Who is Daniel James and is he worth the money?


Given how a lot of the transfer news circulates around social media, especially through Twitter, majority of football fans prefer to keep up to date through this method rather than awaiting for the breaking news on BBC Sport or Sky Sports News. With how reliable the likes of David Ornstein, Gianluca Di Marzio and Mohamed Bouhafsi are, it’s not a surprise to see how things have changed over the last couple of years.

The similar situation was with Daniel James before he had joined Manchester United from Swansea City, where a potential deal seemed close in the middle of May. However, due to tragic passing away of the player’s father, both his current team and soon-to-be new club respectfully gave him enough time to grieve with his family and his friends, which was a brilliant act from the two football clubs.

Focusing more on the individual and his £15million deal to the red side of Manchester, the Old Trafford faithful are hoping that he isn’t the only attacking outlet that arrives this summer, as they lack the pure quality up front. Not only that, some of them are starting to feel that the club’s transfer policy has began to finally change, and that they are seriously targeting players by their huge potential and quality rather than by their name.

At such a low price of purchase compared to the other signings United have completed throughout the last couple of summer windows, the player himself should see his first season in the top-tier of English football as a full year to settle into the club before the expectations begin to rise. Then again, it is easier said than done, as well-known players such as Memphis Depay, Radamel Falcao and Wilfried Zaha failed to get going.

Being recognised for his incredible burst of pace, James has evolved into quite the talent over the last 12 to 18 months, allowing him to memorably earn his international debut for Wales in November 2018 whilst going onto complete 33 league appearances in the Championship. Also, he ended the season with an individual honour that will now be very dear to him, as he won Swansea City’s best Newcomer of the Year award.

Furthermore, his intelligence to work within tight areas on and off the ball has made him a dangerous wide outlet, with the full-backs unsure whether to man mark him or sit deep and defend their own half. With how highly rated he is by the Wales coach, Ryan Giggs, there is no surprise that the former United player as well as his close assistants would have advised his previous club of how incredibly talented the young whizkid is.

Not many would remember this from the 2019 January transfer window. However, James himself was actually close to signing for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United for a fee of £10million, and he had also went up to the county of Yorkshire to complete his medical too. Just a couple of minutes before the transfer deadline had passed, Swansea City pulled the plug on deal, ensuring he stays at the Liberty Stadium.

It is too early to see the type of role given to the 21-year-old, but if he goes on to becoming an instant impact as a substitution before playing a crucial part in the cup fixtures, then there is no arguments at all that prevents him from being a regular starter. And if that is the case, he could be the perfect long-term signing that both Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof are hoping to become, two young individuals with huge potential that came to the club with huge expectations and have already become fan favourites.

Overall, Manchester United have always been known for their attacking and dominant football, where they operate through the flanks through the wingers’ creativity and pace, which Daniel James will surely be looking to offer as the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata have failed to consistently do so in recent seasons.

Now, everyone will wait and see how his debut season goes, as he has officially become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing as the manager of the club…..

Four Championship players who have the capability of being a big hit in the Premier League


Premier League football is a month or so away from coming to an end, with some clubs currently chasing for a top four finish whilst the others are aiming to escape the relegation zone before it is too late.

With the summer transfer window being just a few months away, most of the teams will definitely be looking at the familiar names within the top five leagues to purchase. However, no harm would be done if many of the mid-table sides are scouting the lesser-known players in the divisions below the top flight.

It’s no secret that the transfer fees continue to rise massively summer by summer, especially for the talented players from the Championship, though it shouldn’t put many of the big teams in the Premier League off, as many of the rising gems and youngsters have proved their crucial worth so far this season.

The quality of the Championship and League One football may not be on the same level as the Premier League, but players from the second and third tier have shown how good they are at the top level of English football in recent years, with the likes of Dele Alli, James Maddison and Joe Gomez being the perfect examples to have gone on to do well at their respective clubs.

