Will Arsenal regret not looking at Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

Arsenal have been struggling for goals in the Premier League this season, with the Gunners having netted only three times in four games. Strikers Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have only one goal between them in the division, and supporters are questioning why another striker wasn’t brought in during the summer transfer window as a result of their lack of options.

Manager Arsene Wenger ruled out the prospect of a new striker early on in the summer, citing forward Theo Walcott as a secondary option to take the scoring burden off Olivier Giroud. They were linked with a number of players throughout pre-season, with Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continually rumoured to be on his way to the Premier League. However, Arsenal didn’t appear keen to sign him, and he’s now shining for BVB this season.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a bright start to the new campaign, scoring three goals is as many Bundesliga appearances as Dortmund enjoy top spot in the table. Aubameyang has been outstanding for some time, however, coming off the back of the 16 goals in 33 league games last season, and 13 goals in 2013/14 for BVB. For his former side Saint-Etienne, the Gabon international 19 goals in 2012/13, and 16 in 2011/12.

He has a long run of consistent goal tallies in a league season, which is something Arsenal have been crying out for, but Wenger opted against making an approach. It’s a decision that could well cost Arsenal in the long run, with the Londoners having an unconvincing start in the Premier League. Goals have been hard to come by in the first-half of games, and a new face such as Aubameyang would certainly improve what they already have in the side.

Trusting upon an injury-prone Theo Walcott – who has only hit double figures for league goals in one of his five seasons at Arsenal (10 seasons overall) – seems misguided by Wenger, and supporters have been critical of his ignorance to sign a prolific striker this summer. It’s a position fans wanted strengthened last summer too, but their requests have been ignored once more.

With how well Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has started the new season with Borussia Dortmund, will Arsenal regret not making an approach for his services in the summer transfer window? He hardly would have broken the bank by comparison to a lot of other strikers, so it’s a big decision that is likely to come back to haunt Wenger this season.

Could Juventus finally relinquish the Serie A title this season?

Juventus suffered another major blow in the Serie A title race following back-to-back league defeats at the start of the new season. The Old Lady came unstuck to perennial title-rivals AS Roma, losing 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico on the weekend, and now find themselves without a point from their first two games of the campaign. It’s light-years away from where the club were this time in 2014/15, but could be evidence that Massimiliano Allegri’s men are now past their peak.

The Italian giants, who have won four consecutive scudettos, are 17th in the table, and are clearly suffering from a summer exodus of key players. Juventus lost Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Pirlo,  Arturo Vidal,  Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente ahead of the 2015/16 season, and have underperformed as a result. They have parted company with so many influential individuals who played a key role in their past success over the years, so replacing them is a near impossible task. And to lose so many faces all in one summer was always going to hurt the club.

Juventus have been dominant in the division for some time, but have peaked at the tail-end of the 2014/15 campaign, finished runners-up in the Champions League – which would have sealed the treble had they have beaten Barcelona. It’s unlikely the side will come close to making a Champions League final for many years now, and their hopes of defending the Serie A title are in major doubt already.

The worst news could be yet to come for the Old Lady, with Paul Pogba being coveted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all piqued an interest in the talented French midfielder, and his future with Juventus could be up for consideration after such a poor start in the league. Pogba will be very aware that last season may have been the best it could ever be with the Italians, and he may seek greener pastures elsewhere to try and succeed in Europe.

Already six points adrift of the league leaders, Juventus have a major task to make up the ground on their competition, and they’re likely to have genuine competitors for the title in the former of Inter Milan and AS Roma. It means they can’t afford to continue dropping points and letting in for sides gain an even bigger lead over them, but could this be the season where Juve’s monopoly on the Serie A finally ends?

Who is Manchester United target Anthony Martial?

Manchester United are reportedly close to signing AS Monaco striker Anthony Martial for around £36M at the end of the summer transfer window. Manager Louis van Gaal has identified a goalscorer he feels can improve upon what they already have in attack, while potentially taking the burden off Wayne Rooney. The Red Devils’ pursuit of Martial has come as a surprise to supporters given his young age and meagre record for goals, so what can United expect from their proposed target?

