Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League clash against Leicester City due to injury.

Pogba was forced to withdraw from international duty with France after injuring his ankle in United's 1-1 draw with Southampton on August 31.

Mauricio Pochettino claimed his preference to keep Kieran Trippier was "so clear" despite the defender appearing to accuse Tottenham of keeping him guessing over their transfer plans.

England right-back Trippier moved to LaLiga side Atletico Madrid in July, bringing an end to a four-year stint in north London.

The 28-year-old endured an underwhelming final season with Spurs but last week said he had "wanted to stay" and might have done so had the club not "got rid" of him.

"I tried to speak to the chairman about it and I spoke to the manager about his plans and I didn't get a yes and I didn't get a no. So you get the impression," Trippier was quoted as saying.

Pochettino offered a different version of events and revealed the former Burnley player made contact through Harry Kane in an attempt to clarify his comments.

"He believed his words were twisted - I don't know anything more," said Pochettino, who did not receive a text message from Trippier due to recently changing his phone number.

"Kieran translated this message to me through Harry Kane. He wanted to tell me. But I've got no problem with Kieran.

"In football decisions happen and players move from one club to another. What happened happened, and we need to move on and he needs to think of Atletico Madrid and be happy there."

Pochettino added, according to several English newspapers: "The only conversation when he arrived after the summer was when he came to see me.

"He asked me for a meeting and said, 'Gaffer, I think I have a good possibility and for different reasons I would like to accept the offer from Atletico Madrid'.

"He didn't ask me nothing. He only communicated whether the club were going to accept the offer. Nothing more.

"It wasn't a conversation - 'Do you want me or don't you want me?'. It was so clear.

"He played the final of the Champions League, when I had plenty of different options, with Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Kyle Walker-Peters. But he played the final of the Champions League. My actions speak louder than my words."

Trippier joined Tottenham from Burnley in 2015 and went on to star at the World Cup three years later.

"We all feel proud to help him to achieve his dream and to reach a level that he wasn't at before he arrived at Tottenham," Pochettino said.

"That speaks very highly about Tottenham, very highly about him, and we are more than happy that he is enjoying the new experience in Spain.

"I hope he has a good life there."

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insisted John Stones will prove his quality and silence his critics.

Stones has won two Premier League titles among other honours since joining City from Everton in 2016, however, doubts remain over the England international's long-term credentials in Manchester.

Errors and a lack of consistency have raised questions over Stones, who started 20 league matches last season but missed most of the run-in as Pep Guardiola preferred Kompany.

However, Kompany – who has since departed City for Anderlecht in a player-coach role – backed the 25-year-old to prove his doubters wrong.

"I've always said John is one of the most talented defenders. He's got such a bright future," Kompany said.

"He's already achieved a lot, let's not forget that. He's not a young defender anymore that hasn't got any experience. He's a multiple Premier League-winning central defender that is growing.

"The one thing I wish for him is consistency - consistency of games and consistency of fitness - and then he will show the world how good he is.

"By the end of it, if City can win a Champions League or something, all of a sudden he'll be mentioned in a completely different category.

"He just has to get himself on the pitch, be himself and he'll be fine. I've not seen signs of weakness I need to be worried about.

"He's just a top-class defender. If now he gets to play games things will sort themselves out, no doubt."

Stones started in City's season-opening 5-0 rout of West Ham, however, a thigh injury has forced him to miss matches against Tottenham, Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Inter forward Alexis Sanchez said there is no one like Romelu Lukaku in the world as he hailed the Serie A club's most expensive player.

Lukaku joined Inter in a club-record deal after leaving Premier League giants Manchester United last month.

The 26-year-old has already scored two goals in two games for Antonio Conte's Inter, who are looking to dethrone Italian champions Juventus this term.

Sanchez followed Lukaku to Inter from United on loan and the Chilean heaped praise on his star team-mate.

"You won't find anyone else like him, anywhere in the world," Sanchez told ESPN.

"Lukaku and I trained very well. But we needed to play more in games to get to our best.

"It wasn't the right time for us to be at Manchester. Too many changes. When you change that much, it's tough.

"Lukaku and I trained very well. I can feel the will here to achieve. This is why I'm here.

"That's why Romelu is here. Will it work? We will have a lot more to say about that at the end of the season."

Lukaku scored 42 goals for United across all competitions following his move to Old Trafford from Everton in 2017.

Sanchez swapped Arsenal for United in a high-profile transfer in January last year, however, form and injuries limited the 30-year-old to just five goals.

Inter host Udinese on Saturday, with Sanchez looking to make his debut for the Nerazzurri.

