‘Forget Carroll, Spurs should sign Dzeko’ – Kane cover suggested by ex-Tottenham star

Tottenham should shelve any plans to move for West Ham striker Andy Carroll and instead seek to cover Harry Kane’s injury-enforced absence with a bid for Roma star Edin Dzeko, claims Micky Hazard.

Spurs find themselves short on firepower after seeing a talismanic presence suffer an untimely knock.

An ankle problem is expected to keep Kane out of action until March, with Fernando Llorente being asked to step in as Heung-min Son is also unavailable while away on Asian Cup duty.

It has been suggested that Mauricio Pochettino will move to bolster his ranks, with additions required in a squad which welcomed no fresh faces into the fold last summer.

A raid on London rivals West Ham for England international Carroll has been mooted, but a former Spurs star believes an attempt to bring an ex-Manchester City frontman back to the Premier League would make more sense.

“I’d like to see Edin Dzeko come in,” Hazard, who took in two spells with Tottenham in his playing days, told Love Sport Radio.

“I think he’s a top player and I don’t think he’s in the team at the moment [at Roma].

“Thankfully it’s not my decision but if I was manager of Spurs I wouldn’t be looking to Andy Carroll.

“I don’t think he’d fit into our way of playing. He might do us a job during this period when we’ve got an absolutely incredible injury list and Son away which compounds it.

“But I am a bit of a purist and I have a style of play that I like to see and I think Dzeko would fit in better than Andy Carroll.”

Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2019

Pochettino has suggested that, while a striker may be required, it promises to be another relatively quiet window in north London.

He is prepared to put his faith in those already at his disposal, and the promotion of academy starlets is a policy which has the support of a one-time youth-team graduate.

Hazard added: “You don’t buy because a player gets injured.

“That’s part of the game and we’ve got five, six or seven [injuries] so we’d need to replace six or seven top-notch footballers which is impossible to do.

“I’d imagine we’re looking at players, as we always are, and maybe there will be one or two coming in.

“Hopefully we might sign a centre-forward in the window now.

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“I love Poch’s attitude though. His attitude is this is an opportunity for someone else to come in and do the business and earn a place.

“Always in football, that’s how the people behind the first XI have to think. Every time an opportunity arises, they have to grab it with both hands because they want to be there.

“That’s what Poch is saying to the press about his squad of players and his youngsters. That’s what it is about.”


VIDEO: Stones, Dzeko & The Ones to Watch in the UEFA Champions League

The long wait is over – club football’s greatest competition is back!

But who will lead his club to glory with the most impressive performance this week?

Who will rise up above the rest and be crowned the UEFA Champions League Player of the Week, sponsored by Banco Santander?

Will Roma striker Edin Dzeko inspire his side past reigning champions Real Madrid? With five goals and two assists already, nobody has been involved in more goals than he has in this year’s competition.

Football Santander | Player of the Week Ones to Watch MD5 | Groups E-H

The UEFA Champions League returns tonight! Who will emerge as a Player of the Week contender on Matchday 5?
Posted by Football Santander on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Or will John Stones help Manchester City pass their way through Lyon by keeping up his 96 per cent pass completion rate?

AEK Athens’ goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas has also been impressive with his distribution, completing a competition-best 54 accurate long passes so far, and he will be key to his side’s chances against Ajax.

Young Boys head to Old Trafford hoping to give Manchester United the run-around, but holding midfielder Nemanja Matic will be well prepared – he’s covered 45.6km in four UCL matches this season, more than anyone else in Group H.

Voting for Player of the Week opens on Thursday .

Follow Football Santander on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram for continued coverage of the UEFA Champions League.


Why Dzeko won’t be the answer to Real Madrid’s striker search

Real Madrid’s search for a new striker will not lead them into luring Edin Dzeko away from Roma, Goal understands.

Speculation regarding a possible move for the Bosnian frontman has been building steadily as the January window draws ever closer.

There have been no denials coming out of Santiago Bernabeu regarding supposed interest in a proven performer currently plying his trade in Serie A, but a deal is highly unlikely.

Dzeko is not enjoying the best of times in front of goal in 2018-19, with a barren run having been extended to six games for club and country.

That sequence has been taken into account by the Blancos, who already boast plenty of international-calibre firepower on the books in the form of Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Isco, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz.

Santiago Solari has declared himself to be happy with his current options and will not be pushing his board to deliver another fresh face over the winter.

Stability is being welcomed in the Spanish capital, following an upturn in form in the wake of Julen Lopetegui’s departure, and there is an acceptance that spending for the sake of it at this stage may not be the wisest choice.

Madrid are also eager to land another marquee addition at some stage, with links to Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar refusing to go away as a suitable replacement is sought for the departed Cristiano Ronaldo.

Edin Dzeko Roma

Immediate cover may be pursued in January, but Dzeko is not going to be the man to answer the call.

The 32-year-old frontman passed up the opportunity to head back to England a year ago, with the former Manchester City star opting to shun interest from Chelsea.

He stated his full commitment to Roma at that stage and expressed a desire to take in more memorable Champions League nights with the Giallorossi.

