All posts by Tony Davies

RISK: Why Manchester United’s £40m Bid For Former Chelsea Forward Could Backfire

Being a winger in the modern game requires a huge amount of patience. A lot of the time a wide-man will be out of the picture and will have to bide his time, and even then there is no guarantee that he will be able to beat his man or deliver a cross should he get the opportunity. One man that epitomises this is Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich, who is said to be the focus of a £40 million bid from Manchester United.

When things are going well for the Netherlands winger, he looks like one of the best players on the planet. The way he runs directly at opponents, beats them with a drop of the shoulder, a piece of skill or just sheer pace, is stunning.

He has a rifle of a strike on his and his delivery is second to none when he is forced wide, which United could benefit hugely from.

However, when he finds himself uninvolved things can quickly turn sour. He naturally drifts inside to look for the ball, which leads him to cramped areas of the pitch. He is a greedy player and when he tries to do too much he gets frustrated.

He shoots on sight, ignores the runs around him and ultimately ruins the chances of his side scoring. The former Chelsea forward has also been known to be a bit petulant and goes down far too easily for my liking.

In my opinion, splashing £40 million on the 30-year-old would be a risk.

Freebie: Why Arsenal MUST Sign This Out Of Contract World Cup Star

At 28 years of age, Guillermo Ochoa has a decent level of experience already under his belt. However, with goalkeepers often playing beyond 40 the Mexico international may have another decade or so in the professional game. You get the feeling that his next move will be his biggest, and that could see him end up at Premier League outfit Arsenal.

The Mexico international put in an inspirational performance against World Cup hosts Brazil on Tuesday and sparked rumours with numerous Champions League clubs due to the fact he is now without a club.

Should Arsenal land the former Ajaccio shot-stopper, then I think they would be getting a real gem.

The freebie made six incredible saves against Phil Scolari’s men earlier in the week, which is the sort of form that he had previously been showing in the French second division but he fancies his chances at a bigger club.

They don’t come much bigger than Arsenal, and with Lukasz Fabianski leaving for Swansea this summer there will be a chance he gets a decent handful of games.

Signing a world-class goalkeeper on a free transfer on the back of some sensational performances at the World Cup, just months after you lose your second-choice keeper – what’s not to look forward to.

Manchester United Offer Mammoth Deal To La Liga Defender With 171 Clearances – Player Report

Manchester United need a major overhaul this summer in terms of players, which means that it’s not ideal that new boss Louis van Gaal is in Brazil, taking charge of his native Holland. The Netherlands manager has a team back at Old Trafford, though, trying to sort out the recruitment. The reason I know this is because the Daily Star are reporting the club have offered a mega deal to Atletico Madrid centre-back Joao Miranda in an attempt to lure him to Manchester.

The Brazilian is 29 years of age and would go some way to replacing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, who have both confirmed that they will be departing this summer.

Miranda has a £24.2 million buy-out clause in his contract and is said to want to leave the La Liga champions, and I think United would be the perfect destination for him.

Van Gaal currently has Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling to choose from in the centre of defence, if you count the latter as a centre-half, so Miranda would probably be the one he builds the defence around.

Unlike the aforementioned trio, Miranda loves to get the ball down and play it, but only if those around him are looking for the pass. He played 32 league games for Atletico in their title winning season last time out and completed 80% of his passes. He also made 171 clearances, 69 tackles, and 33 interceptions.

It’s a big yes from me.

Manchester United: Sign Silky Tottenham Midfielder And World Cup Playmaker To Transform Midfield

Manchester United’s midfield is bare right now and unless they have some experience and attacking intent pumped into them this summer they will struggle next season. I think that there are two players that could fill that void and make them Premier League contenders once more.

The first of those, in my opinion, is Mousa Dembele. The Tottenham midfielder is exactly what United need in beside Michael Carrick in a way that he would provide energy, and bit of creativity and could link everything together with his passing.

The 25-year-old played in Belgium’s 2-1 win over Algeria this week, and although they struggled to win the game, Dembele was one of the standout players for me.

He completed 96% of his passes during the game and played two key balls, and even won a dribble.

The other player I would look to move for is Arturo Vidal. The Chile midfielder is incredibly gifted when it comes to creating chances but knows when to drop deep to collect the ball. He also has a knack of scoring goals when his current side, Juventus, need them.

I think that the two in a midfield trio with Michael Carrick would be the three to transform United back into the well-oiled machine that they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Manchester United Could Beat Arsenal To Midfielder – Why It Would Be The Right Choice

Manchester United may have had a poor season last time out, but with a new manager and a new set of players things will certainly be brighter next season. Louis van Gaal’s men kick off their Premier League campaign at home to Swansea, and their line up could very well include this Germany international.

