Newcastle United Opinion: 3 ideal destinations for Mo Diame next season
Newcastle want to offer the 31-year-old a 12-month extension to his current deal which is set to expire next summer but the hugely-experienced Senegalese international is keen on securing his long-term future and wants a fresh two-year contract, something that the Magpies are reluctant to offer. (h/t Daily Star)
The former West Ham, Hull City and Wigan man featured regularly for Newcastle in the first half of the season but he has been unable to regain his place in the first-team following an injury at the start of January, with the in-form duo of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden delivering the goods in central midfield.
Diame joined Newcastle from Hull City back in 2016 and has made a total of 98 appearances for the Magpies in all competitions but his time at Tyneside might as well draw to a close at the end of the ongoing season.
The Daily Star claims that Diame has attracted interest from Turkish giants Galatasaray and Besiktas, whilst the Premier League duo of Brighton and Crystal Palace, as well as clubs from Italy and Spain are also keen on securing his services.
To be honest, Diame is still good enough to play regular first-team football for any mid-table team in the Premier League or a promotion-hopeful in the Championship. The player’s links with Palace and Brighton might surprise a few given that both the teams are very well-stocked in the central midfield department.
If Diame really chooses to call time on his career at Tyneside then he should look at other options. Here are 3 potential destinations that would best serve his hopes of playing regularly.
1. Derby County
Frank Lampard’s side have enjoyed a decent run in the Championship this season and the Rams currently sit 7th in the standings, level on points with Bristol City for the final promotion playoff spot. Derby signed Andy King on loan from Leicester City in January but the 30-year-old hasn’t really hit the ground running at Pride Park till now.
While they will have a decision to make on King’s future at the end of the season, the impending departure of 32-year-old Craig Bryson is bound to be a cause of concern for Lampard. The Scottish Daily Express claims that the midfielder has been offered a contract by Kilmarnock, with his deal at Pride Park set to expire in the summer.
Diame, with his tough tackling nature, game reading, ability to add solidity to the midfield and bagful of experience, should be a welcome addition to Derby’s existing options which include Tom Huddlestone and George Evans.
The Cottagers currently languish second-bottom in the Premier League and it looks highly improbable that they are going to survive relegation this term. If Fulham get relegated, they might be forced to part ways with several of their highly-rated players.
While their season has been plagued by lack of solidity at the back, the central midfielders haven’t done a great job in shielding the porous rearguard either. Mega money Summer recruit Jean Michael-Seri has failed to justify his price tag while the likes of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen have been well below-par this season.
Calum Chambers has excelled in a holding midfield role but he is expected to return to Arsenal at the end of the campaign and a reliable seasoned campaigner like Mo Diame can provide that stability at the heart of the midfield.
Bournemouth have had a good campaign in the Premier League this term, and although the Cherries might fall short of a top-ten finish, they should look to add some quality players to their squad in the summer to post a better challenge next season.
Eddie Howe bolstered his squad by the acquisition of youngsters like Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke in January but he needs to bring in some reinforcements in central midfield as well.
While club-record signing Jefferson Lerma has been a hit this season, the likes of Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman hasn’t done enough to retain their places. Lewis Cook has also struggled for form and fitness, which should leave the door open for Howe to add at least one more central midfielder.
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Diame’s experience can certainly prove to be an invaluable asset to the Cherries and the Senegalese enforcer might prove to an upgrade on Gosling and Surman.
Forget Edouard- Celtic should not think twice about signing this £10m-rated PL striker and here is why
Celtic Opinion: Lys Mousset could be a massive coup for the Hoops
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing £10 million-rated Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset, who is keen to complete a move away from the south coast in search of more regular minutes.
The Scottish Sun understands that Celtic are reluctant to smash their club-record fee to secure the services of the 23-year-old out-of-favour Bournemouth striker but the Hoops are looking at a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Frenchman to Parkhead.
Born in Montivilliers, France, to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Lys Mousset rose through the youth ranks at Ligue 2 club Le Havre and shot to prominence with 14 goals in 35 appearances for the second-tier outfit.
