A Solution To The Left Back Situation at Lyon

With Lyon’s flying left back Ferland Mendy’s move to Los Blancos looking imminent, I will be looking at options they could add to replace the Frenchman.

This season Mendy has proven to be pivotal to OL, playing 44 games over the course of the season scoring 3 and assisting 3 but it was his overall performance that has earned him his pending move to one of the most decorated and biggest teams in world football and that’s why Lyon will need a better than good player to replace him

Lucas Digne

Everton, France

Despite only joining the Merseyside based club last summer Digne could already be on the move. The Everton left back had an outstanding season which has seen him lauded by some as the second best in the Premier League in his position. Digne’s attacking prowess – his crossing, decisions when passing and concentration would allow him to play to Dembélé’s strengths and make him a great fit for Lyon.

Kieran Tierney

Celtic, Scotland

The second choice to succeed Ferland Mendy is young Scottish left back Kieran Tierney. On the radar of many a club, Tierney has been impressing a lot of European teams for seasons with rumours of a big move surfacing every window and with his position opening up at a club like Lyon he would have the opportunity to play alongside former team-mates Jason Denayer and prior-mentioned Moussa Dembélé. Despite being restricted to only 19 league appearances this season due to a hernia injury the Celtic defender would still be an ideal fit to fill Ferland’s boots at the Groupama Stadium due to his great strength and pace which allows him to drive forward whenever he picks up the ball and a great defensive side to his play too.

Pedro Rebocho

Guingamp, Portugal

The cheaper alternative, Rebocho has plenty of Ligue 1 experience under his belt with Guingamp and with Las Costarmoricains being relegated to Ligue 2 the left back will be going for a cut-price. Interesting Premier League clubs such as Watford and Leicester, just like Digne – Pedro Rebocho’s attacking side is a massive strength of his, only Ligue 1 team of the season right back Kenny Lala creating more chances than Rebocho this season (for a defender). Rebocho would be a good addition for Lyon as it would allow them to somewhat mend the left back problem for nearly pennies, letting them spend elsewhere and maybe get a better replacement for captain, Fekir or whoever else jumps ship.

Weekly Transfer Round Up – 20/5/2019 – 26/5/2019

Completed Transfers

Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach to Borussia Dortmund. € 50 million

The first ‘big deals’ of the window is a very exciting and smart one. German giants Borussia Dortmund have activated the release clauses of both Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt, both of at the relatively small fee of around 25 million euros. It’s good business by Dortmund with other clubs from around the continent interested they have saved themselves the hassle of a war for the players by buying earlier. The deals also represent extremely good value for money, something that has become a trend with Dortmund in recent years. Transfermarkt values the players at roughly 45 million euros each and Hazard is in his prime at 26 years old and Brandt is already an established name in German football at the tender age of 23. For Dortmund it provides depth and two rotation players who can both play on both flanks as well as central. It is also notable that American winger Christian Pulisic has now finally joined Chelsea so more firepower was needed out wide and these two are the perfect duo to give them that. Presumably neither will be a consistent starter with Dortmund possessing the talents of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus in the wide areas, but if they were to the starting lineup could look something like the picture on the left, assuming they sign Paco Alcacer.

Signing Rating- Hazard- 8/10, Brandt 9/10

Vincent Kompany – Manchester City To Anderlecht, Free (Player – Manager)

This could be the strangest one out of the lot and the one that could go either way. On one hand Vincent Kompany is an incredible leader (and still a fantastic player) and has learned from the best of the best. On the other hand there will be huge expectations for Kompany to hit the ground running in Belgium. The Belgian league is very competitive and Anderlecht have underachieved in the last few seasons, after winning the title in 2016-17 they finished 3rd the following season and 6th this year. A revival is needed at the club and if Kompany is the one to lead the team back to the big time then his stock will rise and he will be in the frame for a lot of jobs around Europe. While I respect Anderlecht for taking a huge risk on an inexperienced manager and having a player-manager, something rare in the modern game, but truth be told the reason for the lack of player-managers is because they rarely succeed. Kompany will need guidance and help to establish himself and construct a team that fits his vision and then take that forward and challenge for titles and progress in Europe. Alternatively Anderlecht may slide further down the table and Kompany could be left without a job. I’ll be keeping tabs on them and I’ll be one of the many cheering the Belgian on in hope he can make a successful career in management.

