Tag Archives: Demba Ba

Premier League’s Top Ten Most Deadliest Strikers

Who is the best striker in the Premier League? That is perhaps one of the hottest debates in the world of football and could go on for days. 

Some teams with a huge transfer budget spend huge amounts of money in hope of landing a proven goal scorer with a knack of finding the back of the net and in order to guarantee themselves a regular goal supply up front. But, it doesn’t work like that and who knows better than Chelsea. While, Premier League’s record signing Fernando Torres has struggled, there are many players still going who appear in the top ten.

In the present game where winning means everything and second place is nothing, there can be no more precious asset than goals and goalscorers. So, who is the most deadliest striker in the league? Luckily for us, Opta Stats have come up with a list of the top ten strikers who statistically are the most clinical finishers in the Premier League till date. In our today’s Picture Special, we have a look at those top ten strikers…

Note – Minimum requirement to enter the list is that the striker should have played atleast 15 games.

1. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City | Goals – 28, Mins/Goal – 117 mins 11 secs)

2. Javier Hernandez (Manchester United | Goals – 28, Mins/Goal – 120 mins 15 secs)

3. Thierry Henry (Arsenal | Goals – 175, Mins/Goal – 121 mins 47 secs)

4. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City | Goals – 22, Mins/Goal – 128 mins 09 secs)

5. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United | Goals – 95, Mins/Goal – 128 mins 11 secs)

6. Robin van Persie (Arsenal & Manchester United | Goals – 105, Mins/Goal – 137 mins 25 secs)

7. Hernan Crespo (Chelsea | Goals – 20, Mins/Goal – 140 mins 39 secs)

8. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers & Newcastle United | Goals – 260, Mins/Goal – 142 mins 52 secs)

9. Mario Balotelli (Manchester City | Goals – 20, Mins/Goal – 147 mins 35 secs)

10. Demba Ba (Newcastle United | Goals – 31, Mins/Goal – 149 mins 23 secs)

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 11

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eleventh weekend in the Premier League. West Ham United are the only side to provide two players, while there is one each from Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Stoke City, Norwich City and Everton.

Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham United)

Kevin Nolan returned to St. James Park to haunt his old club, but the win was only possible thanks to a wonder save by the West Ham shot-stopper. Demba Ba thought he had levelled matters for Newcastle with a powerful header, but the keeper sprang across his goal to claw the ball away before it crossed the line.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

For some time, the Blues have struggled to find a solid right-back who can fulfill the role with consistency and the Chelsea new-boy looks like he might be the one who can cope with the demands of playing in the Chelsea defence without buckling under the pressure. He was impressive against Shakhtar Donetsk and even more adventurous against Liverpool.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)

The former Manchester United defender has enjoyed an excellent start to the season and looks set to challenge for a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England side in the next few months, and that continued on Saturday as he put in a commanding display in the Potters’ 1-0 win over QPR. He kept Djibril Cisse quiet for the whole game and was also a threat inside the attacking third.

Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City)

It was one of those desperate games for Norwich where they had to put their bodies on the line to defend but in the end they earned a valuable point against Reading. The former Tottenham and Newcastle man had one of his best games of the season as he single-handedly kept Jason Roberts, Stephen Hunt, Jobi McAnuff and Pavel Pogrebnyak quiet.

Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

Chelsea’s lack of width in the midfield gave Enrique all kinds of space and the Spaniard needs no invitation to go forward. He controlled the left flank for the Reds against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He was unable to keep a clean sheet, but impressed for Brendan Rodgers’ side and almost scored an injury time winner.

Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

Scoring two goals against Manchester United and ending on the losing side felt like ‘losing a cup final’ to Weimann. He can, however, take plenty of heart from the fact that he was able to breach a Manchester United defence on two occasions. His first was an unstoppable drive which fizzed past David de Gea and his second saw him display some predatory instincts inside the box.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

The Belgian midfielder is in the form of his life and there is no doubt he is attracting so much of interest from the top clubs. He has taken his game to a new level this season with talismanic displays put in on a weekly basis. Another inspirational showing on Saturday saw him score one and make the other for Nikica Jelavic as the Toffees overcame Sunderland 2-1.

