Pep Guardiola Feels Premier League Could Even be Decided by Goal Difference

Pep Guardiola Feels Premier League Could Even be Decided by Goal Difference

Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, believes the Premier League title race will go down to the wire this season, suggesting it could even be decided by goal difference in the end. 


Successive draws against Leicester City and West Ham United have left Jurgen Klopp’s leaders vulnerable at the top of the Premier League table. Before the clash at Leicester, Liverpool had the opportunity to extend their advantage to seven points. But two disappointing results have allowed Manchester City to move within just three points of the league leaders. 

The reigning champions will overtake Liverpool on goal difference if they get a positive result at the Goodison Park on Wednesday night. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur — who have done commendably well to cope with the absence of Harry Kane — are also just five points off the summit. 

Also Read: Gameweek 25 so far

With stakes so high and no margin for error, Guardiola feels the Premier League could end up being decided by goal difference.

“I’m pretty sure the winner will be the last fixture or the last two. I’m sure of that,” Guardiola told a news conference, as quoted by ESPN.

“The first message is to win the game and the second one is if you can score, score and if you can avoid to concede, do it. The Premier League could go to goal difference, I agree.”

Having already been knocked out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, Liverpool are guaranteed to play at least seven fewer games than Pep Guardiola’s side. Guardiola admits that the busy schedule could end up taking a toll on his players but is hopeful about riding the impending storm. 

“It takes a big mental effort to be consistent in every single competition when you know, if you lose one game, you can lose that competition. It demands a lot of stress,” he said, as per BBC.

“At the same time, when you get to March, the days are longer, the sun is out, the training sessions are in better conditions and you can take a coffee outside. If you are still in four competitions it is an extra plus because you realise you can do something special. But, right now, we are not in that position.”

5 Brazilian talents who can excite the English Premier League

5 Brazilian talents who can excite the English Premier League

Brazil is the land of famous coffee, beautiful football, and god-gifted footballers. Football is the ultimate religion of this South American nation. 


So when it comes to production lines for talented young footballers, there is probably none bigger than Brazil.

So, Khelpanda has prepared a list of five Brazilian football promises from five different clubs who can shine and add another level of excitement to the ever-charming English Premier League.

Lincoln

Image Credit: Gilvan de Souza/Flamengo

Lincoln Correa dos Santos is 18 years old and is about to reach the age of maturity. Lincoln made his professional debut more than a year ago on November 19, 2017, when the Rubro-Negro team defeated Corinthians 3-0. In December 2017, the Spanish newspaper AS reported that Atletico Madrid made a huge proposal for the young man, though were quickly denied by the red-blacks. In March 2018, Flamengo renewed the contract of Lincoln until 2023, with a termination fine of 50 million euros. The young man has the characteristics of scoring goals allied with the physical force and made a point of demonstrating against Gremio in the Brazilian Cup, and good presence of area.
The year 2019 should be decisive in his development. Flamengo believes very much in the quality of the striker and it is imagined that, in the next year, Lincoln will have more opportunities, in a process similar to what happened with Vinicius Junior.

Everton Soares

Image Credit: 90 Min

In the context of Brazilian football, Everton Soares is no longer a promise but a reality. Plying his trade with Gremio shirt since 2016, Cebolinha had a great 2018, becoming one of the notable players in Brazil, also claiming the Brazilian national team jersey. At the age of 22, he had such a good year that he was able to overshadow teammate Luan, who was voted the best player in Libertadores and the Americas in 2017, becoming the main player of the team led by Renato Gaucho, and obviously attracting the interest of some clubs in Europe. This Brazilian sensation, having played 43 matches in 2018 scored 17 goals. The Gremio shirt number 11 combines speed and quality of dribbling and finishing on the left side of the attack. Such characteristics are seen in Premier League games, in players like Anthony Martial and Leroy Sane. For Everton, there is still a great margin for evolution, which can make it an important piece for the Brazilian team in the coming years.

