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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Germany vs. Ukraine; Manchester United hoping for Erling Haaland, but might get Cristiano Ronaldo; Liverpool player complains about his FIFA rating; and MORE!

Germany v Ukraine - UEFA Nations League Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Die Folgen: Germany’s 3-1 victory over Ukraine (Bavarian Football Works)

Germany fought back from falling behind just 12 minutes into the game and scored three unanswered goals to race away from a COVID-19 depleted Ukraine squad. Below, are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Timo Werner had a brace and continues to show the growth in his game and consistency that many have been waiting for. Playing as part of a devastatingly pacey front three with Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry, Werner is starting to grow into his role on the squad and the more time this trio plays together the more productive it will certainly be. Werner, though, is a big key to whatever happens at the Euro 2020 (now 2021) competition and this is exactly the kind of momentum you want the 24-year-old to be building at this stage.
  • Leon Goretzka was nothing short of fantastic in the midfield. With two assists and just an overall terrific performance, Goretzka rightfully earned BFW’s Meister of the Match. It is time for Joachim Löw to bite the bullet and put his boy Toni Kroos on the bench. Sure...this fits a bit of a line of thinking I had a while back, but it is time. Once Joshua Kimmich is back and healthy, the midfield should be comprised of the Bayern Munich duo regardless of what formation the manager elects to play.
  • Philipp Max, once again, showed that he belongs on this squad. Max, for whatever his perceived defensive deficiencies are, brings an attacking mindset and skillset to the wingback/outside-back position that not many other Germans can offer at this stage. When I think about Max on the left-defensive flank and Lukas Klostermann on the right side, I think Germany could create some major issues moving forward.
  • Germany had some defensive struggles. Niklas Sule and Matthias Ginter were good, while Robin Koch was solid, but not spectacular. Antonio Rudiger, however, was, well, not-so-good to say the least. If Löw wants to continue to use a formation with five defenders, he had better hope that Klostermann can get back in form and push Ginter back into the role of center-back.
  • I like Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zinchenko as both a left-back and a defensive midfielder. It is a shame that Bayern Munich simply does not have room at this point for a player like Zinchenko. He showed some excellent qualities during the game, including patience, skill, and just overall activity. As Zinchenko went, Ukraine went.
  • Overall, this was progress. Onward and upward and all that. It is good to see Germany take care of an opponent that it should put away like this (no disrespect to Ukraine, which was game, but out-classed throughout the contest).

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations, give them a look:

Juve to strongly pursue Alaba? (Football Italia)

We already knew that Juventus was allegedly one of the teams ready to make a move for David Alaba, but one report out of Italy insists that The Old Lady is not just in contention for Alaba, but should be considered the favorite:

Juventus have set their sights on Austria international David Alaba, claims Tuttosport, as his Bayern Munich contract expires in June 2021. The 28-year-old is a versatile figure who can work in the various different tactical roles required by new coach Andrea Pirlo.

He is primarily a center-back, but can also play at left-back or even as a defensive midfielder. Alaba will be a free agent at the end of the season and could even leave Bayern in January for a cut-price fee.

Tuttosport maintain Juve are the favorites and have put him top of their wish-list as both an affordable and experienced option. They are not alone, though, as Real Madrid, Manchester City and PSG are also interested in Alaba.

Liverpool represent the biggest threat, as they would be ready to swoop in January as a replacement for injured Virgil van Dijk. There is another problem, specifically his salary, as he turned down an extension at Bayern Munich and wants at least €10m per year. It comes at a time when Juve are actively trying to cut down their wage bill.

Ah, yes, that pesky wage bill. Will Juve already reportedly looking to get out of its deal with Cristiano Ronaldo (see below), could they really be looking to take on another high-priced veteran?

United’s long-term planning includes Haaland (Transfer Market Web)

Borussia Dortmund’s Erland Haaland is attracting interest from every major club, but Manchester United plans to make a strong bid on the player regardless of whether or not Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the manager:

Regardless of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position as Manchester United manager, Red Devils are planning a rich move at Norwegian international striker Erling Haaland (20). Borussia Dortmund are planning to let go of him, on a 3-digit transfer fee for sure, not before summer 2022.

Dybala and Juve still doing the contract dance (Transfer Market Web)

Juventus star Paulo Dybala is still unsure of what his future holds:

Quite uncomfortable under Andrea Pirlo’s management, Argentinian international forward Paulo Dybala (turning 27 on November 15) isn’t so far pushing a new meeting with Bianconeri officials, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, though one involving director Fabio Paratici is allegedly way overdue. While former Palermo owner, Maurizio Zamparini, who first brought La Joya into Italian football, suggested him to join Real Madrid, the player might end up breaking up from the club once and for all, even halfway through the season. Most A-listers around Europe, one by one, showed up on his tracks.

A tradition unlike any other (@brfootball)

Players complaining about their FIFA ratings is a time-honored tradition. This time, we have Liverpool’s Diogo Jota:

Ronaldo to United? (Transfer Market Web)

As Juventus looks to cut costs, Manchester United seems ready to help by potentially bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo:

According to Corriere dello Sport, Manchester United are working over bringing back 35-year old Portuguese star forward and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. To this end, Red Devils management are canvassing talks with Juventus prominent player’s agent, Jorge Mendes. CR7 used to play for United from 2003 to 2009, stepping into the limelight of worldwide football stardom first.

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