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Norwich City going all out for this 27-year-old Dutchman would be a solid statement of intent

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Norwich City Opinion: Why Joel Veltman will be a good fit for the Canaries?

Norwich City are top of the Championship at present and have more reasons to celebrate after the club confirmed before Wednesday night’s victory over Hull City that manager Daniel Farke had agreed to a new long-term deal until June 2022.

Farke has done an excellent job since arriving at Carrow Road in 2017. The German tactician, after a slow start, has taken Norwich City from mid-table Championship club to being on the brink of a return to the prestigious Premier League.

One of the Canaries’ most important players in their promotion push has been the young full-back, Max Aarons.

Aarons has enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough season for Norwich, becoming the undisputed right-back for Daniel Farke’s side. He has also established himself as a fan favourite with his, pace, agility, overlapping runs and defensive diligence.

The 19-year-old has provided five assists till date, establishing himself as a key player alongside fellow academy graduates Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell. Aarons’ impressive performances haven’t gone unnoticed, with Premier League duo Tottenham and Manchester City interested in signing him in the summer.

If Farke is to succeed in the Premier League next season, retaining the core of his current squad will be very important. And keeping hold of Aarons, who has proven to be one of the most crucial members of their promotion chase, is a must.

Not only will retaining the services of Aarons be significant but Farke should also bring in an experienced full-back to compete with him. That said, Norwich should target Ajax star Joel Veltman.

A product of famed Ajax youth system, Joel Veltman has been a regular fixture for the Dutch club since 2013-14 season. However, he suffered a nasty cruciate ligament injury that kept him out until late January 2019. The 27-year-old, however, is now back to full fitness and slowly finding his rhythm again.

Veltman is a versatile defender who can operate as a right-back or as a centre-back. He has been hugely impressive over the last few years in the Eredivisie, with the Dutchman looking defensively solid and effective going forward.

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The Netherlands international is an attractive proposition for a number of reasons; Veltman has entered the prime years of his career and has plenty of first-team experience. His versatility at the back adds more value to his name.

Conclusion

As well as being an accomplished centre-back, the Ajax star would add quality and competition for Aarons at right-back. Whether he is deployed at centre-half or full-back, the potential signing of Veltman would represent Norwich’s statement of intent upon their return to the Premier League.

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Forget Tarkowski – Burnley’s top-ten hopes would receive a massive boost if they sign this 29-year-old ace for £15m

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Burnley Opinion: Clarets could strike gold with the signing of Craig Dawson

According to The Sun, Burnley are considering an audacious swoop on West Brom for centre-back Craig Dawson in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that manager Sean Dyche is prepared to fork out a record
£15million to bring the 29-year-old to Turf Moor ahead of the upcoming campaign.

The Sun understands that Dyche is an admirer of the former England U-21 defender and he holds a long-standing interest in the player, meaning that a move to Turf Moor is very much on the cards for the 29-year-old this summer.

Dawson scored the winner against Aston Villa in the second leg of the playoff semi-final at Hawthorns but the Baggies crashed out on penalties, which ended their hopes of securing promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The Sun reports that West Brom might be forced to cut down their expenses and balance the books after missing out on promotion and the prospect of returning to the Premier League is likely to appeal to Dawson, meaning that Burnley might be in a strong position to negotiate a deal.

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Dawson, who rose through the youth ranks at Rochdale before completing a switch to West Brom back in 2010, has established himself as a seasoned campaigner for the Midlands outfit over the years. The 29-year-old has racked up a total of 225 appearances for the Baggies in all competitions till date, scoring 15 goals and setting up 12 more in the process.

The 29-year-old might not be easy on the eye but few would dare to argue that he is a centre-back tailor-made for English football. Standing at 6ft.2 inches, Dawson is capable of winning headers inside the box all day and excels with his ability to read the game to perfection.

Known as a robust defender with a lot of character and resilience, the 29-year-old likes to stay deep inside his own half and never hesitates to put his body on the line to block goal-bound attempts, whilst also possessing the calmness and the composure to cut out attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions.

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Dawson is not particularly a ball playing centre-back but he is an excellent long passer who has the ability to set up attacks from the back with clever switches of play.

