Connect with us

Football

Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first kit was Arsenal as he loved Thierry Henry

Published

on

Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek loved Arsenal legend Thierry Henry growing up (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed his first football kit was an Arsenal one as he loved Gunners legend Thierry Henry growing up.

Former France international Henry remains Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer, having scored 228 goals in 376 appearances for the north London club.

Henry was particularly prolific during the early 2000s and helped Arsenal win the Premier League in 2001-02 and 2003-04 and go unbeaten through that latter campaign.

Asked about his first football kit, Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea’s official website: ‘It was actually an Arsenal kit when I was about six because I really liked Thierry Henry at the time.

‘It was obviously very shortly after that I started with Chelsea at the academy.’

Loftus-Cheek joined Chelsea’s academy in 2004 at the age of eight and went on to make his first-team debut for the Blues a decade later.

Henry remains Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer (Picture: Getty)

The midfielder, who signed a new five-year deal at Stamford Bridge last summer, believes Chelsea are going in the right direction under Frank Lampard.

Lampard has enjoyed an impressive debut season in charge of his former club, with Chelsea currently fourth in the Premier League.

Reflecting on Chelsea’s season so far, Loftus-Cheek added: ‘The young boys have done really well so credit to them. They’ve shown that they can play at this level and help the team win.

‘The gaffer always said he would play academy players but they have to be doing well to play.

More: Football

‘That’s really encouraging for the youngsters coming through the academy in the future that they have a gaffer who’s willing to play them if they show they can play at the level.

‘The whole squad have done really well this season, especially having no new players coming in and the team being very young.

‘Considering those things and a new manager with new tactics and a new way of playing, we’ve done really well to be where we are at the moment.

‘We’ve had times on the pitch where we know ourselves that we need to improve but that’s just football and if we can improve on what we’ve talked about as a collective then we could really be a team that’s in contention for titles in the future.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

MORE: Arsenal and Chelsea keeping tabs on Gladbach teenager Kaan Kurt

MORE: Joe Cole hails Chelsea legend John Terry as the best captain in Premier League history

Football

What Jurgen Klopp has told Timo Werner as Liverpool move stalls

Published

on

Timo Werner’s heart was set on a summer move to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told Timo Werner his Liverpool dream has been put at risk by the coronavirus crisis.

The Germany international had been earmarked as a priority transfer target for the runaway Premier League leaders. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have powered Liverpool’s relentless pursuit of a first league title in 30 years, but Klopp was keen to add an extra level of competition.

Divock Origi, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are all likely to be deemed surplus to requirements come the summer, while January recruit Takumi Minamino has not yet fully adjusted to the demands of English football.

Werner has enjoyed another reputation enhancing season in the Bundesliga, scoring 24 goals in 28 appearances for Julian Nagelsman’s Champions League quarter finalists.

The 24-year-old is said to have had his heart set on a move to Anfield and is desperate to work under Klopp. Earlier this week it was reported that the Liverpool boss had been in contact with Werner via Zoom.

Timo Werner’s Red Bull Leipzig were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Hertha Berlin on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)

The Mirror claims Klopp has been brutally honest with the Germany international and spelled out the financial ramifications of the ongoing global pandemic. As recently as February, Liverpool had been willing to activate the versatile forward’s £50million release clause, but now value him at less than £30million.

Should Werner remain with Red Bull Leipzig for another 12 months, his release clause would drop by around £25m. The likes of Barcelona and Inter Milan have also been credited with an interest, while Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea have also been monitoring his situation.

More: Liverpool FC

Leipzig, meanwhile, for their part are refusing to be bullied and will not sell one of their prize assets on the cheap.

Their CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said earlier this week: ‘It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.

‘In general, we always ask the question: can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?’

MORE: Jurgen Klopp holds ‘virtual meeting’ with Liverpool transfer target Timo Werner

MORE: Liverpool ‘need’ top attacking player but unlikely to sign £50m target Timo Werner, says Jamie Carragher

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Continue Reading

Football

Man Utd news: Real Madrid offer up four players in Paul Pogba swap deal

Published

on

Paul Pogba’s future has been a bone of contention for months (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid are trying to tempt Manchester United into letting Paul Pogba go this summer by making a quartet of players available as part of a swap deal.

The La Liga side have been pursuing Pogba since last summer and will reignite their interest in the next transfer window, although it is unclear when that will open due to the coronavirus crisis.

The global health pandemic has caused economic uncertainty throughout football, so in a bid to avoid offering huge amounts of money for the Frenchman, Real are willing to put four players forward as part of the deal, reports the Sun.

Martin Odegaard is the most appealing of the four names, with Lucas Vazquez, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz all also reportedly on offer.

Martin Odegaard has enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Real Sociedad (Picture: Getty Images)

United are unlikely to be tempted by the offer, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now planning to reintegrate Pogba into the first team after missing much of the season through injury.

The World Cup winner has not started a game since September, but he is reportedly fit again after his ongoing ankle problem and will be available when the Premier League starts again – due to be in June.

Solskjaer is excited by the prospect of lining Pogba up in midfield with January signing Bruno Fernandes, a partnership which has United fans drooling at the prospect of.

More: Football

The pair have trained together this week and after Fernandes’ blistering start to life in the Premier League, they have the potential to form a dynamic midfield trio alongside either Fred, Scot McTominay or Nemanja Matic.

Pogba has just one year left on his current contract at Manchester United but there is an option for the club to extend it by a further year, which is looking increasingly likely.

With clubs around the world strapped for cash, and Real Madrid’s swap deal not particularly appealing, Pogba is looking more likely to stay than go.

MORE: Manchester United join Real Madrid in race to sign Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga

MORE: Odion Ighalo personally intervenes during Manchester United loan talks

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Continue Reading

Football

Odion Ighalo deserves long-term Man Utd deal, says Nigeria teammate Moses Simon

Published

on

Ighalo has scored four goals since moving to Old Trafford in January (Picture: Getty Images)

Odion Ighalo has proved himself and deserves to be tied down to a permanent contract at Manchester United, according to his Nigeria teammate Moses Simon.

The 30-year-old is set to return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua with his loan deal at Old Trafford due to expire at the end of the week.

After scoring four goals in eight games for United since joining in January, the club are yet to secure an extension to keep the striker until the end of the Premier League season.

The Red Devils are reportedly unsure if they want to pay £20 million to secure the forward on a long-term contract, but his fellow Nigeria international Simon believes he has proven his worth.

‘If the Manchester United deal can be sealed permanently, not just a loan deal, I think it will be good for his football, his family and for Nigerian football,’ Simon told Tribal Football.

‘Odion Ighalo has proved to be a good striker in Manchester United in the few games he played.

‘It will be good for Nigeria football to see Ighalo succeed at Old Trafford. He has shown good qualities of succeeding already.’

Ighalo has earned 35 caps for Nigeria (Picture: Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted earlier this week that United are ‘in dialogue’ with the Chinese Super League club to extend Ighalo’s deal.

‘The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously, he’s supposed to be going back,’ Solskjaer told MUTV.

More: Manchester United FC

‘We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

‘It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.

‘At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.’

MORE: Liverpool set to hijack Manchester United’s move for Sporting Lisbon’s 17-year-old left-back Nuno Mendes

MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides update on Manchester United transfer plans

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Continue Reading

Trending