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Premier League 2018/19: Here is the best U23 XI of the season featuring top-class youngsters like this Spurs ace

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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.

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Problems for Shaqiri? – Here is why Liverpool can’t afford to commit the blunder of signing this 25-year-old for £30m

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Liverpool Opinion: Signing Ryan Fraser would endanger Shaqiri’s future at the club

According to Evening express, Liverpool have joined the race to sign Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth in the summer transfer window, with Spurs, Arsenal, Man United and Everton all in the mix to land the 25-year-old.

Fraser has only 12 months left on his contract at the south coast and has refused to put pen to paper on a new deal, meaning that the Cherries face the risk of losing their star man in just about a year’s time. (h/t Evening Express)

Bournemouth might be forced to cash in on the talented winger in the summer to raise some valuable funds and Liverpool are weighing up a £30 million deal to bring the 25-year-old to Anfield in the summer, the Evening Express understands.

Fraser was one of the standout performers in the Premier League this term, as the Scottish international finished the season with 7 goals and 14 assists to his name. Bournemouth secured an unimpressive 14th-place finish, despite showing plenty of promise but Fraser held his own and caught the eye with some scintillating individual performances.

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Fraser rose to prominence with Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen before joining Bournemouth in League One back in 2013. He has been a part of the club’s journey through the divisions over the years and has played a key role in their metaphoric rise up the football pyramid.

The 25-year-old showed strong signs of promise in his first two seasons in the Premier League but he really came into his own this term and it is certainly an incredible achievement for any player playing outside the top-six to rack up such awe-inspiring numbers.

Fraser’s stellar run of form hasn’t gone unnoticed and several of the top-six clubs have been credited with an interest in the tricky winger.

To put things into perspective, Ryan Fraser has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last few years and he certainly deserves to play for a top club in the Premier League.

In fact, all the aforementioned clubs would relish having an impact player like him in their ranks. Liverpool, however, should give this move a second chance.

Well, it is beyond doubt that Fraser has the quality to make a positive impact anywhere in English football but the main question is- Do Liverpool really need him? And, would he be an upgrade on their existing options?

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The answer to that would be No. With all due respect to Fraser’s abilities, he is not the sort of player Liverpool should be looking at, simply because he won’t add anything extra to what they already have. As good a player as he is, Jurgen Klopp certainly won’t have the Scotsman ahead of Sadio Mane in the pecking order next season.

If the Reds are really looking at him as a squad player or someone to just play a bit-part role in the first-team, the £30 million price tag makes little sense for that matter.

He is one of the stars at Bournemouth and the Cherries would probably be determined to get a good price for him, meaning that Liverpool are likely to have to break the bank to sign him.

Moreover, bringing in Fraser would jeopardise the futures of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi at the club. Liverpool splashed just £13 million to bring in Shaqiri from Stoke City last summer and the Swiss international has proven himself to be one of the biggest bargains in the Premier League, contributing with 6 goals and 5 assists in 30 appearances across all competitions.

Shaqiri didn’t play too many games in the second half of this past season but that is hardly his fault given that Klopp was happy to stick with his preferred trio up front. And when Shaqiri and Origi needed to step up, they rose to the occasion in a splendid manner and on the biggest stage of it all against Barcelona in the Champions League.  

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Both Shaqiri and Fraser are similar sorts of players, although the Swiss international is a bit more versatile, with his ability to play on either flank and through the centre as a supporting striker.

Fraser is predominantly a left-sided player and he is going to find it extremely hard to dislodge a stalwart like Mane in the pecking order. A player of Shaqiri’s calibre has struggled for playtime and Fraser can hardly expect any better.

Liverpool fell agonisingly short of Man City in pursuit of their first domestic title since 1990 but, in all honesty, it had nothing to do with the quality of their squad.

City had their moments and rode their fair share of luck in the title race and the Reds should consider themselves extremely unlucky, having lost only a single game in the Premier League all season.

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If Liverpool are really serious about bringing in new faces, the Reds should consider moving for a new out-and-out centre-forward to compete with Roberto Firmino for a spot in the first team, whilst a back up for Robertson at left-back should also be high on Klopp’s recruitment list.

The acquisition of Fraser looks good on paper but it would only add to Liverpool’s wage bills and they can certainly do without him.

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Which Stars Could Be Headed To The EPL This Summer?

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Despite the fact that the Premier League has wrapped up (with Manchester City on top once again), it almost feels as if it’s still undecided. This is thanks to the somewhat unusual situation of two EPL clubs being pitted against once another for the Champions League final. Naturally the league title is still the biggest Premier League prize by definition, but to some the winner of the Liverpool-versus-Tottenham clash on June 1 will have had an even greater season than Man City. Naturally, this upcoming match is soaking up lots of attention, with predictions and previews coming from everyone from average football pundits to the ever-opinionated Jose Mourinho.

