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Premier League Summer Signings Reviewed

With the Premier League nearing one of its most crucial stages – the busy Christmas period – we’ve taken a look at how some of the league’s high-profile summer additions are settling in at their new clubs.

Alexandre Lacazette

A staggering £52 million signing from Ligue 1 side Lyon in the summer, Alexandre Lacazette was the big money singing that Arsenal fans had been crying out for in recent years. The striker appears to have moved ahead of countryman Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s first choice striker this season and he will be of huge importance in the Gunners’ fight for a place in the Champions League next term.

Interestingly, Lacazette has only completed 90 minutes on one occasion in the Premier League this season – arguably to be expected with the strength of Arsenal’s forward players – but with the price tag Lacazette commanded you could say he should be given the chance to complete matches in full.

When he has played, the Frenchman has made a commendable impact – with six goals in 12 league appearances so far in 2017/18 and he will be looking to continue his goal scoring form as the season progresses.

A modern-day centre forward, Lacazette can hold the ball up for midfield runners, link play with his feet and head, run in behind when needed and apply the finishing touch to a trademark Arsenal move when called upon.

Ederson

The plight of Manchester City’s goalkeepers was grabbing more headlines than the rest of the side combined during parts of the 2016/17 season. With Joe Hart, Willy Caballero and Claudio Bravo all staking a less-than-convincing claim for the number one jersey over the course of Pep Guardiola’s first year in charge there was heavy pressure on £34.7 million signing Ederson to do the business between the sticks.

Much of the talk has been about the free-flowing attacking football which has seen Manchester City stride to the top of the Premier League this season and it is easy to overlook the good work being done by Ederson at the other end of the pitch. With seven clean sheets in City’s opening 12 games, the Brazilian – alongside his defensive colleagues – is giving the side’s attacking players a very solid base to work from.

In comparison, last season Manchester City claimed only three clean sheets in their opening 12 Premier League fixtures. Levels of trust in a defensive unit are key to the success of the creative players in any side and it is clear that the addition of Ederson has been pivotal in Manchester City’s levels of success so far this season.

Alvaro Morata

A player who thrives off playing on the shoulder of the last defender, Alvaro Morata has already shown this season that he has the quality to fire Chelsea towards the top of the league.

With the high standard of delivery from Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta to rely on, Morata is reaping the rewards of his excellent movement in and around the box – most notably against Stoke City and Manchester United, where the Spaniard notched a hattrick and scored an impressive headed winner respectively.

Eight goals and four assists in 11 Premier League games makes it clear that his move from Real Madrid has been a masterstroke from Antonio Conte and one which Chelsea fans will be hoping helps them on their way to reclaiming their domestic title. Morata is likely to be an instrumental part of the plans for both Chelsea and Spain over the next seven months.

Romelu Lukaku

One of the most talked about signings of the summer window, on his move from Goodison Park to Old Trafford Romelu Lukaku was dubbed as a replacement for the outgoing Zlatan Ibrahimovic by many across the country. As the situation would eventually unfold, the Swede is back under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho after recovering from a knee injury and could partner Lukaku up front for United this season.

In Ibra’s absence, Lukaku has made a strong start to his Manchester United career with eight goals in 12 Premier League starts – making him an instant hit with the United fans.

Some of Lukaku’s critics would say that he doesn’t work hard enough at times and this is understandable when things aren’t going to plan during matches, he can be an easy player to scapegoat given the hype that has surrounded his arrival since the summer.

However, the Belgian is an undoubted goal scorer and could be the difference between Mourinho’s side putting up a meaningful challenge for the league title this season and another scrap for a third and fourth place finish.

Mo Salah

A signing which excited the majority of Liverpool supporters during the summer, Mo Salah has contributed an impressive nine goals in 12 Premier League games as well as four in four in the Champions League so far this season.

As the club’s record signing, the Egyptian is making waves at Anfield at a rate not seen since Luis Suarez’s departure for Barcelona in 2014. Left-footed Salah operates mostly on the right-hand side of Jurgen Klopp’s frontline – with Roberto Firminio and Sadio Mane joining him in an exciting attacking trio.

Salah has pace to burn and a directness which puts defenders instantly on the backfoot. With the skill and technical ability to match Salah has contributed heavily towards the side’s success the season.

With Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane alongside him as the first names on the team sheet this season it isn’t an exaggeration to suggest that Salah has been the Premier League signing of the season so far.

Adidas Reveal World Cup 2018 Shirts

Adidas have revealed the much-anticipated World Cup kits for a number of their national teams this week. At Trans World we’ve taken a look at some of the best ones.

Germany

World Cup holders Germany have revealed a showstopper of a kit for the defence of their crown in Russia next summer. A monotone take on West Germany’s Italia 90 strip, the black and white shirt features the gold World Cup winners badge in the centre of the iconic silhouette design. The likes of Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller are set to don the shirt as they defend their World Cup crown.

Trans World rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Colombia

Undoubtedly one of the shirts which catches the eye the most in Adidas’ latest release, Colombia shirt is sure to be popular with fans from across the world in Russia next year. Their trademark yellow shirt is supplemented by red and blue stripes coming inwards from the shoulders to create a dramatic finish to the front of the shirt. The Colombia kit also pays homage to a bygone era, with the 2018 release very similar to their 1990 World Cup shirt.