Transfer Rumours

Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United to Inter Milan, £30 million + Ivan Perisic

This is an extremely interesting rumour for both teams, according to many outlets Inter Milan are desperate to land Man United’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku and are willing to offer up long term United target Perisic. While this deal wouldn’t be fantastic for United, losing a player they brought in for nearly £90 million plus Wayne Rooney just two years ago, for £30 million and a 30 year old winger who scored 8 goals last season but it could turn out well for United. Losing Lukaku would allow them to either deploy Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford as their main striker and put Perisic out wide, or sign a new striker and stick Perisic in midfield. However whatever Ole and United do is irrelevant to the situation at Inter Milan. Argentine forward Mauro Icardi has been linked to Juventus however there are still no strong rumours (hence why there’s no section in this blog for that move) and even if Icardi stays in Milan, well a front two of Icardi and Lukaku isn’t exactly anything to be snuffed at. While Lukaku gets his fair share of criticism he would be a perfect fit beside Icardi in Italy, using his big frame and immense strength to compete with the defensive brutality we associate with Italian football. Alongside the more technical, talented Icardi the two could work wonders up front and finally be the key to shooting Inter back to the big time.

Image: GETTY

Joao Cancelo – Juventus to Manchester City, £52 million

This is one I really like from Man City’s side. Joao Cancelo is one of, if not the best right back in the world at the moment and Kyle Walker has fallen out of favour with Guardiola. When you consider the current climate of the transfer market in which Wilfred Zaha is being valued at between 70 and 100 million, 52 isn’t as terribly expensive as it first seems. Cancelo would also be ideal if Guardiola ever decides to change to a system with wing backs like he sometimes does in big games. He was also linked at the start of this season to both Man City and their neighbours before Juventus snapped him up and has been linked to both sides again this year and it looks as if City have won the battle against United, once again. At just 24 he will be a key part of Guardiola’s future plan for European dominance that he’s been building at the Etihad for the last few years and will prove to be a formidable fullback. He’s some I like a lot, fast, energetic, intelligent, exciting and a real modern fullback. I’m excited to see him in the premier league in a Guardiola side he’ll compliment well.

Image: GETTY

Why Celtic don’t need to buy a Scott Sinclair replacement.

When Scott Sinclair arrived in Glasgow in 2016 he became an instant hit with the Celtic fans scoring the winner in a 2-1 win on the opening day against Hearts. On the exact same day he was announced. Over the course of his first season at Celtic Park Sinclair continued to transform into some what of a hero scoring 21 league goals and laying on another 7 adding on to numerous G+A in the domestic cups. 

But now we are approaching the third season since the former Man City winger had his elementary season with the Scottish League Champions and his love from the Celtic fans is fading away as he now plays second fiddle to Johnny Hayes, a 31 year old Irish winger.

Due to a clause in Sinclair’s contract, Scott is now being paid £40k to warm the bench at Parkhead, meaning, albeit it isn’t his fault, he has fell even further down Celtic fans affection list.  This contract means that on what looks like his final year at Celtic, he will be being paid the largest wage in the whole of Scottish football. Something that won’t look attractive on Celtic’s wage bill. 

Scott Sinclair’s decadence has not been something that’s been difficult to spot after his debut year. Turning from a 20+ goal winger who strikes fear into the hearts of every teams full back and their fans to being a player that brings relief when seeing his name on the Celtic team sheet.

At Celtic, wingers have in recent history, never been a position where they are short of. As under contract right now the club have 7 (seven) first team wingers, excluding Oli Burke who has just returned to West Brom from his hardly impressive loan spell. This is the reason why Celtic should not look for a ‘Sinclair replacement’. 

The main player who should be seen as Sinclair’s successor is Michael Johnston, a 20 year old Scottish left midfielder who has scored 5 goals in 7 starts this year, only one less than this seasons Young Player of The Year and Team of The Season left midfielder Ryan Kent – who made 18 more starts. Johnston also averaged goal every 136 minutes over the course of the season. 

In January, Celtic recruited another winger, Maryan Shved from Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv. Although the standard may not translate from Ukraine to Scotland the attacker is quite evidently talented. Scoring 14 in 24 with his side in Ukraine and contributing to 3 assists. 

This Sunday, coincidentally in a 2-1 win against Hearts, 16 year old wonder-kid, born in 2003, Karamoko Dembele made his first team debut for Celtic becoming the youngest ever player to have played for Celtic. The talent played a 30 minute cameo and showed signs that he has the talent people are raving about. If implemented correctly Karamoko could be a Sinclair replacement for years to come, free of charge. 

Another upside of not buying a replacement winger is that the staggering £40,000 Celtic pay Sinclair may be added to improving areas that are more barren, perhaps a Boyata replacement due to the defender heading to the Bundesliga or finally a new right back.