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Chelsea

Five 30+ Players That Still Have Key Roles To Play feat. Manchester United & Chelsea

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Everyone loves a young player breaking through the ranks and in light of the outstanding Reece Oxford performance for West Ham as well as Adama Traore’s move to Aston Villa, the older generation seem to have been forgotten about.

Holding a key feature within the game, experience, many older players have key roles at their respected clubs. While they may lose the speed and reaction time they once possessed, the know-how of the ‘been there done that’ player can prove vital. TBR takes a look at the top 5 key golden oldies about this season.

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John Terry

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One of the most outstanding players in the league last season, ‘JT’ has proved that he doesn’t need to head to America just yet.

The Londoner looks more reassured than ever next to compatriot Gary Cahill and under Mourinho. Terry reads the game perfectly at the ripe old age of 34 and many have called for an extremely unlikely England recall.

In a star-spangled Chelsea team, Terry is still a key figure with the captains armband and a leader’s voice in the dressing room.

His maintained class has impressed the likes of MOTD pundit Alan Shearer already and the Premier League’s record scorer has called on John Stones to move to Chelsea to learn and compete against his name-sake.

Shearer may underestimate the challenge Stones would face in removing Terry for the starting line up but the Chelsea captain would only improve his younger compatriot.

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Michael Carrick

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As United’s ever-growing midfield collection increases in numbers, one mainstay is former Spurs man Micheal Carrick.

The composed holding midfielder started the first fixture against his former side and looked much more stable then new signing Morgan Schneiderlin.

As vice captain to Wayne Rooney, Carrick has Van Gaal’s blessing which is tough to gain while also having a key role in the dressing room.

Portrayed as a calm figure, that’s exactly what Van Gaal will want him to convey to all others in the team, especially towards the new men that have yet to settle in.

Adorned by United fans with the chant ‘It’s carrick you know, hard to believe it’s not Scholes’, the United faithful have warmed to the £18m signing season by season as, like wine, he grew better with age.

Now, at 34 years old, the passing maestro is one of two holding midfielder’s Van Gaal is using this season and is likely to have a key influence in changing defense into attack.

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Phil Jagielka

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Reminding many of the talent he has with a historic strike in the Merseyside Derby last year, Jagielka already has a key role to play at the heart of Everton‘s back four alongside John Stones, never-mind without him.

A leader for both club and country leaves Jagielka relied upon by fans to ensure a defensively secure unit.

The Evertonian has not only nurtured the talent of Stones, but has also has rallied the team in the face of defeat, most notably his previously mentioned Anfield wonder goal.

With Baines out injured, Jagielka is the key figure alongside Tim Howard and communication between these two could be vital in ensuring Everton improve on their dismal showing last season.

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Jermain Defoe

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Consistent strikers are hard to find these days and poachers like Jermain Defoe are almost extinct. However, Jermain Defoe does still exist and he finds himself struggling for goals in rigid Sunderland side – however, he’s still a potent threat.

He showed it with his deception of Kasper Schmeichel sending him the wrong way with a penalty box strike in their 4-2 defeat to Leicester.

Sunderland will need his experience and talent throughout the whole season, especially in the so called ‘6 pointers’ with other sides around the relegation zone.

Defoe is the main man for Sunderland and is capable of firing them to safety, however he requires help.

He needs the players around him on his wavelength to be given the service to score. His vast experience will prove key to Advocaat as the Dutchman looks to prove his decision to stay was the right one.

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Wes Morgan

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Having made 144 appearances for the Foxes since 2012, his worth speaks for himself.

Morgan is the vocal cord of Leicester’s harmony under Claudio Ranieri. The way he leads the back line, it’s clear to see how valuable the manager feels he is.

The Foxes and Jamaican captain will have a key role in making the new signings welcome and since the departure of Esteban Cambiasso, his age and experience will be necessary for survival.

To stay up, the Foxes need to be tight at the back and Morgan’s organisational skills will be at the forefront this season.

At the other end, Morgan and Huth could prove vital as they look to profit from set pieces.

The former Forest man has the experience to make up for his decreasing pace and ability and will prove a key man for a structured Ranieri side this season.

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Chelsea

Willian could hold key to Tottenham landing Anthony Martial

If Manchester United land the Brazilian it would undoubtedly improve Tottenham’s chances.

Jamie Watts

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Manchester United are reportedly preparing a £60 million bid to bring Chelsea winger Willian to Old Trafford this summer, according to reports from the Daily Mail, with manager Jose Mourinho having been linked with an approach for his former star for some time.

Chelsea were unwilling to sell at that time, but it is possible that Willian could be interested in a new challenge after apparently growing frustrated with life at Stamford Bridge, according to recent reports from Sky Sports. He managed a combined 25 goals and assists in 55 appearances in 2017/18, but only 20 of his 37 Premier League outings actually came as a starter.

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Tottenham meanwhile, have become frustrated at United’s assertion that Anthony Martial will not be sold this summer (Sky Sports), after Mauricio Pochettino made the Frenchman his priority target last month (the Sun), as he looks to bolster the supply line to Harry Kane next term.

However, Martial’s revelation that he wants to leave the club could be vital for Spurs, as Mourinho has previously stated that he would never stop a player from moving if they really want the move and the money is right. And he’s backed up his words, selling two-time Chelsea Player of the Year Juan Mata to his current club in 2014.

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The Red Devils are currently stacked in terms of depth for the left wing, with Marcus Rashford struggling to start games over January signing Alexis Sanchez, but wide-right is somewhat scarce and Willian would undoubtedly improve United’s balance for the better.

Although the manager would prefer the Frenchman went abroad, if he asked for the move to north London, Willian’s transfer to United would undoubtedly improve Pochettino’s chances of securing his key man. United will also be buoyed by their recent business with the west Londoners, having surprisingly secured the signing of Nemanja Matic from Stamford Bridge last summer.

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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.

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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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