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Wolves should refresh their midfield unit by signing this 25-year-old Espanyol ace to fuel European hopes – Opinion

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Why Wolves should plot an audacious summer swoop for Sergi Darder?

Wolves have been an exciting team to watch upon their return to the Premier League this season. The Black Country outfit showed their ambition by spending big in the summer transfer window to try and build a squad capable of staying in the top flight for many years to come.

And a move to back Nuno Espirito Santo has worked very well as Wolves are currently challenging for a place in the Europa League. They are sitting seventh on the table and striving hard to clinch a berth in Europe.

With a place in the Europa League very much a possibility, Nuno should add more quality to his squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. And one of the priorities will be to bolster his midfield options, which at times have looked off-radar.

Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho started the season in a double-pivot for Wolves but as the season has progressed, Nuno has given the latter a free role by bulking up the midfield with either Romain Saiss or Leander Dendoncker. Then there is Morgan Gibbs-White, who, despite being just 19, has impressed with his displays in midfield.

But squad depth will be important if Wolves participate in the Europa League next season. Adding another body in midfield certainly won’t do any harm to Wolves and Nuno would be smart to make a move for Espanyol ace Sergi Darder.

Sergi Darder, 25, joined Espanyol from Lyon last summer and has hit the ground running in his debut season itself, scoring three in 30 appearances across all competitions. He has been a crucial cog of Espanyol’s structured play in the La Liga, often being the architect of the team’s attacks.

A central midfielder by trade, Sergi Darder is a classy operator of the ball and launching attacks from the middle of the park. The Spaniard’s technique, composure and work-rate combined with his tendency to release the ball forward immediately make him such a clever player to have in the team. He loves to dictate the tempo of the game with his passing range and has the knack of arriving late in the box to score goals.

Darder isn’t extremely strong or a physical monster that likes to dominate the opposition in the middle of the park with brute and power. Instead, he’s a creative central midfielder who is known for his ability to play incisive passes in the final third and control the flow of the game.

Read more: Well done Nuno – Wolves’ £18m record signing would take them to new heights next season

The former Lyon star has all the tools to thrive in the highly-demanding Premier League. His acquisition could bring more energy and intensity to Wolves’ midfield, whilst adding cover to the ageing Moutinho. Hence, Nuno must submit an audacious offer in summer to sign Darder from Espanyol.

Dragon Feeds

Much-needed steel and substance – Cardiff City’s midfield would get a new look if they sign this all-action 25-year-old midfielder

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Cardiff City Opinion: Bluebirds should go all out in their pursuit of Will Vaulks

According to BBC, Cardiff City are interested in signing Welsh international midfielder Will Vaulks from recently-relegated outfit Rotherham United in the summer.

BBC understands that Bluebirds’ manager Neil Warnock is under pressure to rebuild his midfield following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Vaulks was one of the very few shining lights of Rotherham’s otherwise calamitous campaign in the second-tier which ended in relegation to League One.

The 25-year-old was one of the standout performers for the Millers this season and Cardiff want to get him on board in the summer transfer window, although the Welshman signed a new one-year deal with the club back in March.

The defensive midfielder was an ever-present for the Millers in the Championship this past season as he finished the campaign with 7 goals and 7 assists in 41 appearances.

The 25-year-old caught the eye with his consistently impressive performances for a team that spent almost the entire season in a relegation dogfight and move to a bigger club looks very much on the cards for Vaulks.

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A youth product of Tranmere Rovers, Vaulks enjoyed a fruitful spell at Falkirk in the Scottish Championship before making his move to Rotherham United back in 2016.

His first season at the club ended in relegation but the 25-year-old was one of the architects of the Millers promotion-winning League One campaign in the following season, bagging the award for the club’s Player of the Year in the process.

Vaulks once again suffered relegation this time around but his stellar run of form didn’t go unnoticed, with Wales boss Ryan Giggs handing him his senior international debut in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago back in March.

Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Vaulks has shown the versatility to switch between holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park. A tough-tackling and all-action midfield enforcer noted for his drive, determination, tenacity and work-ethics, Vaulks is adept at cutting out the attacks and breaking up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions.

A set-piece specialist, who is also a very good reader of the game, the Welshman responds very well to the transitions in play and holds things together with his work-rate and range of passing.

Strong in the air and blessed with good distance-shooting abilities, Vaulks excels with his ability to increase cohesion in the middle of the park, while also playing the role of a ball-carrier from the deep areas.

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To add to that, the Welshman is also quite creative and has a good eye for picking out key passes in the final third, meaning that he is a good all-around midfielder who can shoulder both attacking and defensive responsibilities.

The 25-year-old averaged 1.5 key passes, 4.3 successful long balls, 2.2 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game in the Championship this season, figures which should prompt any promotion-chasing side in the second-tier to make a move for him.

To put things into perspective, Cardiff need to look at bargain deals in the market and Will Vaulks is a player who can offer very good value for money.

The Welshman’s stocks are clearly on the rise after his international debut and an impressive season in the Championship. The Bluebirds should look at him as someone who can add a lot of steel and substance to their midfield.

Long-standing Icelandic international Aaron Gunnarsson left the club on a free transfer, while loanees Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter have also returned to their parent clubs, Real Betis and Bournemouth respectively. Hence, it is clear that the Bluebirds need to look to reinforcements to ensure that they have the perfect balance in their squad.

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Cardiff should aim to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and the acquisition of Will Vaulks could prove to be a massive coup and certainly a step in the right direction.

