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Man Utd set to complete transfer of 16-year-old defender Willy Kambwala for £3.6m from Ligue 2 side Sochaux

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man utd set to complete transfer of 16 year old defender willy kambwala for 3 6m from ligue 2 side

MANCHESTER UNITED are ready to make defender Willy Kambwala their latest acquisition in this summer’s youth recruitment drive.

French outlet RMC Sport claim the Red Devils have agreed a £3.6million fee with Ligue 2 side Sochaux for the talented 16-year-old.

Manchester United are closing in on defender Willy Kambwala

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Manchester United are closing in on defender Willy Kambwala

United yesterday confirmed the signing of teen goal-machine Charlie McNeill from rivals Man City, along with fellow kid striker Alejandro Garnacho from Atletico Madrid.

That was on top of Marc Jurado from Barcelona and Alvaro Fernandez from Real Madrid, as well as Isak Hansen-Aaroen from Norwegian side Tromso.

Now they are set to be joined by Kambwala, who will to travel to Manchester on Sunday ahead of signing a four-year deal at Old Trafford.

United had been tracking Kambwala for months and even had £1m bid for the centre-back – who can also play in midfield – rejected in July.

Sochaux had been desperate to hold onto their prized asset and were said to have offered him a professional contract in order to convince him to stay.

But now they have accepted United’s improved offer, and Sochaux will retain a sell-on clause.



Premier League champions Liverpool were also believed to be interested in the prodigy.

Yet neither the Reds nor rivals United could officially land Kambwala until the end of August at the earliest when he turned 16.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now been handed a boost with the talented teen seemingly set to join United’s famed academy.

The Norwegian had been intent on snapping up an experienced central defender to partner captain Harry Maguire.

SPORTS GRAPHIC EXPENSIVE SIGNINGS MANUTD v2

Yet with just two days until Monday’s deadline, Kambwala appears to be the only arrival in that area.

United’s only senior signing of the transfer window after the £39m capture of Ajax star Donny van de Beek.

But the Red Devils are hoping Kambwala is soon followed in the door at Old Trafford by Jadon Sancho, Alex Telles or Ousmane Dembele.

Man Utd open Ousmane Dembele transfer talks with Barcelona as they eye season-long loan amid Jadon Sancho struggles

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Livid Jose Mourinho takes a swipe at his Tottenham squad on INSTAGRAM

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livid jose mourinho takes a swipe at his tottenham squad on instagram

An ‘upset’ Jose Mourinho took to Instagram to share his disappointment with his Tottenham side following their 1-0 loss to Royal Antwerp in the Europa League.

Mourinho criticised his team for their ‘bad performance’ after a mistake by Ben Davies allowed Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris. 

The Tottenham manager has called on his players to take responsibility for their performance and has revealed that the squad will be attending an 11am training session on Friday as ‘bad performances deserve bad results’.  

An 'upset' Jose Mourinho took to Instagram to share his disappointment with his Spurs team

An 'upset' Jose Mourinho took to Instagram to share his disappointment with his Spurs team

An ‘upset’ Jose Mourinho took to Instagram to share his disappointment with his Spurs team

Mourinho took to Instagram to share a picture of himself on the team bus after their match in Belgium on Thursday. 

The caption read: ‘Bad performances deserve bad results. Hope everyone in this bus is as upset as I am. Tomorrow 11 AM training.’ 

BT pundit Martin Keown fired back at Mourinho for taking to social media to shame his players. 

Keown said: ‘(Keep it) in the dressing room surely. I don’t think my respect grows for the manager. Some of them going off will have been wounded, maybe my career is over, and I don’t think the players that came on were much better.

‘If you want to talk to me, talk to my face, no?

‘These are messages and I think keep it in house. It’s churlish, a bit childish at times. Players have to keep their mouths shut and he is on Instagram.

‘I don’t think that’s healthy. When I see that sort of thing I don’t think that (togetherness) exists.

‘He gets tough with the players, you need to keep them on board those squad players. It should be equal for every single player. There should be a pathway for every player. It’s a message to them, it hurts.  

