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EPL 2016/17: Dimitri Payet hands in transfer request at West Ham



West Ham’s star midfielder Dimitri Payet has handed in a transfer request and wants to leave the club in the January transfer window itself. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic confirmed in a press conference that the France international has refused to play for the Premier League side as he waits for a transfer.

“Let’s get serious. I have a situation with a player,” Bilic said. “It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave.

“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us..

Although West Ham finished a creditable seventh in the 2015/16 season, their 2016/17 campaign has been far from an improvement. After moving to the new Olympic Stadium, they have had terrible results by last season’s standards and they now find themselves in 13th place.

Payet was the London side’s inspiration last season with nine goals and 12 assists as he lit up the Premier League time and again. His success with the club saw him make the Euro 2016 squad for France and a successful tournament on an individual level despite the loss in the final saw his stock rise in the transfer market.

Ever since this summer, Payet has been a target for clubs in the Premier League and abroad, especially back in France. Having arrived in England from Marseille, he has been linked with a move back to the club where he scored seven goals and had 16 assists in his final season before the transfer.

Big spenders Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with a move for Payet while Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United have been keen on securing his services. Just last month Payet had said that he “could have fun” in a team like Arsenal.

Dimitri Payet Euro 2016 France
Payet had three goals and two assists for France in Euro 2016

Payet had signed a contract extension only last year and has a deal to stay at West Ham until the summer of 2021. For any club to sign him, they would have to pay over the odds to force the Hammers to sell, especially if he wants a move to a rival Premier League club.

However, Bilic is adamant that the club will not sell him midway through the season. “We are not going to sell him,” the Croatian boss said. “It’s not a money issue or anything. We want to keep our best players.”

Bilic also expects Payet to get his head back in the game and show the same “commitment and determination” to lead West Ham back to the top half of the table.

Payet’s case is not new to football clubs and, in the majority of the cases, it is the player that eventually gets his way. For Payet, a move to a bigger club is a step up in both stature and wages. He cannot lift West Ham by himself and criticism has come in from all quarters with many even blaming the new stadium for the Hammers’ dip in form.

With this move, the Frenchman has sent out an invitation to other clubs to come and get him but West Ham may play hardball and keep him on till the summer unless Bilic fails to convince Payet to finish the season with the Hammers.


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Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches



Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw



With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »



Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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