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Three things learnt from Leicester’s defeat to Manchester United

For the second year in a row, Leicester began the season with a Friday night defeat.

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Photo: Getty Images

Leicester City‘s new campaign did not start in the way fans would have wanted, as the Foxes suffered a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba’s penalty mere minutes into the match left Claude Puel’s side trailing early on and, despite plenty of possession, the Foxes failed to make it count and Luke Shaw’s first senior goal ensured all three points were secured by the home side, despite Jamie Vardy’s late consolation.

Going to Manchester and taking a result off a Jose Mourinho side is never an easy task but fans will have wanted to see more from their side given the possession that they had, which has left plenty of room for improvement over the coming weeks.

Here, we have identified three things we learnt from the result.

Wasted set-pieces

In an away game against a side like Manchester United, set-pieces are always going to be valuable as clear-cut chances are often few and far between. On top of that, Harry Maguire enters the campaign on the back of an excellent World Cup with England where he was highly effective from a dead ball situation.

(Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

However, Leicester failed to create anything of note from the free-kicks and corners they earned – which will be a major area for Claude Puel’s side to improve over the coming weeks if they are to enjoy a more successful campaign this term.

Clearly the loss of Riyad Mahrez, who was the regular set-piece taker, to Manchester City has seen the Foxes take a hit and they will need the players within their squad to step-up in order to provide opportunities from this positions.

Exciting Chilwell

Still just 21 years of age, it seems like Ben Chilwell has been up and coming for a while but he already boasts over 30 league appearances for the Foxes. He will now be focused on becoming a regular part of Claude Puel’s side and the early signs are positive.

Chilwell proved to be extremely effective as an attacking outlet down the left-side for the Foxes, causing Manchester United problems, but the lack of support ahead of him proved to be an issue. However, with Jamie Vardy returning to action and James Maddison now part of the squad, there’s a real chance for a strong relationship to develop.

With Christian Fuchs now 32, Chilwell could become first-choice this season and could even start to push for a spot in the England squad.

“Chilwell is a young player without experience but with good attributes to take the space to join in attack also. It is a good choice for me with good opportunities.”

– Puel’s selection headaches at left-back from April have proven to be true.

Lack of cutting edge

Unfortunately for Leicester, the absence of Jamie Vardy at the front of the attack, fresh from signing a new four-year deal, was obvious as the Foxes struggled to test David De Gea – and he proved his worth by scoring a late goal off the bench.

Had Vardy started from the off, Manchester United’s defence would have had a much harder game on their hands as his pace and drive would have put the Red Devils defence, which Jose Mourinho famously doesn’t rate all that highly, under real pressure.

Kelechi Iheanacho was the man who led the line at Old Trafford but he did not really get a sniff at goal, while the wingers often struggled to find space to work with when they broke into the final third and the majority of their play came in the middle area of the pitch.

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Everton

Everton round-up: Klaassen on exit, Niasse wanted and Bernard rejected former club

A selection of the latest news and gossip from Everton.

Mathew Nash

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Klaasen speaks

Davy Klaassen has been speaking about his decision to leave Everton this summer. The Dutchman joined in a big-money move last season from Ajax, with Everton spending £23.6 million on the Dutch giants captain.

However, he struggled to live up to the hype at Goodison Park and moved on to Werder Bremen this summer at a huge financial loss. Speaking to Sport Bild, as relayed by Tribal Football, the Dutch midfielder stated he did not think the move was a step backward and that he has ‘found the right club’ to take him forward.

Niasse wanted

Reports in Turkey are suggesting that Galatasaray want to tempt Oumar Niasse back to Turkish football.

Gunes reports that the Turkish giants want to bring the former Akhisar Belediyespor star to the Super Lig again before the end of the month.

It is reported that Marco Silva has been given the decision-making process on the matter. If he feels there is adequate cover in the striking position, the forward can leave on loan.

(during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton FC at Molineux on August 11, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.

Fellow Everton attacker Henry Onyekuru is currently on loan at the Turk Telekom Arena.

Bernard’s rejection

Reports claim that Everton newbie Bernard rejected a chance to join former club Atletico Mineiro this summer.

The Brazilian winger was a free agent after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk and had a number of clubs in Europe chasing his signature.

