Tag Archives: Daniel Sturridge

The Best Chelsea And Manchester City Combined XI

Ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering clash between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, we here at IntoTheTopCorner have decided to make the best combined XI using both the team’s players.

In goal, England’s number one choice keeper Joe Hart takes the place ahead of the Champions League final hero Petr Cech. The back four is dominated by the Chelsea players with Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole as the two full-backs and skipper John Terry in the heart of the defence alongside City’s Vincent Kompany. The midfield consist of Yaya Toure and Ramires as the two holding midfielders, with City’s playmaker David Silva, Chelsea’s star of the season Juan Mata and the Blues’ big money summer signing Eden Hazard further forward. The 4-2-3-1 formation means there is room for only one striker in the team, which results in a tough dilemma. Fernando Torres has struggled whole season and Daniel Sturridge hasn’t played much, so it has to be one of City’s four strikers – and it’s Sergio Aguero, who gets the nod ahead of Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli, to lead the line.

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Top 7 Teenagers To Watch In The Premier League

With just more than a month to go for the new Premier League season to kick-off, it’s time to look forward and build-up to it. Today, we look at the top 7 teenagers (under-20 years of age) to keep an eye on in the upcoming Premier League season.

1. ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN – ARSENAL

‘The Ox’ joined Arsenal from Southampton last season and was very impressive in his debut season in Premier League. The 18-year-old made 26 appearances for the Gunners during the last campaign and scored four times. His performances in the league caught the eye of the new England boss Roy Hodgson and was picked for the Euros in Poland/Ukraine. The winger, who started his country’s opening game against France, has been capped five times by the Three Lions.

The 18-year-old has a lot of pace and his direct attacking style has been already loved by Arsenal faithful. Chamberlain broke into the first team last season and he is expected to stay there & play an important role for Arsene Wenger’s team this season, who love to give the teenagers a chance to prove themselves.

2. NICK POWELL – MANCHESTER UNITED

Powell joined Manchester United from Crewe Alexandra this summer for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of £4m. The 18-year-old caught the eye of many top Premier League clubs with his impressive displays for the League Two side as he played an important role in helping Crewe win the playoffs. The England U-18 international made a total of 38 appearances last season scoring 14 goals including the winning goal in the nPower League Two Play-Offs final at the Wembley.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed in the press conference yesterday that he would be developing the teenager in center midfield role and with United having many problems in that position over the past couple of years, Powell could get his chances this season. The attacking midfielder is certain to feature in most of the Capital One Cup games and FA Cup games this year.

3. ROMELU LUKAKU – CHELSEA

Lukaku moved to Stamford Bridge last season from Belgium side Anderlecht for a fee around £18m. The 19-year-old, who is dubbed as the ‘next Didier Drogba’, was tipped for big things last year but he hardly got a chance to impress. The Belgium international, who has been capped 14 times by his country, made just eight Premier League appearances and failed to score a single goal.

The former Anderletcht striker was one of the flop signings of last year, but with both Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba having left the club and with just Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge ahead of him in the pecking order, this might well be the year where the teenager may get the chance to impress at the bigger stage.

4. ROSS BARKLEY – EVERTON

Barkley has been the part of Everton’s successful youth academy and has come through the ranks at Goodison Park. The 18-year-old has been at the fringes of the senior team ever since signing the professional contract at the start of the last season. The England U-21 international has made a total of six appearances for Toffees – mostly from the bench – in the Premier League since making his debut against QPR in the opening game of last season.

The midfielder, who has been predicted to ‘become one of the best ever player to play for England’ by Martin Keown, is expected to get much more game time this season than what he got last season. With a lower budget to spend in the tranfer market, David Moyes is certain to give Barkley and many other young players a chance to play in the first team.

5. JOSH McEACHRAN – CHELSEA

The creative midfielder, who is the product of Chelsea’s youth academy, is heralded as the future of the Blues. McEachran made his first team debut for the Blues in a Champions League match against MSK Zilina in September 2010 and ever since has been around the senior team making a total of 22 appearances in all competitions. The 19-year-old, who is touted as the natural successor to Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, spent the second half of last season on loan at Swansea.

The England U-21 international, who has the talent and potential in him to become one of England’s best midfielder in future is expected to spend next season away on loan at a Premier League side where he might get some more first team football than at Chelsea, due to the competition for a place in the starting XI at the Stamford Bridge club.

6. CONNOR WICKHAM – SUNDERLAND

Sunderland signed Wickham last summer from the Championsip side Ipswich for a fee of £8m. The 19-year-old was tipped for big things but his first season in the Premier League was a bad one. He was able to find the back of the net just once in 15 appearances as the Black Cats struggled without the services of Danny Welbeck, Darrent Bent and Asamoah Gyan, who were all present during the 2010-11 season.

This season is going to be the make-or-break for the England U-21 international has he will need to get over his ‘first-season blues’ and repay the club’s faith in him. Sunderland’s number 10 is expected to play an important role this season and he will have to score much more than what he did last season, if the Black Cats have to challenge for a place in Europe next season.

7. RYO MIYAICHI – ARSENAL

Miyaichi joined Arsenal in the summer of 2010 after impressing the scouts and the boss during a High School Soccer Tournament in Japan. The 19-year-old has featured only twice for Gunners since his arrival and that to in the Capital One Cup. The Japanese international was sent on loan to Bolton Wanderers in the January transfer window last season and he had a very successful time at the Reebok, making 12 appearances and was also voted as the club’s February Player of the Month.

With Andrey Arshavin expected to leave the club in the summer, Miyaichi may get a chance on the wings but at the same time he will face competition from the likes of Gervinho, Alex Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and the new signing Lukas Podolski for playing time. It looks likely that he will be sent on loan to another Premier League side again this season, where he will get some regular first team football.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

Tottenham Hotspur had a very indifferent season last term. They started the season in fine form and around December they looked like serious title contenders but since January their form dipped and they ended the season in 4th place.

This summer, there have been changes at White Hart Lane with Harry Redknapp being sacked for failing to secure a place in the Champions League and replaced by the former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas. Spurs have already completed the signings of the impressive midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, the young Zeki Fryers and the strong defender Jan Vertonghen, but the former Porto boss expected to add some more new names to his squad with the goalkeeper, midfield and striker positions needing strengthening. Here are Tottenham’s potential transfer targets for the summer..

HUGO LLORIS – LYON (GOALKEEPER)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that the club are ready to listen to offers for the France skipper Hugo Lloris, who is valued around €20m. With Brad Friedel in his early 40s, Lloris would be a great signing for Spurs and would be a great long-term option. If reports are to be believed, Tottenham have already made a bid for the French stopper but they are expected to face some tough competition from a host of European clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool and AC Milan.

KASPER SCHMEICHEL – LEICESTER CITY (GOALKEEPER)

Spurs have had a close eye on the Denmark international since the end of last season. Peter Schmeichel, the son of the great Manchester United legend Peter, has had good season with Leicester City in the nPower Championship. With Friedel in his 40s, Cudicini not way behind him at 38 years and Gomes expected to leave, Spurs will surely do with a young reserve keeper in their squad. The 26-year-old has attracted interest from many English clubs but a move to White Hart Lane may be too hard to resist.

OSCAR – INTERNACIONAL (MIDFIELDER)

The young Internacional playmaker is said to be high on Tottenham shopping list this summer as they search for a replacement for Luka Modric, who is reportedly on his way to Real Madrid. Oscar has been very impressive for Brazilian giants and is also a regular part of Brazil national team. The 20-year-old, who is rated around £25m, has attracted interest from many top European clubs including Chelsea. According to the reports, Spurs and Chelsea have both launched a bid for the Brazilian and the Blues are said to be favourites to sign him.

JOAO MOUTINHO – FC PORTO (MIDFIELDER)

Moutinho has attracted a lot of interest from the Premier League this summer after some putting in some impressive displays for Portugal at the Euros. The £25m rated midfielder has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane since arrival of Villas-Boas as both of them worked together at Porto. With Modric expected to leave for Real Madrid, Moutinho is a perfect replacement for the Croatian but Spurs will have to battle with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to bring the Portuguese to White Hart Lane.