Martial, 19, only recently joined Monaco, signing from Olympique Lyonnais in 2013. He made only three league appearances for his former side before the switch, and has since gone on to score 15 times in 69 games for his new club. Hardly a prolific tally, and his lofty asking price is raising a host of questions about United’s scouting team. The Red Devils knew they were thin on attacking options this season after selling Robin van Persie, but they didn’t seem to have any one lined up to come in.

Van Gaal seemed happy to let Wayne Rooney take the mantle of United’s first-choice striker, but the England internationals poor start to the new Premier League season is seeing him now considering his options. Javier Hernandez is the side’s other option up front, but his future is being speculated about amid rumours of interest from Bayern Leverkusen. Martial ha only extended with deal with Monaco in June this year, which bumped up his asking price to well over the odds.

United need an experienced striker who can come straight in to give Rooney competition, or play alongside him. Martial is very much a future star, who could struggle to adjust to the Premier League at such a fragile age. After finishing in the top-four last season, Van Gaal has to keep making positive steps to ensure the side will win a title once his three-year tenure at the club comes to an end. Supporters won’t be convinced with the signing of Martial, especially when Hernandez is desperate for game time.

And for such a large price, many are asking why United haven’t looked at another target for their attack. There are surely plenty other strikers who would provide a more-proven acquisition for £40M in the transfer market? Is Van Gaal making a big mistake plunging so much money on an unproven youngster? Is Martial really enough on his own to turn Manchester United into genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season?

What Tottenham can expect from new-boy Son Heung-min this season

Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur recently confirmed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-min for around £22M this summer to provide competition in the attack. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to strengthen his frontline following the sale of Roberto Soldado and the impending exit of Emmanuel Adebayor, and Son has certainly impressed in his domestic league prior to his White Hart Lane switch.

“I’m looking forward to going there and performing for the Spurs fans as soon as possible. Bold and daring – this is how I like to try to play. I learned the game under my father who was a football coach in my school. I’ve trained with both feet so I can use them freely,” he said upon his arrival.

The 23-year-old has hit double figures for goals in the German Bundesliga in each of his last three seasons, while making more than 40 caps for South Korea, scoring 11 times. It’s easy to forget how young he is given his vast experience for club and country, and Tottenham will be hoping it leads to Son to pick up where he left off for his former side.

Regarded as an industrious, versatile forward, the former Hamburg star is a pacey striker, and adept at using both feet. 49% of his goals scored in the last four years have been with his left foot, 51% with his right. Son is 6 foot 1, but doesn’t provide an aerial threat like Tottenham striker Harry Kane. He relies more on his excessive pace and industrious style, but more importantly is a composed player in front of goal.

As highlighted by Pochettino, Tottenham’s biggest problem has been cutting our their defensive errors, but having another goal threat in the side could be key too. Kane was outstanding for the Londoners last season, but needs competition and a potential strike-partner. It’s led to bids being made for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino this summer, but the clubs haven’t managed to agree a fee.

Tottenham have let themselves down in the Premier League for a number of years, and Kane’s rise to prominence last season masked what could have been a very disappointing campaign. They have spent a lot of money on attacking players, but consistency has been a problem. Son could offer a new dimension in the Tottenham side in 2015/16, and his impressive scoring record over the last few years could see him shine in his debut season.

Shinji Kagawa finding his form in a Borussia Dortmund shirt again

Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa has enjoyed a bright start to the new Bundesliga season, with the 26-year-old scoring and creating two goals in as many games. His return to the Westfalenstadion didn’t quite go to plan in the first-half of last season, with former manager Jurgen Klopp having to drop him until he could find some consistency in his performances, but this campaign sees the Japanese international at his best

“I’m delighted for (Kagawa) as he really deserved it. He worked incredibly hard in the second half, created a lot and set the tone time and time again. I thought we looked very good. We were ever-present, dominated the match and delivered a really top performance,” said new manager Thomas Tuchel after a 4-0 win against FC Ingolstadt.

