Chelsea want to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer (Daily Express)
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Chelsea want to sell beleaguered goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the summer. The Blues, who are set to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League this month, have hit the limit with the underperforming Spaniard.
Despite buying him for a world record €80m in the summer of 2018, Kepa has fallen far short of expectations in his second season at Stamford Bridge, and coach Frank Lampard even dropped the player for Chelsea’s clash with Leicester City last weekend.
Burnley keeper Nick Pope is mentioned as a potential replacement, but, for the time being, the Blues will have to deal with a sub-optimal situation in goal. This could bode well for Bayern when they visit London in a few weeks’ time.
Ousmane Dembélé suffers another hamstring injury
INJURY UPDATE | Tests carried out on Ousmane Dembélé today have confirmed that he has a complete proximal hamstring tear in his right thigh. In the next few hours a decision will be made on the treatment to be followed for his recovery. pic.twitter.com/fk7KgzaMC6— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 4, 2020
Dembélé, who just returned from injury a week ago, was initially diagnosed with muscle fatigue after he had to cut training short. However, it turned out that the injury was much more serious, and the Frenchman will need surgery to fix it.
With Luis Suarez already out for the season and Carles Perez having moved to AS Roma in the winter, the Catalans find themselves dangerously thin up top. Barcelona are now faced with the prospect of playing the entire second half of the season with just three forwards — Lionel Messi, Antione Griezmann, and 17-year-old Ansu Fati. They probably wish they had Philippe Coutinho right now, don’t they?
Wild day at the DFB Pokal! (Jake Fenner)
Eintracht Frankfurt knocks out RB Leipzig
Ahhh the beauty of counterattacking football. Eintracht turned on the speed in their match-up against last year’s runner-up, RB Leipzig. After a handball in the box from RB’s Marcel Halstenberg, Andre Silva opened the scoring 1-0 for Frankfurt. In the second half, a beautiful interception was met with an even more beautiful pass and Filip Kostic, making a run from his own half, met the ball and put it in the far corner to go up 2-0. A goal from Leipzig’s new signing Dani Olmo put the pressure on The Eagles, but Kostic struck gold again in stoppage time to send Frankfurt to the quarter finals.
Kaiserslautern capitulates to Fortuna Düsseldorf
Picture this game, if you will, as a boxing match. The chirpy up-and-comer, in this case Kaiserslautern, lands a couple major knockout blows against formidable opponents like Mainz and Nürnberg. Then they face an old goat in Fortuna Düsseldorf, maybe a bit past his prime, but infinitely more experienced and seasoned. The bell rings. Fortuna lands the first punch in the 9’ from Nana Ampomah. Kaiserslautern is stunned, then angry. He hits back immediately in the 10’ with a goal from Christian Kühlwetter. In the 39’ he connects again when Kühlwetter converts a penalty.
The half comes. Kaiserslautern’s corner has confidence, the managers tell the team they’ve got this. They just need to hold on for another half and they’re on to the quarterfinal. But then, Düsseldorf comes out swinging hammer blows. Quick, hard, and relentless: Rouwen Hennings in the 49’, Matthias Zimmerman in the 65’, Hennings again in the 78’, and finally, Kevin Stöger hit a deafening blow in the 83’.
Knockout. Düsseldorf move on. The old goat fights again.
Werder Bremen (!?) knocks Borussia Dortmund out of the DFB Pokal
The biggest late match of the day saw a matchup between a powerhouse club in Dortmund and a underperforming side in Werder Bremen. You’d be forgiven if you were shocked to find Bremen up 2-0 at the half thanks to wonderful strikes from Davie Selke and Leandro Bittencourt. Dortmund fought back after bringing on Erling Haaland in the second half and the Norwegian contributed early. However, a shot from Milot Rashica put Bremen up 3-1. An inaugural goal from 17-year old Giovanni Reyna meant to spark a comeback, but it was not enough for the Black and Yellow.
A PERFECT STRIKE!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 4, 2020
Gio Reyna, son of former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna, scores his first goal for Dortmund! pic.twitter.com/sPSaPIqdH9
Alvaro Odriozola wishes Ivan Perisic a speedy recovery
Fact: Ronaldo causes mental anguish
When you just want to watch Ronaldo play. pic.twitter.com/KPeiyC1OGr— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 4, 2020
Manchester United linked to 113 players this winter window (The Athletic)
The Athletic actually counted all the players that were linked to Manchester United since November 1 until the closing of the transfer window. The two from Bayern? Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller, of course. Here is The Athletic’s wonderful summary:
From Agustin Almendra to Denis Zakaria, the whole alphabet was exhausted, with enough potential recruits to start a whole new league of United B teams. The players covered five continents, 39 countries and 62 clubs. By position they read two goalkeepers, 21 defenders, 45 midfielders and 45 forwards.
And who did they ultimately sign? The Athletic writes, “a Nigerian playing in China who had enjoyed previous spells in Norway, Italy, England and Spain, and would be flying in from a country battling the coronavirus.”
Like they say in soccer: never rule anything out.
The latest episode of Der Ausblick ahead of today’s Pokal match
Be sure to give our latest episode a listen here: