Tag Archives: scouting

Arsenal join Newcastle United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in race to sign Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal join race to sign 15m-rated 'African Neymar' Aubameyang after scouting mission

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:38 GMT, 10 March 2013

Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham in the race to sign Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a player dubbed 'the African Neymar.'

The club's scout, Gilles Grimandi, had a close look at Aubameyang in the 2-2 draw with Rennes on Friday night, in which the Gabon player scored his 16th goal of the season.

Good impression: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for Saint-Etienne on Friday night in front of a number of Premier League scouts

Good impression: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for Saint-Etienne on Friday night in front of a number of Premier League scouts

Prospect: Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle in the race to sign the 15m-rated Gabon striker

Prospect: Arsenal have joined Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle in the race to sign the 15m-rated Gabon striker

Already highly-regarded in France, Aubameyang has moved onto the radar of a number of Premier League sides, many of whom have sent over scouts to watch him.

Arsene Wenger is expected to deploy Grimandi and chief scout Steve Rowley to more Saint-Etienne matches before the end of the campaign, as Arsenal ponder a 10m move.

Newcastle came close to signing the 23-year-old in the January transfer window, only for the French club to reject their bid as they hold out for a 15m fee in the summer.

Celebration: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent trusted scout Gilles Grimandi to watch Aubameyang on Friday

Celebration: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent trusted scout Gilles Grimandi to watch Aubameyang on Friday

Arsenal look at Charlie Austin but face competition from Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle

Arsenal look at Burnley goal-machine Austin but face fierce competition from Liverpool, Everton and others

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsenal have joined the list of clubs monitoring Charlie Austin at Burnley.

The 20-goal striker has been watched by an increasing number of Premier League scouts over the past five games as they assess his ability to make the step up.

Newcastle have a long-held interest while Liverpool, Everton, Reading and Aston Villa have also taken a look at Europe's top scorer.

Deadly: Charlie Austin celebrates yet another goal for Burnley on Tuesday night

Deadly: Charlie Austin celebrates yet another goal for Burnley on Tuesday night

Charlie Austin scouting report

Sportsmail took a closer look at why Arsenal and co are all after Burnley's hotshot

The 23-year-old may not have the technique to suit some of the top sides but his finishing ability is in great demand and Burnley would be susceptible to offers on a player they signed for just 1.5million last year.

Meanwhile, Wolves and Charlton are interested in Burnley midfielder Dean Marney who is out of contract in the summer.

Lars Bender not for sale, Manchester United warned by Bayer Leverkusen

EXCLUSIVE: Hands off, Fergie! Leverkusen warn Man United over Bender bid

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UPDATED:

09:27 GMT, 1 November 2012

Hands off: Bayer Leverkusen do not want to sell Lars Bender

Hands off: Bayer Leverkusen do not want to sell Lars Bender

Sir Alex Ferguson has been warned off his top midfield target after being told that rising star Lars Bender is ‘unsellable.’

Eager to bolster central midfield with a strong physical presence, the Manchester United manager has ordered scouting reports on 23-year old Bender and been impressed with the feedback, as revealed in Sportsmail earlier this week.

But Bayer Leverkusen have reacted swiftly and decisively to having their Germany midfielder watched by United and Arsenal in recent weeks and issued an emphatic hands-off warning.

‘Quite simply, Lars is unsellable,’ declared chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser. ‘After working so hard to put together a good team, the last thing we intend doing is allowing it to be weakened. That was our position when there was interest in Andre Schurrle in the summer, and it applies now with Lars.’

The Bundesliga side’s stance will come as a setback to Ferguson, who has identified central midfield as a prime area for strengthening and has stepped up his interest in Bender, who has broken into the national side after some impressive performances at club level.

Though there is an acceptance that a bid in excess of 30million would be hard to turn down, Leverkusen are serious about retaining Bender as the lynchpin of their midfield and awarded him an improved contract until 2017 after rejecting overtures from Bayern Munich in the summer.

Bright star: Bender (L) celebrates with Leverkusen's Andre Schuerrle during the German Cup win over Arminia Bielefeld

Bright star: Bender (L) celebrates with Leverkusen's Andre Schuerrle during the German Cup win over Arminia Bielefeld

Arsenal expand scouting network in Germany

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal ramp up German scouting mission in bid to find next Podolski

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UPDATED:

23:17 GMT, 29 October 2012

Arsenal are making moves to expand their German scouting network in an effort to unearth the next Lukas Podolski.

The Gunners have already found the country a valuable breeding ground for talent, Per Mertesacker and Podolski are both important members of the first team.

While Serge Gnabry, 17, and Thomas Eisfeld, 19, have both left their native Germany to join the Gunners.

Who's next Arsenal hope to lure more German talent to the Emirates

Who's next Arsenal hope to lure more German talent to the Emirates

Manager Arsene Wenger has also followed German-born Mario Goetze, Mesut Ozil and Nuri Sahin extensively.

And the club will focus more attention on the region as they try to identify and secure the best emerging talent.

Gunners chief scout Steve Rowley is understood to have spent an increasing amount of time in the country implementing the plans.

Highly rated: Serge Gnabry has been tipped for the very top

Highly rated: Serge Gnabry has been tipped for the very top

Northern Exposure: Alan Pardew and Greg Abbott are worlds apart… but dream is the same

Pardew and Abbott are worlds apart… but dream is the same

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 2 October 2012

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 2 October 2012

A lot can happen in eight seconds in football. So what can you achieve in eight years

Managers dream of the contract Alan
Pardew has just signed. It is Pardew's task to make the dreams of
Newcastle United fans come true.

And he has eight years. Eight years.

Big deal: Newcastle have handed eight-year contract to Alan Pardew

Big deal: Newcastle have handed eight-year contract to Alan Pardew

All managers like to claim some sort of autonomy when they take charge of a football club, but in reality those days are gone.

I had the privilege of visiting Carlisle United last week, spent a day with laughaholic Greg Abbott, as we did back in the days when he was Hull captain and part-time boss of Hunsworth Under 10s.

But there is a deadly serious side to his work too, and the daily financial difficulties he battles with Carlisle wouldn't function without his prudence. But his orders come from above.

It's the same for Pardew at Newcastle, as it was at Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton. Now he has longer to deal and play with it.

Chief scout and fellow eight-yearer Graham Carr's astonishing record in the European transfer market means that when he recommends a player, the entire game listens, never mind his manager and the board. The scouting network could not be more boxed off.

Training day: Carlisle manager Greg Abbott

Training day: Carlisle manager Greg Abbott

Slowly but decisively, Pardew eked out Chris Hughton's warriors, and quickly built his own team spirit, assuring through the immense leadership of Fabricio Coloccini, that his new players bought into it. Getting the ball to Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba helped, but Newcastle cruised to fifth last season and finished above Chelsea.

So hopes are high on Tyneside, although it is a difficult task replicating that success, never mind emulating it.

There weren't too many new signings in the summer, when fans were looking for splashing of cash from Mike Ashley, but Pardew and his bosses have emphasised the importance, and cost, of keeping their squad together.

The new campaign, with the additional European sideshow, has been dogged but far from dazzling. But by grinding out results now, they are building the foundations of more to come. Ba's goals have helped. This season is boxed off and being dealt with.

Now he can look elsewhere in the club, pinpointing youth development last week.

Carlisle training session on a pitch at the back of Brunton Parkin

Carlisle made about 50,000 from the 13,000 who turned up to watch Spurs last week. A full house at White Hart Lane would have earned them about five times that amount, maybe more. That was how much their peers at Stevenage, Crawley and Leyton Orient made from their away cup exploits last season.

No surprise that those three clubs have circulated that money in their wages department to make them serious contenders this season. Abbott meanwhile has to rely on freebies and recommendations from his contacts.

He said: 'I used to argue and haggle with agents but now if they start messing about with figures, I just say “that's what we can afford, so forget it' and we move on to the next target on the list.”

Carlisle have three or four good young players – and look out for keeper Mark Gillespie and lanky striker Mark Beck – and I asked Greg, if he had the money, would he invest in an academy first

He pointed over to the Brunton Park ground and said 'No. I'd love to but it has to be out there first. That's what matters.'

It's what matters at every club.

But with eight years at your disposal, a decent budget and owners looking to invest in the cream of North East talent, Pardew has at his disposal the opportunity to help build a club from the base, take a real hands-on approach to the youth system and really build his football club.

Cattermole must tackle reckless streak
Lee Cattermole of Sunderland

I sat down with Lee Cattermole (right) two weeks ago. And I believed him.

He said he wanted to cut out the daft lunging tackle which had cost him so many yellow cards, and reds. He knows the one, I didn't even have to mention it, and he had his own target. And I believed him. But when the red mist descends on poor old Lee in the heat of battle, he tends to forget the other 70-odd yellow cards which have been thrust in his direction in Sunderland colours.

