South America is rarely in short supply of talent coveted by Europe’s elite, and Andre Trindade da Costa Neto, or just Andre, looks to be the next samba star ready to take the plunge.
Described by some as the ultimate ‘modern-day defensive midfielder’, Andre’s stock soared during Fluminense’s run to their maiden Copa Libertadores success in November.
The 22-year-old was never regarded as a talent destined for superstardom, and it took a while for him to establish himself with Fluminense’s senior setup. Roger Machado aided his integration, but it was Fernando Diniz who helped Andre reach a new gear at the base of his midfield.
A dynamic and deceptively strong metronome who was crucial to Fluminense’s continental triumph, it’s easy to understand why clubs have taken a keen interest in the Brazilia,n, and sources close to his current employer expect the January transfer window to yield a high-profile move.
Casemiro’s time at Man Utd might only be brief / Michael Regan/GettyImages
Erik ten Hag sought midfield stability during his first transfer window as Manchester United boss, eventually stumbling upon Casemiro after failing to prise Frenkie de Jong away from Barcelona.
The Brazilian proved to be an excellent addition, starring as United enjoyed a promising 2022/23 season with Ten Hag in charge. At the start of 2023/24, though, Casemiro’s form has fallen off a cliff – he is also wanted in Saudi Arabia, while new arrival Sofyan Amrabat is yet to be convinced.
There are a multitude of issues at Old Trafford, and Ten Hag’s midfield is one of them. The Dutchman once again requires stability, and Andre is certainly a profile they like. Indeed, Unitedhase already joined the list of suitors taking interest in the emerging star.
Now thriving at Bayer Leverkusen, Granit Xhaka has not been replaced / Lars Baron/GettyImages
Despite Mikel Arteta’s ego suggesting that he could mould Kai Havertz into a regular contributor in north London, the German still looks like the same midfielder-cum-forward who was utterly devoid of confidence for much of his Chelsea spell. Sold out, Arsenal have not filled their Granit Xhaka void.
Andre is not the man for the Gunners’ left-sided number eight role, but he could be a replacement for Thomas Partey which would then allow Arteta to utilize Declan Rice in a more advanced position – even if the Englishman himself believes he performs better as a number six.
Arsenal have been linked with several midfielders already, many of whom are capable of performing both the holding and box-to-box roles in Arteta’s system. Nevertheless, sporting director Edu Gaspar has personally scouted Andre and believes his native Brazil to be an untapped resource for talent.
Ange Postecoglou is transforming Spurs / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages
Who knows what Tottenham’s ambitions will be by the time the January transfer window rolls around? Injuries to James Maddison and Micky van de Ven have thrust their 2023/24 prospects into doubt.
Nevertheless, if the club wants to keep progressing with Ange Postecoglou at the helm, they must continue to reinforce astutely. Midfield may not be regarded as a priority area this winter, but they’ll need a replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg if he leaves following an inquiry from Juventus.
Andre is certainly better suited to performing the holding role in Ange’s midfield, but displacing Yves Bissouma will be no simple task. Still, if Andre is available for £30m, Spurs may find it hard to overlook the Brazilian’s talent and potential.
Alexis Mac Allister is better as a number eight / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Liverpool underwent a drastic midfield makeover in the summer, yet there’s more work to be done.
The Reds added several box-to-boxers in Ryan Gravenberch, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Alexis Mac Allister, who are better suited to performing the number eight roles in Jurgen Klopp’s system.
They floundered when trying to find their Fabinho replacement, eventually signing Wataru Endo out of the blue. However, Klopp has so far preferred Mac Allister at the base of his midfield.
Neither Mac Allister nor Endo are the long-term solutions in the role, but Andre could be. The Brazilian boasts an aesthetic similar to Thiago, although he isn’t quite as majestic with the ball. Nevertheless, Andre possesses the industry, and duel-winning capabilities to be a success in the Premier League. And, of all England’s big clubs, they have been watching him the longest.
Harry Maguire Accepts Issac Adongo’s Apology: Anticipating a Reunion at Old Trafford
In a surprising turn of events, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has publicly acknowledged and accepted the apology extended by Member of Parliament Issac Adongo. The footballer, known for his composed demeanor on and off the field, responded gracefully to Adongo’s apology, hinting at a potential meeting at the iconic Old Trafford.
