The football battle in the middle of the park determines the outcome of the game. Over ninety minutes, the midfield who have successfully nullified their opposition have practically guaranteed a victory, hence making it vital to have the perfect duo to do the business. But just who can boast about having two of the best men for the job?
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere have already started to make waves at the Emirates but until both are fully fit and raring to go from the start, there still needs to be a learning curve. Manchester City’s David Silva and Yaya Toure possess the perfect skills to complement one another but an inability to transform that partnership into Europe in two successive seasons means there’s still work to do.
Xabi Alonso and Mesut Özil have created an ideal understanding at Real Madrid and you could argue Barcelona’s Xavi and Iniesta already hold the crown. Their telepathic connection means all other competition is blown out of the water. But you’d be wrong.
Toulouse FC’s Moussa Sissoko is a man on the verge of a life-changing move. Having made a significant impact in the south-west of France, the box-to-box midfielder has been recently scouted by two major clubs, Newcastle United and Russian giants Anzhi Makhachkala. With tabled bids expected in January, Sissoko has to make the decision of his life.
Having begun his professional career as an 18-year-old, it wasn’t long until he was given his first start which helped his side beat defending champions Lyon in 2007. With more impressive performances under his belt, he was partnered with a fellow exciting prospect in the shape of Étienne Capoue. As the two helped their side avoid relegation and move up the table, heads began to turn from clubs elsewhere.
Fast-forward five years later and the 23-year-old is one of the most sought after midfielders in the game. Having finally made a breakthrough in France’s national squad, Sissoko is looking to upgrade his talent by playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. And as Anzhi and Newcastle open the door for his arrival, it is up to the defensive midfielder to initiate his move.
But which club should he choose?
Ghana have produced a number of talented players who have embraced European football to its full extent. Big-name footballers such as Asamoah Gyan and Michael Essien have all found fame since moving to Europe and it’s once again another youngster from Ghana that is making a name for himself.
This time, Tottenham want him.
Porto’s new sensation Christian Atsu has emerged as a top transfer target for André Villas-Boas after his emergence in the Primeira Liga, Portugal’s top division. Since starting his career as a 17-year-old, the Ghanaian was called up for his first senior game by Villas-Boas who was Porto’s manager in 2011. By recognising Atsu’s gift, AVB now wants the youngster back under his helm at White Hart Lane.
But just how good is the 20-year-old?
There are many occassions in a season when a fan just wants to get up and ask the manager of his beloved club a question. Why did you do this? When did you drop him? Why isn’t he playing? As much as fans love to watch their club succeed under the right manager, some situations just don’t add up.
So here are the five most-glaring questions Liverpool should be answering to their fans.
- 1) Why were all the strikers sold, bar Luis Suarez?
During the months of July and August earlier this year, new manager Brendan Rodgers took a step in the right direction by declaring his method of positive, fluent football. The style that was so successful under his old club Swansea, was going to be implemented into a new-look Anfield side in an attempt to steer the team back to their title-winning ways.
The problem was that after signing Roma’s Fabio Borini, who has only played one full season in his career, Rodgers than proceeded to send Andy Carroll to West Ham on a season-long loan, sell Craig Bellamy to Cardiff and Nathan Eccleston to Blackpool. With no other recognised striker at the club, why did the clear-out materialise?
Three successive league titles. Three Best Player in the Brazilian League awards. 121 goals in 199 games. It’s safe to say Neymar is one of the biggest talents in the world. Since staring his career as an under-17 international, the Santos forward has gone on to score at every level for Brazil and currently sits on an impressive record of sixteen goals in just twenty-five games. And one other thing.