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Football News

» Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino at heart of England vs Spain international battle
Arsenal starlet Charlie Patino is highly thought of and is being chased by both England and Spain having played for the Three Lions at several youth grades
» Arsenal's "best ever" academy player could make debut against AFC Wimbledon
Charlie Patino has long been tipped for big things at Hale End and now the young Gunner could make his debut in the League Cup against AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday
» Four clubs 'chasing' Paul Pogba transfer but PSG could sign alternative target
Pogba is in the final nine months of his Manchester United contract, with Paris-Saint Germain touted as potential suitors among a host of clubs battling to sign the star
» Rio Ferdinand questions Mikel Arteta's use of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has bagged just one league goal this season after a difficult time last term but the Arsenal striker has been defended by Rio Ferdinand
» Arsene Wenger outlines motivation behind much-criticised World Cup plans
Wenger is heading up FIFA's controversial proposal for a World Cup every two years and says that a biannual tournament would benefit more players and nations than the current format does
» "What Barcelona is this?" - Ronald Koeman under fire as Gerard Pique ends up in attack
Barcelona stumbled to a home draw against lowly Granada on Monday night as under-fire boss Koeman faces more questions after his side finished the game with an unusual attack
» Grandson of Ian Wright and son of Shaun Wright-Phillips scores first goal for Stoke
D'Margio Wright-Phillips scored his first goal for Stoke City in an Under-23s win at Newcastle on Monday in the Premier League 2 following his move from Manchester City in February
» Bukayo Saka's Arsenal transfer value amid Juventus and Atletico Madrid interest
Saka has had a slow start to the 2020-21 season but Arsenal fans will be shocked to hear that the Gunners are reportedly open to selling the England international
» David Beckham's strict instructions to Inter Miami boss Phil Neville for son Romeo
David Beckham's son, Romeo, made his professional debut on Sunday but the Man Utd legend doesn't want any favours from Inter Miami boss Phil Neville
» British footballer caught 'having sex on private jet' by flight attendant
A prominent British footballer was reportedly caught having sex on a private jet by a flight attendant, but was far from the only footballer eager to join the mile-high club
» Massimiliano Allegri slams Juventus players in foul-mouthed rant after storming off pitch
Juventus' failure to win any of their first four matches in 60 years appeared to overcome Massimiliano Allegri, with the Italian manager heard shouting and swearing down the tunnel
» Man Utd's six best-ever free transfers including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Scholes
Manchester United have not always splashed the cash on big-money signings - they have made their fair share of free transfers over the years, including some huge successes
» Jurgen Klopp decision to hand Wayne Rooney and crisis club Derby much-needed windfall
Liverpool face Norwich City in the EFL Cup with young star let Kaide Gordon set to make his debut for the Premier League club, a move which will land the Championship club £100,000
» Arsene Wenger feels "responsible" for Jack Wilshere injuries as midfielder seeks new club
Jack Wilshere was destined for the top as a youngster at Arsenal but constant injury problems have seen his career grind to a halt and Arsene Wenger feels a sense of responsibility
» Lucas Torreira accuses Arsenal of costing him Uruguay spot as he takes aim at parent club
Arsenal beat Burnley 1-0 last weekend thanks to a Martin Odegaard free-kick but pressuring is mounting on manager Mikel Arteta to deliver more impressive results
» Paul Pogba, David Beckham and more stars who made their debuts in the League Cup
Paul Pogba, David Beckham and Jude Bellingham are amongst the stars who made their debuts in the league cup and the competition returns to our screens this week
» What channel is Norwich City vs Liverpool on? Kick-off time, TV and live stream details
Liverpool head to Norwich for a third round Carabao Cup clash that could see Jurgen Klopp ring the changes as he aims to balance his team's workload with cup ambitions
» Danny Drinkwater brands career at Chelsea "shambles" after finally moving on
Chelsea signed Danny Drinkwater back in 2017 but the Premier League winner's time at Stamford Bridge has been forgettable and he is now on his fourth loan spell away
» Man Utd 'monitoring' Tanguy Ndombele as Paul Pogba transfer replacement
Pogba has entered the final year of his contract at Manchester United and with his future uncertain, the Premier League side are beginning to search out replacements
» Rio Ferdinand names new "best centre-back" in Premier League
Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all made excellent starts to the Premier League season and Rio Ferdinand has named the best centre-back in the country
» Harry Kane's transfer failure laid bare as Man City told they "need" Tottenham star
Manchester City failed in their attempts to sign Harry Kane over the summer with Pep Guardiola desperate to sign a striker following the departure of Sergio Aguero
» Mikel Arteta handed chance to test solution to Arsenal problem in Carabao Cup clash
Arsenal face AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, with Gunners boss Arteta set to make changes to his starting line-up for the clash with the League One side
» Thomas Tuchel can still solve £47m problem despite Bundesliga transfer interest
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are reportedly eying up Chelsea's misfiring forward Timo Werner, but Thomas Tuchel must not be affected by the German forward's lack of goals
» Jurgen Klopp still needs to prove he can handle Carabao Cup commitments at Liverpool
Managers often say they take it one game at a time, and if Liverpool do that, with the quality they have, a cup final at the very least could soon be on their calendar
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Other sport news:

» David Squires on … his favourite football cartoon panels

Two Arsenal legends, an unpublished gem, Poppies and more – our cartoonist talks us through some memorable drawings

The Guardian have granted me a week off from the back-breaking physical labour of drawing football cartoons, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait another week to read my searing analysis of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s waistcoat game. However, as punishment, I’ve been asked to scour my back catalogue and pick out 10 panels from the last few years that I hate the least. Usually when I’m away from my drawing board, a huge story breaks, so feel free to dip in and out of this selection as you wait for the liveblog to refresh with updates on Pep Guardiola’s shock move to Chippenham Town.

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» Special bond: how chance – and Kafka – turns football strangers into friends

A Fulham fan explains the joys and pain of the season-ticket friendship in an extract from a new book by female writers

It was a reference to Franz Kafka that made me realise my friendship with Dom was pretty special. It was around the time when we had a player at Fulham called Alex Kacaniklic. During one match, Dom suddenly referred to the player as ‘Alex K’, linking him (who knows how) to Josef K. and Kafka’s book The Trial. Understanding the reference, I replied, keeping up the slow connections to Kafka’s work, to which mid-match he delightedly exclaimed, ‘Ah, you’re a Kafka fan, Hayley!’ and we continued to discuss our shared enjoyment of the great author.

Dom and I were to become friends purely by the anomaly of a computer. My friend Rob and I had recently acquired season tickets next to each other in H4 of the Hammersmith End. To my right sat Rob, and to his right sat Dom. We were distinctly British about our first seating together, politely saying hello, not knowing if those around us were ‘tourists’ for the day, another newly moved season-ticket holder or, as it turned out, an already formed ‘season-ticket bubble’ to which we were the newbies.

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» Behind the scenes at Wycombe as they prepare to face Manchester City

Training-ground visit shows thoroughness, fun and humility as ‘awesome’ Carabao Cup trip draws nears for League One club

It is 10.30am on Thursday, the morning after Manchester City put six goals past RB Leipzig, but at Wycombe Wanderers’ training ground the focus is not on their glamour trip to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday but their next League One opponents. Downstairs the kit man, Steve Vaux, is applying the Carabao Cup logo to the sleeves of the away kits but upstairs Gareth Ainsworth has the attention of his players as he runs through some clips of Charlton Athletic.

An hour later Ainsworth drags a goal into place in preparation for an XI v XI game, which he occasionally halts to make a point. “If you let him turn on the ball there, bloody hell we’ll be in all sorts,” he says, urging the centre-backs Anthony Stewart and Ryan Tafazoli to get tight when on halfway. Making mental notes from the sidelines is Dr Misia Gervis, the sports psychologist, while the analyst Josh Hart films from a scaffold tower. Gone are the days of Hart and David Wates, the head of sports science, making up the numbers as defenders in practice matches, as they did on the eve of promotion to the Championship.

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» Taking the knee ‘losing a bit of strength’, says Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso
  • Alonso now choosing to stand and point at anti-racism message
  • ‘I prefer to do it this way, to say clearly I am against racism’

Marcos Alonso says he has stopped taking the knee before matches this season because he feels the power of the action has been diluted. The Chelsea wing-back has chosen instead to stand and point at the anti-racism message on the sleeve of his shirt.

Alonso was asked to explain his thinking after Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday and, although he did not go into detail, he made clear he believes there is a better way to make the point than by kneeling.

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» Ronald Araujo’s late equaliser spares Barcelona’s blushes against Granada

Ronald Araujo came to Barcelona’s rescue with a last-gasp equaliser to deny lowly Granada a second successive La Liga victory at the Camp Nou. Araujo struck in the final minute of normal time amid concerted pressure, to cancel out Domingos Duarte’s early opener and spare his side’s blushes as the game finished 1-1.

The home crowd had been stunned into silence within two minutes of kick-off when Duarte headed Sergio Escudero’s corner past Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and into the net. Jorge Molina went close to a second for the visitors but Sergi Roberto was denied at the other end by the crossbar and Memphis Depay failed to round off a quick break as the Catalan giants turned the screw.

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» Inter serve up a storm as Inzaghi looks to blow memories of Conte away | Nicky Bandini

Inter wanted evolution, not revolution, after claiming a first Serie A title in 11 years. The rout of Bologna showed how

Like a bird seeking shelter in the hours before a storm, Sinisa Mihajlovic knew trouble was coming and yet was powerless to stop it. “Let’s talk about something else,” he said, cursing freely, after being asked on Friday about Bologna’s success in keeping back-to-back clean sheets.

“Now we’re just inviting bad luck … if we concede a goal tomorrow, I’m going to get mad with you guys,’ he said. “What even is this? When we don’t concede for 20 games in a row, then we can talk about this stuff. Not after two games.”

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» Liverpool’s 16-year-old ‘diamond’ Kaide Gordon in contention for debut
  • Winger in squad for Carabao Cup game at Norwich
  • Assistant Lijnders called Klopp after seeing Gordon train

Kaide Gordon is in contention to make his Liverpool debut on Tuesday, with the assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders describing the 16-year-old as one of “many diamonds” on the pathway to the first team.

The teenage winger has made a major impression since joining Liverpool from Derby in February and has been named in Jürgen Klopp’s squad for the Carabao Cup third-round tie at Norwich. The 18-year-old midfielder Conor Bradley is another youngster in the travelling party, with Liverpool poised to make wholesale changes.

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» James Rodríguez in Qatar for possible move away from Everton
  • Colombian has not played in Premier League this season
  • Rodríguez out of favour with new manager Rafael Benítez

James Rodríguez has travelled to Qatar for talks over a possible move from Everton 12 months after his arrival from Real Madrid.

The Colombia international’s future at Goodison Park has been uncertain since Carlo Ancelotti surprisingly returned to Madrid in June. Ancelotti had been instrumental in the 30-year-old’s decision to join Everton on an initial two-year contract worth in the region of £200,000 a week.