He criticised them for their 'bad performance' in their 1-0 loss to Antwerp in the Europa League

He criticised them for their 'bad performance' in their 1-0 loss to Antwerp in the Europa League

He criticised them for their ‘bad performance’ in their 1-0 loss to Antwerp in the Europa League

BT pundit Martin Keown fired back at Mourinho for taking to social media to shame his players

BT pundit Martin Keown fired back at Mourinho for taking to social media to shame his players

BT pundit Martin Keown fired back at Mourinho for taking to social media to shame his players

It was evident that Mourinho had lost patience with some of his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes.

Dele Alli was the most notable player to be taken off as he failed to make it out for the second half for the second time in three starts this season, with Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn and Carlos Vinicius also benched. 

Although Mourinho, who took ultimate responsibility for making nine changes, did not name check the 24-year-old, it is difficult to believe he was not talking about Alli.

‘Look, you know what’s our best team,’ he said. ‘You know the same thing that I know, that everybody knows. But I always like to think the players deserve an opportunity.

‘We have a big squad with lots of good players. It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities to play and catch the chance with both hands and be in conditions to ask for more.

‘And tonight my future choices are going to be very easy. But again, there’s only one responsible. Not the players. It’s my responsibility because it’s my decision to play.

‘I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that, especially with you (the media).

‘I think it is fair to say that players with bad performances they influence the team, but also the team influences individual performances.

It was a mistake by Ben Davies that allowed Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris

It was a mistake by Ben Davies that allowed Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris

It was a mistake by Ben Davies that allowed Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris

Mourinho lost patience with his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes

Mourinho lost patience with his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes

Mourinho lost patience with his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes

‘So it is not for me to individualise and to bring some names to the table. You prefer to do that, before matches you always ask me why this player is not playing, why this player is not playing, why this player is not selected. Maybe now for a few weeks you don’t ask me that because you have the answer.

‘I would like to make 11 changes (at half-time). I didn’t make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any changes to make.

‘There is only one to blame, which is me. I made the team, I chose the players to start and at half-time I tried to improve the situation, but it was not enough.

‘The dynamic of the first half was there and the mentality of the first half was there.’

Dele Alli was the most notable one to be taken off as he failed to make it out for the second half

Dele Alli was the most notable one to be taken off as he failed to make it out for the second half

Dele Alli was the most notable one to be taken off as he failed to make it out for the second half

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Lille 2 Celtic 2: Elyounoussi inspires Hoops to hard-fought point as Lille battle back from two goals down

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lille 2 celtic 2 elyounoussi inspires hoops to hard fought point as lille battle back from two goals down

MOHAMED ELYOUNOUSSI netted a brilliant double as Lille battled back from two goals down against Celtic.

The odds were firmly stacked against the Scottish champions getting any kind of result against big-spending opponents Lille following a dire week.

Celtic blew a two-goal lead away to Lille

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Celtic blew a two-goal lead away to LilleCredit: Reuters
Mo Elyounoussi thought he would be the hero for Celtic

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Mo Elyounoussi thought he would be the hero for CelticCredit: Reuters

The Hoops could have walked away from the Stade Pierre Mauroy with all three points after storming into a sensational 2-0 first-half lead.

But the hosts managed to turn the game on its head with a magnificent second-half comeback in France.

Celtic can be proud of their performance against a team joint top of Ligue 1 with PSG but will be disappointed not to have held on to a famous victory.

Under-fire boss Neil Lennon made just one change to his team from the weekend’s goal fest at Pittodrie – with skipper Scott Brown replacing Tom Rogic in the engine room.

Scott Bain kept his place between the sticks and the Scotland squad man repaid Lennon’s faith in him with a brilliant penalty save to deny £27million striker Jonathan David his first goal for Lille.

Lille rested Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches as the French side made five changes from Sunday’s stalemate with Nice.

Celtic – who looked far more organised with four at the back – started positively with some early possession.