ALAN DZAGOEV – CSKA MOSCOW (MIDFIELDER)

The 22-year-old had an outstanding UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland/Ukraine and was the join top goalscorer with three goals. The Russian international, who can play anywhere behind the striker, is valued at £13m by CSKA but with just six-months left on his contract,  the Russians may be forced to accept a lower asking price or lose him for nothing. With Modric destined to leave this summer, Dzagoev could be cheaper option to replace the Croatian.

MILOS KRASIC – JUVENTUS (MIDFIELDER)

The Serbian winger, who caught everyone’s attention with his performances for CSKA Moscow in the Champions League couple of season, is not needed anymore at Juventus. Krasic was subjected to a lot of interest in January but a move away from Turin never materialized. Spurs are reportedly to be still interested in the 28-year-old, who has also interested the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea as they look to solve their wide problems. Rated at around £10m, Krasic would be a real bargain  in comparison to other players of similar ability.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – CHELSEA (STRIKER)

The Chelsea striker is said to be unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. With Emmanuel Adebayor with his parent club Manchester City and Louis Saha released, Villas-Boas has just one striker in his senior squad in the form of Jermain Defoe. With Defoe out of favour and past his peak, the former Chelsea boss might try to sign the 22-year-old pacey forward – who can also play on the wings – but will face some tough competition for his signature from Arsenal and Liverpool, who have also expressed their interest in him.

LEANDRO DAMIAO – INTERNACIONAL (STRIKER)

Oscar is not the only Internacional player linked with Tottenham this summer, star striker Leandro Damiao is said to be also one of Spurs’ top transfer target. With the arrival of Diego Forlan at the club and Internacional needing to cut down their high wage bill, Damiao is expected to leave Brazil for Europe sooner than later. With Spurs needing to buy some new strikers this summer, the 22-year-old would be a great addition to squad but they will need to act fast and agree a deal before the Olympics, as his price may sour up if he has a good tournament in London.

DEMBA BA – NEWCASTLE UNITED (STRIKER)

With Tottenham in need of some serious striking reinforcements, the Newcastle United forward – Demba Ba is another name linked to Tottenham this summer. The Senegal international had a fantastic start to last season and went on to score 16 goals in 36 matches in total. With the 27-year-old available for just £7m till the end of July, due to a clause in his contract, Spurs are expected to face some stiff competition from a host of Premier League clubs including the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.

GIUSEPPE ROSSI – VILLARREAL (STRIKER)

The former Manchester United forward is a player who has been on Tottenham wish-list for many years now. With Adebayor back with Manchester City and too expensive to buy on a permanent deal, Rossi could be a good solution to the problem up front. The Italian has been in good goal scoring form since joining Villarreal in 2008 and could be available for as less as £15m since the Spanish club are relegated and are struggling with debts.

LOIC REMY – MARSEILLE (STRIKER)

Remy was one of the top transfer targets of Tottenham when Harry Redknapp was in charge of the club. The France international has expressed his desire to play for the White Hart Lane club despite the lack of Champions League football. The 26-year-old who is rated around £20m and has scored 14 goals for Marseille this past season, would be a very good addition to squad but it look like the new boss – Andre Villas-Boas doesn’t seem interested in him.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR – MANCHESTER CITY (STRIKER)

Adebayor spent the last season on loan at White Hart Lane, where he scored 17 goals in 33 Premier League matches. City are looking to reduce their wage bill because of the new Financial Fair Play Rules and the Togo international is most likely to be sold. According to the papers in UK, Spurs are very close to signing the former Arsenal forward on a permanent basis and the fee is reported to be in the region of £6m. If the reports are true then Adebayor will be a great signing for the club, keeping in mind his success last season.

Liverpool’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets


Liverpool have had a very strange season. Their performance in the league has been very terrible and they ended the season in eight position behind their Merseyside rivals Everton. However, their performances in the cups have been very impressive, as they won the Carling Cup and reached the finals of the FA Cup.

This summer, big changes have been made at Liverpool. A new management is in place along with a new head coach. Kenny Dalglish was shown the door after a poor season and he was replaced by the impressive young Brendan Rodgers. No new players have arrived at Anfield so far this summer but the Reds’ squad has been boosted by the returns of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani from their season-long loans.

HUGO LLORIS – LYON (GOALKEEPER)

There have been doubts raised over the future of Pepe Reina in the past couple of weeks. Reina has attracted some interest from Italy and has been linked with the likes of AC Milan and Inter Milan. Lloris is seen as a possible replacement for Reina, if the Spaniard decides to end his stay at Anfield. The Ligue 1 club are ready to sell the France skipper for a fee around €20m, but the Reds will face competition from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, who are also interested in the 25-year-old stopper.

JOLEON LESCOTT – MANCHESTER CITY (DEFENDER)

Despite the England man putting in some solid performances during UEFA EURO 2012 and having a very good previous season, Roberto Mancini is reportedly considering selling the former Everton player maybe because he isn’t glamorous enough to play for Manchester City. Lescott’s availability has interested Liverpool, who face the prospect of losing either Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel. Lescott would be more than good replacement for either of them but price tag could be a stumbling block.

RASMUS ELM – AZ ALKMAAR (MIDFIELDER)

The 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move to Anfield ever since the end of last season but nothing at all developed. According to some reports, the Reds have cooled down their interest in the AZ Alkmaar midfielder since the departure of Kenny Dalglish. If Liverpool do sign Swede international, he would be a good addition to the squad and will cost the Anfield club in the region of £8m.

VICTOR WANYAMA – CELTIC (MIDFIELDER)

The Kenyan international has earned rave reviews during his spell in Scotland with Celtic and has attracted interest from many top clubs from Italy, Spain, France and England. The 21-year-old who is valued around £6m-£7m arrived at Celtic Park last summer, for bargain fee of £900k from Belgian side Beerschot. The Kenyan midfielder who surely be a good signing for the future but won’t be a certain first team option and more of a cover for Lucas.

MARK DAVIES – BOLTON WANDERERS (MIDFIELDER)

According to the gossip columns, the Reds are reportedly interested in the Bolton Wanderers’ midfielder Mark Davies. The 24-year-old England U-19 international, who got relegated with the Wanderers, has also been target by Aston Villa and Newcastle United. The £5m rated midfielder would be a decent addition and increase the depth of the squad, but surely not regular first choice option.

JUAN MANUEL VARGAS – FIORENTINA (MIDFIELDER)

The 28-year-old Peruvian international has been linked with a move to Anfield a lot in the past couple of months but nothing has developed at all. Papers suggest, the Reds are still interested in Fiorentina winger, who can also play as a left back. The Serie A club value Vargas around £8m and he would really be a great addition to the Liverpool squad – keeping in mind they need a creative winger with Stewart Downing failing in his first season – but his age could count against him.

ADAM JOHNSON – MANCHESTER CITY (MIDFIELDER)

Adam Johnson is another winger Liverpool are interested in signing this summer. With Downing and Henderson both failing to deliver on the wings, so naturally strengthening the wings is Rodgers priority this summer. Johnson has fallen out of favour under Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and is looking to leave the Etihad Stadium in search of some regular first team action. The England international has attracted many Premier League clubs but he won’t come cheap as the asking price is said to be around £15m.

GASTON RAMIREZ – BOLOGNA (MIDFIELDER)

According to the reports, the Reds are set to step up their interest in the Bologna playmaker having missed on signing Gylfi Sigurdsson. The 21-year-old is an attacking central midfielder with an eye for goal and was impressive for his Serie A side during last season. Ramirez is rated around £16m by his Italian club and has attracted interest from many European clubs in the past one year with Manchester City being one of them. A chance to play alongside his Uruguayan teammates – Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates – could swing him in favour of Anfield over City.

VICTOR MOSES – WIGAN ATHLETIC (STRIKER)

Having helped Wigan Athletic survive relegation and stay in the Premier League last season, the Nigerian is ready to move to an ambitious club this summer and the Reds along with a few other Premier League clubs are interested in signing him. Moses will be a good addition to the squad but his consistency is a huge question. Liverpool are interested in signing the pacey forward but the papers in UK suggest that the former Crystal Palace man is close to signing for Chelsea.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – CHELSEA (STRIKER)

The Chelsea striker is said to be unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. With Liverpool struggling for goals during last season and reliable Dutchman Dirk Kuyt leaving the club; a move to bring in some addition attacking options seems almost certain. The 22-year-old pacey forward – who can also play on the wings – will add something different to the Liverpool attack but the Reds will face some tough competition for his signature from both Tottenham and Arsenal.

DEMBA BA – NEWCASTLE UNITED (STRIKER)

With Liverpool in need of some striking reinforcement, the Newcastle United forward – Demba Ba is another name linked to the Reds this summer. The Senegal international had a fantastic start to last season and went on to score 16 goals in 36 matches in total. With the 27-year-old available for just £7m till the end of July, due to a clause in his contract, the Reds are expected to face some stiff competition from a host of Premier League clubs including the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.

FABIO BORINI – AS ROMA (STRIKER)

Another striker linked to the Reds this summer is the former Chelsea and current AS Roma forward Fabio Borini. The 21-year-old Italy international is a known face to Rodgers having worked under him on loan at Swansea. Borini had a great time at the Liberty Stadium scoring 6 goals in 9 matches and later went on to become a hit with Roma. The young Italian, who has a £7m buyout clause in contract, will surely be a great signing for the Reds and will give the new boss with plenty of options upfront.

Arsenal’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

Arsenal had a strong end to the season after having started it with one of the worst starts in their history. The Gunners finished third behind the two Manchester clubs, but had to rely heavily on Robin van Persie’s goals.

This summer, Arsenal have already strengthen their attack by signing the likes of Lukas Podolshi & Oliver Giroud from FC Koln and Montpellier respectively, but they are set to lose their talismanic skipper after he announced yesterday that he has decided against signing a new contract. Arsene Wenger will have to dip in the transfer market and buy some players not only to replace Van Persie but also Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who left the club last summer. Here are Arsenal’s potential summer transfer targets..

HUGO LLORIS – LYON (GOALKEEPER)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that the club are ready to listen to offers for the France skipper Hugo Lloris, who is valued around €20m. With Wojciech Szczesny highly inconsistent and a bit less experienced, Lloris would be a great signing for the Gunners but they face some competition from a host of European clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool and AC Milan.

EMILIANO VIVIANO – PALERMO (GOALKEEPER)

With Manuel Almunia having left the Emirates and Lukasz Fabianski not interested in staying Szczesny’s deputy, Wenger has targeted the 26-year-old Palermo stopper Emiliano Viviano – who is co-owned by Inter Milan – as a possible cover. Neither club view him as a potential first choice for the new season, so his agent has been told he can negotiate a transfer. Fiorentina have also expressed a firm interest in Viviano along with some other Serie A clubs.

MAPOU YANGA-MBIWA – MONTPELLIER (DEFENDER)

The 23-year-old is another defender from Ligue 1 linked with the Gunners this season. Yanga-Mbiwa captained Montpellier to the title this season and was their stalwart in defence. The Montpellier skipper would be a very useful signing for Arsenal as they lack some strong backup for Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny. It has been suggested the player would cost in the region of £13m.

ABDOU KADER MANGANE – RENNES (DEFENDER)

Abou Kader Mangane, the 29-year-old Senegalese defender who Wenger has previously shown interest in, is another potential transfer target for the Gunners. The 6ft 4in Rennes centre-back will be a major physical presence at the back and will cost around £4-5m. He has also been linked with the likes of Sunderland and Everton in the past.

YANN M’VILA – RENNES (MIDFIELDER)

The 21-year-old will be a perfect signing for the Gunners and will be a rock alongside Alex Song in the midfield. With Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri having left last summer, the Gunners need some quality players in the midfield and M’Vila is surely one of those. Arsenal were once reported to be in ‘advanced negotiations’ with Rennes for the defensive midfielder’s services but nothing has progressed since then. The French international who has been capped 22 times would cost in the region of £20m.

LUCAS BIGLIA – ANDERLECHT (MIDFIELDER)

The experience midfielder is a second choice option for Arsene Wenger behind M’Vila. The 26-year-old Argentine international, who has 6 caps to his name, guided Anderlecht to their second consecutive Belgium league title this season. At just £8m asking price, Wenger may go for the cheaper option.