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» The Tiger who came for free: Falcao is back and scoring in La Liga | Sid Lowe

Rayo Vallecano’s top-flight return was a miracle and now they have signed Radamel Falcao. But all is not well with the club

This was the kind of moment you didn’t want to miss and on the corner of Avenida Albufera and Payaso Fofó street, down in the People’s Republic of Vallecas, the opening bars of the Final Countdown boomed out. Inside, in the front row of seats on the eastern side of the ground where Colombian flags joined tricolours and the smoke smells sickly sweet, the fan in the tiger onesie roared and sang along. Around him, they did the same. Or just laughed. There were 3,280 people, plus a dozen or so gathered in the tower blocks overlooking the wall at one end, all going slightly mad while their striker wore a smile the size of the city he had returned to.

None of this made much sense, but things rarely do down there. The smallest team in the first division, and by a very long way, one that shouldn’t even be there but was somehow promoted through the play-offs, a crumbling club in perpetual conflict and crisis where many of the fans that make the place unique had chosen to stay away, was 3-0 up. Two home games, two wins, seven goals scored, none conceded. And out in the sunshine, that really was Radamel Falcao kissing their badge. He had played 10 minutes and 24 seconds for them and he already had a goal.

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» ‘I wouldn’t do it’: England’s Wiegman and Stokes oppose plan for more World Cups
  • Manager Wiegman insists ‘players are not robots’
  • Stokes says tournaments are ‘very taxing and draining’

The England Women manager, Sarina Wiegman, has cautioned against plans for a biennial World Cup because of the toll it would take on players.

“I wouldn’t do it,” the former Netherlands head coach said before her team’s second 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifier, in Luxembourg, on Tuesday night. “It’s not very good for the players, for their welfare.

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» Jimmy Greaves: peerless player whose legacy is etched in football history | Barney Ronay

The relentlessly effective Tottenham and England player remains the highest scorer in English top-flight football history

Farewell, then, Jimmy. Sporting celebrities come and go but Greaves, who has died at the age of 81, was something different, not just a peerless English goalscorer but a footballer who remained etched in the memory of those who saw him play, who seemed in his prime years to be playing with a rare kind of light around him.

There were three aspects to the lasting fascination with Greaves. First, the grace of his movement. Even for those who know him only from archive film it is striking how modern Greaves looked even as a teenager: slim-hipped and dapper, swaying through the heavy-booted defences of the early 1960s like a visitor from some elegantly appointed version of the near future.

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» Hertha Berlin’s long-mooted revamp is favouring humility over stardust | Andy Brassell

Fredi Bobic may have been a big-name board appointment but he didn’t arrive with the vision of assembling an all-star cast

The fans on the Ostkurve of Berlin’s Olympiastadion celebrated with abandon on Friday night, looking “more euphoric than they had for a long time”, as Jörn Lange of Berliner Morgenpost put it. Hertha had just avoided embarrassment, coming back from a goal down to win and – almost as importantly – avoiding becoming Greuther Fürth’s first victims of the season.

For those looking at the bare numbers on paper, it might have been harder to raise a substantial cheer, following on from a flattering but necessary win at Bochum last week. Two victories over promoted teams are not the stuff major investor Lars Windhorst’s dreams are made of, but they are a start – and a good one, bearing in mind the mettle Hertha have had to show in both matches.

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» Lyon show PSG they will not have it all their way in Ligue 1 this season

Lionel Messi was meant to be the star of the show on his home debut but Lyon had no intention of playing a supporting role

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Ligue 1 served up a sumptuous weekend of football filled with local derbies and high-pressure matches. French football undoubtedly delivered, with the thrilling Côte d’Azur derby between Nice and Monaco impressing as much as the bitter Derby du Nord, where hosts Lens beat Lille to leave them in real trouble. Marseille shook off their disappointing Europa League draw with 10-man Lokomotiv Moscow, beating Rennes 2-0 to burnish their top-three credentials. Nantes went to Angers and blew them away, winning 4-1, and Lyon’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday evening was a fitting denouement to the weekend.

Both teams were missing some key players – including Moussa Dembélé and Léo Dubois for Lyon, and Sergio Ramos for PSG – but the prospect was still an exciting one. Having won their first five league matches of the season, this was PSG’s first stern test. It was also Lionel Messi’s home debut. While the match eventually turned on a pair of contentious non-decisions, it was a thoroughly entertaining game, and one that showed there will be quality in France this season beyond the confines of the Parc des Princes.

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» Tottenham ‘have a lot of problems’ admits Nuno after Chelsea defeat
  • Spurs manager says: ‘We need more time to work together’
  • Thomas Tuchel praises N’Golo Kanté and second-half display

Nuno Espírito Santo conceded “there were a lot of things that went wrong” as his Tottenham side sustained an ultimately chastening 3-0 home defeat against Chelsea which leaves Thomas Tuchel’s team joint top of the Premier League with Liverpool.

Although Spurs held their own in the opening half, second-half goals from the excellent Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kanté and Antonio Rüdiger left Tuchel’s visitors unbeaten in their opening five league games.

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» Jimmy Greaves, England and Tottenham great, dies aged 81
  • Recognised as one of most natural finishers of his generation
  • England manager Gareth Southgate leads tributes to Greaves

Gareth Southgate led the tributes to Jimmy Greaves on Sunday following the death at the age of 81 of the man widely regarded as being English football’s finest marksmen.

The England manager said Greaves’s place in the game’s history would “never be forgotten” and emphasised the way in which admiration of the former Chelsea, Milan, Tottenham and West Ham forward’s rare talent has and does unite football fans.

