Leicester City Opinion: Hakim Ziyech can transform Leicester into a formidable force
According to Bleacher Report, Liverpool are keeping close tabs on Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech, with Leicester City also keen on bringing the Moroccan international to the Premier League in the summer.
Ziyech has been in exhilarating form for Ajax in the Eredivisie this term, registering 14 goals and 9 assists from 20 appearances. The 25-year-old has also been one of the driving forces behind Ajax’s march to the quarterfinals of the Champions League this term, scoring in the famous 4-1 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
A man no stranger to European competitions, the Moroccan proved once again that he is capable of delivering the goods against top-quality opposition at the biggest stage of it all.
The former Heerenveen and FC Twente star has a wonderful record for Ajax, having accumulated 37 goals and 52 assists from 116 appearances across all competitions.
The left-footed creative ace is currently one of the most underrated playmakers in Europe and a move to the Premier League would certainly be the next big step in his career.
Taking his creativity and versatility into account, he would be an excellent signing for any of the top teams in the Premier League. While signing Ziyech would provide Liverpool with a player in the mould of Philippe Coutinho, the Moroccan can be a marquee signing for Leicester City as well, with the Foxes yet to find an ideal replacement for Riyad Mahrez.
To put things into perspective, Leicester City can bag a massive coup by beating Liverpool to the signature of the immensely talented creative maestro next summer. The Foxes have lost most of their stars from the 2015-16 Premier League winning campaign to the bigger clubs and a player like Ziyech, who is just 25, can help them build a strong foundation for the years to come.
Predominantly a left-footed attacking midfielder by trade, Ziyech is capable of playing out wide on either flank and through the centre in a No.10 role. The Moroccan is renowned for his passing, vision, creativity, quick feet, crossing and sharpness and agility on the ball, whilst also possessing the tactical awareness to exploit the half-spaces and make subtle runs into the box.
A technically-gifted attacker oozing with finesse and elegance, Ziyech not only has the ability to produce defence-splitting through balls but he is a wonderful distance-shooter as well. Furthermore, his magical left foot can create plenty of chances from set-pieces and dead ball situations.
The Foxes signed Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco last summer as a like-for-like replacement for Mahrez but he hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations in the Premier League. Ziyech, on the other hand, is a much more complete player who can torment the opposition with his technical brilliance and quality on the ball. Undoubtedly, he seems more like the real deal for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City.
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With the likes of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes already in their ranks, Leicester have some top-notch creative talent filled with youthful exuberance, and the acquisition of Hakim Ziyech will surely transform them into real contenders for a Europa League spot next season. And the Foxes can bag a double coup if they manage to sign Youri Tielemans permanently.
An utter waste of money – Liverpool are better off without signing this 26-year-old creative ace for £75m
Liverpool Opinion: Splashing a fortune to sign Felipe Anderson won’t be a smart move for the Reds
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool have set their sights on West Ham attacker Felipe Anderson ahead of the summer transfer window, with manager Jurgen Klopp looking to bolster his attacking options prior to the start of the upcoming campaign.
However, the Daily Mail understands that West Ham are not going to let Anderson go on the cheap to any of the top-six clubs in the Premier League and the Hammers are expected to make a statement of intent by holding on to their star man.
Liverpool were also keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt but their pursuit of the 22-year-old ended in disappointment, with Borussia Dortmund winning the race to sign the winger. (h/t Daily Mail)
Anderson made his move to West Ham from Serie A club Lazio last summer for a club-record fee of £36 million and managed to make an instant impact in the Premier League.
The Brazilian quickly adapted to the dynamic nature of English football and produced impressive returns in his first season at the club, having chipped in with 9 goals and 4 assists in 36 Premier League appearances.
The Brazilian’s red-hot form hasn’t gone unnoticed and Sky Sports reported last month that the 26-year-old was on the radar of Real Madrid, with the Los Blancos identifying his as an alternative to Chelsea star Eden Hazard. (h/t Sky Sports)
Undoubtedly, Anderson’s stocks have soared sky high since his move to east London last summer and any potential suitor would have to cough up a huge amount to lure him away from West Ham this summer.
It is not an overstatement that a player of his calibre is capable of playing for any top club in Europe but he is highly-adored by the fans and the hierarchy at West Ham and a move away from the club seems unlikely to materialize this summer.
To put things into perspective, Liverpool have every reason to look at Felipe Anderson as a viable option to bolster their attack given that the Brazilian has already proven his credentials in the Premier League.
However, the Reds need to understand that Anderson is a top player at his current club and he is unlikely to have his head turned by a back-up role at Anfield, and even if the player is interested, Liverpool would need to break the bank to sign him.
Anderson is at a stage in his career where he would like to play every game and it is highly unlikely that Liverpool would be able to make such promises, with the dominance of stalwarts like Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino reigning supreme in their ranks.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi haven’t had much playtime this season and Anderson, though possibly an upgrade on both of them, cannot expect any better.
It is true that the departure of Daniel Sturridge on a free transfer this summer is going to deal a blow to Liverpool’s squad depth but they should be better off looking at an out-and-out No.9 to replace him.
Bringing in a prolific striker would provide cover and competition for Firmino, as well as maintain the perfect balance in the squad. The lack of a specialist No.10 since the departure of Philippe Coutinho has come back to haunt Liverpool at times, with full-backs Robertson and Alexander-Arnold providing most of the creative spark from the flanks.
Anderson is capable of playing as a No.10 but he is at his best when deployed out wide on the flanks and Liverpool should not make the mistake of looking at him as someone to just fill the gaps in the middle of the park. Moreover, spending a fortune to bring in a player for a back-up role sounds pretty awkward and irrational.
