Life is never dull in English football, and the events of the last week have captured the attention of fans worldwide. We’ve had news on the first trophy of the season, what could be the biggest transfer of all time… and a bizarre brawl on a Greek Island.
In the Premier League curtain-raiser, the Community Shield, Arsenal picked up their second piece of silverware within a month as Mikel Arteta’s team saw off Liverpool 5-4 on penalties, after playing out a 1-1 draw.
The Gunners began August with a 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Chelsea. And by beating Liverpool on Saturday, they have won the first prize of 2020/21 and grabbed a psychological boost ahead of the coming season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was Arsenal’s star yet again, opening the scoring in the 12th minute and then converting the winning penalty almost two hours later. That made it five goals in three appearances at the Wembley Stadium for the Gabon striker, coming against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
He’s a player Arteta desperately wants to keep if Arsenal are to continue their resurgence.
Transfer market heating up
Here at SBOTOP, we’ve been following the story closely, but away from the continual saga surrounding Messi’s potential move to Manchester City, there have been other developments at the Premier League’s top clubs.
Arsenal boss Arteta remains positive over Aubameyang’s future. The striker starting the season with the Gunners would represent a decent window for the boss, and it’s looking more likely by the week.
There’s no doubt that Chelsea mean business and will be a force to be reckoned with next season following head coach Frank Lampard’s spending spree over the past few weeks.
The Blues have emerged as clear third favourites (behind Manchester City and Liverpool) to win the league, with the Premier League 2020 betting odds on the title heading back to Stamford Bridge dropping quickly.
Thiago Silva is the latest star to join Lampard’s Blue revolution after the Brazilian centre-back agreed to a move from Paris Saint-Germain to West London. He’s had a glittering career in Paris and will be a star attraction in the English league.
Thiago joins Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell at the Bridge, and Frank’s business isn’t finished yet as he closes in on a deal to bring Kai Havertz to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen.
After a frustrating summer, Manchester United finally seem to be getting close to a new signing with the news that Donny van de Beek has agreed personal terms on a £40m move from Ajax, and is due a medical at Old Trafford in the coming days.
After missing out on Jude Bellingham and struggling to attract Jadon Sancho, this is good news for head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, particularly after the Netherlands star recently said that Real Madrid was his preferred option.
The Red Devils have been tracking the midfield ace closely since he helped Ajax to the 2018/19 Champions League semi-finals, and the 23-year-old has scored 40 goals over the past three seasons in all competitions.
Harry’s Greek tragedy
The potentially positive transfer news at Old Trafford has been a welcome distraction from the circus surrounding Harry Maguire’s escapades on the Greek island of Mykonos.
The Manchester United skipper was disappointed to be axed from England’s UEFA Nations League squad but surely he wasn’t surprised after he’d been arrested, charged and found guilty of aggravated assault, verbal abuse, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.
Maguire’s legal team has secured an appeal, so this story will keep on running, but I suspect the centre-back will be a little relieved the new season will start behind closed doors… after it was alleged he asked Greek Police if they knew who he was. The witty stadium chant writers are working on it already!
The Greek prosecution lawyer isn’t amused, particularly after Maguire did an interview on UK TV and refused to apologise. The legal man said he was appalled by the 27-year-old’s arrogant refusal to say sorry, labelling his claims, that he thought he was being kidnapped by the police, absurd.
Ioannis Paradissis said: “He should really stay silent. The court convicted him on all counts and that is because there was overriding evidence.”
Maybe Harry should do his talking on the pitch.
Well, that’s it for now folks. But with just two weeks to go before the big kick-off, we’ll be here with all the latest Premier League 2020 updates and football news from all the major leagues in Europe.
The dust has only just settled on the 2019/20 campaigns, but fans around the world can’t wait to get going again…me included!
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