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English Premier League

Man Utd and Liverpool linked striker has better conversion rate than Lionel Messi

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According to various internet sources, including Sky Sports News, Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca could be on his way to the Premier League, with Manchester United and Liverpool leading the race for his signature. After his heroics inspired Sevilla to their second successive Europa League crown last season, the Colombian is hot property across the continent.

Bacca, who scored 20 goals in 37 appearances last term, is under contract at Sevilla until June 2018. However, according to the his agent, any interested club will have to fork out £21.5 million – his reported release clause – if they wish to sign him; a seemingly small price to pay if he were to continue his goal scoring form at his new club.

Carlos Bacca - Goals by Body Part 2014/15 (via Squawka.com)

Carlos Bacca – Goals by Body Part 2014/15 (via Squawka.com)

At 28 years of age, Bacca’s desire to move to pastures new seems clear, and after a fruitful spell with Sevilla, it seems likely that he will leave the club this summer. Whether or not a Premier League side can capitalise on his current situation remains to be seen, but the back pages seem content with emphasising speculation linking him to Manchester United and Liverpool.

What would he bring to Liverpool or Manchester United?

When it comes to scoring goals, Bacca averages just under a one every two games for Sevilla. Indeed, throughout his two year spell with the Spanish outfit he has scored 34 times in 71 league appearances. Prior to this, he had amassed an impressive 28 strikes in 45 Belgian top flight fixtures for Club Brugge. He also boasts 17 Europa League goals (38 apps) from his time with either club.

However, the most impressive stats emerge from his most recent league campaign with Sevilla (2014/15), during which he found the net with a greater percentage of his shots than the other four La Liga players to score 20 times or more – Lionel Messi, Neymar, Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile, throughout the same period, he proved significantly more prolific than anyone at Old Trafford or Liverpool.

carlos-bacca-sevilla-la-liga-conversion-rates_3319091

With a shot conversion rate of 29%, Bacca proved more prolific than each of La Liga’s leading goal-scorers last season (via Sky Sports).

As described by Adam Bate, of Sky Sports, “Pace is a key quality and his fondness for breaking the offside trap means he stretches defences. Bacca is not a link man – a pass completion rate below 70 per cent is indicative of that – but he might offer the harrying that Liverpool missed without Luis Suarez.”

His ability to create space for others, stretching the opposition defensive line, would prove the perfect solution to Liverpool’s attacking woes, while offering a solution to a certain lack of imagination upfront at Old Trafford. What is more, a player of Bacca’s temperament would prove a continual menace off the ball, allowing his supporting midfielders to take a foothold on the game.

The Colombian is incredibly hard working, a proven goalscorer – the statistics are enough to display this – and ultimately he possesses the ability (and playing style) to make a real impact at either Manchester United or Liverpool. The two North West clubs will face stiff competition when it comes to securing his services, but he certainly looks worth the gamble.

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Chris is the founder of The Boot Room. He is a Swindon Town supporter, having lived in Wiltshire for most of his years. His work has also featured on Squawka, Bleacher Report and Eurosport.

West Ham United

Marlon Santos joining West Ham would be ideal solution to defensive woes

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Photo: Getty Images.

There will be a summer of change at West Ham United this summer and with James Collins leaving the club there will be a spot opening up in defence. Reports from Spain indicate that the man to fill it could be Barcelona youngster Marlon Santos.

The Brazilian joined the Spanish giants permanently last summer after impressing for their B team and earning a first team debut in 2016/17 and spent pre-season with Ernesto Valverde’s first team before being sent out on loan.

Now, reliable Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo say that West Ham are interested in taking the defender on loan next season after he has impressed in France, playing for OGC Nice, making 27 appearances during his loan spell.

(Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old has also been linked with Leicester but with West Ham believed to be leading the chase, it would be a wise move from Manuel Pellegrini to seal a deal as soon as possible.

Strong in the tackle, Santos would also bring some much needed pace to the West Ham defence. Replacing the likes of Collins and Jose Fonte who departed in January, the arrival of a fleet-footed defender would be a welcome turnaround at the London Stadium.

It may also suggest a change in style, with the former Fluminense youth product known for his ability on the ball, often looking to dribble out from the back to get his team transitioning from defence to attack.

Pellegrini is clearly putting the building blocks in place to build a side in his own image, and bringing in Marlon Santos would be a cheap and sensible addition to fix a major problem area.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Malcom would add another dimension to Tottenham’s attack

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Photo: Getty Images.

After an impressive 2017/18 campaign, Tottenham are already beginning to plan for 2018/19 and are keen to make a statement in their first season in a new look White Hart Lane. One way they may do so is with the addition of Girondins Bordeaux forward Malcom.

Sky Bet currently list Tottenham at 7/2 to sign the Brazilian, just behind favourites Manchester United in the running at 3/1, and such an acquisition would bring an exciting new element to Mauricio Pochettino‘s attacking set-up.

Predominantly playing on the right wing, Malcom may offer more width than many of the options within the Tottenham squad, but much like Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela, he likes to dribble on the ball and cut inside, offering a direct threat rather than looking to cross into others.

The 21-year-old scored 12 goals in 35 Ligue Un games for Bordeaux this season and whilst not exactly prolific, would help to add goals to the Lilywhites’ midfield and reduce the reliance on Harry Kane.

(Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

He also has some similarities to the likes of Christian Eriksen as a superb set piece taker who likes to shoot from distance, helping to add another dimension as Tottenham look to break down more defensive sides who sit deep in hope of frustrating them.

With huge potential to develop even further, Malcom may not come cheaply but would represent an interesting project for Pochettino to get even more out of him. Whilst he bares many similarities to Erik Lamela when he arrived in north London, if he can avoid injury he could go on to become the player Spurs had hoped to see Lamela become.

His pace and threat would add a much needed option into the Spurs attack, complimenting the playmakers like Eriksen, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura and supporting the goalgetter Harry Kane. Strength in depth is key in Tottenham’s quest for silverware and Malcom would be a step in the right direction to achieving it.

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Newcastle United

Fulham promotion opens up £15m exit for Aleksandar Mitrovic

The Newcastle United star is likely to move away from the club this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Fulham won promotion to the Premier League yesterday with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final. The Cottagers scored in the first-half through Tom Cairney to rightfully take their place back in the top-flight of English football.

It was a tremendous performance and in the summer Fulham will be looking to bring in some new faces to help them stay in the top-flight. One of those faces, will not be necessarily new. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been brilliant for Fulham since joining on loan in January.

The Serbian striker has scored 12 goals since his arrival at Craven Cottage and will no doubt be wanted permanently at the club.

Is this good news for Newcastle United?

There has been plenty of talk regarding the Serbian’s exit from St James’ Park in the winter. Many fans on Tyneside are wondering whether the club should have kept him at Newcastle, considering his goal record in London.

(during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford at St. James Park on November 25, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

However, it is clear that Rafa Benitez is not a fan of the player and the Spaniard certainly made things work without him.

The best thing for Newcastle right now is to sell him and ensure they bring in enough money to cover the cost of his original signing.

Fulham represent their best option to do so. Newcastle want about £15 million for the player, according to the London Evening Standard, which is the fee they paid for the Serbian in 2015.

Fulham will no doubt want to bring him to the club this summer, but would not have been able to bring him to the club had they failed to secure promotion to the Premier League.

The Cottagers can now afford the player and Mitrovic’s price-tag is unlikely to be a problem with the bonus they will receive for heading into the top-flight. Newcastle must be pleased that Fulham earned promotion, as it will allow them the best opportunity to move Mitrovic on without a major loss.

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