Manchester United Should Make Richarlison A Major Summer Transfer Target

Manchester United should know by now that there’s no quick fixes in their search of becoming Premier League challengers again.

The current squad has too much deadwood in it and quite a few of their players look over the hill and stale.

The signing of Alexis Sanchez in January 2018 was almost a point of no return for the Jose Mourinho era and that of reckless spending since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.

The Chilean arrived at Old Trafford to much fanfare and prestige. Along with his glitzy announcement video, the attacker was given a £390,000 a week contract (Sports Joe).

It’s a move that has impacted negatively both on and off the park for Man United.

Off the field, the Sanchez deal has become an albatross around the club’s neck.

Players like Paul Pogba and David de Gea have performed in the timeframe that Sanchez has been at United and believe that they deserve to have similar wage packets. De Gea only has a year on his deal left and he’s holding out for a wage pay rise, one Man Utd may not be willing or able to offer.

On the park, Sanchez hasn’t produced to a high enough level. The attacker has scored just three United goals in thirty-two Premier League appearances and he’s also contributed with six assists in those games. That’s simply not good enough for a forward who has been brought in to make a winning difference to The Red Devils.

It could be extremely likely that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his board will be ready to cut Sanchez loose if they can find a willing buyer. It will no doubt still cost the Red Devils but it’s a move that will takeaway the large albatross and free up an attacking place in the team’s first team.

If Manchester United do sell Alexis then they should use that transfer as a way of moving back to a transfer strategy that looks to bring in hungry, younger talent that have the potential to become world beaters.

If United end up looking for a new attacking threat, then they could look to a player that’s playing close to home.

Richarlison proved he could handle the rough and tumble of the English game when he first joined Watford in the summer of 2017, last term he joined Everton for a big fee and it didn’t weigh him down.

The twenty-two year old played in thirty-five top flight appearances last season and played across all positions in the frontline and he scored an impressive thirteen goals. That tally included strikes against United and Chelsea.

The forward is powerful, pacey and direct. The young forward knows when to run into the penalty area, can be very effective in the air and isn’t shy in using tricks to get beyond opponents either. Those are attributes that will excite the United support.

Richarlison, unlike Anthony Martial, would also give Man Utd an attacking threat that can offer something defensively too as he’s tenacious and not scared to get physical with opposition defenders. Richarlison has the skill-set to become a top player! 

He’s also hungry to succeed at the highest level and he’s got the potential to improve greatly. 

His impressive maiden year at Goodison helped Richarlison to break into the Brazilian national team set-up and win his first cap. The attacker has taken to the international game like a duck to water, scoring fives times in his first ten caps. This summer the Toffees’ frontman will represent his country at the Copa America in his homeland. 

Media reports have suggested that the red half of Manchester are looking at Richarlison as a possible transfer target this summer, the player himself has stated he’s flattered by the interest but also said he’s in no rush to leave Everton (Via The Mirror):

“It’s a nice feeling when you get praise for your good work,”

“But I’m not thinking about a transfer at the moment.”

“I’ve just arrived at Everton. I’m happy here.”

Everton won’t be easy to deal with and won’t want to sell their prized asset. Looking at the statement above the player doesn’t seem interested in forcing a move either. 

That could mean that Manchester United will have to spend big if they stand a chance of getting the Brazilian. 

In my opinion, they should definitely go out and make a huge play for one of Brazil’s top talents. He surely fits the profile that Man Utd have always looked for in exciting young players that can be difference makers in the tense encounters. 

Harry Maguire Isn’t Worth £80m!

According to Sky Sports both Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire.

The same report suggests that Harry’s current employers don’t wish to sell the England international and have put a £80m price tag on the defender’s head.

That, for me, is a ridiculous price for the twenty-six year old. It would see the Foxes ace leaving for £5m more than Virgil van Dijk did in early 2018.

I get that it’s a ridiculous market these days and I don’t blame The Foxes for holding out for that fee if they don’t wish to sell their central defender.

