David Moyes is backing Danny Ings to fire West Ham to Premier League safety after signing the England-capped striker from Aston Villa.

The 30-year-old moves to the London Stadium for a reported initial £12million, rising to £15million if the Hammers avoid relegation.

Former Liverpool, Burnley and Southampton player Ings has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract, with manager Moyes optimistic he can bring goals.

Moyes, who is under pressure with his side in the relegation zone, saidl: "I'm really pleased to add Danny to the squad. He is a proven Premier League goalscorer and will add great competition for places in the attacking third.

"We're looking forward to integrating him into the group, as we go into a busy period in our season."

West Ham have scored just 15 goals in 19 Premier League games so far, winning only four times.

In 18 league appearances for Villa this season, just eight of which were as a starter, Ings managed six goals.

Ings, who has three England caps, told the Hammers' official website: "It's important I settle in as quickly as I can do – and do the important stuff on the pitch for West Ham."

West Ham face a massive showdown at home to Moyes' former club Everton, who are a place below them in the table, on Saturday.

Manchester City have topped the Deloitte Football Money League for the second year running, with 11 of the world's 20 highest-earning clubs coming from the Premier League.

Reigning English champions City last year became just the fourth club ever to top the list, which examines the top-performing football clubs in terms of revenue every year.

City remained the world's highest revenue-generating club in the 2021-22 campaign – the first season in which fans returned to stadiums as coronavirus restrictions were eased.

They made £619.1million (€731m) over that period to finish ahead of LaLiga giants Real Madrid (€713.8m), while Liverpool climbed from seventh to their highest position of third after making £594.3m (€701.7m).

Fellow English clubs Manchester United (fourth), Chelsea (eighth), Tottenham (ninth) and Arsenal (10th) also make the top 10, with West Ham (15th), Leicester City (17th), Leeds United (18th), Everton (19th) and Newcastle United (20th) in the top 20.

It marks the first time in the report's 26 years that a single country has provided more than half of the rich list.

"The Premier League was the only one of the big five European leagues to experience an increase in its media rights value during its most recent rights sale process," said Tim Bridge, the lead partner in Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

"It continues to appeal to millions of global followers and its member clubs have a greater revenue advantage over international rivals."

Paris Saint-Germain (fifth), Bayern Munich (sixth), Barcelona (seventh), Juventus (11th), Atletico Madrid (12th), Borussia Dortmund (13th), Inter (14th) and Milan (16th) make up the rest of the top 20.

In the women's game, Barcelona generated the highest revenue (€7.7m) after winning the Champions League in 2021 and reaching the final last year.

Memphis Depay has been linked with a move away from Barcelona, having had a frustrating 2022-23 season.

The Dutchman has only made a handful of appearances for the Blaugrana, following an off-season of busy transfer activity at Camp Nou.

Depay had been linked with several clubs, including Premier League outfits Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Tottenham.

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS TO EXIT BARCELONA FOR ATLETICO

Depay will leave Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid with an agreement reached on a fee of approximately €3-4million, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Dutch forward is set to travel to Madrid to complete the formalities and medicals soon.

According to Romano, the 28-year-old will sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Atleti.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano claims Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer will undergo medical tests with Bayern Munich on Thursday, before signing his contract with the Bavarians with the deal done between the clubs.

– Sky Sport Italia claims Roma are willing to sell Nicolo Zaniolo in January at the right price, approximately €40m, as the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham United  and Borussia Dortmund circle.

Real Madrid are interested in Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho but the Red Devils have made an improved contract offer for the Argentinian, reports The Independent.

– Arsenal are happy to wait until the end of the season to pursue West Ham's Declan Rice, after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, claims The Sun.

Tottenham have made a first bid for Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, which included a player plus guaranteed money, but the Portuguese club have turned this down, according to Fabrizio Romano. Sporting want €45m (£39m) with talks ongoing.

Chris Wood is on the cusp of joining Nottingham Forest on loan from Newcastle United, reports The Athletic. The deal would include an option to make the move permanent.

