Nabil Fekir: Why Premier League Clubs Should Be Queueing Up to Sign Him

He’s 25-years old. 

He’s scored 71 career goals. 

He’s got 46 assists to his name. 

He’s been widely regarded as one of the most talented creative talents in Europe over the past year. But oddly, no-one seems to want Nabil Fekir.

No-one in the Premier League at least. That seems almost unfathomable, given he was valued around €70m last year as Liverpool furiously hunted him down. Manchester City and Arsenal have also shown interest, if we believe what we read.

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So what’s changed?

First off, many say that he hasn’t yet proven himself at the highest level because he’s spent his whole career playing in Ligue 1 with Lyon. Many also say that he would struggle to keep up with the best the Premier League has to offer, going missing in tough away games – which, let’s be honest, are becoming more regular as the seasons go on.

To put this argument to bed, one must only have to look at his performances in Europe. 

The 2017/18 Europa League campaign saw Fekir score as Lyon dispatched of Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park, before they then ran riot with a 3-0 victory at the Groupama Stadium. Captaining a side who comfortably saw off the Toffees is one indication that he’s up to it.

Fast-forward to last season’s Champions League and Fekir notched three goals and two assists in his six group stage matches. Not bad, eh?

More importantly, Fekir was instrumental in Lyon’s 2-1 dismantling of Pep Guardiola’s Man City at the Etihad – where he was involved in both goals. Outside of his goal contributions, his overall performance was top drawer – oozing class on the ball and demonstrating great composure and vision.

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Whether he’s playing as an attacking midfielder or a little further forward, Fekir is one hell of an option to have at your disposal. 

His versatility and intricate technique have already shown that he can create chances, for himself and his teammates. He’s adept at bringing wingers into the game, can drop deep to play in a strike partner or can lead the line himself – traits that aren’t easy to find at the highest level on a consistent basis.

Last season’s successes of Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele are no doubt related to the ability of their captain to constantly involve them in the game. Which makes you wonder why teams, such as Arsenal, are reluctant to go all out for his signature.

With the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubemeyang latching onto, and finishing, the majority of chances they can get hold of, surely the key is to bring in some quality that can consistently create chances?

Luxury players such as Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are brilliant at 4.30pm on a Saturday when their side is 2-0 up and cruising at the Emirates, but to compete at the top of the Premier League, you need players who can instigate that 2-1 midweek win at Goodison Park.


As reported by the ​Mirror, Arsenal have been given the chance to sign the French star for just £30m, a bargain in the current transfer market. Although Unai Emery’s side are clearly running on tight financial restrictions, they may regret not taking advantage of what could be the bargain of the transfer window.

As for Liverpool, the Fekir transfer saga has raged on for over a year now. After the then 24-year-old’s extremely impressive 2017/18 season, where he netted 23 times, Jurgen Klopp attempted to make him the latest addition at Anfield for roughly £52m – almost double his current value. However, the deal fell through due to unspecified medical issues, which could be an ongoing issue that hinders his switch to the Premier League.

It may also be a question of Fekir not fitting in with ​Liverpool’s midfield three, who act more as runners, while the front three have their names on the starting lineup inked in permanent marker. 

However, if those in the north West are open to the idea of Philippe Coutinho returning, there is no reason why they should ignore the much cheaper, and possibly more reliable, option that plays at Lyon.

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Sadly, injuries have followed the gifted midfielder ever since a cruciate ligament rupture in 2015 kept him on the sidelines for the whole season. Recurring knee problems have followed in late 2016 and early 2018. Complications even occurred during the 2018 World Cup. This could be the sole reason why the undoubtedly talented playmaker and goalscorer hasn’t already been playing in the ​Premier League for at least a season. 

When fit, though, Lyon’s captain is undoubtedly one of the best in Europe and would thrive in the Premier League. This, coupled with his reasonable transfer value, make him a must for any side wanting to make a statement of intent for next season, regardless of the injuries.

Teams will need to act fast – with La Liga mid-table dwellers Real Betis seemingly pursuing a deal. Remarkably, they may end up getting their man – though one can’t help but feel he’s capable of bigger and better things.

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Arsenal Waiting on Zinedine Zidane Approval to Seal Dani Ceballos Loan Deal

​Arsenal are edging closer to sealing a season-long loan deal for Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos, with just the green light from Zinedine Zidane all that stands in their way to clinch a move for the Spanish midfielder.

