Emile Smith Rowe has praised Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for giving young players like himself and Bukayo Saka confidence as the pair look to improve their production in front of goal.

Smith Rowe (21) and Saka (20) were both on target against Andorra during the international break, the former with the Under-21s side and the latter with the senior squad.

Saka scored the second goal of a 5-0 rout on October 9, while Smith Rowe slotted home the only goal of the game two days later after Rhian Brewster's sending-off had reduced the Young Lions to 10 men.

The pair rank in the top four for both expected goals and expected assists across all competitions among Arsenal players to have played at least 300 minutes this season.

Smith Rowe largely credits Arteta for their development, with senior Gunners stars also taking the time to help them out.

"[Arteta] has spoken to us and given us so much confidence to stay calm," said Smith Rowe.

"[Saka and I] know we're going to be getting into these positions. Because we're both young players we've got to stay as calm as possible and just focus on the goal really.

"We've been practising a lot in training, after training and we get the support from the experienced players in the team as well, they're always helping us. It's really good at Arsenal, we're really happy with the help we're getting."

New England U21s head coach Lee Carsley had special praise for Smith Rowe, believing that the attacking midfielder – who has frequently played on the left for Arsenal – has the ability to score, create and beat his man.

"With any wide player they are always judged on goals and assists and Emile has got the ability to do both," said Carsley.

"I've seen him in training, the way he finds the corners and finishes very calmly, he finishes like a centre forward at times and the opposite to that is that he has got that last pass which is really important.

"That's why I'm keen on getting him in really attacking positions more often, the higher up we can get him and the more we can get him one-vs-one he'll create a lot of problems like he does at Arsenal."

The Gunners will hope both their young Hale End graduates can make a positive impact when Crystal Palace visit Emirates Stadium on October 18 as Premier League action resumes.

Kalidou Koulibaly says "it is a real shame" Senegal team-mate Edouard Mendy is not in the running to win this year's Ballon d'Or after an impressive first year at Chelsea.

Mendy joined Chelsea from Rennes last September and did not take long to oust Kepa Arrizabalaga as first choice between the sticks at Stamford Bridge.

He played a key part in the Blues' 2020-21 Champions League triumph, the 29-year-old's nine clean sheets the most by a goalkeeper in their debut campaign in the competition.

That includes a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final as Mendy became the first African goalkeeper to lift the famous trophy.

Mendy's 19 shutouts in all competitions this calendar year, meanwhile, has been bettered only by Manchester City's Ederson (20) among keepers in Europe's top five leagues.

He was not included on the 30-player Ballon d'Or shortlist last week, however, and Koulibaly has suggested that could be down to his nationality.

"It's a real shame that Edou isn't included. He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League," Koulibaly told reporters while away on international duty with Senegal.

"We must continue to work and move forward. We have to do the double [the work] of some people to be well judged.

"Edou is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it. For me, he has a place among these 30 players."

Gianluigi Donnarumma is the only goalkeeper in contention to win football's most prestigious individual accolade after helping Italy to Euro 2020 success.

The Paris Saint-Germain star's save percentage of 70.8 in 2021 is considerably lower than Mendy's 77.23 at club level when taking all competitions into account.

Indeed, only Keylor Navas – who Donnarumma is battling with for a starting spot at PSG – boasts a better save percentage (78.38) than Mendy among those to have played at least 15 times since January 1.

Napoli defender Koulibaly is also not part of the shortlist for the award, with Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez the only African players selected.

Five of Mendy's Chelsea club-mates were included in the shortlist, however, with Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku, Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante and Jorginho nominated. 

Mason Mount says going through the experience of missing part of England's run to the Euro 2020 final after being forced to isolate played a part in his decision to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

The 22-year-old and team-mate Ben Chilwell were deemed close contacts of Scotland's Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus after a stalemate with England at Wembley and had to sit out the Three Lions' final group game with the Czech Republic.

He was back on the bench for the last-16 tie with Germany, but Gareth Southgate did not feel the Chelsea playmaker was fit enough to play a part and he was an unused substitute in a famous 2-0 win.