Pedro

Image Credit: THBN

Pedro Guilherme Abreu dos Santos is from Rio de Janeiro and is 21 years old. Just like Everton Soares, 2018 was the year of Pedro, who took the shirt 9 of Fluminense after the departure of Henrique Dourado and made the fans not to miss the now Flamengo player. Fluminense’s number 9 shirt is now the undisputed artillery of the Brazilian Championship, in addition to having scored important goals in the South American Cup. Pedro acts as a center-forward, but far from being only the goal scorer, he often tries to build up the play. The 1,85 m Fluminense athlete has a lot of resources, and a lot of intelligence inside the game and great decision-making, so much so that he was called by Tite coach for the Brazilian team. In the Premier League, he could repeat the footsteps of his former teammate Richarlison. He has the quality and may soon leave Brazilian football.

Bruno Guimaraes

Image Credit: Gabriela Rosa

21-year-old Bruno Guimaraes is having a season with great performances with the Athletico Paranaense, being one of the responsibilities for their recovery this season. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he appeared in football at Gremio Osasco Audax, standing out in the Sao Paulo Junior Football Cup in 2017. He aroused the interest of the Athletico Paranaense, who hired him in the first half of 2018. In most matches at Atletico-PR, Bruno Guimaraes formed the midfield trio with Argentine Lucho Gonzalez and Raphael Veiga. Usually, he forms the first line in the middle of the pitch, and have the strength of good passes, both short and long, besides being a good scorer. One of the main promises of Brazilian football, Bruno is managed by the Giuliano Bertolucci, responsible for nurturing great Brazilian players in the past. Teams like Napoli, Zenit, and Shakhtar Donetsk are already monitoring this upcoming talent from the land of Jogo Bonito.

Igor Liziero

Image Credit: Reproducao

Liziero, or Igor Liziero, is a native of Sao Paulo, and the main revelation of Sao Paulo in 2018, having been elected the best player of the Copa Sao Paulo Junior Football. He mainly works as a midfielder, being his role of origin, but in the beginning also played a lot as left-back, standing out for the quality of passes he provided. The 20-year-old has the characteristics of the modern midfielder. He is a versatile midfielder and can play in different positions in midfield. With a contract with Sao Paulo until 2023, he can also leave before, most likely in 2019. Italy is a very possible destination for Liziero, but a trip to England would not be surprising. Liziero has the potential to evolve further and act in a great league. For being smart, he should have no problem adapting to the dynamic English football, a process that would be excellent for his development.

Premier League 2018-19: Week 22 Round Up | Man Utd continue winning run

English Premier League 2018-19: Week 22 Round Up | Man Utd continue winning run

Round 22 of English Premier League 2018-19 brought some breathtaking action, eye-catching goals and the usual dose of thrills and spills. 


This week saw Manchester United outwit Harry Kane’s Tottenham, while Arsenal fell to West Ham United. The Blues registered a narrow win at home and League leaders Liverpool returned to their winning ways. Here are the results from the week gone by, and some of the key talking points.

Burnley 2-1 Fulham

Burnley profited from two own goals in quick succession to seal an essential 2-1 victory over fellow Premier League strugglers, Fulham at Turf Moor on Saturday. Andre Schurrle’s sensational volley stunned the home crowd inside two minutes but the game was turned on its head midway through the first half. Jeff Hendrick was involved in both goals, seeing his blasted effort deflect in off Joe Bryan and three minutes later it was his chipped cross which Denis Odoi nodded beyond Sergio Rico.

Also Read: 5 biggest wins in English Football

Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford

Watford came from behind to claim a dramatic 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, with substitute Tom Cleverley scoring a sublime winner. Craig Cathcart’s own goal after 38 minutes had Palace on course for victory, but the Watford defender scored at the right end 23 minutes from time. And Cleverley, yet to start in the league this season as he returns from injury, netted his first goal since October 2017 with a superb volley to give his side, who only managed two shots on target, an impressive victory.

Huddersfield Town 0-0 Cardiff City

Bottom club Huddersfield Town ended their eight-match losing streak in the Premier League with a goalless draw at fellow strugglers Cardiff City on Saturday but were left fuming over a decision by referee Lee Mason as he pointed to the spot after Florent Hadergjonaj went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, but changed his mind after consulting his assistant. Cardiff, in 17th place, did not manage a shot on target and Huddersfield will feel they should have picked up a rare win in South Wales.

Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United

Willian scored an emphatic winner for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as they edged out plucky Newcastle 2-1 on Saturday evening. Pedro had put the hosts ahead early in the game with a clever finish but the Magpies went in level at the interval after a towering header from Ciaran Clark. Fourth-placed Chelsea have won five of their last seven league matches and sit six points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.

West Ham 1-0 Arsenal

Declan Rice’s terrific first West Ham goal proved enough to give the Hammers a first league win over Arsenal since 2015, at the London Stadium. The 19-year-old struck early in the second half, tied up by former Arsenal man Samir Nasri, as Unai Emery’s side put in a flat away performance. The defeat means Arsenal could end the weekend six points outside the top four.

Brighton 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool bounced back from defeat to Manchester City as Mohamed Salah sunk Brighton to open up a seven-point lead at the top. Salah won and converted a decisive 50th-minute penalty as Liverpool returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion. It’s the Reds first win of 2019 to put their New Year stumble to bed as Klopp also protected his impressive record of never having lost back-to-back league games in charge of Liverpool.

Leicester City 1-2 Southampton

Ten-man Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone as they dug in to stifle Leicester at the King Power Stadium. The Saints were good value for their 2-0 lead at half-time, with James Ward-Prowse converting an 11th-minute penalty before Shane Long’s first goal of the season doubled the visitors’ lead. The loss is the third in four matches at home for Leicester and puts the pressure back on boss Claude Puel amid renewed speculation over his future.

Everton 2-0 Bournemouth

Kurt Zouma and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave Everton a 2-0 win over Bournemouth to move them into the top half of the Premier League table. Zouma scored his first Everton goal as the Toffees beat a Bournemouth side that had impressed for large parts of the game Goodison Park but couldn’t find that cutting edge up front. The hosts then wrapped up the three points when substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted Lookman’s low cross in added time.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United

Manchester United gave the clearest indication yet of their transformation under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer by hanging on to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal, latching on to Paul Pogba’s fine through ball to finish low past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris. But the real architect of United’s sixth successive victory was David de Gea, who pulled off a string of saves to deny the hosts as they piled on the pressure in the second half.

2018-19 English Premier League: Week 19 Round Up | Liverpool tops the Table

2018-19 English Premier League: Week 19 Round Up | Liverpool tops the Table

Round 19 of English Premier League 2018-19 had all the stuff on Boxing Day. 


The Premier League matches provided us with plenty of high voltage stuff this term. Lots of tremendous goals, great drama, and the odd surprise result. It’s hard to remember match-day of football, so full of action.

 

Liverpool 4-0 Newcastle United

Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points by beating Newcastle United 4-0 at Anfield. Goals by Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, Xherdan Shaqiri, and substitute Fabinho, ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side will start 2019 at the top of the table.

 

Manchester United 3-1 Huddersfield Town

Manchester United made it two wins out of two in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s caretaker regime with a 3-1 triumph over Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day at Old Trafford. Nemanja Matic gave United the lead and Paul Pogba added a couple goals in the second half to seal a win that had the crowd singing the praises of the new boss.

 

Leicester City 2-1 Manchester City

Manchester City slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat by Leicester City on Wednesday. City went in front after 14 minutes when Bernardo Silva finished with his left foot after being played through by Sergio Aguero. But four minutes later Leicester were back on level terms after Marc Albrighton met Jamie Vardy’s cross with his head from close range. Later in the match, Ricardo Pereira’s superb late strike condemned the champions to a second successive Premier League loss.

 

Brighton 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by a resilient Brighton side as the Gunners lost ground on the sides above them in the race for the top four. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike gave the Gunners a lead inside seven minutes, but Lichtsteiner’s error allowed Jurgen Locadia to equalize for Brighton late in the first half to deny the Gunners all three points.

 

Watford 1-2 Chelsea

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea gained a hard-fought win at Watford to reclaim fourth place in the Premier League table. The Belgian opened the scoring for his 100th Blues goal. Chelsea’s lead only lasted two minutes until Roberto Pereyra equalized from the edge of the 18-yard box. But Hazard grabbed his second of the match in the second half when he converted a penalty after Foster had bundled him over.

