Liverpool Legend Graeme Souness Reveals His Pick for Premier League’s Best Player

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has revealed that he would take Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard over Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah as the Premier League’s best player.

Salah currently find himself joint-top of the league’s goalscoring charts along with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and has silenced the doubters over any possible second-season syndrome. 

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League

However, despite the Egyptian’s recent hot streak, former ?Liverpool player and manager Souness has claimed Hazard’s consistency over a number of years marks him out as the Premier League’s star player.

Speaking to the ?Daily Mail, Souness claimed: “If I could take one it would be ?Eden Hazard. I think Salah will be a better goal-scorer but in terms of all-round play (Hazard).

“Salah is fabulous but it’s only his second year. Come back in five years. When you talk about those Liverpool greats, they had players who won everything. Some great team men, great goal-scorers, longevity.”

He added: “This is only ?Salah’s second season but I do believe he has the potential to be in that category.”

The Egyptian arrived from Serie A giants AS Roma in the summer of 2017 and went on to enjoy a remarkable debut season at Anfield. The 26-year-old scored 44 times across all competitions in the campaign, with his tally of 32 goals in the Premier League alone earning him the Golden Boot ahead of Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Having struck the winner against Napoli in midweek to send Liverpool into the last 16 of the Champions League, Salah and the Reds will return to ?Premier League action when they take on arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday. 

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Dennis Wise Claims Ruben Loftus-Cheek Should Stay at Chelsea Amid Crystal Palace Loan Rumours

?Dennis Wise believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek should stay at Chelsea rather than seek a loan move elsewhere, now that he is getting the first team opportunities he deserves at Stamford Bridge.

Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and was among the Eagles’ best performers, earning a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad with his form.

Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League

?Palace wanted to take ?Loftus-Cheek back to Selhurst Park at the start of this season but ?Chelsea decided to hold onto him and he has repaid them with his recent displays in the Premier League and Europa League.

There have been rumours that Loftus-Cheek could go out on loan again in January, but Wise believes the 22-year-old would be foolish to leave Chelsea now he is starting to see more game time.

Former Blues midfielder Wise told the Evening Standard“[Sarri] has played him a number of times. He’s got competition for places but why would Loftus-Cheek want to go on loan?

“I’ll pick Crystal Palace just because he went there on loan. Why would you want to go there on loan, to a team where you’ll play a lot of games but you’ll be in a battle down the bottom when you can play in a team full of top international players, fighting to win trophies and trying to get in the Champions League?”

Chelsea v FC BATE Borisov - UEFA Europa League - Group L

Having only scored four goals in over 50 career appearances prior to this season, Loftus-Cheek has been on fire in front of goal lately with six goals to his name in recent months.

He scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances with goals against Burnley, Fulham and Wolves, as well as a hat trick against BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

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UEFA Investigating Allegations of Anti-Semitic Chanting by Chelsea Fans During Europa League Game

Chelsea have released a statement condemning the alleged anti-semitic chants that were sung during the club’s 2-2 Europa League draw with Vidi on Thursday.

UEFA are currently investigating the allegations of anti-semitic chanting and the club has criticised any fan who was involved in the supposed singing.

?The statement reads, as reported by ?the Mirror: “Antisemitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans. It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.

“We have stated this loud and clear on many occasions from the owner, the board, coaches and players.

“Any individuals that can’t summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by using antisemitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”

Vidi FC v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League - Group L

Goals from Willian and Olivier Giroud earned the Blues a draw Hungary after they fell 2-1 behind.

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Vidi 2-2 Chelsea: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Blues Held to Draw in Hungary

Chelsea were held to a draw in the Europa League as they drew 2-2 against Vidi in Hungary on Thursday night.

The Blues took the lead on the half hour mark, as Willian scored with a wonderful free kick. The Brazilian won the foul and duly converted to give them the lead.


However, Vidi stunned Chelsea just two minutes later, as a corner was unfortunately headed into his own goal by Ethan Ampadu. Chelsea were ahead for just 109 seconds as the Hungarians earned an unlikely lifeline back into the game.

Vidi then turned it around in the 56th minute, through Loic Nego’s fantastic first time volley. However, Chelsea responded fantastically as ?Olivier Giroud scored a beautiful free kick to draw level on 75 minutes.

Here’s 90min’s review of Thursday’s Europa League clash.


