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Mesut Ozil, Sergio Romero and Phil Jones – but who else makes the Premier League ‘Bomb Squad’ XI?

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mesut ozil sergio romero and phil jones but who else makes the premier league bomb squad

This week the Premier League teams finalised their 25-man squads for the season, and it was Mesut Ozil who dominated the headlines as he was sensationally left out of Arsenal‘s list.

The £350,000-a-week World Cup winner has likely played his last game for the club as he faces kicking his heels between now and January.

But the former Germany international isn’t the only big name who will be scratching around Premier League training grounds for the next few months. Sportsmail take you through the ‘Bomb Squad’ XI… 

Formation: 3-1-4-1-1

Sergio Romero (Manchester United)

Argentina’s No 1 has long been considered the best back-up goalkeeper in the Premier League. Now Sergio Romero has been relegated to fourth choice at Manchester United. 

The return of Dean Henderson from his two years on loan at Sheffield United had already bumped Romero down the pecking order. Even 37-year-old Lee Grant is ahead of him now, by virtue of his qualification for the home grown quota.

Romero can be considered unlucky, having barely put a foot wrong during his 61 Old Trafford appearances since he joined from Sampdoria in 2015, and in the past few years has appeared a safer pair of hands than David de Gea.

At 33 there is still life left in him yet. He has entered the last year of his contract and has wanted to leave since he was dropped for the Europa League semi-final defeat by Sevilla on August 16. Everton were reportedly interested towards the end of the transfer window.

Sergio Romero finds himself as fourth choice goalkeeper now at Manchester United

Sergio Romero finds himself as fourth choice goalkeeper now at Manchester United

Phil Jones (Manchester United)

The second high-profile name excluded from Manchester United’s Premier League squad list was Phil Jones.

It has been a long and slow fall from grace for Jones. Earmarked as a future club legend by Sir Alex Ferguson he has instead become the butt of jokes and now an outcast at Old Trafford.

His last appearance came in January, in an FA Cup fourth-round victory at Tranmere. It has been nine years since the brightest talent of his generation swapped Blackburn for Manchester United, and though his longevity is to be applauded no one quite saw it fizzling out this way.

Solskjaer said he has been injured since June and the 28-year-old still has a contract until 2023, but he even Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah made United’s homegrown list ahead of Jones.

Phil Jones has also been excluded from Manchester United's Premier League squad list

Phil Jones has also been excluded from Manchester United’s Premier League squad list

Sokratis (Arsenal)

Two years after he arrived as one of Unai Emery’s first Arsenal signings, Sokratis has found himself exiled by the new man Mikel Arteta.

The Greek centre back has featured only twice since the coronavirus lockdown first hit in March, and he has now found himself excluded from both the Premier League and Europa League squads.

Arteta is moving Arsenal forward in a new direction and the Gunners are well-stocked in central defence now. Even when he favours a back three, there is no way past Gabriel, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi or Pablo Mari.

Sokratis has lost out at Arsenal due to fierce competition for places in central defence

Sokratis has lost out at Arsenal due to fierce competition for places in central defence

Danny Rose (Tottenham)

Rose has fallen spectacularly out of view at Tottenham since the arrival of Jose Mourinho 11 months ago.

He spent the second-half of last season on loan at Newcastle and was determined to find a new club this summer having been stripped of the No 3 shirt. With just a year left on his contract there appears no way back for him at Spurs.

His fallout with Mourinho was one of the highlights of the recent All or Nothing Amazon documentary. 

Amazon’s crew filmed a heated row Rose and Mourinho after he was dropped from the team, with the defender storming out of his office as he complained about a lack of playing time.

Danny Rose's fallout with Jose Mourinho continued after he missed out on the 25-man squad

Danny Rose’s fallout with Jose Mourinho continued after he missed out on the 25-man squad

Mo Besic (Everton)

Incredibly, Mo Besic is still an Everton player six years after he joined from Ferencvaros. Back then, Roberto Martinez had just guided the Toffees to an impressive fifth-placed finish.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international is onto his fifth manager now at Goodison Park in Carlo Ancelotti and made the last of his 56 appearances back in December 2017. 

