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Key factor behind Philippe Coutinho choosing to join Aston Villa revealed

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As official announcement made, key factor behind Philippe Coutinho choosing to join Aston Villa revealed

Philippe Coutinho has made a return to the Premier League with Aston Villa.

Coutinho’s Barcelona struggles

It’s fair to say that Philippe Coutinho has struggled somewhat since departing Liverpool.

The midfielder, once branded the ‘little magician’, left Anfield back in January of 2018 for Spanish giants FC Barcelona.

Coutinho was a pivotal member of Liverpool’s squad at the time, so the Reds unsurprisingly demanded a premium fee with the potential to rise to £142m for the Brazilian.

However, Barcelona probably feel somewhat aggrieved by that fee when looking back, as Coutinho has since failed to perform at anywhere near the level we became accustomed to seeing at Liverpool.

This season alone, Coutinho has made 12 La Liga appearances but has failed to complete 90 minutes once, suggesting he has not been in favour with either of Ronald Koeman or Xavi Hernandez.

Now though, Coutinho has finally made a return to the Premier League. But not with Liverpool.

Key factor behind Coutinho’s Aston Villa switch revealed

Instead, Coutinho has made a move to Aston Villa.

The move will not be a permanent one, with various sources, including The Athletic, reporting that it is a six-month loan deal as Barcelona look to get the South American’s high salary off their books so they can register Ferran Torres, who they recently signed from Manchester City.

The Athletic add that a number of Premier League sides have been interested in Coutinho. However, the opportunity to play under Steven Gerrard is said to have been a key factor in the Brazilian’s decision:

Aston Villa have also officially announced the move:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6





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How close Liverpool pair are to breaking all-time PL defender assist record

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How close Liverpool pair are to breaking all-time PL defender assist record after Brentford

 

The latest assists bagged by Liverpool pair Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold during the club’s meeting with Brentford have seen the defenders inch ever closer to an impressive Premier League benchmark.

Minamino amongst the goals

Jurgen Klopp’s under-manned Reds were of course back in action earlier today.

Sans the services of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, Liverpool welcomed Thomas Frank’s Brentford to Anfield, eyeing a return to winning ways on the back of just two points secured from the club’s last three Premier League outings.

And, when all was said and done on Merseyside, emerge with a comfortable victory is precisely what the day’s hosts managed.

On the back of a disappointing first-half display, Klopp’s men returned for the 2nd-half looking revitalised, eventually culminating in all of Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino finding the net en route to a 3-0 result:

Robbo closing on Baines

As so often proves the case for Liverpool, the club’s full-backs proved central to their eventual triumph on Sunday afternoon.

Both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson looked attacking threats throughout, with the stoppers having eventually been rewarded for their efforts courtesy of the assists for Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain respectively.

And, in the process, both inched ever closer to etching their names indellibly into the history books of the Premier League.

As per William Hill, Robertson, despite having played less than half the number of games, is now just nine assists off breaking Leighton Baines’ record as the all-time top assisting defender in the Premier League.

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, in 56 games fewer than teammate Robertson, sits just two assists back of the Scot:

 

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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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Kurzawa clarification & a hint over loanee’s return

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Chelsea left-back latest: Kurzawa clarification & Hint dropped over loanee’s return

 

A fresh insight into the efforts of Premier League giants Chelsea to secure a new left-back, has, on Sunday, been forthcoming online.

Chilwell’s untimely blow

The subject of personnel woes has of course taken its place front and centre when it comes to the headlines at Stamford Bridge of late.

This comes with Thomas Tuchel and co., at such a crucial point in the campaign, having been forced to deal with a remarkable stretch of bad luck.

Owing to a combination of Covid-19 and injuries, Chelsea have navigated the last couple of months, at one point or another, without all of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah.

Of all of their woes, however, none have hit the Blues quite as hard as the loss of left-wing-back Ben Chilwell.

Just as the English international appeared to have rediscovered his best, an ACL injury picked up during a meeting with Juventus late in November ultimately culminated in Chilwell being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Ben Chilwell of Chelsea lies injured during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Juventus at Stamford Bridge on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Kurzawa ruled out/Emerson hint?

Chilwell’s absence, in turn, has left Chelsea alarmingly light at left-back, with Marcos Alonso, as things stand, the sole natural senior option at the disposal of Thomas Tuchel.

It therefore shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that, on the back of the winter transfer window swinging open, the transfer chiefs at Stamford Bridge have begun seeking out reinforcements.

And now, on Sunday, a fresh insight into the situation has been provided.

First up comes clarification regarding the Blues’ rumoured interest in bringing in out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa.

As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, despite reports to the contrary, those in a position of power in west London have not opened discussions with their PSG counterparts over a surprise deal:

And this could well be linked to the day’s other major news surrounding the left-back situation in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

This comes in the form of Pensioners loanee Emerson Palmieri being completely omitted from Olympique Lyonnais’ matchday squad to face Troyes in Ligue 1.

Chelsea are understood to be keen to cut Emerson’s loan stint in France short this month, with his absence on Sunday perhaps hinting that the club’s efforts towards precisely that are moving in the right direction.

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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First January signing? Man United open talks over signing of Leipzig star

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First January signing incoming? Man United open talks over deal for RB Leipzig star

 

Word stemming from the media late on Sunday has pointed towards progress being made in Manchester United’s pursuit of January reinforcements.

Reds’ woes continue

The subject of potential arrivals at Old Trafford has of course found its way into the headlines once again over the course of the last 24 hours.

This comes after Ralf Rangnick’s troops slipped to another disappointing result amid the club’s pursuit of a top-4 spot in the Premier League.

Despite surging into a two-goal advantage courtesy of a brace on the part of Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils were ultimately forced to settle for a share of the spoils at Aston Villa on Saturday, owing to debutant Philippe Coutinho’s instant Villans impact:

United, in turn, remain a full five points off 4th, on the back of just a solitary victory from the club’s last four league outings.

Leipzig star eyed

It should therefore not come as a massive surprise to hear that the man tasked with guiding the Manchester giants back towards the upper echelons of English and European football alike has set his sights firmly on reinforcements to the playing squad at Old Trafford.

And, as alluded to above, on Sunday, a fresh insight into the efforts of Rangnick and co. towards precisely that has been provided.

The info comes courtesy of reliable journalist Jonathan Shrager, who reports that those in a position of power at United have entered into discussions with their RB Leipzig counterparts.

The subject of such talks? Amadou Haidara.

First January signing incoming? Man United open talks over deal for RB Leipzig star

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 03: Amadou Haidara of RB Leipzig vies with Angel di Maria of Paris Saint Germain during the UEFA Champions League group A match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain at Red Bull Arena on November 03, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)

Malian international Haidara has long stood as a key figure at the Red Bull Arena, since his arrival from partner club Red Bull Salzburg back in 2018.

Not only that, but the midfielder even boasts a goal against his potential future employers, netted during a Champions League meeting between Leipzig and the Red Devils in December of 2020.

Though negotiations remain in the ‘preliminary stages’, Manchester United are thought to be extremely keen on a deal, with further updates on the situation likely to arrive over the course of the coming week.

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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