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» Guardiola faces injury crisis as Manchester City start crucial run
  • Ilkay Gündogan the latest injury during Southampton draw
  • Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain games over next 10 days

Pep Guardiola is facing a mounting injury crisis with the fitness of Ilkay Gündogan, Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko all in the balance as Manchester City enter a crucial three-match, eight-day period.

Related: I feel guilty for Manchester City not putting on a show, says Pep Guardiola

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» Lingard fires Manchester United to win as West Ham sub Noble’s penalty saved

Mark Noble was offered one shot and it was of the kind that, throughout his career, he has dispatched with chilling reliability. A handball from Luke Shaw had offered West Ham the chance to salvage a draw during an extraordinary finale and, in fairness to David Moyes, he thought he was on to a sure thing. Noble had taken 42 penalties since turning professional and missed just four; in fact he had not fluffed his lines since 2016. So Moyes turned to his one-man cavalry and, barely breaking stride, Noble jogged from the substitutes’ bench to the spot.

By coincidence, David de Gea had not repelled a penalty for nearly five and a half years. But perhaps this pile‑up of encouraging statistics, coupled with the self-consciously dramatic act of loading the fate of an entire afternoon on a player’s only kick of the game, tilted the odds another way.

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» Jimmy Greaves: the Boys' Own hero who stole the heart of a nation | Kevin Mitchell

Tottenham and England striker with two accurate feet brought magic to football, whether you were there to see it or not

There are some heroes you illogically hope will never die, certainly in the imagination. Muhammad Ali was one, George Best another (despite his best efforts) and Jimmy Greaves, too. Even Tottenham fans who never saw him play in the flesh so treasured his deeds it seemed he belonged solely to them. Only Glenn Hoddle and Harry Kane were later revered at White Hart Lane with such unquestioning intensity.

Others from the black-and-white era will have loved Greaves for his goals at Chelsea, for England and in early- and late-career cameos at Milan and West Ham. He was not exclusively ours but, for those who trekked up the High Road in N17, Spurs have always laid the strongest claim, and the feeling was mutual.

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» Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Liverpool and Arsenal find defensive solidity, Leon Bailey changes the game for Villa, and Ivan Toney for England?

It is true that Thomas Tuchel’s decision to replace Mason Mount with N’Golo Kanté at half-time against Tottenham had a profound impact on the match. But Tuchel’s managerial skill goes far beyond formations and tactics. Through the strong relationships he builds with players and the team spirit he engenders, he has created an environment in which he can take these decisions while running little risk of alienating players such as Mount. “Everybody is humble enough to accept it,” the captain, César Azpilicueta, said of the conversations that took place at half-time. It helps to have players of Kanté’s calibre to call on, of course, with your team on the back foot. But a strong-willed manager with less emotional intelligence than Tuchel would doubtless end up with a dissatisfied, restless group of players, as has happened more than once at Chelsea. Tuchel is a very modern manager, but his old-fashioned expectations of selflessness and teamwork are making Chelsea a formidable force. Luke McLaughlin

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» Jimmy Greaves: a life in pictures

The Spurs and Chelsea legend has died aged 81. Many regard the forward as the greatest goalscorer England has ever produced and he is, with 357 goals, the highest scorer in English top-flight football history. He also holds the record for scoring more hat-tricks (six) for England than anyone else

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» Tuchel’s powerplay shows widening gulf between Chelsea and Tottenham | Barney Ronay

Manager’s half-time introduction of N’Golo Kanté emphasised a vast difference in resources during the Blues’ 3-0 triumph

With 10 minutes to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Chelsea 2-0 up and looking like a team just running up and down the scales of their own attacking possibilities, N’Golo Kanté took the ball and surged towards the Spurs defence. By that stage this London derby had descended into a selection of minor human interest storylines. Most obviously: can anyone on this pitch, in either a blue or white shirt, force Timo Werner to score a goal?

Related: N’Golo Kanté transforms Chelsea in second-half rout of Tottenham

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» James Milner’s workmanlike image disguises a true Liverpool legend | Richard Jolly

Tireless on the pitch and conscientious off it, Liverpool’s old master is plodding steadily towards a place in football history

Emerson Royal is a £25m Brazil international and a specialist right-back. James Milner is a 35-year-old odd-job man who was playing Premier League football before Emma Raducanu and Harvey Elliott were born. On successive Saturdays, each was subjected to trial by Wilfried Zaha. Only one passed and it wasn’t the man bought from Barcelona last month.

Perhaps it is unfair to judge the Tottenham newcomer on the basis of a debut in which he was parachuted into a makeshift defence. And yet Milner was a late call-up for a new-look Liverpool back four on Saturday, charged with flanking the debutant Ibrahima Konaté. His immediate opponent was Zaha and the previous time that was the case, Milner was a youngster of 33 and he was sent off for fouling the speediest of wingers. When Zaha hit the post after a minute after he eluded Milner, this threatened to be a case of cruelty to the elderly.

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» Paul Merson: ‘Gambling is a horrible addiction. Your career passes you by’

The former Arsenal and England player talks about his ‘worst addiction’, as detailed in his often harrowing new book

A few minutes before Paul Merson tells the surreal story which makes him cry, in a beautiful but broken memory, he looks at me intently. “It’s been 36 years of pure madness,” Merson says as he reflects on the gambling disorder which, coupled with alcoholism and a brief but ruinous addiction to cocaine, has scarred his life.