Under current coronavirus protocols, which have changed since June and July, those who have been fully vaccinated no longer have to isolate after coming into contact with somebody that has tested positive for the virus.

And amid fresh scrutiny about the vaccination rates within football, with a number of England players unwilling to disclose their status, Mount has confirmed he has received both doses.

"Going through that experience, missing the game, a top, top game kind of did have an effect on my decision," he told reporters ahead of England's World Cup qualifier with Hungary on Tuesday.

"But I think for players, personally it's down to someone and it is down to their decision how they feel about it.

"I don't think you can force anyone to get it but, for me, going through that experience, it did make me want to get it and get it quite quickly."

Mount started five games for beaten finalists England at Euro 2020 and has already featured eight times for Chelsea this campaign.

He did take some time to get up to full speed, which he puts down to a hangover on the back of England's memorable Euros run.

"After an experience like that and how far we got, it does take some time to get over it and reflect," said Mount, who has been included on the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award.

"But as soon as the next season starts, that's go to be behind you. Maybe physically there can still be a toll, even though you've had a break.

"So it's natural that happens and after playing many games in the normal season, then to go to the Euros and play games, and then after a short break go straight into pre-season, it can take a toll. 

"Maybe I've felt that a bit this season. I missed a week with a little injury at Chelsea but to get back and be in the England squad, that little break makes you feel more energetic and gives you that little boost. 

"I don't want to miss any game but it does help sometimes to take a step back and let yourself recover."

From "Arsene Who" to "The Invincibles", via all those things he did not see, Arsene Wenger brought a whole new lexicon to English football.

He also changed the way the game is viewed in England, completely altering the horizons of a largely closed-off football culture to turbo-charge its transformation into the home of the most diverse, globally respected and richest domestic league on the planet.

Wenger's legacy in the Premier League is beyond question and its roots go back 25 years to October 12, 1996, when he oversaw his first ever match in charge of the club.

Across more than two decades, Wenger's Arsenal broke records, moved homes and changed their image forever. Here we look back at some memorable moments and the Opta numbers behind a towering sporting era.

Ton-up strikers

Wenger's initial years in north London saw him skilfully combine the rugged English core of a team that previously enjoyed trophy success under George Graham with his more pioneering ideas – a blend that found full realisation with the 1997-98 double success.

"One of my jobs was to keep faithful to the qualities I had found here. I tried always to maintain the tradition and values of this club," Wenger said on the eve of his final game at Huddersfield Town in May 2018.

That was game 1,235 and game one took place on the other side of the Pennines against Blackburn Rovers.

Foremost among the qualities Wenger found at Arsenal were those of the man who would become the club's record goalscorer on his watch.

Ian Wright scored both goals to get the brave new era up and running with a 2-0 win over a club who had been champions of England a little over a year earlier.

Wright was 33 when Wenger arrived and injury curtailed his involvement in the glorious 1997-98 run-in. However, earlier in that season he broke Cliff Bastin's long-standing Arsenal club record and concluded his Gunners' career with 185 goals in 288 appearances.

The England striker's best mark would, of course, be surpassed by the great Thierry Henry, whose phenomenal haul of 228 all came on Wenger's watch.

Overall, there were five goalscoring centurions during the Wenger era, with Robin van Persie next on the list with 132 before his acrimonious departure to Manchester United in 2012.

Theo Walcott (108), Olivier Giroud (105) and Wright's one-time strike partner Dennis Bergkamp (102) were the other men into three figures.

Glory days at Old Trafford

That first taste of victory was one of 10 wins in 17 visits to Ewood Park, a win percentage of 58.8 per cent. Of the away or neutral venues Wenger's Arsenal played at in Britain, that ratio was only bettered by seven wins from 11 at Fulham's Craven Cottage (63.6 per cent).

Of course, there are other grounds far more synonymous with his reign, not least the home of Manchester United and his great rival Alex Ferguson.

Other than Highbury and the Emirates, Wenger managed his biggest number of Arsenal games at Old Trafford – 31 in total.

