Chelsea Opinion: Guedes will be the perfect Eden Hazard replacement
According to a recent report by the Daily Star, European giants Chelsea are said to be eyeing up a possible summer move for Portuguese international attacker Gonçalo Guedes as they look to replace their mercurial Belgian star Eden Hazard – who recently went on to the join Real Madrid in an £88m deal.
It has been suggested that the Blues initial bid of £62.5m has been rejected by Valencia after talks with Jorge Mendes – the player’s agent.
Despite being dealt the possibility of a two-window transfer ban, the Blues have carried on with their summer transfer dealings and although they are yet to actually finalize any deals, it doesn’t look like they look overly bothered by the effects of the ban.
Considering that Eden Hazard only had a year left on his contract, it would’ve been financial suicide to not sell him this summer and the Blues staff made the most sensible decision on the matter.
Finding a replacement for the Belgian was never going to be an easy task. Since joining from Lille all the way back in 2012, he has transformed into one of the world’s best players and the goals he’s scored over the years in a Blues shirt should be more than enough to prove his quality.
Over the last couple of campaigns, the Belgian has really come to the fore at Stamford Bridge and has stepped up and delivered even when the team was struggling at times.
Gonçalo Guedes is a Portuguese international star who currently plies his trade for Valencia in the La Liga. The left-winger was a product of the Benfica academy and he earned his first big European move when he was signed by PSG in 2017.
After a dreadful spell at the French capital which even involved a small period out on loan at Monaco, he was eventually sold to Valencia, where he has certainly impressed since joining.
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A regular in the Portuguese National side ever since he made his debut in 2015, Guedes has managed to notch up 3 international goals for himself as well. His pace dribbling and ability to beat a man make him a top prospect for the Premier League.
He is also an excellent finisher of the ball and has all the right attributes to be an able replacement for Eden Hazard. Still only 22 and with massive potential for growth, the Blues making Guedes their summer transfer priority would definitely be a smart move indeed.
[Image] Predicted 4-3-3 Chelsea XI to face Brighton – can the Blues get back to winning ways?
Predicted Chelsea XI to face Brighton in the Premier League
Chelsea completed a 7-1 rout of Grimsby Town in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday and the Blues will be high on confidence when they play host to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
Frank Lampard’s side currently sit 11th in the standings after suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last week but Chelsea are strong favourites on paper to bag all three points against the Seagulls.
Brighton played out a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United prior to a defeat against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup and Graham Potter clearly has his work cut out in getting his team back to winning ways when they make the trip to Stamford Bridge this week.
The return of academy duo Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James is certainly a massive boost for Frank Lampard but he is still going to be without the services of a number of key players.
Emerson Palmieri (thigh) and Antonio Rudiger (groin) are both ruled out, while Andreas Christensen is also struggling with a knee problem and might miss the weekend game.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still on the recovery trail from his calf injury and he won’t be back in action until another three weeks or so.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)
Willy Caballero played in the EFL Cup victory in the midweek fixture but the Spaniard has always been Chelsea’s undisputed No.1 between the sticks.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB)
The captain was denied a goal by the VAR last week against Liverpool and he is expected to return to the eleven after being rested for the EFL Cup tie despite Reece James enjoying a wonderful debut.
Kurt Zouma (CB)
The Frenchman got his name on the scoresheet in the 7-1 demolition of Grimsby Town and he will be expected to put in a solid display at the back this weekend.
Fikayo Tomori (CB)
The youngster didn’t play a part in the cup tie but he is likely to continue in the Premier League after grabbing his opportunities with both hands under Lampard.
Marcos Alonso (LB)
He hasn’t really been at his best but the injury to Emerson should allow him to get an extended run in the starting eleven.
He has adapted well to a free role in the midfield under Lampard and he is likely to return to the team after being rested for the cup tie.
N’Golo Kante (RCM)
The Frenchman was one of the standout performers against Liverpool last week and got a well-deserved goal to show for his efforts.
Mateo Kovacic (LCM)
He wasn’t in the matchday squad for the cup game but the Croatian has been one of the first names on Lampard’s teamsheet in the Premier League.
