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Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

Following the latest round of Premier League action we look at five things we learned from the weekend fixtures.

Son shows he can be Kane replacement

For so long Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were Tottenham’s deadly double-act. The most prolific combination in Premier League history was broken up this summer as Kane departed for Munich, but rather than find a new accomplice, Son might just be tasked with replacing his old teammate.

The South Korean started in a central role as Spurs continued their strong start under Ange Postecoglou at Burnley. Richarlison’s underwhelming spell at centre-forward saw Postecoglou alter his forward line, with Son shifted infield and Manor Solomon give a chance to impress out wide.

Son scored a hat-trick at Turf Moor to get his season up and running, with the new Spurs captain combining well with Solomon for each of his first two goals. The 31-year-old’s finishing was exquisite, lifting a delicate first over the onrushing goalkeeper for his opener before two perfectly placed efforts past James Trafford.

With James Maddison and Solomon showing their creative class and Son’s superb movement in behind, this could be the start of a more permanent place at centre-forward.

Is anyone in favour of VAR anymore?

Perhaps our least favourite, but unfortunately repeated, topic is VAR.

VAR has been around for some time now, but remains controversial, contentious, and unpopular. The theory behind the technology had been for it to improve the game, providing aid to better decision-making from officials and thus an increased chance of a ‘fair’ result.

What has transpired is that VAR has only served to increase controversy. From frustrating fractional decisions, long delays, subdued celebrations and more, is there anyone who truly believes VAR has improved the spectacle of the sport?

This weekend saw Fulham wronged, as Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji jumped over Nathan Ake’s goal-bound header from an offside position. That this was somehow missed by the referee Michael Oliver was surprising, that VAR rewatched the events and failed to overturn the on-field decision was truly astonishing.

“What I can say? Everyone that plays football, everyone that has played football, everyone that has some knowledge about football – I’m 100 per cent sure – has to disallow that goal,” Marco Silva complained.

Manchester City, in all probability, would have gone on to win regardless, but the irritation is not with this singular decision. VAR has lessened the spectacle of the game, while failing to fix what it was designed for.

Brighton’s next £100m superstar?

Brighton have earned a reputation as masters of the transfer market in recent seasons, a team who have consistently found untapped potential and developed relative unknowns into household names.

Across the last two seasons Brighton have brought in more than £360m from player sales. Moises Caicedo left this summer for a British record £115m fee, but there are some suggesting the club’s latest bright thing might even eclipse that fee.

Evan Ferguson earned admirers last season during a breakthrough campaign that delivered 10 goals in all competitions, but the 18-year-old looks set to take it up another level this time around. Ferguson fired his first senior hat-trick as Brighton beat Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend, with the Irishman producing a centre-forward masterclass of movement and efficiency.

Ferguson’s first was turned home instinctively on the rebound, before the teenager opened up in space and bent home a brilliant effort from distance to score a second. A fortuitous third saw Ferguson claim the match ball, becoming just the fourth player aged 18 or under the score a Premier League hat-trick.

Some of the Premier League’s wealthiest sides are in search of a centre-forward and there appear few with Ferguson’s blend of attributes and potential. Brighton should be braced for big bids in the near future.

Homegrown heroes crucial for Forest

Nottingham Forest have been more than a little active in the transfer market since promotion to the Premier League. Since last summer’s window, Forest have brought in more than 40 new players, including a seven-player spree on transfer deadline day.

Steve Cooper’s side earned arguably their best result since returning to the top-flight this weekend, with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Chelsea. Forest were the Premier League’s worst travellers last season and an away success at one of the division’s big six – regardless of Chelsea’s own transfer chaos – represents progress.

For all the exciting imports to have arrived at the City Ground, it was two homegrown heroes at the centre of their success. Ryan Yates was all-action against an opposition midfield containing the two most expensive footballers in British football history, while Joe Worrall was immense at centre-back alongside Willy Boly and Scott McKenna.

