Thursday, May 24, 2018

Liverpool leading race for Traore; Zaha booming with confidence

Liverpool have reportedly reached out to Russian Premier League moneybags Anzhi Makhachkala about signing Lacina Traore following the Ivorian’s man-of-the-match display against the Reds in the UEFA Europa League last week, Sky Sports understands.

The potential addition of Traore would surely bolster Brendan Rodgers’ attacking options, with Luis Suarez the only striker, with any first-team experience, available for selection at the moment.

Furthermore, the 22-year-old Ivorian could be the l0ng-term replacement for out-of-favour England international striker Andy Carroll, who is currently on loan at newly promoted West Ham United.

Traore has been in good goal-scoring form for Anzhi this season, tallying 11 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the Russian outfit.

According to Dmitry Selyuk, Traore’s agent, Liverpool are leading Udinese in the race for the 22-year-old’s signature.

“Aside from Liverpool, Udinese are another on the list of clubs to have made contact about the purchase of Traore,” Selyuk, told Izvestia.

“I’m afraid the Italian side won’t be able to meet the player’s valuation.”

Despite the rumours, Traore is under contract at Anzhi until 2016, and Selyuk has insisted that he is in no rush to leave the club for pastures new.

“At the moment Lacina is happy with his situation at Anzhi. Not long ago he signed a new contract until June 2016.

“There’s no reason for Traore to rush.”

Zaha booming with confidence

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is not short of confidence following his England call-up ahead of tomorrow’s international friendly against Sweden in Stockholm.

The 20-year-old has notched four goals and three assists  in 15 league matches in the English Championship for table-toppers Crystal Palace this term.

His recent form, combined with Wayne Rooney’s ankle injury, has earned him his first call-up to the England senior squad, having previously made five appearance for the Three Lions at the Under-21 level.

“I’d never look at someone and think he’s better than me, unless it’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. When I get on the pitch it’s my time,” Zaha said in an interview with The Guardian.

Now then, the interview took an entertaining turn when Zaha said the following: “Last season Guly do Prado at Southampton grabbed me and said ‘Respect me’. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know you, I don’t care who you are, so why should I?’

“It even happens before games now. Brighton’s manager Gus Poyet said Will Buckley is better than me, but I don’t see the point of coming out with nonsense like that.”

Where to start, and what to say in response to Zaha’s revelations. Here’s a good place to start, either Gus Poyet has gone mad, or he was just trying to get a rise out of Zaha. I fancy it was probably both the former and the latter.

However, Zaha has the last laugh because Palace are nine points clear of Brighton and Hove Albion at the moment.


Shawn Etemadi



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