1 Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny Wojciech Szczesny has revealed he still has his sights set on regaining the No.1 jersey at Arsenal.The Polish goalkeeper is currently on loan at Roma after being displaced as the Gunners’ first-choice stopper by Petr Cech in the summer.Roma are at present third in Serie A, just one point adrift of leaders Fiorentina, and Szczesny is determined to win the Scudetto before he returns to north London.“If a year ago someone told me that I would go to Rome, I wouldn’t have believed that,” Szczesny told Sky Sport Italia.“I do not hide that is still my dream to play for Arsenal. In Rome the fans are fantastic and nine months in football is a long time, who knows what will happen.“My hope is that we win the Scudetto, and that Arsenal win the Premier League.”
1 Sergi Canos Liverpool are delighted with the progress Sergi Canos is making at Brentford.The Spanish starlet has been in impressive form for the Bees since joining them on loan at the start of the season and scored a stunning solo goal at the weekend in the win over Reading.“We’re so proud of Sergi,” Reds under-21s boss Michael Beale said. “You never know when a young boy goes out on loan and how they’re going to handle it. It’s similar when a boy goes into the first-team environment.“But Sergi has grown in strength week-in-week-out. That’s his second goal in three games and we’re very proud.“We have a little group text that goes around all the players, so the goal was put on there and everyone was wishing him well. All the boys out on loan are in regular contact with us.“There’s not many players of his age playing regularly in the Championship and there’s no one having the same impact.“No pressure on him but if he can continue doing what he’s doing then we’ll see where that’ll lead. I think that he’ll go on to have a very good career.”
10 10 10. Javier Mascherano (West Ham to Liverpool on loan – January 2007, signed permanently in summer 2007 for £15m) – After his bizarre and ultimately fruitless spell with West Ham, Mascherano became a key part of an indomitable Liverpool midfield trio alongside Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. Initially on loan, his combative style helped the Reds reach a second Champions League final in three years in 2007 and a second-placed Premier League finish in 2009. 3. Patrice Evra (Monaco to Manchester United – £6m in 2006) – Evra was initially identified as one who might struggle with the demands of the Premier League, but those doubts were immediately extinguished as he quickly established himself as a reliable member of Uniteds dominant back four. Five league titles, three League Cups and a Champions League success later and he can be truly regarded as one of the great left-backs of the Premier League era. 10 10 7. Philippe Coutinho (Inter Milan to Liverpool – £8m in 2013) – Now a key cog in Jurgen Klopps transitional Liverpool team, Coutinho has emerged from the shadow of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling to become the Reds talisman. His penchant for stylish goals makes him one of the most eye-catching players in the league when in form and, given the size of the fee Liverpool paid for him, his arrival has proved a real bargain. 10 8. Gary Cahill (Bolton to Chelsea – £6m in 2012) – Gary Cahills astute, stylish performances at Bolton saw his dream move to Chelsea materialise and he was an instant success, helping the Blues to Champions League glory just four months after signing. He established an imposing partnership with John Terry and nailed down a regular England place. 10 4. Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool – £12m in 2013) – Injuries aside, Sturridge has been one of the finest Liverpool signings in the Premier League era. His goals/game ratio trumps that of Anfield legends like Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez and his goals so nearly took the Reds to that elusive top-flight crown in 2014. If only he could stay fit 10 9. Ashley Young (Watford to Aston Villa – £9m in 2007) – There was once a time when Young was being compared with Lionel Messi by Aston Villa manager Martin ONeill, with the winger turning in some sensational performances after announcing himself at Watford. His displays helped Villa to three consecutive sixth-placed finishes in the league before an £18m move to Manchester United in 2011. 10 When it comes to the January transfer window, the general consensus is that deals tend to be either desperate or overpriced.Last year, in particular, it was a case of much ado about nothing as the majority of clubs sized each other up without really splashing the cash.But we’ve seen on numerous occasions in the past that some real bargains are often out there, especially when players might not be seeing as much first-team action as they had hoped.These ten players are evidence of that – will anyone follow suit over the next month?Notable exceptions include Papiss Cisse and Christophe Dugarry as, while their initial impact was stunning, their value faded in following seasons.Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see which ten players from January’s gone by made our shortlist… 6. Mikel Arteta (Real Sociedad to Everton – £2m in 2005) – Over 200 competitive games for Everton in a six-year spell suggest Arteta really was one of the first names on the teamsheet under David Moyes. After learning the ropes in Scotland with Rangers in his earlier career, Artetas range of passing made him a Toffees favourite. 5. Nemanja Matic (Benfica to Chelsea – £17m in 2014) – Matics impact on the Chelsea team after his return to the club in 2014 cannot be underestimated. He quickly established himself as the finest defensive midfielder in the country and became the combative rock that allowed the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas to thrive on their way to title glory in 2015. His performance levels have dropped since, but theres no denying his talent when fully fit. 10 2. Nemanja Vidic (Spartak Moscow to Manchester United – £7m in 2006) – Unless youre Fernando Torres, very few players ever had a sniff when Vidic was around. His insatiable resilience and incredible strength saw him forge a defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that became the platform for all of Uniteds success in Sir Alex Fergusons last years. Considering Evra was recruited in the same month, January 2006 could go down as the best January splurge in Premier League history. 10 1. Luis Suarez (Ajax to Liverpool – £22m in 2011) – Vidic ran him close, but Suarez just edges the Serbian. From the downright obscene to the ludicrously sublime, the Uruguayan ensured there was never a dull moment when he was around. Liverpools decline since his departure to Barcelona has reinforced his impact on that team that so nearly won the title in 2014, and he wasnt just a goalscorer too. He is sorely missed, not just on Merseyside, but throughout England.
On Monday, FIFA will announce the winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy.The general consensus is it’s a straight shootout between Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the current holder, for the title, although Neymar is certainly pushing hard to be included in the debate.Here at talkSPORT we don’t have access to the envelope which will be opened on next week to reveal the winner, but we do have other methods of attempting to predict the victor.Since the 23 contenders for this year’s award were announced in October, Facebook’s data team have analysed the social conversation to see which of the nominees was the most talked about.By clicking the right arrow above you’ll be able to find out the top 11 most talked about Ballon d’Or contenders… 1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 29% 6 6 On his own in sixth spot, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City was involved in 2 per cent of conversations on Facebook in the UK since the Ballon d’Or shortlist was announced in October – Click the arrow above, right, to find out who was the most talked about… 5= Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) and Yaya Toure (Man City) – 3% 4= Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – 4% 6 6 6 2= Neymar and Lionel Messi (Both Barcelona) – 15% 6 3= Sergio Aguero (Man City), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – 5%
1 Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil missed the clash with Stoke with what the London club described as a ‘slight foot injury’.The only change to the Gunners’ starting line-up from Wednesday’s 3-3 draw at Liverpool saw the Germany midfielder replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.And shortly after announcing the squad via Twitter on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal added a message that said: “@MesutOzil1088 misses #SCFCvAFC with a slight foot injury.”There was no indication as to how long the 27-year-old might be out for.Ozil has been in fine form this season, ranking as the Premier League’s highest assist-maker with 16 and being widely regarded as a front-runner for the player of the year awards.Arsenal were also without another key man in Alexis Sanchez on Sunday, with the Chile forward, sidelined of late by a hamstring problem, not featuring in the matchday squad despite Gunners boss Arsene Wenger suggesting he could be involved for the first time since November.New signing Mohamed Elneny was named on the bench – see the confirmed Gunners starting XI here .@MesutOzil1088 misses #SCFCvAFC with a slight foot injury. pic.twitter.com/WW73x0hO6o— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 17, 2016 Mesut Ozil