Frank Lampard singled out defensive additions Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy for praise after Chelsea drew 0-0 with Sevilla in the Champions League.

The Blues' last outing saw them concede three times as Southampton snatched a draw at Stamford Bridge, but they looked a far more solid outfit en route to their first point in Group E on Tuesday evening.

Lampard had made three changes to his defence from Saturday, bringing in Reece James at right-back, Mendy in goal and Silva in the heart of the back four.

He reserved special praise for the latter pair, who he believes can have a major impact on Chelsea's defending after arriving during the transfer window.

"It's something you strive for always and I mentioned before about the personnel we had back in today," Lampard told reporters.

"Thiago I thought showed the things I've spoken about, experience and quality; Mendy has probably one good save to make and he makes it, was good with his feet.

"[It was] against a very good team, a very organised defensive performance. They give you a lot of threats, they're very good, that's why they've been so successful in the last year or two, so I was pleased with that side of it.

"We lost a goal in the last minutes at the weekend that loses us two points. When you've got that feeling fresh in your mind, it's really important that you get over it. To get through that game will give us confidence.

"We're going to get better, I keep saying the same thing, but we haven't had the personnel in there playing regularly, getting relationships, working off each other.

"The more we do that, then we'll get better naturally."

Lampard, who has experienced his first goalless draw as Chelsea boss in what was his 62nd match in charge, also hailed work done on the training ground as a key factor in largely keeping a potentially dangerous Sevilla side quiet across the 90 minutes.

He continued: "It's always both. The work is a constant and you analyse the opposition and the threats that they're going to give you. With Sevilla, it was crosses and getting balls in the box.

"They've got quality, they play really well throughout the team but you might expect a team from La Liga to come and try and play a lot of passes through the lines, but they get a lot of crosses in.

"We dealt with all the things they threw at us, we had a few moments ourselves in the game as well. I think it was almost cagey, two good teams cancelling each other out in the first game, which is understandable, and we take the point and move on."

Chelsea's defensive resilience may have come at a cost in terms of their attacking play, with the Blues managing just one attempt on target during the first half.

Their attack did improve after the break, with Chelsea ultimately mustering six attempts in total, with four of those hitting the target.

Chelsea kicked off their Champions League campaign with a Stamford Bridge stalemate as they were held 0-0 by Sevilla.

An even contest between the two favourites for progression from Group E produced plenty of chances, but neither side could apply the finishing touch necessary to claim all three points.

Rennes' draw with FK Krasnodar in France meant that it was honours even across the group following the first matchday.

Chelsea's leaky defence had come in for scrutiny once again following a weekend Premier League outing that saw them held to a 3-3 draw by Southampton.

And head coach Frank Lampard's nerves will not have been helped by Thiago Silva's failure to make a seemingly simple headed clearance during an early passage of play that led to a Lucas Ocampos shot, albeit from a marginally offside position.

Saturday's result had no doubt contributed to a defensive reshuffle that saw Edouard Mendy replace Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal among other changes.

The potential value of that particular switch was shown after 18 minutes when the Blues' recent signing was on hand to claw away a Nemanja Gudelj header that had been diverted goalward by a deflection off Kurt Zouma.

At the other end, Chelsea evidenced their own threat when Timo Werner produced his team's first shot on target following a sweeping move involving the lively Reece James.

Still, they could not entirely limit Sevilla, who came close through a Suso header following brilliant work from Marcos Acuna and an Ocampos shot that needed a Mendy save just prior to the whistle sounding.

Although Lampard opted against making substitutions at the break, a tactical tweak that saw Christian Pulisic move from the right side to the left almost paid immediate dividends.

The American's quick feet earned Chelsea a corner that saw Zouma head on target, and he followed that with another dangerous cross from his preferred flank just seconds later.

With Pulisic benefiting from a direct approach, the Blues called for more thrust on the opposite wing with an hour gone as Hakim Ziyech replaced the ineffectual Mason Mount.

But their opponents were by no means ready to give up their share of the points and went close themselves when Joan Jordan showed great technique in volleying just over the bar from a corner.

What does it mean? Chelsea cure defensive blues

Although a draw at Stamford Bridge is rarely welcome for a team of Chelsea's ambitions, Lampard will take great encouragement from a hard-earned clean sheet for his side.

Europa League holders Sevilla created some chances, of course, but the Blues looked infinitely more defensively solid than they have during a chaotic start to the season.

