Immortalised Ibrahimovic ready to say goodbye MLS, hello Italy?


Immortalised Ibrahimovic ready to say goodbye MLS, hello Italy? – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Sky Sports’ interview with Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Alessandro Alciato on October 8, 2019. Translated from the Italian by Steve Amoia for Sportslens.
The importance that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has for world football, but above all in Sweden, was confirmed by the realisation of a statue in his image at Malmö, the city of his birth.
The statue is over three metres in height and will be situated outside of the ground which hosts the games of its local football club. Joined by Alessandro Alciato, Ibrahimovic provided an interview to Sky Sports.
AA: With two Ibrahimovics, is the world a better, worse or more dangerous place?
Zlatan: Surely, it’s better and more dangerous. An original is one who lives forever; however, with Ibra, you always do everything to the contrary. I don’t follow others’ rules. I’m very happy and honoured. It doesn’t seem real but it is.
I did something in my career and it means that I left behind a trail that will always be there. And this is the most beautiful thing. There are players who win trophies; others have statues dedicated to them. I have won trophies and now also have a statue.
AA: If you looked inside of yourself, you would also see Rosengard, because there were so many people who came from that neighbourhood. You have recounted many times that they called it a ‘ghetto,’ but for you, it was home.
There are a lot of people who from this day forward, even more so, will follow your example. Because passing in front of the stadium they will see the statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Zlatan: Surely, they can think that it is possible. If I were able to do so many things, it means that everyone can do them. I’m not any more special than anyone else. We are all equal and where you end up is not important. That one does not feel welcomed is not important. It’s enough to believe in yourself, to have great desire, and to work. Then, success comes for everyone in one way or the other.
AA: Is it true that you said to the artist, so much as not to put pressure on himself, that it had to be his best work that he had created to date?
Zlatan: The absolute best as possible. Because they won’t only admire this statue in Sweden, but in the entire world, so that it can be visible in other countries.
AA: Looking ahead, there are the MLS play-offs, and then what?
Zlatan: Then I will see out my contract until December. And I still don’t know what will happen beyond that date.
AA: Are the objectives like a tight turn on the racetrack?
Zlatan: We hope to win. In the United States, there is a different type of system. It works in another way. And there is not only the regular season, but you need to qualify for the play-offs. And there, you win or lose, a game at a time.
AA: Are you still ready for the Italian Serie A?
Zlatan: At 100 percent. I feel it as I play. I’d still make the difference. In Italy and in all countries.
AA: Is retirement not an option?
Zlatan: We shall see. There are a lot of things to think about. Both physically and as an opportunity. If I can come to Italy, I don’t see any problems. I can do better than those they have playing there now. In my opinion, Juventus is doing great things. It is the symbol of Italian football due to the club and the players they have.
Internazionale is also doing great things with a top manager. They are pushing ahead a great deal. The other teams are trying something but still aren’t at the level of Juventus. Inter is closest in my opinion. I’m really gutted about AC Milan. For me, it should be a top club due to results and investments, with the best players in the world. But at the present time, it is not like this.
AA: And how can Milan do it?
Zlatan: They have to make investments. Everything starts from the ownership group. If they don’t make investments, you don’t go anywhere. Quality is not free.
AA: In a recent interview with Sky, Carlo Ancelotti said that if Ibrahimovic came to Napoli, he would manage him with great pleasure.
Zlatan: I had a great relationship with Carlo. He’s a great manager but above all, a great person. I had the good fortune to become acquainted with him as a man and to work together with him. I’m sorry that it only lasted for a year. I would have wanted the most time as possible with him because I was experiencing a great run of form in my career. And in my opinion, so was he.
Translator’s Note: Zlatan spent one season working with Mr Ancelotti at PSG in Ligue 1.
Please click here for the original interview.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Attacker reveals that he was open to joining Newcastle in summer


