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Not Watford – Here is why Everton would benefit better from signing this 28-year-old defensive beast for £6m



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Everton Opinion: Toffees should beat Watford to sign Juan Ramirez from Girona

According to claims from Spanish source AS, Premier League duo Everton and Watford are set to battle it out for Girona centre-back Juanpe Ramirez in the summer transfer window.

The 28-year-old was one of the stars of Giron’s La Liga campaign this past season which ended in relegation and the Premier League clubs are looking to capitalise on the situation, with AS reporting that the Toffees and the Hornets are willing to pay £6million for the defender.

Juanpe Ramirez might not be one of the household names in the La Liga but the 28-year-old’s stocks have been on the rise ever since his move to Girona back in 2016.

The centre-back was one of the architects of Girona’ promotion-winning campaign in the Segunda Division in his debut season, as the club secured promotion to the La Liga for the first time in their history.

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Ramirez played a key role at the heart of the defence in the 2017-18 season and chipped in with 5 goals in the top-flight to ensure that Girona preserved their La Liga status.

Things, however, weren’t the same for the 28-year-old and his club this time around, as Girona suffered relegation back to the second-tier, despite the centre-back’s consistently solid displays at the back.

AS understands that Ramirez is reluctant to accept the option of playing in the Segunda Division after having established himself as a regular in the La Liga. However, he is not short of suitors and given that Girona are under pressure to cut their costs, they are likely to be open to selling the 28-year-old should a suitable offer be put on the table.

Having plied his trade predominantly in the second-tier of Spanish football with the likes of Las Palmas, Racing Santander and Real Valladolid before rising to prominence in the La Liga with Girona, Juanpe Ramirez lacks an eye-catching profile but he could prove to be a useful signing for both Watford and Everton.

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Both the clubs are likely to look at defensive reinforcements this summer and the 28-year-old certainly fits the bill. While the Hornets might consider him as an upgrade on the likes of Craig Cathcart, Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele, Ramirez has the talent to add much-needed cover at Goodison Park next season.

To put things into perspective, Everton could do themselves a world of good and get one over their Premier League rivals if they manage to win the race for the 28-year-old relegated La Liga star this summer. A new No.9 and is likely to be high on manager Marco Silva’s wishlist but the Toffees also have plenty of other issues to sort out ahead of the upcoming season.

Loanees Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma played a key role for them in the Premier League this season but it remains to be seen whether Everton manage to sign either of them permanently. Zouma was as solid as a rock at the back but Chelsea’s transfer embargo means that the Blues might not be open to letting the Frenchman depart permanently.

Veteran centre-back and club-captain Phil Jagielka is also out of contract at the end of the month and he is likely to head for the exit door at Goodison Park.

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Mason Holgate played a bit-part role in the Premier League under Silva before being shipped out on loan to West Brom in the Championship and it is still unclear what the manager has in mind for the youngster next season.

Michael Keane was arguably Everton’s most impressive performer at the back this season but Yerry Mina’s struggles with injuries and the Colombian’s inconsistent run of form should prompt the Toffees to invest in another centre-back.

Standing at 6ft. 3 inches, Juanpe Ramirez is a tough-tackling centre-back who is known for his supreme aerial ability and high levels of concentration and composure at the back. A good reader of the game at the back, the centre-back boasts of good reflexes and has also earned plaudits for his decision-making and positioning.

The Spaniard is capable of cutting out attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions, while also boasting of a good range of passing. He averaged 3.3 aerial duels, 3.5 successful long balls, 1.5 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 4 clearances per game in the La Liga this term, figures which are a clear testament to his well-rounded attributes as a centre-back.

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Everton need to ensure that they have enough cover at the back next season and Juanpe Ramirez could prove to be a good addition for a reasonable price.

Manchester United

Man United would find De Gea’s ideal replacement by signing this Champions League semi-finalist – Agreed?




