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Ferdinand exposes Chelsea players, reveals why Lukaku has not performed as expected

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Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea with high hopes but he has not made that mark as expected.

The Belgium international registered just seven touches during Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

According to Rio Ferdinand Lukaku has been let down by Chelsea’s other attacking players.

‘I agree with Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer by the way, if anyone saw their comments, if I’m Lukaku I’m going nuts,’ Ferdinand said on Vibe with Five.

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‘[I would be saying] get me that ball, get wide and cross me the ball, play the ball in behind when you get the opportunity, play to my strengths.

Rio Ferdinand believes Romelu Lukaku should be getting better service from this Chelsea teammates
Rio Ferdinand believes Romelu Lukaku should be getting better service from this Chelsea teammates (Getty)
‘I think that’s probably the biggest issue you’ve got with Chelsea at the moment – what’s their best team? I don’t think [Thomas] Tuchel knows his best team at the moment.

‘He wants to get a £100 million player in, which is understandable, in Lukaku and he’s hit a bit of a bad run in terms of goals.

‘They’ve got to find a way of playing to his strengths. Lukaku’s strengths… what are they? He’s a fox in the box. You get that ball in the box and if it drops to hiom invariably he’ll put it away. He’s shown that everywhere he’s been all throughout his career. You cross the ball he can finish, he loves the ball played in behind to run on to things, to bulldoze his way past people.

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‘I just don’t feel at the moment they’ve been playing to those strengths which have enabled him to be a £100m player.

‘If it was you in that situation [where you’re not getting the ball] you’d be going, ‘I’ve got to find the ball, I’ve got to get a touch’. But sometimes for the betterment of the team and what the manager wants to be that focal point and keeping two defenders occupied by staying up the pitch. The moment you start coming back and bringing more players in that midfield area the manager will go, ‘you’re messing up what we’re trying to do’.

‘You’ve got to sacrifice your own game. I feel that’s what he’s doing at times, he’s sacrificing his own goal for the betterment of the team which is affecting his stats which he gets judged on.’

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Pogba linked with another EPL giants as Man City deal collapses

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Paul Pogba has been linked with another move to Chelsea as a deal to have him join Man City collapsed.

His future at Old Trafford has been concluded as he is confirmed to leave at the end of the season but his destination is still unknown.

Louis Saha believes Paul Pogba should not return to Juventus but he should join one of Manchester United’s Premier League rivals instead.

Saha therefore asked him to consider a move to Chelsea as Stamford Bridge represents an environment that would bring the best out of Pogba.

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‘Chelsea is the obvious match for Pogba because he loves to play with N’Golo Kante,’ Saha told Lord Ping.

‘We always try to compare what he does with France and United and the ability of Kante makes Pogba play to another dimension and that’s the truth.

‘He plays only 40% of the games then it is maybe a miracle that we arrive in third place. He is our Mo Salah, he is our Van Dijk, he is our De Bruyne. He is simply that player, he is our Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

‘He is that guy who makes the difference, and if you only have him for 40%, then it is a huge problem.

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‘Given that percentage, it is maybe a miracle that he produces results. It puts everything into perspective as I saw Liverpool without Van Dijk last season, and they struggled heavily. You see the difference. N’Golo is our key player, and we need him on the pitch.’

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Tuchel now believes in United’s move to snap up Kante this summer window, makes clear statement

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is now aware of United’s move to lure N’Golo Kante to Old Trafford as new manager Erik ten Hag is keen on his signature

Tuchel said he believes Kante’s importance to Chelsea is equivalent to Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool and would not he allowed to leave.

‘I think he is our key, key player but key players need to be on the pitch,’ Tuchel said on Thursday evening.

‘He plays only 40 per cent of the games and it’s maybe a miracle we arrive in third place because he is our Mo Salah, he is our Van Dijk, he is our De Bruyne. He is simply that player, he is our Neymar, our Kylian Mbappe.

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‘He is the guy who makes the difference, if you only have him 40 per cent it’s a huge problem.

‘Given that percentage it’s a miracle of how consistent we produce results and puts everything in to perspective. I saw Liverpool last season with Van Dijk and they struggled heavily. You see the difference, N’Golo is our key player and he needs to be on the pitch.’

Asked if Chelsea can solve Kante’s physical issues, Tuchel replied: ‘It’s hard to live with because it’s important for him to be there and to have the rhythm.