Attacker reveals that he was open to joining Newcastle in summer – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Salomon Rondon has revealed that he was open to joining Newcastle United this summer.
Speaking to todofichajes.com , he said: “I would have continued in Newcastle if they had given me the opportunity, but I couldn’t. Now I am very happy in China. The league is quite different and the language is totally different, but it is a matter of adapting.”
The 30-year-old Venezuelan was on loan at the club last season and he managed to impress a lot. He scored 11 goals for the Magpies and helped them beat the drop.
He was linked with a permanent move to Newcastle this summer but Rafa Benitez left the club and Newcastle refused to pay WBA’s asking price for Rondon.
Instead, they chose to invest in Joelinton and Carroll.
So far, Newcastle have lacked a goalscoring presence up top and the likes of Joelinton are still adapting to the league.
Someone like Rondon would have made an immediate impact and there is no doubt that Steve Bruce’s side would be better going forward with Rondon leading the line.
It will be interesting to see if Newcastle can improve with time and finish the season on a high.
Rondon is currently playing for Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang. The Chinese side is managed by former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez.
The duo share a great working relationship and Rondon has revealed that Rafa was key to the move to China.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Popular pundit reveals how he knew Spurs would be in trouble this season


Popular pundit reveals how he knew Spurs would be in trouble this season – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Popular pundit Jamie Redknapp has revealed that he was always aware of the fact the trouble was on the horizon for Tottenham.
In an interview during the summer, Pochettino revealed that he was unaware of his players’ futures and that he should be referred to as the coach of Tottenham and not the manager.
The Spurs boss basically revealed to the media that he was in the dark regarding transfers.
Redknapp realized at that moment, Pochettino was having an issue with the club hierarchy.
Since then, Spurs have invested in the squad but they have failed to deliver on the pitch. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are underperforming and he has failed to turn it around so far.
It will be interesting to see if the Argentine manages to guide Spurs to a respectable finish this year.
At the start of the season, they were expected to challenge for the title. Instead, they are fighting for a place in the top four now.
Spurs will have to work hard and put together a winning run now.
It is hard to judge whether Pochettino’s issues with Levy has affected the performances in some way.
What is evident is that some of the players have been complacent since the start of the season and perhaps their heads have been turned due to the constant transfer speculations.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Silva can transform Everton if he manages to sign his £40m January target


Silva can transform Everton if he manages to sign his £40m January target – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Everton are thought to be keen on the former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele.
The Frenchman has done very well since moving to Lyon and the Toffees want to bring him to the Premier League now.
According to reports via Daily Star, Marco Silva wants to sign the attacker in January.
It will be interesting to see if Everton submit an offer for the player in the coming months.
Dembele is a top-class talent and he is certainly good enough to shine at Everton. However, there could other clubs waiting for him if he is made available.
The Lyon ace is certainly ready to join a big club now. It will be interesting to see if Everton manage to convince him.
The Toffees have the money to spend but they will have to convince the player that it is the correct step in his career.
The 23-year-old has managed to bag 26 goals since his £19.7m move just over a year ago and Lyon will not want to let go of him for cheap.
Everton will have to pay a premium if they want to sign him. Dembele is rated at around £40m.
The Toffees have spent big on Richarlison and Kean over the last year and it seems that Silva is ready to splash out on another quality forward now.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Chelsea defender: "It is a dream" – Report


Chelsea defender: "It is a dream" – Report – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Fikayi Tomori has been a revelation for Chelsea this season. The 21-year-old broke into the starting XI at Stamford Bridge at the end of August, making his full debut in a 2-2 draw against Sheffield United. Since then the Canadian-born defender has gone from strength to strength to make himself a regular in Frank Lampard’s team.
Long road to success
Tomori originally made his debut at the end of the 2015/16 season, coming on as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
Since then the centre-back has spent time away from West-London with a series of loans at Championship level. A spell at Brighton and Hove Albion in 2016/17 didn’t prove very fruitful for the youngster.
However, the following season saw an improvement as Tomori found himself at Hull City. After 26-appearances, the big defender was on the move again. A move that proved to be the making of the youngster.
Derby County, managed by Frank Lampard brought Tomori to Pride Park for the 2018/19 season. He went on to appear 55-times for The Rams and scooped the clubs player of the year  award.
International recognition
Now in another impressive development, Tomori has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Capped on 15 occasions at under-21 level, Tomori has certainly come a long way in just a few years.
The defender is also eligible for both Canada, the country of his birth, and Nigeria due to his parentage.
Choosing England has proved easy for The Blues man. Having moved to England as a baby, Tomori has no doubt he has made the right decision. Reported by the clubs official website, chelseafc.com. He said:
“Being eligible to play for three countries was a good thing and a bad thing. I have just taken everything as it has come and once I got that call-up to England, there wasn’t really a doubt in my mind that I was going to commit”
Tomori didn’t expect things to have moved so quickly, and admitted it’s a dream come true.
“I was not expecting at the beginning of the season to make the England squad,’ . ‘I’ve taken everything as it has come. This happened quite fast but it’s been a good 12 months. I’ve been working hard, listening to people, trying to improve myself and it’s going well”
“It’s a bit cliched but it is a dream,’ the 21-year-old said about the call-up. ‘Growing up in England and seeing the players playing at Wembley, it was such a good feeling. It’s indescribable. It was a very proud moment”.
The next step for Tomori is to earn a full England cap. That may well happen on Friday against Czech Republic or next Monday in Bulgaria. The Three Lions are close to Euro 2020 qualification. How wonderful if would be if Tomori can continue his phenomenal rise to be a part of Southgate’s plans next summer.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Opinion: £33m Crystal Palace target would be a superb signing for Everton in January


Opinion: £33m Crystal Palace target would be a superb signing for Everton in January – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Chelsea signed Michy Batshuayi in 2016 for £33m, but the Belgian striker has struggled for regular games at Stamford Bridge.
He has seen managers come and go, but his situation has hardly improved. He was always behind the likes of Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order since he joined from Marseille, and under Frank Lampard, Tammy Abraham is being preferred ahead of him.
The 26-year-old impressed during his loan spell at Selhurst Park where he scored six times in 11 starts and 13 appearances in total. Crystal Palace are crying out for a natural centre-forward and are reportedly interested in signing him in January.
However, Palace are not the only club who are desperate to sign a striker. Everton are struggling badly in the league and find themselves 18th in the table after eight games.
The Toffees have managed only six goals so far, and clearly signing a striker should be a top priority for Marco Silva in January.
Moise Kean is yet to open his account and Dominic Calvert-Lewin hasn’t given the impression that he can score 15-20 goals in a season. And that is why, Everton must move for Batshuayi who has always impressed whenever he has been given an opportunity.
He has just managed 45 minutes of football under Lampard and has already found the net once, scoring in Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Southampton prior to the international break.
The Belgian is cheaper than ever these days and Everton who previously showed interest in him must not miss out on the opportunity to sign him.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


'He’s full-blooded': 27-year-old int'l gives honest verdict about Rangers star


'He’s full-blooded': 27-year-old int'l gives honest verdict about Rangers star – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Glasgow Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack has showered praise on Ibrox striker Alfredo Morelos.
In an exclusive interview with The Athletic, Jack has said that he plays the way he trains.
The 23-year-old striker has received a call-up for Carlos Quieroz’s latest Colombia squad after his impressive form with the Gers this season.
Morelos scored 30 goals for Rangers last season but his lack of discipline was heavily scrutinised. The young striker picked up 18 yellow cards and five red cards last season, and it deeply angered the Rangers boss Steven Gerrard who has always supported him through thick and thin.
The Colombian is yet to learn the English language properly but he is improving all the time. Jack says that he understands what others are saying and the players try to make him involved with the squad.
Jack, 27, finds Morelos as a big character in the squad who plays as if it is his last game.
“I wouldn’t say he holds conversations with you but you definitely say things to him and he knows what you mean,” Jack said to the Athletic. “Alfredo is another who trains the way he plays. What you see on the park is what he’s like all the time. He’s full-blooded. It’s as if it’s the last game he is ever going to play. You’d most definitely rather have him on your side than not as he just runs about and causes carnage.
“He still has craic with the boys. We have a fines system and we’re always trying to get Alfredo fined. If you’re in the shower and leave it on it’s a fine, so we’ll all be shouting ‘That’s a fine!’ and he’ll be saying, ‘No! No! No fine!’ It’s just little things like that, as he’s not from here, that makes him feel involved.”
Morelos and Defoe key for Rangers 
Morelos has started the 2019-20 campaign strongly, having scored 14 goals already in all competitions. So far, he has shown good discipline on the pitch and hasn’t picked up any red card yet.
His striker partner Jermain Defoe is also scoring goals for fun. The vastly experienced veteran striker has scored 12 goals already this season.
Rangers have progressed immensely under Gerrard and find themselves at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, two points ahead of Celtic after just eight games.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


'Maturing all the time': Club legend names the player who 'should be first choice' for Celtic


