Category: La Liga

Opinion: Tottenham will not be title challengers next season if 6ft ace turns back on club

Tottenham Hotspur are facing the genuine possibility of losing Christian Eriksen as the attacker’s contract situation with the club rumbles on.

What’s the word, then?

Eriksen will see his current contract with Tottenham expire in June 2020.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino recently told reporters that he had ‘no news’ on the Denmark international’s future, which is not exactly a positive update.

And according to the Daily Mail, both Barcelona and Real Madrid are closely monitoring the developments surrounding the attacker.

Tottenham are, obviously, desperate to tie Eriksen to a new contract, but the lure of either Barcelona or Real Madrid might prove to be too strong.

Spurs have been able to tie the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to long-term contracts, but it would be an absolute disaster for the club if they lost Eriksen.

Indeed, the 6ft attacker is so important to the team that they might not be able to challenge at the top of the Premier League next season if he is sold this summer.

How will this one end?

It would not be a surprise to see Eriksen sign a new deal at Tottenham, but the simple fact of the matter is that the attacker could earn more money with a move elsewhere.

He would also have a better shot at winning silverware with a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid, which is a truth that the Tottenham fans must face.

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This season, Eriksen has scored six times and registered nine assists in 25 matches, whilst he has 62 goals and 78 assists in 251 appearances for his English club since arriving from Ajax in the summer of 2013.

The 26-year-old would not look out of place at any club in world football and Tottenham might ultimately be forced into a sale at the end of the season.

Real Madrid prodigy, Dortmund ace, PSG star: The Class of 1998 tipped for football greatness

In today’s footballing landscape, the opportunity to sign a young, promising player and develop him in to one of the world’s best is too good to turn down for most clubs.

It is a chance for clubs to not only improve the quality of their playing squads for a number of years but also their bank balance, should one of the elite clubs come calling for their most impressive young talents.

With all that in mind, here are some of the outstanding talents born in the year 1998 who we believe will go on to footballing greatness…

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe lifts the World Cup

D.O.B.: 20.12.1998

Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Nationality: France

Current Market Value: £162million

Position: RW, CF, LW

What more needs to be said? Kylian Mbappe is the shooting star of this generation with a World Cup win under his belt at just 19 years old.

The Frenchman was already making waves when he was 17 and playing for AS Monaco. After his debut season he was loaned out to Paris Saint Germain, where his meteoric rise continued alongside superstars such as Neymar and Edinson Cavani.

His blistering pace, unbelievable ball control and expert finishing have made Mbappe the most sought-after talent football has had to offer since Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

After his loan spell, PSG made Mbappe the second most expensive player ever after Neymar by signing him permanently.

Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic playing for Borussia Dortmund

D.O.B.: 18.09.1998

Current Club: Borussia Dortmund

Nationality: USA

Current Market Value: £40.5million

Position: RW, CAM, LW

Borussia Dortmund have long been known for bringing through impressive talents and shaping them into young players ready for one of Europe’s big five leagues, as well as international competition.

In the past, players like Mario Götze have enjoyed the fast track to the big stage. Christian Pulisic is no different. Brought over from Pennsylvania in 2014 at the age of 16, Dortmund quickly realised his talent and pulled him up to the first team, leading to a debut at just 17 years old.

He became Dortmund’s youngest debutant, as well as the club’s youngest goal scorer in the Bundesliga during the same season. Pulisic quickly grew into a regular first team starter, playing the majority of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, but the emergence of Jadon Sancho has seen a slight decrease in playing time.

Dayot Upemecano

D.O.B.: 27.10.1998

Current Club: RB Leipzig

Nationality: France

Current Market Value: £27million

Position: CB, CDM

Dayot Upamecano is another one of France’s hopefuls for the future. The defender has established himself as one RB Leipzig’s first-choice centre-backs.

His physical presence is impressive, and he is definitely one of France’s candidates for a senior team breakthrough. In July 2018, Upamecano was shortlisted for the 2018 Golden Boy Award.

Jacob Bruun-Larsen

Jacob Bruun-Larsen

D.O.B.: 19.09.1998

Current Club: Borussia Dortmund

Nationality: Denmark

Current Market Value: £13.5million

Position: LW, CAM, RW

An unknown quantity before the 2018/19 season, having played more in the Dortmund and VFB Stuttgart youth academies, Jacob Bruun Larsen did not take long to make a lasting impression.

His pre-season performances have earned him regular appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season, with a combined 12 starts under his belt. His pace and eye for goal has become a real asset during Dortmund’s transition towards a new, younger squad.

Martin Ødegaard

D.O.B.: 17.12.1998

Current Club: Vitesse Arnheim

Nationality: Norway

Current Market Value: £3.6million

Position: RW, CAM, LW

Martin Ødegaard made headlines almost four years ago when Real Madrid signed him as a 15-year-old from Norwegian club Strømgodset.

In hindsight, many have regarded it as more of a PR stunt by Madrid, as Ødegaard subsequently spent his time with Real Madrid Castilla, rather than the senior team, and only made one appearance in La Liga.