YOUNES BELHANDA – MONTPELLIER (MIDFIELDER)

The 22-year-old Moroccan is one of the upcoming stars in European football having helped Montpellier win their first ever Ligue 1 title. Belhanda was the standout performer scoring 12 goals and assisting 4 times in 28 matches. Wenger has expressed his interest in the versatile winger, who is rated in the region of £15m, but will face some competition from the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

ALAN DZAGOEV – CSKA MOSCOW (MIDFIELDER)

The 22-year-old had an outstanding UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland/Ukraine and was the join top goalscorer with three goals. The Russian international, who can play anywhere behind the striker, is valued at £13m by CSKA but with just six-months left on his contract,  the Russians may be forced to accept a lower asking price or lose him for nothing.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – CHELSEA (STRIKER)

The Chelsea striker is said to be unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. With Van Persie expected to leave, Wenger might try and sign the 22-year-old pacey forward – who can also play on the wings – but will face some tough competition for his signature from Tottenham, who have also expressed their interest in him.

SALOMON KALOU – FREE AGENT (STRIKER)

According to some reports in the England, Arsenal are interested in the former Chelsea forward who has a lot of Premier League experience and a Champions League winners medal to his name. Kalou is for free but will demand high wages and regular first team football. The Gunners will also face some stiff competition for his services from the likes of Lille, Schalke and Premier League rivals Liverpool.

KLAAS-JAN HUNTELAAR – SCHALKE (STRIKER)

The 28-year-old Dutchman, who has a €20m release clause in his contract, will be a ready-made replacement for his fellow Dutch teammate Robin van Persie at Arsenal. The Schalke hitman who has been on Arsenal’s radar for quite some time now, scored 29 times in 32 Bundesliga matches last season as his club finished third. The former Ajax striker is back to his best following disappointing spells at Real Madrid and AC Milan and will be hoping to try his trade in the Premier League.

SALOMON RANDON – MALAGA (STRIKER)

Randon is not very known outside Spain, but the Venezuelan striker is very highly-rated and was Malaga’s top goalscorer this season. According to the papers in Spain, Arsenal are preparing a £10m bid for him as they look to replace Robin van Persie, but at the same time Chelsea are also interested in him and want him as a cover for Fernando Torres.

5 Issues AVB Must Solve At White Hart Lane

Andre Villas-Boas has been appointed as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, just seven weeks after Harry Redknapp guided them to fourth place in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old’s appointment will create some concern at White Hart Lane following his disastrous tenure at west London rivals Chelsea last season where he was fired after just 27 league games in charge. The former Porto manager failed to convince the fans, the players or the owner that he was the right man to deliver them success. In order to avoid a repeat of the same fate with Spurs, here are five issues he must deal with at White Hart Lane..

1. Win Over The Dressing Room And The Supporters

At no stage during his spell at Chelsea did Villas-Boas got the full support of the dressing room. The former Porto manager’s age counted against him. He was 33 when he took over at Stamford Bridge, younger than senior players such as Frank Lampard and barely older than the captain John Terry. With no playing career and only a few years’ coaching experience, he lacked the dignity of older managers and when results didn’t go their way, the protesting voices grew. In the end, Abramovich directly blamed these critics within the squad for the premature end to the Villas-Boas’ tenure. But after a number of humiliating defeats, including the 3-1 defeat against Napoli that left them on the brink of exiting the Champions League, the fans had run out of patience as well.

At Spurs, Villas-Boas must create an immediate bond with his squad. This should be easier than at Chelsea with fewer big egos in the dressing room and he has the advantage of a full pre-season to shape his plans. A strong start in the league will banish the disappointment of Spurs missing out on Champions League qualification and help win over the fans, who would probably have wanted a more experienced manager.

2. Sort Out Luka Modric’s Future

An immediate priority will be to sort out the future of Luka Modric, who is reportedly wanted by Real Madrid and also is a long-term target of Manchester United. The Croatia playmaker, who was an integral part of Tottenham’s success under former manager Harry Redknapp, was promised a new deal last summer after rejected Chelsea’s approach, but he has yet to commit his future to the club. He has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football again and even though he was not at his best last season, he is still one of the most gifted midfielders in the Premier League.

With Modric not inspired by the prospect of playing yet another season in the Europa League, Villas-Boas must waste no time in persuading the most influencial players in his squad to have faith in his plans. If he still wants to leave, then Spurs should let him leave and cash in on him. A fee of £30m-£40m for the former Dinamo Zagreb playmaker who turns 27 soon, would be great business.

3. Strengthen The Defence

To compete for the Premier League or for a place in the Champions League next season, Villas-Boas needs to ensure his team have a very strong defence. That means going to the transfer market. The first priority will be to finalise a deal with Ajax for their skipper Jan Vertonghen. Negotiations for the Belgian international have dragged on all summer and a stage has come that he is already back in pre-season training with the Dutch club. But with most of the hard work completed, Villas-Boas should be able to quickly seal the deal.

Doubts remains over the future of Ledley King. He has become a hero in the eyes of many Tottenham fans after 14 years of loyal service to the club. But the question is how often will he feature in the forthcoming new season. His well-publicised chronic knee problems caught up with him towards the end of last season which may force him into retirement, where he is expected to be offered a coaching role. Such is his influence, if King breaks down again, it will leave a massive hole in the back line – despite the impressive form of Younes Kaboul and the return of Michael Dawson from injury. Vedran Corluka has already departed White Hart Lane this summer, joining Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow for £6m, but the need for defensive acquisitions is less urgent than bringing in new faces up front.

4. Bloster The Strikeforce

Following the departure of Louis Saha this summer and Emmanuel Adebayour’s return to his parent club Manchester City, Spurs have only one recognised striker in their squad – Jermain Defoe. The former Portsmouth forward scored 17 club goals last season – despite spending much time on the bench – but didn’t feature in England’s UEFA EURO 2012 campaign beyoung a 15 minute cameo against France.

Therefore, Villas-Boas will have to immediately dip into the transfer market to buy at least two strikers and his cause will be helped by the transfer budget expected to be given to him by Daniel Levy. Adebayor was a hit last season scoring 18 goals in 37 games but his wages, reported to be around £175,000 a week, have been an obvious stumbling block. If Tottenham can reach some sort of agreement with the former Arsenal man then they should. If that is not possible then another hitman must be pursued. Villas-Boas reportedly has his sights on the 22-year-old Chelsea frontman Daniel Sturridge, with a £10m bid being lined up but Roberto Di Matteo is keen to hang on to the player. Hulk would also be a perfect fit but he appears to be on his way to Chelsea. Brazil striker Leandro Damiao and Marseille’s Loic Remy are possible alternatives.

5. Get Rid Of The Deadwood

Although Andre Villas-Boas will want a big squad that will help him challenge for silverwares on all fronts, there are plenty players increasing the wage bill who could leave. Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen have already left, but there are still plenty of others who could be discarded. Giovani Dos Santos, Heurelho Gomes, Sebastien Bassong, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and a couple of more reserves players were all out of the first-team picture under Harry Redknapp. Clearing them off the wage bill would free up plenty of money for new signings.

Top Ten Strikers To Replace Drogba At Chelsea

It’s been less than 4 days since Drogba scored the two most important goals in Chelsea’s history which won them their first ever Champions League title, now the club and the striker have confirmed that the striker won’t be signing a new contract and will leave in the summer.

Actually, the news didn’t come as a surprise to many as it was quite rumoured since January that the striker won’t be signing a new deal at the club and will be moving on in the summer. In fact it’s the perfect time for the Ivorian to call it and end to his Stamford Bridge career as he will be leaving the club on a high note after guiding them to their first ever European success.

Now, it’s time for Chelsea to move forward and begin to search for the player who will fill in Drogba’s shoes at the club.It would be very difficult for the club to find some one like Drogba – who has done a lot for the Blues both on and off the field – but they will have to do their best to find an ideal replacement. Here, we look at the ten players who could replace the Ivorian at the club.

10. Papiss Cisse/Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

They both were unheard of in England before they joined Newcastle United and now they both are very well known throughout the world. They both have been a revelation for Newcastle this season helping them finish 5th in the league above Chelsea and securing a Europa League spot for the next season. Demba Ba has scored 16 goals this season, while Cisse has 13 to his name and both would perfectly fit in the Chelsea squad of superstars. But the move down to South looks unlikely this season as Alan Pardew would be very reluctant to let any one of them leave this summer, especially after qualifying for Europe.

9. Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen)

At only 21 years old, Andre Schurrle is a future star of German football. Despite his age he already has 12 international caps, notching up an impressive five goals in the process, and is expected to be Lukas Podolski’s understudy in Poland and Ukraine this summer. Chelsea are known to be interested, but he has only signed for Bayer Leverkusen in 2011, so it’s unlikely the German side would let him go unless the Blues pay above the odds.