Mendy offers keeper hope

After Kepa produced another erratic display against Southampton, there was pressure on Chelsea's new goalkeeper to shine on his return to the team.

While the Frenchman wasn't particularly busy, making just two saves, his handling was impressive enough to fill Blues fans with hope that they may have found their new number one.

Havertz quiet in Blues attack

While Werner was a constant threat in behind and Pulisic improved once he moved to the left, it was a quiet night for one man in the Chelsea attack: Kai Havertz.

The German took 67 touches but failed to have a shot or produce a key pass, and he surrendered possession on 15 separate occasions.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday when they travel north for a mouth-watering clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Sevilla, meanwhile, face Eibar at home in La Liga.

When Frank Lampard was questioned over Chelsea's poor defensive record in his tenure as manager, he suggested his goalkeepers were to blame.

Ahead of Tuesday's home game against Sevilla, which will kick off the Blues' Champions League campaign, it was put to Lampard that his side were conceding enough goals for him to rank him among the club's worst bosses ever in that category.

Indeed, Chelsea have conceded nine goals in their first five Premier League games this season – three coming in Saturday's 3-3 home draw with Southampton – and leaked 54 in the 2019-20 top flight, more than any other team to finish in the top 10.

"I'm aware of the stats and the other stat is we have conceded second least shots," said Lampard.

"That helps to narrow down the issue. It's something we are aware of with our recruitment and on the pitch with the players to make sure we set up well.

"We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment."

As Lampard referenced with recruitment, Chelsea hope the signing of Edouard Mendy for around £22million from Rennes can solve their goalkeeping issues.

But is the statistic he cites correct and to what extent can the other keepers, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero, be blamed for the club's woeful defensive record? We have used Opta data to find out...

CHELSEA RANK HIGHLY IN PREVENTING SHOTS

Since Lampard took charge at the start of last season, Chelsea have conceded 89 goals in 62 games across all competitions, an average of 1.44 per game.

Of the 17 sides who played in the Premier League last year and this year, that puts Chelsea in the bottom half (11th of 17).

The best two records, by comparison, are held by the two Manchester clubs, with City (61 in 65) and United (63 in 67) both averaging 0.94 goals conceded per game. West Ham are the worst, with 1.58 (79 in 50 matches).

But, as Lampard suggests, there is a significant difference when it comes to shots faced.

Taking all competitions into account, the Blues have faced 590 shots across their 62 games, an average of 9.52 per game.

That ranks third of the 17 teams, only narrowly behind Manchester City (7.34 shots per game) and Liverpool (9.46), with Leicester City (9.76) the only other team facing less than 10.

Of the shots Chelsea have faced, 215 have been on target, an average of 3.47 per game which ranks fifth of 17. 

So, Chelsea have been reasonably effective in limiting the shots they face and the attempts their keepers have to save.

However, 15 per cent (89) of opposing teams' shots have resulted in a conceded goal and by that metric, Chelsea are worst of all 17 teams.

The best is Arsenal (eight per cent) and Manchester United also rank in single figures (nine per cent), so it seems Lampard has a point that his goalkeeping is the primary concern.

KEPA STATS MAKE ABYSMAL READING

Delving deeper into Opta's advanced goalkeeper metrics, we can look at expected goals and how their keepers rank in the goals prevented statistic.

Unfortunately, it makes abysmal reading for Kepa. 

There were 43 shot-stoppers who played a Premier League game since Lampard took charge of Chelsea and Kepa ranks last in goals prevented differential.

In his 36 league matches for Chelsea since Lampard took charge, Opta's expected goals system projects the Spaniard should have conceded 39.21 goals. The actual figure was 51, giving him a goals prevented ratio of minus 11.79.

For context, the next worst of those who played at least 25 matches in that time period, were England duo Nick Pope (minus 4.31) and Jordan Pickford (minus 4.17).

Caballero also has a negative differential (minus 3.73), conceding nine Premier League goals from his six matches when his expected figure was 5.27.

The best goalkeeping performance in that time has come from Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris (plus 9.87 goals prevented), closely followed by Martin Dubravka (plus 8.57), Dean Henderson (plus 8.35) and Vicente Guaita (plus 7.97) – with those four ranking well clear of the rest.

As a team, Chelsea have conceded 63 in the league since August 2019, while the expected figure is 44.74, their minus 18.26 differential being far and away the top-flight's worst.

Southampton are next worst at minus 9.91, while the best record is held by Sheffield United, who conceded 46 when they were expected to concede 56.59, giving them a plus 10.59 ratio.

The poor goalkeeping is highlighted further when looking at Chelsea and their big six rivals.

Chelsea (44.74), City (44.34), Liverpool (44.67) and United (46.61) all rank similarly for the Premier League goals they would have been expected to concede since the start of last season.

By contrast, Arsenal (62.73) and Tottenham (62.72) rank more poorly.

However, the actual figures show Chelsea (63) conceded the most of the big six, more than Arsenal (54) and Spurs (55), who were boosted by the positive differentials and fine performances of Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez and Lloris.

City (42) fared best, with Ederson (plus 4.47) ranking well, while Liverpool (46) United (48) finished up relatively close to their expected figures, all highlighting just how badly Chelsea have been let down between the sticks compared to their nearest competitors.

Chelsea will hope Mendy, once fully fit and settled, can resolve their goalkeeping woes, as it is clear the data backs up Lampard's statement.

Everton and Liverpool played out a thrilling and controversial Merseyside derby on Saturday, while Pep Guardiola brought up his 500th managerial win.

Mohamed Salah and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both continued their scoring streaks in a dramatic encounter at Goodison Park, which finished 2-2 in contentious fashion.

Manchester City then saw off Mikel Arteta's Arsenal 1-0, after Chelsea had been pegged back to a 3-3 draw by Southampton, with Manchester United bouncing back from their 6-1 defeat to Tottenham with a comprehensive 4-1 win at Newcastle United in the late match.

Here, using Opta data, take a look at the key stats from Saturday's games.

Everton 2-2 Liverpool: Salah reaches century as Calvert-Lewin keeps on scoring

The reigning champions were humbled against Aston Villa before the international break, though Jurgen Klopp's side responded in force at Goodison Park.

Yet their efforts were not enough to claim a win over their rivals, who had Richarlison sent off late on, with Jordan Henderson's late strike contentiously disallowed by VAR.

Salah netted the 100th goal of his Liverpool career in his 159th appearance to put Liverpool 2-1 up – only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson have made it to the century in fewer appearances for the club. 

Salah's partner in crime Sadio Mane opened the scoring early on. It was the Reds' fastest ever goal in a Premier League derby, though Everton have done it quicker in the fixture , with Olivier Dacourt scoring after just one minute in April 1999.

Andrew Robertson provided the assist, the full-back's 14th since the start of the 2018-19 season. Only Kevin De Bruyne (21) has managed more in the English top flight, yet the lead did not last for too long, Michael Keane heading in James Rodriguez's delivery, with the Colombian having set up three league goals for the Toffees so far.

Calvert-Lewin got Everton's second and what proved to be the encounter's final goal, with his 12th headed goal in the top flight since the start of last term.

Having also struck on his England debut, the forward continued his fine start to the campaign, becoming the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of a season since Tommy Lawton, way back in 1938-39. 

Chelsea 3-3 Southampton: Walcott back with a bang

Kai Havertz's first Premier League goal looked set to be enough to secure a 3-2 win for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but Jannik Vestergaard snatched a point for Southampton.

Though Timo Werner and Havertz broke their Premier League ducks, becoming the fifth and sixth Germans to score for Chelsea in the competition in the process, Frank Lampard's defensive issues once again came to the fore.

With Danny Ings and Che Adams having already capitalised on defensive lapses, Theo Walcott, making his first Saints appearance in 14 years and 276 days, lashed in a stoppage-time shot which Vestergaard headed in.

It means Southampton have lost just one of their last eight away Premier League games (W4 D3) after losing two in a row directly before that in February.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have conceded an average of 1.5 goals per game in the Premier League under Lampard (63 in 43 games), the Blues' worst rate under any boss to oversee more than one game in the competition.

In the process of getting off the mark in the Premier League, Werner has now scored 30 league goals since the start of last season – only Robert Lewandowski, Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues.

Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal: Sterling brings up Pep's 500th win

Raheem Sterling's fourth goal in his past three games got Manchester City back to winning ways, and sealed a landmark victory for Guardiola in the process.

Sterling sat out England's recent matches with a hamstring issue but was back in action to score midway through the first half in Manchester.

Guardiola has now won 500 games in all competitions as a manager (including Barcelona B), winning 172 as City boss.