But in reality, Harry Maguire is a player that has just three years experience in the Premier League and zero appearances in the Champions League. The player also hasn’t won any major pieces of silverware in his career thus far.

Both Manchester sides need to bring in defensive recruitments.

United were woeful at the back last term and it’s clear they need to improve next season but they could probably bring in two players at the same price. Quick fixes haven’t solved Man Utd’s problems in recent years and I’m not sure Maguire would come in and instantly shore up the backline at Old Trafford.

Premier League champions City have lost inspirational leader Vincent Kompany. The Belgian legend has left the Etihad to become the Anderlecht player-boss. I’m not sure Maguire possesses the experienced needed to fill the massive hole that Kompany has left behind him and you’d expect that if you paid £80m for his signature.

Now again I’m not a hater of Maguire. He’s very good in the air, can be a threat in the opposition’s penalty area and he wins plenty of challenges.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola isn’t a manager that just wants his defenders to defend. His defensive men also have to be comfortable with the ball at their feet and not make too many errors.

Harry had an 85% passing success rate last season and that isn’t as good as any of City’s central defenders last year. Maguire in particular isn’t as good when he’s passing the ball in the opposition’s half. Maguire also picked up quite a few cards and that can be costly.

If either United or City could get the defender for £20m less than the £80m asking price then that would represent a much better deal but again Leicester City would be totally justified to reject anything lower than their valuation.

The defender doesn’t seem interested in pushing for a move and that gives Leicester City all the cards when it comes to dealing with potential suitors (Via Leicester Mercury):

“Leicester’s an exciting club to be at − Brendan has really improved the team in the recent months, and he’s someone we’re looking forward to working with,” Maguire told the BBC. “I’m sure he will take the club forward.

“He’s definitely got his own aspects in the game, and I’m sure he will improve us.”

“After a good pre-season, I’m sure he’s the man that can help us break into those European spaces.”

Maybe being Scottish I’m a bit of a tightwad when it comes to money but I can’t see any justification in a team spending a world record fee on a defender that’s still hasn’t won a title or played in the Champions League.

Luka Jovic Signing Shows That Real Madrid Are Moving On From Ronaldo

Real Madrid have confirmed that Luka Jovic will join the club from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.

Spanish news outlet Marca are reporting that the fee agreed is in the region of €60m.

The transfer is pretty significant because it’s the first time in around ten years that Los Blancos have signed a proper number nine.

In fairness, in that time they’ve been served admirably with Karim Benzema often amongst the goals and creating the space needed to get the best out of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But goal-machine Ronaldo departed the Santiago Bernabeu last summer and quite frankly Real haven’t looked the same without the Portuguese genius leading the line.

In the 2018-19 season, Real Madrid scored sixty-three times as they finished in third place in La Liga which was a full nineteen points and twenty-seven goals behind champions FC Barcelona.

Be in no doubt, Jovic has been brought in to bang in the goals that Madrid need to compete once again in Spain and in the Champions League.

The young Serbian will be tasked in replacing Ronaldo.

A tall task for anyone, especially for a twenty-one year old.

But Luka was extremely impressive for Frankfurt last term. He grabbed seventeen Bundesliga goals and added ten more strikes in the Europa League.

The youngster is a composed finisher, who can score with either foot or with his head! He comes alive when the ball arrives in the box and he’s smart and instinctive with his finishes.

It might sound funny to say it but Luka Jovic is a striker who loves grabbing goals. That brings with it a ruthlessness and a hungry quality that all prolific hitmen possess.

He showed last term at Frankfurt that he can work well with a partner up top. Sebastian Haller was the perfect foil alongside Jovic and maybe that could become Benzema’s role at the Bernabeu next season.

Last night Real announced that they’d also completed the signing of Chelsea maestro Eden Hazard. Luka loves one touch finishes and Hazard will create numerous chances for the Serbian. 

