Manchester United are interested in a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku and Mauro Icardi whilst the Bundesliga are scouting more English youngsters. It’s Monday’s Paper Round.
United eye Lukaku-Icardi swap
We begin with a report that says that Manchester United are interested in a swap deal involving Mauro Icardi and Romelu Lukaku. United are reportedly keen on offloading Lukaku despite his uptake in form over the past couple of games. Icardi’s Inter Milan career appears to be all but over and the Italian giants are long-term admirers of Lukaku. That could end up leading to a mutually beneficial swap deal.
Paper Round’s view: This report seems tenuous at best, Icardi brings a lot of baggage with him and that doesn’t seem to be what United would go for right now. Lukaku’s future may well be in doubt but if he’s going to work out as a signing then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is probably the manager to do it. Giving up on Lukaku at this stage might not be worth it, he is still only 25.
German clubs want more English starlets
The Sun have a report that next Friday will see a host of German clubs watching English youth games. Chelsea‘s U18s are playing Arsenal and the club’s U23s are facing Manchester City later that same day. Bundesliga clubs have already benefits from English youngsters moving abroad in search of regular game time and there will be a plethora of scouts watching both matches as they look to pluck more talent from the Premier League.
Paper Round’s view: English clubs better buckle up, this could be a sign of a changing of the guard. For years English clubs were able to have their pick of the talent but now it appears that money cannot trump playing time. Chelsea are a club in particular who are going to suffer unless there is a massive shift in culture at the club, Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t the first and he simply won’t be the lsat.
Sarri was tempted to drop Kepa for rest of the season
We now have quotes from Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri who has admitted that he was tempted to drop goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for the rest of the season. Sarri said he could have taken the 24-year-old out for the reason but he was impressed with the Spaniard’s attitude and decided that one game out of the team would be enough.
Paper Round’s view: This was a tough situation for Sarri, Kepa is the future of Chelsea in goal and he will almost certainly outlast his manager at Stamford Bridge. However Sarri still had to show some sort of command and he did that by dropping Kepa for the Spurs game. Bringing his keeper back after one match and moving on from the whole incident might well be the best way to solve the issue…
Southgate eyes Townsend recall
And we end with a report from The Mirror that says that England manager Gareth Southgate is considering handing a recall to Andros Townsend. The Crystal Palace winger, 27, hasn’t played for England for two years but he has been in decent form recently and has entered Southgate’s thoughts.
Paper Round’s view: Townsend has been playing well but at 27 years of age it does feel as if England might be better off looking to the future. Townsend is a fine player but with so many talented wingers coming through the youth teams at the moment it would be a surprising change of direction from Southgate.