For the most part though, this impending Champions League showdown is all that’s left of note on the league front for 2018/19. With most major European domestic championships decided and the FA Cup having come to a close as well, remaining football matches for the year are mostly in smaller leagues around the world – or at least less heralded ones. Now, some serious fans may love this time of year, and enjoy the chance to peek in on these others leagues. For others though, the dwindling 2018/19 season means it’s about time to look forward to the summer transfer window.

With that in mind, we wanted to consider the transfer outlook for the Premier League as it appears right now. More specifically, with another thrilling season in the books, we’re taking a look at some of the potential star players who could be brought into the league to make the 2019/20 campaign even more enjoyable.

Naturally these names are based just on rumours at this point – but they’re certainly some of the big-name players to keep an eye on, going off of what we’re hearing early.

Christian Pulisic – We’ll begin with the emerging American star Christian Pulisic because he seems like the surest bet to be a new impact player in the EPL next season. Currently on loan to Borussia Dortmund from Chelsea, Pulisic is widely expected to join the Blues over the summer and start his English career in the autumn. How much he factors into the action early on will be interesting to see, but Pulisic has the talent to be a contributor from day one, and could be a star in the making at Stamford Bridge.

Antoine Griezmann – There’s already fairly intense debate over where French forward Antoine Griezmann may end up next season. A top scorer for Atlético Madrid and 2018 World Cup winner, Griezmann has substantially raised his profile these last few years, and appears to be at the height of his powers at age 28. He’d be a major acquisition for any team. The rumour here is that he could be headed to the newly crowned champion, Manchester City – though we should note that Pep Guardiola has disputed the idea. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.

David Neres – As much as Chelsea will enjoy the near-certain boost from Pulisic, the club could also be on the lookout for a replacement for Eden Hazard, who has been linked with a move to La Liga. David Neres could fit the bill. Only 22 years old, Neres acquitted himself extraordinarily well for Ajax in the club’s Champions League run, scoring multiple significant goals out of the wing position en route to the semifinal. He likely made himself a great deal of money in the process, and will have multiple high-profile clubs vying for his signature. Chelsea appears likely to be one of them.

Memphis Depay – Liverpool may be on the verge of an historic season, but it’s also preparing to lose Daniel Sturridge. The longtime striker is heavily rumoured to be on his way out of Liverpool this summer, which means Jurgen Klopp and Co. will be seeking a goalscorer to replace him. This could wind up being one of the more interesting chases of the summer, given that it’s always interesting to see what sort of player a championship-caliber club goes after. For now though, Lyon’s Memphis Depay is one capable option who’s been linked to the Reds.

Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt – Matthijs de Ligt is another Ajax standout who appears to be in line for a payday and a more high-profile position in European football. In fact, after the 2018/19 campaign, he looks like he’s in the running to become one of the better defensive players on the continent. Like Neres, he’s sure to be courted by several major clubs this summer. But the strongest links currently are to Manchester United, meaning the Dutch teenager could well be heading to the EPL.

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Southampton’s midfield woes would come to an end if they re-sign this veteran 31-year-old PL star for £13m

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Southampton Opinion: Why the Saints must re-sign Adam Lallana?

According to a report from the Express, Liverpool star Adam Lallana is keen on a return to his boyhood club Southampton.

The English midfielder, 31, has struggled with injuries over the last two years at Liverpool. He has managed just 16 appearances for the Reds in all competitions this season. He has found chances hard to come by under Jurgen Klopp and now finds himself way behind a number of players in the pecking order.

The report says Adam Lallana wants to re-join the Saints, but Liverpool want £13 million to let him go this summer. That said, should Southampton splash the cash to sign their one-time hero?

Southampton’s fortunes changed after Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at the club in December. They looked destined for relegation under Mark Hughes, but Hasenhuttl guided the club to safety. He changed the team’s dynamics and style of play in a matter of weeks which bore fruitful results.

The Austrian tactician is building a young and exciting team at the St. Mary’s which has a very bright future ahead. The summer transfer window gives him an opportunity to shape the team according to his wishes. Given Hasenhuttl’s preference for nurturing young talents and promoting the academy stars, one can anticipate the kind of signings Southampton could make this summer.

However, the Saints will also need some experienced professionals in the squad next season to aim for a top-10 finish. That’s where the signing of Adam Lallana makes a world of sense for Hasenhuttl’s side.

Lallana’s injury problems are well-known which has seen him struggle to establish himself at Liverpool in the past two seasons. The England international certainly has no future at Anfield and that should boost Southampton’s chances of bringing their star back to the club. His career has stagnated due to injuries but maybe the scenario could get better with a change in the environment.

To Read More Southampton News, Click Here:- Latest Southampton News

The 31-year-old graduated through the youth ranks at Southampton and played a crucial role in helping the club move from League One back to the Premier League in his eight years at the sea coast. He is a hero at the St. Mary’s and while recurrent injury problems have seen him fail to unlock his true potential, Lallana still can give 2-3 productive years.

Verdict

Southampton are right to be concerned about Lallana’s fitness and injury issues, but if the club can manage him well and help him get back his lost mojo, he would represent a smart addition for Hasenhuttl.

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