BVB were outstanding in pre-season under their new head coach Tuchel, and Kagawa was a notable standout performer in many of the games. The former Manchester United midfielder has continued such impressive form into all competitions with three goals in their Europa League qualifiers, and he could well be a key player on all four fronts this season.

After a failed spell in the Premier League, Kagawa’s career seemed to be spiralling following a difficult return to Germany, but his early season form suggests real progress. The Japanese playmaker has been at his creative best in the German top-flight, and has helped Dortmund to second in the table with a 100% record from their two games played.

The in-form club have scored eight goals without reply, and are being tipped to challenge defending champions Bayern Munich for the league crown as a result. Dortmund have stiff competition in the side, with the likes of Henrik Mkhitaryan also impressing for BVB, but Kagawa is sure to keep his place in the side if he continues performing.

Before a failed spell in the Premier League with Manchester United, Kagawa was a star in the Bundesliga. He won back-to-back titles with BVB (2010/11 & 2011/12), scoring 21 goals in his 49 league games in his two-year stint in Germany. Things didn’t go well after earning a big-money move to United, however, with the 26-year-old failing to score at all in his second season at Old Trafford, but Kagawa is sure to put his two failed years behind him.

Now he’s finally proving his worth with his a side where he enjoyed the most success in his career, Kagawa could lead the side to silverware based on his showings so far. Supporters will be delighted to see a former hero at his best in his second stint, and will be licking their lips at the prospect of what he could once again achieve for BVB.

Candidatos al trofeo Pichichi

¿Quién será el máximo goleador de la temporada 2015/16? La primera jornada de Liga ha arrancado con un pobre registro goleador de 12 tantos, pero seguro que el campeonato terminará con un total abrumador. Cabe recordar que en las últimas 7 temporadas, el máximo goleador de la Liga también se ha llevado la Bota de Oro en Europa.

Las casas de apuestas se frotan las manos con las múltiples posibilidades y el duelo Messi-Ronaldo se presenta como el más ambicioso. Pero desde luego que no será el único.

Cristiano Ronaldo

El año pasado, el luso firmó su mejor campaña liguera anotando la friolera de 48 tantos. Además, le toca defender el Balón de Oro, un aliciente más para sacar todo su potencial goleador.

Lionel Messi

Desde luego que a «la pulga» no le falta olfato goleador, ha llegado incluso a marcar medio centenar en una sola campaña. El pique con Ronaldo le motiva y volverá a verse las caras por un trofeo que en 6 años se lo han repartido entre los dos.

Antoine Griezmann

Rápido, joven y con gran experiencia. El delantero colchonero ya marcó un golazo de falta directa en la primera jornada de Liga. El Cholo confía plenamente en él y en todo su potencial ofensivo.

Gareth Bale

El gales cuenta con toda la confianza del nuevo técnico para terminar de explotar.


El brasileño puede estar en su mejor momento de forma y la conexión con la MSN le puede dar, si cabe, más gol.

Jackson Martínez

Es la gran apuesta del Atlético de Madrid y debuta en la Liga. El flamante fichaje colombiano ya deslumbró a Europa la temporada pasada con el Oporto. ¿Batirá su registro goleador?

Luis Suárez

Es la pieza que falta para que la delantera culé roce la excelencia. La temporada pasada solo dio los resultados esperados en la segunda vuelta, pero tras haber dejado atrás su famosa sanción por el mordisco pretender ampliar sus registros.

Karim Benzema

Benítez le ha puesto deberes para esta temporada, tiene que anotar al menos 25 goles. Si el francés está enchufado, no solo puede alcanzar la cifra sino incluso superarla.

Aritz Aduriz

Puede que esté lejos de las grandes estrellas, pero la veteranía del delantero vasco nos impide dejarle de lado. En la Supercopa de España le hizo 4 goles al Barcelona.