‘I think he played okay but he can play so much better but when was his last game that he started? It was weeks ago. So he constantly starts getting rhythm and once he has rhythm he gets a little injury and he’s out again.

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‘Last year in the last five games of the Champions League they handed him the [man of the match] trophy even before the match, it was so clear when he played. This guy who gets man of the match in every Champions League game is only here for 40-something per cent of games, this is huge for us.

‘We’ll do everything to solve it. I don’t blame him but it’s a concern.

‘We miss him a lot because he brings something that is unique in world football, he has that ability to lift everybody up and make the difference and this is the challenge for him and for us.’

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Chelsea handed Rice advantage after new name is mentioned to Ten Hag’s ears

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Chelsea seems to have been handed a free run in their bid to sign Declan Rice after Erik ten Hag is advised by former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend to sign his West Ham teammate Jarrod Bowen in his first transfer window .

Chelsea and Man United have been in the race for Declan Rice before now but the Red Devils have been urged to consider Bowen.

Townsend said he expects West Ham to receive ‘a bid or two’ for in-form Bowen this summer.

This is because Bowen has thrived since joining West Ham from Hull City in 2020 and is one of only seven players to have recorded 20 or more goal involvements in the Premier League this season.

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Townsend telling talkSPORT: ‘Jarrod Bowen has been great. He’s been so good lately.

‘I tell you what, I bet you West Ham get a bid or two for him in the summer, I bet they do.

‘Would you have him at Manchester United? Like a shot you would.

‘He can play anywhere. I’ve seen him play up the middle for West Ham, on one side. For United, he’d get in the team wherever he likes! I would play him off the right-hand side.’

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Asked whether Bowen should expect a call up from England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of the Qatar World Cup, Townsend added: ‘He’s a good player.

‘Should he be on the plane? He probably won’t get on the plane, will he? It’s just happened a bit late and I think that most of the seats on that plane are taken.

‘With all of the players at the top of the field that Gareth has got to choose from, I don’t quite see him getting on the plane unless he features in some of these Nations League games and plays unbelievably well.

‘But he’s a dangerous boy, there’s no doubt about that.’

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Erik ten Hag told the Chelsea player he should sign, not Kante

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Marco van Basten has urged Erik ten Hag to sign Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech for Manchester United this summer.

This is as the club is also linked with the signature of N’Golo Kante.

However, during Ziggo Sport’s show ‘Rondo’ on Monday evening which featured Ten Hag as its guest, Van Basten suggested that Ziyech could also thrive under the new United manager at Old Trafford.

‘What comes to my mind now is that I think Ziyech who already plays in England could be a very good footballer at Manchester United for Erik,’ Van Basten said.

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However, Ten Hag refused to respond to Van Basten’s suggestion and insisted that he is already used to dealing with transfer speculation before joining United.

‘Of course this was already the case at Ajax,’ said Ten Hag.

‘You take that in and then you have to continue to work well with the dressing room and with people within the club.

‘You have to analyse well and make the right choices.’

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The Red Devils boss also also confirmed that he is already preparing for United’s pre-season campaign after deciding to not travel with Ajax’s squad for the post-season trip to Curacao.

‘I have started working today,’ Ten Hag said.

‘I already did the first things with Manchester United today. Tomorrow I will continue with that.

‘I will stay here. I will meet people from Manchester here.

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‘I will organise the staff, make the schedule for next season, and prepare the squad for next season.’

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Pundit hints possible United deal with Chelsea star, gives reasons why it should never happen

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Football pundit Noel Whelan has hinted that Man United are eyeing to seal up a deal to land N’Golo Kante from Chelsea.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said the incoming manager Erik ten Hag should look to “build something for the future” rather than signing a “quick fix” in the 31-year-old.

A report claims that Ten Hag is also targeting Aurelien Tchouameni, Frenkie de Jong, and Declan Rice alongside Kante.

Kante, who has started 19 Premier League games this term, is out of contract at the end of next season, the reason why the Dutch manager wants to take up the advantage.

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Whelan insisted that Man United should not be targeting players over 30 this summer.

He also suggested Kante’s lack of resale value makes a deal an unattractive proposition.

