Denis Suarez exit from Barcelona long overdue

Denis Suarez

Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez  looks set to leave the Camp Nou in January with a number of reports linking him with a move to the English Premier League. Arsenal are the club most prominently linked to the 24-year-old, while London rivals Chelsea are among the other sides linked.

The midfielder, formerly of Sevilla and Villarreal, moved to the Camp Nou from Manchester City in 2013 but has seen first-team football at the Blaugrana extremely limited. The 25-year-old has played just 17 minutes of La Liga action this campaign and badly need a move if he is to earn any first-team football. Continue reading

Atletico Madrid could suffer mass summer exodus

Diego Godin

Atletico Madrid could be set for a summer of mass change with defensive trio Juanfran, Filipe Luis and Diego Godin all entering the final six months of their respective contracts. The three experienced defenders are all out of contract at the Wanda Metropolitano in June and there is a serious possibility that all three will depart the club.

It could lead to a serious shortage of defenders at Los Rojiblancos, with Lucas Hernandez also linked with a summer switch to Bayern Munich, who have been reported as attempting to activate his €80m release clause. It could lead to a break-up of what is arguably European football’s best drilled back-line. Continue reading

Santiago Solari already on borrowed time at Real Madrid

Santiago Solari

Real Madrid’s defeat on Sunday at home to Real Sociedad was their first loss against the Basque club in the Spanish capital in 15 years. La Real ran out 4-1 victors back in April 2004 and Santiago Solari was one of the midfielders that day for the beleaguered hosts.

This time round, the Argentine was sitting in the Madrid dugout and, despite being appointed only two months ago, must already feel like he is on borrowed time in the position. It was the latest damaging result under his stewardship and leaves Los Blancos ten points adrift at the top of La Liga. Continue reading

Ernesto Valverde successes are underappreciated at Barcelona

valverde

Ernesto Valverde is out of contract at Barcelona this summer and recent comments to club media have suggested he will leave his post at the end of the current campaign. In his first season in charge he led the club to a domestic double and his side currently sit clear at the top of La Liga.

To many outsiders it may appear surprising that the 54-year-old is under pressure at the Catalan giants considering his successes at the club. After all, his side suffered just one league defeat last season and that was after the Spanish league title had already been wrapped up in convincing fashion. Continue reading

Brahim Diaz joining Real Madrid leaves more questions than answers

Brahim Diaz

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Manchester City teenager Brahim Diaz on a six-and-a-half year deal, but is it right move for the club and, more importantly, is it the right move for the player?

Diaz, 19, joined City’s youth system from Malaga in 2013 but his contract in Manchester was due to expire this summer. For a number of months he had been telling reporters that he wanted a move way to guarantee more first-team football elsewhere, which he believed would help aid his development as a player. Continue reading

Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad hold shared uncertain future

Basque Derby

Of the 17 teams to both start and finish the calendar year in La Liga, Athletic Club Bilbao recorded the lowest points tally: 38. There was no surprise that Leganes (40) were the second lowest scorers but it was a damning indication on Athletic’s Basque rivals Real Sociedad that their record of 45 points was third lowest.

Somewhat bizarrely, it is this trio of teams who are perched immediately above the current relegation zone in La Liga and there is an acceptance for the two Basque giants that, if they do not markedly improve in the new year, it will be curtains. Continue reading

Lucas Hernandez exit would be disaster for Atletico Madrid

Lucas Hernandez

With everything that he has already achieved in his career, it is easy to forget that Lucas Hernandez  is only a 22-year-old. Perhaps it is because of his physical frame or the fact he is a year older than brother Theo, or maybe it is because he is already an elite defender.

Just ahead of La Liga’s final round of matches before the winter break, Marca broke the news that the French defender had agreed a four-year contract with Bayern Munich. The German champions, the report claimed, had already met his €80m release clause. It is news that threatens to derail Diego Simeone’s project at Los Rojiblancos. Continue reading

Eden Hazard the perfect fit for Real Madrid

Eden Hazard

Earlier this week, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri told reporters ‘it is time to decide’ the future of star player Eden Hazard. The Belgian international has been influential for the Blues this season while he netted his 100th and 101st goals for the club in the Boxing Day victory at Watford.

The playmaker has continually stated he is ‘happy’ at the West London club and all indications suggest he would not cause disruption in his push for an exit. Yet for the best part of 18 months he has continually flirted with Real Madrid, fluttering his eyelashes in their direction on any occasion he is quizzed about his future. Continue reading

Real Betis and Sevilla enjoying fantastic seasons

Real Betis v Sevilla

This has been a crazy, unpredictable La Liga season but as we head into Christmas the table is finally starting to take shape. Barcelona lead the way and both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are, as predicted, in the top four shake-up.

However, after 16 rounds of matches it is Sevilla who sit in second place while city rivals Real Betis have risen to fifth. Both clubs will be playing knockout European football this season. Indeed, of all the 80 teams across the Champions League and Europa League group stages, none scored as many as Sevilla (18) while none conceded fewer than Betis (2). Continue reading

Five defeats in a row has Espanyol in a spin

Rubi Espanyol

It is said that a month is a long time in football and for fans of Espanyol, the past five weeks have felt like an eternity. On Matchday 12 at Sevilla, Rubi’s side led 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining. The club were poised to stay second and go within one point of league leaders and city rivals Barcelona. Dizzying heights for a club accustomed to languishing in mid-table.

Two late goals saw the Catalan side downed in Seville. Then they lost 3-1 at home to regional rivals Girona. Next up was a trip to Getafe, and another damaging defeat: 3-0. The Barcelona derby at home to the champions offered the ultimate sense of reviving form but instead they lost by four goals while they subsequently slipped to a 3-1 loss at home to Real Betis. Five games, five defeats. Continue reading