Worrall’s performance came despite the tragic events in his personal life this week and the club captain should be commended for the character shown. Forest have splashed the cash in recent windows, but their academy products remain crucial to the project.

Szoboszlai can lead Liverpool ‘reloaded’

Jurgen Klopp called his side Liverpool reloaded earlier this season, a nod to the rebuild which has happened quicker than most expected in midfield this summer.

The transfer window saw established names in Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner move on, alongside the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as Liverpool took a scalpel to the centre of the side.

In came four recruits, with Ryan Gravenberch the fourth midfield signing after arriving on deadline day. The latest addition will hope to follow the example set by Dominik Szoboszlai, who has been outstanding since signing from RB Leipzig.

Szoboszlai has been an eye-catching performer in each of Liverpool’s first four fixtures, a midfielder who combines sublime technique and footwork with a desire to press and unsettle opposition players. The early indications are that the Hungarian can be key for Klopp, a player who embodies the frenetic work-ethic the German prides his best sides on.

Szoboszlai opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa with a stunning hit from the edge of the area, arriving to meet Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner with the sweetest of connections. Liverpool’s transfer business did not unfold as most had expected this summer, but the Reds look to have landed another gem in the 22-year-old. At present, he is absolutely everywhere in Klopp’s midfield.

Read – Premier League Awards: Rice’s rescue act saves Arsenal

Read Also – The Premier League has found its next superstar

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Osofuye Odunayo Damilola
Osofuye Odunayo Damilola
10 months ago

Nothing to worry about Havertz! This Havertz that I am seeing will definitely become an Arsenal Legend.
Havertz will shine, reign, and rule in England and Europe… He is a great call for Arsenal and Arteta.
Great days are back at Arsenal…. get ready England, get ready Europe!

Against Man United, the substitutions were like for like, Arteta stuck to his philosophy.
If Havertz had been instructed to drop deeper with Magalhaes to both shield the left of the defense,
thereby allowing Zinchenko to control the game in more advance areas, Arsenal would still have won.
But Arteta decided to change personels for fresh legs to bombard exhausted ManU players, it did paid off!
Nelson for Martinelli.
Jesus for Eddie.
Vieira for Zinchenko.
Tomiyasu for Havertz.

England and Europe should get ready, because this Arsenal Squad will give a great fight henceforth, they will compete.
Sweepers – Ramsdale, Raya, Hein
Drivers – Saka, Martinelli, Jesus, Eddie, Nelson
Occupyers – Saliba, White, Tomiyasu, Partey, Declan, Havertz, Kiwior, Magalhaes
Controllers – Timbre, Odegaard, Zincheko, Vieira, Trossard, Emile, Jorginho, Elneny

Of a truth, Havertz is not in the lineup to score goals! 
Judging Havertz based on goals is unfair! He is doing everything right except missing goal scoring chances. 
Nothing is wrong with Havertz, he is only short on confidence at the moment, that guy will win Arsenal fans over.
May be he should play slightly deeper for people to see more and more and more of his great works in the middle of the park!

Watch out for Arteta unlocking stuffs in the brains of Havertz, Partey, and Declan.
He is turning them into SLALOM MIDFIELDERS: who can play anywhere thru the middle from CB to CF in the mould of Patrick Viera, Yaya Toure and Abou Diaby.

Declan Rice and Arsenal FC are a match made in heaven. Oh Declan, Declan Rice!
The price was almost discouraging, but Rice is worth a Jude Bellingham fee.
First of all Arsenal, Edu, and Arteta deserves all the credit for buying him.
He is a great need given Partey’s injury record.

Prime Odegaard is a perfect embodiment of Arteta’s definition of a CONTROLLER, a PLAYMAKER.
Great engine, Captain fanstatic!

Mikel Arteta deserves all the backing.
Arteta-ball is a masterful footballing gameplan.
If you get him the right players for his tactics and team-shape, he will win a lot of matches for Arsenal.

Great times ahead, COYG!!!!!!!!

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