“I’d like to see Man United looking to bring in much younger players,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“I don’t see the point of getting players in who are 31 or 32. They need freshening up all over the park, and to do that they need to get young talent through the door.

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“Don’t get me wrong, N’Golo Kante is an exceptional player. He can still be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League on his day.

“But what is the point of signing players for two years?

“It’ll take a transfer fee – and they won’t get anything back for him in a couple of years.

“The fans will like to think Ten Hag is looking to build something for the future rather than just looking for a quick fix.”

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Declan Rice’s teammate speaks on his move to either Chelsea or United

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West Ham’s Michail Antonio has been asked about the possible departure of Chelsea and Manchester United target Declan Rice.

Rice, 23, has just two years left on his contract and has rejected the Hammers’ offer of an eight-year extension which would boost his wages to £200,000-a-week.

Chelsea and Manchester United are both keen to land him this summer with the Premier League giants in need of a top quality central-midfielder.

His teammate Antonio was asked if he has tried to make Rice stay at West Ham but the Jamaican international refused to be drawn on the topic.

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his teammate Antonio was asked if he has tried to make Rice stay at West Ham but the Jamaican international refused to be drawn on the topic.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ‘Dec has not even touched his best yet. He is unbelievable. What I see every day in training, he’s got so much more to do, got so much more to learn.

‘But what he’s doing right now, he’s up there with one of the best in the Premier League already.

‘Whatever Dec wants to do, I’ll be happy for him. I love him as a player. I love him as a person. So his decision is his at the end of the day.’

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United, Chelsea, Liverpool target confirms his future and makes it public

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Jude Bellingham has told all his targets that he is staying at Borussia Dortmund next season as he thanked the German giants for aiding his development over the past two campaigns.

A host of EPL sides including Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool are keen on the signature of the youngster and they are all tipped to make an attempt this summer

‘The only future I think about is the next game for Dortmund,’ he told Ruhr Nachrichten BVB.

‘I look forward to next season. I look forward to it starting again. But yes, I will be here next season and I will be ready.

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‘My destiny is in my own hands and I know that if I try hard and trust the people around me, I can move forward.

‘I came from England as a young talent. There was not much pressure. The first season went well. There were also matches where I sat on the bench and sometimes I did not play at all.

‘I think my development this year has meant that I have played a bigger role in every game except two. I am very grateful to Dortmund for the way they have nurtured my talent.

‘I think a lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff and the staff who keep the noise around me. In this way I can only focus on winning matches, because that’s what I’m here for.’

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United, Liverpool, Chelsea told why they should not be threatened by Erling Haaland’s arrival to the EPL

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Man United were also interested in the signature of Erling Haaland but he opted to join Man City ahead of the summer transfer window.

However, the striker, who has established himself as one of the best in the world is seen as a threat to all EPL teams especially those that are rivals to Man City, including Chelsea and Liverpool.

But in his analysis, former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said there is no need to be threatened as he noted that Erling Haaland has injury concerns.

During his time in Germany, Haaland has struggled with hip and muscular injuries and Hamann believes it should be enough to cause concern for City.

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‘It’s great news for the Premier League, it’s great news for City obviously. He’s a tremendous player,’ Hamann told talkSPORT.

‘He took the Bundesliga by storm and I think he averages a goal a game and did well for Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

‘Obviously this is the next step. It was all planned to go to Austria to play there for a year and a half, play in the Bundesliga and now he has to cut it in the Premier League. I have no doubt he will.

‘The only worry I would have about him is that he has had quite a few muscle injuries over the last 12 months and missed a lot of football.

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‘That’s one thing they have to be wary of.

‘I’m not sure if he can get any faster because he’s lightning quick already.

‘The thing with him is he will also give 100 per cent on the pitch. Sometimes he has to channel himself because he’s been out for a few weeks, plays the first game and was then chasing the goalkeeper from the halfway line and broke down again.

‘He’s still learning with his body as to whether he can get fitter and stronger. He probably can get stronger, but I’m not sure he can get much quicker as he’s lightning quick.

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‘It is terrifying because he has so much power, when he opens his legs he’s hard to stop. He’s a great finisher for his height and physique.

‘He’s got a great left foot on him, he finishes alright with his right as well. If there’s one weakness, I don’t really want to call it a weakness, but it is his heading.

‘But he doesn’t need to head that often because he scores with his feet.’

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