Manchester United Opinion: United must target Onana if De Gea leaves

According to a recent report by The Sun, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side are said to have set their eyes on Ajax’s Cameroonian international goalkeeper Andre Onana as a possible replacement for David De Gea, later this summer.

The Spanish veteran has rejected multiple contract offers from United over the last couple of seasons and he now finds himself with just a year remaining on his current deal. Although Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is being linked with a possible move too, his startling market value will prove too much for United to handle at this stage.

The report suggests that Manchester United are willing to see out David De Gea’s contract and let him leave for free rather than sell him in the summer.

Despite their best interests, if the Spaniard does force a move away from Old Trafford, there probably isn’t much they could do to stop him.

He was heavily criticised for his performances in the last campaign as he made multiple individual errors and blatant mistakes.

Andre Onana is a 23-year-old shot-stopper, who currently plies his trade for last season’s Champions League semi-finalist – Ajax Amsterdam. The youngster was an absolutely pivotal part of their build-up play and his ability to release the ball early helped them in multiple situations as well.

The season that Ajax had last year could only be described as majestic and without Onana’s exploits between the sticks, they wouldn’t have achieved half of what they did. It is being reported that the youngster could be available for a fairly nominal price and considering that he’s only 23, he could fit the bill at United in terms of age as well.

Although Sergio Romero will definitely throw his name into the hat at some
stage, signing Onana would be a massive boost to a team that has depended on their goalkeeper’s heroics to keep them in games at times.

De Gea has been a fan favourite at Old Trafford for a long time now but the time for change could finally be here.

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The Spaniard is 28 now and has shown signs of slowing down over the last season. His performances at the World Cup in Russia were poor and he certainly didn’t help himself with his recent Premier League showings.

Despite this, De Gea has singlehandedly won Manchester United an unbelievable number of football matches. Moving for Onana to replace him would certainly be a shrewd piece of business.

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Dragon Feeds

Man City shelling out £5m to activate this former player’s buyout clause would provide excellent competition for Mendy – Agreed?



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Man City Opinion: Citizens should activate Angelino’s buy-back clause to ensure quality competition for Mendy

According to Manchester Evening News, reigning Premier League champions Man City are set to bring left-back Angelino back to the Etihad this summer, with reports claiming that the Citizens are considering activating the buy-back clause that they had inserted in the Spaniard’s deal.

Angelino sealed a permanent £5 million move to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven only last summer but Manchester Evening News suggests that the Citizens, who are well aware of his talent and potential, had inserted a clause in his deal which would enable them to bring him back for a fee of around £5 million.

The same source claims that Man City are impressed by the 22-year-old’s rapid development in the Netherlands at PSV Eindhoven and are willing to offer him a chance in their first-team next season, while French champions PSG have also been linked with the highly-rated left-back.

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Angelino accumulated as many as 12 assists in 43 appearances for the Dutch heavyweights in all competitions this past season, also featuring prominently in the club’s Champions League campaign, which ended prematurely in the group stages.

The 22-year-old’s scintillating run for form hasn’t gone unnoticed and, as the reports suggest, he might as well be forced to head back to England just after a single season at PSV.

The Spanish U21 international played for Deportivo La Coruna at the youth ranks before joining City’s youth set up in 2012. Angelino featured largely for the club’s youth and reserve sides and spent time on loan at New York City, Girona, Mallorca and NAC Breda.

The talented youngster was eventually handed his first-team debut against Aston Villa in the FA Cup in 2016 and went on to make a total of 3 competitive appearances for the Citizens, featuring in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and also in the EFL Cup.

However, it was pretty apparent that he needed more time to further his development before having a realistic chance of nailing down a regular starting role at City.

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Well, it looks as though the left-back has finally managed to impress upon the City hierarchy with his scintillating run of form in the Dutch top-flight this past season.