Kevin Nolan (West Ham United)

Nolan gets the nod over Tottenham’s Sandro and Manchester City’s David Silva, as he collected three points and scored the winner for West Ham against his former employers at St. James Park. The former Bolton man put in yet another professional display for his side and not only scored the only goal of the game but also provided Andy Carroll with a chance to seal the game.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

It has taken a while for Giroud to get going in the Premier League, but he is now displaying the kind of form which saw him score for fun in France and earn international recognition. The powerful frontman netted a brace against Fulham over the weekend, with the only surprise being that a man brimming with confidence did not step up to take a late penalty.

Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)

Manchester United’s brilliant comeback win over Aston Villa has been mentioned a lot in this past week but it would have been impossible without this man. Voted as United’s player of the month, Hernandez started from the bench but was introduced at the interval to devastating effect. He completely turned the game on its head with his brilliant hat-trick and went home with the match-ball.

Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

While Giroud was good for Arsenal on Saturday, Berbatov was even better. He too helped himself to a brace, but also provided an assist as Fulham held Arsenal to a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates. The Bulgarian’s class was seen, as he controlled the game at his own pace, and the composure he displayed in slotting home a penalty perfectly illustrated what he is all about.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 7

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting seventh weekend in the Premier League. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have provided two players each, while there is one each from Manchester City, Reading, Southampton, West Brom and Wigan.

Alex McCarthy (Reading)

The young stopper has made the number one jersey his own in the absence of the injured Adam Federici and he continued to shine during the Royal’s 2-2 draw at Swansea. McCarthy made eight superb saves to deny Swans from taking the lead, but couldn’t prevent the Royals throwing away a two-goal lead.

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

The Serbian is having one of his best seasons at Stamford Bridge and again on Saturday he was at his very best. He crossed in for Fernando Torres to score Chelsea’s second of the game and then he himself volleyed in towards the end of the game – Chelsea’s fourth – which wrapped up the game for the leaders. The right-back has now scored the same number of league goals as Fernando Torres.

Jose Fonte (Southampton)

Fonte rescued the Saints from defeat at home against Fulham with a last-minute goal which sealed a 2-2 draw at the St Mary’s. The Portuguese had earlier made his mark on the match by scoring Southampton’s opening goal after just four minutes, when he forced home Adam Lallana’s corner.

Jonny Evans (Manchester United) 

The United defence has been criticized a lot this season, but on Sunday they were at their best and kept a clean sheet against Newcastle at St James’ Park. Evans was particularly the star of back four, as he didnt only keep Papiss Cisse (later Shola Ameobi) and Demba Ba quiet for the whole game but also opened the scoring for the Red Devils early in the game with a powerful header from a Robin van Persie corner.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) 

The Serbian full-back was City’s main man as they registered a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday. Kolarov put his team in the lead after just four minutes with a brilliant free-kick. Later on, in the second half he crossed in for Sergio Aguero to score City’s second and then played a role in James Milner’s goal – City’s third – late in the game.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s summer signing again showed his true class as he pulled the strings in midfield in the Gunners’ 3-1 win over West Ham. The Spaniard troubled the hosts with his passing and capped a commanding display by adding the Gunners’ third goal, curling home a wonderful strike from 25 yards.

Juan Mata (Chelsea)

The Spaniard joins his Chelsea teammate Ivanovic in this team. Mata put in another intelligent display and was undoubtedly the top performer for the Blues in the 4-1 win over Norwich at home. He didn’t get on the score-sheet but he played a role in three out of the four goals they scored and was at the heart of every Chelsea attack.

