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Who is Zinho Vanheusden, the defensive sensation Liverpool and Southampton are scouting?

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Zinho Vanheusden

Reports surfacing from Belgium over the course of the weekend have claimed that Premier League rivals Liverpool and Southampton are both keeping close tabs on Inter Milan defender Zinho Vanheusden.

Newspaper Nieuwsblad understand that the 18-year-old powerhouse has been recommended to both clubs by scouts, with Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pellegrino set to enter talks with the Italians.

Who is young prospect Zinho Vanheusden?

Born in the Belgian city of Hasselt in July 1999, Vanheusden was snapped up by Standard Liege’s academy at a young age and impressed enough during his time to earn himself a big switch to Italy.

After featuring for Inter’s youth sides since his move in 2016 Vanheusden has just been awarded a spot in Luciano Spalletti’s squad for their pre-season tour of Asia, gaining invaluable first-team exposure.

He’s been a prominent part of Belgium’s national youth sides too, working his way up through the ages since the under-15 side, and he most recently made his debut for the under-19 side in March.

What could he bring to the Premier League?

Standing tall at six-feet and two-inches the Belgian youngster has all of the physical attributes required to impose himself on the English game, being a strong and stubborn mould of central defender.

He played an influential role in Inter’s under-19 title-winning campaign last year, leading his side from deep and being a commanding figure of encouragement and composure, and he knows how to lift a side.

He’s also become known as a potent threat from set-piece situations – something Liverpool have struggled to capitalise on in past years – scoring six times in just 14 games for Belgium’s under-17 side.

At 18 years of age, and with no first-team action under his belt, he is not exactly ready to jump into Premier League action yet, but there is certainly enough potential for him to be a good defender one day.

Is a move to England likely?

Although the appeal of playing in the Premier League would be enough to tempt almost any promising 18-year-old footballer into a move, Inter Milan seem reluctant to allow him to leave.

The report understands that the Italian giants are confident that Vanheusden won’t be going anywhere this summer and will promise him first-team action should he remain at the San Siro.

But with fellow countrymen Divock Origi and Simon Mignolet at Anfield, Klopp could turn to his Belgian duo to try and use all their persuasive powers possible to tempt the youngster to England.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

English Premier League

Three possible destinations for Liverpool’s Divock Origi before the transfer deadline

Jake Jackman

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Origi

It is looking increasingly likely that Divock Origi will be on the move before the transfer deadline. Liverpool are making significant moves to strengthen their current squad and that could provide an opportunity to the Belgian, as it is clear he needs regular first-team football. That is unlikely to come at Anfield, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a long-term future with the club. If he does well elsewhere, he will return as an improved player and force his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans. Here are three possible destinations for the 22-year-old:

Monaco

The Telegraph report that the Belgian could be included as part of the deal to sign Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar. The Ligue 1 champions are interested in the Liverpool striker and the Reds could use that to help them land their priority attacking target. If this was where Origi landed, it could potentially be a permanent deal.

This would be an exciting move for the striker and offer him the opportunity to play regularly in a Champions League team. Monaco have remodelled themselves as the club for young players to develop and earn moves to the top of the European game. This summer has underlined that. If Origi moved to the Stade Louis II, he would get regular starts and play in a team that would allow him to express himself.

Inter Milan

The report linked above mentions that Inter Milan are interested in the forward and this would provide an interesting option for Origi. It does look like the club are set for a good season under Luciano Spalletti. The sale of Stevan Jovetic means they need to sign another striker to provide competition for Mauro Icardi.

Serie A is a league that Origi has never played in and it would be a positive learning experience if he was to join Inter Milan. They play an exciting brand of attacking football and create lots of chances, which would give him the opportunity to score goals. However, he would be playing second fiddle to Icardi and he might struggle for regular game-time.

Newcastle United

There is plenty of Premier League interest in Origi, but the most appealing option could be Newcastle United. He would get the opportunity to play under Rafa Benitez and would be the main man in the team, starting nearly every game. The stadium and support could also play a part in convincing the Belgian to move north.

It is well known that Benitez wants to make signings before the deadline and the Mail report they are ready to sell Dwight Gayle to raise much-needed funds. This would only happen if they manage to source a replacement and the Chronicle report the club have an interest in Origi. If the Magpies did pull the deal off, it would be a huge coup for them on their return to the top-flight.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Should Brighton continue with their audacious pursuit of Inter Milan striker Stevan Jovetic?

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Stevan Jovetic

Newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion have been involved in some serious transfer window business already this summer, breaking their record fee three times, but they’re not done just yet.

