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From Roma’s reject to Liverpool’s legend, the story behind Alisson’s rise to stardom




Alisson Becker

Liverpool are through to the knockout stage of this season’s Champions League competition, thanks to Alisson Becker’s heroic displays against Napoli last night.

Prior to the encounter, the Reds needed a 1-0 victory over the Serie A giants to progress out of the group.

After many missed chances, the Merseyside outfits scored a very important goal via Mohammed Salah who had already missed a glorious opportunity to put the home side ahead in the first half of the encounter.

All of Liverpool’s efforts to double their lead were unproductive, instead, it was Napoli who came close to grabbing an all-important equalizer.

Arkadiusz Milik almost found the back of the net from close range, but Alisson Becker’s mighty hands were enough to prevent the former Ajax striker from sailing through to the bottom corner.

Alisson’s Journey to greatness

The 26-year-old goalie started his career in 2002 at the age of 10 when he joined Inter Milan’s academy.

The Brazilian progressed through the ranks until he made his first-team debut when he was 21 years old.

At first, he was a backup to Muriel but he began to feature more constantly with the Serie A giants as time goes on.

Alisson had 100 appearances for the Ammazurris in all competitions before he joined Roma.

Roma reject Alisson in 2015

Despite Juventus interest in his signature, the Brazilian international decided to join Roma in 2015 but the Serie A side rejected Alisson’s ‘come and get me’ plea.

Walter Sabatini who was Roma manager in 2015 failed to complete Roma’s move for the goalkeeper due to some crises related to EU qualification.

After one season, Alisson’s longtime dream eventually come true as he was signed by Roma in 2016. He went on to appear in just 37 matches after two seasons.

Liverpool opened the door of greatness to the goaltender

With just 37 matches, the goalie was able to capture Klopp’s attention with some important match-winning saves.

The Reds were in talks with Roma for his services but the Serie A side were reluctant to let go of their inspirational, first-choice goaltender

It took the Reds to break the world record before they could force Roma into sanctioning his move to Anfield. The Reds paid €72m for his signature during the summer transfer window.

Allison become Anfield’s newfound hero

The goalie’s rise to stardom happened within a short period of time, though, he passed through some career-threatening challenges and rejection.

His switch to the Anfield stadium was marred by the huge amount received by Roma on his signature.

However, the Reds are presently enjoying the services they are getting from the netminder. He has been wonderful at the back of the park since the start of this campaign.

At 26, Liverpool are yet to reap half of their reward for spending big on the Brazilian star, who has become a mainstay in Klopp’s starting lineup and even in the League.

It won’t be surprising if Alisson become the first Brazilian goalkeeper to win PFA goalkeeper of the season

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Unai Emery gets transfer kitty boost

Aiyeku Timothy



Unai Emery

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been hinted that he could have an increase in the transfer budget that was initially promised him if he is able to ensure qualification to the Champions League in the coming season.

The Gunners boss was initially told he would have £40 million to engage in the summer transfer window as the club have got limited funds.

But with the hope of qualification, there would be a need to boost the squad to be able to face the challenge ahead for European competition and the Spanish boss has been told he would now have £70 million to spend.

The North London outfit are currently in the race for a top-four finish against Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham but there are hopes that they can scale through if all remaining games until the end of the season can be won.

Arsenal are lucky to have all opponents outside of the top six teams which makes it easier.

However, there are expectations that they will be without Wales international midfielder Aaron Ramsey in the coming season because he has already agreed on a deal with Italian Serie A Champions Juventus while it is unsure if England international Danny Welbeck would be trusted to remain at the club owing to the injury he sustained.

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Arsenal to swoop for this Ramsey replacement

Aiyeku Timothy



Kerem Demirbay

Latest report hints that North London outfit Arsenal are ready to swoop for Hoffenheim midfielder Kerem Demirbay ahead of the coming summer transfer window.

The move for Kerem Demirbay is a bid to have Wales international midfielder Aaron Ramsey replaced ahead of the coming season.

The former Cardiff City midfielder has already agreed to join Italian Serie A outfit Juventus on a four-year deal after refusing to extend his stay with the North Londoners.

Kerem Demirbay has been impressive since he joined the German Bundesliga side and has been tipped to serve as a perfect replacement for the Juventus-bound star player.

The midfielder has so far scored four goals and provided 8 assists in 28 games to give the clue of the quality he has got to offer the Arsenal team.

However, Kerem Demirbay is expected to make a decision on the move as he would be the one to decide his future with the German Bundesliga outfit.

Meanwhile, the Gunners team are expected to buy one more defender as manager Unai Emery hopes to strengthen ahead of the coming season.

The Spanish manager has been charged with a title win in the coming season, especially if the team is able to secure qualification to the Premier League in the coming season.

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Unai Emery told why he must play Ozil in Napoli clash

Aiyeku Timothy



mesut ozil

North London outfit Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been given reasons why he must play German international Mesut Ozil in their Europa League second leg clash against Napoli later on Thursday.

The Gunners team had secured a 2-0 advantage in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium but there are suggestions that they will have a real test when they play at Naples because Napoli will be waiting to give them a real test.

Paul Merson has therefore warned manager Unai Emery that the World Cup winner must be in the team, especially ahead of Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan because he is still a match winner.

Mesut Ozil was earlier criticised for poor performance as he was also left out of the team for a couple of games but Paul Merson states that he is still a better pick than Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

He stressed that the former Real Madrid star has got the ability to u pick the Napoli defence and that is what is needed because of the need for the Gunners to score a goal in the game.

Paul Merson, therefore, tipped Arsenal to secure a win in the game, adding that they will not be good enough for the semi-finals if they can not take advantage of the 2 goals lead.

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United told when they will win trophies

Aiyeku Timothy



Graeme Souness

English Premier League outfit Man United have been told not to expect to win a trophy anytime soon because they still have a big job to do.

This is according to Graeme Souness who gave his reaction to the Red Devil’s defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Man United were defeated 3-0 with two goals coming from Argentina international Lionel Messi which means they will have to wait until next season to be able to play a European competition.

Although, the Red Devils are in the risk of missing out of the Champions League next season as they face competition from Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham for the top-four slot and will have to achieve that before returning next season.

Graeme Souness stated that the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer team is not ready to land any major title this season as they will have to wait for some years because of the need to fix the team ahead of the coming challenge.

He noted that there is a need to engage in the coming summer transfer window and do some big deals if they must compete for titles because a majority of the team will not be able to meet up with the demands for titles.

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United now told to come for this Napoli star but on one condition

Aiyeku Timothy



Kalidou Koulibaly

English Premier League outfit Man United have been hinted that Italian Serie A outfit Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly will now be available for sale in the coming summer transfer window.

The Red Devils have long been in the pursuit of the Senegal international defender with former manager Jose Mourinho insisting on his signature. The interest from the Portuguese boss was confirmed by Napoli president but it did not work through.

Man United have now been told that Kalidou Koulibaly will now be available for sale but they will have to meet with the asking price of £130 million for his signature or forget about landing him this summer window.

Kalidou Koulibaly’s contract with Napoli will expire in 2023 but there are suggestions that he would not see out his contract should the Red Devils meet with his asking price.

However, Man United are keen on the signature of a new centre back as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told that he needs to have a total overhaul of his squad to be able to compete ahead of the coming season.

Meanwhile, it has been hinted that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskajer will have a budget of £200 million for the coming summer window.

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AC Milan

Solskjaer hoping to lure AC Milan star player

Aiyeku Timothy



It has been reported that Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing all in his power to lure AC Milan right full-back Davide Calabria to the Old Trafford in the coming summer transfer window.

Davide Calabria’s contract at the San Siro is gradually running out and the club are making efforts to convince him to remain with a new deal but talks are still underway as an agreement is yet to be reached.

David Calabria impresses at the Italian Serie A outfit and has got a contract with the club until 2020 but there is an urgent need for a new right full-back at the Old Trafford with Antonio Valencia hoping to leave the club at the end of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to be uninterested in Diogo Dalot at the role while Ashley Young is not fancied for the position.

However, it is unclear if Davide Calabria will fancy a move away from AC Milan as he could be lured to remain at the club with a higher wage.

Meanwhile, the interest in Davide Calabria has been confirmed and it is suggested that the Red Devils have not come up with any real negotiation to land him in the summer window.

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How Solskjaer deceived United like Mourinho

Aiyeku Timothy



Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Former Man United midfielder Paul Ince has opined that his former team were deceived by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the current team is no different from what they had when manager Jose Mourinho was in charge of the team.

It would be recalled that Jose Mourinho was sacked by the Red Devils management in December last year and was immediately replaced by the former Red Devils forward on an interim basis where he performed impressively and won games, in addition to ensuring they play better.

The Red Devils in his first few weeks won a number of games and attracted praise of from other former players but Paul Ince noted that the situation has changed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got the job on a permanent deal.

According to him, the Red Devils no longer play good football and they have failed to win a number of games just like the team was known for under the former Portuguese boss.

He noted that no pressure on the players to win and that is a big mistake that was made by the club but they have failed to accept that.

However, he stressed that the Red Devils are miles away from their rivals and will have to spend more time before they can meet up.

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United legend urges Pogba to leave

Aiyeku Timothy



Paul Pogba

France international and Man United midfielder Paul Pogba has been unwittingly advised by former player Paul Ince to leave the club noting that he deserves to be in a better team.

The World Cup winner has been struggling to make an impact in the Man United team as he was part of the squad that were defeated 3-0 by Spanish La Liga outfit Barcelona earlier this week.

Paul Pogba started very slow at the start of the season under former manager Jose Mourinho but he immediately returned back to is best when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as he scored goals and played better.

The same cannot be said of the former Juventus player at the moment because he has been inconsistent in his performance.

Paul Ince noted that there is no need to mount pressure on Paul Pogba because he cannot lift the Red Devils team alone.

According to the former United midfielder, Paul Pogba deserves a better and bigger team than Man United because of his quality, noting that he will need players of the same level of quality to be able to bring out his best.

However, Paul Pogba is already being linked away from the Old Trafford with reports claiming that he is pushing for a move to the Spanish La Liga outfit Real Madrid.

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Champions League: Liverpool Thrash Portuguese Opponents To Secure Last Four Berth

Segun Amuda



Premier League leaders Liverpool have secured a spot in the Champions League semifinals following the thumping win over their Portuguese opponents.

Liverpool thrashed FC Porto 4-1 away from home in what was the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.

The Reds had earlier won the first leg at Anfield 2-0 with goals from Guinean international Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino.

Brazilian attacker Firmino scored again in the second half to extend the Reds’ lead having come on as a second-half substitute for Divock Origi.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a first half lead to put the game beyond FC Porto.

Mohamed Salah then doubled the lead for Liverpool before outgoing FC Porto defender Eder Militao pulled one back for the away side.

Eder Militao is a Brazilian international utility defender expected to leave the club for Real Madrid in the summer after just one season with FC Porto.

Roberto Firmino added a third goal to finally put the game beyond the reach of FC Porto before Virgil Van Dijk added a fourth goal for the Reds on the stroke of full-time.

Liverpool thrashed FC Porto 4-1 away from home to setup a semifinal meeting with Spanish champions Barcelona via a 6-1 aggregate win over FC Porto.

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Ex-Liverpool Attacker On Target Twice As Quadruple Dream Ends

Segun Amuda



Raheem Sterling

Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling continued his good goalscoring form for both club and country during the Champions League quarterfinal tie with North London giants Tottenham Hotspur after he scored two goals in the unfortunate aggregate defeat to their Premier League opponents.

Sterling hit a first-half brace but it was not enough for Manchester City who crashed out of the Champions League via the away goals rule despite beating Spurs 4-3 in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg clash.

Tottenham Hotspur had won the first leg 1-0 courtesy of a 78th-minute strike from South Korean international Son Heung-Min and the former Bayern Leverkusen player was on hand to score two first-half goals for his team.

His two goals overturned an early deficit from the opening goal for former Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling.

Bernardo Silva equalised for Manchester City on the night shortly after the second of the brace from Son before Sterling scored his second goal with a close range finish to give the hosts a 3-2 lead at the halftime interval.

Sergio Aguero scored his first goal of the tie in the second half to put Manchester City in control of the tie before substitute Fernando Llorente found the back of the net for Spurs to put the North Londoners back in control despite a 4-3 loss.

VAR was employed to give the goal scored by Llorente despite the fact that replays showed the ball hit his hand before it nestled in the back of the Manchester City net.

Manchester City then scored in added time through Raheem Sterling amidst wild celebrations from the home side only for VAR to cut their joy shot by disallowing the goal to send Tottenham through to the last four where they’ll face Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam.

With the defeat, Manchester City won’t be able to win the quadruple (four trophies) again this season.

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