Last year he made 13 appearances for Sheffield United but did not get a permanent move. Having signed a five-year deal at Everton back in 2016, the 28-year-old now has less than a year left on his deal before he is free to find a new club. Rangers had been linked, but were unable to complete a deal.

Mo Besic has not played for Everton in nearly three years but remains at Goodison Park

Mo Besic has not played for Everton in nearly three years but remains at Goodison Park

Yannick Bolasie (Everton)

Besic isn’t alone in being on the Everton scrapheap. Ronald Koeman parted with £25m to bring in Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace in 2016.

The DR Congo winger has made only 32 appearances in the four seasons since, and has had loan spells at Aston Villa, Anderlecht and Sporting Lisbon in the last three.

He was on the brink of joining Middlesbrough on loan on deadline day this month but a deal could not be reached, with Neil Warnock blaming the 31-year-old, who had claimed he was ‘willing to give up a lot’ to make the switch.

‘He was disappointed, but he was partly to blame as well. There were things I should have known before four o’clock on Friday afternoon about his problems at Everton’, said Warnock.

‘They were problems that we couldn’t overcome. Well, we tried to, and eventually we did, but it was too late.’

Yannick Bolasie nearly ended his Everton nightmare but a move to Middlesbrough fell through

Yannick Bolasie nearly ended his Everton nightmare but a move to Middlesbrough fell through

Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa)

Villa were back in the Championship and pushing for promotion when they signed Lansbury from Nottingham Forest in 2017.

He made 30 appearances in his first two years but has fallen down the pecking order under Dean Smith.

The midfielder managed 10 Premier League appearances last season, but it was not enough to assure him of making the 25-man squad list this time around. Despite three appearances in the Carabao Cup already under his belt, he faces an uncertain future.

Henri Lansbury didn't do enough in three Carabao Cup appearances to merit a squad place

Henri Lansbury didn’t do enough in three Carabao Cup appearances to merit a squad place

Jean Michael Seri (Fulham)

It appeared that Fulham had pulled off a transfer coup when they snapped up Jean Michael Seri from Nice for £18m on their last promotion to the Premier League in 2018. 

A host of top European clubs had been interested in the Ivory Coast international, so it was certainly a surprise to see him at Craven Cottage. But the move proved a disaster.

Fulham went through three different managers as they sank straight back down to the Championship. Seri spent last season on loan in Turkey and remains at the club having failed to find a new side.

Jean Michael Seri has fallen from view after his £18million move to Fulham from Nice in 2018

Jean Michael Seri has fallen from view after his £18million move to Fulham from Nice in 2018

Christian Atsu (Newcastle)

Christian Atsu has seemingly been around forever and yet he is only 28. The Ghana winger was on loan at Everton and Bournemouth before he made a permanent move to Newcastle in 2017.

Atsu has consistently been involved under both Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce, but now finds himself out of favour at St James’ Park. 

He has a year remaining on his four-year deal, but is now behind Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser and Miguel Almiron in the pecking order.

Christian Atsu has found himself out of favour under manager Steve Bruce at Newcastle

Christian Atsu has found himself out of favour under manager Steve Bruce at Newcastle

Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

What more is there to be said about Mesut Ozil? Unused by Mikel Arteta since March, the German is facing an acrimonious and bitter last year at Arsenal on the sidelines.

He has been frozen out, and reacted to his recent omission by releasing a statement that slammed the club for a lack of loyalty.

Though he believes his exclusion may be down to commercial interests, adding that he will continue to use his global profile to fight against inhumanity in his statement, Mikel Arteta insists it is otherwise.

‘Everybody is free to express his feeling,’ Arteta said.

‘That’s just a football decision that my conscious is really calm. I’ve been really fair with him, my level of communication with him has been really high.’

Mesut Ozil is on £350,000-a-week at Arsenal but won't get a game between now and January

Mesut Ozil is on £350,000-a-week at Arsenal but won’t get a game between now and January

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) 

Wickham signed a one-year extension to his Crystal Palace deal in May 2019, keeping him at Selhurst Park until 2021, and he may now wish he hadn’t bothered. 

Injury has curtailed his impact in south London, restricting him to just 50 appearances for the club in five years. There was hope of a brighter future for him with a six-month loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday last season, and though he was able to stay through the restart in the summer he has now returned back to Palace.