Ryan Christie flashed a free-kick from a dangerous area well wide inside five minutes.

LB AD SPORT GRAPHIC Most Valuable Players ARTICLE

The hosts then started to find their feet in the game as Bain pulled off a fine one-handed save to prevent Boubakary Soumare breaking the deadlock.

Swiss hitman Albian Ajeti had the ball in the net for Celtic just before the 20 minute mark but he strayed offside from Elyounoussi’s pass.

Ajeti vented his frustrations minutes later as he blazed a guilt-edged opportunity over the bar from just seven yards out after yet more clever play from Elyounoussi.

Elyounoussi was at the heart of every attack for the visitors – and soon opened the scoring with a moment of brilliance.

The Norway international glided inside from the left before curling an exquisite effort beyond rooted keeper Mike Maignan.

It was no more than Celtic deserved – and five minutes later the on-loan Southampton star found the net again.

Jeremie Frimpong drilled a low cross into the box and Elyounoussi kept his composure to finish first-time into the far corner.

As half-time neared, Lille were handed a controversial penalty after a clumsy tackle from Duffy on David, which appeared to be outside the box.

Scott Bain was the penalty hero for the Hoops

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Scott Bain was the penalty hero for the HoopsCredit: AP:Associated Press
Celtic were 2-0 up at half-time and looking on course for the win

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Celtic were 2-0 up at half-time and looking on course for the winCredit: AFP
Albian Ajeti missed a series of chances for the Scottish champions

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Albian Ajeti missed a series of chances for the Scottish championsCredit: AFP or licensors

Canadian hitman David stepped up hoping to break his goal duck, but his strike down the middle was blocked by the feet of Bain.

It was a huge relief for Irish stopper Duffy, who has looked out of sorts in a green and white jersey.

Bain could have went from hero to zero moments later though after spilling a Lille free-kick.

The ball fell to Sven Botman but the Dutch defender crashed his shot off the crossbar in a huge slice of luck for Bain.

Celtic would have been relieved to have heard the half-time whistle as they went into the break with a two goal advantage.

However, they suffered a setback early in the second-half after Kris Ajer was forced off injured.

Kris Ajer was forced off injured early in the second-half

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Kris Ajer was forced off injured early in the second-halfCredit: Reuters
Lille fought back from two goals down to claim a point

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Lille fought back from two goals down to claim a pointCredit: AP:Associated Press

The centre-back looked in real discomfort as he clutched his groin and was replaced by versatile Israeli Nir Bitton on 53 minutes.

Celtic had to cope with an onslaught as Lille piled on the pressure.

Lennon’s side were pinned inside their own half for large spells as they struggled to get a grip of the game.

Lille threw on star duo Yilmaz and Sanches as they chased a crucial goal, with penalty sinner David making way.

Odsonne Edouard replaced Ajeti as the French hitman made his comeback from Covid-19.

Lille celebrate after clawing back from two behind

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Lille celebrate after clawing back from two behindCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

But Celts soon caved in to Lille’s relentless pressure through Zeki Celik.

Christie lost the Turkish right-back at the back post as he stabbed the ball home from a corner on the 67th minute to reduce the deficit.

Celtic were hanging on by a thread and looked vulnerable following the loss of Ajer.

An equaliser was always coming – and it arrived through Jonathan Ikone.

The French forward scrambled the ball home following a stramash in the box as his strike deflected off Duffy and past Bain to get back on level terms.

It was backs against the wall for Celtic and a defeat would have been so cruel given their gallant efforts.

There were a couple of nervy moments as the clock ticked down.

But Lennon’s energy-sapped team eventually managed to see the game through to earn a valuable point against unbeaten Lille.

GL GRAPHIC top 10 manager wages v2
Former Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew takes a starring role in Olivia Meets Her Match

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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MARTIN SAMUEL: Marcus Rashford is not motivated by gongs but generosity

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martin samuel marcus rashford is not motivated by gongs but generosity

Anyone who plays centre forward for Manchester United is going to get more than his 15 minutes of fame. Even by the extraordinary standards of Old Trafford heroes, though, Marcus Rashford is at something of a celebrity peak.