According to reports surfacing from Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Brighton boss Chris Hughton has seen a formal bid in the region of £14 million rejected for Inter Milan forward Stevan Jovetic.

The 27-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the best of times since moving to Italy, struggling to break into the first-team and being sent out on-loan to Sevilla last season, and Brighton could come to his rescue.

Could Jovetic rekindle his form in the Premier League?

Does the name sound familiar Brighton fans?

If so, that’ll be because Stevan Jovetic was part of the Manchester City squad that won the Premier League title in 2013-14, arriving in the top-flight for £22 million after leaving Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

It is fair to say that it didn’t quite click for him on that occasion but, after a successful loan with Sevilla at the end of last season, he could be ready to give English football another go this year.

The 27-year-old still has a lot to offer at the highest level, with his combination of deceptive power and speed earning him six La Liga goals in just 20 matches, and he is a well-rounded forward.

With Brighton struggling for any sort of attacking impetus in front of goal over their first two games this season he could provide the spark needed to kick-start their campaign; the thought of Anthony Knockaert returning and linking up with Jovetic between midfield lines is promising for the Seagulls.

The Montenegro international is a proven goal-scorer in three of Europe’s top leagues throughout his career to date, and his natural creativity and desire in the box means he’s likely to continue this.

Making the move to Brighton could potentially give Jovetic the chance to set the record straight following an underwhelming – at best – two-year spell at Manchester City, scoring just eight times.

He regularly struggled to dislodge either Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko from the starting eleven, resulting in him only managing 28 Premier League appearances in two seasons, and he fell so far out of favour with Manuel Pellegrini that he was actually loaned out to Inter Milan during 2015-16.

Although a switch to Brighton could be deemed a downgrade after a career spent at sides challenging for Champions League spots, he certainly has a point to prove in England. However, with local outlet The Argus claiming an agreement is in place for FC Zurich’s Raphael Dwamena, a deal for Jovetic seems unlikely.

 

Stevan Jovetic to Brighton and Hove Albion
1.5
Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
The opportunity to compete in the Premier League could easily tempt him into making the switch but the main stumbling block will be whether the 27-year-old considers Brighton as a big step down. An opening offer of £14 million has already been turned down according to reports – with it unknown as to whether Brighton can go any higher – and it seems this may be one move too many.
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Chelsea

Three things learnt from Chelsea’s 2-1 pre-season defeat to Inter Milan

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Chelsea

The last game of Chelsea‘s pre-season before next weekend’s Community Shield, Antonio Conte is unlikely to have taken many positives from an embarrassing defeat to Inter Milan.

In a dull and even encounter in the first half, a rash challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta saw Inter given a penalty and the first chance to take the lead. Thibaut Courtois comfortably saved Stefan Jovetic’s penalty but could only do enough to push it out into the path of the striker to put it past him into the opposite corner of the net on the rebound.

Just eight minutes into the second half, Jovetic set up Manchester United target Ivan Perisic whose burst of pace and clinical finish gave the Italians a two goal lead.

Chelsea had a glimmer of hope later on in the tie after Geoffrey Kondogbia played a bizarre 40 yard backpass over the head of goalkeeper Daniele Padelli in one of the most brilliant own goals of recent times.

Here’s what The Boot Room learnt from the encounter…

Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi could form a devastating partnership

The duo combined well in Morata’s debut when he came off the bench against Bayern Munich, but this game saw the pair start together for the first time. The Spaniard began the game wider on the left in a surprise move, but he often drifted centrally to partner up with his Belgian team-mate.

The pair linked up well and seemed to have an understanding which belied the mere week or two of training that they have had together. If they can provide this kind of threat in the Premier League, they could form a threatening front two.

Chelsea’s defence looks nothing like it did in 2016/17

Last season saw Antonio Conte’s team build from the back with defensive strength and consistency a key part of their game. In pre-season, that has vanished. After a woeful display against Bayern, the team’s defensive frailties emerged once again with Cesar Azpilicueta conceding an uncharacteristically clumsy penalty in the first half.

N’Golo Kante was far from his best either and with many Chelsea players seemingly lacking in fitness, Inter exploited the spaces left by a tiring Chelsea defence.

The competitive season can’t come soon enough

Pre-season games are known for being far from the most exciting. Bar Geoffrey Kondogbia’s sensational own goal, this was one of the most monotonous and dull encounters of Chelsea’s preparations for some time. Neither side seemed particularly up for it, nor bothered by the final result.

Chelsea’s first competitive fixture comes next Sunday when they face Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley. The Blues will be raring to go and get back in action in the UK after spending their pre-season in Asia.

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