He finds himself behind Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke in the forward options, and even loan signing Michy Batshuayi.

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has struggled with injury issues in recent seasons

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has struggled with injury issues in recent seasons

HOW THEY LINE UP 

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Mino Raiola clashes with Simon Jordan on talkSPORT over FIFA 21 image rights row

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mino raiola clashes with simon jordan on talksport over fifa 21 image rights row

Simon Jordan clashed with Mino Raiola over the Fifa 21 image rights row surrounding the super-agent’s client Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The AC Milan striker is considering legal action after he called out FIFPro and the FIFA video game series on Twitter on Monday night as he ordered an investigation into who permitted the game to use his name and face.

Gareth Bale tweeted his support of Ibrahimovic while Raiola claimed in the Telegraph that there are 300 players ready to join the Swedish striker in his fight with EA Sports.

Mino Raiola claims 300 players are ready to join Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his fight with EA Sports

Mino Raiola claims 300 players are ready to join Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his fight with EA Sports

Mino Raiola claims 300 players are ready to join Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his fight with EA Sports

Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan said Raiola is interested in claiming commission

Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan said Raiola is interested in claiming commission

Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan said Raiola is interested in claiming commission

Raiola appeared on talkSport to speak his case on the matter and ended up clashing with former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan.

Raiola was asked by Jordan why he hadn’t done anything before to which the super agent said ‘everything has its right times’.

Jordan responded: ‘No, hold on this is either about stopping Zlatan’s image or it is about money.’

Raiola fired back: ‘It’s all about money it is all about money because it’s not EA Sports, it’s not a charity foundation. I know that for you nothing is about money because you do everything for charity because you’re the nicest guy in the world.

‘This is about money, this is about rights this is about who can exploit who’s rights and it’s a principle, and why we don’t do things before or after is a call that we will make which we don’t need to explain now.’

Jordan commented that if Raiola goes to court ‘on principle’ he would lose to which Raiola sarcastically commented: ‘You’re the best guy in England, not in England, in the world.’ 

The former Crystal Palace owner asked Raiola not to be facetious before commenting: ‘What this is about is someone like you popping up saying we’re missing an opportunity here. And ultimately, I can monetize that and of course I’ll be paid a commission on that.’

Raiola responded: ‘You know what the nice thing is, I don’t give a damn about what your opinion is okay? That’s the thing here. What you think of me is totally meaningless.’

Jordan said that he had no opinion of Raiola and that the super-agent was as ‘troublesome to him as a cloudy day’.

Ibrahimovic claimed 'somebody is making profit on my name and face'

Ibrahimovic claimed 'somebody is making profit on my name and face'

He took issue at his likeness being used on FIFA 21

He took issue at his likeness being used on FIFA 21

Ibrahimovic has led a backlash against the use of his image on the latest FIFA game by EA

Ibrahmiovic’s agent gave one final response before hanging up on Jordan and presenter Jim White.

He said:’You’re not asking me a question you’re inferring that I do these things for a reason. I do these things because very simple, the rights of my players they can’t be touched. Point. 

‘And I think that this talk is now over Jim because you need to give Simon his own program. Invite me as Jim and not as Simon, have a nice day and have fun with Simon there you should have a one-man show bye.’

It’s not the first time the pair have come to heads on TalkSport with Jordan accusing Raiola of ‘creating a culture of division’ between Manchester United and Raiola’s agent Paul Pogba earlier this year. 

Tottenham star Gareth Bale tweeted his support of AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic's row

Tottenham star Gareth Bale tweeted his support of AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic's row

Tottenham star Gareth Bale tweeted his support of AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic’s row

Ibrahimovic threatened a major row with the award-winning and hugely popular FIFA series when he tweeted this week: ‘Who gave FIFA EA Sport permission to use my name and face? @FIFPro? I’m not aware to be a member of FIFPro and if I am I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird manoeuvre. And for sure I never allowed or FIFPro to make money using me.

‘Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years. Time to investigate.’ 

Tottenham star Bale also joined in the questioning, and responded saying: ‘@Ibra_official Interesting… what is FIFPro?#TimeToInvestigate.’

But the developers, EA Sports, insist that the 39-year-old striker’s issue lies with the union which represents around 65,000 players across the world, FIFPro, instead. 

