Fiorentina’s forward overtures for Jonathan Ikone show where they aspire to be

Samuel Moutoussamy of FC Nantes competes for the ball with Jonathan Ikone of Lille OSC during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Lille OSC and FC...

Recent reports claim Fiorentina – sixth in Serie A so far this term – are close to snatching a shrewd mid-season acquisition next month: Lille’s French winger Jonathan Ikone at just €15m (£12.75m), the sort of cut-price fee they’ll be hoping propels them into serious European challengers, as opposed to the frequent pretender tag they’ve long beld in Italy. Continue reading

Gareth Southgate’s contract extension felt inevitable, but is no less divisive

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England and Steve Holland, Assistant Manager of England pose for a photo after the England Press Conference after...

Gareth Southgate’s two-year extension announcement means, if all goes well, he’ll remain England manager until December 2024 – occupying the position for more than eight years, being their longest head coach since Bobby Robson. They’ve progressed considerably under his guidance and yet there remains an unwavering feeling he’s taken them as far as he can. Continue reading

Paolo Banchero, Duke and the all-important question still to be answered

Julien Soumaoro of the Gardner Webb Runnin' Bulldogs defends Paolo Banchero of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half of their game at Cameron...

Through four appearances to start the new season, Duke’s 6’10 power forward star Paolo Banchero is averaging 17 points on 62.5% shooting and 8.5 rebounds per game. Seeded ninth in the ACC, they are unbeaten (5-0) at the time of writing. But as they look towards an uncertain future in the months ahead, will their Seattle-born five-star recruit be allowed to flourish? Continue reading

Reece Oxford’s Augsburg extension reinforces his refreshing progression

Reece Oxford of FC Augsburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and VfB Stuttgart at...

Cast aside too quickly as another teenage wonderkid who swiftly disappeared according to English critics, Reece Oxford’s career trajectory has been re-energised by a Bundesliga journey taking him from Borussia Monchengladbach to Augsburg – where his consistent performances earned a new contract extension last week, like most things, that went under-the-radar. Continue reading

Brazilian winger Antony comes of age, as Ajax annihilate dishevelled Dortmund

Sebastien Haller of Ajax celebrates 4-0 with Antony of Ajax, Davy Klaassen of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League match between Ajax v Borussia...

On a rough night where Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland missed a handful of big chances and hit the woodwork, Ajax’s ambitious young core exposed their visitors with ruthless abandon en route to a 4-0 win. Antony, an Olympic gold medallist with Brazil in Tokyo two months ago, showed why many of Europe’s elite are tracking his progress. Continue reading

Punished for profligacy: Neal Maupay spoils Palace’s party with sucker punch strike

Neal Maupay of Brighton & Hove Albion celebrates with Jakub Moder after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between...

On a night where Conor Gallagher’s praises were sung, Wilfried Zaha capped his 400th appearance with a 70th Crystal Palace goal and the hosts revelled in halting Brighton’s brilliant start to the Premier League campaign, Neal Maupay pounced on a half-chance to expertly convert his fourth goal of the season deep into stoppage time to snatch a share of the points. Continue reading

Meticulous planning, irreparable damage and cruel irony: Lionel Messi at PSG

Lionel Messi poses with the Paris Saint-Germain jersey after signing a 2 year contract at Parc des Princes on August 10, 2021 in Paris, France.

Lionel Messi’s 21-year association with Barcelona, where he became the greatest player of his generation, ended yesterday. The Argentine joins a stacked PSG side whose pursuit of an elusive Champions League triumph has become clearer in recent months with their summer business. But while the seeds had been sown for a decade, even they wouldn’t have expected this…
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