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That stance has not changed, while Dzeko’s wife has made it clear that her preference would be to remain in the Italian capital, rather than head to cities of a similar standing in England or Spain.

Roma are also under no pressure to sell, with big-money deals in recent windows having helped them to balance the books.

With all of those factors taken into account, the chances of Dzeko making his way to Madrid in 2019 are minimal and alternative options will be considered – be that in January or for next summer.


Fantasy Football: Defenders take centre stage again in our Champions League Team of the Week

It was another week of defensive dominance in the Champions League as nine of the 16 matches this week featured a clean sheet. This trend was certainly reflected in Fantasy as well with the maximum amount of defenders allowed (five) making it into our Team of the Week. To see who they are, and who else made the cut from round three, just keep reading!


GK: Fernando Muslera – Galatasaray – 1 Game, 6 Saves, 1 Clean Sheet = 10 Points

DEF: Achraf Hakimi – Borussia Dortmund – 1 Game, 3 Assists, 1 Clean Sheet = 16 Points

The left-back sure had an incredible Wednesday. Not only did Dortmund shock Atletico Madrid with a 4-0 victory, but three of those goals were assisted by Hakimi. Earning the clean sheet at the end was just the cherry on top of this performance which earned him the title of Goal Fantasy Player of the week. Looking forward, assuming he starts the remaining Champions League matches, Hakimi looks an amazing value costing just 5.5m!

DEF: Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund – 1 Substitute Appearance, 2 Goals = 15 Points

DEF: Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Clean Sheet = 14 Points

Aymeric Laporte Manchester City 2018-19

DEF: Jordi Alba – Barcelona – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Clean Sheet = 14 Points

Any fears that Barcelona would struggle without Lionel Messi were swiftly put to bed as Barcelona cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Inter Milan. Alba’s contributions were significant again, this time as he picked up his first Champions League goal of the year. Currently, no defender has more assists or Fantasy points than the Spaniard which makes him worth owning for the rest of the group stages, and beyond.

DEF: Rafinha – Bayern Munich – 1 Game, 1 Assist, 1 Clean Sheet = 10 Points

MID: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – 1 Game, 2 Goals – 14 Points

After a three-week goal drought, Mohamed Salah has now scored three goals in the last five days! The brace was a big part of Liverpool’s win against Red Star Belgrade which propelled them to the top of Group C. As for Fantasy, this was the first time the Egyptian scored in this competition which has reduced his value somewhat, especially considering he’s still the second most expensive midfielder in the Goal game. That having been said, he could still prove to be worth his price tag as his next Champions League match will also be against Red Star.

Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19

MID: Jesus Corona – Porto – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Assist = 11 Points

MID: Bertrand Traore – Lyon – 1 Game, 1 Goal, 1 Assist = 11 Points

FOR: Edin Dzeko – Roma – 1 Game, 2 Goals, 1 Assist = 15 Points

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After his brace this week, no player has scored more Champions League goals than Dzeko this season (five). In fact, he’s now only three goals behind his tally from last season’s campaign in which he played eight more matches. That goal tally has pushed him to the top of the heap in the Goal game in total points and, in this kind of form, the Roma man is a must own regardless of matchup.

FOR: Andrej Kramaric – Hoffenheim – 1 Game, 2 Goals = 12 Points



Roma boss Di Francesco hails ‘extraordinary’ Dzeko

Eusebio Di Francesco singled out Edin Dzeko for individual praise after the Roma striker scored twice and set up another in the 3-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow.

Dzeko netted his fourth and fifth goals of the Champions League campaign in the space of 13 first-half minutes at Stadio Olimpico, before teeing up Cengiz Under after the interval.

It marked a timely return to form for Dzeko, who has now been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 14 Champions League appearances, following an abysmal showing by Roma’s attack in a 2-0 Serie A defeat to SPAL.

And Roma head coach Di Francesco was delighted with his side’s reaction, and Dzeko’s display in particular. 

“If he’d scored [against SPAL] that would have been even better,” Di Francesco said.

“I must say, he’s an extraordinary player, and not just in terms of his finishing – he gets the team playing, brings the ball down and produces good service for his team-mates.

“He’s a fantastic professional, his pre-match preparations are always spot-on. When he has a bad game he might appear lethargic, but he does well when he’s determined.

“There were things I wasn’t happy with against SPAL, some occasions where focus was lacking. That’s football, you can never let your guard down.

“We showed a lot of good things, including the ability to dig in. CSKA are good between the lines but we found our rhythm, producing some good play and creating chances.”

Veteran Roma captain Daniele De Rossi echoed the coach’s thoughts.

“This was a great reaction after losing badly on Saturday in this stadium,” De Rossi told UEFA.com.

“It’s never easy to come back here after a defeat and show the personality to win so clearly. We were good, now let’s try to be good more often.”

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CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko, meanwhile, insisted that his side – who sit third in Group G on four points – can take positives from their performance.

“I don’t want to focus on negative things. We are moving forward, our young team is getting an invaluable experience by playing in these sort of games,” he told UEFA.com.

“Surely, it will help us when we face Roma in Moscow. We’ll do our homework.”