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That said, Liverpool should keep faith in their prolific front trio and invest to improve other areas of their squad.
Crystal Palace’s ambitious move of signing this 18-goal Liverpool star could be the push they desperately need
Crystal Palace Opinion: Why the Eagles should go all out for Harry Wilson?
According to a report from the Sun, Crystal Palace are one of the Premier League clubs interested in Liverpool’s Harry Wilson, who is currently on loan at Derby County.
The Wales international, 22, has enjoyed a fantastic season on loan with Derby County and has been key in their run to the Championship playoffs final at Wembley next week.
Harry Wilson has bagged 18 goals and six assists in 48 appearances for the Rams, catching the attention of Wolves, Bournemouth and Brighton as well, adds the report.
Derby will be keen to hold onto Wilson but their chances will heavily depend on their promotion to the Premier League. Should Frank Lampard’s men get beaten by Aston Villa at Wembley, it’ll open the door for the Premier League clubs to pounce on the 22-year-old winger.
In that case, Crystal Palace should do everything possible to sign Wilson.
Crystal Palace have had problems scoring goals all season. They don’t have a prolific goalscorer, someone who can guarantee 15-20 goals every campaign. Christian Benteke had a tough time coping with injury problems, while Jordan Ayew and Connor Wickham are not considered as reliable goalscorers.
Due to the strikers’ poor productivity in front of goal, the onus of scoring goals fell on the shoulders of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. Thanks to the crucial contributions of skipper Luka Milivojevic and on loan striker Michy Batshuayi, Palace somehow survived the 2018/19 season but things need to change if Roy Hodgson’s men are to have plain sailing next term.
The fact that Milvojevic is their top scorer with 12 goals really says a lot about the state of the club. It shows that not only the south Londoners need a creative forward in their ranks. To that end, Harry Wilson will be the ideal choice for the Eagles.
In Wilson, Palace would get a creative, speedy and industrious winger, who can also play in midfield and in the no.10 role. Add that to his ability to score worldies and clinical nature in front of goal, the Wales international’s acquisition will only help Palace progress in the Premier League.
Wilson has a massive potential to fulfil, but he is yet to prove himself at the top-flight. Palace could do a good job by signing him on loan first and evaluate his performances over the season before turning his loan move into a permanent basis.
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Hodgson has a good squad at his disposal but needs a few additions over the summer. Wilson should be one of those players to walk through the Palace’s front door.
Wolves plotting an ambitious swoop to sign this £25m-rated Liverpool ace would help fuel their European dreams
Wolves Opinion: Signing Harry Wilson could hand Nuno Santo’s side a massive boost ahead of their European adventure
Wilson has been in red-hot form on loan at Derby County in the Championship this season and the youngster has chance to propel the Rams to the Premier League for the first time since 2007-08, with Frank Lampard’s side set to face Aston Villa in the playoff finals at Wembley.
Birmingham Mail understands that the 22-year-old Welshman, who is rated at £25million by Liverpool, is unlikely to make a call on his future until the end of the season but that hasn’t stopped Wolves from stepping up their interest in the talented attacking midfielder.
Wilson has done incredibly well on his loan spell in the Championship this season, but with Liverpool boasting of stalwarts like Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Firmino in their ranks, the talented youngster is unlikely to get a look in from Jurgen Klopp.
The 22-year-old has arguably been one of the most influential players in the Championship this season and few would argue that he has been one of the key driving forces behind Derby’s march to the finals of the playoffs.
Wilson has contributed with 18 goals and 6 assists in 48 appearances for the Rams across all competitions and he will have a chance to add to that tally when Derby battle it out with Villa in the playoff final.
This is not the first time though, that Wilson has impressed on a loan spell away from Liverpool, with the 22-year-old having scored 7 goals on his loan at Hull City last season. The youngster has excelled on the right-hand side of Derby’s attack this term and his creativity and goalscoring prowess have earned him plenty of plaudits.
To put things into perspective, Wolves have every reason to look at Harry Wilson as a potential target in the summer window after his scintillating run of form on loan at Derby.
The Welshman is regarded as a player with a mountain of potential and the Black Country outfit could have a gem in their hands should he go on to fulfil his promise at Molineux.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Wilson is also capable of playing out wide on the left and through the centre in a No.10 role behind the striker. A technically-gifted left-footed attacker, the 22-year-old boasts of a good turn of pace, quick feet and plenty of flair and trickery on the ball, meaning that he has the attributes of a natural winger.
However, Wilson has also got the creativity, vision, speed of thought and the footballing intelligence of a No.10, making him a wonderful all-around asset in the attacking third.
A fluent passer of the ball, the 22-year-old also excels with his slick passing and ability to link-up with his teammates in and around the penalty area.
A recognised set-piece specialist, Wilson has a magical left foot that is capable of stunning the opposition with spectacular goals from outside the box.
A 7th-place finish in the Premier League and a victory for Man City over Watford in the FA Cup final guaranteed Wolves a spot in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League for the first time in 38 years.
It is a big achievement for a club that was languishing in the third-tier just a few years ago, and while Nuno Santo and the owners deserve a lot of credit, they should consider enriching their ranks with more quality players this summer.
The likes of Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa and Adama Traore haven’t done much and Wolves should not hesitate to trim their wage bill by getting rid of the deadwood. Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez did a terrific job up front this past season and someone like Harry Wilson would add a lot more firepower to their ranks.
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That said, Wolves should try and beat off competition for the highly-rated Welsh prodigy this summer in a bid to add more depth and quality to their ranks.
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