– West Ham tabled an offer for Aston Villa forward Danny Ings, reports The Telegraph.

Chelsea may not be finished with their January signings, reportedly joining Tottenham in the pursuit of Brighton and Hove Albion winger Leandro Trossard.

Trossard, 28, is in his fourth season with the Seagulls, and after never scoring more than eight Premier League goals in each of his previous three campaigns, he is on pace to set a new personal-best with seven in his first 16 appearances.

His exploits this season have included a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw against Liverpool, as well as goals against Manchester City and Chelsea, but he recently butted heads with head coach Roberto De Zerbi and has been left out of Brighton's last two matchday squads.

The Belgium international with 24 senior caps has also had his agent announce his intention to leave the club this month, triggering plenty of interest from fellow Premier League sides.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA WANT TROSSARD TO RECREATE MAGIC WITH POTTER

According to The Mirror, Chelsea are understood to now be a main player along with Tottenham and also Arsenal as the three clubs compete for Trossard's services.

Trossard had only six months remaining on his contract on the south coast, before Brighton reportedly activated a 12-month extension to ensure he would not be able to leave the club on a free transfer.

It is believed Chelsea have the most spending power of the trio, even after their £88.5million purchase of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Trossard remains a favourite of his former boss Graham Potter.

His asking price has been set at £25m, while the report adds any potential deal for fellow Brighton talent 21-year-old Moises Caicedo – also of interest to Chelsea as well as Liverpool – would cost "more than double" that £25m figure.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting West Ham would like to bring in 29-year-old Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire on loan.

– According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have enquired about 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, but have been told he will not be available this month and will cost €100m (£88.5m) at the end of the season.

Barcelona are hoping to secure 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer at the end of the season, per the Telegraph.

– Fichajes is reporting Arsenal will attempt to sign Chelsea's Raheem Sterling after failing to land the 28-year-old England international prior to his move to Stamford Bridge last year.

– According to The Independent, Real Madrid and Juventus are monitoring United 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho after he rejected the club's most recent contract extension.

Premier League heavyweights Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United are reportedly preparing to target Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who may leave the Serie A leaders at the end of the season.

Osimhen, 24, became Napoli's club-record signing when he arrived at the club for €70million in July 2020, and he has met all expectations.

After scoring 14 goals in 27 league appearances last season, Osimhen has raised the bar, finding the back of the net 12 times with four assists during his 14 league fixtures in 2022-23.

With Napoli nine points clear at the Serie A summit and seeking their first title since the 1989-90 season, a January sale is off the table, but talks are expected to heat up at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – NAPOLI SLAP €150M PRICE TAG ON PREMIER LEAGUE TARGET OSIMHEN

According to Il Mattino, Napoli believe that if Chelsea new-boy Mykhaylo Mudryk is worth €100m (£88.5m), then Osimhen is worth €150m (£133m).

The Nigerian international's contract ties him to the Italian side until 2025, giving I Partenopei enough leverage to hold firm at what they believe is a fair valuation, but they will be forced to listen to offers at the end of the season if he shows no indication of signing an extension.

The report states Arsenal, United and Newcastle have already made their interest clear, although Arsenal specifically appear to be weighing up a number of expensive options after opting against meeting Mudryk's asking price.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Times is reporting Arsenal have made 24-year-old West Ham midfielder Declan Rice their top priority in the post-season transfer window, and the England international could cost £80m.

– According to The Telegraph, Newcastle have enquired about Chelsea trio Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech.

Newcastle have also reportedly joined Leicester City in the pursuit of 24-year-old Fiorentina forward Nico Gonzalez, who will cost at least €45m (£40m), per TuttoMercatoWeb.

– 90min is reporting Leeds United have increased their bid for 22-year-old Angers midfielder and Morocco standout Azzedine Ounahi to £22.2m (€25m).

– The agent of 25-year-old Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma has reached out to Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham in an effort to organise a move to the Premier League this month, per Relevo.

