Rounding Up the Past Two Weeks in the Football World

In this post, I’ll be summarizing my thoughts on some of the biggest occurrences in the football world during the last two weeks. I’ve been away on vacation, and without a computer, so was not able to post for quite some time. With some big transfers and the end of the Confederations Cup, we have plenty of topics to cover.

German Dominance

What a summer it’s been for German football. Before securing the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup title over Chile, Germany’s U-21 side defeated Spain in the finals of the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Both matches, won by a score of 1-0,

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Lars Stindl scored the only goal in Germany’s 1-0 victory over Chile

proved that Germany has a bright future ahead of them. The newly crowned Confederations Cup champions used plenty of “B-team” players along with a crop of talented youngsters. Only three starters in the match against Chile were over the age of 25.

 

With all of that in mind, it’s clear that Joachim Löw has some hard decisions to make before football’s biggest stage heads to Russia next summer. Only TWO players in Germany’s Confederations Cup squad were among the side that won the World Cup in Brazil three years ago (Matthias Ginter and Julian Draxler). Ginter never saw the field, while Draxler came off the bench once for only 14 minutes.

Despite the fact that they’ll be defending their title, Germany’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad will be one of the most anticipated simply because of the amount of quality they possess. Whether it’s youth, experience or a mixture of both, I’m really looking forward to Löw’s final squad.

Alexandre Lacazette 

The best signing of the summer so far. Without a doubt, I believe Alexandre Lacazette will provide an immense attacking threat for the Gunners next season. He’s worth every penny of the £57m used to pry him from Olympique Lyon.

I rate Lacazette so highly because of the attacking qualities he brings to the table. Of course, his finishing is the most fantastic part of his game. He’s hungry for goals and he shows that in his play. But the Frenchman’s got a lot more than finishing in his arsenal (punny, I know). His awareness in the final third along with the composure and technical ability he possesses leads me to believe he’ll be a great success for Arsene Wenger’s side. A trio of Lacazette, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez is extremely scary for the opposition’s defense.

Scoring in his preseason debut today, Lacazette has already got Gooners around the world on cloud nine. If Arsenal can hold out on another awful midseason collapse, I believe the 26-year-old can drastically improve their fortunes within the Premier League.

Romelu Lukaku

Don’t get me wrong, this transfer should definitely help Manchester United out on the attacking front next season, but it’s absurd how much clubs are willing to pay for some individuals nowadays. With a fee of £75m, that will rise to £90m, the Toffees made a spectacular decision in letting the Belgian international go. Despite the large number, both sides should benefit from the deal.

Watching Lukaku play alongside Paul Pogba intrigues me. Pogba seemed to struggle more often than not last season, so I’m interested in seeing how the addition of his pal could impact the Frenchman’s game. The Belgian big man could even improve his goal-scoring numbers next season with a superior supporting cast than he’s had in the past.

With his Premier League experience, Lukaku may prove to be more impactful up top than the notorious Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Lukaku could also provide a spark that would make United fun to watch. I don’t think their boring style of play last season really suits the 24-year-old. Although Jose Mourinho may be behind that lackluster style of play, look for United to be a more exciting side next season.

Wayne Rooney

I love this one. It was only a matter of time before Wayne Rooney made his return to the club he adores. With Wazza struggling to break into Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side, the timing was right.

 

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He’s back!!!

The only questions that remain here are what Everton manager Ronald Koeman’s plans are for Rooney, and ultimately, what role will he play? At 31-years-old, he’s obviously on the back nine of his career, but Rooney has insisted that he’s still got plenty more in the tank. Stating that he hasn’t returned simply to retire at the club, the Englishman’s desire is to see Everton succeed.

 

He’s certainly gotten off to a fantastic start scoring a rocket from distance in the side’s first preseason match earlier today. For you doubters, the man’s out to prove you wrong. The mere thought of putting on that blue shirt will give him the confidence he seemed to be missing in his last two seasons as a Red Devil. Don’t be surprised to see the legend reviving his legacy as a Toffee next season.

Abdelhak Nouri

It’s times like these we see just how close-knit the football world is. On Saturday, Ajax’s

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The 20-year-old’s career has sadly and abruptly come to an end

wonderfully talented midfielder Abdelhak Nouri collapsed during a preseason friendly with German side Werder Bremen. The Dutch club tweeted on Monday stating that the 20-year-old’s heart was in good condition and undamaged, but it was too soon to say anything about his recovery. Today brought depressing news. Unfortunately, Nouri was diagnosed with serious and permanent brain damage. He’ll never play the beautiful game again.

 

I added this part into my roundup because I wanted to send my deepest wishes to his friends and family. To lose such a young talent in the football world is devastating as he had so much ahead of him, but to see a son and a brother go through something like this is completely heartbreaking. A sad day for the football world indeed.

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