Merson won two league titles and three cups with Arsenal, while playing some visionary football which he produced again for Aston Villa. He won 21 caps for England, played in the 1998 World Cup and, now, at the age of 53, he is a much-loved, or often cruelly mocked, member of Sky Sports’ Saturday Soccer panel alongside his close friend Jeff Stelling.

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» Jimmy Greaves: one of England's greatest ever forwards – video obituary

Jimmy Greaves, one of England’s greatest strikers and a member of the squad that won the 1966 World Cup, has died at the age of 81. Greaves made his name at Chelsea, scoring 132 goals in 169 matches between 1957 and 1961. After a brief spell in Milan he headed to north London to join Tottenham, scoring 266 goals in 329 games. He had a similar impact with England, netting 44 goals in 57 appearances to become his country's fourth-highest goalscorer of all time

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» 'A massive achievement': Klopp praises Mané for reaching 100 Liverpool goals – video

Sadio Mané joined a distinguished band by becoming the 18th man to score a century of goals for Liverpool during the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Mané is now level with Kevin Keegan and has John Barnes next in his sights. 

 The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said: 'The 100 goals are just one number, there are so many other numbers which are similarly important,' in reference to Mané's work rate and creativity.

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» Pep Guardiola says he 'will not apologise' for his comments about Manchester City fans – video

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday that he will not apologise for saying he would like more fans to attend this weekend's home game after his side's 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday. This led Kevin Parker, general secretary of Manchester City's supporters club, to tell Guardiola to concentrate on coaching.

A visibly disgruntled Guardiola responded on Friday “interpretation is interpretation. I’m not going to apologise for what I said. I’m surprised about what happened with this man."


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» 'They love scoring': Thomas Tuchel on comparisons between Kane and Lukaku – video

Thomas Tuchel says the main similarity between Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane is 'they score decisive goals, and they love scoring and they always did score'.

Speaking in the buildup to Sunday's clash with Tottenham, Chelsea's head coach went on to contrast the two players' styles. He speculated that the best way to stop Kane would be to 'close the deliveries down, because once he has the balls he's one of the most dangerous guys in the world, to finish attacks'.

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» Bolivia's Cholitas Climbers play football at 5,890m in the Andes – video

A group of indigenous Bolivian Aymara women, known as the Cholitas Climbers, played a football match at 5,890 metres altitude on the Huayna Potosí mountain near La Paz. The current world record altitude for a Fifa-rules game is 5,714m, but Wednesday's game was not a full 11-a-side match.

Since 2014, the Cholita Climbers, some of whom used to work for mountaineers, have been climbing mountains near La Paz in traditional clothing.

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» 'It's in!': Bohemians' Liam Burt scores from near halfway line 12 seconds into the half – video

With Bohemians 3-0 down at half-time at Drogheda United, visiting midfielder Liam Burt, just inside the opposing half, spotted goalkeeper David Odumosu off his line and looped an effort in spectacularly 12 seconds after the break to reduce the deficit.

Georgie Kelly pulled another goal back for Bohemians with a late penalty, but Drogheda ultimately held on for the 3-2 win.

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» Carli Lloyd scores five goals as USA women hammer eight past Paraguay
  • Lloyd launches farewell tour with first career five-goal game
  • USWNT win in first match since Olympic bronze medal game

No Carli Lloyd isn’t reconsidering her retirement – even after a five-goal game.

Lloyd hit a career high for goals in the US national team’s 9-0 rout of Paraguay on Thursday night. The 39-year-old forward has just three more games with the team before she walks away from the game.

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» Landon Donovan: ‘Soccer means nothing when my players suffer’

The former USA star on his managerial growth, connecting with his players, and the homophobic and racist incidents that his team dealt with one year ago

On a warm September afternoon in southern California, Landon Donovan stands where he has so often stood before: on a pitch with the ball at his feet.

Now manager for San Diego Loyal in the USL Championship, the USMNT’s joint all-time leading scorer, dishes out passes while simultaneously giving advice to his players. Donovan analyzes their runs while preparing another precise through-ball for someone to chase.

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» Mourinho goes on Special Run after Roma find victory in his 1,000th game | Nicky Bandini

The manager admitted to fibbing to downplay fears that his milestone match may have ended up an emotional millstone

In the 91st minute of his 1,000th game as a professional football manager, José Mourinho turned and started running. His fist was raised, and his mouth was open as he careened down the sideline at the Stadio Olimpico, chasing after his players as they piled in to celebrate in front of the Curva Sud.

Mourinho had spent the whole week downplaying Roma’s match against Sassuolo: just another game, only his third back in Serie A since taking charge of the Giallorossi. At his pre-match press conference, he insisted that this was not a time to worry too much about wins and losses, saying that the league table was something you might start to look at from January onwards.

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» Vinícius kickstarts Bernabéu party and comes of age as Real Madrid hero | Sid Lowe

Real returned home after 560 days away and the fans’ embrace of the once mocked Brazilian shows how far he has come

In the end, the police had to pull him out of there. There was a party back at his place and Vinícius Júnior was enjoying this more than the last time he was there and probably more than he should have been, but he didn’t care and you couldn’t really blame him: this had been a long time coming and when at last it did, boy was it good. Boy was he. After 560 days, football finally returned to the Santiago Bernabéu and, having conceded inside 200 seconds, twice trailed and been reacquainted with whistles, the Brazilian put Real Madrid into the lead and on course for a 5-2 win over Celta de Vigo that made a celebration of their homecoming.