David de Gea is not irreplaceable at Manchester United as doubts remain over his future, according to former Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

De Gea has been tipped to sign a new long-term contract with United, however, the star goalkeeper is yet to commit to the struggling Premier League giants.

The Spain international – who arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011 – is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to Serie A champions Juventus as his reported contract offer remains unsigned.

Van der Sar – now Ajax's chief executive officer – won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at United and the 48-year-old said De Gea is not indispensable despite his quality.

"Other goalkeepers can also fill the gap," said Van der Sar, who has been linked with a return to United as a sporting director, though the Dutchman has dismissed speculation.

"There are a few Premier League goalkeepers playing at the club who can also take the step up.

"I was 34 when I went to United, so there are lots of opportunities there.

"The decision needs to come at a certain point. It's taken a long time now, so it's a case of 'yes' or 'no' but I'm not a director of United."

De Gea's form has been questioned after a number of errors at the end of the 2018-19 season, while he could have done better for Crystal Palace's last-gasp winner against United last month.

However, Van der Sar added: "That happened to me, it happened to [Ryan] Giggs also, to everyone.

"Your form differs. He has been for so long at such a high level, so at a certain point it gets noticed [when your form dips], maybe not the first two times, but then people start to write about it. But he'll be fine. He's a great goalkeeper."

United – who have only won one of their opening four matches – are back in action at home to Leicester City on Saturday following the international break.

Romelu Lukaku says he was "scapegoated" during his time at Manchester United.

The Belgium striker left Old Trafford to join Inter ahead of the 2019-20 Serie A season and has scored two goals in two games under Antonio Conte, who previously tried to sign him for both Juventus and Chelsea.

And the 26-year-old feels he was mistreated after falling out of favour last term under United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"Scapegoated," Lukaku told ESPN. "Meaning 'You. Are. The. Reason.'"

Lukaku was criticised for a perceived weight problem, with former United captain Gary Neville describing the issue as "unforgivable" for a professional footballer.

"Normally I have a fine digestive system," Lukaku explained.

"I digest everything very quickly. That's how it had been my entire life. But what the nutritionist said to me was it had stopped working.

"I'm good now. My body is in the zone."

Lukaku feels the time was right to leave United and revealed he has settled in quickly at Inter.

"This could be the team I need," he said. "There's the love I have for this area. The love that I have for Inter.

"And it was the perfect moment for me to leave England. I didn't want to be there anymore."

Chelsea have confirmed talented teenager Billy Gilmour has signed a new four-year contract with the club.

Gilmour, who joined from Rangers at the age of 15, has committed his future to Stamford Bridge through to at least 2023.

The Scotland Under-21 international made his Premier League debut from the bench against Sheffield United last month.

Gilmour's new deal is the latest commitment to young players made by new head coach Frank Lampard.

"It's really exciting for me and my family to sign this four-year deal with the club," the 18-year-old told the official Chelsea website.

"Frank has come in and everyone is buzzing, training is really good and there's a high standard to everything we do.

"There are exciting times ahead and hopefully I can work hard to get more opportunities as well."

Referees chief Mike Riley accepts VAR has missed four errors in the Premier League this season but promised officials are "constantly learning".

The new technology was introduced at the start of the 2019-20 campaign to mixed response, intervening on six occasions across the first four matchweeks after 227 reviews.

Much of the focus has been on incidents where VAR has not had an input, however, and Riley, manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), acknowledged four mistakes in a meeting with the Premier League on Thursday.

He told Sky Sports: "We're learning as we go along and we're constantly improving as we go along.

"Undoubtedly, out of the four match rounds, there have been some really good examples where we have intervened. We've had six instances where the VAR has advised the referee and we've got a better decision as a result.

"What we've talked about are the four instances where the VAR didn't intervene and, had we done, we would have had a better understanding of the role VAR plays in the game."

Explaining the errors, he continued: "They're all about the judgement of the VAR and the process we adopt and then discussing those with the clubs, with the players, with the managers to make sure these really are examples where the VAR could have had a benefit and intervened and helped the referee on the day.

"It's a combination of factors. That's the fascinating thing as this project evolves. We're constantly learning as we do things.

"On occasion, it was a judgement decision the VAR made, on one, it was a process mistake, and on others, it was trying to protect the high bar we want to not disrupt the flow of the game.

"On these two occasions, actually, the judgement should have been that the high bar had been crossed, it was a clear and obvious error and the VAR could have advised the referee of that."

It is reported the four incidents Riley flagged up in the meeting were Jefferson Lerma's challenge on David Silva, Youri Tielemans' apparent stamp on Callum Wilson, Fabian Schar's goal for Newcastle United against Watford and Tom Trybull's trip on Sebastien Haller.