Here are the five players who are impressively talented and could become unplayable at the highest division of English football, if they are to reach that level through promotion or a huge transfer move…

Che Adams – Birmingham City

Being one of the five players to have bagged over 20 league goals in just less than 40 Championship starts, Che Adams is currently enjoying his third season at Birmingham City, which is proving to be his most prolific one till date. At the age of 22, the Leicester-born forward has a long career ahead of himself, as he is already showing his rising ability to score from open play as well as from his favoured right foot.

Scoring 22 of Birmingham’s 58 league goals so far this campaign, he has kept his team above the relegation zone practically on his own, which already clearly shows how much of an impact he has been at St Andrew’s and under manager Garry Monk over the last six to nine months. And following his recent contributions, he has begun to gain the attention and recognition for a number of Premier League clubs.

Known for his incredible pace and his amazing eye for goal, he is also able to work hard defensively along with his team-mates whilst completing the required tackles and tactical fouls when required. Having already being reportedly linked with a huge move to the top flight of English football, a potential move to the likes of Leicester City, Southampton or West Ham may make sense for his long-term career plans.

Conner Roberts – Swansea City

Since his senior debut for Swansea City in 2018, Conner Roberts has been a regular starter for the club this season and has been earning all the rewards he deserves, after spending a number of years in the youth academy as well as the unsuccessful loans at Bristol Rovers and Middlesbrough. Now, he is playing week in and out at right-back and has also achieved nine appearances for Wales over the last year or so.

Over the last couple of years, English football has evolved to the next level and improved tactically, where the full-backs are starting to play a crucial role on both sides of the pitch and are proving to be a main factor in offering another dimension to the team’s attacking ideas. On that note, Roberts looks to be doing the same for Swansea so far this term, as he has managed to achieve five goals and one assist.

Roberts has completed 46 key passes so far this season and has produced the same amount as league goals as attacking midfielder Bersant Celina, which makes him Swansea’s second-highest creative threat within the final third of the pitch. If he continues to remain consistent defensively and attackingly, he could easily become a wanted man ahead of the summer window, as the lack of quality right-backs in the Premier League is starting to become a huge concern.

John Egan – Sheffield United

It is never easy to find a good defender in the Championship, whether it is a centre-back or a full-back, because the defending in this division compared to the Premier League is a few standards below. However, Sheffield United’s John Egan has proven to be one of the best defenders in the Championship, having played a colossal job in help the Blades to have the second best defensive record in the league.

Before making his move to Sheffield last summer, Egan previously got going at both Brentford and Gillingham, where he gained the experience as well as the game time to become a good centre-back that allowed him to play for a club with more ambition and higher aspirations. Standing at 6ft one inch tall, he has the presence to be aerially dominant on both sides of the pitch, especially through the set-pieces.

For sure, he may not seem as an ideal candidate to make a move to any of the teams in the top half of the table, due to those clubs already having better players and individuals with more potential. However, the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley and Newcastle United could do with his leadership and presence at the heart of defence, where he can literally get the best out of the backline as well as the rest of his team.

Said Benrahma – Brentford  

The league’s current top player in terms of assist is none other than Said Benrahma, who will be hoping that his 14 assists as well as his 10 crucial goals will allow his team to finish in the top half of the table at the end of the season. After moving away from the reserve team of Ligue 1 side Nice, last summer, the Algerian has now found a place where he play to his potential and in a team that is based around him.

Although Benrahma’s contributions have been appreciated by quite a lot of people, his displays for the club may be forgotten if Brentford end up being unsuccessful with their aim of picking up maximum points or somewhere along 16 to 18 league wins as a whole. Either way, the 23-year-old will have caught the attention of many by now, as he looks to have reached the early peak days of his football career.

Possessing the intelligence and understanding to play down the flanks as well as in the number ten role, Benrahma would without a doubt not find it hard to handle the physical style of play against the Premier League midfielders and defenders. When you see the likes of Felipe Anderson, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ryan Fraser having a solid season, it will surely motivate him to finally make that big move to the top flight.

Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 38


Burnley vs AFC Bournemouth

Burnley (4-4-1-1)

Nick Pope, Matthew Lowton, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward, Aaron Lennon, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jeff Hendrick, Sam Vokes

Questionable: Ben Mee, Chris Wood

Out: Ashley Barnes, Robbie Brady, Scott Arfield, Steven Defour

AFC Bournemouth (3-4-3)

Asmir Begovic, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Ryan Fraser, Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman, Charlie Daniels, Joshua King, Callum Wilson, Marc Pugh

Questionable: Harry Arter, Adam Smith

Out: Junior Stanislas

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Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 37


Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester United

Brighton and Hove Albion (4-4-1-1)

Mathew Ryan, Bruno, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Gatan Bong, Anthony Knockaert, Beram Kayal, Dale Stephens, Jose Izquierdo, Pascal Groβ, Leonardo Ulloa

Questionable: None

Out: Steve Sidwell, Isaiah Brown

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Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 36


Liverpool vs Stoke City

Liverpool (4-3-3)

Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Questionable: Nathaniel Clyne

Out: Joel Matip, Adam Lallana, Emre Can

Stoke City (4-4-1-1)

Jack Butland, Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi, Erik Pieters, Moritz Bauer, Joe Allen, Papa Alioune Ndiaye, Ramadan Sobhi Ahmed, Zherdan Shaqiri, Mame Biram Diouf Continue reading

Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 35


Burnley vs Chelsea

Burnley (4-4-2)

Nick Pope, Matthew Lowton, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward, Aaron Lennon, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmindsson, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood

Questionable: Georges-Kevin N’koudou, Jonathan Walters
Out:  Scott Arfield, Steven Defour, Ben Mee, Robbie Brady

Chelsea (3-4-2-1)

Thibault Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill, Davide Zappacosta, Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso, Willian, Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata

Questionable: None
Out: David Luiz, Danny Drinkwater, Ethan Ampadu

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Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 34


Southampton vs Chelsea

Southampton (3-4-2-1)

Alex McCarthy, Ryan Bertrand, Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares, Oriol Romeu, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic, Manolo Gabbiadini

Questionable: Mario Lemina, Shane Long

Out: Jack Stephens, Sam McQueen, Steven Davis

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Premier League Expected Line-Ups – Week 33


Everton vs Liverpool

Everton (4-2-3-1)

Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane, Leighton Baines, Wayne Rooney, Morgan Schneiderlin, Theo Walcott, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yannick Bolasie, Cenk Tosun

Questionable: Idrissa Gana Gueye
Out: Gylfi Sigurdsson, James McCarthy, Eliaquim Mangala, Maarten Stekelenburg

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English football predictions for the weekend


This weekend brings with it a host of Premier League and FA Cup fixtures – meaning some players won’t be eligible for points – here are predictions for who we believe will deliver over the upcoming ties.

Premier League predictions

Bournemouth vs. West Brom – home win.

Bournemouth have overcome a poor run of form at the beginning of the season to rise to a respectable mid-table spot – thanks to the exploits of Callum Wilson (34 points) and Jordon Ibe (25 points).

West Brom continue a poor run of form that has seen them win just three games all season and it seems difficult to see them winning on the weekend.

Huddersfield vs. Crystal Palace – home win.

Having faced Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks, Palace have slipped back into a relegation position after a positive start under Hodgson.

The Eagles come up against a Huddersfield side that are in a reasonable vein of form and the likes of Aaron Mooy and Steve Mounie will make this a tough journey for a team in a desperate search for points. Continue reading

Ki Sung-yueng powering Swansea towards survival

Swansea Ki

Amid all the speculation surrounding Ki Sung-yueng’s future, which has served as an unwelcome distraction in Swansea City’s fight to avoid relegation, there’s importantly been no evidence of this impacting the South Korean’s form, for he’s been exceptional since Carlos Carvalhal took over. Continue reading