He is an honest lad, a bullish, old-school, annoying-to-the-opposition, like Marmite, love him or hate him, pushy, demanding, infuriating, likeable, hard-working, daft, intelligent, English, kind of footballer, we don't see enough of them in the Premier League nowadays. We won't be see much of them. Sorry but it is a shame.

But he is Sunderland captain and while he is definitely maturing and growing into the role, his lack of discipline means he is out of the Wear-Tyne derby, following his red card at the end of the last one in which he'd earlier made an ugly mark.

And if Martin O'Neill is losing patience with him, which he undoubtedly and very publically is, then he is on the very precipice of a pretty long plank.

When we met, he had this observation on the captaincy. 'Listen I have never, ever worried about that,' he said. 'It is something you press guys have said since I was made captain and with everything I have ever done wrong.

'I don't want to name names but a lot of other lads get booked or sent off and no one says anything. But if it is Lee Cattermole it is a big issue and they say “he is losing the captaincy”.

'When I was made captain I thought I didn't need to change because I was captain for what I am but it is a bigger role than I thought at the time. There is so much more to it goes on behind the scenes . . . I am still learning but I do think I'm getting better.'

He's right on all those fronts. But unless he can learn to deliver his own promise to cut out the daft challenges and cards, he'll be handing it over to John O'Shea permanently.

And that would be a real shame for Cattermole, and Sunderland.

He might miss the Tyne version of the derby but Cattermole should be back for the game against his former club Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup later the same week.

You wait for one derby…

It's a shame Boro didn't get a completely level playing field with a home tie, but they have nothing to fear after their heroics in the FA Cup draw last season. O'Neill knows Tony Mowbray's side deserved to win that day.

And even more so than that side, this is a team closer to Mowbray's vision now, and moulded by him from the mess left by Gordon Strachan. They are in the Championship shake-up early on, but have yet to shake off the inconsistency which hindered them last season.

The one advantage of travelling to Sunderland is they can do so without a care in the world. They are not expected to win, Mowbray can name his strongest side, but also use it as a motivation for the rest of his squad. It was that freedom that gave them the edge last season and O'Neill knows that too.

The Sunderland manager barely tinkered with his team against Morecambe and MK Dons, demonstrating his serious intent in a competition he has enjoyed success, so Boro can expect the full force of his squad, and an eager full house at the Stadium of Light.

And whatever the outcome of the game against Newcastle, that will add extra spice.

A great week to look forward to up here, with the added bonus that the North East definitely has a representative in the quarter-finals.

Just don't ask me who it will be.

Reading target Real Madrid"s Denis Cheryshev

Reading targeting Real Madrid winger Cheryshev after scouting mission

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UPDATED:

10:48 GMT, 28 September 2012

Reading are interested in rising Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev.

The 21-year-old Russian plays for Madrid’s second team Castilla, in the Spanish second division, and played for the senior side in pre-season.

Target: Denis Cheryshev is wanted by Reading

Target: Denis Cheryshev is wanted by Reading

He was spotted by the Bernabeu club as
an 11-year-old while his father Dmitri was playing in Spain and he has
risen through the youth teams.

Spartak Moscow are interested in taking him home, but Real Madrid rejected three offers from Russian clubs in the summer and are not looking to sell.

However, Reading are likely to request a loan move if they receive encouragement and continue to be impressed by his performances.

The Barclays Premier League club’s owner Anton Zingarevich said: ‘Our scouts watched Cheryshev for Castilla against Barcelona B. Denis played 20 minutes.

‘I’m not guaranteeing that he will go to Reading, but it’s possible. And Denis knows about it.’

Zingarevich also revealed two Russian teenagers were on trial at the club – 17-year-old forward Sergey Kundik and Nikita Khaykin, who came through Chelsea’s academy. Neither would require a work permit.

Five young players to watch in the League Cup

Scouting report special: These cup kids can become famous five

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UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 27 September 2012

Youth was given its head in this week’s Capital One Cup and youngsters grabbed their chance with both hands. Sportsmail picks out a handful to keep an eye on…

Oussama Assaidi

Liverpool

Has a slight frame but a fierce work ethic and his trickery means it’s just a matter of time before Brendan Rodgers bloods him in the Premier League. The Moroccan winger, who cost 2.5million in August, had a strike-rate of one in three for previous club Heerenveen. Former Morocco coach Eric Gerets, explaining to Adel Taarabt why the QPR man wasn’t in his plans, is reported to have said: ‘Watch Assaidi.’