Gameiro, Immobile, Negredo, Nolito o Soldado pueden ser algunos de los revulsivos goleadores de la Liga. Quizá estén lejos de los promedios astronómicos de otras estrellas, pero no cabe duda de que sus disparos sobrepasarán varias ocasiones las redes de los cancerberos rivales. La pugna por el Pichichi está servida.

Why Real Sociedad could enjoy a successful second season under David Moyes

Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad recently brought back midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Madrid this summer, with the deep-lying player having struggled for game time at the Santiago Bernabeu. He will join a side strengthened from arrivals such as Jonathas (£5M from Elche), Bruma (loan from Galatasaray), and David Concha (£700K from Racing), as well as a solid existing squad of talent.

And with manager David Moyes having a full pre-season to work with the players, Sociedad are sure to enjoy a more success in the following campaign to the Scot’s debut term at the club. Real drew their opening La Liga fixture away to Deportivo, and could take time to get into their groove before consistency shows, but they are engrained in a philosophy on industry that will hold them in good stead.

With a modest budget, Moyes has kept the new faces to a minimum, with team ethic and familiarity being what drives Sociedad on each season. They finished the previous campaign in a very respectable 12th place, which was a tremendous achievement given the amount of players they’d lost the previous summer, and where they were in the table when Moyes took over.

The former Everton man has said this season that he would consider spending many more years with Sociedad if things went well, and is looking forward to getting a full campaign under his belt. “I might stay for five years, more, but I want to give myself a chance to do a full season,” he said. Sociedad should be much more settled than 2014/15 now Moyes has had a long time to work his philosophy into the squad, which means supporters should see more clean sheets and a low conceded tally.

Real ended the previous season with hit and miss form, winning two, drawing two and losing two of their final six games. They have already picked up a clean sheet away from home in their opener, and will be hoping for many more. Performances on the road will be one area Moyes will want to improve upon, as it could be the difference between a strong top-half finish.

Their next game this season is against Sporting Gijon, who managed to take a point in their opener against Real Madrid. Home advantage will play a big factor, with David Moyes men losing just five of 19 games in their own backyard.

Can Real Sociedad pick up from where they left off?

Can hat-trick hero Wayne Rooney hit the ground running in the Premier League?

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney ended his goal drought with a hat-trick against Belgian side Club Brugge, as the Red Devils stormed to victory in the second leg of Wednesday night’s Champions League qualifiers. The England international, 29, has been under pressure for a less than prolific 2015, but silenced his critics with a ruthless display in front of goal this week.

“I have given him always the confidence that a player needs, but I think Wayne has a very strong mentality and with his level he always shall come back. He proved that this evening, but also there’s still a long way for him and also for Manchester United. Every goal shall give confidence to every player, even Wayne. I’m very happy for him,” said his manager Louis van Gaal.

Rooney’s next objective will be to replicate such scoring antics in the Premier League, but it won’t be easy given his nine-game run without a goal in the division. Rooney scored just four goals in 19 games in 2014/15, so supporters may need to continue being patient with the striker in the domestic league. As Manchester United’s chief striker, Rooney can hardly afford a goal drought this season if the Red Devils are to enjoy success.

Louis van Gaal‘s men are the joint-lowest scorers in the Premier League so far this campaign, with Rooney having struggled to shine early on. The former Everton man has had chances, but hadn’t taken them until Wednesday. Manchester United hardly had another viable option in his absence either, with Javier Hernandez the only cover for the long-serving forward.

It’s been a gamble not signing a goalscorer in the summer transfer market, but if Rooney can continue his European form in the Premier League, such faith in the striker will seem a masterstroke of management. Manchester United travel to face Swansea City this weekend, which will be a tough game given the Welsh club beat Van Gaal’s men at the Liberty Stadium in 2014/15.

Rooney’s goal tallies over the last few years have been scrutinised, with the 29-year-old averaging just 13.6 league goals per season.  If United are to win the title, the England man will need to double such an average, starting on Sunday. He’ll be full of confidence after ending his drought, and now needs to prove his credentials in the domestic league to ensure Manchester United keep picking up results.

