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Who is the 18-year-old North Korean striker that Arsenal and Everton are monitoring?



Han Kwang-song

The summer transfer window may have closed just a matter of days ago but the speculation for January is already underway, with Arsenal and Everton vying for a young North Korean prospect.

The Sun claim that the Premier League rivals are monitoring the situation of Han Kwang-song following the 18-year-old’s breakthrough in Italy, with both sides keen on adding attacking depth.

Ronald Koeman’s side in particular are keeping an eye following their failure to find a suitable replacement for Romelu Lukaku this summer, with Malaga’s Sandro Ramirez their only striking addition.

Who is Han Kwang-song?

Born in the North Korean capital Pyongyang in 1998, Han moved to Italy and joined Cagliari’s academy in early 2017 – after a successful trial – which saw him make a move from local side Chobyang Sports Club.

Despite being relatively unknown and unproven in European football he was awarded his Serie A debut in April during a 3-1 win over Palermo, scoring his first goal against Torino seven days later.

In finding the back of the net he became the first North Korean player to ever score in the Italian top-flight, and he earnt himself a new five-year deal at Cagliari that will keep him there until 2022.

Han has since been sent out on-loan to Serie B outfit Perugia this season, already scoring four times in just two appearances for them, including an opening day of the season hat-trick against Virtus Entella.

The 18-year-old has also been part of the North Korean national set-up for a few years now, featuring for the Under-17 and Under-19 sides before his debut for the national side this year.

Does he have the potential to succeed in the Premier League?

Based on his start to life in European football, absolutely.

Despite only play a handful of games since moving to Italy he’s already shown that he has superb close ball control, the natural ability to dribble and drive at defenders with intent and a neat eye for goal.

His hat-trick in his first Serie B outing for Perugia displayed all of the characteristics desired in a young, budding forward, showing a quick turn of pace and an excellent composure when in and around the box.

Whilst he evidently wouldn’t arrive in the Premier League and immediately jump into either side’s starting eleven, there’s certainly enough early potential there to continue his education in England. You can bet upcoming English top flight games with NetBet Sport Live Betting.

How likely is a move to England?

The report claims that both Arsenal and Everton have already sent scouts over to Italy to watch the North Korean in action in recent months with the wheels firmly in motion ahead of a potential move next year.

The lure of the Premier League will undoubtedly stand strong when compared to staying at Serie A strugglers Cagliari, and Han could find it tough to turn down any bids should either side come calling.

Yet, with Italian giants Juventus also showing a keen interest in the teenage striker, there could be fierce competition to come in future transfer windows, and it will be interesting to see how his season unfolds.

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.


Criticism of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson unfair? stats suggest he’s England’s best option

The midfielder came under scrutiny for his latest performance.

Jamie Watts



England put an end to the World Cup opener curse after Harry Kane’s stoppage time header ensured England started the tournament with maximum points, with Tunisia looking more than likely to take their share of points in Volograd.

A promising opening 20 minutes was encored by ponderous and slow football in the second half, after the team began looking seemingly affected by Tunisia’s equaliser.

The additions of Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added impetus and purpose to the attack late on.

But prior to that, England struggled in pursuit of a second, and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson came under fire for what was deemed to be a lack of creativity.

Photo: Getty Images

Many fans were questioning the omission of Jack Wilshere from England duties, as Gareth Southgate opted for the Liverpool man as the regular in central midfield. But last season’s statistics show some maybe being preemptive in wanting to replace the 28-year-old this World Cup.

Squawka stats (below) show that the Liverpool man was superior to both Eric Dier and Jack Wilshere in all aspects of midfield play in the Premier League last term, suggesting he could very well be the right man to continue starting for the Three Lions.

The former Sunderland man bested his two counterparts for number of forward passes, average pass length, key passes, tackles won, aerial duels won and chances created (all per 90 minutes), which sheds some light on why he’s a regular in Southgate’s team.

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Fans criticise Jack Wilshere omission after Jordan Henderson’s ‘toothless’ England performance

Gareth Southgate’s bold decision is already being questioned.

Jamie Watts



England put an end to the World Cup opener curse after Harry Kane’s stoppage time winner ensured England started the tournament with a victory, with Tunisia looking more than likely to take their share of the points in Volgograd.

After a promising opening 20 minutes, England’s shortcomings in front of goal were punished as Tunisia were awarded a penalty – using VAR – and Ferjani Sassi equalised from the spot, heaping pressure on Gareth Southgate’s outfit to score a second.

But creativity was scarce from the Three Lions, in what was a stressful and frustrating half to watch for the nation.

Photo: Getty Images

And Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has come under fire for his performance in the heart of the midfield, with many believing that Arsenal‘s Jack Wilshere would have been more creative and imaginative in central midfield, if he wasn’t omitted from international duties this earlier this summer.

Henderson frequently opted for possession over creativity and was guilty of taking too many touches in the midfield yesterday, particularly in the second half and the speed of play was directly affected as a result.

Here’s the Twitter reaction:

By no means did the 28-year-old have an awful game, but his choice of pass was often safe and as a result England lacked impetus and drive in the second-half, until the additions of Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added a spark in the final third.

Gareth Southgate will often opt for control in central midfield against tougher opposition – with Belgium on the horizon – but against the likes of Tunisia and Panama, the side can afford to take more risks and be more inventive, and the decision to leave Wilshere at home is already being questioned after just one game.

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Crystal Palace fans thrilled with reports of Jack Wilshere interest

Crystal Palace fans are keen on the reported deal.

Jamie Watts



Crystal Palace are keen on landing long-serving Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, if the 26-year-old leaves the Emirates this summer, according to reports from Evening Standard.

A move to Selhurst Park would reunite Wilshere with Roy Hodgson, his former England manager and a coach, whose belief in the Gunner is undeniable.

Hodgson displayed his admiration for the midfielder, after taking him the 2016 Euros despite him barely playing all season and he believes he could add the perfect balance to the Eagles’ midfield alongside enforcer Luka Milivojevic.

Photo: Getty Images

Wilshere was left out of the England squad for the World Cup this summer due to his diminished role with Arsenal, and revealed his “disappointment” on the day through his official Twitter account.

It now appears he will prioritise making himself essential at both club and international level next season, and that is unlikely with Arsenal.

Having improved his fitness, which has widely been considered his primary weakness, making 38 appearances in all competitions last season, Wilshere could become a serious asset at Selhurst Park, and fans have taken to Twitter to discuss the reports.

Here’s the reaction:

Yohan Cabaye’s situation is currently unresolved at Selhurst Park, with reports suggesting that the 32-year-old could potentially move to Ligue 1 giants Marseille this summer, and the Frenchman would need replacing.

Having joined in 2015 for £10 million from French champions Paris Saint Germain, the veteran midfielder played a key role in the Eagles relegation survival, acting as the catalyst for control and mobility in the centre of the park.

Photo: Getty Images

And Wilshere would play a similar role. His agility and vision are reminiscent of Cabaye, but he has far more left in the tank.

It is safe to say the Englishman would be a real coup for Hodgson at Palace this summer and the fans agree its a deal the club should make happen.

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