Arsenal have reportedly made an effort to assess the availability of Barcelona forwards Ferran Torres and Raphinha.

Raphinha arrived at the club in July in a €55million move from Leeds United, but he has struggled to break into Xavi's best side, making only seven starts in his 15 appearances.

Torres is in a similar situation after Barcelona signed him from Manchester City for €55m just over 12 months ago, making six starts from his 16 LaLiga outings this season.

With Arsenal's pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk getting hijacked by Chelsea, the duo are now being considered as alternatives, but the asking price may not be much lower.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL TURN TO BARCELONA AFTER MUDRYK DISAPPOINTMENT

According to 90min, Arsenal director Edu reached out to Barcelona and engaged in "exploratory talks" about what it would take to secure Torres or Raphinha before the end of the month.

The report also says that Arsenal have enquired about Brighton and Hove Albion duo Leandro Trossard and Kaoru Mitoma, as well as breakout Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who is believed to be unavailable.

Meanwhile, Sport is reporting Barcelona have demanded €100m (£88m) as a starting point for any discussions about Raphinha, but there is no indication about what Torres could cost.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Chelsea will listen to offers for 28-year-old England international Raheem Sterling.

– According to Foot Mercato, West Ham have submitted a £26.5m (€30m) offer for 23-year-old Lorient striker Terem Moffi, who would prefer to move to fellow Ligue 1 side Nice, but their bid remains insufficient.

Arsenal are interested in 18-year-old Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda, per the Telegraph, while Tuttomercatoweb adds Juventus have also enquired and been informed of a €15m asking price.

– According to Fichajes, Manchester United and Arsenal are both pursuing 22-year-old Real Betis winger Luiz Henrique.

– Calciomercato is reporting Arsenal are preparing a £71m (€80m) bid for 22-year-old Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic.

Leeds United are reportedly closing in on a new club-record signing in the form of Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter.

Rutter, 20, played his junior football in France with Rennes before joining Hoffenheim as an 18-year-old in 2021.

After emerging as an impressive prospect this past season with 20 substitute appearances among his 33 total Bundesliga outings, he has now broken into the best XI, making 11 starts while taking part in all 15 league fixtures to this point.

The six-foot tall striker only has two goals and two assists to show for this campaign, but boasts an impressive highlight reel of intricate dribbling and playmaking in the final third, and has done enough to catch the eye.

 

TOP STORY – LEEDS LOOK TO HOFFENHEIM FOR POTENTIAL RECORD SIGNING

According to Sky Sports Germany, Rutter will cost in the range of €40million to pry away from Hoffenheim, while his contract ties him to the German side until 2026.

That figure is well clear of the €30.6m Leeds paid for Valencia forward Rodrigo in 2020, potentially shattering their club-record signing.

The report states a potential deal is close, and Rutter is expected to have a medical at Elland Road in the next 48 hours.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea have identified 25-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram and 20-year-old PSV forward Noni Madueke as two key targets, per the Times.

– The Times is also reporting West Ham have renewed their interest in 25-year-old Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri, and will look to add him on loan for the rest of the season.

– According to Foot Mercato, Arsenal are getting closer to securing 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk for a fee believed to be around €100m.

Tottenham will have to meet Pedro Porro's £36.7m release clause to secure the right-back this month, with The Guardian claiming Sporting are under no pressure to sell.

– Foot Mercato is reporting Wolves are interested in bringing in Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka on loan until the end of the season.

West Ham joint-chairman David Gold has died aged 86 following a short illness, the club has confirmed.

The lifelong Hammers fan, who took charge in January 2010 alongside business partner David Sullivan, helped oversee the club's transition from a Premier League also-ran to a European contender.

Under Gold, the club earned sixth and-seventh-place finishes over the past two seasons, and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last year.

In a statement, manager David Moyes paid tribute to Gold, who also played as a schoolboy for the club during his youth.

"I am extremely sad to hear this news," he said. "On behalf of all of the players and my staff at the training ground, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to David Gold's family at this very difficult time.

"It was clear that he had a genuine and sincere love for the club and was a true supporter at heart. He will be greatly missed."

Sullivan also paid his respects, adding: "Of all our joint ventures, none gave us more pride and happiness than the day we took ownership of West Ham United.

"David had a long-standing connection with the Hammers, having grown up opposite the Boleyn Ground in Green Street.

"He always wanted what was best for West Ham United, and his passing is a great loss for all of us."

The club confirmed a further tribute would take place in due course, with the Hammers due to travel to fellow strugglers Leeds United on Wednesday.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank is worried but hopeful about the knee injury that saw Ivan Toney stretchered off late in their 2-0 win over West Ham United on Friday.

Toney, who has been in the news after being charged with 262 breaches of the Football Association's betting rules, scored the opening goal and got the assist for the other before being stretchered off in the 90th minute after landing awkwardly on his right knee.

The England forward appeared in significant pain, which Frank said was "worrying" but needing further assessment.

"Hopefully he's okay," Frank told SkySports. "I'm happy for the three points and another goal to add to his tally.

"I don't know exactly how he will be against Liverpool in three days' time, it's unlikely he's subbed off because of a knock or something.

"So, of course, that's a little bit worrying, but I've been in the game long enough that we need to assess him in the next two days.

"It could be nothing, it could be a little bit worse. It's never a good sign, but we don't know anything about it. It's his knee."

Toney, who was left out of England's World Cup squad, has netted 12 league goals this season, behind only Erling Haaland (20) and Harry Kane (13).

After the game, Toney tweeted about the injury: "Hopefully not too bad and be back out there in no time."

Tributes have poured in for three-time World Cup winner Pele following the Brazil legend's death aged 82.

The former Selecao star, widely considered one of the greatest to ever play the game, passed away on Thursday following a battle with colon cancer.

Pele's status as one of football's most recognised figures has drawn the sport together in mourning, with clubs across the globe honouring the late forward.

LaLiga and Champions League holders Real Madrid offered their condolences to the player's family, while paying tribute to the legacy he leaves behind.

"The legend of Pele will remain forever in the memory of all those who love this sport and his legacy makes him one of the great myths of world football," Los Blancos issued in a statement.

Fellow Spanish giants Barcelona said the Brazilian "made football greater than ever", while last season's Champions League finalists Liverpool called him an "icon" of football.

Several teams paid tribute to Pele with statements incorporating some of the game's other greats, such as Benfica, who posted a picture of him alongside late Portugal star Eusebio.

West Ham included former England captain Bobby Moore in their image after their famous battle at the 1970 World Cup, while Ajax featured Johan Cruyff, another of the game's great players, alongside the Brazilian.

Premier League trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City recalled their memories of Pele, with the Gunners reflecting on his visit for an encounter over four decades ago following his retirement.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich paid tribute to "one of the all-time greats" while Serie A champions Milan also offered condolences.

CONMEBOL, the South American Football Confederation, also issued a tribute to the late star, saying: "Thank you for putting South America on top."

Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a loan deal for Atletico Madrid club-record signing Joao Felix in January.

Felix, 23, was signed in 2019 for €126million after winning the European Golden Boy award with Benfica, shattering Atletico's previous transfer record of Thomas Lemar by over €50m.

However, despite netting 33 goals for his new club, Felix has struggled to consistently earn a spot in their starting XI, with seven of his 12 LaLiga appearances this season coming as a substitute.

Having made such a substantial investment, Atletico are not willing to sell him at a massive loss just yet, and while they have made him available for transfer, a loan move to rehabilitate his value appears far more likely.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LOOK TO LOAN DEAL TO ADDRESS FORWARD WOES

Chelsea have been actively seeking reinforcements up front, but with significant investment also planned in defence, a cheaper loan deal could be the band-aid solution for their goalscoring issues.

The Telegraph is reporting Chelsea and Atletico are deep in discussions about a deal that would involve either an option or an obligation to turn the loan into a permanent move at the conclusion of the season.

ESPN added Atletico will also demand a loan fee in the range of €9m for the half-season rental.

It remains to be seen if Chelsea can afford to secure a quality forward option in January on a permanent basis, with Fabrizio Romano reporting they are also in the final stages of negotiations for a €35m purchase of 21-year-old Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to CBS, Cristiano Ronaldo has a medical scheduled with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr ahead of signing a contract that will pay him €70m per year.

– The Telegraph is reporting Arsenal have submitted a £55m bid for 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Napoli will look to sign 26-year-old Wolves winger Adama Traore in January as he enters the final six months of his contract, per Calciomercato.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Everton are one of a number of Premier League clubs showing interest in 20-year-old Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga.

– According to journalist Ekrem Konur, Premier League teams including West Ham, Everton and Aston Villa are considering offers for 28-year-old Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mikel Arteta and Bukayo Saka were overjoyed after Eddie Nketiah made a promising start to his spell deputising for the injured Gabriel Jesus in Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham.

The Premier League leaders returned to top-flight action on Boxing Day following the World Cup, aiming to pick up where they left off prior to the tournament.

Many had written off their title chances as a result of Jesus sustaining a knee injury in Qatar that will rule him out for three months.

But Monday's win will ensure they are seven points clear at the summit at least until Manchester City play Leeds United on Wednesday.

Nketiah more than played his part in the victory, scoring Arsenal's third goal as they came from behind in the second half.

Saka, who netted the Gunners' equaliser, was thrilled for his fellow Arsenal youth product after silencing the doubters.

Asked about Arsenal spreading the goals around the team, Saka told Prime Video: "That's definitely important. 

"Obviously Gabby [Jesus] is going to be a big miss, but you could see I'm so happy for Eddie.

"I feel like we all believed in him, that's all he needs, us to just keep supporting him. He got his goal and that will give him a lot of confidence, so we just need to keep encouraging him.

"Of course, then we've got me, Gabby [Gabriel Martinelli], Granit [Xhaka], Martin [Odegaard], even the centre-backs are chipping in on the goals, so everyone is going to be so important."

Nketiah's goal was greeted by jubilant celebrations, with the delight in Saka's voice after the game very much present in those scenes.

Arteta was just as elated and hopes this goal on what was his first Premier League start of the season helps Nketiah kick on.

"I just gave him a big hug because he deserved that, he totally earned it with the way he played," Arteta added.

"It was a very typical Eddie Nketiah goal. He showed his strength, quality and timing, the composure of the finish. For me, it was an outstanding performance from him.

"You could feel in the last few games he'd been trying but didn't score, even in friendlies, but he has the capacity to do that. We see it every day in training, and that will give him confidence.

"He showed it last year, at the end of last season when we played him more consistently... when you look at his numbers, they are really, really good. I am really pleased to see what he's done today."

But while Jesus will seemingly be missing from the pitch until at least February, Saka credited the Brazilian for having a strong off-field influence.

The same has been said of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who also joined Arsenal from Manchester City in pre-season, and Arteta is adamant the pair have brought more than just quality on the pitch.

"They've been in probably the most successful team the Premier League has seen for many, many years," he said.

"They have the belief in their team-mates and what we are doing, that we are able to play to those standards, and these guys have brought this confidence to the team."

The Premier League is back, and in many ways, it felt like it never left.

A number of teams picked up where they left off for the World Cup in Monday's action, with leaders Arsenal securing a win against West Ham, though having to come from behind to do so.

Tottenham repeated their party trick of recovering from losing positions, though had to settle for a point at Brentford as Harry Kane kept up his superb Boxing Day record.

Liverpool came back with a hard-fought win at Aston Villa, with teenager Stefan Bajcetic scoring his first goal for the club, while Newcastle United blew away Leicester City in the first half at the King Power Stadium.

Stats Perform takes a closer look at some of the more interesting stats from the day.

