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Portugal: Winners of the Nations League

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Cristiano Ronaldo has once again helped Portugal towards honors. Admittedly, the Nations League isn’t the same level as the World Cup or Euro’s, but it takes a winning mentality to help you win anything in football. This is something Ronaldo has tonnes of.

Although he likes to stay forward often, Ronaldo was spotted tracking back late-on in the 2nd half, issuing orders to the defence. Goncalo Guedes had just scored, leading to Ronaldo barking out the words of a leader. He was telling Patricio to concentrate, Ruben Dias to tighten up and overall was letting his team-mates know they were in charge, with no room for mistakes.

This is very similar to the Euro 2016 incident, where he had to leave the pitch due to injury. He was very active on the touchline, giving orders as if he was the manager. It’s not a selfish act either, his team-mates thrive off it. It’s fair to say, although he was injured he definitely put the work in on the touchline that night. I’m unsure what he did was actually allowed in the game rules, but it roared Portugal on.

During Ronaldo’s career, he has matured into a fine footballer, but he’s showing qualities now which could take him into a managerial career, once his playing days are over.

Does anybody want to win the Nations League?

It’s an international trophy! Although this is the first year of the Nations League, all teams would have been inspired to have their named etched on the trophy. To be the first team to hold a trophy would feel like conquering a new country. There has been lots of talk about teams not taking it seriously, but look at the players which played! All countries had their strongest firepower, which small allotment of youths.

Portugal certainly enjoyed winning it! For all that is said of Dutch stars such as Memphis Depay, Van Dijk, De Ligt, nobody could get near Portugal, it was a complete masterclass in game management. Even Koeman admitted;

Portugal are the masters at defending a lead.

This has been very true for this tournament. Portugal were the only side in the Top Tier which proceeded through the group stages unbeaten, with the 3-1 win against Switzerland (Ronaldo hat-trick) being spoken of as the game of the tournament. Bruno Fernandes had a great game, which will only increase his transfer speculation.

Ronaldo carried off another piece of silverware to the trophy cabinet after the narrow 1-0 victory in Porto

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Joao Felix: Atletico Madrid’s New Number Seven

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Recently, we bought you the Scout Report on Gedson FernandesToday, it’s time for Joao Felix, another Benfica wonderkid.

His transfer to Ateltico Madrid has been confirmed tonight, with the figure an approximate £113 million. This is the fifth most expensive transfer in football history.

Although he’s exciting to watch, the fee does seem a little high, as Felix hasn’t really achieved much in the game yet. Although, he is only 18, so that could be why.

Atletico Madrid paid £5 million more than the release clause, in order to negotiate that the fee is to be paid in installments. This is quite clever from Atletico Madrid, as it stops them from being out of funds for the upcoming season.

Joao Felix joins a list of Elite Transfer fees, with only Mbappe, Neymar & Pogba transferring for more. If he can develop similar to these players, it will prove fantastic business by Atletico.

Atletico Madrid have handed Joao Felix a 7 year contract, which fully protects their asset for most of the duration of his playing days.

Felix scored a hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League in April, becoming the youngest Benfica player and the youngest Portuguese footballer to score three goals in Europe and the youngest player ever to do so in the Europa League.

He has been handed the Number 7 shirt, famously worn by Antoine Griezmann. However, a once fan-favourite Griezmann has declared that he’s played his last game for Ateltico, with Barcelona expected to confirm the signature of him in the coming days. His release clause is £120 million, so it’s almost a straight swap, Antoine for Felix.

Joao Felix will be the 3rd new signing for Ateltico, joining Hector Herrera & Felipe.

We expect to see more transfer activity, after Atletico announced tonight that Rodri would be leaving, to join Premier League Champions Manchester City.

Joao Felix Scout Report
79.3 Reviewer
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros
Flair, Fan Favourite, Goal Threat, Dribbling, Pace
Cons
Untested in a European League
Summary
Joao Felix looks fantastic, but will he be able to leave his mark in La Liga?
Current Ability73
Goal Scoring Threat80
Passing Range73.5
Future Potential90.5
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Wilfred Zaha: The Player Submits a Transfer Request

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Wilfred Zaha has turned his career around, after failing to impress at Old Trafford all those years ago. Sir Alex Fegurson ordered the signing of Zaha, but retired before he could see Zaha in action as a Red Devil.

David Moyes took the reins at Man Utd, but failed to implement Zaha into the squad and deemed him surplus to requirements. This often happens when a player is signed but the management is adjusted, as managers tend to have their own players, playstyles to adhere to. Zaha was the casualty in this one.

Man Utd took a £12 million loss, as they ended up selling Zaha back to Palace. The only positive of this deal would be a 25% sell on clause, which could earn United some money in the future, or maybe sooner than that!