Oussama Assaidi

Michael Keane

Manchester United

The 19-year-old is the twin of striker Will, who is also on United’s books but currently injured. Born in Stockport, Keane was a full back but is starting to make his name in the centre of defence. Has five caps for England Under 19s and committed to the country of his birth after originally playing youth football for the Republic of Ireland. United’s Jonny Evans said: ‘He has a great future.’

Micheal Keane

Lucas Piazon

Chelsea

The Brazilian joined 18 months ago from Sao Paulo for 7.5million. He signed a five-year deal on his 18th birthday in January and helped Chelsea win the FA Youth Cup last season. He made his senior debut against Wolves on Tuesday, playing 90 minutes wide on the left of the three advanced midfielders. Has poise, skill and awareness but rejects comparisons with Kaka. ‘I am a winger or a second striker and he is a midfielder,’ said Piazon. ‘I think it is because we come from Sao Paulo.’

Lucas Piazon

Serge Gnabry

Arsenal

There has been a buzz around the German since he joined from Stuttgart for 100,000 last year. He is quick, powerful, has excellent technique and an explosive burst of pace and can play wide or behind the main striker. He signed professional terms this summer and made his first-team debut with a sparkling 18-minute cameo against Coventry.

Serge Gnabry

Andros Townsend

Tottenham

Has had more loan clubs than he has made appearances for Spurs and at 21, the jury is still out on the talented and speedy winger. But he did score an excellent individual goal and created the opener at Carlisle on Wednesday night to make a positive impression on new manager Andre Villas-Boas. Looks to have benefited from so many loan spells but needs a run of games for his Spurs career to take off.

Andros Townsend

Chris Coleman and Charlotte Jackson watch Swansea v Everton together

Kneesy does it: Coleman on Swansea scouting mission… with Sky presenter Charlotte Jackson

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UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 23 September 2012

Wales manager Chris Coleman watched his former side Swansea at the Liberty Stadium – in the close company of Sky Sport presenter Charlotte Jackson.

Coleman was busy keeping an eye on a number of Welsh internationals, including Swansea skipper Ashley Williams, but he could be forgiven for being distracted by pretty blonde Jackson.

Faces in the crowd: Wales manager Chris Coleman watches Everton's game at Swansea with Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson

Faces in the crowd: Wales manager Chris Coleman watches Everton's game at Swansea with Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson

The pair were pictured with their hands on each other’s knee at one stage.

Jackson, 33, earlier tweeted that she was going to the game, she said: ‘On way to watch Swansea V Everton. My @SkyBet charity bet [email protected] is wins for Brighton & Birmingham.’

Breaking the news: Charlotte Jackson has worked for Sky Sports News since 2009

Breaking the news: Charlotte Jackson has worked for Sky Sports News since 2009

Coleman, 42, has been manager of Wales since the end of last year when he replaced Gary Speed following his suicide in November. He has yet to lead his country to victory in his four games in charge.

Real Madrid scouting report: What lies in wait for Manchester City?

Real Madrid scouting report: What lies in wait for Manchester City

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 17 September 2012

Real Madrid’s season has not started well. Two La Liga defeats have left them eight points behind Barcelona and prompted Jose Mourinho to declare, rather dramatically: ‘I don’t have a team.’ On Tuesday we will discover how deep their problems run…

THE BACK DOOR LOOKS OPEN

Madrid fans are used to teams that place defending way down their list of priorities. But Mourinho is no offensive gambler and this is why his team’s current problems are troubling him so much. They have kept only one clean sheet from seven games this season and in Saturday’s defeat at Sevilla they looked remarkably porous.

Dodgy defending: Sergio Ramos has struggled at the back for Real Madrid

Dodgy defending: Sergio Ramos has struggled at the back for Real Madrid

The central partnership of Sergio Ramos and Pepe was far from secure as Madrid conceded in the second minute, Piotr Trochowski scoring unmarked from a corner, and was not helped by Marcelo’s difficulties with basic defensive duties down the left side. Madrid play with two holding midfielders but neither Xabi Alonso nor Sami Khedira are particularly defence-minded, meaning that Mourinho’s back four were often left exposed.

City will spend large amounts of time without the ball but when they do have it they will hope to push numbers up the field quickly to expose their opponents.

BEWARE THE QUARTERBACK

There is not much we don’t know about Alonso after his years with Liverpool but consider this: he is getting better with age. On Saturday, Alonso was one of the few players to emerge with any kind of credit. He will be 31 in November but his football is only maturing and much of what Madrid do that is good stems from or involves him.