Jovic stated that on his Instagram (Via Goal) that it was a dream come true to join such an illustrious club: 

“Real Madrid opens a huge door for me to become an even bigger footballer. Every child has this dream of playing at such a club. My dream comes true now.”

That should tell us that Luka Jovic is ready to arrive in Madrid and is determined to become a goalscoring hero for Los Blancos. 

The Spanish giants have started this summer with a bang in the transfer market. They’ve seen that they needed to rebuild and forget about Cristiano Ronaldo. 

In Luka Jovic they might now have a striker that will once again shine in the number nine! 

It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how Zinedine Zidane sets out his new team and if they can start the season with a bang! 

Newcastle United Should Be Interested In Alfredo Morelos

Rangers fans will tell you that Alfredo Morelos is a terrific striker and that he’s destined to play in a top league.

Non Gers Scottish football fans will tell you that Morelos isn’t worth the risk because he’s a liability.

A wee gander at the Colombian’s stats will show you that both arguments have their merits.

The striker has scored forty-seven goals in eighty-seven appearances for the Glasgow giants in his two seasons at Ibrox.

In the Scottish Premiership last season, the attacker received four red cards in his thirty appearances.

It looks increasingly likely that Alfredo will leave Rangers this summer, as long as potential suitors look beyond his poor disciplinary record.

Newcastle United are the latest club credited with an interest in the player. The Scottish Sun have stated that reports from Colombia suggest that The Toon could make a £20m move this summer.

A lot will depend on the Premier League club’s owners. At the moment Sports Direct owner  controls the club and I’m unsure he’d wish to give such a big sum (or even half of that) to Rangers, given his courtroom battles with the Scottish side. But The Magpies are in the midst of takeover talks involving affluent Bin Zayed Group and they could offer up a hefty transfer kitty if they buy the English outfit.

Personally I think Morelos would tick a lot of Newcastle Utd’s boxes when it comes to recruitment.

At twenty-two years old, he’s still pretty young and will possess re-sale value if he does well at St James’ Park.

The young forward has been extremely prolific since touching down on European soil, first at HJK Helsinki and now at Rangers. His form at Rangers has seen him receive his first call-up to represent the Colombian national team, he’s now got three caps for his country.

While it’s true that Morelos didn’t score against Celtic, he did manage to find the net against every other top flight side in Scotland. He’s also score eight European goals in twenty-one continental appearances.

Current Rangers teammate Jermain Defoe knows a thing or two about scoring in the Premier League and he thinks Alfredo Morelos would score in England’s top league, given the chance (From The Scotsman):

“If you are asking me if he (Morelos) is good enough to play in the Premier League, of course. I believe that if he played in the Premier League, he would score goals. I don’t think anything would change. He is a natural goalscorer.”

Alfredo’s a forward that has grown into becoming a focal point for his team. He can lead the line and play as a lone striker, battling away with defenders and linking up with attacking midfielders. Plus he can also play as part of a striking team, running onto flick-ons or coming deep/go into the wings and create space for another hitman.

The fee of £20m is a bit on the high side and personally I think The Toon could negotiate that down. So instead of that you could bring him in for between £12m and £15m (all depending on the market and who else might be interested in his signature.

Newcastle’s need for a striker is well known, they’ll probably need at least two new recruits in that area.

Yoshinori Muto was poor in his debut season with the Magpies, Salomon Rondon’s loan deal is about to expire, it’s clear that Dwight Gayle doesn’t have a long-term future at the club and Joselu doesn’t offer you enough goals as a main striking threat.

Morelos has come on under Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez will believe that he has the tools needed to get even more out of the forward.

That’s why I think Newcastle United should be interested in the player, as he has a lot of raw potential.

Although that doesn’t mean that they should sign him.

They certainly would have to take into account his poor disciplinary record, although he didn’t have the same issues in Finland and I doubt he’d be as high profile a target in the Premier League.

