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Thursday Fulham Stuff - 10/09/20...

Started by WhiteJC, September 09, 2020, 11:37:57 AM

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Areola delighted to join 'historic' Fulham

New signing Alphonese Areola has spoken of his delight after completing his loan move to Fulham from Paris Saint-Germain.

The French international goalkeeper has moved to Craven Cottage on a season-long loan with the newly-promoted club holding an option to make the move permanent at the end of the current campaign. The 27 year-old told Fulham FCTV:

I'm happy that everything is done. I've waited for almost four days to come here and train with the team and I'm happy to be here. We spoke a lot with my agent, the coach Scott Parker called me. I had a good feeling, so we continued to speak for ten days and I made my decision. It's a historic club in London, I heard a lot about the stadium. I'm very happy to be here and I hope it will be a good season.

Areola believes his experiences with PSG and last year at Real Madrid will serve him well as he prepares for a new challenge:

Last year was a great experience in Real Madrid. I won the league and we were very happy for the club and for the players. I think I will bring my energy and I will do my best to help the team and put the team where it should be.

I'm used to playing with a club that plays a lot with the keepers so I think I am ready for that and I'm prepared for this because we spoke a lot with Scott Parker and I think is the good way to play and I hope that it will work for us this season. He talked to me, he said that he really wanted me and, as I told you, I felt like a great energy and a good feeling. For me, the most important is the relationship you have with the coach and now I have to create a good relationship with my team-mates.

The goalkeeper is excited about playing in the Premier League and living in London, which he revealed was a long-term ambition for him and his family.

It will be my first time in this league. I will give my best all day at the training, at the games as well. Hopefully, it will be a good season. I know it will be tough because it is a difficult league.

It's not a secret I think that I bought a house here in London last year so we are very happy to finally live in London. It's one city that we love and, with my wife and my daughters. My daughters speak better English than me because they are used to going to a British school so we are glad and we have family here. To enjoy football, the good thing is to have a good atmosphere around us, to be happy and that helps to give a good performance.

Areola took part in training this morning at Motspur Park and will be contention to start Saturday's Premier League opener against Arsenal.

It was good, because as I told you before, I haven't touched a ball for a month since I left Real Madrid. I trained by myself at the gym, but it's not the same as when you train with the group. I'm very happy to come back on the pitch, to touch the ball and to share with my team-mates, to share a great atmosphere. I'm happy to be back.


Alphonse Areola: Fulham sign France goalkeeper on loan from Paris St-Germain

Alphonse Areola last represented France in June 2019 in a 2-0 win over Bolivia in an international friendly

Fulham have signed France international goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on a season-long loan from Paris St-Germain.

Areola, 27, spent last season on loan at Real Madrid and played nine times for them, including two Champions League ties.

"I am very happy everything is done," said Areola. "[Manager] Scott Parker called me and I had a good feeling. He said he really wanted me.

"Fulham's a historic club in London and I've heard a lot about the stadium."

The 6ft 5in Arreola has played three times for France and was an unused member of their 2018 World Cup-winning squad.

He added: "I hope this season will be a good one for us. I want to bring my energy and do everything for this team to keep us where we belong."

Fulham co-owner Tony Khan, whose team won promotion from the Championship to the Premier League last season, said: "Alphonse has experience at the very highest level.

"He's played in France's national team, won the league title with PSG, had success at RC Lens, Bastia and with Villarreal, and most recently he played for Real Madrid as they won La Liga last season.

"We're excited he's joining us, and he'll be an excellent addition."


William Saliba set for Arsenal debut on opening day of the Premier League season against Fulham as Mikel Arteta prepares to throw French youngster in after injury to David Luiz

    William Saliba is poised to make his Arsenal debut at Fulham on Saturday
    The French youngster is set to play in defence after an injury to David Luiz
    Saliba has returned to the club after spending last season on loan at St Etienne
    Rob Holding is also likely to keep his place after impressing Mikel Arteta

William Saliba is in line for an opening day debut after Arsenal suffered an injury setback over David Luiz.