‘The licensing arguments being played out in social media for effect are not an issue for EA or EA Sports. This is between FIFPro, the players within their association, and their representatives,’ the developers told Forbes.

36039160 0 image a 51 1606391089130

36039160 0 image a 51 1606391089130

36039172 0 image a 52 1606391094752

36039172 0 image a 52 1606391094752

 

36088524 8990001 image a 1 1606409138103

36088524 8990001 image a 1 1606409138103

‘FIFPro has told us this is their issue, and they’re handling it ⁠— we expect a statement to that effect imminently.

‘This isn’t our fight. This isn’t about EA Sports or video games, players or fans. It’s a battle between football agents and FIFPro.’ 

EA claimed that they worked closely with Raiola to help market FIFA 21 by using one of his clients, Erling Haaland. They also say that have ‘enjoyed a great working relationship’ with Ibrahimovic. 

In the summer AC Milan revealed a collaboration with EA Sports meaning gamers can play as the Serie A giants at the San Siro stadium.  

EA Sports have defended their use of player likenesses in the midst of the ongoing row

EA Sports have defended their use of player likenesses in the midst of the ongoing row

EA Sports have defended their use of player likenesses in the midst of the ongoing row

‘We are delighted to welcome EA Sports to the AC Milan family as a Premium Partner. This partnership is symbolic of our commitment to delivering world class interactive experiences to our fans all over the world,’ AC Milan’s chief revenue officer Casper Stylsvig said.

‘As a market leader in the world of gaming, in EA Sports we have the perfect partner to help us continue on our journey of engaging and exciting the next generation of Rossoneri fans.’

Ibrahimovic is yet to respond to EA’s statement. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Newbury Winter Carnival: Bet £10 on the first race and get £5 in free bets for the remaining six

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newbury winter carnival bet 10 on the first race and get 5 in free bets for the remaining six scaled

888 Sport are offering new customers a great deal for the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury this weekend.

All punters need to do is place a £10 bet on the first race to earn a free £5 bet on the remaining six races of the day.

Newbury hosts its Winter Carnival this weekend

1

Newbury hosts its Winter Carnival this weekend

888 SPORT BET £10 GET £5 IN FREE BETS FOR REMAINING RACES*


So on Friday, if you place a bet on the 12.15 you can have free bets on the remaining six races of the day.

Or if you don’t fancy the Friday card you can take advantage of the deal on Saturday.

The free bets will be active once the original bet on the opening race is settled.

To claim the offer simply click here, sign up to 888 Sport, deposit £10 and then place a £10 bet on the first race of either day.

The Winter Carnival promises to be another entertaining spectacle.

OFFERS OF THE DAY

And Sun Sport’s Templegate is hand with his tips for Friday’s card.

NEWBURY

12.15 Flinteur Sacre Sprinter Sacre’s brother who won a bumper last time out.

12.45 Eritage Easy winner on chase debut and has much more to offer.

1.15 Bothwell Bridge Jumped well when scoring in style at Warwick last time.

1.50 Caribean Boy (nb) French important who won nicely on UK debut and can improve.

2.25 Oldgrangewood Has won this race twice and handicapped to run well again.

3.00 MCFABULOUS (NAP) Made it three wins in a row at Chepstow and could be a star.

3.35 Dell’Arca (treble) Better than ever this season and can land third win on the spin.

CLAIM OVER £2,000 IN FREE BETS TODAY

*Terms and conditions: New customers only • £10 deposit using promo code • Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal restrictions & Full T&C’s apply 18+ BeGambleAware.Org


Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Braga vs Leicester LIVE: Stream FREE, TV channel, team news as Vardy named on BENCH – Europa League latest updates

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BLOG BRAGA VS LEICESTER

LEICESTER face Braga with a place in the Europa League last-32 up for grabs.

Three points will see the Foxes safely through with two games to spare – and they put four past the Primeira Liga side just three weeks ago.

  • Start time: 5.55pm GMT
  • TV/Live stream FREE: BT Sport 1/BT Sport app, EE customers watch free
  • Leicester XI: Schmeichel, Justin, Evans, Fuchs, Albrighton, Choudhury, Praet, Under, Thomas, Barnes, Iheanacho.

Follow all the latest with our blog below…

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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