Also Read: Five Lesser known facts about Hazard

 

Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff City

Crystal Palace were left frustrated following a match in which they saw chance after chance narrowly missed or heroicly prevented in a thoroughly frustrating 0-0 draw with Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City. Andros Townsend bounced an effort off the crossbar during a frantic start by the hosts, before Luka Milivojevic rattled the post with sweetly struck freekick after the break.

 

Fulham 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Romain Saiss earned Wolves a point with a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage. Ryan Sessegnon gave Fulham the lead just 15 minutes from time after a poor Rui Patricio punch, but 10 minutes later Saiss earned Wolves a point when he tapped home from Ivan Cavaleiro’s cross.

 

Burnley 1-5 Everton

Lucas Digne scored twice as Everton secured their first win in six Premier League games by thumping Burnley 5-1 at Turf Moor. At one minute and 39 seconds, Yerry Mina’s goal for Everton was the quickest Premier League goal on Boxing Day since 2014 when both Harry Kane and Adam Johnson both scored within the first minute.

 

Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Bournemouth

Tottenham moved past Manchester City into second place in the Premier League following a 5-0 win over Bournemouth at Wembley. Christian Eriksen set Spurs on their way with his goal on 16. Heung-min Son then scored the first of his two goals on 23 to double the lead early on before Lucas Moura got in on the act on 35. Harry Kane struck on 61 before Son wrapped up the rout against Eddie Howe’s battered Bournemouth side.

Manchester United 2 – 1 Everton | Things are looking up for United

Manchester United 2 - 1 Everton | Things are looking up for United

Manchester United seemed to have recovered from their slump in form as they are now unbeaten for a third consecutive Premier League game.


Frenchman Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba found themselves on the scoresheet as Manchester United won 2 – 1 against Everton. United had dug a hole for themselves a few weeks back but after impressive performances against Newcastle and Chelsea, the Red Devils have followed those performances with a hard-fought win against the Toffees. By virtue of the win, Manchester United have climbed to 8th place on the table while Everton slot just below the Red Devils at 9th place. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that Jose Mourinho’s job at Old Trafford is secure, provided the Red Devils continue to perform this way.

Early on, it was Clear that Manchester United were the better team and talisman Paul Pogba seemed particularly determined to make an impact. But there were no significant events early on, barring yellow cards to Idrissa Gueye for a foul on Fred and for Chris Smalling after he fouled Richarlison, both in the 20-minute region. Just seven minutes later, Gueye fouled Anthony Martial inside the box and John Moss pointed to the spot, Gueye must have had his heart in his mouth considering he was booked just a few minutes back. TV replays showed that The Everton Midfielder got the ball before Martial’s leg that brought the argument of VAR back to the fore, Nevertheless, the spot kick was awarded and Paul Pogba stepped up. The Frenchman expectedly did his signature slow build-up as he stepped up, Jordan Pickford guessed the correct side as he blocked the Penalty but Pogba scored off the rebound to make it 1 – 0.

Towards the end of the first half, Everton were very impressive with Gylfi Sigurdsson coming close to scoring with a looping header and Theo Walcott with a good shot from a tight angle, but both players were denied by a brilliant David De Gea. 1 – 0 at the break. United attacked after the break and Paul Pogba teed up Compatriot Anthony Martial just outside the box and Martial hit the ball first time to score a beautiful curling goal to make it 2-0. Just a minute later Everton’s Brazilian Winger Bernard had an amazing chance as he beat Ashley Young and went around David De Gea to stare at an open Goal only to hit the side-netting.

Everton did eventually score when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from the Penalty spot after Chris Smalling brought down Richarlison in the box.  Everton couldn’t capitalise on their momentum and Anthony Martial missed another golden opportunity to score from a one-on-one situation but was stopped by Jordan Pickford, who despite conceding two was brilliant on the day. United took all three points and their fans will be hoping this is the first of many wins.

Manchester United vs Everton | Premier League, Match Prediction

Manchester United vs Everton | Premier League, Match Prediction

A resurgent Manchester United go up against Everton in the Premier League and the Red Devils will be hoping to get all three points.