It was often an unhappy hunting ground, the scene of an 8-2 defeat in August 2011 that was his worst in terms of goals conceded and joint-heaviest by margin.

Only at Stoke City's Bet365 Stadium (18.2 per cent) and Tottenham's White Hart Lane (24 per cent) was Wenger's win ratio lower than at Old Trafford (W8 D6 L17 for 25.8 per cent). But when the wins came, they were seismic.

In March 1998, Marc Overmars nodded Nicolas Anelka's flick-on into his own path and steered beyond Peter Schmeichel for a 1-0 victory that proved pivotal in that season's title race.

Another iconic Arsenal moment came in May 2002, when Sylvain Wiltord pounced to beat compatriot Fabien Barthez and the Gunners secured Premier League glory on United's own patch.

There were more recriminations than celebrations in September 2003 after an ill-tempered 0-0 draw between the sides. However, had Ruud van Nistelrooy not crashed a penalty against the crossbar – much to Martin Keown's contorted, vein-popping satisfaction – Arsenal would not have been Invincibles.

7-up and springing Prague

An away ground not quite as synonymous with Wenger is the Madejski Stadium.

Nevertheless, Reading are the opponent Arsenal played most often while maintaining a 100 per cent record under the Frenchman, winning 10 out of 10.

The most famous of these wins was a 7-5 triumph in Berkshire in October 2012, where Arsenal averted EFL Cup embarrassment in utterly berserk fashion.

After 35 minutes, Reading were 4-0 up thanks to Jason Roberts, a Laurent Koscielny own goal, Mikele Leigertwood and Noel Hunt. Afterwards, their manager Brian McDermott, a former Arsenal player, would reflect upon the "worst" defeat of his career.

Walcott reduced the arrears before the interval and the England winger's second of the match deep into injury time, after a goal from Giroud and one at the right end from Koscielny, forced an additional half hour.

Marouane Chamakh put Arsenal ahead for the first time in the tie and, although Pavel Pogrebnyak made it 5-5, the Moroccan forward scored his second after Walcott completed his hat-trick to crown what Wenger dubbed "maybe my greatest comeback", with a touch of understatement.

It was not the only time Arsenal scored seven under Wenger, and the biggest wins of his tenure came when they kept the back door shut, with Everton, Middlesbrough and Slavia Prague all beaten 7-0 in a spell spanning May 2005 to October 2007.

Coincidentally, Slavia's neighbours Sparta are next on Wenger's perfect record list after Reading, losing six out of six against Arsenal in the Champions League.

Mourinh-woe

Over time, an underlying warmth revealed itself in the Wenger-Ferguson rivalry. It was hard to say the same when it came to his jousts with Jose Mourinho.

Wenger was a "voyeur" and a "specialist in failure" according to Mourinho's acidic tongue and the older man could be similarly biting.

"When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent," he witheringly observed after Mourinho announced himself in English football with his 2004-05 Chelsea sweeping all before them.

It will therefore have stung deeply when Wenger's 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal saw them ransacked in a 6-0 demolition at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014.

If the manner of the loss was humiliating, the defeat itself was one to be expected. In 19 encounters with Mourinho, Wenger won two – a 10.5 per cent win ratio that is by far his worst against another manager, with 30.6 per cent thanks to 15 victories from 49 attempts versus Ferguson next on the list.

Those paltry returns against the self-styled 'Special One' mostly come within a wider context of decline.

Wenger's first decade at Arsenal – spanning 1996-97 to 2005-06, their last at Highbury – yielded 11 trophies out of the 17 he won overall in north London, including all three Premier League titles.

Arsenal's win percentage dropped slightly after the move to Emirates Stadium, going from 70.2 per cent to 67.9 per cent, though they did score slightly more often, with their goals-per-game figure up from 1.8 to 1.9 in the latter period.

By this point, Wenger was joined in the Premier League by the finest coaching talents from across Europe. It was a far cry from his own appointment, when he became only the fourth manager in England's top flight to hail from outside the British Isles.

Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and others had all come along to raise the bar Wenger set to even greater heights, although he would enjoy one last defining triumph at the expense of one of their contemporaries.