FABIAN SCHAR GOAL

The VAR was criticised when Gabriel Jesus had a goal disallowed for City as Aymeric Laporte appeared to handle against Tottenham. A similar incident went unpunished when Newcastle drew with Watford. Isaac Hayden knocked down Emil Krafth's cross with his arm for Schar to score and earn the Magpies a point.

TRYBULL ON HALLER

Haller netted the opener as West Ham defeated Norwich City 2-0 on August 31, but the margin of victory could have been wider. The Hammers should have had a penalty when Trybull tripped Haller as he advanced into the area, but no foul was given.

LERMA ON SILVA

The first error of the season came in Manchester City's 3-1 win at Bournemouth on August 25. Lerma clearly stepped on Silva's foot inside the area, but no penalty was given to the champions.

TIELEMANS ON WILSON

The only instance in which a player should have been sent off but was not saw an awful Tielemans challenge go over the ball onto Wilson's ankle, with not even a free-kick awarded. The Belgium midfielder went on to score in Leicester City's 3-1 win over Bournemouth.

NOTABLE NON-AWARDS

It appears the PGMOL were satisfied with several other high-profile incidents.

Pep Guardiola believed Rodri should have had a penalty against Tottenham when Erik Lamela pulled him to the ground, while Spurs themselves wanted a spot-kick as Jamaal Lascelles fell into a challenge on Harry Kane in Newcastle's away win the following week.

Gary Cahill was only shown a yellow card in Crystal Palace's shock victory at Manchester United despite appearing to be the last man as he tugged down Anthony Martial.

Arsenal full-backs Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin have joined in full training with the Gunners.

Neither defender has been able to feature in the Premier League so far this season due to injury issues.

Scotland left-back Tierney is yet to make his debut for the club after joining from Celtic, while Bellerin has been out since January after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, though, could soon be able to select the duo after they worked with the rest of the group on Thursday.

Centre-backs Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos also took part to give Arsenal a clean bill of health as they prepare to return to domestic duties following the international break.

The Gunners are in action away to Watford on Sunday, Emery's men having taken seven points from their first four games of the season.

Arsenal beat Newcastle United and Burnley in their opening two fixtures, then lost to Liverpool and came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to London rivals Tottenham.

Dani Ceballos has admitted to being left in awe of Liverpool's high-pressing prowess following Arsenal's suffocating 3-1 defeat at Anfield in August.

Mohamed Salah scored twice and Joel Matip once when the Gunners, previously unbeaten, travelled to Merseyside for their third match of the new Premier League season.

Spain international Ceballos lasted only an hour but the European champions made a big impression on the midfielder, who is on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid.

"I've never seen anything like what I saw at Anfield," Ceballos told the Guardian.

"I haven't seen a team that plays better, that presses like them, the way the fans carry them along.

“They take the air from you. You spend so much time defending and when you want to do something with the ball, when you want to breathe, they're back on top of you. They're very well-drilled."

Ceballos was dropped to the bench for Arsenal's next match, the 2-2 draw against Tottenham, but sliding out of the starting XI did nothing to dent his enthusiasm for life in north London.

"I love the city, I love the Premier League and love Arsenal," he said.

"I'm just really, really happy to be part of this great club. I've hardly noticed any difference in size between Real Madrid and Arsenal. And the fans are very passionate, they love the players."

Ceballos believes Arsenal's front three can propel them to success, saluting the "direct" qualities of Nicolas Pepe and describing Alexandre Lacazette as "the best player".

"You can compare [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang to Cristiano [Ronaldo] when he was at Madrid in the sense that he plays close to the goal, he lives for scoring," Ceballos added.

Arrigo Sacchi believes the Premier League is enjoying a "golden age" of coaching with Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.

Former AC Milan boss Sacchi, who won the European Cup in 1989 and 1990 with the Rossoneri, is seen as one of football's great innovators, yet he is watching English football with great admiration for the top managers.

Guardiola has guided Manchester City to consecutive Premier League titles, winning a treble last season, while Klopp's Liverpool defeated Pochettino's Tottenham in the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Sacchi told the Daily Mail: "[Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino are] my favourites and all three have the same philosophical system, even though they are very different.

"England has a crazy, brilliant championship. It is experiencing a golden age."

The Italian, now 73, also drew comparisons between City, Liverpool and his great Milan side.

"Their football is similar to mine and I really appreciate their values, culture and mentality," Sacchi said. "My Milan team innovated, the teams of Guardiola and Klopp continue to innovate.

"They think like me. We have the duty to make the public enjoy football, to be excited by it. Making great football is more difficult than talking about it.

