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Nathan Patterson to Everton – Transfer Analysis

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After appointing Rafael Benitez as manager, the Everton hierarchy certainly weren’t expecting to find themselves lingering in 15th with just 1 win in their last 12 games. A home defeat to Brighton in Gameweek 21 further piled the pressure on the ex-Liverpool manager who is now looking to bring in reinforcements to help his cause. The signing of Vitaliy Myklenko from Dynamo Kiev has been completed and now the Toffees have bolstered their defense with the signing of Nathan Patterson from Glasgow Rangers for a reported fee of 12 million Euros plus add on’s rising to 16 million euros.  Let us look at how Patterson can help Benitez in his quest of  this barren spell for the Blue half of Merseyside.

Who is Nathan Patterson?

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Nathan Patterson is a 20 year old rightback who used to play for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. He broke into the first team setup under the management of Steven Gerrard and also managed to represent Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers. Born in Glasgow, Patterson joined the Rangers youth setup in 2009 and has never looked back since. He made his debut for the team in a Scottish Cup fixture in January 2020 and although he has made only 12 appearances for Rangers, he is a player of astounding promise. So, what have Everton seen in just 12 starts that has prompted them to pay a record transfer fee for a Rangers player till date. Let’s dive into it.

Patterson’s limited playing time at Ibrox Park:

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Nathan Patterson has had very few chances to impress in a Rangers shirt. He is only 20 years old but his age is not a fair reflection of the immense skillset that he possesses. Although Rangers fans would’ve liked to watch the young fullback feature more regularly, James Travernier prevented it from happening. Travernier is the first choice rightback at Ibrox Park and has also captained the side since the beginning of the 2108-19 season. He is a stalwart at rightback who rarely misses games due to injuries. Travernier is an indispensable asset for the Scottish Champions, with his attacking intent coupled and strong defensive contribution proving pivotal in their journey to the Championship.

Travernier’s constant presence in the team severely hampered Patterson’s game time. As a result, the fullback seemed destined to leave the club in the summer of 2021 with Everton keen on securing his services. But the newly crowned Champions of Scotland rejected a 5 million euros bid from the Toffees, with Steven Gerrard publicly criticizing the fact that the player’s valuation wasn’t being met. Even after the arrival of Bronckhorst as Manager, Patterson has hardly featured for Rangers this season and will now be donning the Blue stripes of Everton.

How he fits into Benitez’ setup :

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After publicly falling out with Lucas Digne, the Toffees are severely short of options at both the fullback positions. Ben Godfrey, Seamus Coleman & Kenny, all have featured for the Toffees as fullbacks but none of them have shown a great deal of promise. Coleman has turned 33 and is primarily a rightback but the intensity of his game seems to have disappeared. Godfrey is a tall, muscular fullback who can put in a shift defensively but lacks creativity in the other half of the pitch. Although Kenny is a decent offensive fullback, his defensive capabilities have flattered to deceive for the majority of the season.

Benitez likes his fullbacks to be able to attack when needed, whipping in crosses for the Strikers in the 18 yard box. With the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison as forwards and Doucoure as a box to box midfielder, Patterson’s attacking prowess can come into good use with these 3 options lingering in the final third. Defensively Patterson is a terrific 1 v 1 defender who has the ability of putting in a crunching tackle and breaking up opposition attacks. But attack is where the Scotland International thrives at & Benitez will be banking on him to create goalscoring opportunities from wide areas. His pace, tenacity & intricate passing ability can help Everton break down stubborn opposition defenses and even build out from the back.

Everton are in desperate need of a fullback whose good on both ends of the pitch. They have seemingly addressed the leftback situation after signing Myklenko from Dynamo Kiev and have now bolstered the Rightback position with the signing of Patterson. The Scottish fullback will provide competition for places in the squad in the short-run but the Everton faithful are banking on him to take over the reins on the right flank from Seamus Coleman. The signing of Patterson promises to be a major wake up call for the likes of Coleman, Kenny & Godfrey who might find themselves low down the pecking order very soon.

Is he the spark they need?

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Everton’s recent performances in the league have been no less than shambolic with fans equivocally criticizing the player’s desire & work ethic. In the last home game against Brighton, the Toffees were outplayed for large sections of the game. Brighton were easily able to pass their way around Everton whose home crowd jeered & booed their players off at Full time. The players seemed to lack the desire to press and close down the opposition with the team lacking a clear cut identity both on and off the ball. The signing of both these young fullbacks, especially Patterson has surely given the fans hope that they might just provide the spark they require.