Vidi

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Key Talking Point

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Vidi were solid in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge and repeated their perf?ormance on Thursday night. They played very well throughout, showing quality when going forward and defending.

In the end their two goals against Chelsea were deserved as the Hungarians put in a valiant display. Although BATE Borisov’s 3-1 win over PAOK knocked Vidi out, they proved themselves on the big stage and earned the plaudits in an impressive Europa League run.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Kovacsik (6); Stopira (6), Vinicius (7), Juhasz (5), Fiola (6); Nikolov (6), Hadzic (6), Nego (7); Huszti (6), Milanov (6); Scepovic (7).

Substitutes: Kovacs (N/A), Hodzic (N/A).


FBL-EUR-C3-VIDI-CHELSEA

STAR MAN – After a relatively quiet first half, Loic Nego scored a stunning volley to give Vidi the lead. The French defender struck the ball perfectly, adding to his decent performance throughout the game.

WORST PLAYER – Although generally composed in defence, Roland Juhasz was poor at times and switched off at vital moments. He also picked up a booking and was aggressive in some off the ball spats, which took some of the shine off Vidi’s result.


CHELSEA

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Key Talking Point

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?Chelsea were sloppy at times, with a string of poor misplaced passes ruining built up momentum. However, overall a heavily changed side played well, with invaluable European experience given to players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu.?

At the end of the day, everyone including Maurizio Sarri knew that Chelsea had nothing to play for, as he used the game to make changes as the Blues cruise through as group winners.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Caballero (6); Emerson (6), Christensen (6), Ampadu (7), Zappacosta (6); Barkley (6), Fabregas (6), Loftus-Cheek (6); Hudson-Odoi (7*), Morata (5), Willian (7).

Substitutes: Giroud (7), Pedro (6).


Vidi FC v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League - Group L

STAR MAN – It was Callum Hudson-Odoi who stood out for Chelsea, as he made his fourth Europa League appearance. The young winger was bright and energetic throughout the game, and created chance after chance for the Blues.

Having already qualified as group winners, it was a great opportunity for Hudson-Odoi to get some minutes and he definitely took advantage of that in a strong performance.

WORST PLAYER – In a 45-minute cameo, ?Alvaro Morata was frustratingly poor. The Spaniard looked lazy, lethargic and lacklustre and his substitution for a knock he picked up seemed the best option for the game as well as his fitness.

Morata didn’t look like he wanted to be playing. He showed little effort and desire, and another mediocre performance will surely be a bitter sight for Chelsea fans.


Looking Ahead

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Chelsea return to ?Premier League action on Sunday, when they travel to the Amex Stadium to face ?Brighton?. They then play in the Carabao Cup quarter final, welcoming ?Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.

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Arsenal Weighing Up Moves for Defensive Duo With Rob Holding Facing Extended Layoff

Arsenal have reportedly made a January move for Manchester United’s Ivorian centre-back Eric Bailly their primary objective, following the news that Rob Holding will miss the remainder of the season with a cruciate ligament injury.

Bailly has been overlooked in the heart of Man Utd’s defence this season as Jose Mourinho has preferred to play Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof, as well as Marcos Rojo when fit.

Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League

?ESPN sources claim that ?Bailly is the primary target for the Gunners to solve their current injury crisis, with veteran Chelsea defender Gary Cahill the alternative. 

Bailly made a strong start to life in Manchester following his £30m move from Villarreal in the summer of 2017. He established himself as the number one centre-back at the club following a string of impressive performances, but has fallen sharply down the United pecking order, with manager Jose Mourinho wielding the axe after a couple of high profile gaffes.

Cahill finds himself in a similar situation to Bailly, with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri using the Englishman sparingly this season, limiting him to EFL Cup and Europa League appearances this campaign. ?David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger have formed a stable centre-back pairing for the Blues and young Danish defender Andreas Christensen also appears to be blocking Cahill’s path to the first team.

Chelsea v PAOK - UEFA Europa League - Group L

After Holding suffered his season-ending injury at Old Trafford just last week, the requirement for a new centre-half at the Emirates has become vitally important as Emery appears to have settled on playing three at the back, with the system proving successful against both ?Tottenham and ?Man Utd. 

Bailly and Cahill would certainly fill the current void, however, with Laurent Koscielny recently returning to fitness following an achilles injury, Emery may want to give the Frenchman an opportunity to prove himself once again to the north-London faithful.

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