Kyle Walker’s move to Manchester City from Tottenham for a record £54 million, this summer transfer window, saw him become the world’s most expensive defender.
And while Walker’s desire to work under Pep Guardiola might be a reason for his move away from Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino does have a ready-made replacement in Kieran Trippier.
Trippier won 83.3% of his matches for Spurs in the Premier League last season compared to Walker’s 63.6% but while Walker started 31 of 33 appearances, Trippier started only six of his 12 games.
uMAXit Football‘s video below compares the numbers of the two defenders. Do you think Trippier can step up in place of Walker?
Romelu Lukaku could not turn down the chance to join Manchester United after hearing Jose Mourinho’s plan to “rebuild the club”.
For much of the summer it had appeared that the 24-year-old was bound to leave Everton for Chelsea, only for United to swoop in and gazump his former club.
Mourinho was in charge when Lukaku was given the green light to leave Stamford Bridge, but three years on he now sees the striker as a key piece of the jigsaw at Old Trafford.
United forked out an initial £75 million for the Belgium international, whose mind was made up by his manager’s plans rather than the persuasive powers of close friend Paul Pogba.
“We were just on holiday together,” Lukaku said of the United and France midfielder, who he was away with in Los Angeles as the move was completed.
“At the end of the day I had to make my own choices. It was the conversation I had with the manager that really convinced me the most, the plans and how he wanted to rebuild the club and he wanted me to be part of it.
“I am grateful for the chance.”
Lukaku has big boots to fill following the exit of injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the club’s all-time leading marksman Wayne Rooney.
However, the 24-year-old’s impressive ratio for Everton suggests he is ready to step up at Old Trafford – and the striker is clearly raring to go.
“It feels great (to be a United player),” Lukaku said in Washington. “It is something I always wanted.
“I always wanted to play for a club of this stature. Now I am here I want to take my chance and try to deliver as much as I could for the club.
“I don’t want to talk about personal ambitions. I just want to work hard on a daily basis and win as many games as I can.”
Lukaku has certainly been made to work hard during United’s American tour, training with his new team-mates for the first time within an hour of his move being made official.
Mourinho has praised the new boy at nearly every public appearance after a promising start, following up his first goal in a United shirt at Real Salt Lake with a stunning effort in the 2-0 derby win against Manchester City.
“It has gone well for the team,” Lukaku said of the build-up to the 2017-18 season. “Everybody is well prepared.
“We are working really hard and delighted to be here and we need to keep going.”
Alvaro Morata will wear the No9 shirt at Chelsea, and while all signs point to the Spaniard enjoying a successful time in London after being reunited with Antonio Conte, his former manager at Juventus, there seems to be a curse on that number at Stamford Bridge.
Radamel Falcao was the last high-profile player to wear the No9 in Chelsea blue, and he became the latest in a long line of players to flop in that shirt.
Fernando Torres famously struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, but he was continuing a tradition upheld by a long line of No9s.
Only Hernan Crespo came close to breaking the curse, scoring 20 times in 49 league appearances, but even he spent three of his five seasons at the club out on loan.
Check out which other players failed to live up to the expectations of the No9 shirt at Chelsea in the video below uploaded to HITC Sport’s YouTube channel.