Mason Mount (LW)
The youngster is enjoying a dream debut season in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge and he will once again be expected to spark creativity in the final third for the Blues on Saturday.
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The former Barcelona man put in an inspired performance in the EFL Cup and Lampard should hand him a start ahead of Willian, who hasn’t really made much of an impact this season.
Tammy Abraham (ST)
The young No.9 has really turned it on in the Premier League this season and the fans will be hoping to see him add to his tally of 7 goals.
3 Winners and 3 Losers from PL gameweek 5 including Tottenham and Arsenal
3 Winners and 3 Losers from Premier League gameweek 5
Premier League action returned with a bang after the end of the first international break of the season and Round 5 of the 2019-20 campaign produced some mesmerizing football for all sets of fans to savour and admire.
Man City’s shock 3-2 defeat away at Norwich City was arguably the hottest talking point from this weekend, while a few of the other big-six clubs, including Man United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea should also be happy with how things panned out for them in Round 5.
Arsenal blew away a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw against Watford, while top-six hopefuls Everton were beaten 3-1 away at Bournemouth.
Watford and Wolves once again finished the week as the only two sides in the Premier League who are yet to register a single victory thus far.
Without further ado, let us take a look at 3 winners and 3 losers from Round 5 of the Premier League:
Jurgen Klopp’s side stretched their lead over defending champions Man City to five points at the top of the table, as a first-half brace from Sadio Mane followed by a third goal from Mo Salah in the second half guided the Reds to a comfortable 3-1 comeback victory over Newcastle United.
Jetro Willems put the Magpies in the driver’s seat early in the game with his pile driver from the edge of the box but heroics from Mane, and Roberto Firminio who came on as a substitute for Divock Origi midway through the first half ensured that Liverpool stretched their winning run in the Premier League to 14 games in a row, becoming only the fourth team to achieve such a feat.
While it was more of a regulation victory for Liverpool, the fans at Anfield have every reason to hope that Man City’s stumble at Carrow Road proves to be one of the title-defining moments later on in the season.
Nevertheless, for the time being, Liverpool have a lot of breathing space with a five-point lead at the top of the standings.
It was a treat to watch how Chelsea’s young guns completely whitewashed an underwhelming Wolves side 2-5 away from home on Saturday, with Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick making him the youngest Blues player to achieve such a feat in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard’s side had come under criticism for blowing away a two-goal lead at home against Sheffield United prior to the international break but the Blues absolutely demolished Wolves in ruthless fashion to get back to winning ways and finished the week placed 6th in the standings.
While Abraham stole much of the limelight with his hat-trick, fellow academy graduate Fikayo Tomori also got the crowd off its feet with an absolute stunner from 35 yards out, as did Mason Mount, who bagged his third goal of the league season.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Having lost 1-0 to Newcastle United and drawn 2-2 away at Arsenal prior to the international break, Spurs came into the game against Crystal Palace with only a solitary victory in their first four games.
However, the home fans will be relieved after the Lilywhites produced arguably their best display of the season thus far and cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Roy Hodgson’s side, who dropped down to 12th place in the standings after that defeat.
An own goal from Patrick van Aanholt, sandwiched by Heung-min Son’s brace and Erik Lamela’s strike made the score 4-0 before the interval and though Spurs moved up to 3rd place in the standings this week, they still have plenty of catch-up to do if they are to get back in the title race.
1. Man City
It was always going to be interesting to see how Man City would cope with the opposition in the Premier League following Aymeric Laporte’s injury and the defensive blunders against Norwich City are sure to have Pep Guardiola scratching his head to find a solution for the upcoming fixtures.
Some poor marking allowed Kenny McLean to head home the opener for the Canaries early in the first-half before Teemu Pukki took advantage of some ineffective coordination at the back to set up Todd Cantwell for the second.
Sergio Aguero pulled one back just at the stroke of the interval but a horrible error from Nicolas Otamendi allowed Pukki to make it 3-1 in favour of the hosts. It stayed that way until Rodrigo found a late goal. City struggled to hit great heights against a Norwich side that ran them ragged with their never-say-die mentality on the pitch.