As the ball hit the net, Vinícius turned east, ran to the touchline, leapt the barrier and disappeared into the crowd, reunited at last and closer than ever before. There in the third row Agustín Caro, a season ticket holder of 50 years and member No. 6,006, caught him before he fell. Others dashed across, bundling into a mass embrace and not keen to let go – things getting a little messy and not a great look in a pandemic – until the police officers pulled him back to the pitch. “I told him I loved him,” Caro told reporter Edu Aguirre and he wasn’t alone. As Vinícius returned, supporters stood. Some bowed before him. “Vini! Vini! Vini!” they chanted.

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» Wirtz shows his magic but Haaland and Dortmund have the last word | Andy Brassell

Dortmund’s defensive problems were highlighted in the 4-3 win over Leverkusen but their fortitude is no longer in doubt

You couldn’t say you weren’t warned. A flurry of goals. Lead changes. Villains turned heroes. A controversial winner. Jude Bellingham catching a pint of beer thrown at Erling Haaland. Yes, all the chaos we expect when Bayer Leverkusen face Borussia Dortmund came to pass, and then some, on Saturday afternoon.

BVB’s Twitter account had attempted to light the blue touch paper before the game, pointing out that 43 goals had been scored in the past nine games between the teams. It turned out their suggestion was a little on the conservative side. On a weekend when Bayern Munich flexed their muscles at the home of RB Leipzig, the Bundesliga would have been forgiven for looking around elsewhere for a potential challenger at the top for the Rekordmeister.

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» Angers were a solid Ligue 1 side last season. Now they are a joy to watch

Gérald Baticle inherited an Angers team that absorbed pressure and ground out results. He has revolutionised their ambitions

By Adam White for Get French Football News

“Operation Team Cohesion”, as new coach Gérald Baticle called it, was not what the Angers players were expecting. Instead of the usual pre-season training camp, they spent their days dressed in camouflage gear while being subjected to assault courses and military training in a bid to build team spirit. Baticle’s methods are different but after replacing Stéphane Moulin, who left Angers this summer after 10 years in charge, making him the longest serving manager at a club in one of Europe’s top five leagues, a change was needed. So far, it has been revolutionary.

Baticle inherited a physical side that was adept at hiding the ball from the opposition and grinding out results. Under Moulin, Angers were well drilled, meticulously organised and difficult to beat. Ligue 1’s leading clubs often struggled to break them down, but their conservative outlook often meant they too would stutter against weaker sides.

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» Messi scores Argentina hat-trick to break Pelé’s international goals record
  • Messi becomes South America’s top male international scorer
  • Neymar complains at lack of respect after Brazil win again

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to give Argentina a 3-0 win over Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier, lifting him above Pelé as South America’s top male international scorer with 79 goals.

Messi got the opener after 14 minutes in Buenos Aires, dancing around the Bolivia defence before curling in from just outside the box. He made it 2-0 in the 64th minute after working a one-two with Lautaro Martínez and displaying superb footwork in a packed penalty box, then completed the hat-trick with two minutes left, crashing home a rebound from close range.

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» Players urge Fifa to change ‘deeply discriminatory’ women’s futsal policy
  • Female players call for women’s World Cup in letter to Fifa
  • They cite ‘deep concern’ over ‘mistreatment and public neglect’

The world’s most prominent female futsal players have called on Fifa to end its “deeply discriminatory” approach to the women’s game by launching a World Cup to bring parity with the men’s Fifa-sanctioned small-sided game.

In a letter sent to the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino – seen by the Guardian – the players demand an end to their “marginalisation” and urge the governing body to make a women’s event a priority amid booming popularity of the indoor five-a-side sport played globally by an estimated 60 million people.

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» ‘This is our final’: the team who led athletes’ escape from Afghanistan | Suzanne Wrack

A dedicated crew of people helped the women’s national football team and others to flee the Taliban over two remarkable weeks

“We have been working like fingers on one hand, with different roles, and we came together as a big strong punch,” says the former captain and one of the founders of the Afghanistan women’s national football team, Khalida Popal. She is talking about the small team that pulled off the mission to evacuate 100-200 Afghan athletes and a number of individuals connected to them from the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul.

Across a two-week period those fingers worked tirelessly around the clock and across numerous time zones, tracking the real-time movements of the Taliban and military personnel on the ground to pull off what seemed completely impossible: to get a group of female football players, many teenagers, and a host of others, including family members, into the airport and on to planes.

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» Jimmy Greaves redefined perception of what a centre-forward should be | Jonathan Wilson

Like Brian Clough, Greaves was very different from the classic English No 9 and together they changed the game’s tactics
Jimmy Greaves dies aged 81

For those of us too young to have caught the end of Jimmy Greaves’s playing career, there was always a slightly awkward adjustment to be made.

He remained the goalscorer to whom all others were compared for two decades after his retirement in 1971 and yet it was hard to equate his legend with the slightly tubby, moustachioed bloke in the V-neck jumper who was all over ITV. But then you see the footage, see the speed and elegance, the capacity to beat defenders with a subtle change of pace or direction and, above all else, the finishing.

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» Noble and Moyes share the blame after West Ham throw point away | Jonathan Liew

Hammers went toe to toe with Manchester United and shouldn’t have been relying on a late penalty to earn a draw

Something about it just felt wrong. Brave and heroic and wrong. Suspenseful and theatrical and wrong. This isn’t simply hindsight talking: the introduction of Mark Noble deep into injury time at the London Stadium, for the sole purpose of taking a crucial penalty with West Ham 2-1 down to Manchester United, was greeted by the home fans with the sort of qualified exultation that you might expect at a party when one of the guests turns up with a live goat. Obviously, you know, this is a very cool surprise. Well done on making the effort. We can’t wait to see what happens next. But, um – are you sure you’ve thought this through?