To have such a complete hold of the front and back pages, a footballer usually has to embrace controversy. Something extra-marital, perhaps, or an event to which the local constabulary might be invited.

Rashford has broken the mould because he has achieved notoriety for being, well, good. Good at football, obviously, but also just good. A kind and decent human being. Charitable, and generous of nature. This is why the argument over his awards, particularly that of Sports Personality of the Year, are particularly ludicrous. Seriously — it doesn’t matter.

Marcus Rashford is breaking the mould for footballers as he continues to fight child poverty

Marcus Rashford is breaking the mould for footballers as he continues to fight child poverty

Marcus Rashford is breaking the mould for footballers as he continues to fight child poverty

Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays

Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays

Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays

For the one thing that Rashford’s actions to here tell us is that none of this is inspired or motivated by the greater glory of the man. We can keep chucking our baubles at Rashford but, from the start, his only real interest was the team.

This is what sets him apart. He uses his position, and why not, but there is an absence of self in his behaviour. He is not trying to score points, he is not trying to make his opponents look bad – although they are very capable of that themselves – and he is at all times polite, even when making demands of the Government. 

Having caricatured football and footballers as greedy and insensitive, how embarrassing to then be confronted by this wise, young opponent.

Rashford was given his first prize on May 25, by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, also known as Eamonn O’Neill, chief executive of St Ann’s Hospice in Cheadle and a man who knows how demanding it can be to make a difference. He recognised Rashford with a certificate, and Rashford immediately forwarded that praise to everyone who had donated to his charity.

‘This is not just for me, it belongs to you all,’ he said. And if that sounds like an award night cliche, remember Rashford will have had the value of teamwork drummed into him since he entered United’s academy.

On a hat-trick this week, he stood by as Anthony Martial took United’s penalty, because that was his manager’s instruction before the game. Given an individual award, his instinct is to share it, because this isn’t about one man.

We cannot say the same of every charitable act. Take those of Donald J Trump. He is fond of taking personal credit for donations made with money that comes from his foundation. Since 2015, he has talked of giving more than $100million to various good causes, but rarely reaches into his own pocket.

Public support for the England international had seen him become a leader among society

Public support for the England international had seen him become a leader among society

Public support for the England international had seen him become a leader among society

So if it was Trump trying to end child food poverty in Britain this winter, he sure as hell would expect some kind of recognition for it, and probably at Buckingham Palace. For Rashford, it is different. His engagement began on March 19, with a simple statement.

‘Guys, across the UK there are over 32,000 schools. Tomorrow all of these will close. Many of the children attending rely on free meals, so I’ve spent the last few days talking to organisations to understand how this deficit is going to be filled. I wanted to understand the scale of the problem and how we can reach vulnerable children.

‘It’s not just schools. It’s community centres, breakfast clubs, etc that provide the only meal many kids get each day. No child should have to worry where their next meal is coming from.’

It was at this point he mentioned his partnership with the FareShare charity. So it is a myth that all Rashford did was express support for the Government’s National Food Strategy report, and then hijack it. He is not a virtue-signaller or bandwagon-jumper or any other insult that can be casually tossed his way. The NFS report was not published until July and while Rashford supported many of its recommendations at the time, his own strategy was well under way by then.

FareShare was delivering two million meals each week by April 30, the day Rashford announced he was doubling his contribution. On May 25, he announced FareShare was helping feed 2.8m children each week, and his open letter to Parliament was published on June 15. Maybe Henry Dimbleby, author of the NFS report, was inspired by Rashford, rather than the other way around. He should be.

Rashford's campaign is vital and must not be lost amid insults that he has done it for accolades

Rashford's campaign is vital and must not be lost amid insults that he has done it for accolades

Rashford’s campaign is vital and must not be lost amid insults that he has done it for accolades

Rashford has carried himself magnificently through this, so that every barb from a critic rebounds. Most impressively, he has refused to play party politics, and has even told his more fanatical followers to desist with abuse directed at his opponents. If only this country produced politicians capable of engaging at such an elevated level. Witness the fall-outs around anti-Semitism in the Labour party to see how poisonous the debating forum has become.

