After a summer of speculation, Jose Mourinho appears to have opted for Thibaut Courtois as his number-one goalkeeper ahead of Petr Cech after the Belgian youngster was selected for Chelsea’s opening game of the season.
Ten years younger than Cech, Courtois is undoubtedly one of the best young goalkeepers in world football and someone who could be Chelsea’s number-one for the next 15 years.
Germany’s star Mesut Ozil will be unavailable for Arsenal at the start of the new Premier League season according to Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has confirmed that the German international has been given an extended holiday in order to help him recover from his exertions of last season. Ozil has had an extraordinary 12 months to celebrate. After making a £ 42.5 million move to Arsenal last summer, he went on to win the FA Cup with the club. This was their first major trophy after nine years, which made it more special.
Most years in the Premier League see a surprise package; one or two teams punching a long way above or below their expected weight in actuality – compared with the pre-season expectations.
At the top of the table, the season in prospect looks like a fascinating contest to be scrapped out by the big five, Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – all of whom have made very significant moves in the transfer market already – with surely more to come.
Speculation has been high that striker Mario Balotelli could leave AC Milan this summer. Such rumours crop up after just 18 months at the San Siro for the self-confessed Milan fan. His agent, Mino Raiola, says that the player has not felt loved at Milan. Balotelli has been a huge hit at the San Siro after scoring a goal every other game. This is a massive improvement compared to his Manchester City days, when he was largely inconsistent. At 23 years of age, he has the best years ahead of him.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart has claimed that the team should not take the threat from former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli lightly in the opening match of the World Cup 2014. England will be taking on Italy in this group match. The heavyweight clash promises to be an entertaining encounter, but both teams have had difficult warm-up friendlies. They have failed to win most of their matches and England’s defence has especially come under criticism.
Italy’s national team manager Cesare Prandelli has claimed that his star striker Mario Balotelli should start becoming a team player in order to help the team reach the finals or even win the World Cup. Balotelli is regarded as one of the most talented strikers in world football. However, he has had various temperamental and psychological issues over the last few years that have prevented him from taking his game to the next level. Balotelli, though, was a crucial player for Italy as they reached the finals of the Euro 2012.