Another weekend, another full fixture list of Premier League games to enjoy. The great thing about England’s domestic competition is the ability of any team to create a competitive encounter with an opponent that might be considerably higher than them.
There was no major upset this week, but some fantastic attacking displays and the usual lacklustre defending shown in the Premier League
Here are five talking points to soak in:
Alexis Sánchez will improve Man Utd’s attacking output
Manchester United might have overcome a resilient and well-drilled Burnley side over the weekend, but there has been a glaring difference in the attacks of the two Manchester sides this season.
The Citizens have an enormous depth in squad to rely on, all full of overflowing quality, whereas United have struggled at times this season with players drifting in and out of form continuously.
And so when the news broke that Manchester United had signed Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal, it was clear to see why.
José Mourinho understands his team’s needs and those needs are in attack. There is a lack of ruthlessness from wide areas, apart from Anthony Martial, and so the added quality of Sánchez to the squad can only help boost them in their quest for a top four finish and to see how far they can progress in the Champions League.
Sánchez is a world class player, no matter what Arsenal fans now say, and one that will lift the spirits around Old Trafford and give the team the freshness that will be necessary in the latter stages of the season.
Riyad Mahrez deserves his chance at a bigger club
It was a surprise that no team signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City last summer, but it might be a bigger surprise to see him stay past the January transfer window. It has got to the point where you have to ask why clubs won’t go out and purchase the Algerian.
In the three-and-a-half years Mahrez has been in England, the Algerian international has scored 35 goals and 24 assists. While those numbers do not scream out exceptional, you must remember the level of team Leicester were when Mahrez first joined the Foxes.
Mahrez is a fantastic player and can switch his excellence on at ease – he would be of great service to most teams above Leicester in the Premier League and most definitely deserves his chance to reach the next level there. Tottenham or Arsenal should be seriously considering him to bolster their attacking options.
There is no forgiveness in the Premier League
Watford announced that they were relieving the duties of Portuguese boss Marco Silva after just six months in charge of the Hornets. It is another symbolism of how quickly the footballing landscape can change, and also turn against you in the matter of moments.
Silva was the subject of a £15m compensation package from Everton back in late November, but Watford fended off interest and wanted to keep the manager in place for as long as feasibly possible – given how well he had done.
Since then, the Hornets endured eight losses and two draws in 11 matches, a truly horrendous record. Silva clearly lost his concentration and possibly his motivation to keep working with Watford, but part of the mini crisis was down to the amount of injuries his team suffered.
The Premier League is one of the most unforgiving leagues in the world with a constant spinning wheel deciding when managers come and go. There will be plenty of debate over whether it was the right decision or not, but no one can deny that Silva has been on the wrong end of good fortune.
Leroy Sané is mesmeric
After watching Manchester City overcome Newcastle United, there was one overriding thought from the 90 minutes: Leroy Sané was playing a different sport. The German international was simply sensational from start to finish and ran the game like it was the easiest thing to do.
His waltzing run that bamboozled the Newcastle defenders was stunning and deserved to be finished off by none other than Sergio Agüero.
One of the most impressive things about Sané is his ability to add consistency to his game. He is not a player who can only perform every now and then, he is a player that has done it all throughout this season under Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard has obviously nurtured and coached him incredibly well as Sané continues his development and shows his improvement on the pitch. It is remarkable that the former Schalke player is only 22-years-old, with so much more to come from him, it is incredibly exciting to see how far he can push his potential over the next five years.
When Eden Hazard is at his best, he is simply world class
Eden Hazard showed everyone yet again why Chelsea want to keep ahold of him so much amid Real Madrid’s sincere interest in the Belgian superstar.
Hazard controlled the game wonderfully and was at the centre of each Blues attack – either cutting inside from wide or going straight through the middle with his nimble footwork and incredibly balance on the ball, no wonder so many defenders complain about how difficult it is to tackle him when you watch him brush past them with ease.
Chelsea desperately want to extend Hazard’s contract for many more years to come, but depending on the final position in the Premier League table, the Belgian international might be swayed to leave Stamford Bridge for new life in Madrid.
There is still some time to go for that eventuality to come to life, but Hazard will have certainly thought about his future long and hard, as well as his club and international teammate, Thibaut Courtois.