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham: Gunners keep up record to fighting back against Hammers

Arsenal went in 1-0 down at Emirates Stadium at half-time after Said Benrahma's penalty, but came from behind thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah. It made it the eighth time they have come from behind to beat West Ham in the Premier League, more than they have against any other opponent.

Hammers boss David Moyes has now lost 15 Premier League away games against Arsenal, equalling Harry Redknapp for the most away defeats against a specific opponent in the competition (15 vs Manchester United).

In the presence of Arsene Wenger for the first time since he left the club, the Gunners won their 10th consecutive Premier League home game, the first time they have managed that since April 2019, while this is the first time they have done so while scoring two or more goals each time since November 2017.

Saka seems to enjoy his Christmas, as he has scored in three consecutive Boxing Day games (also 2020 vs Chelsea and 2021 vs Norwich City), the first Arsenal player to do so since Thierry Henry between 2002 and 2004.

Today was the second time Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard has provided two assists in a single Premier League game, with the other coming on Boxing Day last season against Norwich.

Brentford 2-2 Tottenham: Kane puts penalty woe bee-hind him

Following on from his agonising penalty miss in England's World Cup quarter-final loss to France, Kane kept his composure to plant a header past David Raya as Spurs came from 2-0 down to earn a point on Monday.

Kane has now scored more Premier League goals on Boxing Day than any other player in the competition's history (10), finding the net in all seven of his appearances on December 26, while he has also scored against all 32 teams that he has faced in the Premier League – the best such 100 per cent record of any player.

One thing that will concern boss Antonio Conte is that Spurs have conceded the opening goal in each of their last six Premier League matches; their longest run of conceding first in the competition since April 2014 under Tim Sherwood (also six). They have also conceded two or more goals in six consecutive league games for the first time since May 2003.

Brentford are now winless in their last 14 meetings with Spurs in all competitions (D5 L9), since a 2-0 home win in the second tier in March 1948.

Ivan Toney scored the second for the Bees, making him the first English player to register 30 goal involvements (23 goals, 7 assists) in his first 50 Premier League appearances since Jamie Vardy in 2015 (also 30).

Leicester City 0-3 Newcastle United: Almiron continues to fly

It was a fast start by Eddie Howe's men, going 2-0 up against Leicester inside seven minutes – the earliest they had been 2-0 up in a Premier League game since January 2007 (seventh minute v Aston Villa). In fact, it was the earliest a Premier League team had been 2-0 up on Boxing Day since 2010 (Manchester City v Newcastle, after five mins).

Leicester conceded three goals in the first half of a home league game for the first time since September 2003 against Manchester United.

Miguel Almiron picked up where he left off with a superb strike, and has now scored nine goals in 16 games in the Premier League this season, as many as he had scored in his previous four campaigns in the competition combined (nine in 110 appearances).

Newcastle have won six in a row in the Premier League for the first time since 2012 under Alan Pardew. In fact, the Magpies have won 21 Premier League matches in 2022, their most in a single year since 1995, when they won 23.

Howe is only the third English manager to win more than 20 Premier League matches in a single year (21 in 2022 so far), after Kevin Keegan (24 in 1994 and 23 in 1995 with Newcastle) and Roy Evans (22 in 1996 with Liverpool).

Aston Villa 1-3 Liverpool: Robertson provides historic assist

It has not been the best campaign so far for Liverpool, but despite a World Cup being sandwiched in between, this made it three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since winning their final three games of last season.

Mohamed Salah both scored and assisted in the win, taking his totals to 125 goals and 50 assists for the club in the Premier League. The Egyptian is only the second player with 50+ goals and 50+ assists for the club in the competition, along with Steven Gerrard (120 goals, 92 assists).

Andrew Robertson provided the ball for Salah's fifth-minute opener, his 54th Premier League assist, making him the all-time leading assister among defenders in Premier League history, one more than Leighton Baines (53), while 10 of his assists have come for Salah, with only Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane providing more for him (12 times each).