Madrid have wasted no time in restructuring their squad ahead of the new season, with a total transfer fee outlay at around €300m already spent on deals for Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

Due to the influx of stars at the La Liga side, a number of players will need to seek first team football elsewhere for the coming campaign, with Ceballos one such player who is set for a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

The ​Gunners are ​leading the race to sign the 22-year-old, however, in order for any move to materialise then Zidane will have to give his blessing for the deal, say ​Sky Sports.

As recently claimed by ​Marca, Madrid are not keen on a losing Ceballos permanently as Zidane still rates the midfielder highly, however, it is agreed between the Frenchman and the club that a loan move would suit both parties best – which resulted in Arsenal leading the pack due to their limited transfer budget an unwillingness to part with a fee.

A loan move would both add quality to the Arsenal ranks, and equally allow Unai Emery to focus his attention on moves for other targets this summer.


It is added in Sky’s report that ​Madrid were initially keen on offloading the Spaniard on a permanent basis, but such was the form displayed by Ceballos in the Under-21 European Championships, they had a change of heart and preferred a loan move.

Should Ceballos join the ​Premier League outfit, he would become Emery’s second signing of the summer after the arrival of Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano.

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Kieran Trippier Hails Diego Simeone as ‘Unbelievable’ After Sealing Atletico Madrid Move

​Kieran Trippier has praised both Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid’s current crop of players after sealing his move to the Spanish side from Tottenham.

The England international put pen to paper on a three-year-deal, for a fee of £20m plus add-ons, after struggling to make a similar impact for Spurs this season as he had done the season prior.


Having passed his medical on Wednesday, Trippier sealed the move after a summer of speculation linking him with Serie A sides Juventus and Inter. However, speaking on ​Atletico‘s ​official website, the 28-year-old confessed his admiration for both Simeone and the squad he will join up with – stating he can’t wait to begin life in the Spanish capital.

“Its an amazing feeling,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play abroad and what a place to play, in Madrid. It’s got a fantastic team and an unbelievable manager and I’m just looking forward to getting on with it and meeting the team.”

The former Burnley right-back also mentioned the club’s experiences in tournaments as a reason for joining Los Rojiblancos, reaffirming his admiration for the ​La Liga side’s manager after leaving ​Spurs.

“They’ve been to some major finals, they’ve done so well in La Liga over the years and they have got a quality team and an unbelievable manager and it’s something I can’t wait to do: work off the manager, learn off the manager and help the team to be a success in the future.


“The manager, you can see how close he is over the years with his squad and I can’t wait to be part of this and obviously learn off the manager and work under him.

“I do everything for the team and give my all and for sure I’ll do that for Atletico. I like to win, and yes, I’ll give 110% every game.”

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Danny Rose: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up

​After 12 years and almost 200 appearances, Danny Rose looks set to depart Tottenham after being made available for transfer.

Though Rose and the club have not always seen eye-to-eye, he has played a vital role in one of the most successful Spurs teams in history. The 29-year-old was a vital cog in the team that reached the ​Champions League final last campaign, taking part in 37 games in all competitions and picking up 5 assists in the process. 

But with Spurs in desperate need on funds, to offset the costs of the signing of Tanguy Ndombele and their new stadium, the defender is poised to be moved on from north London. In transfer windows gone by, Rose has been the target for a litany of top European clubs. 

However, a lot has changed since then, so who stands the best chance of securing the Englishman’s signature before the close of the summer transfer window? Time to see who the runners and riders are…


Everton

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​​Everton were first linked with ​Rose in 2018, before a more recent report speculated that Spurs planned to offer the left-back in an ​audacious player-plus-cash deal for Toffees star Lucas Digne. 

Digne won the Merseysiders’ player of the season award last campaign, making any deal to let the Frenchman leave the club extremely unlikely. 

Everton are also not going to want to accommodate Rose and Digne in the same team, owing to the fact that they play the same position. 

Add to that, the fact that Leighton Baines is still plugging away aged 34, and that ​new signing Fabian Delph is capable of deputising at left-back if required, the likelihood of Rose popping up at Goodison Park this summer is extremely slim. 