James Morrison (West Brom)

Morrison is a surprise inclusion in this week’s Team of the Week but the Baggies midfielder played a key role in helping his team win against QPR on Saturday.  He showed some great determination in scoring West Brom’s opener after just five minutes and didn’t fade at all as the game progressed.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

The England and Manchester United striker played at the top of United’s new midfield diamond and was at his best. He didn’t find back of the net but put in a tireless shift and was often the link between the attack and the midfield. He put in one of his best performances of the season and reminded everyone how a good a player he is even if he isn’t scoring goals.

Arouna Kone (Wigan Athletic)

Scoring twice against a disciplined Everton side is not at all an easy thing to do and the Ivorian did that on Saturday. He tormented the Toffees back four for 90 minutes and was denied his first Premier League hat-trick only by some great defending. One of the bargain buys of the season.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

The France international striker makes his debut in our Team of the Week after a fine display at Upton Park, which included a goal – his first in the league – and an assist. He equalised for the Gunners in the first half with an instinctive finish at the near post and then set up Theo Walcott to score Arsenal’s second of the game.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 6

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting sixth weekend in the Premier League. Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have provided two players each, while there is one each from Sunderland, Stoke, Manchester United, Everton and Newcastle.

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)

The Belgium international played a vital role in ensuring Sunderland registered their first win of the season. Mignolet made series of superb saves to keep Wigan at bay and also added to his clean sheet at Arsenal.

John Terry (Chelsea)

After the week he had, everyone though he won’t be completed focused on the game but he proved everyone wrong. The Chelsea skipper lead his team to victory by marshaling his troops and was rock solid at the back.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)

The Stoke skipper was as solid as a rock at the back along with Robert Huth. Shawcross symbolises the hard working and fierce nature of Tony Pulis’ side as he worked tirelessly to limit Swansea’s threat and keep a clean sheet.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Belgium international has to be one of the signings of the season. The versatile centre-back who started as a left-back combined with Gareth Bale to score the opening goal within two minutes which helped Spurs beat United at Old Trafford for the first time since 1989.

Juan Mata (Chelsea)

The Spaniard was the best player on the pitch against Arsenal. He troubled the Gunners’ defence in open play and was equally dangerous from set-pieces. His freekick in the second half won the Blues the game. He was the difference between the two sides.

Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

The 37-year-old, who came out of retirement last season, has been one of United’s top player in the midfield this season and against Spurs he was again at his very best. His perfect diagonals and long balls seemed as the only outlet for the Red Devils and he was at the heart of almost everything of the comeback effort.

Nuri Sahin (Liverpool)

The Turkey international scored both the goals in the Capital One Cup win over West Brom during the midweek and was once again at his very best against Norwich on Saturday. The on loan star from Real Madrid scored his first ever league goal for the Reds in his third league appearance and completely bossed the midfield.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Welshman was one of the star performers for the Andre Villas-Boas’ team against United as he was no match for Rio Ferdinand and his defensive colleagues. He ran from the halfway line into the United box before striking a right-foot shot past Anders Lindegaard. He also set up Clint Dempsey’s second half winner.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez was perhaps the best player of the weekend as he repeated his last season’s hat-trick at Carrow Road as he troubled the Canaries. The Uruguayan international had chances to score more goals but was very unselfish at times as he set up Nuri Sahin and was denied a clear cut penalty.

Nikica Jelavic (Everton)

The Croatian international forward has not lived up to the standards he set last season but looked very sharp against Southampton as he scored twice to help Everton ease past the Saints 3-1 at Goodison Park.

Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

Newcastle’s Senegalese striker is one of forwards who has been in some top goal scoring form this season and he proved that by scoring a brace against Reading. His both the goals were worth a mention as the first one was a magnificent volley, while the second one was very controversial.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 4

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting third weekend in the Premier League. Aston Villa, Arsenal and Tottenham have provided two players each, while there is one each from Stoke, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Fulham.

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

The American completely justified Paul Lambert’s decision to select him ahead of the experienced Shay Given with some stunning saves. The saves from Nathan Dyer and Ashley Williams were the key moments in the match and the difference between the two sides.

Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa)

The 23-year-old was a perfect example of Lambert’s policy of playing youngsters who are eager to establish themselves in the top flight. He scored an absolute belter as his first Premier League goal and also played his part in Villa’s first clean sheet of the season to mark a performance to remember.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)

It was not at all an easy task of keeping Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko at bay for the whole match, but the Stoke skipper did it. His goal-line clearance denied the reigning Premier League of all three points. A battling performance by the former Manchester United player and a future England regular.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

The former Ajax skipper has settled nicely with life in Tottenham’s defence and had little trouble dealing with Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Belgium international was equal to the Russian’s goal threat and snuffed out the Royals’ main attacking option. He will only be disappointed of not keeping a clean-sheet.

Alexander Buttner (Manchester United)

Put in a Man-of-the-Match performance on his debut. He was a big threat going forward but never ignored his defensive duties. He assisted Chicharito’s goal with a shot across goal and then went past three defenders to open his own account with a shot from a very acute angle. His display surely must have given Patrice Evra some nightmares.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

What a signing this man has been for the Gunners. Completely bossed the midfield and his incisive passing effortlessly tore the Saints apart on Saturday. The Spainish international is becoming a regular in the Premier League Team of the Week along with Jan Vertonghen and has created a total of 18 chances this season – the most by any place.

Javi Garcia (Manchester City)

Excellent debut by the former Benfica star at the Britannia Stadium. The defensive midfielder is not known for his scoring but he did pop up with a headed equaliser and also came close to scoring a second but was only denied by a very good Asmir Begovic save.

Lukas Podolski (Arsenal)

The German international opened his goal scoring account for his new club – Arsenal against Liverpool at Anfield before the international break and continue his goal scoring form with a cracking free-kick against Southampton to double the Gunners’ lead in the first half.

Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

The Senegal striker started from the bench but he made the difference when he came on at half time for the second half. He scored within minutes of his arrival and then did the same again in the last minute to secure the share of points against Everton at Goodison Park.

Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

In his home debut for Fulham, he put in a classy performance to help Fulham beat West Brom at Craven Cottage. He opened the scoring with a curling effort and then sent his former Manchester United team-mate Ben Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot. Looking like a very good signing for the Cottagers.

Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)

A sterling performance by the in-form Englishman, who again proved his finishing abilities. He led the line superbly and grabbed a deserved brace to see-off Reading and earn Spurs their first win of the new season. His first goal was a neat first-time finish, while his second one was with a superb run and finish.

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Newcastle United

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Newcastle United’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Alan Pardew.
Captain: Fabricio Coloccini.
Stadium: St. James Park (52,409).
Last season: 5th.
Leading scorer (PL): Demba Ba (16).
Odds: Title 175-1. Relegation 30-1.

In: Vurnon Anita (£6.7m, Ajax), Romain Amalfitano (Free, Stade de Reims), Gaël Bigirimana (£1.1m, Coventry), Curtis Good (£400k, Melbourne Heat)

Out: Samuel Adjei (Released), Leon Best (£3.3m, Blackburn), Fraser Forster (£2.2m, Celtic), Danny Guthrie (Free, Reading), Jeff Henderson (Free, Sligo Rovers), Tamás Kádár (Free, Roda JC), Peter Lövenkrands (Free, Birmingham), Alan Smith (Released)

Kits

Key Man – Papiss Cisse
Newcastle United’s latest No.9 has become an instant hit among the fans after scoring an excellent 13 Premier League goals in 13 starts, having only arrived in January 2012 from Bundesliga side Freiburg. Cisse has overtaken his compatriot, Demba Ba as the club’s main forward and if he is able to continue his form of last season, then Newcastle could have yet another successful campaign.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Tottenham (H)
25-Aug – Chelsea (A)
02-Sep – Aston Villa (H)
17-Sep – Everton (A)
22-Sep – Norwich (H)
29-Sep – Reading (A)

Probable Formation (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ba, Cisse.