So can the hat-trick hero now hit the ground running in the Premier League this season?

¿Quién es Mateo Kovačić?

Mateo Kovačić es el nuevo y flamante fichaje del Real Madrid. Este jugador de tan solo 21 años es una de las grandes promesas del fútbol europeo. El nivel de exigencia en el conjunto blanco siempre es muy alto y Kovačić reúne muchos requisitos busca darle un toque de calidad y talento extra a la hora de seguir levantando títulos.

El futbolista nació en Austria, pero sus orígenes balcánicos le impulsaron a decantarse por la selección croata. Ya sabe lo que es participar en una Copa del Mundo y lleva dos años siendo titular indiscutible en el Inter de Milán. Estos son solo algunos de los motivos por lo que el equipo de Florentino Pérez haya puesto los ojos en él, pero desde luego que no los únicos.

Su joven pero forjada experiencia, su habilidad con el balón, su regate, su posición en el campo, su táctica, su técnica…  Los mismísimos Zanetti y Trapattoni ya han alabado públicamente y en más de una ocasión todas sus virtudes. Además, Benítez buscaba un mediocentro de garantías para rotar a lo largo de la temporada con Kroos y Modric, y parece que ha encontrado al candidato ideal. El futbolista reconoce que se encuentra más cómodo como medio defensivo, pero a pesar de ello no esconde su olfato goleador, la temporada pasada anotó 8 tantos.

Kovačić ya se enfrentó hace tan solo una semanas al Real Madrid en un partido de pretemporada, lo que propició que el conjunto blanco comenzase a fijarse en el futbolista. No obstante, el fichaje se ha llevado a cabo en apenas unos días y como petición especial del técnico Benítez. El precio se ha establecido en 28 millones de euros más variables y finalmente lucirá el dorsal número 16, el que la temporada pasaba llevaba Luca Silva, lo que paralelamente parece alejar al brasileño del Bernabéu.

Rafa Benitez Sees £250M Worth of Talent Thwarted in Real’s La Liga Opener

New Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez saw a starting eleven worth over £250M held to a goalless draw away to Las Palmas in their La Liga opener. Despite naming a side with Gareth Bale, Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo as a trio of attacking-midfielders, the Spaniards just couldn’t find the breakthrough, and are now already behind defending champions Barcelona in the table after just one game.

“I knew it would be a match where Sporting would push us hard. We needed to be fast and accurate, but took many shots but without precision. In the first half we gave Sporting options. We must improve in that regard. We need to work harder. Our reaction in the second half was good. We showed character and personality. I’m happy with what I saw in the second half. I remain optimistic. Sporting played very well, they were very tidy,” said Rafael Benitez following the game.

Benitez has an embarrassment of riches in the squad, and was allowed to spend a further £60M in this summer’s transfer market to strengthen the side. However, it’s so far not paying dividends early in the new season. Real were guilty of profligacy against Sporting, with so many of their shots coming from distance and failing to hit the target.

It’s long been a problem of Real’s when they come up against a defensively organised side, and they’ll be hoping the goals flow in their next game. Stifling the attacking powers of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale won’t help the side’s cause, and the Los Blancos boss could already be considering putting more emphasis on creating clear cut chances, rather than pot-shots from distance.

Benitez was brought in this summer to turn the side in title-winners after so many years of disappointment, but he’ll quickly lose the supporters if things don’t improve fast. The Real fans are expecting success, but their track record suggests they’ll be in for more disappointment this season.

It’s tough task balancing the side out, as well as ensuring their attacking prowess hasn’t been disrupted, and Real have fallen short year after year. The Spanish giants are looking to be more defensively resilient to control more games, as in the past they have conceded goals on a regular basis by being caught to high up the pitch. And while a 0-0 result isn’t too much to worry about in the opening game of the Spanish La Liga, Real can’t afford too many dropped points early on.