Two years on loan in Munich – a city with a lower average temperature than Liverpool over the winter months – prepared him for what was to come, although the non-stop festive period is in stark contrast to the Christmas breaks he’s used to. The performance even coaxed a word or two of praise from the lips of boss Gareth Southgate after handing the Aston Villa star his first Three Lions start. Van Dijk echoed his praise for Shrewsbury on social media, wishing them for the rest of the season on Twitter, and Shrews star Elliott Bennett said he made a ‘classy gesture’ to visit the players, calling him ‘a Rolls Royce’ of a player. After making a flying start with three goals and two assists in the opening four games – all of which were won by Ancelotti’s side – he suffered a bruised testicle during a robust challenge from Virgil van Dijk in October’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool. I suspect the best business may still be to come (whoever signs Virgil van Dijk) but in this market, a reported £10m to solve a real problem at left-back is good business.
First, sell your soul to Satan, then you need to throw all your ethics out the window, open a bank account in the Cayman Islands, sign up hundreds of 12-year-olds from countries like Senegal, Guinea, Argentina and Brazil, ideally from impoverished backgrounds and living in slums, pay their families token sums of money and tell them they are the next big thing and you have ties with top teams across the globe and were best man at Zinedine Zidane’s wedding. ‘I think the thing with Grealish is he’s obviously used to the Premier League and doesn’t need to adapt to it so that’s good,’ the Wales manager said during a summer of speculation. An up-and-down six years in the Spanish capital – including two LaLiga titles, two Champions League trophies and two seasons out on loan at Bayern – ended with him making just eight league appearances last term. Have now dropped their first two kits.
United have lost two of their opening matches, both at Old Trafford and both in alarming fashion, with little to show in way of creativity during their 3-1 and 6-1 defeats by Crystal Palace and Tottenham respectively. Despite the constant chatter, however, a move to Old Trafford never materialised. From Rio Ferdinand to Ryan Giggs, former Old Trafford icons pushed the case for his arrival. One of his former clubs, Argentine side Banfield, even claimed that they didn’t receive a sell-on percentage from Real because Everton didn’t pay a transfer fee. Like Manchester United or Liverpool, Barcelona or Real Madrid, anything less than victory represents turmoil at Rangers. The pair enjoy a relationship which has been described as being almost father-son like. Said Colour is nice but the Shoulder part must add some curve Line just like the 3rd away Shirt. Shipping costs are non-refundable, and the buyer must pay returns shipping costs. There is a plan with Ancelotti at the helm, and the resources to give him the players he wants are there – now matter how big a name they might be.
Southgate had been mulling over whether to give the midfielder his first senior call-up for friendlies with Italy and Denmark, before they were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Everton’s own social media following increased by almost 20 per cent in the wake of Rodriguez putting pen to paper, with the club announcing their first partnership in Colombia just this week after agreeing a deal with online gaming brand Rush Bet. On the cusp of a first England call-up in March, and still firmly in the transfer plans of Manchester United, the 25-year-old almost threw it all away with an ill-judged decision to attend a friend’s party during lockdown. Threw a pair of red shorts to Ronnie Yeats. His performance alongside Ross Barkley against Liverpool was genuine joy to behold from a neutral perspective, as the pair ripped through what was the meanest of Premier League defences just one season previous. His performances towards the back end of last season were key to keeping Dean Smith’s side in the Premier League. His strike on the final day of the season against West Ham helped secure the point that saw them avoid an immediate return to the Championship.