Then there’s the last time Newcastle Utd spent big on a player from Ibrox. The memory of Jean Alain Boumsong struggling in a black and white jersey will still haunt some in Tyneside.

Personally, I think Alfredo Morelos would do better than many would think but I would certainly sign up another more experienced striker to help lead the line.

Why Signing Adrien Rabiot Would Make Sense For Manchester United

Recent media reports (Source – The Metro) suggest that Manchester United could be ready to make a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

Now many will look at that possible transfer with raised eyebrows.

The French internationalist has a history of ill-discipline and falling out with authority figures. According to The Independent, the player wrote to the French Football Association last summer to ask them to take him off the reserve list for the World Cup as he felt he merited a place in the actual squad.

He has had issues with turning up late for training and team meetings in the past and that’s seen him drop out of the team.

Adrien was last involved in a PSG match back in December, when he made a seven minute cameo in the Champions League win over FK Crvena Zvezda. It’s believed that he was banished to the reserves after stating once and for all that he wouldn’t commit to signing a new deal with the Ligue 1 champions.

People are also very suspicious of his agent, who also happens to be his mother. She too has had run-ins with some of PSG’s hierarchy.

In fairness, I always think there’s three sides to a story. PSG will have their side, Rabiot will have his side and then the truth is usually somewhere in between.

What isn’t in doubt is the player’s skill-set. Rabiot is a very tidy and effective midfielder.

What’s also not in doubt is that Man United need more midfield reinforcements. The United midfield has never been at it’s strongest since Paul Scholes first retired in 2011.

Fred was very hit or miss last term and if we are being honest more miss than hit. Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira are still quite young and raw midfielders, great to have around the squad but still not quite first team regulars.

Tall Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini departed Old Trafford in January, combative star Ander Herrera has announced he’s leaving this summer and Juan Mata hasn’t put pen to paper on a new deal and he too might leave during this offseason.

There’s even chat that once again Paul Pogba is looking for a way out.

So Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to be on the lookout for a few new midfielders.

Rabiot is a very accomplished performer; who has international experience, has starred in the Champions League and has won trophies at his previous club.

In the last five seasons, Adrien has only once not made 90%+ in his passing success rates when it comes to appearances in the French top flight or in the Champions League!

United need players in the engine room that remain composed under pressure and who can keep the ball. Rabiot is excellent when it comes to ball retention.

Since Fellaini moved to China, The Red Devil’s midfield haven’t been as strong when it comes to aerial battles. Rabiot is 6ft 1 and is strong in the air, last season he was averaging 1.6 headers per league game according to Whoscored.

A potential midfield threesome of Pogba, Rabiot and Nemanja Matic looks to be a fairly balanced one to me.

The transfer will no doubt appeal to the United board given there’s no fee involved and that could allow them to bring in more targets during the summer transfer window.

Don’t get me wrong, Manchester United will have to sit down with Adrien Rabiot and his mum/agent and see where they are mentally. If he’s focused and hungry to prove himself as a top star then I think they need to make him an offer and encourage him to show the world that he is indeed a top performer.

Saluting Liverpool’s Champions League Winning Defence

Liverpool managed to win their sixth Champions League/ European Cup title last night as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

Now the match wasn’t a thriller as Jurgen Klopp’s men won 2-0 but the back four and their goalkeeper were terrific and have been all season.

The Reds lost to Real Madrid in last season’s final and a lot of blame was laid at the door of keeper Loris Karius. Now I don’t believe it was just the German’s fault, a team wins and loses as a team. That being said I don’t think Karius is a top class shot-stopper and doesn’t instil confidence into his defence.

Klopp and Liverpool were pretty ruthless and loaned Karius out in a two year loan deal to Besiktas. They then spent a whopping £67m on Brazilian number one Alisson.

The money was well spent as the number one has been superb in his debut season.

As well as being a great goalie, the keeper is also terrific when he has the ball played to his feet.

No team in the Premier League conceded less than The Reds twenty-two goals this year.