Denouement:

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Benitez is faced with a mammoth task of restoring the Toffees to their former glories and this long run of defeats has certainly not helped his cause. The January Transfer Window has provided them with an opportunity to bolster their rans and it seems that it is going to be a busy one for him. The signing of Nathan Patterson is certainly a step in the right direction with the club looking to address a major Achilles heel in the playing eleven. It remains to be seen whether Patterson will flourish under the current setup but his unmatched talent and physicality will surely go a long way in restoring excitement back into the fanbase.

         












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Premier LEague

Burnley vs Watford: Match Preview

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Burnley will be back in Premier League action for the first time since January 2, hosting Watford at the Turf Moor on Tuesday, January 18.

Just like Burnley, Watford are also struggling upon their return to the Premier League, as they find themselves without a win in their last eight matches across all competitions.

The Hornets held Newcastle to a 1-1 draw over the weekend  Joao Pedro scored late in the game to salvage a point for Claudio Ranieri’s men.

Burnley are rocked-bottom of the league table after taking just 11 points from their opening 17 games in the top-flight. Sean Dyche’s side has won just one game all season, coming against Brentford back in October.

Since then, the Clarets have struggled to find a good run of form as they only managed four draws since that win over Brentford.

A game against Watford could be the opportunity Burnley so much need to pick up their best run of form with interesting fixtures lined up for them.

After the game against Watford, the Clarets face Norwich City, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion in their next three games.

Watford’s draw over the weekend means they are just a point above the relegation zone and Ranieri would have a lot of work to do if he does not sort out the challenges in his team.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Venue: Turf Moor
Date: Tuesday, January 18
Time: 19:30 GMT

TEAM NEWS

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If Burnley are struggling, it’s quite understandable as Dyche’s team have had some notable injury concerns. Going into the game against Watford, the team could be without Johann Gudmundsson, Nathan Collins, Dwight McNeil, Charlie Taylor, Erik Pieters, Connor Roberts and Matej Vydra. Maxwel Cornet’s absence is due to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations while Ashley Barnes will also sit out.

Watford on the other hand also have injury concerns in their team. Kwadwo Baah and Ismaila Sarr are out due to injuries while the AFCON has taken the attention of William Troost-Ekong, Adam Masina and Imran Louza.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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Burnley may have won their last three games against Watford across all competitions with the Hornets winning only one (one draw as well), but Tuesday night’s fixture is far from the past games we have seen. Both teams seem to be struggling but Watford have fared better as compared to the Clarets.

Watford have failed to score a goal in the last three games against Burnley but that could be about ending following the likely involvements of Joshua King and Emmanuel Dennis with Pedro supporting them in the attack. The trio have been directly involved in 24 league goals already this campaign and have been the driving force for Watford. Pedro was in sight against Newcastle but the game against Burnley will need all three firing if Ranieri’s side are to walk away with the maximum points.

Burnley losing Chris Wood is a huge blow but it would now be the turn of the defence to help the team considering the departure of a key goalscorer for the rest of the season until a replacement can be brought into the team in time.

POSSIBLE STARTING XIs

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson; Rodriguez, Lennon

Watford: Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Sissoko, Kayembe, Kucka; Dennis, King, Pedro

MATCH PREDICTION

Burnley 1-2 Watford












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Aston Villa January Transfer Window 2022: Analysis

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Aston Villa fans are getting their hopes high for all the right reasons, it seems. As the new Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, has gone all guns blazing in the winter transfer window so far.

The Liverpool Legend is slowly making his way back into the Premier League. This time as a manager of an out of confidence Villa side. The early days have not been that telling for Gerrard though. But for sure it is looking a development in progress from Villa’s perspective. The Claret and Blue faithful are pretty much accepting the style of play that their new manager has brought with him.

Although, all of the developments were ongoing. Gerrard was still looking to add some fresh new faces to his squad through this transfer window. And so far as it turns out it has been a saving grace for the Lions. And the Villa fans could be hopeful for some more signings as the team looks to get back on track.

Coutinho returns to the PL

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In the blink of an eye it happened, and it is the dream duo back together! Coutinho and Gerrard reunite, but this time for a new outfit. Gerrard has made his intentions clear, after signing Coutinho on loan from Barca till the end of the season. The deal saw the Villa fans, as well as the Liverpool faithful around the globe appreciate the move. Although, it had been 4 years since the little magician left Premier League for Spain.

Aston Villa faced Manchester United in the Match day 22 of the Premier League. It is the 68th minute, Villa are 2 goals down and you can see some of the fans already leaving the Villa Park. On comes the Brazilian from the bench to mark his return in front of thousands of Villa fans, hoping for a masterclass from their main winter signing. What happened next is just football at its most beautiful.