Trans World rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Spain

Spain’s new kit includes a striking pattern down the right-hand side of the shirt, a homage to their 1994 World Cup kit worn by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Fernando Hierro. The rest of the shirt remains classically and recognisably Spanish. Kit designers Adidas have said that the diamonds on the shirt represent the ‘speed, energy and style of football that’s become so associated with the national team.’

Trans World rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Japan

Japan’s national team are set to make their sixth appearance at the World Cup finals in Russia next summer, and they will be decked out in a very impressive kit when they do so. An iconic dark blue shirt is complemented by a series of white vertical stitch marks across the body, with white Adidas stripes running along the shoulders of block colour navy blue sleeves. The shirt is undoubtedly one of the most stylish designs to come from Adidas’ latest release.

Trans World rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Belgium

Another shirt inspired by a retro design, the Red Devils’ World Cup 2018 kit resembles that worn in the 1984 European Championships in France. The red and yellow colourway makes the Belgium kit instantly recognisable, with the national team badge in the centre of a diamond pattern. The iconic Adidas stripes are subtly included under the arms of the shirt in darker shade of red.

Trans World rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thurso and Wick Become First Ever Group at Wanda Metropolitano

Wick High School and Thurso High School made history this week as they became the first ever Trans World groups to tour Atlético Madrid’s new Wanda Metropolitano home.

The 68,000-seater stadium opened for matches in mid-September, but the all-access tour was only launched this week meaning that the students and staff from Wick and Thurso were among the very first members of the public to go behind the scenes.

The tour takes in the brand-new press conference rooms, the dressing rooms and players tunnel. It gives groups the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in world football and take a seat in Diego Simeone’s dugout.

Michael Pentland, Regional Manager of Trans World Educational Experiences, said he was delighted to be able to give the schools the opportunity to be the very first group to witness the wonders of the Metropolitano.

“We are so proud to be able to give students the chance to get up close and personal with the biggest clubs in the world. Atlético have done a tremendous job of creating a behind-the-scenes tour which truly encapsulates what life is like as a player here at the Metropolitano and its brilliant that the students from Wick and Thurso have been among the first to experience it.”

“We are lucky to have a close relationship with the club which has allowed us to give Wick and Thurso access to the tour before any other group. It was certainly one of the highlights of an action-packed trip and something which we hope the students will remember for a long time.” 

The schools were in Madrid as part of a Spanish Football Development tour with Trans World which included training sessions at Real Madrid’s first-team training complex, challenge matches against local opposition, a visit to the headquarters of the Spanish FA and a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu to watch Zinedine Zidane’s side put three goals past Eibar without reply.

Trans World Educational Experiences creates sports journeys that excite, empower and inspire young minds. Our tailor-made sports-education experiences provide a global-perspective, complement and enrich the curriculum, and leave a lasting impact on participants’ future development.

To date, Trans World has successfully delivered more than 2,500 trips for 600 schools across the United Kingdom, Europe, US and the Middle East, giving over 70,000 children and young adults the experience of a lifetime.

 

Trans World and Fife Schools FA Join Forces

Trans World Educational Experiences have joined forces with Fife Schools Football Association this week in a partnership which will see the association and its members benefit in a number of ways.

The innovative new partnership sees a percentage of every Trans World school trip fee given back to the Fife Schools FA Development Fund, ensuring meaningful long-term support for the schools game in Fife.

The deal also sees members of the Fife Schools FA benefit from exclusive offers and opportunities through Trans World including kit sponsorship.

Trans World Educational Experiences creates sports journeys that excite, empower and inspire young minds. Our tailor-made sports-education experiences provide a global-perspective, complement and enrich the curriculum, and leave a lasting impact on participants’ future development.

Each Trans World trip combines professional training, challenge matches and live sport with educational elements such as team building and media education, enabling students to develop their character and enhance their physical and mental skillset through a range of bespoke activities.

All trips are organised in collaboration with some of the world’s most established sporting clubs and institutions from football and basketball to rugby, netball and dance.

To date, Trans World has successfully delivered more than 2500 trips for 600 schools across the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East, giving over 70,000 children and young adults the experience of a lifetime.

Kirkcaldy HS pose in their new kits, supplied by Trans World.

Scott Macfarlane, co-founder of Trans World said: “We are pleased to be joining forces with the Fife Schools FA. We have worked in collaboration with a number of their members over the years and we are delighted to reinforce the strong relationship we have with school across Fife.”

“The Fife Schools FA does a fantastic job year in, year out on a voluntary basis, and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with this great organisation and their partner schools to give something back to the game.”

Blair Hopcroft, treasurer of the Fife Schools FA said: “Fife Schools Football Association are absolutely delighted to have the support of Trans World. A number of schools in the region have been on trips with Trans World and have always had a first class experience.”

“The Fife Schools FA is all about giving young footballers opportunities to play the game and enjoy the experience and we feel that Trans World do exactly that; it really is a perfect partnership,” he added.

For more information about Fife Schools FA, visit their newly redeveloped website here.

Premier League 2017/18 Preview

It’s almost time, the 2017/18 Premier League season is nearly upon us. The summer transfer window will soon draw to a close and managers will be put to the test in one of the world’s most challenging leagues.

How will Chelsea fare in their attempt to retain the title? Will Lukaku provide Manchester United with the spark they need to challenge for the Premier League crown once more?

As transfer spending continues to break records across Europe, we take a look at how the season could shape up.


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