His prolific form in his homeland earned him a move to the Premier League with Bournemouth, who paid €7.3 million to bring the talented youngster to English football.
Despite all his promise and potential, Mousset has struggled for regular minutes under manager Eddie Howe due to the presence of more established strikers like Callum Wilson and Joshua King. The 23-year-old has made a total of 71 appearances for the Cherries in all competitions till date, scoring on 5 occasions.
That looks like an incredibly poor scoring record for any striker but Mousset is hardly to blame for those numbers. As a matter of fact, only 8 of his 58 appearances in the Premier League have been starts, while others have just been cameos off the bench.
And with the likes of Wilson and King performing at the peak of their powers, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for Mousset on the south coast.
To put things into perspective, Mousset remains an immensely-talented youngster but his development has stalled at Bournemouth and a move to Celtic would offer him the chance to restart his career. Celtic, on the other hand, should relish getting a promising attacker like Mousset on board in the summer transfer window, although the Hoops might struggle to meet Bournemouth’s valuation.
Celtic went down 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are well and truly on course to securing their 8th straight domestic title.
They also have a chance of completing a third successive domestic treble if they manage to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month. Celtic’s dominance has reigned supreme in Scottish football for almost a decade now, but as well all know, there is no room for complacency in football.
The potential departure of players like Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa should prompt the Hoops to dip into the transfer window for defensive reinforcements.
However, they also have a few bases to cover as far as their options in the attacking third are concerned. Odsonne Edouard has enjoyed another prolific season but they need to bring in replacements for departing loanees Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.
Leigh Griffiths has been out of the game since late last year, while January recruit Vakoun Issouf Bayo is not really in the frame at the moment.
Someone like Lys Mousset can help reduce the goalscoring burden on Edouard, while also adding depth to the squad and increasing competition for places.
The 23-year-old has good pace and flair on the ball and is more than capable of outsmarting the opposition with his sharpness, trickery and intelligent movement in the final third.
He moves the ball around quickly, creates his own space and occupies the defenders, meaning that he could add a lot of value to Celtic’s attack.
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Mousset, a former youth international for France, has potential and he just needs to play more regularly to take his game to the next level.
The Hoops should take a lesson from how young French strikers like Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard evolved into prolific scorers in the Scottish Premiership and Lys Mousset could be the next in line.
Hence, the Hoops should not hesitate to splash the cash on the talented Bournemouth star and it should be a win-win deal for all parties concerned.
Premier League 2018/19: Here is the best U23 XI of the season featuring top-class youngsters like this Spurs ace
Premier League Opinion: Best U23 XI of the Premier League season
There is a large emphasis that is placed on youth development by majority of the Premier League clubs. While certain parties are heavily dependant on these academies to provide them with quality players, others use them as just a form of business in order to increase the club value.
It can be said that the youngsters are the backbone of this rather youthful league.
Here’s the Premier League U23 XI of the season:
GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga
The Spanish sensation was signed for a fairly hefty fee by Chelsea in the summer as their desperate search for a keeper led them to Athletic Bilbao.
Although he has turned 24 now, he is the youngest first-choice goalkeeper in the league to have any shout of making this squad.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
The youngster came up through the ranks at Liverpool before being handed a well-deserved opportunity by Jurgen Klopp.
Since making the first team role his own though, the Englishman has looked effectively unstoppable at times with his blistering pace and sharp movement.
CB – Davinson Sanchez
Still only 22, Sanchez is one of the many Spurs players who still have a massive future ahead of them. The injuries picked up by the remaining Spurs defenders have provided the youngster with enough opportunities to prove him worth to Mauricio Pochettino this season.
CB – Issa Diop
Another young player who’s really stepped up to the plate for their side this season has to be West Ham United centre-half, Issa Diop.
The Frenchman has showcased his consistency as well composure to the Hammers’ fans this season and he’s been transformed into one of the fan favourites at the London Stadium.