Arsenal have declared their interest in Wilfred Zaha, offering £40 million just days after Man Utd signed Wan Bissaka for £50 million.

Crystal Palace were reportedly insulted by this, which can be understood. They sold a Youth Prospect for £50m, so surely their star player is worth more?

Wilfred Zaha has now put in an official transfer request, as he tries to push through a transfer. However, he’s contracted at Palace and it’s pretty certain they won’t be accepting any sub £60m bids.

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Paul Pogba: Big Problems at Man Utd

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The problems at Manchester United seem to be getting worse & worse! Paul Pogba is the one stirring the pot today, insisting that he is ready to face another challenge. He stated;

I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.

Paul Pogba Career Stats & Milestones

The French midfielder has good stats throughout his career, but he does often get singled out for ‘walking’ about the pitch, being too interested with social media instead of playing football and so on. If you take a look at his stats, he does contribute more than it looks on the surface.

Pogba scored the most goals (13) last season. He was the main penalty taker, which explains this. However, he also made the most passes (over 2000), compared to Matic who was second with 1800. He also took the most shots, tallying 105. Rashford was second, with 84. Although he gets his criticism, he was the best performer in this side. However, they all under-performed! 

Sub-Standard Squad

There is a huge difference in the quality of teams in the Premier League. With all the money in Football, promoted teams will find it harder than ever to remain competitive, as even the likes of West Ham United are capable of signing players such as Pablo Fornals and Maxi Gomez may also be arriving. However, the gap between Man Utd and the likes of Liverpool & Man City is also widening. Whilst Man Utd have been through many managerial changes, Klopp & Guardiola have been able to recruit players that perfectly fit their system. Chopping and changing managers cause huge issues when they have different play styles, as if they have signed a player for a specific purpose, it can become redundant under the new manager.

Diogo Dalot may be the most recent example of this. Mourinho purchased him as the right back has fantastic potential, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t fancied him as much. It can cause transfer casualties, resulting in the team regressing, rather than progressing. It’s also worth adding that lots of money is wasted in the process!

The impact of constant managerial change has led to a sub standard squad at Old Trafford. Players such as Chris Smalling, Phil Jones & Ashley Young are the first to be criticised for being in the line up regularly, but the truth is, that’s the best Man Utd have got. Whilst I personally think Eric Bailly is a better defender, his injury record is as long as the Stretford End!

Poor recruitment goes back right the way from when David Gill & Alex Ferguson simultaneously retired. The truth is, Man Utd never replaced Cristiano Ronaldo, instead opting to play Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata in that position.

Going back to the future, United’s first signing this season is left winger Daniel James. He has played on the right for Swansea, but has been ineffective, failing to score or assist. Another left winger, accompanying Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.

The transfer window hasn’t closed yet, but rather than immediately address their issues, they’ve added a winger.

In comparison, Real Madrid have added Left Winger Eden Hazard. Given the option, most people would choose to play with the Belgian at the Bernebau.

The Mino Raiola effect

Mino is Paul Pogba’s agent, who is notorious for getting his players transferred to elite clubs, for tremendous fees. Although under contract at Man Utd, he tried to get Pogba to transfer to Barcelona in 2018. It was also revealed by Pep Guardiola that Pogba was also offered to him. It looks like money can’t buy class with Raiola, who isn’t afraid of upsetting anybody to get deals over the line. What this also shows though is a lack of ambition and dedication. Paul isn’t dedicated to the Man Utd rebuild, as he has admitted now he wants a new challenge himself. When the player openly makes statements like this, he’s basically handing in a transfer request. 

Sir Alex Ferguson believed Raiola was a plague to football, which led to him releasing Pogba in 2012. He admitted Pogba had fantastic talent, but the agent was causing far too much trouble and he didn’t want it to disrupt the club.

Pogba called his return to Old Trafford ‘Destiny’, but that seems dead in the water now. As he openly made that statement, he lost the backing of the Red Devils, who are now calling for him to be sold, at the rumoured price of £120 million.

You can understand why Pogba wants to leave, as Man Utd aren’t the powerhouse they once were, declining pretty fast. However, what hasn’t gone down well is the admittance that he wants to jump ship.

Man Utd have actually stated that Paul Pogba will not be sold this season, but this could be a big bluff in order to maintain their asking price for him.

Let’s wait and see. Stay tuned for updates!

Paul Pogba Scout Report
89.5 Reviewer
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros
Finishing, Long Shots, Dribbling, Passing,
Cons
Work Rate, Aggression, Crazy Penalty Run up!!
Summary
Paul Pogba has been flirting with the idea of a Juventus / Real Madrid transfer. It's going to be a long summer for Man Utd fans who want him to remain.
Current Ability90
Goal Scoring Threat86
Passing Range92
Future Potential90
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