8. Luuk De Jong (FC Twente) 

With 43 goals in 62 games for FC Twente, Luuk de Jong is one of the most prolific young strikers in European football. By the time he finished his 23rd league game for the Dutch side this year he had averaged a goal per game, including goals with both feet and his head, leading him to be linked with a series of big European sides like Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter Milan etc to name a few. De Jong does come from one of the weaker European Leagues however, so it would be risky to put too much faith in him from Chelsea’s perspective, but at the same time players coming from the Dutch league like Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Dirk Kuyt have flourished in the Premier League.

7. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

The Argentine is not as prolific in front of goal as his team-mate Edinson Cavani, but arguably more spectacular. Lavezzi is one of the jewels in Napoli’s crown. The Agrentine has been a success story for Napoli since join the newly crowned Copa Italia winners. Known for flourishing in a strike partnership, Lavezzi could be a brilliant foil to Torres. There have also been rumours about a fall out with current club president and the club have confirmed that the player may leave him if his buy-out clause of €31m is met.

6. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)

He has fallen down in the pecking order at Real Madrid just because Karim Benzema is playing so well. The Argentine is a real goal scoring threat and at just 24-years he is still has plenty of time to develop into one of the best strikers in the world. He has all the skill you want in a striker and has loads of experience at the highest level considering his age. He has already scored 103 goals in 220 matches for the La Liga champions during his six years at the club. The former River Plate striker’s future at the Bernabeau is in doubt. PSG and Chelsea rumoured to be the possible destination if he decides to leave the club.

5. Hulk (FC Porto)

He has been linked with a move to Chelsea for years now but nothing ever has materialized. This season again with Andre Villas-Boas coming in rumours were high but they went off when the transfer window closed but now again the rumours have started again and some papers also go on to state that the two clubs have agreed a fee and the Blues are in advanced talks with the player. Whether its true or not remains to be seen. Speaking about the player, the Brazilian is known for his physical presence and goals from the wing, but after failing to shine against English clubs in the past, the Blues may have concerns over his suitability to the English game.

4. Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)

The 27-year-old target man has been Athletic Bilbao’s star this season with 29 goals in all competitions. The 6ft 5in striker has been key in Bilbao’s success in the Europa League this season, which saw they reach the final of the tournament only to be beaten by Atletico Madrid. On their way to final they defeated Manchester United both at home and away and Llorente scored important goals in both the legs. The Bilbao youth academy player has also attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham, so if Chelsea want to sign him they will face some stiff competition and will have to sign him before the Euros or else could risk being priced out.

3. Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

The war for Edinson Cavani’s signature rages on, with Chelsea understandably desperate to grab him after his performances against them in the Champions League. A deal to bring both the Uruguayan and strike-partner Lavezzi together would be ideal, but realistically it would be a difficult move to orchestrate for any club. City are thought to be leading the race for Cavani currently as they are ready offer him huge wages, so Chelsea will need to pull out the stops to ensure that the man who has scored 33 goals for Napoli this season doesn’t end up at the Etihad.

2. Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

If the Colombian striker was a hit at Porto then he has been super-hit at Atletico Madrid this season. The striker who was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last summer before signing the Red and White side of Madrid, has scored 36 goals this season for the Los Colchoneros and is only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the goal scoring list. The former River Plate striker has won the Europa League twice in two season and has scored in both the finals. According to reports in England, he is Chelsea’s number one target to replace Drogba but the European champions will have to pay as much as £50m to acquire his services who still has four years left on his contract.

1. Fernando Torres/Romelu Lukaku/Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)

Torres is a natural successor to Didier Drogba that Chelsea have got. The £50m striker hasn’t yet justified his price tag and maybe this could be the perfect opportunity for him to rise to occasion and come out from the shadows of Drogba. The Ivorian himself has tipped Torres to be the future and it could be true as we all know that the Spaniard has immense of talent and potential in him to become the next Chelsea legend. The Blues already have young talented strikers in their squad in Romelu Lukaku and Daniel Sturridge. The European champions with the help of a good coach could develop the duo while Torres becomes the main man at the club to fill in the big shoes of Didier Drogba.