On Wednesday night, Rashford scored a hat-trick in 16 minutes for United in the Champions League and celebrated that because, hell, he is 22 and that is his job — but he left his 3.7m Twitter followers with the story of Flo, an 89-year-old great grandmother from Harwich, living in sheltered accommodation, who is rising at 4.30am to bake pies in a tiny kitchen for hungry children as part of his campaign.

His timeline contained two photographs of him with the match ball on the occasion of his first United hat-trick, and hundreds of various restaurants, people and football clubs lending weight to his campaign. So does anyone still think he is in this for personal kicks?

BBC publicists would love their prize to become the issue, but Rashford has something better than personality. He has gravitas. They do not give awards for that, but it matters more.

£40m is a LOT for a squad player

Donny van de Beek started and impressed for Manchester United in Europe this week. Maybe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks those games will suit him more, until he finds his feet in the faster-paced Premier League.

If so, questions will continue about the worth of the transfer. 

‘I didn’t start many games at Manchester United,’ Solskjaer countered. ‘But I’d be disappointed if my team-mates said I wasn’t important.’ True — but Solskjaer only cost £1.5million, Van de Beek £40m.

Even accounting for inflation that’s big for a squad player.

Arriving from Ajax for £40million, more was expected of midfielder Donny van de Beek

Arriving from Ajax for £40million, more was expected of midfielder Donny van de Beek

Arriving from Ajax for £40million, more was expected of midfielder Donny van de Beek

Klopp gambled on defence and fate played its hand…

The misfortune that has befallen Liverpool this season will not surprise anyone who has coached at international level. 

Given the limitations of tournament squads, there is always a tendency to lean towards utility players, rather than picking a shadow XI for each role.

The logic runs that a risk can be taken in certain positions, because cover is available. Pick an extra forward and go without the second left back, because that position can be filled by a spare centre half, or a winger, in an emergency.

The upshot being that this is inevitably the position where all injuries and suspensions occur. You lose the left back, both wingers and the spare centre half and end up with half a team on a scrap of paper, staring at the ceiling.

Jurgen Klopp gambled on a trio of centre halves plus a midfielder in an emergency at the heart of his defence this season — so naturally he’s now lost three of them. Fine for forwards, though.

Fabinho's injury in the Champions League leaves Jurgen Klopp's side exposed at centre back

Fabinho's injury in the Champions League leaves Jurgen Klopp's side exposed at centre back

Fabinho’s injury in the Champions League leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side exposed at centre back

Alarm bells ring over Burnley sale 

Burnley are being sold to Egyptian businessman Mohamed El Kashashy who is in partnership with Chris Farnell, a sports lawyer. 

Farnell recently failed the EFL fit and proper person test over his involvement at Charlton, before having that ban lifted. What could possibly go wrong?

Equally interesting is the sale figure: £200million. Mike Ashley was pilloried for pricing Newcastle at £400m. That sounds more reasonable now — unless there are Newcastle supporters who think their club doesn’t possess twice the potential of Burnley.

For all football’s joy, clubs can’t help breaking youngsters’ hearts

As England manager, Terry Venables had to cut five players from his European Championship squad. It was the first major tournament at home since 1966. He said it wasn’t even his hardest job in football.

‘At clubs, I’ve had to tell kids they weren’t getting a contract,’ Venables said. ‘Look them in the eye at 16 and tell them their dream is over. And not because they’ve done anything wrong. Most of them have tried every day, tried as hard as they could.

‘They’re just short of what it takes. And you have to sit there and tell them, knowing in that moment you are taking away all they’ve ever wanted.’

Raheem Sterling said he used to get three buses after school in winter to make training at Queens Park Rangers. There are thousands of stories like that.