City are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League encounters with Arsenal (W8 D2), since a 1-2 loss in December 2015, though Arteta did guide the Gunners to a win in last season's FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal are winless in their last 29 Premier League away games against "big six" opponents (D10 L19), however, and have lost each of their last seven top-flight games against City, their longest such run against an opponent since losing seven in a row to Ipswich Town between 1974-1977.

Ederson has kept 53 clean sheets in the Premier League since his debut in August 2017; 15 more than any other goalkeeper in this time, while Sterling has been directly involved in each of City's last five goals in all competitions (four goals, one assist).

Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United: Fernandes strikes again despite penalty miss

After their dismal defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford, United needed a response, though matters looked bleak when Luke Shaw's early own goal put them behind at Newcastle.

However, Harry Maguire – after a tumultuous time with England – struck back, with Bruno Fernandes missing a penalty before scoring a wonderful goal to restore United's lead.

Fernandes' penalty miss was his first for United on what was his 11th spot-kick since his debut on February 1, with those 11 six more than any other Premier League player has taken in that time.

However, with his goal and subsequent assist for Marcus Rashford, who added a fourth after Aaron Wan-Bissaka had made it 3-1 in emphatic fashion, Fernandes has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 18 Premier League appearances for United (11 goals, nine assists).

Newcastle conceded four goals at home in the Premier League for the first time since April 5, 2014, also against the Red Devils.

United enjoyed their 10th comeback win against Newcastle in the Premier League, the most by any side against a single opponent in the competition, while Steve Bruce's side are now without a clean sheet in seven top-flight games, their longest such run without a shut-out on home soil since February 2014.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been awarded 17 penalties in the Premier League since the start of last season, five more than any other side in the competition (12 scored).

With his brilliant strike, Wan-Bissaka became the 116th different player to score for United in the Premier League in what is his 38th league appearance for the club, as Rashford registered three goal involvements in a top-flight match for the third time.

Will Manchester City land Lionel Messi?

City were reportedly close to luring Messi to the Premier League during the previous transfer window.

Messi remains at Barcelona, but City are believed to be planning another move.

 

TOP STORY – CITY CONTEMPLATING MESSI MOVE

Manchester City are considering an offer to prise Lionel Messi from Barcelona in January, according to the Daily Star.

Messi handed in a transfer request at the start of the season and the Barca captain was tipped to join City before opting to remain at Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola's City, however, have not given up on Messi as they eye a £15million (€16m) bid for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner – who was also linked to Juventus, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain previously.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror claims Barca are eyeing January moves for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and City defender Eric Garcia. Lyon captain Memphis Depay has also been linked.

Liverpool and Tottenham are set to battle it out for the signing of Leeds United's £50million midfielder Kalvin Phillips, reports the Mirror.

- The Sun says Manchester United are circling for Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde. United believe a swap deal involving Paul Pogba could be possible due to Valverde's £640m (€705m) release clause.

N'Golo Kante has no intention of leaving Chelsea, according to Le10 Sport. The France international has been linked to Inter and Madrid.

Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Ansu Fati headline the final 20-name shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy award.

The prize, presented by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and won by Joao Felix last year, is given to the best player aged 21 or under from a top-tier league in Europe.

Haaland is a leading contender for the accolade after scoring 44 goals across all competitions in 2019-20 – 16 of those coming in 18 appearances after a mid-season move from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund.

Among all Bundesliga players last season to have scored at least 10 goals, only Robert Lewandowski (81.2) had a better minutes-per-goal record than Haaland (81.7).

His Dortmund team-mate Sancho finished the 2019-20 league campaign with 17 goals and 16 assists, making him the first player since Opta began detailed data collection (2004-05) to register at least 15 in both categories in the same Bundesliga campaign.

The England international's prolific campaign saw him become the youngest player (20 years, two months and six days old) in the history of Germany's top flight to reach 30 career goals.

Despite their impressive numbers, Haaland and Sancho face stiff competition from Fati, who became the third-youngest player (16 years, 304 days old) to find the net in LaLiga history and the youngest of all time in the Champions League (17 years, 40 days).

He finished the season with eight goals in all competitions and has continued his rise this term, netting three times in as many LaLiga games and becoming the youngest player to score for Spain.

Alphonso Davies will also be in contention after establishing himself as one of the top left-backs in the game during Bayern Munich's treble-winning season.

The full 20-man shortlist:

Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Jonathan David (Lille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Fabio Silva (Wolves), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Dominik Szoboszlai (Salzburg), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

There was no chance Bayern Munich would have allowed Kingsley Coman to join Manchester United during the transfer window, says Hasan Salihamidzic.

France international Coman was linked with a move to Old Trafford before the deadline last week.

United were reported to have set their sights on the former Juventus winger after failing to meet Borussia Dortmund's asking price for Jadon Sancho.

Coman scored the winning goal in the Bavarian giants' Champions League final victory over Paris Saint-Germain in August after returning from a muscle injury.

Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic revealed allowing Coman to depart was never considered.

"There was nothing, and we wouldn't have looked into it either," he told Sport Bild. 

"His goal in the Champions League final should explain enough why we are relying on him wholeheartedly."

Salihamidzic also revealed the 2019-20 treble winners were unable agree terms with Chelsea over a deal for winger Callum Hudson-Odoi

He added: "There are transfers that come to the point where you have to say: 'We have to leave this immediately.'

"It is all the more important that one thinks about alternatives or alternative paths right from the start. We negotiated with Chelsea but there was no agreement. That happens."

Kylian Mbappe has long been coveted by Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has also made no secret of his admiration for fellow Frenchman Zidane.

But Erling Haaland could be a cheaper option for Madrid amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TURN TO HAALAND?

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland is an alternative transfer target for Real Madrid if Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe does not move to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to the front page of Tuesday's Marca.

Mbappe – also linked to Liverpool – has long been Madrid's number one transfer target and the LaLiga champions are preparing to make a move for the PSG star in 2021.

But if Mbappe does not make the switch from France to Spain, Haaland has emerged as another option for Zinedine Zidane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are targeting a triple transfer swoop in January, reports Tuesday's edition of Mundo Deportivo. After failing in the previous window, Barca are prepared to renew their attempts to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Manchester United are very interested in Rennes and France sensation Eduardo Camavinga, says AS. The teenage midfielder has been heavily linked with Madrid and PSG.

- Calciomercato says Roma will return for Napoli outcast Arkadiusz Milik in January. Roma tried to sign the forward before the transfer window closed. It comes as Roma could offer Edin Dzeko a new contract after he was poised to join Juventus.

- Football London claims Chelsea are set to hand midfielder Jorginho a new contract after rejecting a move to rivals Arsenal.

Mauricio Pochettino could find himself back in management sooner rather than later.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, having led Spurs to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Now, Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly considering moves for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – POCH A MAN IN DEMAND IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are both eyeing Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Mirror.

Pochettino has been out of work since his Tottenham sacking last year, and the former Spurs boss has emerged as the favourite to replace struggling United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly ready to sack Solskjaer if results do not improve, while City are considering Pochettino, with Pep Guardiola yet to sign a contract extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona are already planning for the next transfer window. The LaLiga powerhouse are keen to sign two players, with City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay at the top of the list. Barca are also looking to offload Ousmane Dembele who failed to join United on deadline day.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, claims the Mirror. It comes after Adrian struggles to deputise in the absence of injured number one Alisson.

- Tuttosport reports Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The two clubs are eyeing Alaba on a free transfer, with the Austria international's contract expiring at season's end. Alaba has also been linked to the likes of City and Real Madrid.

West Ham are trying to sign Brentford star Said Benrahma in a £17million deal, according to the Telegraph.

The 2020-21 season has only just started but Lionel Messi's future is dominating headlines once again.

Messi wanted to leave Barcelona, but he decided to remain at the embattled LaLiga giants.

Manchester City, who were reportedly tipped to lure Messi to England, are still dreaming of his arrival.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP ON MESSI

Manchester City are lining up a move for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at the end of the season, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Messi handed in a transfer request prior to the 2020-21 season getting underway and Premier League giants City were favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner before he opted to stay.

Pep Guardiola and City, however, remain interested in Messi and will be in a position to land the Barca captain should the opportunity arise next year.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have identified a list of potential defensive reinforcements that includes RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to The Athletic.

- Fabrizio Romano says goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen's new Barcelona contract until 2025 will be confirmed soon. The 28-year-old's current deal is due to expire in 2022.

- Le10sport claims Paris Saint-Germain are considering a loan move for Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has struggled to establish himself since joining from Tottenham in January.

West Ham are prepared to double Declan Rice's wages to fend off interest from London rivals Chelsea, reports The Sun.

- Tuttosport says Serie A champions Juventus are hoping to rival Madrid for Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga next year. Madrid have identified teenage midfielder Camavinga as a prime target, but Juve feel that by loaning Daniele Rugani to Rennes, it will help build a relationship with the Ligue 1 side.

- Calciomercato reports Lazio and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are facing a decisive season. The Serbia international has been previously linked to the likes of PSG, United, Inter, Juve and Madrid.

Eduardo Camavinga is one of Europe's hottest talents.

The 17-year-old's stock continues to rise following his exploits for Rennes and France.

Will Real Madrid be able to land him?

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CHASING CAMAVINGA

Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga remains Real Madrid's transfer objective, according to AS.

Madrid were desperate to sign Camavinga during the off-season but the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic prevented the LaLiga champions from doing so.

As Camavinga continues to star following his France debut and first international goal, Madrid remain determined to prise the teenager from Rennes before someone else does in 2021, when in which they plan to target Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

Milan have opened contract negotiations with star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and in-form midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports Calciomercato. Donnarumma has previously been linked to the likes of PSG, Chelsea and Juventus.

- Radio Radio claims former Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri has met with Roma's owners amid doubts over Paulo Fonseca's future in the Italian capital. Ralf Rangnick also been linked to Roma. Ex-Juve boss Maurizio Sarri has also reportedly emerged as a target for Roma and Fiorentina.

Manchester City have made progress with Kevin De Bruyne regarding contract talks, says The Times. City want to offer the Belgian star a new five-year deal.

Tottenham are confident of signing Swansea City centre-back Joe Rodon before the October 16 domestic deadline, reports the Evening Standard. Spurs were heavily linked with Inter star Milan Skriniar. Wales international Rodon has also caught the attention of Manchester United.

- Sky Sports says West Ham are interested in signing Bournemouth forward Joshua King. The Norway international was close to joining United in January.

- El Chiringuito TV claims Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has no intention of bringing in Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

Olivier Giroud has half an eye on catching Thierry Henry at the top of France's all-time leading scorer list after grabbing two goals on his 100th international appearance. 

The Chelsea striker got his 41st and 42nd goals for Les Bleus in Wednesday's 7-1 thrashing of Ukraine in a friendly match at Stade de France. 

Giroud has surpassed Michel Platini on the list and is now behind only former Arsenal and Barcelona star Henry, who scored 51 in 123 games. 

Giroud's tally is all-the-more impressive given he has often been used by coach Didier Deschamps as a target man entrusted with bringing deeper forwards such as Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe into play.

Indeed, the 34-year-old played in all seven of France's games at the 2018 World Cup, including their 4-2 win over Croatia in the final, without once getting on the scoresheet. 

Although he is not focusing too much on catching Henry, he suggested setting a new national record could be within his reach.

"Obviously, I'm hugely proud," Giroud, who was captain for the Ukraine match, told TF1. "It's a great honour [to reach 100 caps] and I'm very happy that it happened like this.

"It was always going to be emotional. It's a friendly match but it's still my hundredth, so I'm very happy for me and for the team as well. We showed a lot of good things.

"Now I keep looking forwards, without setting any limits. I hope to continue like this.

"I think you have to set goals. It's now maybe a little early to say [if I will break the record]. We'll see when I'm maybe on 46 or 47 goals!"

France face Portugal in the Nations League on Sunday.

Kepa Arrizabalaga acknowledged he is "not in the ideal situation" at Chelsea but is confident he can turn things around.

Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes for a reported £22million after Kepa made an error leading to a goal in each of the Blues' opening two Premier League games.

Even though Mendy was not in condition to face West Brom in the first game following his arrival being confirmed, Kepa was dropped for Willy Caballero.

The Spain international, who Chelsea made the most expensive keeper in the world when they signed him from Athletic Bilbao two years ago, has spent the past two games on the bench.

Kepa was linked with a loan away from Chelsea before the transfer window closed on Monday, but he is sure he will soon rediscover his best form.

"I feel good, strong and confident," he said. "Maybe I'm not in the ideal situation, but you have to go through things like this during a career.

"I am confident that I can turn the situation around. When I have the chance to play, I'll try to do so as well as possible.

"Obviously, all footballers want to play, but I'm just thinking about the day to day, not the medium-term or long-term."

