Adama Traore is reportedly set to snub Barcelona and Liverpool to extend his stay at Wolves.

Traore has been linked with a move away from Wolves, where he arrived from Middlesbrough in 2018.

But the winger is seemingly happy at the Premier League club.

 

TOP STORY – TRAORE TO EXTEND WOLVES STAY DESPITE BARCELONA, LIVERPOOL INTEREST

Traore is set for a pay rise and is close to agreeing to a four-year deal with Wolves despite interest from Barcelona and Liverpool, according to The Sun.

The three-time Spain international is reportedly set for the new contract despite having a deal until 2023.

Barcelona and Liverpool have been linked with Traore previously.

 

ROUND-UP

- Paulo Dybala's Juventus future is again a talking point. An unused substitute against Crotone on Saturday, Dybala reportedly clashed with Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are preparing for Dybala to exit amid links to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and they are eyeing Salzburg teenager Luka Susic.

- Manchester United missed out on Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho during the close season, but there is a belief the Premier League giants will target the attacker again in January or next year, according to the Daily Star.

- Marcelo Brozovic could be set for an Inter exit. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A club are prepared to sell the midfielder in January, with interest from Tottenham and Monaco.

- As he continues to impress at Salzburg, Dominik Szoboszlai is linked with a move. Football.london says the Hungary international is a target for Arsenal.

- Compared to Portugal great Luis Figo, Sporting CP teenager Luis Gomes is a target for Manchester United, according to the Mirror.

Tottenham have completed the signing of Joe Rodon from Swansea City for a reported fee that could total £15million. 

The Wales international defender has signed a five-year contract with Jose Mourinho's side. 

Swansea have brought in Ryan Bennett from Wolves on a three-year deal as Rodon's replacement. 

Rodon, who had previously been linked with West Ham, has played 52 Championship games for Swansea since breaking into the first team during the 2018-19 season. 

He is Mourinho's eighth signing of a busy transfer window for Spurs, who face West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.

As well as making Giovani Lo Celso's move from Real Betis permanent, Spurs have also signed Sergio Reguilon, Matt Doherty, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Carlos Vinicius, Joe Hart and Gareth Bale. 

Rodon's signing takes their reported transfer spend to a little under £100m, less than seven months on from their initial decision to impose a 20 per cent pay cut on 550 staff members due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Following criticism, Spurs announced in April that all staff, including those placed on furlough, would receive 100 per cent of their pay for April and May and that the board would instead take salary reductions. 

Meanwhile, Spurs defender Cameron Carter-Vickers has moved to Bournemouth on loan for the rest of the 2020-21 season.

Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Ansu Fati headline the final 20-name shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy award.

The prize, presented by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and won by Joao Felix last year, is given to the best player aged 21 or under from a top-tier league in Europe.

Haaland is a leading contender for the accolade after scoring 44 goals across all competitions in 2019-20 – 16 of those coming in 18 appearances after a mid-season move from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund.

Among all Bundesliga players last season to have scored at least 10 goals, only Robert Lewandowski (81.2) had a better minutes-per-goal record than Haaland (81.7).

His Dortmund team-mate Sancho finished the 2019-20 league campaign with 17 goals and 16 assists, making him the first player since Opta began detailed data collection (2004-05) to register at least 15 in both categories in the same Bundesliga campaign.

The England international's prolific campaign saw him become the youngest player (20 years, two months and six days old) in the history of Germany's top flight to reach 30 career goals.

Despite their impressive numbers, Haaland and Sancho face stiff competition from Fati, who became the third-youngest player (16 years, 304 days old) to find the net in LaLiga history and the youngest of all time in the Champions League (17 years, 40 days).

He finished the season with eight goals in all competitions and has continued his rise this term, netting three times in as many LaLiga games and becoming the youngest player to score for Spain.

Alphonso Davies will also be in contention after establishing himself as one of the top left-backs in the game during Bayern Munich's treble-winning season.

The full 20-man shortlist:

Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Jonathan David (Lille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Fabio Silva (Wolves), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Dominik Szoboszlai (Salzburg), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

Wolves winger Adama Traore has insisted he is not thinking about a potential return to former club Barcelona despite holding regular talks about the club with Camp Nou prodigy Ansu Fati.

Traore emerged through Barca's famed academy ranks but failed to make the first-team grade and is now excelling at Molineux after spells with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.

The 24-year-old continued his upward rise by winning his first cap for Spain in Wednesday's stalemate with Portugal, earning praise from boss Luis Enrique after the friendly.

He has been linked with a return to Barcelona in the past but, despite still having close ties to the club, the speedy wide man is only focused on improving his game at Wolves.

"It's not my decision whether I would suit Barcelona. My mentality is to work every day to be better," Traore said at a news conference previewing Saturday's Nations League clash with Switzerland.

Asked about his close friendship with Fati, who set yet another record last month by becoming Spain's youngest ever goalscorer, Traore revealed no topic is off limits between the pair.

"We talk about everything," he said. "Even some more general topics because I have been at the club for many years and so has he.

"We met in the academy and have spoke about things to do with the team, the things that we happened together at Barcelona. We know each other well."

Luis Enrique talked up Traore's incredible physique on the back of the goalless draw in Lisbon, but the Wolves man has reiterated weight lifting is not part of his training programme.

"I don't do weights because my genetics make me gain a lot of muscle," he said. "I just do work to be in the best condition."

There have been few days in Premier League history quite as remarkable as October 4, 2020. 

Manchester United's 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham raised eyebrows, but Liverpool's 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa a few hours later dropped jaws. Did that really happen? 

Those results at Old Trafford and Villa Park means there have been 144 goals in 38 Premier League games so far this season – making for an average of 3.79 per fixture - the highest in the top flight since 1930-31. 

Here, using Opta data, take a look at the key stats from Sunday's six games.

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool: Watkins-inspired Villains demolish champions

The reigning champions were humbled as ex-Brentford striker Ollie Watkins became the 10th player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool, taking his tally in league outings to 29 since the start of last season - more than any player in England's top four tiers. 

Jack Grealish, who also scored twice, became the second Villa player to provide three assists in a single game, following in the footsteps of current Reds midfielder James Milner, who did so in 2010. 

Ross Barkley netted a debut goal for Villa, while John McGinn was also on target, meaning Mohamed Salah's brace came in vain as Liverpool became the first reigning champions to ship seven goals since Arsenal did so against Sunderland in 1953.

Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham: Spurs smash Solskjaer's sorry side

There was little indication of what was to come when Bruno Fernandes tucked away a second-minute penalty at Old Trafford to give United the lead. 

Spurs hit back in style - Tanguy Ndombele, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane all on target before Son's second ensured United - who lost Anthony Martial to a first-half red card - conceded four in the opening half of a league fixture for the first time since 1957, which also happened to be against Tottenham. 

Serge Aurier added a fifth after the break and Kane then converted a late spot-kick as United suffered their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat, equalling their 6-1 home loss to Manchester City in 2011. 

As for ex-United boss Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese equalled his biggest ever Premier League win on the road, his team winning by five goals for the first time since Chelsea beat Swansea City 5-0 in 2015. It is also his first away league triumph against a team he has previously managed in the Premier League.

Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United: More home comforts for Arteta's Gunners

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal claimed a ninth win from their past 11 home Premier League matches, with only Liverpool (34) having won more home points than the Gunners (29) since their manager's first game in charge at Emirates Stadium last December.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring before Nicolas Pepe finished off a 19-pass move, which was the longest sequence before a goal in the top flight this term.

Sheffield United pulled one back late on through David McGoldrick but Chris Wilder's side have now lost seven league matches in a row for the first time since 1975. It is the worst run for the Blades boss in his managerial career since 10 defeats on the spin when in charge of Halifax Town (February-April 2004).

Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United: Another amazing away day for Antonio

West Ham were the happy Hammers again at the King Power Stadium after making it back-to-back Premier League victories while keeping clean sheets for the first time since May 2019. 

Aaron Cresswell, playing his 192nd Premier League game, assisted two goals in a game for the first time in his top-flight career, Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals both profiting prior to half-time before Jarrod Bowen added a third. 

Antonio's header saw him become the first Hammers player to score in five successive away games, with the in-form forward netting eight times in that run.

Wolves 1-0 Fulham: More defensive solidity from Nuno's men

Having conceded four against West Ham last time out, Wolves were back to their stubborn best in a 1-0 win over Fulham that came courtesy of Pedro Neto's second-half strike.

It was Wolves' seventh clean sheet of the calendar year, more than any other Premier League club in 2020, with Nuno Espirito Santos' side not conceding in seven of their past nine games at home.

As for Fulham, they have conceded 11 goals from their opening four league games, the most they have shipped at this stage in a campaign since the 1960-61 campaign (14).

Southampton 2-0 West Brom: Baggies' slow start continues

A 2-0 defeat for West Brom left Slaven Bilic's men with one point from four games, their fewest at that stage of a top-flight campaign since 1985-86.

Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu scored past Sam Johnstone either side of the interval, with the Baggies goalkeeper only the second in Premier League history to concede at least 13 times in his first four games after Swindon Town's Fraser Digby in 1993-94.

The result sees the Saints march into the international break off the back of successive wins, while they have only lost two of their last 11 in the league (W6 D3).

Raul Jimenez has signed a new contract with Wolves, tying him to the club until 2024.

The Mexico striker had been linked with teams like Juventus and Manchester United after some impressive displays for Wolves since signing from Benfica, initially on loan, in 2018.

That move was made permanent in 2019 and the 29-year-old has now committed the remainder of his peak years to Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

Jimenez set lofty goals after signing his new deal, challenging the club to build on consecutive seventh-place finishes under Nuno.

"The last two seasons we have given very good performances, so I knew this club has something special and I'm part of a big family here," he said after the fresh terms were confirmed on Saturday.

"I think Wolves are getting the best out of me, and I'm giving Wolves my best football, but they are giving the best to me too.

"We reached seventh place the last two seasons, we got into the Europa League in my first season, but I think we can do better.

"We can be in the top six, but we have to think big, we have to aim high, and then we have to prove it. We can talk about it, but we have to prove it on the pitch.

"We have to play well and make the fans happy. Being in the top six and a return to the European competitions would be amazing, it is what we all want, and we are working for that."

Jimenez crucial to Wolves

Opta statistics highlight Jimenez's importance to Wolves. Since the start of last season, he has played in all 41 of club's league matches, starting 40 of them. He also participated in all 38 of their top-flight games in his first season on loan at the club.

From the start of 2019-20, Jimenez has scored 19 Premier League goals. Only six top-flight players have higher totals, and only two of those play for teams outside of the big six – Jamie Vardy (28) and Danny Ings (25).

Jimenez has also been a key creator for Wolves, adding six assists across that period – second in the team behind Adama Traore (nine).

He ranks third in chances created for Wolves with 48 to his name in that timespan, behind just Joao Moutinho (83) and Traore (51).

The six headers he has scored since the start of last season is a total bettered in the Premier League only by Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has seven.

Jimenez also converts 60 per cent of his big chances. Of players with at least 10 goals since the start of last season, only Son Heung-min (65), Ings (64) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (63) boast better totals.

Luis Enrique is optimistic Adama Traore will finally make his Spain debut despite a call-up from Mali.

Wolves winger Traore is eligible to represent either nation and has been included in both squads for the upcoming international break.

It is the third time Spain have selected the former Barcelona man, with injury and coronavirus preventing a bow that would cap-tie him until now.

But Luis Enrique remains confident Traore will link up with his squad and belatedly debut.

"It's the third time, so I'll touch wood," he told a news conference after announcing his squad, which included Levante midfielder Jose Campana for the first time.

"It's the player who has to decide. What I know is that I have spoken with him and he wants to play for Spain."

The Spain coach was dealt a blow on Friday, however, as Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal suffered a ligament injury in his right knee.

Carvajal will reportedly be missing for two months after sustaining the issue in training.

"It's unpleasant for him," Luis Enrique said. "He's in good hands.

"I'll speak with my staff, but we're quite clear about who will replace him."

Conor Coady has signed a new contract with Wolves, tying him to the Premier League club until 2025.

The 27-year-old signed for Wolves in 2015, having come through Liverpool's academy. He also had spells at Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town.

Coady dropped from midfield into a three-man defence following Nuno Espirito Santo's arrival at Molineux, and swiftly became a mainstay in the side.

In September, Coady gained his first international cap as he appeared for England against Denmark in the Nations League.

"It's an incredible day, honestly. I look at what this club has given me over the years, and it feels like home to me – it has done since the first day I came," Coady told Wolves' official website.

"I'm honoured to play for this football club every day, so to sign a new deal is absolutely incredible."

Coady played in every league game in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Premier League seasons, and has made close to 250 appearances for Wolves in total.

The goals continued to flow in the Premier League at the weekend, but not quite at the same rate as the previous matchday had seen.

There was a first for Pep Guardiola as Manchester City were thumped 5-2 by Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium, while Manchester United overcame Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 in a thriller that was decided by a penalty scored after the final whistle.

Chelsea came back from three goals down to earn a point at West Brom, while West Ham put four past Wolves and kept a clean sheet despite manager David Moyes not being present due to a positive coronavirus test.

Not everyone stayed on brand, though. Leeds United's first two games included 14 goals but they only edged out Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane, while Southampton beat Burnley by the same scoreline.

Still, at least there wasn't a single 0-0!

With the help of Opta, we took a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.
 

PROLIFIC WITHOUT PENALTIES

Richarlison took his Premier League tally to 32 goals in Everton's 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, but it was his first from the penalty spot. It is far from unusual for an attacker to rack up an impressive number of strikes without the assistance of spot-kicks, though. Les Ferdinand is the most prolific forward to not score a single penalty in the Premier League, with none of his 149 top-flight goals coming from the spot. In fact, rather than Richarlison, it's another player on Merseyside among the leaders in this category. Sadio Mane has scored 86 goals in the Premier League and not a single one was a penalty, putting him fourth on the list behind Emile Heskey (110) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (91).

KANE CHASING HENRY AND CESC

Harry Kane may have only scored one league goal this season, but the England captain has undoubtedly been in fine form. By setting up Lucas Moura's opener in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Sunday he became only the third player to supply five assists across the opening three matchdays of a Premier League season – a feat only previously achieved by Ruel Fox for the Magpies in 1994-95 and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for United in 2017-18. Another assist against the Red Devils this weekend would see Kane match Thierry Henry (2004-05) and Cesc Fabregas (2014-15) with six from four matchdays, while two would be a new Premier League record.

WOLVES' PORTU-GEEZERS

A lot has been made of Jorge Mendes' influence at Wolves, which has seen an influx of Portuguese talent at Molineux. The latest such addition is defender Nelson Semedo, who became the 14th Portuguese player to appear in the Premier League for Wolves by debuting in the 4-0 loss to West Ham on Sunday. It is far from the greatest affinity between a Premier League club and players from a specific country, though. The 27 Frenchmen to turn out for Arsenal represents a joint record alongside Sunderland's 27 Irish players. Another appearance by a player from France would see Newcastle (26) draw level as well.

686 AND OUT

City's 5-2 hammering at the hands of City on Sunday represented the first time in 686 games as a manager that Guardiola has seen one of his teams concede five goals. Among Premier League title-winning bosses still active in the top flight, Guardiola lasted the longest by some distance. Carlo Ancelotti first saw one of his teams ship five in his 106th game as a coach (Parma's 5-2 loss to Sampdoria in January 1998), while it happened to Jurgen Klopp in his 209th match (Mainz's 6-1 defeat to Werder Bremen in October 2006). The first time it happened to Mourinho was in his 471st game, when Guardiola's Barcelona claimed a 5-0 victory over Real Madrid in November 2010.

INGS-DEPENDENT

Danny Ings was one goal away from sharing the Golden Boot with Jamie Vardy last season and he's continued his prolific form in 2020-21, scoring three times in as many top-flight appearances. Since the start of last season Ings has scored 25 of Southampton's 54 Premier League goals, which equates to 46 per cent. No other team has been as dependent on a single goalscorer, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (23 of 61 - 38 per cent) and Jamie Vardy (28 of 79 - 35 per cent) are in close contention.

Manchester City shipped five goals in a home league match for the first time in 17 years as they were shocked by Leicester City on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers' men were in rampant form at the Etihad Stadium and were inspired by Jamie Vardy, who is proving quite the scourge of Pep Guardiola defences.

Tottenham were denied a win over Newcastle United by another late, late penalty in a Premier League match in 2020-21, while Leeds United enjoyed Yorkshire bragging rights over Sheffield United.

West Ham, meanwhile, put Wolves to the sword as manager David Moyes watched on television while in self-isolation.

Here are some of Opta's top numbers from a scintillating day of play...

 

Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City: Guardiola in uncharted territory

Guardiola had gone 685 games in all competitions in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City without his team conceding five goals. Over to you, Jamie Vardy.

The striker scored three times, two of them from the penalty spot, to take his tally to eight league goals against City since Guardiola took charge – the most of any player against a team managed by the Catalan – and inspire Leicester to a 5-2 win.

City had never conceded five in a game at the Etihad Stadium before and last let in that many in a home Premier League match against Arsenal in February 2003.

As for Vardy, he is the only player to convert two hat-tricks against a Guardiola team. The only other man to score even one such treble is Lionel Messi.

Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle United: Kane assists not enough

Harry Kane is fashioning a new name for himself as Tottenham's assist king.

He teed up Lucas Moura to open the scoring against Newcastle, thereby reaching five Premier League assists already for 2020-21 – that's only two short of his record for a single season in 2016-17 and as many as in his previous 54 league appearances.

In fact, only Ruel Fox for Newcastle in 1994-95 and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Manchester United in 2017-18 have ever managed five assists in the opening three matchdays of a Premier League season.

Of course, it was Newcastle who got the real helping hand here, Eric Dier's unfortunate handball allowing Callum Wilson to equalise with a penalty after 96 minutes and 20 seconds, the latest any team has ever scored with their first shot on target in a Premier League match since at least 2006.

Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds United: Bamford loves the big time

Patrick Bamford only scored four Championship goals between February and late July last season. In the Premier League, he has three in three games. Some people just flourish on the biggest stages.

The striker is the first Leeds player ever to score in his first three top-flight games for the club and only the third person to net on the each of the first three matchdays for a promoted side in the Premier League. The others were Teemu Pukki for Norwich City last season and Michael Ricketts for Bolton Wanderers in 2001-02.

His header against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United also saw Bamford become the first Leeds player to score in the first three matches of a top-flight campaign since Mick Jones back in 1968-69. They went on to win the title that season...

West Ham 4-0 Wolves: Bowen finds his feet

Jarrod Bowen scored twice against Wolves as West Ham romped to a mightily impressive win over Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves, while boss Moyes was unable to attend after testing positive for coronavirus.

Bowen got his first brace in league football since December 2019, converting two impressive finishes to put the Hammers 2-0 ahead. He had only scored once in his first 22 Premier League outings.

With a relative dry spell in the past year apparently behind him, don't bet against the 23-year-old to build on this performance. Since the start of 2017-18, only Liverpool star Mohamed Salah (50) and Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero (38) have scored more league goals at home across England's top four divisions than Bowen (36).

With all 20 Premier League teams now back in action, fantasy football managers around the world are tinkering and tweaking as they look to find that perfect balance of solid but deadly.

It's fair to say that we've already had a few surprises (for the fantasy football world, at least) this season, with Manchester United players barely making a splash at home to Crystal Palace (looking at you, Bruno Fernandes), Liverpool shipping three to promoted Leeds United on day one and Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the scoring chart.

Everything's been all over the place – you need as much help as you can get, and hopefully that's where we can help.

Using Opta data, here are a few tips that might enable you get back on track, or even – for those of you lucky enough – build on an emphatic start…

RUI PATRICIO

Despite the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Wolves appear set for another encouraging season, having seemingly recruited well and retained most of their key players.

Among those is Rui Patricio, who is second only to Ederson (0.45) in terms of goals conceded per game (0.82) since the Premier League resumed in June, while the Portugal international's six clean sheets in that time is also the second best in the division.

Up next for Wolves is a trip to West Ham, who have lost both of their first two games of the season, scoring just one goal in the process.

MICHAEL KEANE

Goal-scoring perhaps isn't a key factor for many when considering which defenders to choose in their fantasy team, but picking one who has a habit of finding the net can give you the edge.

Michael Keane heads into the weekend having scored twice since the June resumption, a record beaten by no other defender, while he also boasts the best shot conversion rate (40 per cent) among defenders to have attempted at least five in that time period.

Everton are looking impressive at the moment, and with quality deliveries from James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne floating in regularly, who's to say Keane won't find the net again at Crystal Palace?

SADIO MANE

This one's quite simple – Sadio Mane loves playing against Arsenal.

In 12 matches against the Gunners, he has scored six times. He has only managed more in meetings with Palace (nine in 11), and he goes into the game on the back of a match-winning brace at Chelsea last time out.

Matches between two of the big guns can prove a little risky in terms of captain selection, and Mane's certainly not cheap – but few have his record in such games.

MATHEUS PEREIRA

It's been a difficult readjustment to the Premier League for West Brom, who host Chelsea next having conceded eight times in two matches and scored just twice.