You don’t hear a lot these days about Calum Giles, the former stalwart Great Britain hockey player, and probably not without good reason. But back in the 1990s, Giles was a master of the drag flick who in the wake of the sport’s new rolling substitution rules carved himself out a hugely profitable niche as a specialist penalty-corner taker.

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» We should relish results that jolt the toxic Ronaldo and Messi fanfare | Barney Ronay

Young Boys and Brugge gave a reminder of football’s sharp edges against stars mangled through a corporate machine

When talking about Young Boys of Berne, who are always funny, and always funny in exactly the same way, it is important to remember that Young Boys are in on the joke. In fact it was their joke in the first place, the club’s name coined in 1898 as a wry dig at Old Boys of Berne, the chief footballing power in the city.

Needless to say the same goes for the other half of everyone’s favourite midweek football gag, the Wankdorf Stadium, home of Young Boys which is itself a nod to Old Boys’ legendary Stadion Masturbatorix in the northern suburb of Frig.

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» The Fiver | Sometimes even the very best penalty-takers in football just miss

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If The Fiver had to nominate a current Premier League footballer to score a penalty in order to save our miserable life, Mark Noble would be top of the list. Before his late, late introduction at the London Stadium on Sunday, West Ham’s very own Pearly King had taken 42 throughout his long career and missed just four. His conversion rate of 90.48% is one that dwarfs the combined 00.00% equivalent of assorted other West Ham players who had taken the last three penalties their team had been awarded before Martin Atkinson gave them a chance to make it four red Xs in a row against Manchester United. As Atkinson trotted pitchside to consult his monitor, fans in the stand saw a cartoon lightbulb illuminate over the head of David Moyes, who had clearly had a Good Idea.

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» What is the longest spell a player has had sole possession before scoring? | The Knowledge

Plus: record scorers at more than one club, players in all four English divisions in one season and more

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“What’s the longest time a player has had sole possession of the ball before scoring?” asks James Dart. “Roberto Baggio v Napoli is just under 11 seconds, Maradona v England 11 and a bit, with Scott Sinclair v Barnet around the same. Assume that can be bettered?”

Let’s start with Aston Villa and the wondrous dribble and chip from the late, great Dalian Atkinson. Finch emailed in measuring it at 12 seconds from the moment he picks up possession to the time at which the ball crosses the line. Our stopwatch shows the same.

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» Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

A crunch Spurs-Chelsea clash, Odsonne Édouard testing Virgil van Dijk and Norwich already on the back foot

It has been a tough opening four games for Newcastle, amassing one point and conceding 12 goals. Three-quarters of those concessions have come in the second half, a sign they cannot maintain their concentration for a full 90 minutes and that perhaps they need to be fitter. It is great to keep things tight in the opening half but it means very little when things fall apart after the break. Steve Bruce’s side need to keep their first-half rigidity for the whole match, whether that means a change of personnel or an improved training regime. Leeds are a team who operate at a relentless pace and their movement in the final third will cause the legs to weaken if they get on top of the opposition, potentially leaving Newcastle in for another very difficult night. WU

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» David Squires on … Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Manchester United debut

Our cartoonist looks back on the celebrations as not one, but two Manchester United legends returned to Old Trafford

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

Hannah Hampton keeps Hammers at bay, Millie Turner injury a concern for United and Spurs are handed some good fortune

The omission of the forward Beth Mead from the Team GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics raised eyebrows, particularly with Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly injured. If there was a beneficiary though, it was Arsenal. With the club having signed the US superstar Tobin Heath, Japan maestro Mana Iwabuchi and the England forward Nikita Parris, it would have been fair to assume Mead’s place in the starting XI was at risk. She has risen to the challenge and has four goals and six assists in the team’s opening six games (two WSL matches and four Champions League qualifiers). In the team’s 4-0 defeat of Reading Mead scored Arsenal’s second and turned provider for Vivianne Miedema’s two goals, with an increasingly potent partnership emerging between the pair. The manager, Jonas Eidevall, said Mead’s form had been “a really positive surprise”. He added: “I hope she can keep her form when she gets the England shirt on and to show that she’s a great player for the national team again.” Suzanne Wrack

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» The Joy of Six: Leeds United v Liverpool Premier League meetings

A look at classics from a Tony Yeboah special in 1995 to a symbolic defeat for David O’Leary in 2002

What’s your favourite: Liverpool or Wimbledon? Tony Yeboah won Goal of the Month in August and September 1995 for two screamers, at Elland Road and Selhurst Park, both scorched off the underside of the bar from distance. The Wimbledon goal, a manic, impromptu explosion of brilliance, has greater charisma and was the BBC’s Goal of the Season. But the goal against Liverpool involved a more difficult skill, volleying a ball that was dropping from the heavens.

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» Golden Goal: Bryan Robson for Manchester United v Wimbledon (1993)

A goal that meant nothing also meant everything, because football is about a lot more than football

Very little gets people as excited as football, a fairly embarrassing admission to make given 200,000 years of human history: a bunch of people kick a ball about, then the rest of us go on like it’s something we’ve done ourselves. Except in a way it is, because our clubs were built by us and form part of us, representing where we’re at and what we believe in. So inasmuch as anything makes sense the extent of our love for them makes sense, and when we talk about football what we’re really talking about is love – love for who we are.