Sami Khedira is supposedly a target and the Express say that United will beat Arsenal to sign the midfielder. I think that would be a good move for the Real Madrid star.

Manchester United need bodies in their midfield but also need to ensure that the quality is there. They need a player who can break up opposition play but also be able to pick a pass, spark an attack and get things moving when they need to go forward.

Khedira can do that. For Germany against Portugal in their World Cup opener, Khedira completed over 92% of his passes,  four clearances and showed his experience on numerous occasions.

At Arsenal their build up is slower than at Old Trafford and there would be more competition. The Gunners have Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta all fighting for a spot in the more reserved spots and Khedira could struggle to break into that.

What do you reckon?

Player Profile: Chelsea’s Kenneth Omeruo

Any young player who breaks through within a football club’s exceedingly competitive ranks always deserves the recognition of his achievements. One Nigerian-born player has managed this feat by starring for his country without even playing a competitive game for the team that he is signed to!

Twenty-year old Kenneth Omeruo was born in Nigeria and spent time in the youth ranks at Belgian club Standard Liege, following trials with Anderlecht and Nigerian side Sunshine Stars. In 2012 he signed for Chelsea, who were keen for the Nigerian to accrue some big-game experience, and promptly loaned him out to a side in the Eredivisie, the top division of Dutch football, on an 18-month deal.

Although they qualified for the Europa League in 2011, ADO Den Haag haven’t traditionally been big players in the Eredivisie. However, Omeruo’s arrival in 2012 helped them to record successive ninth-place finishes in the league for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 season. He also made a unique mark on the record books as the only Eredivisie player to score a goal and an own goal, and be sent off within the same match!

The then-19 year old’s increasingly impressive performances would earn him a place in the Nigerian senior international team, having already played in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Under 20s World Cup played in Columbia and losing out to France in extra time. Omeruo took his place in the starting line-up at the Africa Cup of Nations and helped the Super Eagles to their first tournament win in 20 years thanks to a sparkling performance at the back.

Following the end of his deal in the Netherlands, Omeruo was brought back to England and loaned out again to Championship side Middlesbrough, where he put in fourteen appearances. On the back of these consistent performances, Omeruo has been named in Nigeria’s provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil – a dream come true for any player let alone a mere 20-year old!

Any player who has played for several clubs on loan without having the chance to appear for their parent club can quite rightly feel frustrated about the lack of opportunities presented to them – but Omeruo has managed to keep a level head and seen his persistence pay off with the international rewards thanks to the coaching staff at each of his loan clubs.

Their experience of motivating young players to perform at their best every week is a testament to the coaching system; without the help of the loan clubs Omeruo would not have had the chance to make his mark on the league, let alone at international level. Such achievements in coaching are among those recognised by the Motors Most Deserving Sports Hero, which looks to reward those behind the scenes in shaping player and club development and wouldn’t necessarily get the recognition they deserve, despite the major role that youth development plays at all levels of sport.

‘Perfect Defensive Midfielder’ Set To Reject Arsenal And Liverpool – What Premier League Clubs Will Be Missing

Yann M’Vila is a player that has a mixed background. The midfielder has caused quite a stir in France when he supposedly broke a curfew and was subsequently banned back in 2012, but he has since got his head down and re-established himself as one of the most physically-impressive midfielders in Europe. It now looks like that the 23-year-old is ready to make his next move, though according to the Daily Star he will reject both Liverpool and Arsenal.

M’Vila has spent just a year at Russian outfit Rubin Kazan but is said to be on the brink of a move to Inter Milan, which I think is the wrong decision.

The France international is perfect for the Premier League and would have given either English side an added bit of bite should he have signed.

He loves to throw himself into tackles, squeeze opponents off the ball and is extremely intelligent in his positioning. He is quick across the pitch, has a high passing ability and is good in the air, which is why I would suggest that the Premier League clubs are missing out of the perfect holding midfielder.

 

Arsenal Make £15m Winger Number One Priority – Player Report

The World Cup may be roaring right now, but that does not mean that domestic football can take a break. Arsenal are a side that need some signings to strengthen their frontline, and it seems as though Arsene Wenger has made  this winger his number one priority.

Ezequiel Lavezzi is currently at the World Cup with Argentina but is yet make an appearance for his nation. He has had a decent year with Paris Saint Germain, though, scoring nine Ligue 1 goals and another two in the Champions League.

He is a winger than can play on either side, which I believe is important to Arsenal as they have suffered various injuries to their wide men. Theo Walcott missed a large part of the season, as did Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Lukas Podolski also has a background of injury troubles.

Lavezzi can also play as a sole striker, though the left flank is his primary position.

His delivery is superb – he know when to drill a ball across the box or float one to the back post, something which Olivier Giroud could thrive off.

The 29-year-old is said to be worth around £15m and for that sort of price I think he would be a bargain.