Likelihood Rating: 2/10


Leeds United

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The odds on this happening are really not as high as you might think! 

Yes, ​Leeds may be plying their trade in the ​Championship next season, and yes, Rose may have started a Champions League final two months ago, but hear me out…

Leeds are his boyhood club and have, in Marcelo Bielsa, one of the most well respected and exciting coaches in world football. A transfer to Elland Road would also allow Rose to move back to the north of England, closer to his friends and family that he admitted missing in ​an​ 2017 interview.

One stumbling block may be wages, with the left-back certain to have to take a significant pay cut in order to make a move back to West Yorkshire possible. Still, you never know Leeds fans, Rose may be coming home. 

Likelihood Rating: 3/10


Paris Saint-Germain

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Rose was one of Thomas Tuchel’s top targets last summer, although a move ultimately failed to materialised. It may be a different story this transfer window, with PSG keen to bolster their ranks ahead of their pursuit of European glory. 

Rose’s odds to move to Le Parc des Princes ​have been slashed over the past few days, though it is not exactly clear why.

​PSG already have Juan Bernat and Layvin Kurzawa as cover for the left-back positions, so it is difficult to see where the Englishman will fit in. 

Though Rose is capable of operating in a more advanced role when required, Bernat or Kurzawa would likely need to be moved on this summer.

Likelihood Rating: 5/10


Juventus

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Though it may be hard to imagine currently, there was a time in which Rose was very strongly linked with a move to Serie A champions: Juventus.

I Bianconeri is a club that may well interest the England international, as it represents a guilt edge opportunity for him to win his first major trophy – a feat that he has come close to doing a number of times whilst at Spurs.

The recent arrival of Luca Pellegrini does offer Juventus more cover at left-back and thus decreases the chances of a move, however due to Pellegrini’s lack of experience, Maurizio Sarri may fancy taking Rose with him from London to Turin.

The Englishman could be a well-suited back-up for first-choice left-back: Alex Sandro, though this move would still be surprising.

Likelihood Rating: 5/10


Manchester United

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Rose was last linked with Manchester United back in January 2017, but the defender’s new found availability – combined with the Red Devils desire to sign anything with a pulse – may reignite the move.

Luke Shaw made the left-back his own last season, earning significant plaudits from his teammates and winning the club’s player-of-the-year award in the process. However, aside from the impressive Shaw, United are fairly short in that area of the pitch and lack a natural left-sided defender to provide genuine competition.

Rose could certainly play this role, but with the Harry Maguire transfer saga still not at a conclusion, it is unlikely that a move for the Spurs man will be at the top of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s to-do list.

Likelihood Rating: 6/10

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Arsenal to Win William Saliba Race While Deals for Dani Ceballos & Kieran Tierney Edge Closer

​Arsenal are closing on three signings this summer, with the most likely deal to be completed first the one for French defender William Saliba – as the Gunners look set to ‘win’ the race for the highly-rated defender.

Other transfers in the offing include those for Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, the latter of whom has been at the centre of a repetitive and painful saga that has yet to find an acceptable conclusion between the two clubs.

The news is certainly something of a respite for ​Arsenal fans, however, as the ever-reliable ​David Ornstein has stated that Unai Emery’s side will pip late incomers ​Tottenham to the signing of AS Saint-Etienne centre half Saliba. The move is apparently ‘close to completion’, after the Frenchman’s expressed his desire to head to the red part of north London.

One of the major sticking points for the Gunners was their unwillingness to loan the 18-year-old back to the Ligue 1 side for next season, but it seems as if they’ve caved in to Les Verts’ demands.

Also in the pipeline are a loan move for Ceballos, with Arsenal now the front-runners to secure the Spanish star on loan – a move which would appease supporters given the interest shown in the ​Madrid midfielder from bitter rivals Spurs.

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More frustratingly, however, is the move for Tierney. Ornstein stated that it is a deal Arsenal are to ‘continue’ their ‘pursuit’ for and, while few would bet against the deal being completed, it feels like it has been stuck at 98% like an old dial-up internet connection aiming to load a basic webpage.

It’s welcome relief for the club’s fans to see incomings on the horizon, yet the one that is closest to completion is in fact a player who wouldn’t even wear red and white next year. Whatever is to transpire though, time is running out, with the ​Premier League window set to slam shut just over three weeks’ time.

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