Bajcetic came off the bench to seal the win, scoring his first Premier League goal for Liverpool aged 18 years and 65 days, making him their third-youngest Premier League scorer, behind only Michael Owen (17y 143d) and Raheem Sterling (17y 317d). Bajcetic is also the second-youngest Spaniard to score in the competition, behind only Cesc Fabregas in 2004 (17y 113d).

Another youth prospect, Ben Doak, came off the bench for Liverpool to make his Premier League debut aged 17 years and 45 days, becoming the youngest ever Scottish player in the competition's history, overtaking Nigel Quashie in 1995 for Queens Park Rangers (17 years, 163 days).

Arsenal made light of Gabriel Jesus' absence as each of the Gunners' attacking trio scored in Boxing Day's 3-1 win over West Ham on their return to Premier League action.

The blow of losing Jesus for three months due to a knee injury suffered during the World Cup had seen many write off the league leaders' title chances, but at Emirates Stadium their mentality shone through.

Arsenal – who had a fifth-minute Bukayo Saka goal wiped out – looked to be in trouble when Said Benrahma scored a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

But their dominance eventually brought chances, and while they benefited from a hint of luck, Saka coolly levelled before Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah secured a deserved win.

Nketiah, the man tasked with replacing Jesus, was encouragingly key in the build-up to the early disallowed Saka goal.

But Arsenal initially missed the Brazilian's presence, with their only other first-half chance seeing Martin Odegaard scuff wide from close range in the 24th minute.

They then conceded from the next meaningful attack.

William Saliba was penalised for a desperate lunge on Jarrod Bowen, and Benrahma converted emphatically from the spot.

An Arsenal penalty was overturned on the stroke of half-time, with the ball striking Aaron Cresswell's face rather than his arm.

West Ham's resistance ended early in the second half, though, Saka controlling Odegaard's miscued shot and sweeping past Lukasz Fabianski.

The Hammers' goalkeeper was arguably culpable when beaten at his near post five minutes later, Martinelli blasting goalwards after darting beyond Vladimir Coufal.

And Nketiah fittingly completed the scoring, cleverly spinning away from Thilo Kehrer before finishing clinically into the bottom-left corner.

Chelsea have reportedly made Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile their top defensive target in the January transfer window.

They have been strongly linked with RB Leipzig and Croatia standout Josko Gvardiol, but Fabrizio Romano believes Chelsea will have to break the record for the most expensive transfer fee paid for a defender to get a deal done.

Instead, the Stamford Bridge club are said to have pivoted to 21-year-old Monaco powerhouse Badiashile, who stands at six-foot-four and has racked up 106 club appearances since debuting at the age of 17.

Badiashile also earned his first senior caps for France this year, playing a full 90 minutes in UEFA Nations League fixtures in September against Austria and Denmark before ultimately missing out on the World Cup squad.

With just over 18 months remaining on his contract, Monaco will need to decide if they can tie him down up long term, otherwise it may be time to cash-in.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TARGET YOUNG MONACO TALENT

According to The Athletic, Badiashile is a player who has been on the Premier League radar for some time, noting a £22million bid from Manchester United back in 2020.

The report claims Badiashile was in no rush to leave back then as he was already a first-team regular, but he has since opened up to the idea of moving on to take the next step of his career.

Chelsea are said to be preparing a £35m offer for the man who has experience playing in a back-three, which would be less than half of the potential asking price for Gvardiol.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fichajes is reporting Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has no interest in retaining Argentinian World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez, and would prefer to replace him with Sevilla and Morocco star Yassine Bounou for a fee in the range of £40m.

Chelsea are in the best position to land 23-year-old West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as he enters the final 18 months of his contract, per The Athletic.

– Journalist Nicolo Schira is reporting Atletico Madrid have agreed to personal terms with 26-year-old Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, and he could be allowed to join the club in January despite his contract not expiring until the end of the season.

– Atletico will allow Joao Felix to join a Premier League club on loan in January if their financial demands are met, per the Mirror.

– According to Teamtalk, Liverpool and Tottenham are included in the Premier League sides prepared to offer a contract to 27-year-old Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar for when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.