LB – Ben Chilwell
The youngster has been one of Leicester City’s better players this season and the standout feature about his is the fact that first and foremost, he’s a defender.
His ability to read the play and move the ball forward quickly has caught the eye and he’s guaranteed a massive future in England.
CM – Declan Rice
The young West Ham United star has finally ended the curiosity behind his international loyalty by pledging to England.
The English fans will be overjoyed with this choice as Rice has proved time and again this season that he can be one of the most dominant midfielders in the league on his day.
CM – Ruben Neves
The Portuguese superstar has been one of Wolves’ standout players this season and although he doesn’t show his quality by frequently knocking in the goals, the ones he does score are usually special strikes.
His passing and composure in the middle of the park have been one of the key features of Wolves’ play this term.
CM – Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The Chelsea star has had to wait quite long for his opportunity but when it finally did come, he made sure to grab it with both hands.
Now a regular figure in the Chelsea first-team, Loftus-Cheek’s mazy runs and pin-point passes have been a good attacking outlet for the Blues while his goals have come at handy times as well.
RW – David Brooks
The young Bournemouth star has risen to supremacy under the guidance of Eddie Howe at the Vitality and his efforts for the Cherries this season certainly haven’t gone unnoticed.
He possesses a blistering change of pace that has caught many Premier League defenders out this season and he’s even managed to pitch with goals and assists this term.
ST – Marcus Rashford
Manchester United’s season has been one to forget for the fans but one standout player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been English prodigy Marcus Rashford.
He usually gives it his all on the pitch even when United are struggling and he’s even scored some key goals along the course of the campaign.
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LW – Richarlison
Considering that the Brazilian is still only 21, the amount of criticism he receives can only be perceived as unfair.
He has shown the Goodison Park crowd exactly what he’s about on more than one occasion this campaign and it’s no surprise that he’s a real hero in Merseyside.
A costly mistake? – Leicester City’s progress would get derailed if Rodgers signs this 23-year-old winger
Leicester City Opinion: Why the Foxes should avoid signing Jordon Ibe?
According to a report from the Sun, Leicester City are eyeing a summer swoop for Bournemouth winger Jordon Ibe.
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers gave Jordon Ibe his debut at his former club Liverpool. He is now eyeing a reunion with the 23-year-old forward, who has started just 13 games this season at Bournemouth.
Ibe is out of contract at the Vitality in the summer of 2020, meaning the Cherries could end up selling him in the upcoming transfer window rather losing him on a free transfer next year. But should Leicester make a move for the nippy forward?
Since Rodgers arrived at the King Power Stadium, Leicester have done very well and ended the season ninth in the table. That isn’t an achievement, considering the quality the Foxes actually have in their squad but they could have ended in the bottom half of the table had Claude Puel been in charge.
Puel had apparently had lost the dressing room and couldn’t find a style of play that excited the Leicester fans. The Frenchman’s pragmatic style of play was a complete mismatch with the thrilling young players at the King Power Stadium. Rodgers, meanwhile, has given an identity to the club to some extent and if anything to go by, fans can expect a lot of thrills and spills next season.
But that can only happen if Rodgers manages to sign the right profile of players at the club. The northern Irishman prefers an exhilarating, expansive brand of football which involves a lot of energy, intensity and pace. In Demarai Gray, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Rachid Ghezzal and Jamie Vardy, the Foxes have an exciting attacking unit.
To take the club to the next level, Rodgers, however, needs reinforcements. He is interested in signing Ibe, who is young, quick, agile and dynamic and plays with a certain level of directness. But the 23-year-old has netted only five goals since joining Bournemouth from Liverpool back in 2016.
That just tells the player hasn’t yet hit his stride at the Vitality Stadium, with his end product and understanding of the game needing a lot of improvement.
Ibe is far from a finished article that Rodgers should avoid splashing the cash on, even if he knows the player inside out. The Leicester manager would do well by targeting other youngsters in the summer transfer window to strengthen his squad.
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That being said, the Foxes would do a world of good by not signing Ibe from Bournemouth.
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