FA Cup specialist

Chelsea entered the 2017 FA Cup final as hot favourites to complete the double after romping to Premier League glory in Antonio Conte's first season in charge.

A 3-0 defeat to Arsenal the previous September inspired Conte to revert to his favoured 3-4-2-1 system and was the catalyst for a dominant revival.

This turn of events seemed to encapsulate the futility of the late Wenger years, when every small success appeared only to serve as a precursor for a greater disappointment.

You could even say the same for his last final in the competition he dominated, given it preceded his lowest ever Premier League finish of sixth in his farewell campaign.

But Arsenal were stirringly brilliant that day at Wembley. Per Mertesacker was wheeled out of cold storage to put in a colossal display at centre-back as Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey sealed a deserved 2-1 win.

Ramsey ranks 10th among Arsenal's top scorers of the Wenger era with 58 and two of those were FA Cup final winners, the Wales midfielder also netting decisively against Hull City in 2014.

Those were Wenger's fifth and seventh successes in a competition he has won more than any other manager in history, where his incredible Arsenal tenure means his position is ensured for posterity.

Steve Bruce's days at Newcastle appear to be numbered.

Rumours of possible replacements are swirling, with plenty of managers having been mentioned. 

Frank Lampard may well lead the race.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD FAVOURED TO REPLACE BRUCE

Frank Lampard is the leading candidate to step in once Steve Bruce is inevitably shown the door at Newcastle, The Sun reports. 

The Telegraph claims Lampard and former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre top the new owners' wish list.

The 43-year-old Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January 2021, about six weeks after Favre, 63, left Dortmund. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

- Dortmund and RB Leipzig are the top potential landing spots for 19-year-old Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi, reports Sky Sport Germany.

- Feyenoord will make another effort to prise Amad Diallo from Manchester United in January, according to The Sun, after a potential loan move fell through due to injury during the last transfer window. 

- Club Brugge and Belgium midfielder Charles De Ketelaere is drawing interest from Milan and Napoli, says Calciomercato, with Everton and West Ham also monitoring the 20-year-old.

- Former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is expected to finalise his deal with Venezia on Tuesday, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

England manager Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane's underwhelming Tottenham form is at least partly down to upheaval and "changes" at the club, something he has not had to contend with at international level.

Kane finished 2020-21 with more Premier League goals (23) and assists (14) than any other player, becoming the first to top both charts in a single season since Andy Cole in 1993-94.

But after unsuccessfully attempting to force a move away from Spurs in pre-season, Kane's productivity and decisiveness have taken a massive hit.

In six league games this term, he is without a single goal – the last time Kane went more Premier League appearances games without a goal was eight matches between April and October 2014.

Some have put his struggles down to playing under a new head coach in Nuno Espirito Santo, and Southgate agrees that upheaval can have an impact, particularly if a manager implements a change of system.

"What's going on with his club is none of my business, really," Southgate said told reporters ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Hungary.

"There's a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations, so like all players there will be an adaptation to that.

"In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we've obviously got a settled way of playing here. His team-mates know him, he knows his team-mates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards.

"I can't talk about the club, but I think he feels settled in our environment. It's an environment where he knows we have belief, but we have to push him. We want improvement from the team all the time.

"Of course, as the captain, he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can't fault his application and dedication to what we're doing. He's got a real desire to go well with us."

Kane's form with England certainly is not of concern, however.

He has scored in each of his previous 15 World Cup and European Championship qualifying appearances and is closing in on a number of goals records.

Firstly, he is just one away from equalling England's all-time record for most competitive goals (Wayne Rooney, 37).

And after that Kane – whose overall goals tally for England is 41 – will undoubtedly have his eye on the most sought-after England record of them all: Rooney's unrivalled haul of 53.

The only other players to have scored more for England than the current captain are Jimmy Greaves (44), Gary Lineker (48) and Bobby Charlton (49) – to be anywhere near such feats further highlights just how reliable Kane is for the Three Lions.

"When you compare with the five or six other players at the top of that scoring chart, and you look at those names, it's a reminder of how much Harry has already achieved at a personal level," Southgate continued.

