As the old adage goes, form is temporary, class is permanent.

It can happen to the best. Harry Kane, for example, scored just once in his first 13 Premier League games for Tottenham last season, before netting 16 in his next 24 outings once he had his mojo back.

Going under the radar slightly given their results did not particularly suffer as they hunted down an unprecedented quadruple, but opposite to Kane, Mohamed Salah's outstanding goalscoring form in the first half of the season for Liverpool regressed after the turn of the year.

Salah scored 20 non-penalty goals in 26 games in all competitions before heading to the Africa Cup of Nations, where his Egypt team suffered an agonising defeat on penalties to Sadio Mane's Senegal in the final.

On his return, Salah scored just five non-penalty goals in 25 outings. The assumption was that the 30-year-old needed a break, and he began the new campaign with a penalty against Manchester City in the 3-1 Community Shield victory and scored the equaliser at Fulham in an opening day 2-2 draw.

However, he has failed to score in three home games against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, with his only other goal so far being a consolation in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.

That is not to say Salah is necessarily out of form (three goals in six outings is hardly bad so early in the season) but when he has set such high standards, seeing Liverpool have to so often rely on goals from elsewhere just feels a bit... strange.

Ahead of the Merseyside derby on Saturday, Stats Perform has taken a look at why Salah might not be producing the numbers we so often associate with him in front of goal. And in fact, playing against Everton at Goodison Park could be just the tonic.

Three of Salah's four Premier League goals for Liverpool against Everton have come at the home of the Toffees, with only Michael Owen (four) having scored more away goals for the Reds against their local rivals in the competition.

Salah's next goal in the Premier League will see him overtake Steven Gerrard's haul of 120 for the club.

It is frankly remarkable the goal has not already arrived, with Salah somehow unable to score in Liverpool's win against Bournemouth last weekend, even though almost everyone else did as Jurgen Klopp's men ran out 9-0 victors at Anfield.

He had chances, incredibly missing from close range after excellent build-up down the left in the first half, before controlling a lofted Fabinho pass in the second and firing over the bar.

In the much more difficult 2-1 win against Newcastle on Wednesday, Salah was relatively anonymous in front of goal, having just two shots, with neither on target.

Is this bad form though, or is Salah just being asked to fill a different role by Klopp?

The sale of Mane to Bayern Munich always felt like it was going to have a significant impact, with the Senegalese attacker such a vital part of their forward line in recent years.

Luis Diaz's January arrival looked to be setting the table for the next evolution of the attack, with Mane playing down the middle after the Colombia international came in, but the signing of striker Darwin Nunez at the end of the season seemed to signal a slightly more drastic change.

What would it mean for Salah? Well, so far it appears to have had an impact on his role, even with Nunez missing for the last three games through suspension after getting sent off on his home debut against Palace.

Last season, Salah averaged 56 touches per 90 minutes in the Premier League. So far this season he has averaged just 48, seemingly indicating fewer moves are going through him.

More noticeably, although the season is still very young, he is taking fewer shots than usual. Last season he was taking 4.5 shots per 90 in the league, which so far this campaign is down to just 2.8.

You might think that could be due to being more selective in his shots, but that also does not appear to be the case, with his shooting accuracy down at 33.3 per cent from 59.4 last season.

It is not all numbers going down though, as Salah appears to be on a mission to act as chief creator, having already crafted 21 chances from open play for team-mates in his five Premier League games, already more than a third as many as the 62 he created in 35 league games last campaign.

He made eight key passes in the draw with Palace, four at United and six against Newcastle, more than any other Liverpool player in each game, suggesting Salah is preparing himself for life alongside Nunez, who gobbled up chances at Benfica last season.

The 23-year-old had a shooting accuracy percentage of 62.3 per cent in the Primeira Liga in 2021-22, and a shot conversion rate of 30.6 per cent, compared to Salah's conversion rate of 22.8 per cent in a season in which he still scored 23 Premier League goals.

This could mean that, while not exactly reverting back to being the winger he was at Roma when playing with Edin Dzeko, Salah's job in the team may be evolving from main goal-getter to someone who can either score or create in equal measure, making Liverpool a little less predictable.

In his final season with Roma in 2016-17 before moving to Merseyside, he averaged 2.9 shots per game and created 2.5 chances from open play, not entirely dissimilar to the numbers he has put up in the early stages of the new season.

The plan with the presence of Nunez is presumably to cause one of two things, either lead to the Uruguayan making use of the space left by defenders all rushing to stop Salah, or allow the Egyptian more room than usual as opposition players are forced to keep an eye on his new team-mate.

You will never extinguish Salah's thirst for goals. Breaking scoring records is what he lives for, but as he said recently in an interview with Sky Sports: "I never say before the season [my individual goals]. But the collective one is the Premier League and Champions League. It has to be. That was my target last season and I go again until I win both again."

Whatever it takes to win more silverware at Liverpool, Salah will do it, and don't be surprised if that starts with a return to form against winless Everton.

After all, class is permanent.

With the transfer window closing on Thursday, some clubs will be scrambling to assess their options.

There may be some movement of free agents still, while clubs who missed out on targets will be weighing up their chances in January with contractual situations evolving.

Inter defender Milan Skriniar is one player who was heavily pursued without success and who will have only six months left on his contract at the turn of the year. 

TOP STORY – PSG TO PERSIST IN SKRINIAR PURSUIT IN JANUARY

Paris Saint-Germain will revive their failed pursuit of Milan Skriniar in January, according to L'Equipe.

PSG made three offers for the Slovakian defender which were rebuffed by the Italian giants, including one worth €50million.

Skriniar is into the final year of his Inter deal and PSG boss Christophe Galtier had been eager to bring him to the French capital.

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– Napoli will try to sign PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas again in January after missing out on him, reports L'Equipe. The report claims the Costa Rica international and PSG may opt to terminate his contract by mutual consent before January.

Marco Asensio had been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks but he has committed to seeing out his Real Madrid contract which expires in mid-2023, according to Mundo Deportivo.

– The Telegraph reports Blackburn Rovers will be open to pre-contract offers to their hot property forward Ben Brereton Diaz in January after rejecting bids from Fulham and Everton. The Chile international has less than 12 months remaining on his deal at Ewood Park.

The transfer window has been gently eased shut, and there were plenty of last-minute deals to keep fans across Europe captivated.

Southampton were busy, adding Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Duje Caleta-Car to their ranks, among others, while Barcelona allowed Martin Braithwaite to join Espanyol on a free transfer and sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea.

As the seconds ticked down, clubs dotted their i's, crossed their t's and blew the dust off their fax machines, and here is just some of what took place in the closing hours.

Busy Saints bring in four, lose one

As far as the Premier League goes, it was Southampton who got up to the most activity in the final moments, signing Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal and Caleta-Car permanently from Marseille on a four-year deal, as well as adding two Manchester City youngsters in Juan Larios and Sam Edozie. They let defender Yan Valery to Ligue 1 side Angers.

Brighton and Hove Albion completed the signing of Billy Gilmour from Chelsea and released Romanian striker Florin Andone, while Chelsea let Ethan Ampadu join Serie A side Spezia on loan and finally allowed Kenedy to depart Stamford Bridge after seven years to join Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Carlos Vinicius returned to the Premier League after a loan spell with Tottenham in 2020-21, having joined Fulham from Benfica on a permanent deal. The Cottagers also completed a loan deal for Leeds United winger Daniel James.

The Whites were frustrated in their attempts to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille, but instead clinched a deal for Italian youngster Wilfried Gnonto from FC Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

Nottingham Forest added signings number 20 and 21 of the window in Josh Bowler from Blackpool and Loic Bade from Rennes, with free agent Serge Aurier potentially making it 22, though a reported late move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi failed to materialise.

Jan Bednarek had been linked with a move to West Ham earlier in the day but ended up leaving Southampton on loan to another team in claret and blue as Aston Villa brought in the Polish defender.

Brooks was here, now he's in Lisbon

On the continent, Benfica completed the signing of American defender John Brooks from Wolfsburg, while Maxi Gomez left Valencia for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Los Che brought in a replacement for Gomez in Justin Kluivert on loan from Roma after his move to Fulham fell through due to work permit issues.

In France, highly rated forward Amine Gouiri swapped Nice for Rennes in a reported club-record fee apparently worth €28million, while Lille secured a loan deal for Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

As well as signing Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin and losing Braithwaite, Barcelona also said goodbye on a temporary basis to Ez Abde, who joined Osasuna on loan.

Everton have signed midfielder James Garner from Manchester United in a deal reportedly worth up to £15million.

Garner spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, scoring four goals and providing 10 assists to help the club win promotion to the Premier League.

He was expected to be given a chance to impress new United manager Erik ten Hag, but he signed a four-year deal with the Toffees on Thursday after completing a transfer apparently worth an initial £9m.

"I'm made up to sign for Everton. It's a huge step in my career and I want to help the team get better while progressing as a player," Garner told Everton's official website.

"I think Everton is the perfect place to do that. I can't wait to get started. The manager [Frank Lampard] has got a real plan for the club and for me.

"Working with him on a daily basis is major for me. Him and his staff can take me and the team to the next level. That's what I'm hoping for."

Garner will have one less midfielder to compete with for a spot in the starting XI after Andre Gomes joined Lille on loan for the remainder of the season.

Meanwhile, there was another exit from United on deadline day, with Tahith Chong joining Championship side Birmingham City on a four-year deal.

Chong spent last season on loan at the Blues, scoring one goal in 20 appearances.  

Deadline day has seen major transfers aplenty, with clubs across Europe pushing to complete final pieces of business before the window slams shut until 2023.

Barcelona have terminated Martin Braithwaite's contract, the forward widely expected to join Espanyol, while in France, Abdou Diallo completed a switch to RB Leipzig to begin an exodus from Paris Saint-Germain.

Further deals for both clubs are also on the cards, with a frantic end to the window expected in the final hours.

Premier League's power push

PSG's exodus was of benefit to English sides, Fulham signing Layvin Kurzawa on loan and Everton bringing Idrissa Gueye back to Merseyside three years after he left for the French capital. Gueye said: "There is no better feeling than coming back home. I've followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton so that's why I chose to come back here."

Fulham have also signed former Chelsea and Arsenal playmaker Willian on a free transfer.

Nottingham Forest hit number 19 for the window, drafting in Willy Boly from Wolves, while Southampton saw Jack Stephens move across the south coast to join Bournemouth on loan.

Arsenal's quest for a new midfielder has seen attention turn to Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz, though the Gunners face a stern test with bids reportedly rebuffed from the side they defeated 2-1 on Wednesday.

Chelsea look set to bring one of the long-running sagas of the window to a close, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poised to join from Barcelona. Marcos Alonso is expected to move to Camp Nou as part of that deal and the Blues may sell Billy Gilmour to Brighton and Hove Albion.

One player not on the move, however, was Joao Pedro as he confirmed he would remain at Watford amid reported interest from Newcastle United and Everton.

Europe's eye for business

On the continent, Julian Weigl moved to Borussia Monchengladbach on loan from Benfica. 

Free agent Florian Grillitsch has joined Ajax, who are said to have turned down approaches from Chelsea and Everton for Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus respectively.

Krzysztof Piatek also departed Germany, leaving Hertha Berlin for Serie A side Salertina, and was followed to Italy by Aster Vranckx, joining Milan on loan from Wolfsburg.

The Serie A champions are not yet finished, with an announcement confirming the capture of Sergino Dest from Barcelona expected imminently.

In Spain, Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, joined second-tier outfit Eibar on a free transfer following his exit from Rayo Vallecano and Ilaix Moriba joined Valencia on loan from Leipzig, with Gennaro Gattuso's side also closing in on signing Justin Kluivert from Roma following the collapse of a proposed move to the Premier League.

Real Sociedad were also in on the late action, landing forward Umar Sadiq from Tenerife, the Nigerian likely to be a replacement for Alexander Isak.

Chelsea are expected to be one of the major players on deadline day, having completed a deal for Wesley Fofana on Wednesday.

The Blues have been one of the big spenders during the transfer window and owner Todd Boehly is eager to bolster his squad after a slow start to the season.

Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with the Blues, along with Anthony Gordon, although Everton boss Frank Lampard insists he is not for sale.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OFFERED CHANCE TO SIGN PSG'S NEYMAR

The Daily Mail claims Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Neymar, but the Times reports that Paris Saint-Germain are now refusing to sell him in an apparent U-turn.

The 30-year-old Brazil international had been linked with a move away from Paris during the off-season, although nothing substantial materialised.

Chelsea were approached about Neymar, with PSG potentially open to letting him go as they seek to avoid any issues with UEFA's Financial Fair Play guidelines.

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Chelsea have made a €50 million (£43m) bid for Ajax centre-back Edson Alvarez, according to the Telegraaf. The Blues have already added Fofana but want more reinforcements, with the Mexican able to also play in midfield.

Chelsea are also interested in Aubameyang, with Fabrizio Romano claiming negotiations are progressing with Marcos Alonso involved in a deal with Barcelona. The Blues have also been linked with Milan's Rafael Leao, according to The Times.

– Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona and Inter have agreed to a deal for full-back Jordi Alba to join the Nerazzurri on loan. The deal is on the basis that Robin Gosens leaves Inter for Bayer Leverkusen.

Milan are set to win the race to sign Barcelona's Sergino Dest, beating out interest from Manchester United, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. Dest will join the Rossoneri on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent deal.

Newcastle United are in the race to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, claims the Mail. Arsenal are also interested in the Belgium international.

Fulham have submitted a bid for Blackburn's Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz according to The Athletic. Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson has said he would cost a lot of money, with Fulham's offer not disclosed.

– PSV have opted against selling 23-year-old Netherlands international Cody Gakpo amid interest from Leeds United and Southampton, reports The Athletic.

Ajax have moved to replace Manchester United-bound winger Antony by sealing a season-long loan deal for Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos.

The Eredivisie giants will have the option to make Ocampos' stay permanent for a reported €20million at the end of the season.

Ocampos made exactly 100 league appearances for Sevilla after moving to Spain in 2019 from Marseille, though his best form came in his first season at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, when he scored 17 goals in all competitions.

The 28-year-old has 10 senior caps for Argentina, the most recent of which came earlier this year.

The addition of Ocampos will come as a relief to the Dutch champions, who have seen several key players leave during the transfer window.

Antony's departure follows those of Lisandro Martinez, Sebastien Haller, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui, Andre Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico. 

And the exodus could be set to continue amid reports Chelsea have made a £43m (€49.7m) bid for midfielder Edson Alvarez ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline. 

Chelsea have already spent big in their first transfer window under the ownership of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, but reports suggest head coach Thomas Tuchel is keen to bring the 24-year-old in to ease a growing injury crisis at Stamford Bridge.

Fellow Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus, meanwhile, is reportedly being targeted by Frank Lampard's Everton.

It has been a record-breaking transfer window across Europe, and one that has thrown up more than a surprise or two on the continent with numerous big-name players making fresh starts.

While the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland and Gabriel Jesus have all made fast starts to life at their new clubs, for others their futures remain unclear heading into the final day of the window.

As any football supporter will know, some of the biggest deals can often be left to deadline day – and occasionally even after the cut-off point, as long as an agreement has been reached and ratified with the relevant authorities.

With less than 24 hours of the window to run across each of Europe's top five leagues, Stats Perform looks at the names that could yet be on the move on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

It has been quite the transfer window for Manchester United forward Ronaldo. Having only returned to Old Trafford last year, the Portugal international is reported to have informed the club of his desire to leave in early July, coinciding with the arrival of new head coach Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag has repeatedly stated Ronaldo remains part of his plans, but the 37-year-old's lack of playing time this season suggests otherwise – albeit not helped by a disrupted pre-season owing to family reasons.

Ronaldo proved last season he is still capable of doing a job at the highest level, though finding a club willing to pay his huge wages – on top of paying a fee to United – is a different matter. Rumoured interest from Bayern Munich, Chelsea and even Sporting CP came to little, though talk of a surprise switch to Napoli persists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona)

Just six months on from arriving at Barcelona as a free agent following a tumultuous end to his time with Arsenal, Aubameyang may well be on his way back to English football with Chelsea.

The Gabon international has slipped down the pecking order at Camp Nou following the arrival of Lewandowski and Barca could do with freeing up some funds, with Aubameyang one of a few players still in place that were expected to depart.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel previously worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund and recently said he feels like the striker is still one of his players. Having scored 68 goals in 128 Premier League games for Arsenal, Aubameyang already has proven pedigree in the division.

Anthony Gordon (Everton)

Given Chelsea's slow start to the 2022-23 season, it is perhaps no surprise that they are being linked with numerous names ahead of Thursday's deadline. Everton winger Gordon is high on the Blues' list of targets, with a couple of bids already reported to have been knocked back.

Everton boss and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard stressed once again on Tuesday that Gordon is not for sale, but one final push from the London club – and a word or two from Gordon, should that be what he wants – may well tempt the Toffees into a sale.

While the sums of money being discussed for a player with just 35 league starts to his name may be extortionate, Chelsea have clearly identified Gordon as a vital piece of their jigsaw and do not appear ready to give up on him without a fight.

 

Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

De Jong's name dominated the gossip columns for a large period of the transfer window, though things have gone a little quieter on that front after Manchester United instead moved for Casemiro.

That is not to say a move has been entirely ruled out, however, particularly when taking Barca's rather desperate financial situation into account. 

With Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain having also been linked with De Jong at various points, the Netherlands international may just have a big decision to make in the next 24 hours or so.

Pedro Neto (Wolves)

Jurgen Klopp has made no secret of his desire to bring another midfielder to Liverpool before the window closes due to Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all nursing injuries.

The club do not want to bring in a player for the sake of it, however, limiting themselves to just a few targets. RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer and Inter's Nicolo Barella had been among those linked, but moves for both are said to have been ruled out.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo and Neto of Wolves, the latter of whom is also supposedly on Arsenal's radar, are two other candidates to come in on deadline day. Time, though, is not on Liverpool's side.

Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)

Perhaps Liverpool would be wiser to move for Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, who could be available for as little as £25million if certain reports are to be believed.

Arsenal, too, could do with some further midfield competition and are known to have shown an interest in the talented Belgium international in the past.

Tielemans, capable of operating as a deep-lying midfielder or higher up the pitch, is due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, meaning Leicester's hand is being forced somewhat.

Sergino Dest (Barcelona)

Them again! Despite their well-publicised financial issues, Barcelona have still managed to substantially strengthen their squad this window, and there could still be another arrival at Camp Nou.

An agreement is said to be in place to sign left-back Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, while Juan Foyth had been strongly linked prior to sustaining an injury for Villarreal. However, a move for either player is likely dependent on freeing up some cash first.

The departure of one of aforementioned duo Aubameyang or De Jong would help in that regard, as would exits for fringe players Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic and Ez Abde. At this stage, it appears Dest is the closest of Barca's first-teamers to leaving, with Milan his most likely destination.

Neither Anthony Gordon nor Wilfried Zaha will be on the move ahead of the transfer deadline, according to their respective managers.

Gordon and Zaha have each been linked with transfers to Chelsea, who are continuing to spend big before the window closes on Thursday.

However, both players played and netted in the Premier League on Tuesday – Gordon opening the scoring in Everton's 1-1 draw at Leeds United, as Zaha did likewise as Crystal Palace were held by Brentford.

And after their respective matches, Everton manager Frank Lampard and Palace boss Patrick Vieira spoke with certainty on the futures of their key men.

"Anthony is too important a player," Lampard said. "He has showed his worth in the last two games; it is too late [in the window].

"He is going to be special. In the bigger picture, he has an affiliation with the fans. It is a process – can we build around that?

"The interest in him is because he is a top player, and why we are so keen to keep him, you saw the reasons why in the last two games. He is our player."

Vieira added: "I didn't even put that [the possibility of Zaha leaving] in my head. I didn't even ask myself that question.

"I'm working with him every day and there is no doubt, there is nothing crossing my mind that something like that will happen."

Chelsea are looking to make another massive long-term investment, with reports they are aggressively moving for 20-year-old RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol in a deal that would cost £77.4million (€90m).

Gvardiol, who has 10 senior international caps for Croatia to his name, has established himself as one of the most exciting young defenders in Germany.

He has been linked to a host of elite clubs, but Chelsea appear to be at the front of the queue and would allow the centre-back to stay at Leipzig until next year.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLAN ANOTHER CENTRE-BACK SPLURGE FOR GVARDIOL

The Stamford Bridge club have made a number of big defensive signings in this window, with Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella set to be followed by Wesley Fofana.

Koulibaly is 31, though, and has joined veteran Thiago Silva at the heart of the defence, explaining why Chelsea may already be looking at a succession plan.

Fabrizio Romano says the Blues are "in advanced talks" with Leipzig over a deal that would be completed now but only see Gvardiol make the move in 2023.

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– PSV forward Cody Gakpo appears destined for the Premier League, with The Telegraph reporting Everton, Leeds United and Southampton are all interested in a player believed to be valued around £30m.

– The Telegraph has named a list of potential Fulham targets, including former Chelsea winger Willian, Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa, Roma winger Justin Kluivert and Marseille forward Bamba Dieng

– The Daily Mail is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion are investigating a move for Billy Gilmour, although Chelsea's lack of depth in midfield could complicate matters.

– Aston Villa forward Douglas Luiz has some high-profile admirers, with Matheus Leal reporting Liverpool have submitted a £20m bid, and The Telegraph adds Atletico Madrid are also prepared to make the same offer.

Leicester City are negotiating a deal for their potential Fofana replacement in 24-year-old Reims centre-back Wout Faes, believed to be worth £17.2m, according to the Daily Mail.

Chelsea continued their frustrating start to the Premier League season with a disappointing loss at Southampton – which had previously been a happy hunting ground.

The Blues took an early lead but could not hold off a Southampton comeback, leaving Thomas Tuchel's side with just two wins from their opening five league games.

Brighton and Hove Albion's unbeaten start came to an end against Fulham at Craven Cottage, Crystal Palace conceded a late equaliser against Brentford, while Leeds United and Everton shared the spoils in a fiery 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the data from Tuesday's fixtures in the English top flight.

Southampton 2-1 Chelsea: Sterling delivers but Saints finally sink Blues at home

Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong cancelled out Raheem Sterling's opener as Southampton beat Chelsea at home in the Premier League for the first time since March 2013.

Saints were winless in nine games at St Mary's against Chelsea in the competition and would have feared a familiar fate after Sterling poked home in the 23rd minute.

That marked the forward's 169th goal involvement (112 goals, 57 assists) in the top flight, a tally bettered by only Harry Kane (230) Sergio Aguero (209 and Jamie Vardy (175) since Sterling made his debut in March 2012.

But Lavia soon hit back as he became the fourth youngest Southampton player to score in the Premier League, with the recent arrival aged just 18 years and 236 days.

A smart Armstrong finish then inflicted consecutive top-flight away defeats on Chelsea for the first time under Tuchel, who may have reasons for concern after an underwhelming start to the new campaign.

Indeed, Chelsea (W2 D1 L2) have lost two or more of their first five games in a Premier League season for just the second time this century. The last time it happened, they finished 10th in 2015-16 after opening with three losses in five games.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Mitrovic ends Seagulls' flying start

Brighton headed to Craven Cottage unbeaten in nine league games, winning six of those, but were undone by Aleksandar Mitrovic and a Lewis Dunk own goal.

Mitrovic continued his fine form in front of goal for his 48th-minute opener, scoring for a fourth time in the Premier League against the Seagulls, more than he has managed against any other side in the competition.

The Serbian's strike also marked his 100th league goal in Fulham colours before Dunk turned into his own net – his sixth Premier League own goal, more than any other player since the start of the 2016-17 season.

Richard Dunne (10), Martin Skrtel (7), Phil Jagielka (7) and Jamie Carragher (7) are the only players to find their own net more in Premier League history than Dunk, who endured a night to forget.

Alexis Mac Allister offered brief hope of sparing Dunk's blushes with a penalty, but Fulham held on to reach eight points from five games, their best start to a top-flight season since the 2012-13 term (nine points).

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brentford: Zaha-reliant Eagles suffer more London derby frustration

Wilfried Zaha continued to carry the hopes of Selhurst Park on his shoulders, but his curling effort was not enough to see Palace to a rare London derby victory.

The Ivory Coast international found the top-right corner in the 59th minute to open the scoring, his 13th goal in 20 appearances in the Premier League in 2022, as many as he managed in his previous 45 games in the competition.

Zaha has also scored six of Palace’s last seven home league goals, but the Eagles could not hold out for what would have been just a third win in their last 20 top-flight London derbies.

Yoane Wissa denied Palace in the 88th minute with a fourth league goal in his last eight games on the road.

Brentford have now avoided defeat in five of their last eight Premier League games where they conceded first (W2 D3 L3), while Palace have won just one of their last five when opening the scoring in the league.

Leeds 1-1 Everton: Lampard's men let another lead slip

Everton remain winless this season in the Premier League (D3 L2), despite taking the lead at Elland Road through Anthony Gordon. Expecting Everton to hold a lead has become a fool's game.

Luis Sinisterra's leveller means that since Frank Lampard's first league game in charge of Everton in February, only Leicester (16) and Wolves (14) have dropped more points from winning positions than the Toffees (13).

Leeds would have seen this as an opportunity to put three more points on the board, but at least their unbeaten run at home continues. They have earned eight points from their last four league games at Elland Road (W2 D2), which is as many as they had mustered from their previous 11 (W2 D2 L7).

Will Gordon stay with Everton beyond Thursday's transfer deadline, or could the links to Chelsea see him move on? He has now scored two goals in his last two Premier League games, having netted just four in his first 52 appearances. His last two strikes have been away from home, with each of his first four coming at Goodison Park.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has been open about his desire for more signings ahead of the closure of the transfer window.

The London club have been one of the big spenders during this transfer window but Tuchel believes they need more reinforcements to be competitive in the title race.

The Blues have lost Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson Palmieri and Timo Werner, while Romelu Lukaku departed on loan and Marcos Alonso is expected to join Barcelona.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLOTTING AUBA SWOOP

Chelsea are plotting a deadline day move to land ex-Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, reports The Guardian.

Blues boss Tuchel has asked owner Todd Boehly to free up £200million with three targets in mind before Thursday's deadline, headlined by the Gabon international.

Chelsea are set to close out a deal for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana for £70m, while Everton's Anthony Gordon is also on their wish list.

Aubameyang has only been used once for eight minutes off the bench this LaLiga season, with Robert Lewandowski starring up front for the Blaugrana.

ROUND-UP

–  Liverpool are pondering a late £42m bid for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo,  according to The Sun. Brighton, however, believe that the Ecuador international is worth almost double that price.

– Metro reports  Cristiano Ronaldo could seal a move from Manchester United to Napoli this week. Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes is working on a swap deal, possibly involving Victor Osimhen .

– La Gazzetta dello Sport claims  Paris Saint-Germain 's €23m offer with add-ons for Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz has been accepted and he will undergo a medical on Tuesday. The Spaniard has been frozen out after refusing to extend his contract, which has less than 12 months to run.

Tottenham have revived their interest in Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco,  according to the Telegraph. The 28-year-old Belgian has two years to run on his contract.

– The Sun claims  Wolves have rejected a bid worth £8.5m from Everton for midfielder Leander Dendoncker .

– Barcelona and Manchester United have not reached an agreement on a deal for USA international Sergino Dest , reports Cadena COPE.

Leeds United host Everton on Tuesday, but both sides are learning to adapt to life without two star Brazilians.

Raphinha and Richarlison were instant hits after joining the clubs in 2020 and 2018 respectively.

While Raphinha was a relatively under-the-radar arrival from Rennes for a reported £17million, eyebrows were raised when Everton spent an initial £40m to bring in Richarlison from Watford. 

A double on his Everton debut swiftly endeared Richarlison to Evertonians, and he went on to score 53 goals across all competitions in his four seasons at Goodison Park.

Neither player will be involved at Elland Road on Tuesday. Raphinha is at Barcelona, and Richarlison will be preparing for Tottenham's match against West Ham.

But who has been the biggest miss so far, and what strides have Leeds and Everton taken towards attempting to replace them?

What are they missing?

Across his two seasons in the Premier League, Raphinha directly contributed to 29 goals, scoring 17 times and providing 12 assists, at least one more than any team-mates.

The variety of his strikes was hugely impressive, with seven of his league goals for Leeds coming from outside the area. Only one player – Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse – could boast a better total (nine) in the same time frame. That quality was on show when he planted a wonderful strike into the top-right corner for Barca against Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly in the United States.

He has started well at Barca, with only three players in LaLiga creating more goalscoring opportunities so far than the 25-year-old (eight).

Raphinha's 11 league goals last season marked his best performance since the 15 he netted in the 2017-18 campaign, when he played for Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal. He did not score as freely for Sporting CP, and only managed seven goals during his sole full season with Rennes in France, but in Marcelo Bielsa's system, he thrived.

One of the hardest-working wide players in the Premier League, Richarlison provides flair to go with the graft and snide that endears him to his fans. He played at least 30 league games in each of his seasons on Merseyside, operating all across the front line and even as a number 10 at times under Rafael Benitez.

While not as creative as Raphinha, whose tally of 129 chances created in the league for Leeds betters the total managed by Richarlison in his four years at Everton (109), Richarlison's knack of finding space in behind defences and between the lines mean he is often in the right place at the right time to apply a finishing touch.

Meanwhile, his tenacity off the ball was demonstrated perfectly by his assist for Harry Kane's second goal for Spurs against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Having chased what looked like a lost cause, Richarlison picked out Kane with a sublime outside-of-the-boot cross, supplying Tottenham's talisman with a simple header into a gaping net.

The replacements

Raphinha was not the only big player to leave Leeds, with Kalvin Phillips having been sold to Manchester City. 

Leeds, eager to back Jesse Marsch, moved quick to reinvest those funds into the squad. Luis Sinisterra was drafted in from Feyenoord as Raphinha's de-facto replacement.

More comfortable playing on the left, but also capable of featuring from the opposite flank, Sinisterra has pace and skill in abundance. A hamstring injury in pre-season was cause for concern but he returned in time to make his debut as a substitute against Southampton on August 13.

A wonderful strike on his full debut – in an EFL Cup win over Barnsley last week – demonstrated what the Colombia international, who scored 23 goals for Feyenoord last term, is all about.

Brenden Aaronson, Marcsh's compatriot, is an attacking midfielder who shone for Salzburg and has made a bright start to life in England and will help plug the gap, too.

Matters have been more complicated for Everton when it comes to replacing Richarlison. 

While he has so far had to settle for cameo roles at Spurs, Richarlison was Everton's attacking hub. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured for so much of last season, it was his 10 goals, with six of those coming from April onwards, that were crucial to keeping Frank Lampard's team up. He was involved in 10 of Everton's 11 league wins in 2021-22.

With Richarlison sold at least in part to appease the Premier League's profit and loss regulations, Everton have not been able to use the initial £50m they received from Spurs as freely as they would have liked.

Dwight McNeil has been brought in but is not a goalscorer, putting extra onus on Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon, who is drawing the interest of Chelsea. Neal Maupay arrived last week to ease some of the strain, but with Calvert-Lewin injured again, Everton's attack looks blunt.

Who is coping better?

At the time of writing, Leeds look better equipped to make up for the loss of Raphinha than Everton do Richarlison.

That could change in the coming days, with Everton linked with moves for Ben Brereton Diaz (Blackburn Rovers), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves) and PSV star Cody Gakpo, with the latter two also said to interest Leeds, and the Whites' own Daniel James. That being said, those moves might hinge on Gordon's future.

Leeds have taken seven points from their opening four fixtures, whereas Everton have just two to their name. While they were defeated by Brighton on Saturday, they have already scored seven goals. With striker Rodrigo in form, the Whites have slightly outperformed their expected goals (xG - 6.8)

Everton, on the other hand, have underperformed theirs, scoring three times from an xG of 4.8, suggesting the finishing abilities of Richarlison – and, in fairness, Calvert-Lewin – have been missed. Golden opportunities missed by Gordon and Gray in draws against Nottingham Forest and Brentford are glaring examples of where a forward of Richarlison's prowess would likely have done better.

