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Chelsea

Crystal Palace should make Andre Schurrle priority target this summer

Crystal Palace were linked to the German star last month, but progress has stalled.

Jamie Watts

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Photo: Getty Images

Crystal Palace revealed their interest in bringing former Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle back to the Premier League last month, in reports via Calciomercato, but news surrounding the move has since cooled.

However, Palace really can’t afford to rest on their laurels this summer, and the opportunity to sign such a quality addition shouldn’t be passed up so easily. Marquee signings rarely occur for teams in the bottom half of the league and the German would certainly fall into that category.

Roy Hodgson’s outfit managed to secure a comfortable position in the league table this season, having been touted as relegation favourites under the winless run of Frank de Boer. Thankfully, Hodgson – with the help of Wilfried Zaha returning from injury – found a winning formula and impressively finished in 11th place.

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There is no doubting that Zaha’s return was vital in Palace’s mid-season resurgence, highlighting the need for attacking reinforcements next term.

Schurrle struggled for game-time with Borussia Dortmund last season, making as few as 16 appearances under the tutelage of Peter Stoger, and as a result, the 27-year-old has failed to make Germany’s shortlist for the World Cup this month.

Game-time will be a priority for the forward, as he looks to establish himself as a key-man for both club and country in the future, and Palace can certainly offer that. There’s also minimal risk on their end as Schurrle has previously flourished in England’s top flight with Chelsea – scoring 14 goals in 65 games from various positions in a bit-part role.

Photo: Getty Images

Stylistically Schurrle would also suit Palace, as the club are in need of mobility and legs up top, as both Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth are lacking in that department, and he could make runs off their hold-up play similarly to Zaha.

The prospect of both Zaha and Schurrle dovetailing in counter-attacking moves is a frightening prospect for any Premier League outfit, and Palace need options in-case their talisman sustains another injury in the future.

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Atletico Madrid

Rafa Benitez should plot Fernando Torres reunion at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez should plot a reunion with his former superstar.

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish.

The Spaniard is calling for the club to back him in pursuit of a “10 to 15 goals a season” striker this summer, with the likes of Salomon Rondon (Northern Echo) and Bas Dost (the Sun) circulating around the Newcastle rumour mill.

However, both would likely break the Magpies current club-record of £16 million – for Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005 – and perhaps Benitez would be better served going for a former favourite.

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Fernando Torres is a free-agent having left Atletico Madrid, following last month’s Europa League triumph and Newcastle should offer the 34-year-old a route back to England’s top flight this summer.

Under Benitez’s tutelage at Liverpool, Torres was widely recognised as one of the most formidable forwards in world football, and though his impact has diminished over the years, there’s no doubting the World Cup winner’s quality in front of goal.

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The prospect of an elite level striker arriving at St James’ Park on a free transfer is a no brainier if the player can be convinced and the club should make it happen.  He knows the league inside-out, having made 212 appearances for Chelsea – where he won the Champions League – and with Benitez at Anfield, and he could instantly propel Newcastle’s attack to higher levels.

Becoming a crucial part of a new project on Tyneside would be enticing for Torres, as his unwavering desire and tenacity on a football pitch is something that cannot be questioned. And he doesn’t seem the type to move to the States or China in pursuit of one last pay-cheque.

He has all the attributes to become a cult-hero at Newcastle, and the club should act now.

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Arsenal

Arsenal fans call for Aleksandr Golovin signing after dazzling World Cup display

Arsenal fans are calling for an impulse signing after the World Cup opener yesterday.

Jamie Watts

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Arsenal already possess any array of creative forwards, but Gooners are extremely keen on CSKA Moscow maestro Aleksandr Golovin, after seeing the midfielder dazzle in Russia’s World Cup debut againt Saudi Arabia yesterday evening.

The 22-year-old already had links to north London spanning back to January (the Sun), with Arsene Wenger revealing his admiration for the player’s talent ahead of the Europa League quarter-final clash against the Russian heavyweights in March.

And Golovin highlighted his obvious ability last night, as Russia routed Saudi Arabia 5-1 in Moscow, creating two goals for teammates, before rounding an impressive display off with a sumptuous free-kick in added time.

Photo: Getty Images

His vision and technical ability led the hosts to a comfortable victory, with a superbly placed cross finding Denis Cheryshev in the box to open the scoring in the 12th minute. Before he again showed his class to pick-out Artem Dzyuba with a floated cross, which the striker converted comfortably 20 minutes from time.

And Arsenal fans have taken to Twitter to demand that Unai Emery should re-ignite interest in the player this summer.

Here’s the reaction:

Arsenal’s recent focus has been on landing Sampdoria’s industrious midfielder Lucas Torreira, as the manager looks to add balance to the team, according to the Guardian. 

But it seems fans want Emery to keep a close eye on the World Cup this summer, as it has become something of a shop window in recent years. And Golovin could earn himself a high-profile move if he continues performing at such a high level.

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Chelsea

Blow for Newcastle as Kenedy slapped with £20 million price tag

Newcastle United are unlikely to sign former loanee this summer.

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United have been hit with another blow in the transfer window, as key target Kenedy has been valued at £20 million by parent club Chelsea, according to reports from the Chronicle, which is likely to deter the Magpies from revisiting negotiations.

Rafa Benitez is preparing for a vital summer of recruitment after managing to secure a top-half finish in the Premier League table. However, fans are under no illusions that the club is likely to spend lucrative amounts like close competitors, given Mike Ashley’s recent track-record. But that doesn’t mean they’ll accept a lack of ambition from the club, progress is expected.

Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has joined St James’ Park on a permanent deal this summer, but it’s unlikely fellow loanee Kenedy will follow, with Chelsea’s preference to sell the Brazilian starlet.

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Newcastle’s current transfer record is £16 million, in a deal dating back to 2005, when the club landed Michael Owen from Real Madrid under the tenure of Graeme Souness. So it’s justified to be pessimistic about the chances of Kenedy returning to Tyneside this summer.

The deal becomes even more unlikely, with the news that Benitez is prioritising landing a reliable talisman capable of bagging “10 or 15 goals a season,” with the likes of £16 million rated Salomon Rondon being touted as the Spaniard’s priority target, according to the Northern Echo.

It’s not impossible for a deal to be completed between the two clubs, and Newcastle may just have to accept that it’s a sign of the times. £20 million in today’s market is considered a bargain in England’s top-flight and the upper echelons at St James’ Park will have to adapt if they have loftier ambitions next term, as the rest of the league won’t rest on their laurels.

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