A young man called Jeremy Wisten had a conversation of the kind Venables described at Manchester City’s academy in 2018. He was told he could remain until the end of that season, but would not be offered further scholarship terms. 

Manchester United star Mason Greenwood paid tribute to the late Jeremy Wisten after netting his first Champions League goal on Wednesday night in the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig

Manchester United star Mason Greenwood paid tribute to the late Jeremy Wisten after netting his first Champions League goal on Wednesday night in the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig

Manchester United star Mason Greenwood paid tribute to the late Jeremy Wisten after netting his first Champions League goal on Wednesday night in the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig

We cannot know how that made him feel because Wisten is no longer here. His death was announced this week, at the age of 18, its cause left to a coroner to determine. He was found unresponsive, but there were enough messages on social media to paint a grim picture. 

Friends who wished they had been there for him. Others who detailed depression and mental struggles. Some were more explicit. Mason Greenwood, a contemporary with Manchester United, dedicated his goal against RB Leipzig to Wisten.

Would any of it have made a difference? Who knows? 

It seems Wisten was popular. He was liked, he was loved. His parents say they were unaware of mental health problems. Yet, what Wisten might have imagined was his destiny after being spotted at the age of 12 was taken from him. 

City invested in him, as they do all academy prospects, and enrolled him at St Bede’s College, a private school in Whalley Range, where many of their brightest youngsters are placed. Phil Foden went there. 

Nothing about Wisten’s young teenage years, then, would have prepared him for the shock of rejection at 16. Not least the timing of it, coinciding with a run of injuries that meant he did not stand out at trials the club arranged for him elsewhere.

Within a year of leaving City, Wisten was not involved with football at any level.

Even so, we cannot presume. He was certainly not without potential in life. Wisten stayed on at St Bede’s in his final year and got good qualifications. There are many possible reasons for teenage anxiety, particularly in these times of lockdown and isolation. 

Former Manchester City defensive prospect Wisten tragically died at the age of 17 this week

Former Manchester City defensive prospect Wisten tragically died at the age of 17 this week

Former Manchester City defensive prospect Wisten tragically died at the age of 17 this week

The connection between Wisten’s recent setback and his ultimate tragedy might be overplayed. 

Certainly, his parents spoke positively of his experience at Manchester City, while hoping for greater awareness of the need for pastoral care; maybe even for parents. Perhaps they think signs were missed.

Yet for how long is a football club responsible for broken dreams? The coroner delivering the verdict on the suicide of 26-year-old Josh Lyons in 2013 blamed his rejection by Tottenham 10 years earlier. 

In an industry in which less than one per cent emerge from an academy structure that begins at age nine, how far does the duty of care go? Should Tottenham still have been checking on Lyons a decade after their parting?

Manchester City, like all major clubs, now have a team dedicated to player welfare. 

Yet that department will look after the entire group, including new foreign arrivals and high maintenance first-team talent. 

Released players are given career advice, within the game and outside it, and check calls are made across 12 months in the aftermath — with one per month for the first six months. But is it the same at all clubs? And where do the discarded find room in the welfare schedule if the new £100million signing needs a plumber and nobody in the house speaks English?

City and England striker Raheem Sterling reacted after the club made the sad announcement

City and England striker Raheem Sterling reacted after the club made the sad announcement

City and England striker Raheem Sterling reacted after the club made the sad announcement

A lot of 16-year-olds are given bad news every year; if Emiliano Sala can be sent up in a sub-standard plane at Cardiff and expensive talents such as Angel Di Maria, Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado can lose their way at Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham, how easy would it be for one of a number at the academy to slip the net?

There was nothing, apparently, in Wisten’s mental health assessments, or in the calls made after his release, that gave warning of the tragedy to follow. 

Those inside City’s programme are devastated by the news. All the protocols, all their safeguards, could not help and inevitably it feels like the most awful failure. 

Perhaps even more dauntingly, it serves as a terrible reminder that amid the joy, every football club is also in the business of breaking a great many young hearts.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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