Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig deserve their chance at Sevilla

Two games, two wins and no goals conceded. The restarted La Liga has gone as well as it could have for Barcelona, but one of their stiffest tests awaits them this Friday night.

Although recent results at Sevilla’s Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan have been favourable to the Catalans, it nonetheless remains one of the more difficult away trips.

If the Blaugranes are able to successfully negotiate that hurdle, with Real Madrid potentially dropping points against Valencia or Real Sociedad either side of Barca’s fixture, it will go some way to determining the destination of the league trophy Continue reading

Martin Braithwaite is the key for Barcelona against Leganes

When Martin Braithwaite signed for Barcelona on an emergency basis earlier in the year, it’s fair to say that a few eyebrows were raised.

A player who had, with respect, a fairly nondescript career to the point before the Catalans had shown an interest in his services, the move for him appeared to be one of desperation.

But the Danish international quickly shut a few mouths. Continue reading

If Arsenal sell Aubameyang they could be in serious trouble

Recent reports have suggested that Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be sold in the summer, and this isn’t just fabricated given that the player is delaying signing a new contract.

Losing Aubameyang would be a huge blow to the Gunners. He has been the difference on so many occasions for the club. It has been an incredibly difficult season for Arsenal which has seen the club flirting with 10th position for long periods. However one has to wonder without his goals if Arsenal would be in the bottom half of the table?

In a difficult period for the club, which in truth has been for the last five years or so, Aubameyang is their one true stardust player, a striker that can make almost anything happen and does the most important of jobs, getting those goals. Of course he isn’t perfect and it is his huge missed chance that resulted in Arsenal being knocked out of the Europa League against Olympiacos a few weeks ago. But maybe the bigger picture shouldn’t just be highlighted on him and could be turned to the overall clubs performance in that 2nd leg.

In all competitions for Arsenal Aubameyang has scored 61 goals from 96 games which is a great return and he has scored 17 goals from 25 league games. Last season he was the joint top scorer in England with 22 goals. Arsenal have scored 40 goals in the league this season and Aubameyang has 17 and assisted in one other. That means he has been involved in 18 of their 40 goals which accounts for 45% of all of their league goals so far this season.

This is the reason that Arsenal losing the player will hurt them. Of course he is now 30 and it has been traditional for Arsenal in past seasons to give out only rolling contracts for players who are 30 or over. The problem with that is it is outdated. Players are fitter now and can last much longer. Aubameyang isn’t going to suddenly lose his quality and has at least four to five years still at the top.

However it may not boil down to Arsenal’s choice even if they do want to keep the player. At the end of the day he has kept delaying signing a contract and one can believe that the main reason is to see if the Gunners qualify for next seasons Champions League. The problem is that they are currently 3 wins from that and have too many teams between them and 4th.

The other problem is that Barcelona have come knocking. Currently they have had to panic buy through a shortage of strikers and bring in Martin Braithwaite. If they could get Aubameyang that would represent quite a capture. Though they don’t like Arsenal’s asking price of £50m, in this current climate and with the brilliant form that the player has been in that price looks like a steal.

Where ever Aubameyang ends up next season, sadly for Arsenal it doesn’t look like he will be playing with them and the club are going to have to have a very successful summer transfer window and bring in the right kind of players to feel this loss. Right now Aubameyang is keeping Arsenal afloat.

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Is Martin Braithwaite the right man for Barcelona?

If all of the rumours are true, then Leganes centre-forward, Martin Braithwaite, will shortly become FC Barcelona’s new striker signing.

It’s a deal that’s come out of nowhere, and there can’t have been too many like it. The reigning champions of the Spanish top flight signing a player from a club who are battling relegation.

Braithwaite’s goals to games ratio isn’t great either, but there is some sense to his hire nonetheless. Continue reading

Rayo Vallecano looking to trade places with Leganes

Rayo Vallecano

One of the most intriguing fixtures in La Liga Game Week 22 will be between two lesser known sides from the Spanish capital – Rayo Vallecano and Leganes.

The sides from South Madrid face each other on Monday night, in what could be a decisive battle in the fight to avoid relegation.

The two sides are just 17km apart, however local rivalry will not be on the only thing on the line at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, with the season edging towards its final third.

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Ligue 1 Player of the Week – Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux)

braithwaite

With the penultimate weekend of the 2017-18 French Ligue 1 season now done and dusted, all that remains is one match in which to make or break your season. For Marseille, for example, their home clash against Amiens could spell the difference between a place in the early stages of next season’s Champions League, or the Europa League. Lyon and even Monaco face very similar challenges. At the other end of the table, with Metz and Troyes already relegated Toulouse will want to halt their recent slump in the visit of Guingamp if they are to avoid joining those two in Ligue 2 next term. Metz, in fact, play host to Bordeaux on the final day of the season – and it is these visitors that this week’s Ligue 1 Player of the Week represents.

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