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Joy and sadness at Liverpool

Discussions are already taking place behind the scenes at Arsenal regarding the future of Joe Willock. The 21 year-old has progressed superbly this season

Liverpool ended the season on a high note having qualified for the Champions League with a third place finish. Regrettably the season also ended on a sad note with Liverpool’s excellent Georginio Wijnaldum departing for Barcelona. I am told he has agreed a two-year deal. He will be difficult to replace and has been Liverpool’s best player this year. Gini has played in all 38 Premier League matches for the Reds and his reliability reminds me of Steven Gerrard who was also a hard act to follow. He said a few days ago, “I’m fighting against tears right now. The people in Liverpool have shown me love during my five years here. I will miss them. Jurgen Klopp knows he has to go into the transfer market and is currently working with his scouts and backroom team to identify who would be good enough to slot into the team.

Pep’s favourite celebratory moment

Following their success at winning the Premier League title and finishing off with a 5-0 victory against Everton, Manchester City players, staff and the manager went into full party mode. Alcohol flowed, Pep Guardiola could be seen smoking a celebratory cigar and singing along to super band Oasis. Pep’s favourite moment of the evening? It was 11pm and 15 pizzas were delivered from a local takeaway. And Pep was allowed first choice of his favourite topping!

Arsenal must decide about Willock

Discussions are already taking place behind the scenes at Arsenal regarding the future of Joe Willock. The 21 year-old has progressed superbly this season, both physically and mentally, whilst on loan to Newcastle and he equalled club legend Alan Shearer’s record of seven goals in seven games. Some would say it has been a one man show by Willock which propelled Newcastle up the league from a perilous position close to relegation. Mikel Arteta is trying to decide whether to extend Joe’s loan period or bring him back to the Emirates where the danger is that he could spend most his time on the bench which could destroy his new found confidence.

Gareth still won’t reveal his plans

This week I tried to learn for you Gareth Bale’s intentions for next season but he is playing his cards very close to his chest. No matter how much I tried, Gareth would only say he has made up his mind what is happening now his loan period from Real Madrid to Spurs has ended but if he let his secret out it would cause chaos. He just kept smiling. Gareth then flew back to Spain by private jet and joined his family who have remained at home in Madrid during his time in the UK. Spurs do not have a loan extension option or one to buy him outright and therefore Chairman Daniel Levy would have to renegotiate a new deal with Real Madrid if he wants Gareth for next season which is his final contracted year to the Spanish side.

Rumours about Spurs head coach

I am receiving rumours from Tottenham that there has already been contact with Roberto Martinez regarding the managerial role. Martinez is currently leading Belgium in the Euros but is keen to return to club management. Spurs have publicly said they are not interested in Martinez however the rumours I am picking up are strong.

Moyes addresses West Ham fans

I was amused by West Ham’s manager David Moyes response to their successful bid for European football next season. There were 10,000 fans in the London Stadium and after West Ham beat Southampton 3-0 he addressed them by saying, “Make sure you are all vaccinated and get your passports out because we’re going to Europe!” West Ham are about to reward Moyes with a new three-year contract.

Edinson explains his motivation

Edinson Cavani has been talking about his role at Manchester United. Having signed a new one year extension to his contract he explained his motivation at being the senior player behind the scenes at Old Trafford. He said this week, “I’ve always been a student of football. Throughout my whole career, I’ve tried to learn and absorb positive things that could make me a better player and a better team-mate and I try to show that with the team. Nowadays, I’m the oldest player, the elder statesman in the team and that is a great motivation for me. It pushes me during training sessions, it pushes me when I go out and play a match and compete. So I try and enjoy it and work hard for my team and I have to set an example. I think that you set an example with your behaviour, how you compete, doing your best for your team, always being there to train and trying to be the best player in training sessions.”

Is Werner good enough to play for Chelsea?

Chelsea striker Timo Werner has run out of chances and Blues coach Thomas Tuchel is looking around Europe for new talent capable of scoring regularly. Werner is Chelsea’s joint leading scorer with 12 goals and 14 assists this season but only six of these have come in the Premier League and the German has missed a large number of clear-cut chances. Chelsea’s other main striker Tammy Abraham is out of favour and is looking to leave which leaves Tuchel with the task of finding a replacement. Whether or not Werner is sold is yet to be decided however Romelu Lukaku is having an excellent season at Inter Milan with 23 goals and  Erling Haaland has scored a goal every 93 minutes with a total of 39 goals in 40 games for Dortmund. Both are on Chelsea’s radar. The Blues clearly need to find a new Didier Drogba and owner Roman Abramovich has promised the funds to make it happen.

36 year-old Fernandinho set to stay at City

Despite his 36 years, Fernandinho remains a player Pep Guardiola wants in his squad. The midfielder has played 34 times this season, scored one goal and made two assists. His main quality is being able to dominate the centre of the pitch and foresee what opponents are going to do and stop them. Fernandinho joined City in 2013 from Shakhtar Donetsk and Pep has kept him at the heart of this team since he joined in 2016. He was also handed the club captain’s badge following David Silva’s departure. In recognition of his leadership and importance Manchester City have extended his contract for another year. The pressure on Guardiola to find another holding midfielder has now eased but it is City’s intention to look for a permanent replacement as Fernandinho approaches retirement.

Amazing fact about Leicester…

I was speaking with Leicester this week and my contacts pointed out an amazing fact. Leicester have just missed out on a top four Champions League qualification place for next season and yet they spent 242 days in the top four of the Premier League table whereas qualifiers Manchester United were in the top four for only 155 days, Manchester City 131 days, Liverpool 140 days and Chelsea only 103 days. Leicester are a fantastic family club with genuinely nice people working there and I am sorry they have, once again, missed out on the top prize.