The Brazilian kept a cleansheet in yesterday’s final. He was hardly called upon in the first half but that didn’t impact on his concentration levels as Spurs started breaking through in the second half. He had two or three decent saves (Eight in total according to Whoscored) and made sure that he parried those efforts away from the danger zone.

His distribution was pretty good too and he even started a few counter attacks with his accurate passing.

The Liverpool defence are a lot more assured and comfortable knowing Alisson is waiting behind them!

Another vital cog in the Liverpool defensive machine has been Virgil van Dijk.

The Rolls Royce like centre-back has been an inspiration since he arrived at Anfield in January 2018. He never seems to panic, makes inch perfect interceptions and outruns most opposition attackers.

Since his arrival, Van Dijk has had to partner various defensive sidekicks and his presence always seems to get the best out of his teammates.

Last night, Virgil made sure that he smothered Harry Kane any time the England captain received the ball. A clearly rusty Kane just couldn’t get a handle on the fixture. At one point Son Heung-Min made a breakaway into the Reds penalty area but the South Korean couldn’t escape Van Dijk’s clutches as the Dutchman strode in and steered the ball away for a corner.

Alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip gave another assured performance.

He bossed the ball in the air, winning three aerial battles during the final. He also claimed an assist by setting up Divock Origi to claim the game’s second strike!

The Cameroonian international has had a terrific last six months and the Telegraph are reporting that Joel  is on cusp of signing a new deal at Anfield.

It was appropriate that twenty-two year old Joe Gomez was called upon to help see the game out. Joe was fantastic during the first half of the season before injury curtailed the youngster’s campaign. His pace and ball playing qualities were excellent alongside Virgil in those early months of the season.

Liverpool probably have the two best full-backs playing today.

Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have had terrific seasons. Between them they’ve created twenty-eight assists this season. That’s sensational and they’re the two players that make this Liverpool team tick and transition the team from defence into attack.

They are both disciplined when defending, charge forward all day long and put in fantastic crosses that cause havoc in the opposition’s penalty area.

Even as their team struggled in possession for much of last night’s encounter both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold still produced a number of great balls into the box.

The dynamic duo also give 100% to the team’s cause and those are two foot-soldiers that Klopp knows that he can always count on.

It was emotional to see Alexander-Arnold happy but remain grounded after the final whistle was blown (Source – Marca):

“I’m just another boy from Liverpool whose dreams have come true,” 

“When we look back we won’t remember that it was a boring game,” 

“We’ll remember that we won the Champions League.”

I’m pretty sure the defence will see some changes during the off-season. The likes of Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne might be allowed to depart Merseyside and replacements will be sought.

But Jurgen Klopp knows he has a tremendous defensive core and that group will be there battling during every game during next season as they did this term.

People always love to gush over creative forwards but sometimes we need to applaud a great defensive unit and Liverpool have a superb defensive unit!

The Front Three That PSG Should Have Next Season!

According to Sport, FC Barcelona want to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.

The report suggests that the Catalan giants could be willing to add Ousmane Dembele into the deal as a makeweight and if I were Paris Saint-Germain I’d be willing to listen to such a deal as long as long as the La Liga winners also add at least £130m to the package.

I’m beginning to believe that Neymar is more of a distraction than anything else. The Brazilian superstar hasn’t made PSG better in the Champions League and that’s what he was brought in to do.

Yes he’s had injuries at important stages of campaigns but even with that he’s still a distraction as he parties away while his teammates toil.

Recent images from the Brazil camp show Neymar haul back a young Weverton, after the teenager nutmegged the forward. A younger Neymar would’ve been calling for more protection. after he’d rolled around the turf for five minutes, had it happened to him. While Weverton just looked non-plussed as he just got back into the training session.

That’s the thing with Neymar, especially since his move to Paris, he just doesn’t come across as a team player. He sulks when things don’t go his way and he’ll argue over set-pieces with teammates.