The 29-year-old averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 3.3 clearances, 4.3 aerial duels and 5.1 successful long balls per game in the Championship this term, numbers which should tempt the Clarets to make a move for him.

To put things into perspective, Burnley are currently not crying out for reinforcements at centre-back but bringing in a quality defender like Craig Dawson should do them no harm.

Dyche is more of a defensive minded manager who likes his team to sit back deep inside their own half and absorb the pressure, meaning that the addition of another centre-back could work wonders for Burnley.

James Tarkowski and Ben Mee formed one of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League in the 2017-18 season but they weren’t too solid this past season.

Also, given that Tarkowski has been targeted by Leicester City as a potential replacement for Harry Maguire (h/t Daily Mail), Dyche has every reason to look at Dawson as a viable option to add much-needed steel and experience to the backline.

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Burnley have Kevin Long as a good enough back up but they need to make a decision on the future of Ben Gibson, who has struggled to make much of an impact following his move from Middlesbrough last summer.

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Craig Dawson has a wealth of top-flight experience under his belt and he can propel Burnley to greater heights in the Premier League, although the Clarets should look for a few additions to bolster their attack as well.

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Tottenham’s £10m pursuit of this powerful Leeds star would provide Poch with ideal long-term benefits – Agreed?

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Spurs Opinion: Lilywhites should look at Jack Clarke as a good long-term investment

According to Daily Mail, Spurs have launched a £10million bid for highly-rated 18-year-old Leeds United winger Jack Clarke, with manager Mauricio Pochettino reportedly looking to bolster his attacking options ahead of the upcoming season.

Daily Mail understands that Pochettino has a strong relationship with Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa and given that the Whites might be forced to part ways with some of their exciting prospects after missing out on promotion, a move to north London is very much a possibility for the 18-year-old academy graduate.

Clarke enjoyed a breakthrough in the first-team at Elland Road in the Championship this term and caught the eye of the Premier League clubs with some stellar performances from the bench.

The 18-year-old started only 4 games in the league this past season but his talent and potential haven’t gone unnoticed, with Spurs prepared to bring him to the top-flight.

The youngster proved his worth as an off-the-bench impact player for the Yorkshire giants this season, registering 2 goals and 2 assists in 24 appearances, with 20 of those being cameos as a substitute.

Clarke earned rave reviews for his well-rounded attributes in his debut season at the senior level and Spurs have apparently seen enough in the winger to bring him to the Premier League.

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Essentially a right-winger by trade, Clarke is also capable of operating out wide on the left and as a forward in a two-man attack.

A sharp, agile and fleet-footed player noted for his blistering pace, flair, trickery, quick acceleration and drive, the 18-year-old has all the raw attributes to evolve into a future star.

Not only that, he has shown a level of maturity that belies his tender years, both in terms of decision-making and link-up play, which makes him stand head and shoulders above most of the players in the same mould.

To put things into perspective, Jack Clarke may have only played a few games for Leeds in the Championship but he looks like a real talent at this stage on his career and Spurs have every reason to look at him as a good long-term investment.

Agreed, he is one for the future, but moulding talented youngsters into first-team stars has very much been a part of Spurs’ policy over the years and Clarke certainly fits the bill.

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The Lilywhites are likely to be desperate to do some fruitful business this summer after failing to sign a single new player for two consecutive transfer windows. Pochettino has still managed to guide the team to the Champions League final but one cannot help but feel that Spurs need more depth and quality in their ranks to challenge for silverware.

Jack Clarke would probably go into Spurs’ youth or reserve side should a move materialize in the summer but he might as well be considered for a bit-part role in the first-team given that the Lilywhites currently do not have much depth in their wide options.

Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela are all capable of playing out wide but Clarke might get a crack of the whip should he manage to impress Pochettino with his development in the pre-season friendlies.

The 18-year-old is likely to enjoy more playtime next term in the Championship if he stays put at Elland Road but Leeds might be tempted to boost their transfer budget and trim their wage bill by cashing in on the talented youngster.

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All in all, a move to the Premier League and the prospect of furthering his development under Pochettino should appeal to the 18-year-old and this is a deal that looks likely to happen.

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Liverpool Dragon

Crystal Palace’s ambitious move of signing this 18-goal Liverpool star could be the push they desperately need

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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.

Verdict

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.

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