But those two goals should pique the interest of fantasy fans, given Matheus Pereira was involved in both (one goal, one assist) and won't break the bank.

The Brazilian will surely be key if the Baggies are to avoid the drop this term, having had a hand in 11 more goals (nine scored, 17 set up) than any other player for the club since the start of 2019-20.

RAUL JIMENEZ

Two games, two goals – Jimenez has picked up right where he left off last season, the Mexican continuing to be the go-to man in attack for Wolves.

There's every chance that will continue at West Ham as well, given his penchant for scoring against the Hammers.

Jimenez has three goals in his past three Premier League clashes with West Ham, including a brace in January.

He also has four in six domestically, though a word of caution – Jimenez hasn't netted in three successive games since November last year.

GABRIEL JESUS

With Sergio Aguero out for the time being, Gabriel Jesus has the chance to find some form and enjoy a run of regular starts – he'll likely be encouraged by what's to come as well.

Leicester City are the visitors to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and in five previous league outings against the Foxes, Jesus has four goals.

Only against Everton (seven) has Jesus netted more frequently, and given City's impressive season-starting 3-1 win at Wolves, they will be favourites when Brendan Rodgers' table-toppers (on goal difference) come to town.

On the face of it, Jesus looks a strong choice for the captaincy this week.

 

DANNY INGS

Under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Danny Ings really is in the form of his life.

Since the start of last season, his haul of 24 goals is second only to Jamie Vardy in the Premier League, while he has scored 45 per cent of Saints' league goals in that time.

Up next is former club Burnley, and although notoriously difficult to play against, they conceded four to Leicester last time out.

Wolves have completed the signing of right-back Nelson Semedo from Barcelona on an initial three-year deal.

Semedo arrives at Molineux in a reported £32.2million (€35m) transfer as a replacement for Matt Doherty, who joined Tottenham last month.

The Portugal international, who spent three years at Camp Nou after signing from Benfica, posted a message to Barca on his Instagram page on Tuesday before Wolves confirmed his arrival the following day.

Semedo wrote: "Thank you very much Barcelona for giving me the dream of wearing this shirt. Thank you for making me grow as a player and as a person.

"I've had three wonderful years that I won't forget. I want to thank my team-mates, the staff, the fans and all the people who have helped me from the moment I arrived until today."

Semedo is the latest player to leave the Blaugrana as new coach Ronald Koeman overhauls the first-team squad following a dismal 2019-20 campaign.

The 26-year-old featured 42 times in all competitions last season, scoring once, as Barca lost their LaLiga crown, failed to win a trophy and crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion, going down 8-2 to Bayern Munich.

Arturo Vidal has left for Inter, while Luis Suarez is also expected to depart. The club blocked captain Lionel Messi's exit.

Semedo's departure had been anticipated, with Barca linked with bids for alternative right-back options - including Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, Norwich City's Max Aarons and Ajax's Sergino Dest.

Contrasting reports have Aarons and Dest close to moves to Catalonia.

Semedo was welcomed at Wolves, where his new contract has the option for a further two years.

"It isn't often that we have the opportunity to sign a world-class player from a world-class club," executive chairman Jeff Shi said. "Nelson's signing shows we will never stop progressing and we are still hungry and humble in our heart."

Semedo, a two-time LaLiga winner, added: "I'm very excited to be here. It's a very good team. To play in the Premier League is a dream from me, too."

Nelson Semedo sent a goodbye message to Barcelona ahead of his reported move to Premier League side Wolves.

Barcelona and Portugal full-back Semedo is poised to swap the LaLiga giants for Wolves, who boast countrymen Nuno Espirito Santo, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Fabio Silva, Rui Patricio, Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto, Vitinha, Roderick and Ruben Vinagre.

As Barca look to free up salary space and raise funds, Semedo farewelled Camp Nou in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

"Thank you very much Barcelona for giving me the opportunity to live the dream of wearing this shirt, of playing in Camp Nou, of learning and enjoying the best in the world," Semedo wrote.

"Thank you for making me grow as a player and as a person. They were three wonderful years that I will never forget.

"Thank my colleagues, staff, fans and all the people who helped me since I arrived until today. I wish you the best luck in the world. Eternally grateful."

Semedo joined Barca from Portuguese giants Benfica in 2017.

The 26-year-old won two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana during his time in Barcelona.