Don’t get me wrong, statistically Neymar is fantastic but you sometimes need more to be a great teammate. Ultimately, I believe the Brazilian attacker is bored with life in Ligue 1.

Dembele would return to France desperate to kick-start his career.

The French World Cup winner only started twenty league games in Spain last season and I’m sure the twenty-two year old will want to have more starts next term.

He scored eight league goals and created five assists in those La Liga outings and I think he’d get more if he played continuously throughout a season.

The youngster was at his best when he was performing for Borussia Dortmund and that was under current PSG boss Thomas Tuchel.

Ousmane shines on the left-wing and for France he works extremely hard for the team and sticks to his manager’s game-plan. That should be key if your main man is the centre forward.

PSG gaffer Tuchel told Skysports earlier this month that he could guarantee the future of key forwards Kylian Mbappe and Neymar:

“My wish is clear, but I can’t promise as that would be naïve and I don’t want to be naïve in this business.”

If it becomes a straight choice between the two, then I’d definitely keep hold of Mbappe over Neymar.

The hitman grabs goals, works harder for the team, is younger and is the player I’d build this PSG team around!

Kylian would definitely be my number nine and it would be his responsibility to fire Les Parisiens to European glory. He wants more responsibility after all (Source France24.com)

With the money that I’d expect them to bring in for Neymar, as well as Ousmane Dembele, I think the Ligue 1 champs should do their upmost to bring in Nicolas Pepe from Lille OSC.

The Ivorian was a sensation on the right-wing for Les Dogues. He possess electric pace, is very direct and has that key ability to know what to do when he reaches the final third.

Only Mbappe scored more than Pepe’s twenty-two French top flight strikes last season. The wideman also grabbed eleven league assists and that was the second highest in Ligue 1.

At twenty-four years of age, Pepe proved last season that he can excel in France and has all the tools needed to become a world class player.

If PSG have a front three of Dembele, Mbappe and Pepe then you have a fluid , balanced and hungry frontline. Importantly you would have forwards that will work well with each other and who will be there for each other.

I would also have an experienced back-up within the squad that can come in and help out. If Edinson Cavani is willing to play that role then great but I doubt it as he could get a lucrative first team offer elsewhere.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting should be nowhere near this pool of players. I’m still scratching my head thinking about that transfer, he must have the best agent ever!

Then you should give more time to young forwards coming through the ranks.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Timothy Weah. He didn’t get the minutes required during his loan spell at Celtic but that wasn’t really his fault and he still did well with the minutes afforded to him. It might make sense to loan him to a fellow Ligue 1 side next year.

All in all, I think PSG need to start a new cycle. They need to bring the age of the squad down and make it all about Mbappe!

If that means dumping Neymar, then so be it.

Looking At Aston Villa Transfer Target Ryan Kent

congratulations to Aston Villa Football Club, who yesterday achieved promotion back into the English Premier League.

As ever for newly promoted teams, a good summer recruitment policy is essential if you’re planning on staying up.

The money that the TV deal gives you in the top flight allows clubs like Villa the opportunity to spend a bit more on transfer fees and it opens up more opportunities when it comes to attracting a better calibre of player.

In recent days, The Villains have been linked with £10m move (Source The Scotsman) for Liverpool wideman Ryan Kent.

The former England youth international enjoyed a loan spell in the Scottish Premiership last season with Glasgow giants Rangers, who want to hold onto the twenty-two year old.

Gers manager Steven Gerrard is a big fan of the Reds younsgter but he told the BBC that it’s going to be tough to keep him as interest is growing:

“Ryan knows we want him but we have to be respectful that the kid has a big decision to make,” 

“I’m sure there are clubs queuing up for him because he’s a top player.”

If Villa are indeed interested in the winger, then with their promotion and their spending power you’ve got to make them favourites for the players signature.

So what would the be getting for their money if they were to sign Kent?

Well the player showed in Scotland that if he’s got a manager that’s got confidence in him then he can become a consistent threat.

