Ben Fisher on 13 March 2020
Atlético Madrid’s victory over Liverpool did not sit quite right with some, notably Jürgen Klopp who bemoaned the absence of Proper Football at Anfield, and yet clinical finishing and a dogged defensive display set the pulse racing for others, with Arsenal’s tails wagging at the performance of Thomas Partey in particular. The Ghana midfielder ticks all the boxes from an Arsenal perspective and, with a reported release clause of £45m to boot, the club are braced for bids this summer.
Things are going so well for Odion Ighalo at Manchester United that the club are seriously considering dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on making the Nigerian striker’s temporary stay at Old Trafford permanent. The 30-year-old has rattled in four goals in eight appearances, including a sweet opener in the trouncing over Lask on Thursday. “Odion has done really well – we need those qualities for next season so let’s see,” said Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Getting a striker through the door might not be quite so straightforward for Everton, but Carlo Ancelotti could play a pivotal role in luring Italy and Torino striker Andrea Belotti, who is expected to cost north of £50m.
The future of Willian remains clear as mud and, with Tottenham joining the queue for the winger’s tricks and flicks, the Brazilian may yet spark a good old fashioned bidding war. Chelsea are loth to offer Willian a long-term contract at 30, but Juventus might, and Arsenal could make a play for the forward, who is out of contract this summer. Staying on the subject of Chelsea, it says here that incoming Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech wants goalkeeper André Onana to join him in London. Onana’s reputation has blossomed and he might just solve Frank Lampard’s conundrum over Kepa Arrizabalaga with Willy Caballero also set to become a free agent.
If Ziyech can sweet-talk Onana to Stamford Bridge, the Cameroonian will doubtless boost Rihanna’s royalties if nothing else. Heading in the other direction could be Conor Gallagher, whose reward for spiffing stints at Charlton and Swansea this season could see him farmed out to Burnley or Vitesse Arnhem, previously home to Mason Mount, Nemanja Matic, Dominic Solanke, Charly Musonda, Fankaty Dabo, Tomas Kalas, Jamal Blackman, Eduardo, Lucas Piazon … the list goes on.