Semedo made 32 LaLiga appearances and 42 across all competitions last season as Barca were dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid and humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne's influence upon an injury-ravaged Manchester City squad after he starred in Monday's 3-1 win over Wolves.

Guardiola headed to Molineux with seven senior players unavailable but his team turned in a sparkling display against opponents who beat them twice last season.

De Bruyne was City's star man, winning and converting a 20th-minute penalty before having a hand in goals for Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

"Since we came back after the games for the national teams, every training session he has incredible commitment," Guardiola, who saw Raul Jimenez briefly reduce the deficit in the 78th-minute, told a post-match news conference.

"Right now he is an incredibly important player for us. He always was, but in the situation we are in right now, it is so important.

"He took an incredible penalty, he took it perfectly. Then there is the amount of assists, how he runs. He played really well, like all the team.

"He likes to play football, he doesn't feel the pressure and likes to compete at a high standard."

Ilkay Gundogan's positive test for coronavirus compounded Guardiola's selection problems heading into City's opening Premier League game of the season, with Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric Garcia all injury absentees.

Aymeric Laporte only returned to training last Friday following his own COVID-19 positive, although John Stones and new signing Nathan Ake were assured for the most part in the centre of defence.

Guardiola confirmed a team predominantly made up of academy players will launch City's bid for a fourth consecutive EFL Cup against Bournemouth on Thursday, with Leicester City up next in the Premier League on Sunday.

"Most of them are for after the [October] international break," he said when considering when asked when the injured players might return. "After that they’ll be ready.

"Laporte is not injured but he had just one training session in two months. Eric Garcia had 16 stitches, that is why he is not here but maybe for the next game he will be fit.

"The others I think after the international break – Joao, Bernardo, Oleks and Sergio will be longer.

"This is the situation. Maybe in the next days it will change a little bit."

The strain of those considerations appeared to be weighing upon Guardiola during a largely terse briefing, but he still found time to praise Foden, who made a goalscoring return to club action after being banished from the England squad earlier this month for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland.

"He played really well," he added.

"Apart from scoring the goal, in the first half he was not much involved. In the second half he played incredibly well.

"Since day one he trained really well. In all the time he played with us, if we decide to play five minutes or 90 minutes it doesn’t matter.

"He has a big impact and makes great contributions to the team. Today was not an exception."

Kevin De Bruyne was already looking towards another title tussle with Liverpool after Manchester City won at Wolves, adding that team glory ranks above his personal exploits despite a standout performance.

City won the Premier League in 2017-18 and 2018-19, holding off the Reds down the home stretch in the latter season, but then relinquished their crown to Jurgen Klopp's team last term.

Liverpool registered six points from the opening two matches of their title defence before Pep Guardiola's men even took to the field, with City making a late start due to their involvement in the Champions League in August.

However, De Bruyne broke the deadlock at Wolves on Monday, had a hand in Phil Foden's second and then, after Raul Jimenez halved the deficit, supplied an assist for Gabriel Jesus in stoppage time.

The reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year, who created six chances in all, did not shy away from the challenge before City.

"It's obviously hard," De Bruyne told Sky Sports. "It's a little bit of a weird season, but we know we have to start well.

"Wolves have been a bit of a bogey team for us in the last couple of seasons, so to come here and do this performance is encouraging, because we're missing a few players.

"I think the team played really well. The only thing we really can do is play game by game. We know Thursday [Bournemouth in the EFL Cup] is another one and we'll try to do our best.

"We know if the pace is the same as the last three years, it's going to be a hard job. We want to fight against [Liverpool], we need to fight against them.

"I think we make each other better and that, for me, is what sport is all about."

De Bruyne had 20 league assists last season, tying Thierry Henry's record, and was awarded his first of the new campaign after tackling Willy Boly before Jesus netted.

Yet individual statistics are of little concern to the midfielder, who has also scored 14 times since the start of last season - his 35 goal involvements the most of any Premier League player in that time.

"I don't know if my output is going to be more," he said. "I'm perfectly happy with the way the second goal goes. That's why we have so many attacking players - so I can slot them in and they can do the rest.

"I would prefer to have five goals and five assists and go away with the title. You can contribute in a lot of ways.

"I'm a midfielder, I know these days it's a lot about statistics, but I try to set myself [the goal] to play the best that I can for the team.

"Obviously, if I have good numbers, it's going to help myself, it's going to help the team. But even if I play badly, I need to try to contribute in one way or another. That's what I'm trying to do."

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