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Dragon Feeds

17 goals, 10 assists – Newcastle’s frontline would receive a piercing edge by signing this 22-year-old hitman

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Newcastle United Opinion: Wesley Moraes could be the perfect replacement for Rondon

According to Chronicle Live, Newcastle United are in the race to sign Brazilian centre-forward Wesley Moraes from Belgian giants Club Brugge this summer.

The Chronicle Live understands that the 22-year-old hitman has attracted plenty of interest from clubs in Germany, Italy and England, with recently-crowned Italian cup winners Lazio, as well as east London giants West Ham, believed to be hot on his trail.

Moraes has been in terrific form form Club Brugge this season and shed tears after playing his final game in Belgium. The Brazilian impressed with 17 goals and 10 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions this season and his red-hot form has put him on the radar of some of the Premier League clubs.

The 22-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Brazilian club Itabuna before making his move to Europe with Slovakian club Trencin, where he carved out a reputation for himself as a bright emerging prospect.

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Wesley earned a move to Belgian giants Club Brugge back in 2016 and he hasn’t looked back ever since, establishing himself as one of the most lethal strikers in the Belgian top-flight over the course of three-and-a-half seasons at the club.

The Brazilian netted twice in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League this term, including goals against Monaco in both the legs to ensure that the club finished third in their group and qualified to the Europa League. He scored in the Round of 32 tie against Salzburg but that wasn’t enough to send Brugge through to the next round.

Moraes has made a total of 130 appearances for Brugge in all competitions, accumulating 38 goals and 14 assists, and few would argue that he certainly deserves a chance to prove his credentials at a higher level.

Still only 22, he is very much in the developmental stage of his career but he already has plenty of experience and a move to the Premier League could help him announce himself on the bigger stage.

To put things into perspective, Newcastle United can bag a massive coup if they manage to beat off competition and strike a deal for the talented Brazilian frontman this summer.

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A young and talented player with potentially high resale value- the 22-year-old perfectly fits the profile of players that owner Mike Ashley likes to target in the transfer market, and the Magpies could have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his potential at St. James’ Park.

Ayoze Perez finished the Premier League season with a career-best tally of 12 goals and his form has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Napoli and Inter Milan (h/t Guardian).

Newcastle are also unlikely to trigger the release clause in West Brom loanee Salomon Rondon’s contract, despite the Venezuelan playing a key role up front this season. Joselu, on the other hand, has fallen way down the pecking order and few would be surprised if the Spaniard decides to move elsewhere.

Suffice to say, Newcastle need to bring in a promising out-and-out centre-forward this summer and Wesley Moraes certainly fits the bill. Standing at 6ft. 3 inches with a towering and sinewy frame, the Brazilian is capable of making an impact in the Premier League with his physicality, aerial ability and poaching instincts in front of goal.

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Blessed with a good turn of pace and plenty of flair and trickery on the ball, Moraes has the intelligence, agility and sharpness to lose his marker and outsmart the opposition with his clever movement inside the box.

To add to that, he shields the ball really well and often brings his physique into play to hold the ball up with his back to the goal. The youngster has a good eye for a pass and is adept at using short and deft exchanges to link up with his teammates in and around the penalty area, meaning that he is also capable of setting up goals and creating chances.

Having managed to beat the drop in the Premier League for the past two seasons, it is now time for the Magpies to consolidate their position and challenge for a top-ten finish next term.

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If Wesley Moraes manages to replicate the kind of form that he has shown in Belgium, the Magpies could give their mid-table rivals a good run for their money in the league.

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EFL Championship

Sheffield United’s striker woes would end if they win the race to sign this in-demand 23-goal forward

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Sheffield United Opinion: Why the Blades should sign Macauley Bonne?

According to a report from the Leicester Mercury, newly-promoted Premier League side Sheffield United are one of the six clubs interested in Leyton Orient star Macauley Bonne.

The 23-year-old forward fired Leyton Orient out of the National League with 23 goals in 46 games. And that form hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the likes of Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough also keeping tabs on him, adds the report.

While the Zimbabwean is looking forward to testing himself at League level having spent the last two seasons with Orient, Sheffield United must try prying him away to the Premier League this summer.

Sheffield United are preparing themselves for a big Premier League season after achieving promotion. The Blades finished runners-up in the Championship and fought off challenges from the likes of Leeds, Middlesbrough and West Brom along the way, showing they were capable of grinding out wins as well as playing exciting football.

While it’s a remarkable achievement to play in the Premier League, Wilder will need to start planning on rebuilding the squad. He needs to adopt a sustainable model when it comes to building his team and make the Bramall Lane an attractive spot to exciting players in the lower divisions of English football.

The Blades should spend in the right areas on the right players who are carefully selected to operate in Wilder’s 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2 system. By signing young, hungry, exciting and highly-skilled talents, the Yorkshire outfit can certainly enjoy a solid 2019/20 campaign.

To that end, Sheffield United are in dire need of a centre-forward. They currently only have two senior strikers in David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp having directed a number of their forwards towards the exit door. Macauley Bonne would be an interesting choice for Wilder.

Bonne has enjoyed a brilliant campaign in the National League having scored goals for fun at Leyton Orient. However, he is untested at a higher level but given a lot of clubs including Sheffield United are interested in the signing the 23-year-old, who is renowned for his pace and strength, he would certainly be a good signing.

Read more Sheffield United news, click here – Sheffield United latest news

Plus, the Zimbabwean has age on his side and would provide ideal competition to the likes of Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick. Thus, this could be an important signing if the Blades are hoping to stay in the Premier League.

Verdict

Immediate impact certainly shouldn’t be expected by Wilder and co. as Bonne could need time to adapt to the Premier League. If the Blades sign him and he quickly adjusts to the demands of the top-flight, the speedy Zimbabwean could turn out to be a sound investment.

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