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Cenk Tosun could become an elite striker under Marco Silva next term

Everton’s star talisman could benefit massively from Marco Silva’s regime at Goodison Park.

Jamie Watts

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Everton‘s star striker Cenk Tosun recently vowed to reach new levels and is convinced he can be even better next season, after impressing in his debut campaign in a shackled Toffees side, in quotes via the official club website.

And the Turkish international will be thrilled by the appointment of Marco Silva, as he will likely be spearheading a far more progressive and attacking team next term.

The highly-rated forward netted an impressive five goals in only 12 starts for Sam Allardyce’s side, after joining from Turkish giants Besiktas in the winter window and helping Everton to reach a comfortable eighth-place finish in the process.

Photo: Getty Images

Known for his clinical edge in front of goal, the Turk did not disappoint, boasting an impressive 42 per cent accuracy rating for shots-on-target, bettering the likes of Tottenham‘s Harry Kane on 41 per cent.

However, his output was limited by Allardyce’s pragmatic style, with the striker often feeding on scraps in attacking areas, and he undoubtedly has higher levels to hit if Silva can accommodate the 27-year-old properly and surround him with like-minded attacking players.

The recent names circulating in the Everton rumour mill certainly suggest Tosun’s supply line will be richer after the summer, with the likes of Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins and Bas Dost being touted as potential arrivals (A Bola).

Photo: Getty Images

The new Everton manager is sure to see Tosun as a vital member of his squad going forward, as the club aim to see results for their £27 million investment.

While owner Farhad Moshiri’s ambitions of European football at Goodison Park dovetail with the Turkish international’s Champions League pedigree.

Considering the numbers Tosun managed under Allardyce, there is no telling how many goals he could bag under the tutelage of Silva in an attack-minded outfit. And many could be surprised at his impact next season.

Liverpool

Does the arrival of Alisson make Liverpool genuine title contenders?

The Brazilian arrived for a £67 million fee this week.

Martyn Cooke

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Alisson
Photo: Getty Images

It is nearly 28 years since Liverpool last won a top-flight title in English football and it is fair to say that the club have struggled to match the exploits of their illustrious past during the Premier League era.

Supporters have had to be content watching from afar as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have come to dominate the top flight of English football whilst Leicester City fans will take every opportunity to highlight their own unexpected title triumph three years ago.

It would be fair to say that Liverpool have not necessarily offered many genuine challenges for the Premier League title over the last two decades. Yes, there were near misses during the reigns Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers, but those exploits have been the exception rather than the rule.

The Reds have undoubtedly made significant progress under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp over the previous two years and there has been a sense around Anfield that the charismatic German has been building a team capable of reaching the pinnacle of the domestic game.

Reaching the Champions League final last season, although ultimately ending in defeat, highlighted how far the team have come in a relatively short space of time.

(Photo by Filipp Monteforte/Getty Images)

However, there has also been a sense that Klopp has been missing a couple of crucial pieces of jigsaw as he developed his new-look Liverpool side.

His team produces exciting, dynamic and fast flowing football that results in plenty of goals and entertainment, yet this has often been undermined by defensive frailties.

Ask any supporter which two positions have needed strengthening and you are likely to receive the same two answers – central defence and goalkeeper.

The purchase of Virgil van Dijk in January for £75 million was a definitive signal of intent and more than adequately fulfilled the need for a dominant, commanding central defender.

The Dutchman was increasingly impressive during the second half of the season and everyone could acknowledge the positive impact that he had on the defensive unit.

The need for a goalkeeper was ruthlessly highlighted in the Champions League final in May.

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet had shared goalkeeping duties over the previous two seasons but it was the German stopper that had emerged as the club’s number one.

However, two crucial mistakes in Kiev ultimately gifted Read Madrid the Champions League trophy whilst firmly highlighting Liverpool’s need for a world-class goalkeeper if they had any intention of challenging the best clubs in Europe.

Therefore, the arrival of Brazilian stopper Alisson this week from Roma in a £67 million deal comes as little surprise.

The 25-year-old was the leading goalkeeper in Serie A last season, no mean feat considering the presence of Gianluigi Buffon and Gianluigi Donnarumma in the top flight of Italian football.

He was also first choice for the national team in the summer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia where he was selected ahead of Manchester City stopper Ederson, further underlining how highly he is rated.

(Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

The final piece of the jigsaw?

Jurgen Klopp has now addressed the two key issues in the Liverpool team by purchasing the best goalkeeper and central defender that money could buy – both are world record fees for players in their position – in the last two transfer windows.

Is Alisson the final piece of the jigsaw that will facilitate a genuine title challenge from Liverpool this season? Supporters are certainly hoping imagine so.

The Reds now have a squad that is full of creativity and goals whilst also now, following the arrivals of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, being built on a strong defensive foundation. You already sense that there will be a much greater balance to the Liverpool team next season.