"And I know what's been more important to him, it's the team getting to two semi-finals and a final. Without a doubt, he's a player who has to keep proving himself.

"I think he knows that, I think he relishes that, and we know that when those chances fall, you've got huge faith they're going to hit the back of the net, such is his technical ability and his mentality and calmness when those chances come."

Marcus Rashford is thrilled to have Cristiano Ronaldo back at Old Trafford and is hoping the superstar forward can provide "a push" for Manchester United to win trophies.

The Portugal forward made a sensational return to the red half of Manchester on deadline day this year and has since scored five goals in just six appearances across all competitions – the most of any player at the club.

The 36-year-old has done so despite ranking third at United this season for total shots (23), recording the best conversion rate (21.74 per cent) of any player at the club who has taken at least eight shots.

Ronaldo's finishing and ability to find dangerous positions clearly remain at an elite level, with the forward slightly outperforming his expected goals total of 4.27 – the highest mark of any United player by some distance, with Bruno Fernandes second on 2.44.

Without Ronaldo, United last earned silverware in 2017, collecting an EFL Cup and Europa League double under Jose Mourinho, and have not won the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

Rashford, however, believes having five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo back could be the catalyst the club needs in their pursuit of success.

"[Having Ronaldo back at the club is] a great feeling for me as a player, but also as a fan of the club as well," Rashford told BBC Breakfast.

"It's always nice when a club legend finds a way back to the club. To be playing with him back at Old Trafford is a terrific feeling and hopefully gives us a push to start winning more trophies."

Rashford has not played for club or country since England's penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020 due to a shoulder injury.

The Three Lions star missed just four matches for United in 2020-21, making 57 appearances across all competitions in which he scored 21 goals and assisted 12.

Among outfield players in Europe's top five leagues, Rashford's 4,153 minutes were the 16th-most last season, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4,707) top of that list.

In the forward's five full seasons as a senior United player, Rashford made 253 appearances, second only to Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (255) in that time.

The 23-year-old – who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester due to his campaign against child poverty – returned to full training at the start of October and is hoping to be back in action sooner rather than later.

"My recovery is I wouldn't say coming to an end, because obviously I have to keep looking after it, but I'm in a much better place physically and mentally," Rashford added.

"Last year was a very long season for me, I got this injury at the end of September, and gradually it got that little bit worse, but now I'm fully free of that, I feel much better physically and mentally."

Romelu Lukaku has described his first spell at Chelsea as "painful", but he insists the experience helped him improve as a player and is confident the timing of his return to Stamford Bridge could not be better.

The Belgium striker joined the Blues from Anderlecht in 2011 as a teenager, but played just 159 Premier League minutes in his first season before loans to West Brom and Everton in the next two campaigns, eventually joining the latter on a permanent basis in 2014.

A further three years on Merseyside were followed by stints at Manchester United and Inter, before Lukaku returned to Chelsea this season.

He has four goals in all competitions so far this term, at least twice as many as any team-mate, from a team-high 25 shots. Left-back Marcos Alonso is next on that list, with 17.

Lukaku has actually marginally underperformed compared to his expected goals total of 4.15, yet he has brought more than goals alone, creating 15 chances – this time just behind leader Alonso (18).

The 28-year-old believes that his time in London played a significant part in his development.

"[My first spell at Chelsea] was painful and helpful, but I would say more helpful because it gave me the mentality and the mindset that I needed to become the player I am today," Lukaku said.

"The team was very good, but nobody saw the extra work they did after the training sessions. As an 18-year-old, I saw first-hand every day how much the players worked on their craft.

"That’s when I knew that was what you had to do to become this type of player. I told myself, 'when I’m not playing, this is what I'm going to do', and it basically just became a lifestyle."

Lukaku is no longer the raw teenager that arrived in England 10 years ago, now back at Chelsea as a seasoned, world-class centre-forward who was a key part of the Inter side that wrested the Serie A title from Juventus last term, scoring every 120 minutes in the league.