Mikel Arteta's most experienced centre-back Luiz is set to miss Arsenal's trip to Fulham on Saturday, and perhaps longer, after aggravating a neck injury.

Arsenal medics were continuing their assessment of the 33 year-old on Wednesday to discover the extent of the injury amid fears he could be side lined for a minimum of four weeks.

Luiz featured for Arsenal in their Community Shield win over Liverpool, lining up in a back three alongside Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney.

Luiz's absence could open the door for Saliba, who has returned to the club after spending last season on loan at St Etienne following his £27m move from the French club to Arsenal.

Saliba has been training with Arsenal since the end of last season, featured in the club's pre-season friendlies and was on the bench at Wembley.

Holding is also likely to retain his starting place after impressing Arteta, convincing the Gunners chief to shelve plans to allow the 24 year-old to join Newcastle on loan.

Arteta also has summer signing Gabriel Magalhaes available though he only began training this week after having to quarantine following his £25m arrival from Lille.

Of Arteta's other centre-back options, Shkodran Mustafi and new signing Pablo Mari are out injured and Calum Chambers has only recently returned to training.

Meanwhile, Sokratis has fallen down the pecking order and is wanted by Napoli.

Arteta has a decision to make over who starts in goal too with Emiliano Martinez, who started the Community Shield, and fit again Bernd Leno waiting to find out who will begin the season as No.1.

Mesut Ozil has also declared he is ready to face Fulham after being frozen out at the end of last season.

Speaking during a Twitter q&a, Ozil said 'I'm fit and ready and doing my best. Unfortunately it's not in my hands to decide about the squad on the weekend. We will see!'


Portuguese Star Running Towards Premier League, Leeds And Fulham Suitors

Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis is moving towards a switch to the Premier League, where Leeds United and Fulham are his chief suitors.

Florentino has been tipped to move on from the Estadio da Luz in the current transfer window, with Benfica willing to do business for the right price.

AC Milan have explored a deal to take the Portuguese to Italy but, according to Italian outlet Tutto Mercato, the player's future appears to be in the Premier League.

It is claimed that Florentino is running quickly towards the Premier League, where Fulham and Leeds are potential destinations.

Both clubs won promotion to the Premier League last season and are putting together squads to flourish in the top flight; it remains to be seen if any other sides want him.

Florentino, 21, made ten appearances in the Portuguese top flight for Benfica last season, while the club also handed him 180 minutes of action in the Champions League.

He played in key league clashes against rivals FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon.

Florentino, who has been capped up to Under-21 level by Portugal, has four years left on his Benfica deal.


Pakistani-American man features in Forbes richest list

Shahid Khan, the only Pakistani on the list, is an engineer by trade. — AP/File

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani-American, Shahid Khan, has emerged as the 66th richest man in the United States in 2020, with a total worth of $7.8 billion.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is number one for the third year in a row, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates at number two.

The Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, published on Tuesday, estimates Bezos' total worth in 2020 as $179bn. Gates has about $111bn and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has $85bn. He is the third on the list.

The year's biggest gainer, in percentage terms, is Tesla founder Elon Musk, who is an astounding 242 per cent richer than he was on last year's ranking.

Tesla's stock rose 520 per cent by the time Forbes took a final measure of net worth on July 24 — helping add $48.1bn to Musk's net worth since last year's list.

Musk was the 23rd wealthiest person in America on the 2019 ranking, worth $19.9bn; this year he's up to number 7, worth $68bn.

Shahid Khan, the only Pakistani on the list, is an engineer by trade. He immigrated to the US at age 16 with $500 and a plane ticket. In 1980, he bought auto parts supplier Flex-N-Gate from his former employer.

His design for a one-piece truck bumper was the basis for his success; the company now has 64 plants worldwide and over 24,000 employees. Khan made his first billion at Flex-N-Gate.

In 2019, Khan launched All Elite Wrestling with his son; it aired its first weekly show in October 2019 and inked a four-year contract extension with WarnerMedia in January 2020.

Khan also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, which he bought in 2012, and UK's Fulham football club, which he bought in 2013. He is a major financial backer of Black News Channel, a 24-hour cable news channel, which launched in February 2020.