Realistically speaking, it makes a lot of sense for Man City to bring the Spaniard back to the Etihad this summer, given that lack of stability on the left-hand side of the backline was one of the big talking points from the club’s domestic treble-winning campaign last term.

Benjamin Mendy started off with a bang in the earlier stages of the recently concluded campaign, with the Frenchman accumulating as many as 5 assists in 10 Premier League outings.

However, Guardiola found himself short of cover ever since Mendy was sidelined with a long-term knee injury and the manager had to rotate between the likes of Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko to fill in at an unfamiliar position.

While Delph struggled to find consistency and had his own share of injury problems, Guardiola’s patience with Zinchenko gradually paid rich dividends, as the Ukrainian went from strength to strength and established himself as the first-choice left-back in due course of time.

City would need to sort out their left-back conundrum sooner rather than later, given Mendy’s poor injury record. And bringing back Angelino certainly makes a lot of sense.

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The 22-year-old would save Man City a fortune in the transfer market, while his arrival is also expected to add much-needed depth and cover in a key area of the pitch for the Citizens.

The Spaniard has proven his credentials as a modern-day offensive-minded full-back in the Netherlands and City have every reason to look at him as someone who could possibly provide cover and competition for Mendy, thus enabling Zinchenko to play elsewhere in a more familiar role.

Capable of shouldering both attacking and defensive responsibilities effectively, Angelino caught the eye with his immaculate crossing, sharpness, agility and a deadly eye for key passes in the final third.

The 22-year-old averaged 2 key passes, 1.7 crosses, 1.4 dribbles, 2.3 successful long balls, 2.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2 clearances per game in the Eredisivie last season, figures which are an upgrade on Mendy’s 1.2 key passes, 1.1 crosses, 1.6 tackles and 1 interception per game in the Premier League.

Those differences in numbers might have a lot to do with the stylistic differences between the two teams and the quality of the leagues but, in all honesty, Angelino proved that he is good enough to challenge the injury-prone and impetuous Mendy for a spot in City’s first-team.

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As the Citizens look to make it a hat-trick of Premier League triumphs next season, they need to ensure that they have adequate depth in all areas of their squad and bringing back the 22-year-old for a thrifty fee would certainly be a step in the right direction.

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Leeds Dragon

Next Roofe in the making? – Leeds United signing this League Two starlet for £250,000 would be a smart move by Bielsa




According to a report from Daily Mail, Leeds United are set to make a £250,000 offer for Carlisle United starlet Liam McCarron.

The 18-year-old is also being chased by a swarm of English clubs namely Sheffield United, Derby County and Wolves. Yet, the Whites remain confident they can win the race by offering him more gaming time.

The 18-year-old broke into Carlisle’s main team in the recently concluded season, making a total of 16 appearances. Despite being used as a substitute, McCarron showed much quality with limited opportunities. A youth product of Cumbrians, the English prodigy has a contract until the end of next season.

Should Leeds United move for McCarron?

After an eventful campaign in Championship, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa needs reinforcements in every aspect.

The attacking line-up turned out to be a let-down for the Argentine manager in the promotion slump and he must mend that before the start of next season.

And with Jack Clarke’s future still hanging in balance as he is wanted by Tottenham, Bielsa can avail the services of League Two teenager, McCarron. United’s primary striker, Kemar Roofe, is also on the radar of Burnley.

A centre-forward by trade, McCarron is also much efficient at the wings. Though he can’t be an assured starter under Bielsa, he can win his chances by showing quick progress in the reserves set-up as Clarke did with the Whites last season.

The former Chile manager is also known for nurturing young talents – Clarke and Leif Davis are some of the best examples. McCarron could soon join the list and can break into the spotlight if he opts to move to Elland Road this summer.

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Final Verdict

Leeds wouldn’t be overburdened with a signing like McCarron, who is currently in demand and has a great future ahead.

And the English prospect can follow the footsteps of 26-year-old Roofe, who also rose through the ranks of League Two side Oxford United.

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