The apology stems from a previous incident where Adongo made comments that raised eyebrows among football enthusiasts and drew Maguire’s attention. Maguire, true to his reputation as a leader, chose not to escalate the situation but instead welcomed the MP’s apology with open arms.
The conciliatory message was shared by Maguire on his social media platforms, where he stated, “Apology accepted, Issac Adongo. See you at Old Trafford soon.” The use of the word “soon” has sparked excitement and speculation among fans, who are now eagerly awaiting the prospect of Adongo’s presence at a Manchester United match.
This unexpected reconciliation serves as a testament to Maguire’s professionalism and ability to handle criticism with maturity. Rather than engaging in a public feud, the England international chose the high road, fostering an atmosphere of understanding and respect.
The incident has also ignited discussions about the intersection of sports and politics. Maguire’s acceptance of the apology sends a positive message about the power of dialogue and reconciliation, even in situations where public figures may hold differing views.
As the anticipation builds for the promised meeting at Old Trafford, it raises questions about the potential impact of such encounters on the broader relationship between the sports and political spheres. Will this event prompt more conversations between athletes and politicians? Only time will tell.
For now, fans of Manchester United and followers of the saga are left to eagerly await the day when Harry Maguire and Issac Adongo share a moment at Old Trafford. The power of sports to bring people together, even those with differing opinions, continues to be a driving force for unity and understanding in our society.
‘We conceded a poor goal’ – Ghana coach Chirs Hughton laments defensive lapse in defeat to Comoros
Ghana coach Chris Hughton, did not mince words in his critique of his team’s performance following a 1-0 defeat to Comoros on Tuesday in the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers.
The Black Stars missed a chance to go top of Group I as they were beaten in Moroni.
The pivotal moment in the match came in the 43rd minute when Myziane Maolida capitalised on a solo opportunity, receiving the ball from the midfield and scoring.
Hughton, speaking in the post-match analysis, expressed his displeasure at the defensive lapse that led to the decisive goal.
“I thought Ghana were the better team,” Hughton stated, emphasising his belief in the team’s overall performance. However, his frustration was palpable as he criticized the conceded goal, considering it a missed opportunity to maintain control of the game.
“We conceded what we regarded as a poor goal to concede, and we were not able to capitalize on the chances that we had,” Hughton remarked, underscoring the team’s inability to convert scoring opportunities.
As a result of the defeat, the Black Stars remain at three points after two rounds of games, while Comoros ascends to the top of the group with four points from two matches.
Looking forward, Ghana’s focus will shift to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for January 2024 in Ivory Coast. The team, under Hughton’s leadership, will aim to regroup and make a strong showing in the continental competition after the setback in the World Cup qualifiers.
Chris Hughton bemoans missed opportunities as Ghana fall to Comoros in World Cup qualifiers
Ghana coach Chris Hughton attributed the team’s defeat to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers to a lack of sharpness in front of the goal.
The Black Stars suffered a setback on matchday two in Moroni on Tuesday, November 21.
Despite Hughton’s belief that Ghana was the superior team for a significant portion of the match, the inability to convert chances proved costly. In his post-match analysis, the Irish manager acknowledged Comoros for their victory but emphasized his team’s dominance throughout the 90 minutes.
“Congratulations to Comoros for the victory. In my opinion over the 90 minutes, we were the better team. I thought Ghana was the better team,” Hughton stated, highlighting his team’s overall performance. However, he expressed frustration over a conceded goal that he deemed avoidable and the team’s failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
“So this was not a game where Comoros won this game comfortably. Over the 90 minutes, we were the better team, but unfortunately, we were not able to put away the chances that we created,” Hughton lamented, emphasizing the significance of missed opportunities.
The defeat prevented the Black Stars from ascending to the top of Group I, leaving them with three points after two rounds of games played. With their focus now shifting to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for January 2024 in Ivory Coast, Hughton, and his team will aim to regroup and hone their finishing prowess to make a strong impact in the continental competition.
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