Manchester United are all set to host Everton on the Weekend as Jose Mourinho’s men look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League. Everton are at a decent 8th Place with 15 points while hosts Manchester United are at 10th Place with 14 points. United maybe lacking points on the table but they have shown character in recent games especially against Chelsea in a pulsating 2 – 2 Draw, the Red Devils were also decent in a 1-0 Loss against Juventus. Everton have been on a run of some sorts winning their last three Premier League games.

Jose Mourinho and Andre Silva have spent a lot of money in the Transfer Market, with the Portuguese manager spending big across the Transfer Market in the past and Silva going big in recent times.

Team News: Manchester United

Manchester United still have a lot of injury concerns, with Captain Antonio Valencia still a doubt. Midfielders Jesse Lingard (Groin), Scott McTominay (Knee) and Marouane Fellaini (Groin) are ruled out. Defender Diogo Dalot is also out with a knock and Highest paid player Alexis Sanchez is still sidelined with a Groin Injury. United’s 29-Year-Old Chilean International Sanchez is apparently unhappy as well and Considering he is paid 500,000 pounds a week United will be skeptical about Sanchez’s commitment to the Club. Mourinho will be a little more revealed with his Team’s defensive shape with Victor Lindelof arguably having one of his best games in a United shirt against Juventus.

Predicted XI: De Gea, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Matic, Mata, Pogba, Martial, Lukaku, Rashford

Team News: Everton

James McCarthy is still out for the Toffees with a leg Injury but they have no fresh injury concerns. Big Money signings Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson have been in top form this Season with both players scoring 4 Goals Apiece and contributing massively to the Club’s recent success. Strikers Dominic Calvert Lewin and Cenk Tosun are also finding the net with a regularity while the defence is finding some sort of shape which is definitely positive for the Merseyside Club.

Predicted XI: Pickford, Digne, Zouma, Keane, Coleman, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Gueye, Bernard, Tosun, Richarlison

Key Players for Manchester United: Anthony Martial

Martial has found form at Manchester United and the Frenchman is looking extremely dangerous. Everton will have to be wary of the Winger. 

Key Players for Everton: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson has been a great influence for the Toffees with 4 Goals and one assist. The Iceland International will need to pull the strings for his side.

Arsenal 2 – 0 Everton | Premier League 2018/19

Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton | Premier League 2018/19

Arsenal got their fourth consecutive victory in the Premier League after a 2-0 win over Everton at the Emirates on Sunday.

Petr Cech put in an amazing performance, making multiple fine saves to keep the first clean sheet of the season for the Gunners. Fan favourite striking duo Lacazette and Aubameyang both found the net in the 2nd half to bring home the three points for Arsenal.

Even though the Gunners had the majority of possession, most of the chances were from the Everton side in the first half. Richarlison was denied at his feet by Cech in the 2nd minute and he tested the stopper again a few minutes later.

Nacho Monreal‘s close-range effort was athletically saved by Jordan Pickford. On the other half, Theo Walcott‘s pace created problems for his boyhood club as he raced in-behind to see a shot saved well by Cech yet again. Arsenal really struggled to deal with Richarlison again towards the end of the first half forcing Cech to rescue his teammates once again as he tipped the ball over the bar.

Everton commenced the second half strongly but were felled by two quick goals in a span of four minutes. Aaron Ramsey put in a decent ball to find Lacazette, who went off to curl the ball off the post and into the net from the edge of the box to stun Pickford and his nearby defenders in the 56th minute. Just three minutes later, Arsenal managed to get into a three-on-one situation in the final third as Mesut Ozil found Ramsey, who just needed to score into an essentially empty net but he stumbled and flicked the ball towards Aubameyang, who scored from an offside position.

Everton managed to hit the bar late on through Lucas Digne, but Cech was adamant in keeping the clean sheet as the Gunners got their 5th successive win of the season.

Arsenal face Watford while Everton take on Fulham in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, 29th September. 

Also read: Arsenal 4 – 2 Vorslka | UEFA Europa League

Bolasie – Everton winger joins Aston Villa on loan

Bolasie - Everton winger joins Aston Villa on loan

Aston Villa have completed the signing of DR Congo international Yannick Bolasie from Premier League side Everton on a season-long loan deal.

A statement from the club’s official website read: “Aston Villa is delighted to announce the signing of Yannick Bolasie on a season-long loan from Everton.”

Yannick Bolasie began his career with Barnet before spending a campaign with Bristol City. He then moved to Crystal Palace and helped earn promotion to the Premier League in 2013. A key player for the Eagles, Bolasie was also an FA Cup finalist with the club. 

The DR Congo international joined Everton in a £30m move from Palace in 2016 and arrived with a lot of promise. However, he has since struggled for both fitness and form. He missed almost a year of football soon after signing for the Toffees after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament damage early in the season. The 29-year-old winger has evidently fallen down the pecking order at Goodison Park after the arrivals of Richarlison and Bernard.

Speaking about the move, Bolasie said: “My main aim here is to get this club promoted. A club of this stature has to be in the Premier League. I looked around both Villa Park and the training ground, and me and my family just said, ‘wow’. It’s Premier League everywhere you look. I’m here to make myself smile again and use all my ability to try and help the team. It’s great to be here.”

Bolasie will wear the No.11 shirt vacated by Gabby Agbonlahor, who departed from the club after 13 years in the club.

Aston Villa faces Burton in the Football League cup tie on Wednesday, 29th August before playing Sheffield United in their next Championship fixture on Saturday, 1st September.

Mo Besic – Everton midfielder joins Middlesbrough on loan

Mo Besic - Everton midfielder joins Middlesbrough on loan

Middlesbrough FC have completed the signing of Bosnia & Herzegovina international Mo Besic from Premier League side Everton on a season-long loan.

A statement from the Middlesbrough’s official website read: “The club is delighted to confirm the signing of Bosnian international Mo Besic from Everton on a season-long loan.”

Muhamed Besic spent the second half of last season on loan at Boro and had been heavily associated with a return for the 2018/19 season as well. He made 15 league appearances as he helped the club reach the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs. The centre midfielder scored 1 goal during his time on the club in the form of a stunner in an essential 2-1 win against Derby towards the end of the season.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international had been set for a permanent move to Boro on Deadline Day only for the move to drop after a failure to agree on personal terms. Now, Mo Besic returns to the club after being a regular in the midfield throughout the second half of last season in the Championship.

The 25-year-old, who had drawn attention from plenty of clubs, completed his move to Boro on Thursday.

Tony Pulis has revealed his fondness for the player and said that he was delighted to secure the loan for the duration of the current season. 

Pulis said: “We’re doing our best, the football club has been working hard to get players in. It’s a difficult market and even into next week, it could become more difficult because clubs begin chasing. That’s what happens, it gets tougher as it gets to the end.”

Middlesbrough takes on recently relegated side West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, 25th August.   

El Ghazi – Aston Villa sign Dutch winger from Lille on loan

El Ghazi - Aston Villa sign Dutch winger from Lille on loan

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Netherlands international Anwar El Ghazi from Ligue 1 side Lille on a season-long loan.

A statement in the club’s official website read: “Aston Villa is delighted to announce the signing of Anwar El Ghazi from Lille on a season-long loan.” 

Anwar El Ghazi is a graduate of one of the renowned Ajax Academy for whom he made over 70 appearances including in the Champions League. The young Dutch forward advanced through the ranks at Ajax before joining Ligue 1 side Lille in January 2017. There, he started 19 Ligue 1 games in the previous season. Deemed as surplus by the French side, the winger now joins Championship side Aston Villa on a season-long loan. 

Internationally, El Ghazi has earned 2 caps for the Netherlands senior team.

Speaking on his move, El Ghazi said: “I am thrilled to join a football club of the size of Aston Villa. I visited Villa Park late last night after flying in from Holland and it gave me goosebumps. I can’t wait to get out there and experience it for real and play in front of such passionate fans.”

The 23-year-old took to Twitter to thank the fans of Lille and declare his excitement to play in front of the Aston Villa fans.

He said: “First of all, I would like to thank all of Lille’s fans for everything. You will forever remain in my heart and you never know what the future will bring. Right now I am really happy with this new challenge and I am looking forward to meeting all Aston Villa fans.”

The Claret and Blue are reportedly close to signing another winger on loan, Yannick Bolasie from Premier League side Everton.

Aston Villa face Reading in their next Championship fixture on Saturday, 25th August.