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I'm a huge fan of Braga's Eder. He is one of the best strikers in the Portuguese liga and, by far, the best Portuguese striker Paulo Bento has at his disposal.
In terms of his playing style, Eder is an out and out target man: Superb in the air, powerful, excellent hold-up play, a clever movement off the ball. He's not an elite finisher in the sense that he's not going to score any beautiful curling shots from 18 yards out, but his offensive awareness/positioning is fantastic and his sheer physical presence makes him an absolute handful to defend against. The vast majority of his goals are headers and tap-ins, but on a quality side, he can definitely score 15-25 goals a season.
I wouldn't rate him as a truly world-class striker, but he's still an absolute beast of a center-forward who'd be a valuable asset to any team. I personally think he'd thrive at a mid-table club in an elite league, but he'd still be a very useful squad player for a top team.
Molina is a bright midfielder. He proved his level with America in the past couple of seasons, which earned him several calls with El Tri. However, he has not been up to his level lately. He needs to get back in shape, but he surely has what it takes to be a key player for the national team.
Molina is a bright midfielder. He proved his level with America in the past couple of seasons, which earned him several calls with El Tri. However, he has not been up to his level lately. He needs to get back in shape, but he surely has what it takes to be a kety player for the national team.
I think Lica will be an excellent signing for Porto, but I think he'll be utilized as a back-up to Jackson Martinez rather than as a direct replacement for James Rodriguez. He was used on the wings a early in the season for Estoril, but he really started to shine was he was given to freedom to play as a roaming, mobile false nine. He isn't brilliant technically and he isn't as good a finisher as Jackson, but his movement both on and off the ball is superb. I just don't see him starting on the wings since Porto tend to prefer more technical, creative players out wide.
James, however, was almost used as a false winger. He often started out wide, but always had the natural tendency (as a true #10) to drift inside and play as a central playmaker. As well as Lica, Porto also signed Pacos de Ferreira's fantastic attacking midfielder Josue (who also deserves a call-up to the national team) and he will likely be the direct replacement for James.
At Pacos, he was given a similar role to the Colombian: He often started at the top of a very narrow 4-4-2 midfield diamond and was given the licence to roam. He's at his best when he's driving through the middle and running at defenders, but he also enjoys drifting out wide to create mismatches with defenders. Josue is a great player who could realistically match James' assist numbers, but he's not going to score as many goals. Josue is a very good #10 who's very creative in the final third, but he is not a world-class player like James who is capable of scoring 10-20 goals and assisting 10-20 goals a season. Nevertheless, I still feel that he's an outstanding like-for-like replacement for James. They will simply need more players to step up and score goals.
Moutinho, like James Rodriguez, is almost impossible to replace; he's one of the best midfielders in the world. But like with Rodriguez, I think Porto has some quality replacements ready to step up.
Porto also recently acquired a very talented 21-year-old midfielder, Tiago Rodrigues, from Vitoria Guimaraes. He does seem to lack Moutinho's superb work-rate, but his vision, passing, touch, and set-piece delivery is top notch. He's another young midfielder who's been criminally ignored by Paulo Bento.
I have no idea why Rooney is under siege from the press. I really, really don't.
He's around a decade as a Red Devil and I think he does a phenomenal job. He is adapting to a new role as you say—and he's doing it well—so it's tough to see how that constitutes "getting stale".
With Man Utd it's not easy to see, but one thing to consider is: He earns a tonne of money and United consistently hover close to the red line financially (they're kept afloat solely through UCL revenue and maintain over £600 million debt). Maybe the board want rid of his wages?
Although I'm responding belatedly, I did appreciate your message on my Bulletin Board. Your idea about a possible change of formation for Arsenal was insightful. The only observation I'd have made you already anticipated in the message: the possibly lack of width in the formation. Nevertheless, I think it possesses a great deal of merit.
Thanks so much for the very kind words.I really appreciate it and am always open to discussion.
I like Susaeta a lot. There is a reason he finally got capped last week, he is the third-best true Spanish winger behind Navas and Pedro. He is a really great player who does a lot to create space for his teammates and also works hard to get involved by playing more centrally when necessary.
As for him at Arsenal, I'm not so sure. He has great pace, but not like Walcott. He is more technically gifted player and is a better crosser, but his passing is not really better. He does get more involved in the game on both attack and defense, though.
I definitely think he'd fit in VERY well at Arsenal, but I'm not sure he's a big upgrade over Walcott. If he could come for a good price (which isn't really likely since he's Basque), he'd be a great buy for sure.
Thanks for the praise and in regards to Lallana, I think he needs to stay at Southampton for the full season and if he improves greatly for the rest of the year, then he should seek a move away from the club.