Globo Esporte report that his former club made him an offer, but Bernard decided to test himself in the Premier League instead.

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English Premier League

West Ham must bring an end to lengthy Reece Oxford saga

The Hammers must bite the bullet and seel the teenage ace.

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After months and months of speculation, it is remarkable that West Ham have reached mid-August with Reece Oxford still in their squad.

The 19-year-old has endured a rollercoaster few years in east London, catching the eye as a 16-year-old Premier League debutant in the opening week of the 2015-16 season with a thrilling performance in a 3-0 win over Arsenal but seeing opportunities severely limited since.

Three years later, Oxford has made just eight league appearances and has spent time on loan with Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach, the latter of whom were keen on a permanent deal for the highly-rated defender.

(Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

However, it appears that West Ham have missed their chance to cash in on a sale to Gladbach for a player Sky Sports states the Hammers are seeking £10m for, with the Bundesliga side appearing to have cooled their interest.

That leaves West Ham in a difficult position as it is clear Oxford has no future at the club in the eyes of Manuel Pellegrini, who has signed Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop this summer to push the teenager further down the pecking order.

Contracted until 2021, there is little change of Oxford leaving in a bargain deal like fellow youngster Domingos Quina did recently, joining Watford, but the circumstances can be compared to a ticking time bomb as the defender will surely be furious if he is not given a chance to leave this summer.

“I was desperate to come back to Borussia. Things went well for me at the end of the Hinrunde, which is why I wanted to return and complete the loan until the end of the season.”

– Oxford made it clear in February he didn’t want to stay in east London.

Fortunately, German outlet Kicker states Hannover have expressed an interest in signing Oxford and West Ham should waste no time in entering negotiations for a permanent sale, which would suit all parties involved.

It is a shame that a player with Oxford’s potential has fallen so much in recent years and it should serve as a warning to West Ham in their treatment towards other promising youngsters – namely Declan Rice, who is yet to sign a new deal at the club.

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Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: Champions League blow; Mignolet departure nears; Fabinho discusses challenge

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Liverpool are left waiting to see which seed they will be in the Champions League draw

Liverpool will be hoping that PAOK will beat Portuguese side Benfica in their Champions League qualifying play-off as victory for the Greek side will see the Reds through to Pot 2 in the Champions League draw ahead of the Iberian outfit.

The draw will take place in Monaco on August 30, with Liverpool currently the highest ranked team in Pot 3 but behind Benfica, the only remaining Pot 2 team in qualification. It comes after Swiss side FC Basel were shockingly knocked out, allowing Liverpool to take up the spot of first in line to join Pot 2.

Simon Mignolet’s agent has spoken about his future

Simon Mignolet has been strongly linked with a move away from Anfield as he has fallen even further down the pecking order following the arrival of Alisson Becker, and it now seems that he may be third choice on Merseyside. Napoli are the latest club to be linked with a move before the transfer window shuts in Italy on Friday.

“We are in discussions with Napoli, but there is no agreement yet. In the end it is in their interest to find a solution. Liverpool want to keep Simon, but he wants to play in matches – and he should. He deserves to play for a big club. Simon is the best option for Napoli in terms of quality, even though there is a financial aspect to it.”

Mignolet’s agent, Nico Vaessen, discussed the possibility of a deal.

With time running out, all parties will have to get to work if they are to come to an agreement to allow the Belgian to leave. Much could depend on the future of second choice shotstopper Loris Karius, who has also been linked with an exit.

Fabinho has discussed the challenge of adapting to the Premier League

Summer signing Fabinho was only on the bench for the Reds on Sunday as they overcame West Ham United with a 4-0 win and the Brazilian has discussed the challenge that he faces having joined from Monaco.

“I think my performances have been good. It’s a different playing style than at Monaco; there were two of us in midfield there and here at Liverpool there’s three… I knew [my role] would change and I feel I’ve adapted well. When I came to Liverpool I knew this competition would exist in midfield and I think it’s really good for the team.”

The Brazilian hasn’t hidden his struggles.

Some fans were not convinced by his pre-season form but it remains early days in his Anfield career with plenty of opportunities ahead to prove himself in a holding midfield role.

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