Midfield maestro: Xabi Alonso (front) will be crucial to Real Madrid

Midfield maestro: Xabi Alonso (front) will be crucial to Real Madrid

Madrid’s attacking width is provided largely by their full backs, Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria tend to work in and around central striker Gonzalo Higuain. It will be Alonso’s job to feed the runs from the full backs, so the one thing City cannot afford to do is give him time to pop off his passes.

Responsibility will fall not only on City’s midfielders but on their own centre forward, in all likelihood Carlos Tevez. Not shy of hard work, Tevez — or indeed Sergio Aguero — must drop off quickly when Madrid build their attacks and be busy around the deep areas Alonso likes to work in.

ANOTHER BOMBING BRAZILIAN

After 11 years of Roberto Carlos, Madrid have another left back cut from the same cloth. Marcelo was given a difficult time on Saturday but the 24-year-old is dangerous when Madrid have the ball.

Bombing Brazilian: Marcelo (second right) will hope to feature on Tuesday

Bombing Brazilian: Marcelo (second right) will hope to feature on Tuesday

There was talk here that he may lose his place to Fabio Coentrao. If he does play, though, Marcelo will fly forward on to City’s right back at every chance and will be one of their greatest attacking threats. He likes to go to ground, too, and will think nothing of pushing the ball into dangerous areas and falling over outstretched legs. Mancini will think hard about who he chooses on the right side of his own midfield as, whoever Madrid’s left back is, the chances are they will have to help out defensively.

Micah Richards and Samir Nasri had a shocking time against Franck Ribery and Phillip Lahm in Munich a year ago and Mancini will not want that to happen again. Step forward James Milner

FEEL THE PRESSURE

Intimidation runs through this Madrid team and the pressure they place on referee Damir Skomina will be immense. The Slovenian will find himself dealing with a team feeling the strain and City will need to be ready for their opponents to hit the deck regularly. Against dead-ball technicians like Ronaldo and Alonso, City will not wish to give set-pieces away.

Sir Alex Ferguson puts focus on South American scouting

Unearth gems! Fergie ups United's game in South America with increased scouting network

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UPDATED:

08:14 GMT, 10 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has instructed his scouting team to up their efforts in South America and Mexico as the Manchester United boss looks to beat his European rivals to the planet's brightest young talent.

The Scot has been in the United States during the international break, and while he has enjoyed some well-earned time off, he has revealed he's keeping tabs on the seven staff he has stationed in around the region.

More of the same: Sir Alex Ferguson wants Manchester United to bring in a steady flow of talented young South Americans like Angelo Henriquez who was signed this summer

More of the same: Sir Alex Ferguson wants Manchester United to bring in a steady flow of talented young South Americans like Angelo Henriquez who was signed this summer

On the look out: Sir Alex Ferguson is in the United States

On the look out: Sir Alex Ferguson is in the United States

United have delved into the South
American market almost every year since the arrival of the Da Silva
brothers – Rafael and Fabio – in 2008, largely experiencing success.

Angelo Henriquez was signed for 4million this summer from Universidad Chile, following in the footsteps of Javier Hernandez who was signed for a similarly lowly fee in 2011.

And now Fergson says he hopes to unearth a few more gems in the coming years to avoid having to pay considerably more for players once they've developed at other European clubs.

'Our scouting there has increased,' he told Inside United. 'We've got an operative in Mexico, two in Brazil and four South American scouts now.

'Quite frankly, they do produce. The South Americans love playing football, it’s just in their blood. The three Brazilians – Anderson, Rafael and Fabio – love it and are first to training every morning. It’s a breath of fresh air.

'Antonio Valencia is as tough as nails with great discipline about him. Chicharito has a fantastic attitude to playing and everything else. It’s really good. We’ve done very well in Central and South America in the last two or three years.'

United first moved to tie up good
links with the region in 2011 when they secured a partnership with Sao
Paulo academy Desportivo Brasil.

The
likes of Gladstony, Aguilar, Lucas Evangelista, Agnaldo, and Rafael
Leao have all been invited at some point to visit the club, and in some
cases train.

This
increase of a presence also comes off the back of a frustrating summer
for Ferguson who missed out on the highly-rated teenager Lucas Moura who
was eventually signed by Paris St Germain for 35million.

Samba magic: Fabio and Rafael da Silva were plucked from their homeland

Samba magic: Fabio and Rafael da Silva were plucked from their homeland

Samba magic: Fabio and Rafael da Silva were plucked from their homeland