit 15th after seven games.
Bakary Sako: The perfect fit for Nottingham Forest
Bakary Sako is primarily deployed as a left-winger but he can also play as a secondary striker and as a right-winger. Forest definitely need another striker as Lewis Grabban has struggled to adapt to life at his new club. The six-foot-tall Sako could help take some pressure off Daryl Murphy.
Sidelined by an ankle injury last season, Bakary Sako scored six goals in 19 appearances across all competitions. The 30-year-old still has gas left in the tank and joining on a free transfer would represent a low-risk investment.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Palace attacking midfielder is a good dribbler. He can take long shots and is excellent at set-pieces. He has scored an impressive 72 goals in 364 career appearances.
Bakary Sako has previous Championship experience as well; in fact, he enjoyed his personal best seasons in this division at the Molineux. He played over 70 matches for Wolves across two seasons, scoring 24 goals. He failed to reach the same heights in the Premier League, however, scoring only five goals across three seasons. The previous campaign was perhaps his best in the top-flight before he picked the injury against West Ham United in January.
The Reds did well to eliminate Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup. However, Forest have only managed a single win, with five draws and a loss in their opening seven games. Karanka’s side are alarmingly behind leaders Leeds United and Middlesbrough.
If the City Ground side are to genuinely challenge for promotion, they must start scoring goals and winning games. Sako could provide goals and assists and win second balls upfield.
Hence, Nottingham Forest must go all out to land their man. His big money move to Crystal Palace might have faltered but signing Bakary Sako on a free is a no-brainer for Karanka.
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