Gers boss Gerrard allowed Ryan a few games to get used to the Rangers playing style but as soon as he smartened up he became one of the club’s best players in the 2018-19 campaign.

He was a player that seemed to come alive in the bigger games, and was particularly important in the two Rangers wins over Celtic. His pace and direct play caused Swedish international full-back Mikel Lustig no end of trouble in December and Kent provided the assist that saw Ryan Jack score the winner in that derby encounter.

His performances in Scotland saw Ryan Kent pick up the PFA’s young player of the year award.

The forward also made nine appearances in the Europa League this term and he generally did well in those ties. Again if he sees plenty of the ball then he’s a happy boy. It also shows you the trust Gerrard had in the youngster to continuously play him in the big occasions and give him such a pivotal role in the team!

As well as being direct, good on the ball and having pace Kent also works hard for the team when they don’t have the ball. He’ll work diligently and track back when needed. That could be the kind of work ethic Villa gaffer Dean Smith is looking for in new recruits as they prepare for life in the Premier League.

The player has shown during his loan spell that he has become more reliable, that he works hard for his teammates and enjoys the big games. He also has the ability to either stick to the touchline or come in off the wing and like up with the midfield or the strikers.

But as you’d expect from a twenty-two year old wide player, he’s still not the finished article.

I don’t think he has the necessary skill-set to break into Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team next season and it’s probably the right time for him to leave Anfield on a permanent basis. That could be seen as a positive as you could get a talented young British player for a decent fee.

Ryan scored six times in forty-three games for Rangers and he should’ve had more. He needs to work on that and become more ruthless when chances arrive. He also needs to provide more assists too.

i think he could make those improvements at Villa Park but only as long as Dean Smith gives the player plenty of minutes on the football pitch.

Steven Gerrard has shown that to get the best out of Ryan Kent then you need to have faith in the youngster and make him a focal point in the starting eleven.

Only Celtic Could’ve Spoiled Their Own Treble Treble… And They Kind Of Did!

Celtic’s historic treble treble triumph should have been celebrated for days, especially when you consider it was completed on a bank holiday weekend.

There was euphoria directly after the Scottish Cup final but it soon became pretty muted.

A big reason for that has been decisions that the board have taken.

The Hoops hierarchy had already jarred supporters with the decision to rent out Celtic Park for a rugby cup final on the same day as the Scottish Cup final, meaning that the supporters couldn’t congregate at their spiritual home to celebrate their fantastic feat!

It was yet another business decision that was taken above the wishes of the faithful.

Celtic clearly had to take to social media to remind fans not to go to Parkhead after the Hampden win and that reminder went down like a lead balloon for a lot of the Celtic fanbase.

Then about an hour after beating Hearts to secure yet another year of Scottish dominance, the Hoops board announced that they had offered current short term boss Neil Lennon the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

It’s very strange for any club, particularly a big club, to announce that they’ve offered someone the managerial hot-seat. Surely they can wait until they’ve done a deal and announce it properly.

I also think it is extremely bizarre that Chief Executive Peter Lawwell and majority shareholder Dermont Desmond would go into the dressing room and take Lennon into the showers and offer him the gig. We are talking about one of the biggest roles in Scottish football.

Another major issue with this is that a large amount of Celtic’s support aren’t keen on the idea of rehiring Lennon. They appreciate the job that he’s done keeping the team focused this term after Brendan Rodgers left them in the lurch and that he’s a club legend but they’ve seen what Neil brings to the job and it feels a bit stale and outdated.

Lennon left the job in 2014 and in his next two jobs at Bolton Wanderers and Hibs he didn’t set the heather alight. He’d leave both clubs in acrimonious circumstances.

If you look at their CVs and how they set up their teams, Lennon feels like a downgrade from Rodgers.

Now we all know that Lawwell and Co. can run a business, I’m pretty sure accountants will cream themselves when the look at Celtic’s books. Yet I don’t think entertaining their fanbase is a main priority for the board.

