Jadon Sancho has been left ‘sweating’ over whether Manchester United will sign him. They’re after the ‘new Matic’ for now.
James and the giant reach
Tuesday’s newspapers positively revel in the fact that a 20-year-old academy product both played and scored for Chelsea in their win over Brighton. All lead their back pages with a picture of Reece James celebrating his goal. Lovely stuff.
Tom Barclay of The Sun captures the mood:
‘The fear for Chelsea’s kids was they would be left out in the cold after a £200million summer spending spree.
‘But Reece James’ thunderbolt and Timo Werner’s electric debut proved there is room for the youngsters and the superstars at the Blues this season.’
Because everyone saw Chelsea sign three forwards, a left-back and a centre-half for almost £200m this summer and assumed one of their two regular right-backs would not start the season at right-back.
Anyone who watched Reece James start five of Chelsea’s last six Premier League games, as well as the FA Cup semi-final and final, and ‘feared’ for a first-team place his manager chose not to upgrade, is a bit silly.
That shares space on the back page with an exclusive from Neil Custis. We sure are being spoiled.
‘Manchester United are prepared to offer Gareth Bale a short-term deal as they lose patience over Jadon Sancho.’
How can they ‘lose patience’ over a player they ‘forced the Germans’ of Borussia Dortmund to accept a bid for on August 4? Surely it was just a straightforward case of negotiating personal terms after that?
After all, Sancho is incredibly desperate to move to Old Trafford.
‘The news has left Sancho sweating as he was convinced his switch from Borussia Dortmund would go through this summer or in January.’
He sure did look like he was ‘sweating’ over whether he will get to play for United this season while scoring and assisting for Dortmund in their 5-0 win over Duisburg on Monday night.
Good way to celebrate 100 games in 🟡⚫️ honoured n grateful 🙏🏼. Thank you for all your messages! @BVB pic.twitter.com/rP8kHnhLmj
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) September 14, 2020
Just look how absolutely torn up he is. Poor thing.
You’ve been Serb’d
Perhaps United will move onto other targets. The Sun have clearly been busy as David Woods exclusively suggests that Uros Racic is on their radar.
The Valencia midfielder is massive and Serbian but Woods resists the obvious link, mentioning Nemanja Matic only once to say that Racic ‘will provide further competition’ to his fellow countryman.
That is more than enough for the headline to scream:
‘Man Utd weighing up £28m transfer for Valencia star Uros Racic, dubbed the ‘new Nemanja Matic”
By whom? By the writer of this particular headline and no-one else previously, as a quick Google search tells us.
Stan Collymore is here for the Daily Mirror:
‘Fulham’s performance against Arsenal was one of the worst I’ve seen from a team on the opening day of the season.’
It was arguably not even the worst performance on this season’s opening day. West Ham were awful against a lesser team. Tottenham faced more shots. West Brom had fewer. Fulham were rubbish, too, but come on.
Collymore at least brings some advice for Scott Parker. He suggests not to go ‘down the line of being a pound-shop Pep Guardiola or Eddie Howe,’ as if those two managers are even vaguely similar.
‘The worst thing a manager who is new to the Premier League can do is be a slave to style over substance.’
Well he was in charge for ten games of the 2018/19 season, winning three and only losing by a single goal to Chelsea, Liverpool and Wolves. So he probably has a decent enough idea of what he’s doing, albeit with a squad ill-equipped for the challenge.
‘He should just make sure he stays in the division whatever it takes, as Tony Pulis did all those years with Stoke City.’
Fair play. It really is quite difficult to argue with ‘just avoid relegation’ as sage advice for avoiding relegation. That will stop Michael Hector being bad and Fulham having three-quarters of the same defence that had the worst Premier League record the last time they were in the top flight.
The following is the entirety of Garth Crooks’ explanation for picking Mo Salah in his returning BBC Sport team of the week:
‘What a way to reintroduce yourself to the Premier League after 16 years. I’ve never seen a side come up from the Championship and go toe-to-toe with Liverpool as Leeds United did on Saturday. This was at Anfield and not Elland Road, by the way. I thought Leeds were magnificent. The question now is: Can they turn performances like this into points? It needed another inspired performance from Mohamed Salah to get the title holders out of trouble.
‘If other teams can take games to Liverpool in the same way Leeds did, then we are in for one hell of a season.’
The following is the entirety of Garth Crooks’ explanation for picking Willian in his returning BBC Sport team of the week:
‘Regular readers will know what I think of Willian as a player. I said last season that Chelsea could not afford to lose him. To let him go to London rivals Arsenal, of all teams, was madness and could cost them dearly in the final analysis.
‘Against a Fulham side who were out of their depth, Willian produced a debut performance that must have been an agonising watch for his former manager Frank Lampard. The Brazilian was merely finding his bearings with a free-kick that flew past Fulham keeper Marek Rodak and hit the post. He left Craven Cottage with two assists under his belt, and a 3-0 victory.
‘What have Chelsea done?’
Well you have at least actually spoken about him, so that’s progress. But Mediawatch sincerely doubts that Willian playing well against Fulham was ‘an agonising watch’ for Frank Lampard in any sense.
‘What have Chelsea done?’ Let a 32-year-old free agent asking for a long-term commitment on a high wage go, replacing him with about £150m worth of attacking talent. It’s really quite simple.
For those keeping count, the amount of goalscorers chosen by Garth this week is only seven. Vicente Guaita, Tariq Lamptey, James Rodriguez and Willian have somehow crept in.
Will we see 11/11 this season? Let Ederson take a penalty, Pep.
Scouting for goals
Mediawatch does not doubt the perceptive abilities of the Daily Mail‘s ‘SECRET SCOUT’, but there is something inadvertently funny about the following:
‘Here’s the dream team spotted by our superb Scout over the last five years’
How impressive that he found Jack Grealish – ‘spotted at Aston Villa in November 2016’, when he had played in the Premier League, made almost 100 career appearances and been tipped for an England call-up – and Oli McBurnie during his time in the top flight with Swansea. What an eye for talent.
‘Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain refuses to acknowledge Liverpool are Premier League champions’ – The Sun.
He doesn’t, though, does he?
F365 shithouse headline of the day
‘Man Utd consider £28m transfer bid for the ‘new Matic”
Sake. Although someone has actually called him that now…
Recommended reading of the day
David Squires does his thing.
Charlie Eccleshare and Jack Pitt-Brooke on the Tottenham documentary. (£)