Jermaine Jenas optimistic about Arsenal’s top four prospects

TalkSPORT pundit Jermaine Jenas has said that he is optimistic about Arsenal’s prospects of making the top four of the Premier League next season. The Gunners have been deemed to be working on a limited budget for the summer but they have still made quality purchases including the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

In a report covered by The Mirror, Jenas acknowledged that he is surprised by the club’s transfer business, particularly with no reinforcements at the heart of the backline. However, he believes the north London side could still experience a decent campaign, given they are bound to score more goals with the presence of Pepe in their ranks.

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Rio Ferdinand predicts the top four of the Premier League campaign

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has predicted his top four of the 2019/2020 Premier League season. Manchester City and Liverpool were ahead of the rest in the pursuit of the Premier League title last term and Ferdinand believes the North-West duo will continue to dominate the proceedings at the top of the standings.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said that the Citizens and Reds are by far the best teams in the divisions and they should continue the tussle for the league title. He added that Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United may take up the remaining positions by a far distance, he said: “Man City, Liverpool – but by a bigger gap than last season – Spurs, Man United.”

“I think Man Utd will be a better team this year than they were last year. It hurts man, it hurts. I’ve got to speak about Liverpool and Man City winning things and being better than Man United at the moment. But as a pundit you’ve got to be honest, you’ve got to say it as you see it and those two teams are by far the better teams in the league at the moment.”

Pep Guardiola’s side managed to win the league title for the second season on the bounce last term but they did not have the easy route with the Reds finishing just one point behind them. As such, they are bound to contest for the English crown once more with the quality difference between them and the rest, and it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can end the wait for a maiden Premier League title.

Elsewhere, Spurs have been fancied to have another solid season after a good summer transfer window but the other top four spot could be up for grabs with Chelsea undoubtedly weakened by the departure of Eden Hazard. The Blues could not bolster their squad due to a transfer ban and they could come under pressure from both United and London rivals Arsenal in the quest for the final Champions League place. 

Chelsea boss surprised with Hazard’s omission from PFA Team of the Year

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he has been surprised with Eden Hazard’s omission from the PFA Team of the Year. The Belgian has been the club’s standout performer this term with 16 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League, but that was not sufficient to make the list ahead of a host of Manchester City, Liverpool players and Paul Pogba.

Speaking in a press conference, Sarri acknowledged that he was surprised by the snub and said that the decision was probably influenced by the position of the teams on the table, he quipped: “I think Eden deserved to be in the top 11 of the Premier League. I think also at the moment the table is clear, City and Liverpool and then the other teams. I think the vote was influenced by the table.”
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Rafael Benitez confirms contract talks have opened with Newcastle United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has acknowledged that the contract talks have opened between him and managing director Lee Charnley. The Spanish tactician currently has a contract with the Magpies until the end of the season and he has previously refused to provide any update on his future with the club.

However, speaking to Sky Sports News, he has now indicated that contract talks are underway with the Tyneside outfit and there has been no contact from any other side. He added that he is more concerned about the club’s bid to beat the drop before deciding on his future, he told: “No contact from other clubs. At the moment I can read like you what is going on in the press, but the situation is exactly the same. My priority is to keep talking with Newcastle United and see where we are, and that’s it. I’m not considering anything until we progress and know where we are. Have I started talks with Newcastle? I had some contact with Lee Charnley but at the moment it is too early. We have to concentrate on the games.”
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Ruben Loftus-Cheek speaks on Chelsea’s top-four prospects

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has stressed that the Blues are still in the running for the top four despite suffering a setback at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend. The Blues were widely fancied to get the better of the Wolves at Stamford Bridge but that was not the case with the west Midlands side securing a hard-fought draw in the end.

As such, the Blues failed to pick up two additional points which would have enhanced their top four ambitions but Loftus-Cheek has stressed that the club have nothing to worry about as long as they return to winning ways, he told the Blues’ official website: “It’s still all to play for. It’s been up and down for us but we will keep going, keep working hard in training. The points gap is not too big, so we keep going and try to get these wins.We knew Wolves would come here and set up like that. It shows teams are threatened by our creativity and want to sit back and get us on the counter. We switched off and conceded.”
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Henry Onyekuru Happy with Life at Galatasaray

Henry Onyekuru has claimed that he is feeling extremely happy with life in Turkish club Galatasaray. The 21-year-old, who is on the books of Everton, moved to the Turk Telekom Stadium on a loan deal till the end of the campaign. He has failed to remain at Anderlecht even though the Belgian team did have an option of extending his stay beyond the 2017-18 campaign. The forward has been unable to get his football up and running after failing to a serious knee injury just before the World Cup. This injury kept him out of action for almost 5 months and it was a major factor behind the 21-year-old missing out on a place in the World Cup.

The 21-year-old has been quite impressive since making the Moto Galatasaray and he has come up with nine goals in just 18 league matches. A hat-trick againstAnkaragucu only recently helped him get his first career hat trick underaway. Onyekuru has admitted that he still desires to be part of the Premier League but is not concentrating on future prospects right now. Due to the issue about a work permit, it is still unclear ifOnyekuruwill be able to represent Everton in the near future. For the time being, he is extremely happy with life at the Galatasaray and he has even opened the possibility of staying at Galatasaray beyond the summer.
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Mauricio Pochettino remains upbeat despite the injury crisis

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino remains optimistic about the club’s progress over the forthcoming months despite the recent injury crisis. The north London side recently witnessed an injury setback for Harry Kane and the concern has been added up with Dele Alli joining him on the sidelines while Heung-min Son is on international duty.

Both players are now unlikely to return to action until mid-March at the least but Pochettino has refused to delve into the troubles and concentrate with the options at hand, he said: “More problems, more positives, more optimism. In football, you cannot be affected by the things that happen. When the game finishes you can be disappointed and all the emotion arrives, but during the game the most important thing is that the team isn’t affected by that situation.”
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Carvalho on Manchester United

Former Chelsea player Ricardo Carvalho believes that Manchester United should keep faith in Jose Mourinho and give him more time to change things around. He believes that he is one of the best managers in the world and that he is the right man to bring success to the club.

He understands that there is some frustration from fans as Manchester United has been inconsistent this season and struggled in the league. He believes that Jose Mourinho should be given more time to build a team that can challenge for the title.
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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard hints at possibility of summer exit

Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard has hinted that he could part ways with the club next summer but also refused to rule out the possibility of seeing out the remainder of his career with the west London giants. The Belgium international has been the Blues’ standout performer during the first half of the campaign and he is currently leading their scoring charts with eight goals across all competitions.

Speaking to Canal +, Hazard acknowledged that he would have just one year remaining on his contract next summer, if he declines an extension and this may witness him pursue a fresh challenge with Real Madrid said to be his preferred destination. However, he also suggested the option of seeing out the rest of his career with the Blues, who have helped him gain reputation over the years, he said: “I have one year left in June. If I don’t extend, it (a move) is possible. I can’t see myself leaving in January. I wouldn’t do that to the club, the fans. Next summer it’s a possibility, but it’s also possible that I spend the rest of my career at Chelsea.”
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Sky Sports pundit hopeful of Arsenal’s chances of a top-four finish

Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas believes the Gunners have a reasonable chance of finishing in the top four this season after building up a four-match winning streak. The north Londoners begun the season in the worst possible way after back-to-back losses at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea but they have since been propping up the table with four successive victories.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas admitted that he did not see the Gunners making the top four at the beginning but their fortunes could change over the course of the season with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur not replicating the form from the previous campaign, he said: “At the moment I am pleased with the response from the first two defeats, everybody can see we have a real problem trying to adjust to the new manager’s policy defensively. My prediction at the start of the season was that Arsenal and Chelsea were going to be the two to miss out because there was too much toing and froing. I think that gap has closed for them because Man United are average and Spurs are struggling a little bit.”
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