The Premier League remains the world's most prestigious football division, boasting talent from global superstars, amidst growing popularity. Despite names like Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe and Neymar missing, the league has started the 2023/24 season with surprises in its standings. Due to the international break, a broader look into the league's history and its 51 participating teams has been undertaken. Newly included Luton Town are yet to earn points, while some teams have been constant presences. A comparative table detailing all teams' points, ranked from last to first, has been assembled.
Newcastle United are reportedly set to make Bruno Guimarães, a key fixture in their squad, the club's highest paid player in history. The new deal, worth £60 million, will place the Brazilian on £200,000 per week, extending his contract to 2028. Guimarães, who joined from Lyon for £40 million, has seen his value surge to just under £60 million. His performance has garnered attention from clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea. The new contract is part of Newcastle's attempt to secure their top talent following successful summer transfers.
Premier League clubs enjoy a respite as international fixtures take the limelight. Liverpool are off to an outstanding start, whereas Everton have struggled in their opening games. The use of VAR has been a contentious point this season, with Liverpool seeing a goal disallowed, and Everton suffering a similar fate without VAR intervention. These decisions, including disallowed goals and awarded penalties, have significantly impacted the current league standings. The discourse around the use of VAR persists, most notably with players and fans expressing frustration over incidents such as Alexis Mac Allister's overturned three-game suspension.
Newcastle United's Harvey Barnes is reportedly considering switching his international allegiance from England to Scotland. The former Leicester City player, who joined Newcastle in a £35million move, is eligible for Scotland through his grandparents. Despite previously declining approaches from the Scottish FA, Barnes is said to be open to a switch after failing to secure a spot in Gareth Southgate's England squad. This comes as Scotland edge closer to Euro 2024 qualification. However, Scotland manager Steve Clarke admitted he has little control over Newcastle's Elliot Anderson's international future, following his withdrawal from the squad due to injury.
Chelsea are reportedly considering a move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins. Reporter Simon Phillips suggested on his podcast that Watkins could be a target for Chelsea in the January transfer window. Watkins has previously been linked with several clubs, including Chelsea, but remains a key part of Aston Villa's future plans. In other news, Aston Villa have allegedly agreed a deal for Port Vale's teenage sensation Freddie Lawrie. This would make Lawrie the club's record sale for a schoolboy player.
Celtic and Dundee are preparing for a clash next weekend, with both sharing the top spot in the Scottish Premiership. Meanwhile, Rangers, currently in 4th place, look forward to an away match against St Johnstone. Speculations are rife about Liverpool inviting offers for Celtic loanee, Nat Phillips. Ex-Celtic player Alan Hutton suggests a potential permanent move. Meanwhile, Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland, linked with Rangers, has remained with his current club. Ex-Rangers player Ian Black anticipates interest in Shankland if his scoring streak continues.
Manchester United's manager, Erik ten Hag, is preparing to make significant decisions regarding his squad in the coming months. Ten Hag, in his first season at Old Trafford, guided United back into the Champions League and claimed the Carabao Cup. Despite a mixed start to the current season after new summer signings, hopes remain high for progress. However, several squad members face uncertainty as they enter the final year of their contracts. Ten Hag is contemplating his next moves concerning these big names.
Rangers have had a disappointing start to the season, compounded by a loss to Celtic. During the international break, they'll be looking to regroup and focus on their upcoming Europa League matches while also kickstarting their title run. Their squad, valued at £92.3m, certainly has the potential to do so. The break offers a moment to reassess their strategies and make the most of their players' talents.
Manchester City and Manchester United have had contrasting beginnings to the season. City, champions under Pep Guardiola, have secured four victories, while United have had two wins and two losses. Manchester City are reportedly interested in Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma for the winter window, following Riyad Mahrez's departure. Meanwhile, United face concerns over new loanee Sofyan Amrabat's minor injury. This season’s Premier League is set to be fiercely competitive as both sides look to improve over the break.
Liverpool are close to returning to action after the international break, with a strong start to the new season. Despite the successful start, Jurgen Klopp's team needs to enhance their defensive strategies. Meanwhile, Liverpool have refused a £200million offer for Mohamed Salah from Saudi Arabia. Graeme Sounness has highlighted Liverpool's midfield imbalance following the loss of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, suggesting the need for another central defender, as Matip's fitness levels for the Premier League season are questionable.
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