Spain boss Luis Enrique has been impressed by Kepa's work ethic on international duty despite his struggles with Chelsea.

"I've spoken to him and I think he is doing good," Luis Enrique said.

"He knows that what has happened isn't the end of the world.

"This is a moment to see what he is made of and I think he's doing good, as he is happy, motivated and training very well with us."

Spain take on Portugal in a friendly on Wednesday before Nations League meetings with Switzerland and Ukraine on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

Bayern Munich have enjoyed a hugely productive transfer deadline day with three new arrivals at the Allianz Arena, while Manchester United look set for a hectic final few hours. 

Bayern had always looked likely to be active in the last days of the window, with the re-emergence of Callum Hudson-Odoi as a target indicative of their plans. 

But Bayern were unable to lure the England talent away from Chelsea and the German champions subsequently turned their attention to a familiar face. 

Douglas Costa, who previously spent two years with Bayern, returns on a season-long loan from Juventus, who subsequently bolstered their attacking options with Italy international Federico Chiesa. 

Costa, 30, was one of three arrivals, however – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting secured another move to an elite European club having spent the previous two years with Paris Saint-Germain.

The German-born Cameroon forward previously played for hometown club Hamburg, Nurnberg, Mainz and Schalke in the Bundesliga. 

Bouna Sarr is the other player to join, with the right-back arriving from Marseille and bolstering their defensive options to allow for Joshua Kimmich to take up the mantle in midfield following Thiago Alcantara's move to Liverpool. 

Manchester United are expected to make moves in the coming hours, having already snapped up Alex Telles from Porto, who have also seen Danilo Pereira depart to PSG. 

A deal for Edinson Cavani to join Telles at Old Trafford is reportedly done, while Ousmane Dembele has been mentioned as a target. Similarly, youngsters Facundo Pellistri and Amad Traore are thought to be nearing agreements. 

OLD LADY SPLASH THE CASH

Chiesa is the biggest name on the move in Europe so far, with the Italy winger signing a two-year loan deal at Allianz Stadium which Juve are obliged to make permanent in a deal, one that could eventually earn Fiorentina €60million. 

La Viola have seen several incomings as well, however, with Jose Callejon following defenders Antonio Barreca and Lucas Martinez Quarta in joining the club. 

Roma have managed to offload a few players, with Diego Perotti moving to Fenerbahce and Justin Kluivert joining RB Leipzig – and they are still hoping to bring in defensive reinforcements, Chris Smalling and Antonio Rudiger strongly linked. 

Italian full-backs have certainly been a popular commodity on deadline day, with Matteo Darmian linking up with Inter and Mattia De Sciglio leaving Juve for Lyon.

GONNA TAKE YOU TO THE EIBAR

While Real Madrid and Barcelona appear set for quiet days, the same cannot be said for one of the teams hoping to trouble them in LaLiga this term – Sevilla. 

The Europa League winners have shipped two of their most promising youngsters to Eibar, with Bryan Gil and Alejandro Pozo providing the Basque side with greater depth on the flanks. 

Netherlands-born Morocco international winger Oussama Idrissa joins Sevilla in a reported €13m deal from AZ, while Oranje centre-back Karim Rekik moves to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan from Hertha Berlin for an estimated cost of €4m. 

They could yet bring in Joshua King from Bournemouth as well.

Madrid's lack of activity does not mean the Zidane household has no news, however, as Luca Zidane has flown the nest and joined Rayo Vallecano on a permanent deal.

Meanwhile, Real Valladolid secured the loan signing of highly rated Benfica winger Jota.

INS AND OUTS AT ARSENAL?

The biggest deal in the earlier part of deadline day in England was Ben Godfrey's transfer from Norwich City to Everton, which could land the Canaries £30m. 

Another young prospect on the move is Matteo Guendouzi. The French talent has fallen out of favour at Arsenal and he has been allowed to join Hertha Berlin for the season. 

In his place could come Thomas Partey, the Atletico Madrid midfielder who has been strongly linked with the Gunners for several months. 

The Ghana international is reportedly set to have his €50m release clause triggered by Arsenal, with Atletico previously making it clear they have no desire to negotiate with interested parties. 

Elsewhere in London, Chelsea have once again loaned out Tiemoue Bakayoko, who after playing at Milan and Monaco in the past two seasons now joins up with Napoli.