Related: Golden Goal: Ronaldinho for Barcelona v Chelsea (2005) | Daniel Harris

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» Buy a classic sport photograph: Dalglish seals the title

The latest in a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images. This week’s picture is of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish who spurred the Reds to eight league titles during his time as a player and manager

The 1985-86 season was Kenny Dalglish’s first term as player-manager of Liverpool and although he only netted three times that campaign, this strike was particularly precious. It came in the final match of the season, away at Chelsea, as the Reds secured a 1-0 victory to win the league title at Everton’s expense. Dalglish controlled a looping through-ball on his chest and laced a sweet right-foot volley into the far corner – “an unerring finish” in the words of commentator John Motson – before wheeling away in celebration. Dalglish inspired ongoing success, primarily from the dugout, and by his final appearance in 1990 he had netted 169 times in 502 appearances for Liverpool. No wonder they call him ‘King Kenny’.

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» A visit to FC Sheriff: Champions League upstarts from an unrecognised land

Soviet sounds, unanswered questions and local pride emerge from trip to Moldovan club from Russia-backed Transnistria

The strains of one anthem give way to a hybrid version of another. A meaningful show of applause for the Champions League music is dying down when, as FC Sheriff Tiraspol prepare for kick-off, the ultras in sector 13 erupt into verse. They do it before every game but rarely in numbers like these, nor in comparable volume: the lyrics have been tweaked but the melody is unmistakably that of the old Soviet national song, nowadays used by Russia. The choir then segue into their adaptation of another rousing tune from the USSR era, the “Moscow in May” army march. Moscow is 700 miles and two borders away but in the capital of Transnistria, whose biggest bookshop offers framed posters of the local president Vadim Krasnoselsky alongside images of Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin for about £1 each, no such flourishes feel out of place.

Somewhere, presumably in a secure part of the stadium, although clarity is fittingly absent, Viktor Gushan can allow himself to bask. “Europa League? My friends are laughing at me!” the secretive Sheriff president would once complain to club employees, even though a series of shots at the continent’s second competition seemed well above par for a team nominally representing the tiny Moldovan league. They routinely win that at a canter and are playing tonight because, in May, they were champions for the 19th time since the beginning of the century. With varying degrees of near-miss, the big time had been beyond them on the previous 18 attempts.

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» Fifa proposal for biennial World Cup is a ridiculous plan that could become real | Sean Ingle

This is about money and power – with Fifa trying to isolate Europe and weaken Uefa

It sounds so enticing, doesn’t it? A World Cup or European Championship every summer, allowing us to gorge like a footballing Augustus Gloop almost all year round. Never mind the risk of burnout, of greater TV subscription fees, of the game becoming even more bloated; just listen to the tinkle of nickel and copper swelling Fifa’s coffers.

Yet such a proposal is about to sneak up on us, without most people realising, just like the 48-team World Cup – a ridiculous idea that became a reality. On Friday, Arsène Wenger, Fifa’s chief of global football development, even suggested a new football calendar could be decided by December, with alternate World Cups and Euros played from 2028 onwards.

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» Pablo Fornals: ‘I’m in love with West Ham, the songs, the sign, the bubbles’ | Sid Lowe

The Spanish international has fallen for London and the club, an eventuality that didn’t always look likely given the departure of the manager who signed him and the isolation of the pandemic

It’s a long way from Spain’s east coast to London’s East End but Pablo Fornals doesn’t mind. He crosses his arms, hands as hammers, and smiles. Asked if he knew much about West Ham before signing in July 2019, he replies: “If I’m honest, no. I knew of them, I’d seen them play, but I wasn’t a fan the way I am now.” Now he says he has “completely” fallen in love with them: “The songs, this sign when they see you in the street, the bubbles: it’s something you don’t experience anywhere else.”

That might sound a bit much, but he’s soon reciting the lyrics to “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” in English and Spanish – “Pompas de jabón, lindas pompas de jabón” – and although he has resisted the pie and mash with “that gravy sauce” at the training ground, things turned out nice.

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» Cristiano Ronaldo’s return should provoke awkward conversations as well as cheers | Max Rushden

The excitement greeting the Manchester United icon has a complicating factor. How do we navigate this part of the story?

Cristiano Ronaldo may well make his return for Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday. On the pitch or not – every camera will be fixed on him. Every stretch. Every light jog. Every side-foot pass. Every stepover. Every perfect header.

Whether he is what Manchester United need is a different question, but for the club and the Premier League it is an incredible signing. Thirty-six years old, still breaking records, still generating the headlines, still demanding the shirt numbers.

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» Next Generation 2020: 60 of the best young talents in world football

The ‘Tanzanian Mbappé’, Juan Pablo Ángel’s son and the next Kai Havertz are among our players born in 2003. Check the progress of our 2019 selection | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» Next Generation 2020: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2004, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» From Ødegaard to Mastour: what happened to Next Generation 2015?

As we prepare to publish our Next Generation 2020 selection, we say goodbye to the class of 2015. So how did they get on?

This is what the Guardian’s Andy Hunter wrote about his 2015 Liverpool player for our series the Next Generation, where we pick one player from each Premier League club in the first-year scholar age group and follow their developments for five years.

The 16-year-old has received rave reviews not only from Liverpool and England coaches during a rapid rise up the ranks but also from Steven Gerrard, his boyhood hero, in the former Anfield captain’s new autobiography. Gerrard reveals he asked Pepijn Lijnders, the first-team development coach, to always include Alexander-Arnold in his group when taking his ’B’ Licence course, and handed him the captain’s armband during a comeback game in Liverpool’s Under-18s side last season. “It was my way of telling Trent that I believed he could make it for Liverpool one day,” Gerrard writes.

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