"I like the desire they have to dominate. Football must be domination and beauty, music and culture.

"I enjoy watching them. The problem in the Premier League is that they play too often and there is too much competition. Perhaps this is why the [England] national team never achieves great results."

Mauricio Pochettino says Christian Eriksen remains happy and appreciated at Tottenham following months of speculation over the midfielder's future.

The Denmark international voiced a desire to pursue a new challenge after the Champions League final in June.

Eriksen's admission prompted links to Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid, but a move failed to materialise before the end of the transfer window.

Interest is sure to be reignited when the playmaker enters the final six months of his contract in January, though Pochettino is not worried about his commitment to the cause.

"He's happy, he's always been happy," the Spurs coach said.

"Of course, everyone has aims and challenges and goals. I said before the Arsenal game he was in the right frame of mind, that's why I selected him.

"He's an important player for us, a player we appreciate a lot. His qualities are there and are important for the team. He's happy.

"Whether he plays is not because there is one year or less than one year on his contract. Always the decision is based on performance. We felt he was in the right place to compete."

Eriksen started and scored in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal and will have an important part to play in the weeks following the international break, with fellow midfielder Giovani Lo Celso ruled until the end of October through injury.

The Argentina international sustained a hip problem in a friendly against Chile in the United States, his first start of the season for club or country.

Spurs had been careful with easing their loan signing into the new campaign following his involvement at the Copa America, but Pochettino refrained from criticising the Argentine Football Association.

"The reality is we are all disappointed," Pochettino said. "The first, of course, the national team of Argentina. We're all really sad.

"We cannot change the situation. That is why it is so important to have good relationships with all the national teams. The situation is not to blame someone.

"It's bad for the player and our priority is always to try to anticipate the problems."

Tottenham could regain Tanguy Ndombele for Saturday's match against Crystal Palace, but Davinson Sanchez is in doubt with an ankle issue.

Arsenal have announced midfielder Joe Willock has signed a new long-term contract with the club.

The England Under-20 international, who has been with the Gunners since the age of four, has agreed to new terms that will reportedly keep him at Emirates Stadium until the end of the 2022-23 season.

"Joe has progressed a lot in the last year," head coach Unai Emery told the club's website. "He is technically strong and has shown the confidence to take responsibility and play his game whatever the occasion or opposition.

"I'm looking forward to working with to help him develop further and fulfil his potential."

Technical director Edu added: "The hard work of the academy coaches and staff, Joe, his family and everyone behind the scenes have been key to the development of his potential.

"Bringing young players through to the first team from the academy is an important part of our approach and Joe's progression is a good example for how we want to work in the future.

"Joe has shown hard work and determination to get this far. He's continuing to develop and we look forward to him making a big contribution to the club."

Willock made his senior Gunners debut in the 1-0 EFL Cup win over Doncaster Rovers in September 2017.

The 20-year-old started the first three of Arsenal's Premier League matches this season, before being an unused substitute in the 2-2 derby draw with Tottenham.

Virgil van Dijk should not be considered better than Lionel Messi even if he does win the Ballon d'Or, according to former Netherlands star Rafael van der Vaart.

Liverpool star Van Dijk is among the favourites for the world's top individual prizes after an outstanding 2019, helping the Reds to win the Champions League last season in Madrid.

If he was to take home the gong, Van Dijk would be the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or since Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

But Van der Vaart, Van Dijk's countryman, claims a defender's importance to his team can see them rewarded for an outstanding year even if they do not match up to five-time winner Messi.

Asked if a defender could win the coveted award, Van der Vaart told reporters: "Yeah, of course. Why not?

"You can't compare players. If you choose a defender, it doesn't mean he is better than Messi. You have to see what he wins, how important he is for his own team. We will see what happens."

Netherlands have two of European football's foremost centre-backs, with Matthijs de Ligt having left Ajax for Juventus in the close season.

The 20-year-old endured a tough Bianconeri debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli, but Van der Vaart expects him to prove his worth.

"He could have played somewhere else - Bayern Munich or maybe for Barcelona - and now he's had a difficult start at Juventus," the former Real Madrid midfielder said.

"It's not easy - [Giorgio] Chiellini is injured now, it's going to be difficult for him, but he has so much talent.

"He also played two games for the national team and was by far the best man on the pitch [in the past week]. He's a great talent."

And Van der Vaart is hopeful of a bright future for Netherlands under head coach Ronald Koeman.

He added: "We are lucky that we have so many good talents at the moment, with De Ligt, [Frenkie] De Jong, Van Dijk, some special players.

"[Koeman] is a guy who brought stability to the team. You can see everyone likes to play for Netherlands again and, for a long time, it was not like that."

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