The upcoming summer will be interesting to follow in England, as the Premier League has chosen to close the transfer window before the season starts.
With that in mind, it is important for clubs to get their business done early and there will be no room for hesitancy in the market.
Leicester City have had a trouble-free campaign, but they have lost four of their last five games and failed to score in their last three.
Claude Puel made an impact after taking over, but he may not be given the chance to lead the club into the 2018/19 season.
Last season, the Frenchman led Southampton to a top-half finish, but he was relieved of his duties due to a concern over the playing style.
A similar fate could be waiting for him once the season ends next weekend.
A couple of weeks ago, the Guardian reported that Puel was fighting to keep his job and the performances since wouldn’t have done him any favours.
It doesn’t bode well for Puel that potential replacements are being touted in the media. The Daily Mail reported over the weekend that Leicester want David Wagner as their next manager.
The Huddersfield Town manager has done well in English football since taking over at the John Smith’s Stadium. He managed to get them promoted against the odds and is now in a good position to stay up in the top-flight.
Considering his increasing profile in the game, Wagner would be regarded as an exciting appointment by Leicester supporters. If he had been able to get Huddersfield to punch above their weight as a club, he could be the right man to take the Foxes forward and challenge for European football.
However, these reports need to be treated with caution as there are reasons why an appointment would be a bad move by Leicester.
One of the reasons why Puel has been unpopular with both Southampton and Foxes’ fans has been his style of football. It can be laboured at times and the creativity is lacking in the final third. Although his teams are mostly solid, they aren’t going to get you off your feet very often.
His Huddersfield team have scored only 27 Premier League goals, which is the joint-fewest of any club in the division.
Their goal difference is the second-worst after Stoke City. The size of the club has meant that a relegation fight was inevitable, but Wagner has hardly set the league alight with his coaching.
There has been a lot written about Wagner’s connection with Jurgen Klopp, but his style of play differs from that of his good friend.
The Terriers have averaged 9.4 shots per game, which is the third worst of any team in the division. He likes his teams to play a passing brand of football, but their pass success rate of 74.3% ranks in the bottom six. At times, the Terriers would have benefitted from a more functional style.
This season has been a year of learning for Wagner. If he manages to keep Huddersfield in the top-flight, it will be considered a great campaign for him.
However, it has been clear that he isn’t the finished article yet and there is nothing to suggest that he would be an upgrade on Puel.
Leicester may decide to make a managerial change, but if they do, the current Terriers’ boss isn’t the right appointment for them.
Michael Keane is vulnerable at Everton after Mason Holgate’s weekend performance
Paired alongside Michael Keane, the 21-year-old gave a mature performance in victory over the Saints and there is now a very good chance that he will be given future first team opportunities.
This could leave Keane very vulnerable, with the likes of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma yet to be considered for the starting XI.
Keane hasn’t done anything near enough to live up to the reputation that followed him after his £30 million move from Turf Moor two summers’ ago.
After a difficult start to life in Merseyside under Ronald Koeman, he has since fallen out of contention for Gareth Southgate’s England side.
The former Burnley man has looked sluggish and error prone and there is a feeling around Goodison Park that he will become drastically exposed against some of the more menacing top flight sides.
With £27.19 million summer signing Mina on the verge of full fitness, following the World Cup, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him replace Keane in the first team in the coming weeks.
This change would pave way for a young, fresh and exciting centre-back partnership of Holgate and Mina – a solid platform for Silva to build his new team around.
Is Pedro Obiang the answer for Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham?
The Spaniard is yet to feature this season.
Something is yet to click for new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, with the London outfit falling short in their first two Premier League games of the 2018/19 season.
This weekend saw an opening day away defeat to Liverpool followed up by a 2-1 comeback victory for Bournemouth at the Olympic Stadium, accompanies by a performance that will have disheartened even the most optimistic of fans.
Despite spending over £100 million during the summer window, it is evident from the first two games of the season that the Hammers need a ball-winning central midfielder, capable of bringing balance to the defence and attack.
Sitting on Manuel Pellegrini’s bench is Spaniard Pedro Obiang, who became Slaven Bilic’s first signing for the club, back in 2015. The midfielder was a regular in West Ham’s side up to Christmas last season, but he made just one appearance in the Premier League since February.
Athletic and capable of moving the ball forward, the 26-year-old will be a much more dynamic option than ageing West Ham captain Mark Noble. Meanwhile, he would also improve the spine of the team defensively.
Up next for the Hammers is Arsenal. With a central midfield or Noble and Wilshere/Rice clearly not working, it seems a no-brainer for Pellegrini to promote Obiang to the starting XI for the upcoming clash against Unai Emery’s side.
On this day: Leeds cash in on Wood, Coutinho told he’s staying and Seri’s Barca links
What were the big stories in football a year ago today? Including Leeds United, Liverpool and Fulham.
One year ago today and Leeds United lost their talismanic striker Chris Wood to Burnley. After a tumultuous summer of rumours and conjecture, the club’s leading scorer left in a club record £15 million deal.
In his two seasons at Leeds the New Zealand international scored an impressive 44 goals in 88 games for the Whites.
Leeds were desperate not to lose the player and ended up paying for his absence. They failed to replace him, with nearest replica Pierre-Michel Lasogga falling short of expectations.
Wood has since gone on to establish himself at Burnley, scoring 11 goals in 26 games during his first season at Turf Moor.
Leeds now have Kemar Roofe firing and also signed Patrick Bamford this summer.
A year ago today and Liverpool had managed to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian had been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona throughout last summer.
However, as reported by Sky Sports a year ago, Liverpool made it clear Coutinho was going nowhere.
In the end, it proved to just be a stall. Coutinho completed the inevitable switch to Barcelona in January for a fee of £146 million.
However, many Liverpool fans would perhaps argue the club are now performing better than they ever did when Coutinho was at Anfield.
Signed by Fulham this summer, a year ago today it seemed Jean-Michael Seri was on his way to Barcelona.
Marca suggested that Barcelona had met the apparent £36.6 million release clause in his contract at Nice. Unfortunately, that clause had expired.
With Barcelona not willing to pay more, they moved on.
Seri joined Fulham this summer for a club record fee.
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