But you just knew it had to be him. Coutinho returns the backing by an equivalent player of the match performance. Scoring and assisting upon his return to the English top tier football, and that too against Manchester United. You just cannot write such scripts.

If this return is anything to go by, then this is surely the beginning of something very major being about to happen at Villa Park. The Claret and Blue could be in for a treat if the Brazilian performs consistently throughout the rest of the season.

MUST READ: How will Coutinho fit in at Aston Villa

Digne, the answer to defensive woes?

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Digne in French means ‘worthy’. Lucas Digne was surely worthy of being handed his debut, just after getting transferred here to Villa Park. The Frenchman made the most out of the runout, and did not fail to impress his new gaffer. Steven Gerrard could take a big sigh of relief by his sudden signing, in this creative left back from the rivals at Merseyside. As per the recent changes are concerned, the signing of the French full back just increases the competition in the squad. Matt Targett’s position has come under an obvious threat, by the addition of the in-form Digne.

But at the same time it just ensures a healthy competition in the squad for the place in the playing XI. As a manager you want your players to give their best, game in game out. But you also need to make some strong changes to just let them know that their place in the squad is not invincible, even though they have not been performing up to the billing.  Luckily for the Villa fans the Frenchman comes in buffed with experience and a lot of skill-set to offer. Gerrard’s system requires a strong a flank play. That Villa were missing. Now with the addition of Lucas Digne, it looks all sorted. But we will still have to wait and see how this deal turns out in the long term.

In hindsight the transfer market for The Lions  have surely been eventful. Although, they will be watched keenly over the coming months, as to how things are shaping up. But given a good balance, and some terrific new signings, Villa could be a side to beat as we come to the business end of the Premier League season.












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Burkina Faso vs Ethiopia: Match Preview

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Burkina Faso were gifted a lifeline to stand a chance of qualifying from Group A after beating Cape Verde in their second group game in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

The Stallions will now face Ethiopia in the last group game on Monday, January 17 as they looked to cement their place in the knockout stages.

Hassane Bande was the match-winner in the game against the Blue Sharks as Burkina Faso recorded a 1-0 win to earn their first three points.

Ethiopia’s tournament seems all over following a demolishing defeat to host nation, Cameroon in their last game. The Walyas were on the receiving end of the first four-goal scored in the competition as braces from Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar ensured a 4-1 victory for the Indomitable Lions.

The last group game is crucial for Burkina Faso considering they are levelled on points with Cape Verde, who face Cameroon in their last game.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Venue: Kouekong Stadium.
Date: Monday, January 17.
Time: 16:00 GMT.

TEAM NEWS

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Burkina Faso have a number of injuries to worry about ahead of the important clash against Ethiopia. Captain, Bertrand Traore is yet to recover from testing positive for coronavirus. He missed the win over Cape Verde last week and will see out this game as well. Dango Ouattara, Saidou Simpore and Soumaila Simpore are doubtful for the game but their presence has not been ruled out.
Bande, who came in and scored as the replacement for Traore should keep his place in the team for the game against Wubetu Abate’s side.

The one-time  AFCON champions have no injury concerns for the upcoming game while Yared Baye, who received a red card in the opening game is set to return to the team after serving his game ban. With no chance left, Abate will look to give opportunities to some players who are yet to receive any appearance in the competition.

PRE-MATCH ANALYSIS

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Burkina Faso stands out as favourites in this game but they will have a lot to do to get past Ethiopia with ease. A tactically disciplined side, Ethiopia’s lack of goals has been due to their failure to take their created chances. Abate’s side have put on a good show in their opening two games, creating openings and clear cut opportunities but failing to take them.

Burkina Faso were clinical with their only big chance against Cape Verde, and if that feat will be followed, they could be gaining six points from three games. Traore’s absence may be a worry, but it should Kamou Malo’s team the needed confidence to play collectively on the attack.

PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYER FEATURE

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Aston Villa may not be missing Bertrand Traore after all following their return to Premier League action saw them record a dramatic 2-2 draw with Manchester United. However, on the path of the player, he may not be having a spot tournament. The 26-year-old has just one appearance and will miss the third group game due to testing positive for covid. With regards to goal contribution, Traore has just one assist and a knockout qualification could see him return to action.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Burkina Faso: Koffi; E.Tapsoba, Yago, Dayo, Kabore; Toure, Guira, Sangare; A.Tapsoba, Bayala, Bande.

Ethiopia: Shanko; Yusef, Tamene, Debebe, Hamid; Yohannes, Alemu, Dagnachew; Nesir, Hotessa, Gebremichael.

MATCH PREDICTION

Burkina Faso 2-0 Ethiopia












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