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Everton interest in Wesley Said has Steve Walsh written all over it

The French winger is currently enjoying a great season with Dijon.

Mathew Coull

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Everton will need to improve their team massively this summer if they are to try and fulfil the long-term goal of competing for the top-four. This season has been a massive disappointment for them and new recruits will no doubt be brought in to try and solve the issue this summer.

One player who appears to have been identified as a target is Dijon winger Wesley Said. It has been reported this week by Le10 Sport that Everton are one of many teams interested in the 22-year-old.

They join Valencia and several other French sides in pursuit of the player, who has been the star of Dijon’s excellent season. The Mustards, in only their 20th anniversary year, are heading for their highest ever league finish – sitting 11th in Ligue 1.

(Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Said has been one of the key players, with nine goals and two assists from his 28 games in the league this season.

Signed from Stade Rennais in a deal reported by L’Equipe to be in the region of €1.5 million (£1.3 million) the Burgundy club could stand to make some big money with the sale of the one-cap French under-21 international.

But for Everton fans, the interest in Said will still be massively underwhelming. The Toffees want to see their side bring in top talent, not unknowns from France with bags of potential but, in reality, mediocre final statistics.

What the interest in Said has all the hallmarks of is current director of football Steve Walsh. During his time at Leicester City, he snapped up some absolute bargains from across Europe, including future superstars like N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez from France.

(Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

So perhaps Everton, who are openly pursuing the appointment of PSV director Marcel Brands, should be willing to give Said a go if Walsh believes he has the ability to shine in the Premier League. His record at Goodison Park has not been good and some fans want to see the back of him. But remember that the core of the team that won Leicester City the Premier League title in 2015-16 was signed by Walsh.

Said could be a complete flop but it is unlikely he would be an expensive recruit. Given Everton’s current struggles in the wide-midfield area, perhaps Everton should give Said a go.

Liverpool

Liverpool should use Alberto Moreno in Jamaal Lascelles pursuit

The Spaniard is struggling for first-team football at Liverpool.

Mathew Coull

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Liverpool have had an excellent season, making it to the Champions League final and finishing in the Premier League top four. But the building for next season is also set to get underway soon and Liverpool still want to further improve their backline. A new centre-back is set to be targeted and The Independent believe that Jamaal Lascelles could be the man Liverpool turn to, with James Tarkowski of Burnley also mentioned.

Lascelles would obviously be a top option. The Newcastle captain has been an inspiration for the club this campaign and many were surprised he did not make it into Gareth Southgate’s plans for the World Cup.

(during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on April 15, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

But he will not come cheap and after Liverpool spent big on Virgil Van Dijk in January the Tyneside club will be pushing the price up.

However, could Liverpool have a secret weapon in the form of Alberto Moreno?

Back in 2015 Rafa Benitez very nearly signed Moreno. The deal with Liverpool was done but, with Alvaro Arbeloa sticking around, Benitez decided Moreno was no longer needed and the deal was pulled off the table.

That was whilst manager at Real Madrid. Moreno would be an excellent option to further improve Newcastle and provide some competition to Paul Dummett in the left-back position.

(during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield on March 6, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Liverpool paid Sevilla around £12 million, as reported by The Telegraph, to sign Moreno back in 2014 but he has struggled for consistency since his arrival at Anfield. This season he has been replaced by Andrew Robertson, after spending most of last season behind James Milner in the pecking order.

Throwing Moreno into any deal would have to see Newcastle decrease the fee they might ask for to let their captain go this summer. Newcastle would be getting their hands on a 25-year-old Spanish international and a handsome sum of money, whilst Liverpool would get their defensive target.

It would be a fine piece of business for both clubs.

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England

Gareth Southgate’s Harry Kane decision was the first of a hopeful campaign for England

Max Cohen

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Harry Kane
Photo: Getty Images

England National Team manager Gareth Southgate announced Harry Kane would be the country’s next captain on Tuesday, much to the delight of the 24-year-old striker.

Kane expressed his appreciation on Twitter, posting a picture of himself shaking hands with Southgate and describing it as “a very proud day.”

The Tottenham Hotspur star is a fantastic choice to captain England in this summer’s World Cup, as the country’s best player is known to lead effectively and serve as an immaculate example for his teammates.

Although Kane does not wear the captain’s armband at club level (that honour goes to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris), the Englishman nevertheless has all the characteristics of an impressive skipper.

Some may argue that the captaincy should go to defenders or central midfielders rather than attackers, yet if a player has the passion required, their position is irrelevant.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Kane is a player who undoubtedly loves playing for the Three Lions and has an excellent record of 12 goals in his 23 caps.

He might not be the most vocal and animated of leaders on the pitch, but his work ethic, desire, and knack for scoring crucial goals are all attributes his fellow Englishman can look up to.

The Tottenham forward is certain to be one of the first names on the teamsheet in Russia, and this consistency is crucial for Kane’s captaincy.

Southgate recognised these ever-present qualities as vital parts of Kane’s character, commending the striker’s diligence and determination.

“Harry has some outstanding personal qualities,” Southgate told the Evening Standard. “He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day.”

The Tottenham Hotspur striker will surely reward his manager’s faith by serving England proud as captain this summer, and Kane will be remembered as a legend if his goals can fire the Three Lions deep into the tournament.

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Derby County

Another blow for Derby who are set to lose talented youngster Luke Thomas

The 19-year-old is being linked with a move to the top flight.

Josh Kerr

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Luke Thomas
Photo: Getty Images

After losing manager Gary Rowett to Stoke City last night, who guided the club to a sixth-place finish, the Rams are already awaiting another setback as talented youngster Luke Thomas is reportedly preparing to leave Pride Park.

According to Gloucestershire Live, West Ham United have launched a £1.2 million bid to lure Thomas to the Premier League after Derby missed out on promotion, losing their play-off semi-final to Fulham over two legs.

Thomas moved to Pride Park in January 2016 from Cheltenham Town and the Gloucestershire club will reportedly receive a portion of any potential transfer fee.

The 19-year-old, who is from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire has so far made two substitute appearances for the first team, in home wins over Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers.

The loss of Thomas may not prove as costly as manager Rowett. However, the potential departure of the teenager comes at an awful time for Rams supporters considering he is considered one of their most promising academy players.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Thomas gained valuable senior experience after he spent time on loan at Gloucester City in 2016/17, impressing for the then National League North outfit.

He is a versatile attacking midfielder who has made a name for himself in his home county. He is considered one of the best youngsters to come out of Gloucestershire in recent years, and Derby losing him could soon prove a huge loss.

The arrival of Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, will come as exciting news to Thomas who, could have a huge future at the London club if the move goes through.

The forward made 17 Premier League 2 appearances for the Rams under-23 side, scoring six goals and providing one assist.

It is a big fee to pay for a youngster but the price tag only represents how talented this forward is. If reports are true, it could be another huge loss for the Rams.

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