Verdit: Alan Pardew was named Manager of the Year for last season’s heroics as the Toon Army exceeded all their expectations. A Europa League campaign awaits as a reward, and if Cisse fires again, expect the Magpies to be in for another positive season. They have not spent much on getting in new players – except the Vurnon Anita deal which was completed today – while the teams above them have improved. It will be difficult for them to get as close as they did to Champions League football last season. Hatem Ben Arfa needs to be kept fit and happy because at his best he is just unstoppable. The biggest goal threat comes from Cisse – with defenders more aware of him now, it remains to be seen if he can carry on his incredible scoring form this season. The Magpies have managed to keep hold of their best player and have a very strong foundation in place but I think a few more signing will be needed to be made if they are aiming to finish above the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham.

Prediction: 7th.

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.

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.

Premier League 2011/12 Season Review – Part 2

Wow!! What a season it has been. It surely goes down as one of the best seasons ever of the Premier League since its formation 20 years back. We witnessed some epic battles for almost every position in the league. Was it the fight to be crowned the Champions of the country or was it the fight to stay up in the Premier League we were entertained till the very last minute.

Will the Blue half of Manchester celebrate their first ever league win since 1968, we have decided to review the complete season in two parts. Here is Part Two.

Player of The Season – Robin van Persie

The Arsenal skipper has been in the form of his life this season. The PFA Player of The Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year has almost single-handedly carried his team’s goal threat this season with a remarkable number of 37 goals in 47 appearances – only Theo Walcott is the other Arsenal player who has managed to score more than 10 goals this season. With Champions League football guaranteed for the next season and some good players joining the Gunners in the summer, the Dutch striker might just sign a new contract at the Emirates.

Manager of The Season – Roberto Mancini

Many would have gone for Alan Pardew or Roberto Martinez for their brilliant work with Newcastle and Wigan respectively this season. But for me it has to be Roberto Mancini. He has done a tremendous job at the Etihad this season. Yes, yes, he had loads of money to spend and had the best squad in the Premier League at his disposal but that didn’t make his job any easier. The Italian had to make the big-name players play together as team and also at the same time had to deal with a lot of the big-egos in Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He kept the squad motivated when United were eight points clear at the top in early April and looked like running away with the title.

Match of The Season – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

This has been the toughest choice of all. We have witnessed so many entertaining and memorable matches this season but in the end the 10-goal thriller at Old Trafford topped them all. United inflicted total humiliation on Arsenal, who recorded their worst ever defeat since 1896. Gunners came into this match with several players in defence and midfield either injured or suspended, while Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had left the club for Barca and City respectively. Wayne Rooney was United’s inspiration with a hatrick, but Ashley Young also bagged a brace of two stunning goals. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji Sung and Nani also got their names on the score-sheet. Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie got very little consolation for the Gunners, while David De Gea saved a first half penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent-off in the second half.

Goal of The Season – Papiss Cisse (2nd Goal) v Chelsea

The Senegalese striker had already given Newcastle the lead at Stamford Bridge with a left-foot volley in the 19th minute and when the game went into the 10 minutes of injury time, he topped that with a stunning shot from the outside of his right foot. Shola Ameobi touched down a throw into his path. The striker controlled it with his chest before striking a swerving angled shot that curved cruelly from left to right and ended up into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless.

Signing of The Season – Papiss Cisse

The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena and he just edges out his compatriot and Newcastle teammate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he has had. Many players take time to settle down with their new clubs but Cisse has settled in quickly at his new club and has managed to score a record breaking 13 goals 14 league appearances this season. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle have had such a successful season.

Flop of The Season – Stewart Downing

Liverpool paid a huge amount of £20m to get the England winger from Aston Villa in the summer. Everyone including Kenny Dalglish thought Downing could be the perfect player to get best out of Andy Carroll but it didn’t work out. Downing, an England hopeful and will probably always remain one, has made 36 appearances for the Reds in the league this season and has – wait for it – zero goals and zero assists to his name. Liverpool fans can argue that he was the Man of the Match in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City but you can’t argue to the fact that he has been a complete waste of money and the flop of this season.

Team of the Season