'Maturing all the time': Club legend names the player who 'should be first choice' for Celtic – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Celtic legend Frank McGarvey believes that Leigh Griffiths has got it in him to play at the highest level.
Griffiths has not featured since the end of August. He picked up a series of niggling injuries since he made his return to the Celtic first team this summer after a long absence.
The Bhoys striker has been out with personal issues and physical ailments, but McGarvey believes that Griffiths can still play at the top level because of his natural finishing ability.
Having said that, the former Hoops striker McGarvey believes Odsonne Edouard should be the first choice striker at the club.
“There’s no point in being the best centre-forward at Parkhead if you can’t go out and prove that on a weekly basis. And that’s what Leigh’s not doing at the moment unfortunately,” said McGarvey to the Daily Record.
“I like Edouard. He’s maturing all the time and he’s coming into being a nice centre-forward. He’s a good player as well – but Griffiths has proved it.
“But you need to prove it week in week out and right now Griffiths is not doing that and Edouard is. So Edouard should be first choice.”
Edouard deserves to be the first choice 
The 21-year-old striker has been in tremendous form this season, and has scored nine goals for the Bhoys in all competitions already.
Edouard has shown the maturity to handle the pressure and perform in big games. He has cemented his position in the side, and is vital to Lennon’s plans.
McGarvey is spot on that Edouard is maturing all the time and he is proving it on a regular basis. Griffiths is a vastly experienced striker but right now Lennon must integrate him into the side gradually.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


'Levy's Masterclass': Some Spurs fans react to latest reports about club's decision


'Levy's Masterclass': Some Spurs fans react to latest reports about club's decision – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Tottenham Hotspur have made a poor start to their 2019-20 campaign.
The north London club find themselves ninth in the Premier League table, and the gap with league leaders Liverpool have already extended to 13 points after eight games.
Probably, it is too early to say that Spurs are in a crisis at the moment, but surely Mauricio Pochettino must arrest this gradual decline.
According to reports from the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur chairman has decided to put clauses into his players’ contracts.
As a result, it will see their wages reduced if they fail to make the top four. Many Tottenham fans have taken to Twitter to express their reaction:

If they are claiming to be underpaid and overworked now imagine what would happen then
— Eashan (@EashN17) October 8, 2019

As it should be. Levy comes up trumps again
— TrickTrick (@TrickTrick85) October 8, 2019

Was thinking exactly the same thing.
— Fraser (@fraser8814) October 8, 2019

First time I agree with Levy’s decision. I would go on even further, wage cut for any of these bottlers who keep showing negative attitude and don’t show up.
— Fiel (@MarceloFurlan5) October 8, 2019

There’s chaos in the squad. Just drop eriksen and vertonghen to the reserves and get on with the football please
— roger (@rogerroger911) October 8, 2019

They are players not daily wage labourers.
Deal with them professionally.
— Tüshãr (@FutbolTushar__) October 8, 2019

Levy’s Masterclass
— Aditya Kanungo (@adityakanungo1) October 8, 2019

Good move by Levy? 
Difficult to say. Last week, reports emerged that Spurs players are unhappy with how they are being treated. They feel they are being underpaid for the amount of work they are putting in.
Tottenham’s rigid wage cap has been well documented, and it may cause further unrest among the players if Levy decides to take such a bold step.
Levy is a great businessman but he must put trust in his players and his manager to turn things around.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog


Report: Hammers to reward star with two-year deal, three others being considered


Report: Hammers to reward star with two-year deal, three others being considered – originally posted on Sportslens.com
According to The Sun, West Ham United want to reward English left-back Aaron Cresswell with a new two-year deal for his impressive start to the season.
The former Ipswich full-back, who has featured in 184 games across all competitions for the Hammers since his arrival in 2014, is currently contracted at the London Stadium until 2021.
The £3.75million signing was dropped from the next four matchday squads following an underwhelming performance in the 5-0 loss to Manchester City on the opening day of the campaign, but has since redeemed himself with a string of fine performances.
Cresswell has scored two league goals thus far, and is looking to reestablish himself as a starter for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
He isn’t the only one the club wants to offer a new deal, though.
The Sun claims the Hammers will also look to renew the deals of Mark Noble, Lukasz Fabianski and Michail Antonio as they are being looked at over the next few months as they enter the last 18 months of their contracts.
West Ham are aiming to finish in top-seven this term, and have won three, drawn three and lost two of their opening eight games of the campaign.
They are planning for the long-term from the look of things, and while they are expected to keep making necessary squad changes during subsequent transfer windows, keeping the core of the team going forward will do them a lot of good.
From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog