Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou provides daily coverage of the Premier League’s hottest gossip.Â
Mexican wonder-kid Giovanni Dos Santos is beginning to make a name for himself at the Nou Camp, and with this new found fame comes a wealth of rumours about where he may end up before by the time his 19th birthday comes around. Firstly we have Chelsea said to be sniffing around the striker who can also play behind the strikers (Skysports).
There is also said to be interest from Arsenal (Sport.es) as well as Liverpool (various). All of which should be taken with the requisite pinch of salt, because he has also claimed in various publications that he is â€˜very happyâ€™ at Barcelona and more than willing to fight it out with their startling array of forward talent. Considering that Frank Rijkaard already has the services of Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Samuel Etoâ€™o and Lionel Messi to call upon I wouldnâ€™t be too certain that Giovanniâ€™s future lies at the Catalan club, and I’m not surprised that the media clamour has begun.
Tottenham are again being linked with Livorno goalkeeper Marco Amelia (various). The 25-year-old Italian international stopper is also being closely monitored by Sven Goran Erikssonâ€™s Manchester City. Amelia would have been despondent when moves to City and Palermo fell through a few weeks back as Livorno’s asking price scared off any suitors. Tottenham have Paul Robinson between the sticks, and regardless of recent blunders, I still see him as a long term custodian of quality at White Hart Lane. They also have youngster Ben Alnwick and oldster Radek Cerny for cover, so I donâ€™t see the need for them to spend big bucks on another squad member.
Manchester City also have an array of young goalkeeping talent. Everyone has seen how good Kasper Schmeichel can and will be. Joe Hart is a pretty hot prospect also. Add to that Swedish number one Andreas Isaksson, who is currently injured. It makes you wonder, just how many keepers does a club need? I would have thought three keepers plus whatever you have in the youth set-up would be ample? Am I wrong?
Scott Parker, West Ham‘s Â£7m summer signing, is in danger of becoming the â€˜nearly-manâ€™ of his generation. A sensational start to his career at Charlton was rewarded with a big money move to Chelsea which was as fruitless as it was short. Stunted by the lack of first team football, he moved to Newcastle where he got back to something like his best. Now it appears that when he does return from injury he may find it harder than he thought to hold down his regular spot.
His boss Alan Curbishley said: “Hayden Mullins has seen me sign players and yet managed to stay in the team. He’s stepped up to the plate and has the shirt now.” He makes a good point. Regardless of your salary or the price it cost to get you to a club, you can’t simply expect to be on the team sheet on the basis of your reputation. Fortunately the 26-year-old England international looks like the kind of character who is more than happy to dig in deep and pay back the club for the high price they paid for him. Expect Parker to be back on the pitch soon enough and knocking on the door for an England place. Hell, if Emile Heskey makes the squad anyone can!
Its not easy holding the reins of a club that everyone predicts will fail. Billy Davies is a tough, brash manager and he probably thrives on the pundits and opposition fans that expect his Derby side to be relegated by April. Being a manager of such a side with spending constraints to boot can bring the best out of a boss when it comes to selecting potential purchases. PSV Eindhoven midfielder Mika Vayrynen is still on the Pride Park radar. “We are planning to keep tabs on him,” said Davies. “We will continue to identify and assess players ahead of the next transfer window.”
The two-time Dutch Eredivisie title winner was close to signing before the window shut, and it seems that the out of contract Finn may be picked up come January. He would be a quality addition to the set-up at County.