It is a long season, and Tuesday's match between the sides that finished 17th and 16th respectively last season should not be taken as a sure indicator of where these teams will end up. But as for the two absent Brazilians, it is Leeds who are adapting quicker.

Everton manager Frank Lampard has no concerns over Anthony Gordon refusing to play in order to force through an exit, amid continued speculation over a move to Chelsea.

Chelsea are reported to have already had multiple offers knocked back for the 21-year-old, the most recent of which was said to be worth £45million.

Lampard's former side Chelsea could yet make another approach prior to Thursday's deadline, with boss Thomas Tuchel hinting he is hopeful of further additions.

While Wesley Fofana has been overlooked for selection by Leicester City ahead of a move to Chelsea, and Willy Boly allegedly refused to play against Newcastle United as he seeks a move away from Wolves, Lampard does not expect any such problems from Gordon.

"Anthony wouldn't, shouldn't, couldn't do that with me. If he did try and sit out a game he'd see a different side to me," Lampard told reporters. "There's no doubt about that and I think he knows that.

"I'm not playing the hard one – it's just that it would be so alien from what I'd expect from him. I just know that's not him. 

"At the same time he's not a robot and all this attention is difficult. I understand that – I was that ambitious young player.

"That's the beauty of Anthony. He's hard working and he wants to be better. He wants to do what he did [on Saturday], which is score goals, run for this team, and that’s why he's a delight to work with. So there was never any idea that Anthony would act that way."

Gordon's goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Brentford – extending Everton's winless start to the Premier League season to four matches – was his fifth in 64 appearances for the Toffees in all competitions.

He has played a full part in all four of this side's league games this term and Lampard intends to select the winger against Leeds United on Tuesday, regardless of the ongoing gossip.

"He's in the squad Tuesday, for sure," Lampard said. "His character's great. He's in the squad."

When it was put to Lampard that he had been in a similar position prior to leaving boyhood club West Ham for London rivals Chelsea in 2001, the former England international pointed out Gordon has only been a first-team regular for one season.

"I played three-and-a-half, four seasons for West Ham, so there's my answer for Anthony. He's played one for us," Lampard said.

"He's a huge player for us. We're getting towards the end of the window now and Anthony's a huge player for us and will be this season."

Lampard also confirmed Mason Holgate is expected to miss several weeks with a knee injury sustained against Brentford, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure remain on the sidelines, but new signing Neal Maupay may feature at Elland Road.

Chelsea have reportedly locked in on Everton's Anthony Gordon and are desperate to get a deal done before the deadline, going as far as including both Armando Broja and Conor Gallagher in their latest offer.

Gordon - who scored his first goal of the season in his side's 1-1 draw against Brentford at the weekend - has seen his stature rise meteorically, with the 21-year-old now considered a real chance to represent England at the World Cup later this year.

Chelsea have already had an offer of £50million plus add-ons rejected, and after previous rumours hinted that Everton wanted one of Gallagher or Broja on loan to make it happen, a stunning new report claims the Stamford Bridge side are willing to take it a step further.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA WILLING TO PART WAYS WITH GALLAGHER AND BROJA IN GORDON DEAL

The report from Football Insider states Chelsea are willing to send Gallagher and Broja to Everton on permanent moves, as well as adding £25m in cash, making the total offer value in the range of £85m.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been clear about how highly he values 20-year-old Broja and 22-year-old Gallagher, with both players coming on as substitutes in the first two Premier League fixtures.

However, Broja has been left on the bench the past two games, and Gallagher's two starts have resulted in a 3-0 loss to Leeds United and a red card against Leicester City just 28 minutes into the action.

So far this season, only Raheem Sterling against Leicester has registered more than one shot on target in a single game, while Gordon has had at least two shots on target in each of his past three outings, including five against Nottingham Forest and four against Brentford.

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports Italia is reporting Juventus have interest in Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz if they can not secure Leandro Paredes from Paris Saint-Germain.

– In their search for strikers, Chelsea are said to be considering Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, although Barcelona's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the priority, according to the Guardian.

– The Daily Mail claims that after reportedly accepting a deal in the range of £80m (€95m) from Manchester United for Antony, Ajax are hoping to bring Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech back to the Eredivisie.

Liverpool's midfielder hunt has brought them to Sheffield United's 24-year-old Norwegian international Sander Berge, per the Yorkshire Post.

–The Evening Standard is reporting Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is finalising a move to Sampdoria after initially holding out hope of a Premier League club swooping in.

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