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English Premier League

Can Everton’s Davy Klaassen turn his Premier League fortunes around?

The Dutchman has featured just three times for the Toffees this term.

Josh Kerr



Photo: Getty Images

When Ronald Koeman was handed a summer spend to change Everton‘s fortune in the league and establish the team as a top-six regular, it seemed the Dutch manager was bringing in some impressive established names to Merseyside and his fellow countryman Davy Klaassen seemed precisely that, to begin with.

It was only a year ago the former Ajax captain had helped guide his side all the way to the Europa League final, just to be beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

However, Klaassen was one of the standout players in Ajax’s European campaign, and the £24 million fee, as reported by the Telegraph, initially seemed a bargain.

The Netherlands midfielder had made 163 appearances, scoring 49 goals, since his debut for Ajax in 2011, winning three Eredivisie titles.

The transfer seemed to be the perfect fit for both parties. However, the 2016 Dutch Footballer of the Year has endured nothing short of a nightmare start on Merseyside.

Featuring only three times in the league for the Toffees this season (all from the bench) it seems impossible to believe that such an established player would fall so fast.

Without a goal and the faith of his current manager, it seems difficult to see a future at the club for the 25-year-old.

After a loan deal to Napoli broke down in January, it seemed rock bottom for the Dutchman and an early exit would be on the cards.

It is fair to say, transfers such as Klaasen represent the lack of immediate impact that inevitably cost Koeman his job as Everton fell into the relegation places back in October.

The 54-year-old manager, who guided Everton to seventh place in his first season in charge last term, paid the price for a poor start to this season despite having spent approximately £140 million in the summer.

With the mood in the Everton camp looking more toxic each week and the uncertainty to who will be in charge next season, it remains to be seen where Klaasen will be playing his football following the summer.

A move back to Ajax could be a possibility with the Dutch giants fully aware of the midfielder’s initial talents that lured him away from the Europa League finalists in the first place.

However, despite one of the worst seasons for a Premier League debutant to date, there are still success stories that represent how it can take time to adapt to the world’s most physically demanding league.

The PFA Player of the Year and current Ballon d’Or favourite Mohamed Salah is a testament to that.

The Egyptian winger struggled to early life in England with only six Premier League starts following his £11 million move to Chelsea back in 2014.

After leaving on a permanent move to Roma two years later, it wasn’t that long ago people were labelling Salah as one of the great Premier League flops.

It is no secret there needs to be a serious reshuffle for Everton over the summer if their league fortunes are to change next season.

Despite Klaassen being the club’s biggest disappointment this season, a player of his experience could be given another season to thrive from previous misfortune.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

West Ham United

Isaac Hayden wants move down south and West Ham should oblige him

The Essex-born midfielder wants to move back south and West Ham would be the perfect fit.

Mathew Nash



West Ham United have made some excellent signings this summer, with many eye-catching arrivals. Big names like Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko have all arrived at the London Stadium.

But West Ham do not appear to be done, with numerous other rumours doing the rounds. Whilst bringing in eye-catching big names is fantastic for West Ham, they should also be considering the less extravagant but just as important recruits.

One player West Ham should certainly be keen on is Newcastle United midfielder, Isaac Hayden.

He recently handed in a transfer request at St James’ Park as he wants to return to the south. A former Arsenal youth product, he is actually good pals with new West Ham recruit Wilshere. The Essex-born 23-year-old would, therefore, relish the chance to head to West Ham and get his wish.

For West Ham, Hayden would be a fantastic recruit.

The defensive midfielder has played an unheralded but important role for Newcastle in the two seasons he has been up north. If looking for an indicator of his importance to the club, just look at the reaction from fans to the news he might be leaving.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Hayden is a reliable, versatile and no-nonsense option that West Ham could definitely do with in the heart of the midfield.

With Cheikhou Kouyate’s talents diminishing, Pedro Obiang recovering from knee surgery and Wilshere obviously prone to injury, having another midfield option could be key for West Ham.

They absolutely must pounce on this opportunity to bring Hayden back down south.

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Everton have Lucas Digne bid accepted, a player Jurgen Klopp wanted in 2016

The French left-back has been the subject of a £22m bid from Everton.

Mathew Nash



It appears that Everton have identified the left-back they want to sign this summer. Lucas Digne has been linked with the club in recent days. Now, according to the Mirror, Everton have agreed a £22 million fee with his club Barcelona.

Everton want a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines but decided against first-choice Kieran Tierney due to Celtic’s asking price for the Scotland international. Now Digne appears to be the first-choice.

This is not the first time that Digne has had the chance to head to Merseyside. In the summer of 2016, it was reported that Liverpool were after the Frenchman.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Mirror reported that Liverpool made an enquiry for the player in July 2016. But he headed to Barcelona instead. The Catalan club paid £13.8 million to sign the player from PSG, with Liverpool missing out.

“PSG already had an offer from a good English team but when we got in touch with the manager [he] told us that the player only wanted to come to Barcelona.”

-Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez after signing Digne

The Reds ended up playing James Milner at left-back that season, before signing Andrew Robertson a year ago.

Things have worked out for Liverpool, with Robertson a star player last term.

But Everton will love to bring in a player that Liverpool wanted just two years ago.

Digne, who thrived at Lille before struggling to break into the first-team at both PSG and Barcelona, also enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Roma in 2015-16.

With 21-caps for France and at only 25-years-old Everton will be getting a great player if Digne arrives. In an added bonus, a little burn on their local rivals will only make the deal sweeter.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Fresh Erik Lamela could be key for Tottenham Hotspur next season

Tottenham Hotspur will hope the Argentine can remain fit this season.

Mathew Nash



Tottenham Hotspur secured the long-term future of two first-team regulars this weekend, with Heung-min Son and Erik Lamela both signing new deals.

It has certainly not been plain sailing for either player during their time in North London. After a disappointing first season, the South Korean was nearly sold back to Germany. Lamela, on the other hand, has had to battle several injury and personal problems.

Signed in the wake of Gareth Bale’s exit to Real Madrid the Argentine became Tottenham’s record signing. Spurs paid Roma £30 million for the player in the summer of 2013.

But despite showing his best at times for Spurs and become a cult hero with one section of Tottenham fans, injuries have blighted him.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

There was back trouble first and then a hip problem. The latter kept him out of action for over a year.

After returning to action in November he started just seven Premier League games but this season could be huge for the 26-year-old.

He has already impressed in pre-season, netting a hat-trick against Southend United. After a bit-part 2017-18 season which saw Lamela nursing his way back into first-team football, he will be fully fit this term.

Fresh, fit and with the bit between his teeth Tottenham could have a different beast on their hands with Lamela this term.

Hopefully, he can discover the form he showcased in the 2015-16 campaign.

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