He was linked with a return to Stamford Bridge from Everton in 2017, but instead joined United while Chelsea signed Alvaro Morata. However, Lukaku is certain the circumstances of this move are perfect.

"I knew I would improve as a player, so it was just about timing," Lukaku added. "I had two opportunities to come back, in 2016 and 2017, but it didn’t happen for various reasons.

"In the end, it happened because now is the right time, the right age, the team is doing well and everything is there for it to be successful.

"I’m much more calm. I've matured with fatherhood, and I’m more laid-back. After winning in Italy and knowing what it takes to get there, that really helped me. In the last three years, I’ve been able to build something that I can take on for the rest of my career.

"It can be complicated but when you really set your mind to do something, and you really dedicate everything that you have to that goal, you can achieve it. I recognised my little qualities and talent, but I also knew what I was not good at, and I really spent a lot of time working on those attributes to be the complete package.

"Now, it feels good. I'm very happy with the opportunity, and we've started really well as a team. My team-mates have made life very easy for me and the coach is doing a great job. Our performances have been good, but we're always looking for the next challenge."

Bayern Munich could be set for a busy transfer window.

With Barcelona struggling financially, clubs are eyeing some of their talent.

Bayern are reportedly interested in a number of players at Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG, TER STEGEN WANTED IN MUNICH

Bayern Munich are eyeing Barcelona quartet Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Pedri and Sergino Dest, according to Sport.

Barca are a club in crisis amid their financial woes, which led to the departure of superstar captain Lionel Messi on a free transfer at the start of the season.

Now, Bundesliga champions Bayern are looking to capitalise, having previously been linked with midfielders De Jong and Pedri, goalkeeper Ter Stegen and right-back Dest.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca's move for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is dependent on the future of Ousmane Dembele, says Sport. Dembele has been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United previously.

- Calciomercato claims Milan will wait to sign wantaway Torino star Andrea Belotti on a free transfer at the end of the season. Monday's Tuttosport reports Serie A champions and city rivals Inter are also interested in the Italy international.

Bruno Fernandes' contract extension is a priority for United, according to Fabrizio Romano. United are also looking to re-sign Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba, who has been linked with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Telegraph reports Newcastle United are eyeing a move for Ralf Rangnick as their sporting director following the club's huge takeover. Rangnick currently works for Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.

Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici said in-demand Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic is not part of the Premier League club's transfer plans.

Vlahovic will not re-sign with Fiorentina and the Serbia international – out of contract at the end of 2022-23 – has been linked to the likes of Tottenham, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Arsenal, Liverpool and Inter.

The 21-year-old forward scored 21 Serie A goals last season. Of players aged 22 or under in Europe's top five leagues in 2020-21, only Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland (27) scored more top-flight goals than Vlahovic.

Vlahovic – who also became the first player born after the year 2000 to reach 20 Serie A goals – already has four league goals in seven appearances this term, and six across all competitions.

However, Paratici said Tottenham will not be making a move for Vlahovic amid uncertainty over the future of Spurs star Harry Kane.

"Many clubs like the Serbian's profile, but for now he is not in Tottenham's plans," Paratici said at the Festival dello Sport event on Sunday.

Kane was tipped to leave Tottenham for Premier League champions City at the start of the season but a transfer to Manchester did not materialise.

The England international is yet to find the net in any of his opening six Premier League matches of the campaign, though he scored a Europa Conference League hat-trick prior to the international break to take his tally to five goals for the 2021-22 tournament.

As rumours continue regarding his Tottenham future, Paratici said: "Harry Kane loves Tottenham.

"We've decided to keep Harry last summer to start the re-building, and we're happy with our choice. There's no need of any new talk with Harry.

"He knows how to share the sense of belonging to Spurs."

Raphael Varane was forced off with an injury during the Nations League final between France and Spain on Sunday.

Varane stretched to clear a cross from the right flank in the 40th minute and was taken off moments later after going down to receive medical treatment.

The extent of the centre-back's injury and the exact nature of the problem remained unclear from what seemed like an innocuous situation, with Dayot Upamecano immediately introduced by Didier Deschamps.