Lawwell has pretty much confirmed this with recent statements (Source Daily Record):

“I’m not online, I
 don’t go on it. But honestly, I’ve said hundreds of times, you need blinkers in this job.”

“And if you react to online, or social media, or media, then you’re dead. You just need to keep on doing the right things and believe in yourself and making the right decisions.”

“That’s what we’ve done – without any outside influences.”

“We had approaches from many, many agents, many representatives of managers across the board. We put them in the file, just left it and kept our word to Neil, really.”

We should remember that Celtic are a Public Limited Company and it should be Lawwell’s job to keep in touch with the supporters/stakeholders. I think you have to be open to criticism and look at alternatives. Surely on both a business and  sporting level it would have made sense for the Hoops hierarchy to research the field, interview potential candidates and appoint the best person for the job.

By sleepwalking into the Neil Lennon appointment, Celtic won’t be as strong as they’ve been in recent seasons (in my opinion) yet they’ll still probably secure nine in a row.

The problem is that if the Celtic team become a robust outfit rather than a slick attacking team then the fans will become more disgruntled and a greater chasm will grow between Celtic’s hierarchy and their support!

How Much Time Should Be Given To Ole Gunnar Solskjaer At Man United?

The main question everyone is asking right now is if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the right man to lead Manchester United and how much time should be given for him to prove his case.

The Norwegian impressed as the interim manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked, but the end of the season run-in was horrendous, with United missing out on a top-four finish.

What the club needs to figure out is if that was just a bad spell or if the manager doesn’t have enough experience to guide a team the size of United.

In the past, it was somewhat normal to give a manager some time to get things right, but nowadays if you lose six games, you are already in big trouble. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a Manchester United legend and many, like Robin Van Persie, believe he should be given plenty of time (Source BBC).

When Mourinho was sacked on the 18th of December the club said that they will appoint Solsjkaer until the summer while they were looking to fill the managerial vacancy permanently.

Under Solskjaer, United went on an impressive run of 15 games unbeaten and also had a 100% winning record in their first eight encounters. Under the Norwegian, United achieved a dramatic away win over Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League. On the 28th of March the club decided to give him the full-time job.

After that, something has happened, and United ended their campaign with six defeats and only two wins in their last ten encounters. At that time, everyone was saying to give Ole a permanent deal. But since then the luck went away, and they’ve lost a lot more games that they shouldn’t have.

Solskjaer now has a three year deal with Man United and it’s essential to look at the bigger picture.

The way the Norwegian is working is in line with expectations. He has a positive attitude and is keen to achieve great things with the club.

‘Surely it is a man of the club’ said Ethan Rowe football editor in chief of Best betting sites.

He has played for Manchester United for more than 10 years and has also given the Champions League with his own goal. ‘He knows Manchester United inside-out. He has been a coach of the reserves and in some ways he is similar to Ferguson. Ferguson was Manchester United and the same can be said for Solskjaer.’

‘In my opinion, he should be given at least another 12 months to prove his worth. He had a fantastic first period and then a tough one. It can happen, but now he has the opportunity to pick the players he really wants and go from there.’

Rowe continued:

‘I don’t believe that United’s current issues will be necessarily be resolved by overspending in the transfer market. After all, this is what they have done in the last few years. Has it worked? It hasn’t. The club now needs stability. Players have to know that if they are not good enough, they are going to leave United before the manager. When Alex Ferguson was there, no player would have imagined that he would have been sacked if things didn’t go in the right direction. With Mourinho, it was true the contrary. Some players just act to get him sacked and though they had such power in the club. That was an error and shouldn’t be repeated with Solskjaer.’

Ethan Rowe concluded:

‘The same should apply to players. Now if a player has a couple of bad games, fans are already talking about selling him. Back in the day, players used to get more time. They had the opportunity to make mistakes and learn. Stability is the only way to develop and the only one I can see for United to get back where they were.’