Koeman admits surprise over Matthijs de Ligt’s bench role for Juventus

Netherlands manager Ronaldo Koeman has acknowledged that he has been surprised with Matthijs de Ligt left on the bench during Juventus’ season opener against Parma on the road. The Dutchman became the club’s marquee signing after making the switch from Ajax this summer but that has not necessarily assured him with a starting role ahead of senior central defensive duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Speaking in a press conference, Koeman admitted that he was surprised with De Ligt not featuring in the curtain raiser at Parma. He added that De Ligt’s place with the national team is safe for the forthcoming set of internationals, but he can’t assure the same in October, should he continue to be starved of playing time at the Bianconeri.

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Matthijs de Ligt talks about making big step after securing Juventus move

Dutch footballer Matthijs de Ligt has acknowledged that he has taken a big step after sealing the move to the Serie A with Juventus. The Netherlands international had been heavily linked with a number of elite European sides this summer but ultimately, the Bianconeri were the ones who won the race after agreeing on a £67m package with Ajax.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It’s a big step. My first step abroad will take some getting used to at the beginning, but I feel very honoured by how I am welcomed. I am very proud of that, I hope I can give the fans a lot in return. I am still young, but I already have some experience. But compared to my Juve teammates I am still inexperienced, I can learn from them.”

Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo may have influenced the move after making a personal plea after the Nations League final between Portugal and Netherlands but De Ligt has denied the same saying: “Of course it was nice that Ronaldo asked that, a big compliment, but it didn’t make the difference between signing or not signing.”

Juventus have gone through a major rebuild of the defence for the summer and they have pursued two other centre-backs in Merih Demiral and Cristian Romero. As such, the club seem to be moving forward from the experienced duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci and reports have suggested that the latter could be heading through the exit door this summer.

The Italian had been the subject of interest from the Premier League three years ago and reports claim that could re-emerge as an option with Manchester City looking for an experienced recruit. The Citizens have a void to overcome after the departure of Vincent Kompany and Bonucci could fancy making the switch to the Premier League holders.

Scott Parker insists Fulham won’t convince Ryan Babel to stay with the club

Fulham manager Scott Parker has said that he understands the situation of Ryan Babel and the Dutchman would be permitted to make a decision regarding his future in the summer. The Netherlands international joined the Cottagers on a short-term loan from Besiktas, but he is expected to be available on a free transfer this summer with the Istanbul outfit deciding against extending his contract.

Amidst this, he has already been linked with West Ham United and Newcastle United in the Premier League and Parker admits that the attacker may not fancy dropping to the Championship with his international prospects on the line, he said: “I totally understand Ryan Babel. He’s probably in a similar situation to the one I was in at West Ham. I got relegated at West Ham and was in the fold for England at that time. He has been fantastic for us and I think Ryan stated himself that his next move will depend on offers. I can totally understand his position and of course I will not be holding him back in any way.”
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Bobby Zamora provides advice on how Fulham can bounce back from relegation

Former Fulham star Bobby Zamora believes the Cottagers have the ability to bounce back from Premier League relegation provided they can make the right recruitment during the summer. The west London side spent £100m on new players following their top-flight promotion, but the move has failed to pay dividends with the club being relegated with six games to play.

Speaking to 888Sport, Zamora has said that the Capital side have a good chance of earning promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking, provided they are wise enough with the recruitment policy. He added that the club should offer a chance for Scott Parker in the managerial seat while they should seek to convince the likes of Ryan Babel and Andre Schurrle to stay put with the club.
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Ryan Babel not in rush to decide his footballing future

Netherlands international Ryan Babel has indicated that he is not in a hurry to resolve his future beyond the current campaign. The Dutchman joined Fulham on a short-term loan from Besiktas in January, but he is widely expected to become a free agent when his contract expires with the Istanbul outfit in June.

As such, there have been suggestions that Babel could pursue another challenge elsewhere with Fulham on the cusp of relegation from the Premier League but out of respect for the Cottagers, the Dutchman has indicated that the decision regarding his future will be made at a later date, he told De Telegraaf: “Out of respect for Fulham, I’ll only hold discussions later, when there is clarity about the sporting future of the club.”
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Ryan Babel has Finally Signed with the Cottagers

Ryan Babel is finally the member of the Fulham Team and is going to be a permanent member of their team after getting the transfer from the Besiktas team.

Babel, who had played for Liverpool for 146 matches, that is 146 appearances for the team has signed the contract for a short period that will expire at the end of the season. The player has scored 6 goals in all of the competitions combined when he played for Besiktas. The player is 32 years old and plays for the Dutch team internationally.
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Ryan Babel explains reason behind Fulham loan switch

Netherlands international Ryan Babel has said that he is determined to avoid Premier League relegation with Fulham after making the loan switch to the club earlier in the month. The Dutchman made the surprise move to the Cottagers from Besiktas during the midway stage of the winter transfer window and he has since made his debut in the slender defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking to reporters, Babel admitted that the Cottagers were not on his mind until the turn of the year but he is determined to help them beat the drop, he said: “I never thought that I would be playing for Fulham FC although I came close to signing for the club in my third year at Liverpool FC in the past. I will admit that I have had many transfers through the years during my career but I have always found it easy to adapt in all environments. I have come here to Fulham FC to help the club in their fight against relegation and that is important for me if I do not achieve it I will feel like I have failed.”
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Frenkie de Jong unsure over his Ajax future

Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has indicated that he is unsure where his future may lie beyond the current campaign and he could yet stay put with the Eredivisie side for another season. The Netherlands international has already attracted interest from some of Europe’s elite clubs but so far, Ajax have resisted the prospect of sanctioning his sale.

In an interview with The Guardian, De Jong acknowledged that he does not have much idea regarding his future with the Amsterdam outfit but refused to rule out the prospect of staying for another year, he said: “It’s difficult to say what will happen. I want to finish this season well with Ajax. Then we will see. Maybe I’ll stay for another year, maybe I’ll leave. But I am not sure.”
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BeINpundit urges Besiktas to avoid signing Olivier Giroud

BEIN Turkey pundit Mehmet Demirkol has urged Besiktas to avoid the prospect of signing Olivier Giroud in the future, given the Frenchman does not offer much in terms of goalscoring. The Chelsea striker made the headlines during the summer as he went on to win the World Cup with France despite failing to find the scoresheet.

Since then, he has managed to contribute three assists for Chelsea from seven Premier League appearances but there remain question marks regarding his future with his contract expiring at the end of the season. Speaking to BeIN Turkey, Demirkol suggested that the Frenchman can make an impact with his presence on the pitch but the marksman would not suit Besiktas, given he does not find the scoresheet on a regular basis.
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