Well, knock me down with a feather. Finally some good news for England in relation to World Cups and injuries. And no, Phil Jones hasn’t been ruled out of the tournament. Eden Hazard LIMPED OFF in Belgium’s 4-1 win over Costa Rica last night.
Yes, he actually limped off. This is good news, right? Sure, it is only a dead leg but they can be a real pain, pun not intended, to recover from. Sadly though, putting on a slightly more realistic hat, Hazard will be absolutely fine to take the field on Monday when Belgium kick off their campaign against Panama.
Roberto Martinez, buoyed by Belgium’s form heading into Russia has said “we have to learn to suffer” if Belgium are to go deep into the tournament. Bobby, they have you teaching them how to defend. Have they not suffered enough?
Dele Alli has made it very clear he is not bothered about the new FIFA rules that mean a player can be punished retrospectively during a match. What the new rules mean is that if Dele loses his rag momentarily and does something naughty, like he does have a tendency to do, then he could get called out for it later in the same game. But this is not a problem to Alli who says he is ready. Whether that means he is planning on chilling out a bit more or whether he is ready to be even more sneaky, only time will tell.
Apparently, when Jordan Pickford was at Sunderland he used to regularly play in midfield and centre-back in training. Better still, he was rather good at pinging balls all over the place, winning tackles, heading it and organising people. Slow down, you are one step ahead of me. No, you are right. I do agree that Phil Jones is the next defender on the list if we have an injury that maybe Pickford should take his place and we put Jack Butland in goal. Equally, someone who can ping an accurate ball from midfield? Watch out Hendo. Watch out Dier. Jordan wants your shirt as well.
We should not forget that even though the World Cup is drawing ever near, there is still a whole other football circus going on behind the scenes.
Watford have managed to convince Barcelona’s Gerard Deulofeu that linking up with Troy Deeney is much more fun than linking up with Lionel Messi and the Spanish wideman is heading back to Vicarage Road on another loan deal.
Everton are also looking to make their first move of the summer and James Maddison of Norwich City is their target. £12m is what the Canaries would like to receive in return but West Ham United are also sniffing around after their star man Manuel Lanzini ruined his leg in Argentina training.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is still very much top of Jose Mourinho’s list but he is likely to be out-bid by manager-less Real Madrid who don’t really care what players their new boss might like, he will just have to make do with players they sign for around £120m.
N’Golo Kante is wanted by Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain meaning that it can only be a matter of time before Danny Drinkwater is linked there too.
Newcastle United really, really want Salomon Rondon but really, really don’t want to pay £16m for him.