Up until his injury, Varane had won only one of three duels but made a team-high two clearances as France limited Spain to speculative efforts.

The former Real Madrid defender's knock will offer Manchester United potential cause for concern as, depending on the extent of the injury, the 28-year-old could be a doubt for next week's Premier League match against Leicester City.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side also have a Champions League clash with Atalanta to contend with before a huge meeting with rivals Liverpool, with Tottenham following on October 30.

United already had injury problems at the back, too, with Harry Maguire having missed time before the international break due to a calf problem.

Emma Hayes' dominant Chelsea team broke a long-standing Premier League record after they scored for a 56th successive Women's Super League game.

Late goals from Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby saw reigning Super League champions Chelsea defeat Leicester City 2-0 on Sunday.

The victory took Chelsea into second place, but also saw them break a record held by Arsenal's men's team.

Between May 2001 and November 2002, Arsene Wenger's side scored in 55 consecutive Premier League games, a tally now overtaken by Chelsea women.

Sam Kerr teed up the second goal of the game for Kirby, with the duo having now combined for 17 goals in the Super League.

It is the joint-most of any pair, alongside Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead. In just 23 league games together Kirby has assisted Kerr 10 times and Kerr has assisted Kirby seven times.

Erling Haaland has his pick of Europe's elite.

The Borussia Dortmund and Norway star is wanted by the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

But Premier League champions City are one particular club looking to prise Haaland from Germany if the rumours are to be believed.

 

TOP STORY – CITY HOPING TO CAPITALISE ON PUMA PARTNERSHIP

Manchester City are hoping their Puma sponsorship and a looming boot deal can help land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Star.

City's kits are manufactured by Puma, while Haaland is reportedly poised to sign a boot deal with the German giants.

Haaland has been linked with City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juve are planning an approach to bring United midfielder Paul Pogba back to Turin. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and while United are keen for a renewal, the Frenchman has been linked with Madrid and PSG also.

- United captain and England defender Harry Maguire is poised for a new bumper contract at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror.

Liverpool are considering a move for Barca's Ousmane Dembele with Juve unwilling to part with Federico Chiesa, says Team Talk.

- According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have made star Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly a priority signing in January. It comes after Newcastle's blockbuster takeover.

PSG are targeting Napoli's soon-to-be free agent Lorenzo Insigne, per Le10 Sport. Insigne has also been linked with Inter and Milan.

- Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek is wanted by Serie A powerhouse Juve, claims Corriere dello Sport. Van de Beek was in talks over an Everton switch during the previous window.

- Milan star Franck Kessie is among Barca's midfielder targets for the January window, says Diario Sport. Van de Beek, Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Marcelo Brozovic of Inter are also options.

Cristiano Ronaldo "is a player who really needs to play" insisted Portugal head coach Fernando Santos, who appeared to criticise Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ronaldo scored for the ninth time in seven Portugal appearances as the Selecao eased past Qatar 3-0 in Saturday's international friendly.

The all-time leading men's international scorer with 112, Ronaldo started and played 45 minutes after he was benched by United boss Solskjaer in the Premier League last week.

Ronaldo – who has scored against a record 46 nations for Portugal – was rested as Solskjaer opted to start Edinson Cavani before introducing the Portuguese superstar for the final 33 minutes in a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

After Portugal's routine win, Santos seemingly aimed a subtle dig at Solskjaer in Ronaldo's historic 181st international appearance.

"It was important to give him some playing time and I understood that it would be better to give him 45 minutes," Santos said post-match.

"Ronaldo is a player who really needs to play, to have contact with the ball. Training is not the same thing. In the last match, he had played 20 minutes [it was 33 minutes]."

Ronaldo has hit the ground running in his second stint with United, the 36-year-old having returned from Juventus before the end of the transfer window.

Named September's Player of the Month in the Premier League, Ronaldo has scored five goals for United, including three in the Premier League.

Ronaldo has outperformed his expected goals (xG – 1.03), expected goals on target (xGOT – 0.9) and goals (0.89) – all three topping the Premier League list.

Page 4 of 172
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.