Hello there, happy Saturday. This time in three weeks we’ll be waiting for a day of Premier League football to begin. It’s going to fly in; we’ll be there before we know it! Anyway, I’m not going to go hugely in-depth about anything today, but I’m going to go for a quick round-up of the news.
Brighton completed the signing of Percy Tau from Mamelodi Sundowns yesterday. The striker has signed a four-year deal with the Seagulls, and will be sent out on loan immediately. He’s 24, so he will have to make an impression fairly quickly if he’s going to make it in the Premier League.
Spurs moved to tie down two players yesterday, as Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela signed new deals. Son’s deal runs until 2023, while Lamela’s runs until 2022. They are two fan favourites in north London, and tying them down to new contracts is definitely a good thing.
Hopefully Lamela’s injuries are behind him now. I wasn’t too sure about him at one stage, but then he really started showing what he can do. He played himself into the Spurs team, but then suffered a bad injury and missed most of the 2016-17 season. He has done some brilliant things for Spurs when he’s fit and in form, and hopefully we’ll see more of that next season.
For Son, the hope is that South Korea do well in the Asian games than run between August and September. He’ll be available for Spurs’ first Premier League game, but will then head off to play for his country. If they do well in the Asian games, the team will likely be granted an exemption from two years of military service. But if they don’t do well, he might have to go and do it. That would be a disaster for him and Spurs, so hopefully it won’t come to that.
I know it’s something that has to be done in South Korea, but surely they should be granting exceptions on individual cases. There’s no way someone like Son should have to go and do that. It’s a bit ridiculous, in my opinion. I watch the UFC, and I remember a South Korean fighter not fighting for two years because of the military service. ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung was a highly ranked fighter and was doing really well. He was even involved in a title fight, which he lost to Jose Aldo. He had to go and do it, so they won’t give you an exception just because of who you are. We’ll see what happens and hope it won’t come to that.
Huddersfield announced that they have signed Adama Diakhaby from Monaco. The 22-year-old winger has signed a three-year deal, with the option to add another. He can play on either wing, and also through the middle if necessary. He is a quick, tricky winger, which is always an exciting signing. The Terriers have signed quite a few players this summer already, and have spent around £45m. Some of the players they have brought in look really promising, and they’ll be hoping the new lads can help keep them away from a relegation battle.
There were some reports yesterday – that could be untrue and absolute bullshit – that Everton are closing in on a deal to bring Watford’s Richarlison to Goodison Park. That part doesn’t surprise me, as the winger looked a really good player at times last season and Marco Silva surely likes him after managing him there. But the surprising part is that the fee could be as much as £50m! I’m sorry, but what? They must be having a laugh. He does look like a good player, and at just 21, he has plenty of time to improve and could be a really top player. But £50m? Stop please.
Everton do have history with spending huge amounts though. Gylfi Sigurdsson moved from Swansea last season for around £45m, which was also a ridiculous amount. I know times are mad these days, and transfer fees are unbelievably inflated, but this is getting ridiculous now. But if Everton see huge potential in him and believe he could turn out to be a world-class player, it may be a masterstroke. Maybe this is one of those things that will come up in three years’ time and somebody will pull out what I said and laugh at me as he moves to Barcelona for £300m.
It’s all gone a bit mad though. Regardless of his age, he’s a player that has been in England for just one season. He played 38 times for Watford last season, scoring five goals and getting four assists. He looked really good in the first half of the season, but I’m not sure about the second half. I don’t remember him ripping it up as much as he did, but that could be just me. Maybe I didn’t watch Watford that much in the second half and that’s why I think that. As I said, the rumour could be bullshit anyway and it may not even happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Leicester announced yesterday that they have signed goalkeeper Danny Ward from Liverpool. They say he is being brought in to provide competition for – and not replace – Kasper Schmeichel. Some people are questioning how true that is, as they’re saying Schmeichel could be on his way, but I’m not sure if that’s the case.
Reports said last night that Chelsea have received a third bid from Barcelona for Willian, with this one thought to be in excess of £55m. I like Willian, and I think he really is a brilliant player, but I’m a bit surprised that Barcelona are willing to spend that much on a player that goes 30 next month. It makes it more surprising since they only signed Ousmane Dembele last summer for over €100m. He didn’t really nail down a first-team place last season, and only played 17 La Liga games, but they’re hardly dumping him already. I think this one is a bit strange, but there you go.
That’s that for today anyway. I’ll be doing my best to get any news up on Twitter but I may be a bit behind today because I have some things to do. I might not be here tomorrow either. I definitely won’t be in the morning, but I’ll try to get something up in the afternoon. There’ll be a post up letting you know what’s going on anyway. Have a good Saturday.