Deadline day is upon us once again as teams across Europe clamour to get those final pieces of the jigsaw completed in a race against the clock.

Transfers often go down to the wire as teams take time to assess their squads and this season's business has of course been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Several huge moves have occurred on the last day of the window in the past but just how much does it pay to go big at the last minute?

Looking at the biggest deals to occur on deadline days in the Premier League in the past, and using a sprinkling of Opta data, we take a look.
 

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG TO ARSENAL - £56m

Aubameyang arrived at Arsenal amid much fanfare from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has been an unmitigated success. In 89 Premier League appearances, the Gabon striker has scored 55 goals – including notching braces on 12 occasions – equating to a goal every 132 minutes. He also has a big-chance conversion rate of 49 per cent, has provided 13 assists and created 76 chances for his team-mates. The Gunners captain recently penned a new three-year deal and inspired Mikel Arteta's side to FA Cup glory last season.

Verdict: Success


FERNANDO TORRES TO CHELSEA - £50m

Judging Torres' time at Chelsea is a tricky one. On the face of it, he became a Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League winner during three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge. But the Spain World Cup winner never really lived up to the huge transfer fee the Blues forked out to Liverpool, where he was so prolific. In total there were just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, a poor return considering the fee.

Verdict: Failure


MESUT OZIL TO ARSENAL - £42m

It is easy to forget given his current situation at Arsenal, where game time is proving very difficult to come by, just how good Ozil has been at times since joining from Real Madrid in September 2013. With 33 goals and 54 assists from 184 Premier League games, Ozil has been a valuable playmaker for the Gunners. He has created 559 opportunities for team-mates, including 65 big chances, and the World Cup winner also has three FA Cup medals to his name. Ozil has been increasingly isolated in the Unai Emery and Arteta eras and there is a sense that he has not quite fully lived up to his billing.

Verdict: 50/50


ANTHONY MARTIAL TO MANCHESTER UNITED - £36m

When the Red Devils signed Martial from Monaco in September 2015 then-boss Louis van Gaal said the fee was "ridiculous" but he was purchased with the next manager of Manchester United in mind. Over the following five years Martial has been as frustrating as he has been brilliant, capable of the extraordinary but also wildly lacking in consistency. Still, there have been 51 goals and 23 assists in 148 top-flight appearances, with a goal every 200 minutes. Martial's big-chance conversion is at 55 per cent, while he has created 160 opportunities for team-mates – 35 of which are big chances. Throw in trophies in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League and Martial has been a solid purchase.

Verdict: Success


ANDY CARROLL TO LIVERPOOL - £35m

Signed by Kenny Dalglish on the same day as Luis Suarez arrived from Ajax in January 2011, Carroll never lived up to his hefty price tag and it was instead his fellow new arrival who flourished. The former England striker did win an EFL Cup and reach an FA Cup final during his time on Merseyside but managed a measly six Premier League goals and was shipped off to West Ham on loan in August 2012 – he joined them permanently the following year. He has since returned to boyhood club Newcastle United.

Verdict: Failure


ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN TO LIVERPOOL - £35m

A few eyebrows were raised when Liverpool gambled on signing Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal in August 2017, given he had shown flashes of the prodigious talent that convinced the Gunners to bring him to north London from Southampton as a teenager but lacked consistency. However, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been a solid performer for Jurgen Klopp's side and that despite a serious knee injury that robbed him of a year of his career in April 2018. The England international is now a Premier League and Champions League winner with the Reds, while he has seven goals and eight assists in the top flight despite not being a first-team regular.

Verdict: Success


DANNY DRINKWATER TO CHELSEA - £35m

Drinkwater was a very late signing for the Blues in the same window, arriving at the club's training ground just an hour before the business had to be concluded. On the face of it, the signing made sense – Drinkwater was a Premier League winner in Leicester City's unlikely title triumph and had formed a great partnership with N'Golo Kante, who had joined Chelsea the season before. But with only 12 Premier League appearances, one goal, no assists and just five chances created the move has proven a really woeful one for both parties. Loans at Burnley and Aston Villa proved fruitless for Drinkwater.

Verdict: Failure


Overall verdict:

The truth is that any transfer always comes with its pitfalls and signing players on the last day of a window can sometimes be viewed as panic buying. But there have undoubtedly been success stories in the past and, quite frankly, we all love the drama don't we? Long may it continue…

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