It is also worth noting that the importance of having a world class goalkeeper is often understated in the media.

Whilst a star striker who scores goals on a regular basis may be a more appealing sight, a good stopper is worth their weight in gold and can easily earn their side an extra 10 points per season if they produce crucial saves at vital moments.

It is hard to think of a Premier League winning side that did not possess a quality goalkeeper.

Last season Manchester City had Ederson. During their most successful period Chelsea had Petr Cech in his prime. Further back, the title successes masterminded by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United were based on the goalkeeping greatness of Edwin van der Saar and Peter Schmeichel.

Liverpool have undoubtedly made rapid progress under Klopp over the previous twelve months and the German has spent over £400 million since his appointment to build a team in his own image. Alisson is the final missing piece.

Manchester City may well have waltzed to the Premier League title last season but Liverpool have positioned themselves as the club most likely to challenge the champions in the forthcoming campaign.

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West Ham United

One winner and one loser from West Ham’s move for Domagoj Vida

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Photo: Getty Images.

An impressive summer of recruitment could be set to continue at the London Stadium as reports suggest that West Ham have lodged a £20 million bid for Croatia international Domagoj Vida.

The Besiktas defender made a name for himself with his impressive displays at the World Cup in Russia and BeIN Sports Turkey claim that West Ham were so impressed that they have made a formal offer.

The report goes on to suggest that the two clubs remain in negotiations over a potential deal, but just who would it affect the most in east London?

Winner: Declan Rice

This pre-season has already been a good one for the young defender, who will look to consolidate himself as a first team regular under Manuel Pellegrini in 2018/19. All that remains to be seen is in which position that will be.

“It’s a new manager coming in and I think everyone has got a fresh start under him. I can’t wait to show him what I’m about and what I can do. I played 32 or 33 times last year and I want to carry on this year. I want to keep playing games and keep improving and learning.”

Rice is keen to build on his progress from last season.

The 19-year-old may continue as a central defender, where he ended the season under David Moyes, and could benefit hugely from the experience of Vida, or alternatively may move into holding midfield, where he has played throughout his time in the club’s youth set-up.

Vida’s arrival could give extra flexibility and also bring in an experienced option to field alongside him, though his popular status in the stands as much as in the directors’ box or in the dressing room will mean that he is unlikely to lose his spot if he can maintain his form.

Loser: Winston Reid

Expected to be out of action until October, according to BBC Sport, the last thing that the New Zealand captain will want is to know that his place will be even more under threat than it currently is.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Reid suffered a raft of injuries last season with a groin problem and knee injury preventing him from making more than 20 appearances in total, which at 30-years-old will be a major concern for Manuel Pellegrini.

This season could be decisive in where Reid’s future will lie given the emergence of Rice and potential arrival of Vida, despite having a contract until 2023.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Does Dele Alli deserve a pay rise in his new Tottenham contract?

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Photo: Getty Images.

After a summer of World Cup heartbreak, Dele Alli could be set for a boost by putting pen to paper on a new contract which will see him earn £100,000 per week, according to The Sun.

The news comes after a frustrating and disappointing 2017/18 campaign for the midfielder, who scored 14 goals in 50 games compared to 22 goals in the same number of games in 2016/17.

Yet, Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham are clearly keen to put their faith in the youngster and back him to return to the peaks of his sensational first two seasons in the Premier League, though many would point out that last season was far from a poor return.

“At 21 years of age, when you set your standards as high as I did in the last two years, it’s not always the case that you’re going to be able to reach them all the time. Some people think if you’re not scoring or assisting then you’re playing badly, but I criticise myself all the time. I always think I can do better, I can do more for the team, so it’s just about working on myself and my own game.”

Alli confessed that his form has slumped to the Daily Mail.

Alli has undoubted potential and is one of the first names on Pochettino’s team-sheet, so it is no surprise that the club are so keen to tie down his future for the long-term by extending his deal beyond the current agreement until 2022.

At £100,000 per week, he may be one of Tottenham’s highest earners, but it represents a bargain for a player of his quality particularly put into context in the current market and given that Dele is an asset that the club cannot afford to upset or risk losing. After all, the Mirror cited the Global Sports Salaries Survey in November as saying that Manchester United‘s current average wage is in six figures.

(Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

As Pochettino continues to build and develop his young side, Dele will be at the heart of it in midfield and providing a link with Harry Kane in attack, making him just as valuable as the man that he so often assists.

Putting him level with Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris, who The Sun say are Tottenham’s top earners on £100,000 per week, is justified after his performances over the past three seasons.

A young English talent who scores goals for fun and sets even more up, Dele Alli is exactly the kind of player that Daniel Levy should consider adjusting his wage structure for.

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