In the following years, Ødegaard was unable to achieve a breakthrough at Madrid, and was loaned out to SC Heerenveen, and then Vitesse Arnheim. Ødegaard’s future in Madrid remains uncertain, despite still being one of the top talents amongst his age group.

Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi

D.O.B.: 04.11.1998

Current Club: Borussia Dortmund

Nationality: Morocco

Current Market Value: £9.9million

Position: RB, LB

Another shooting star from Real Madrid, Achraf Hakimi had a difficult time with the senior team, making few appearances during the 2017/18 season.

In order to receive more playing time, Hakimi was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund and has since risen to a starting spot in the absence of Marcel Schmelzer.

His attacking prowess is reminiscent of Marcelo’s style of play and under new Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, Hakimi has been given more freedom to help out in attack, letting him use the full length of the pitch.

Hakimi’s loan spell at Dortmund is set to end after the 2019/2020 season.

Weston McKennie

Weston McKennie

D.O.B.: 28.08.1998

Current Club: FC Schalke 04

Nationality: USA

Current Market Value: £10.8million

Position: CM, CAM, CDM

The young American has a past rooted in Germany, having lived in Kaiserslautern between the age of eight and nine. It was there that he discovered his love of football, and subsequently went on to play for FC Dallas’ youth academy. Despite signing a letter of intent to commit to the Univeristy of Virginia and receive a scholarship for football there, McKennie decided to go pro, turning down a homegrown player contract with FC Dallas.

McKennie moved to FC Schalke 04’s youth academy, where he made the jump to the first team a year after joining. During the 2017/18 season, McKennie made 25 appearances across all competitions.

In addition to his successful rise through Schalke’s ranks, McKennie has now become one of the new young talents regularly named in the USA national team.

Watch: All Barcelona want for Christmas is Roberto Firmino

Fear not Liverpool fans, Bobby Firmino will only be going to Barcelona if Man City also sign Demba Ba and Maurizio Sarri quits smoking! Given the unlikelihood of those things, you can probably sleep easy tonight.

Before you think we’ve gone mad, we are of course talking about the latest hilarious video by 442oons for Playmaker FC in which footballers reveal what they received for their Secret Santa this Christmas.

Check out the video above to see Zlatan spread the gift of himself, Ronaldo suffer from Ballon d’Or envy and Unai Emery become a Peaky Blinder.

Opinion: Leeds should ease blow of Saiz exit by signing speedster who terrorised Real Madrid

Leeds United midfielder Samuel Saiz will join Getafe in January, and the Whites should look to ease the blow of his exit with a move for Levante’s Jose Luis Morales.

What’s the word, then?

It was confirmed on Monday that Saiz was heading for Getafe, with the midfielder due to spend the second half of the 2018-19 campaign on loan at the La Liga club before potentially joining on a permanent deal at the end of the season.

The news is a blow for Leeds, but the show must go on, and Saiz’s exit might force head coach Marcelo Bielsa into the January transfer market.

It is never easy to sign high-quality players in the winter window, but Leeds are absolutely flying at the top of the Championship, and are an attractive proposition.

One player who should be on Leeds’ radar is Levante attacker Morales. The 31-year-old has scored five times in 15 La Liga appearances this season, and would be a wonderful signing for the Championship leaders.

What would Morales bring to Leeds?

Morales joined Levante from Fuenlabrada in 2013, and has scored 31 times and registered 22 assists in 166 appearances for the Spanish outfit.

The Madrid-born winger has exceptional pace, while his ability to play in a number of different areas in the final third make him an attractive proposition.

Morales was outstanding in Levante’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu earlier this season, scoring once and causing all sorts of problems with his direct approach.

Leeds would have to fight hard to first convince Levante to sell and then Morales to leave his homeland, but the attacker would be some signing for Bielsa’s team, who have their eyes on the Premier League.

Opinion: Everton must replace Coleman with 6ft 3in ace who starred against Man United

Everton could look for a new right-back at the end of the season, and the Toffees should attempt to sign Cristiano Piccini from Valencia.

What’s the word, then?

Coleman has had some impressive games for Everton this season, but has also had some poor ones, and was widely criticised by his club’s own supporters following the 2-2 draw with Watford at Goodison Park earlier this week.

It seems likely that Everton will spend big again next summer as they look to become challengers for a top-six position.

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And the Merseyside outfit should see whether they can sign Piccini from Valencia.

The 26-year-old was outstanding against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday night, playing a key role in Los Che’s 2-1 success.

Piccini is also a two-time Italy international having made his debut in October, and his head might well be turned by the offer of Premier League football.

What would Piccini bring to Everton?

Standing at 6ft 3in, Piccini is a physically-commanding right-sided defender.

Against Man United earlier this week, the Italian put in an exceptional performance.

Indeed, he showed pace, power and quality against the 20-time English champions, and there is no question that clubs would have been impressed with his display.

Piccini made 40 appearances for Sporting Lisbon last season before joining Valencia, and the former Spanish champions will be desperate to keep hold of him.

Everton have already shown that they are not afraid to splash the cash though, and the Toffees should make a sizeable offer for the right-back at the end of the season.