US President Donald Trump is now the 275th richest person in America — that's 16 spots lower than in 2019 and 119 places lower than where he was before he became president.

Forbes notes that Trump's branding businesses are in steep decline. Real estate developers are no longer signing up to put the Trump name on their properties.

Forbes estimates that Trump's real estate licensing business, which is further limited by his pledge not to do foreign deals while in office, is worth about $80 million today, down from $170m a year ago.

Forbes notes that even the Covid-19 pandemic could not prevent America's 400 richest from making more money in 2020. They are now 8 per cent wealthier than last year, with a record collective net worth of $3.2 trillion.

They added $240bn to their coffers in this pandemic year, "aided by a stock market that has defied the virus", Forbes notes.

Still, 25 billionaires who were on the 2019 list fell below this year's $2.1bn threshold, two more than last year.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2020


William Saliba and Rob Holding set to start for Arsenal vs Fulham amid injury crisis

William Saliba could make his senior Arsenal debut in their Premier League opener at Fulham due to an injury to David Luiz, who could be out of action for four weeks

William Saliba and Rob Holding are in line to start Arsenal 's Premier League opener at Fulham on Saturday.

The Gunners get their season underway just weeks after clinching the FA Cup with a win over Chelsea at Wembley and want to get off to a good start.

Mikel Arteta will be hoping to improve on the club's disappointing league finish last term and he has strengthened in some key areas this summer.

His team improved defensively as last season progressed but the Spaniard knew he need to make reinforcements at the back.

And Saliba, who joined last summer but was immediately loaned back to Saint Etienne for the season, could be in line for his competitive debut at Craven Cottage.

That is because of worries surrounding the fitness of David Luiz, with reports that he could be out for up to four weeks with a neck injury.

Luiz featured for Arsenal in their Community Shield win over Liverpool, lining up in a back three alongside Holding and Kieran Tierney.

But his absence could mean Saliba is line to start against Fulham, alongside those two again if Arteta continues with a back three.

New signing Gabriel Magalhaes is also available after joining from Lille but the Premier League opener may come to soon for him.

He only began training this week after having to quarantine following his £25million move and so may not be risked just yet.

Elsewhere, Shkodran Mustafi and new signing Pablo Mari are out injured and Calum Chambers has only recently returned to training.

And Sokratis may have played his final game for the Gunners with interest from Serie A side Napoli.

It all means that Saliba will likely be handed a Premier League debut for his new club.

Arteta will be hoping for Luiz to return to the fold sooner rather than late so he has as many centre-back options available to him.


Announcement expected: Arsenal could confirm huge contract news before PL opener vs Fulham

Arsenal could reportedly be set to announce a new contract for star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the coming days.

The Gabon international's future has dominated headlines for months and fans will be scratching their heads over an apparent lack of movement on the saga in recent weeks.

However, it seems Aubameyang's new deal has been agreed and may finally be made official this week, perhaps even before Arsenal's opening Premier League match against Fulham, according to ESPN.

Gunners fans will certainly be hoping they don't have to wait too much longer to hear this hugely positive news, with Aubameyang proving himself to be a crucial part of Mikel Arteta's side.

The 31-year-old was superb for Arsenal last season, scoring 29 goals in all competitions, including a brace against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final and another double in the final victory over Chelsea.

One can only imagine how difficult the campaign would have been for AFC without their top scorer, and keeping him at the Emirates Stadium could be the best piece of business they do all summer.


David Luiz to miss Arsenal's Premier League opener?

Arsenal centre-back David Luiz is reportedly a major injury concern for Saturday's Premier League opener with Fulham.

The Brazil international, who was in line to start against the Cottagers, is said to have sustained a neck injury in training that requires particular caution.

According to The Athletic, Luiz is likely to sit out this weekend's clash, but the Gunners are hopeful that it is not a long-term issue.

As a result of the injury setback, fellow defender Rob Holding is now likely to stay at Arsenal for the time being, rather than join Newcastle United on loan.

Luiz made 33 appearances for Mikel Arteta's side in the Premier League last season and played a full part in last month's Community Shield win over Liverpool.