Undoubtedly, Man City’s defeat comes as the first big twist in the title race and Guardiola will be aware that his team cannot afford such slip-ups if they are to keep themselves within striking distance of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Arsenal didn’t have the worst of results in Round 5 but Unai Emery is likely to be disappointed to have come away with just a draw from the trip to Watford, with the Gunners blowing away a two-goal lead in the second half to somehow salvage a point.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace in the first half was cancelled out by goals from Tom Cleverly and Roberto Pereyra after the interval, the latter coming from the penalty spot after the Argentine was tripped by David Luiz inside the box.
A victory over Watford would have propelled the Gunners to 3rd place in the standings, ahead of Spurs, who currently hold that position, but some poor defending and lack of resilience at the back cost Arsenal heavily once again.
A victory over Bournemouth would have seen Everton finish the week in the top four but instead, the Toffees currently find themselves outside the top-ten, languishing at 11th place in the standings after suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Cherries away on the south coast.
Callum Wilson’s opener was cancelled out by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header just at the stroke of the interval before Ryan Fraser made it 2-1 with a free-kick and Wilson put the game to bed with his second goal midway through the second half.
The Toffees failed to capitalise on their chances and this defeat definitely comes as a big blow to their hopes of challenging for a top-six place.
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[Image] Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 5 featuring Chelsea duo and Norwich star
2019-20 Premier League: Team of the Week Round 5
Premier League returned to action with a bang this weekend after the end of the international break and Round 5 witnessed plenty of turnarounds in fortunes for some of the big-six clubs.
Wolves continued their losing habits and Everton stumbled against Bournemouth, while newcomers Norwich City grabbed the headlines with a shock 3-2 victory over Man City at Carrow Road.
There were plenty of individual performances that got the crowd off their seats and it is now time to assemble the standout performers from Round 5 in our Team of the Week.
Premier League Team of the Week
Tim Krul (GK)
The Dutchman showed a tremendous level of calmness and composure between the sticks against a world-class Man City attack and made several key saves to propel his team to an upset victory.
Serge Aurier (RB)
Perhaps a rather surprise inclusion in the list, the Ivorian announced his return to Spurs’ starting eleven in an emphatic manner and stole the show against Crystal Palace with a superb all-round display.
Harry Maguire (CB)
The England international returned to face his former club Leicester City and did ever so well to keep Jamie Vardy at bay in the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Fikayo Tomori (CB)
He might not have done an awful lot defensively in Chelsea’s 5-2 victory over Wolves but his 35-yeard screamer is likely to be one of the top contenders for the Goal of the Season award.
Andrew Robertson (LB)
The Scotsman assisted Sadio Mane’s equaliser in the 3-1 triumph over Newcastle and put in yet another lion-hearted performance down the left-hand side of the pitch.
Scott McTominay (CDM)
The youngster was one of the brightest sparks in United’s victory over Leicester this weekend, thwarting the Foxes with numerous interventions in the middle of the park.
Emiliano Buendia (LM)
Norwich City, as a unit, completely outplayed Man City in the 3-1 win at home and the Argentinian was one of the standout performers with his creativity and uncompromised work rate.
Heung-min Son (RM)
The Korean hasn’t had the best start to the season but he finally rose to the occasion and bagged a brace in the 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace, including a stunning volley that rattled the net.
Roberto Firmino (CAM)
The only inclusion in the elite eleven who came on as a substitute, the Brazilian changed the whole complexion of the game in favour of Liverpool and completely bamboozled the Magpies with his guile, craft and work rate.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)
One of the sure contenders for the Golden Boot this season, the Gabonese international took his tally up to 5 goals with a well-taken brace against Watford.
Tammy Abraham (ST)
The Chelsea academy graduate just can’t stop scoring at the moment. The youngster bagged a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-2 triumph over Wolves and took his tally up to 7, becoming Chelsea youngest-ever player to score a Premier League hat-trick.
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