With action across Europe on a daily basis, as well as transfer rumors flying about, July has already been an exciting month in footballing terms, with plenty more still to come.
Champions will be crowned and relegation fates will be sealed, with one or two twists and turns expected between now and then.
In the meantime, here’s a look at the latest activity on the Index.
Monday 6th July Bronze Match Day Winners:
- Star Player – Lucas Ocampos (2p)
- Top Defender – Diego Carlos (2p)
- Top Midfielder – Lucas Ocampos (2p)
- Top Forward – Son Heung-min (2p)
- Media – Hugo Lloris (3p)
Tuesday 7th July Silver Match Day Winners:
- Star Player – Willian (4p)
- Top Defender – Fabio Lucciono (4p)
- Top Midfielder – Geoffrey Kondogbia (4p)
- Top Forward – Willian (4p)
- Media – Jadon Sancho (3p)
Bukayo Saka Making Great Strides
While Arsenal’s season has been a forgettable one, for now at least, one of the biggest positives unquestionably has been the emergence of Bukayo Saka (£4.76) from their academy.
Since being thrown in at the deep end at Old Trafford in late September, the 18-year-old has not looked back, becoming a key player under Unai Emery’s tumultuous tenure as well as Mikel Arteta’s more promising one.
Yesterday was just another example of the forward’s capabilities, as he brought the experienced Jonny Evans (£0.35) to his knees, before setting up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£1.97) for his 20th league goal of the season.
Only Nicolas Pepe (6) has more league assists than Saka’s five for Arsenal this season, so it comes as no surprise to his Share Price increase by 51p in the last 24 hours, and by £1.01 in the last week.
His new long-term contract at the beginning of the month is a testament to the progression he’s made in such a short space of time and is certainly a star in the making for both club and country.
Chelsea Wingers Key to Fast Restart
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea made it four Premier League wins out of five since the restart, with the Blues having their wingers to thank for leaving Selhurst Park with all three points.
Christian Pulisic (£3.75) found himself on the scoresheet, while Willian (£1.12) provided the assist for the visitor’s first two goals, as they kept pace with the sides in and around them in the race for a place in the top four and guaranteeing them a place in next season’s Champions League, rather than relying on the verdict of Manchester City’s appeal of a European ban.
Pulisic has been Chelsea’s best player since the restart, netting three goals and winning two penalties, as the American, whose Share Price has risen by 18p in the last 24 hours, looks to stake a claim as a first-team regular ahead of the arrival of both Hakim Ziyech (£3.23) and Timo Werner (£5.80).
Willian meanwhile has done his best to keep pace with Pulisic on the other flank, despite being a decade older than the former Borussia Dortmund man. The Brazilian has been involved in more goals than any other player in the Premier League since the restart (4 goals and 2 assists), while he’s also been Top Forward in each of his last two appearances, resulting in a 4p price increase.
Adama Traore is a Man in Demand
There’s little that hasn’t been said regarding the fabulous season Adam Traore (£3.38) has enjoyed at Wolves, which has seen him turn enormous potential into alarming consistency.
Only Kevin de Bruyne (£4.89) (17) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£10.42) (12) have supplied more assists in the Premier League than the 24-year-old this season (9), while he’s also chipped in with four goals of his own. His pace and athleticism is now matched with technical prowess and the ability to regularly place the right pass/cross at the right time, which has alerted Europe’s elite ahead of the transfer window opening.
According to EPSN, both Manchester City and Juventus have jumped ahead of former club Barcelona in the pursuit of the Spaniard, which highlights how far he has progressed to be linked with the biggest names in the game, while Manchester United are also said to be monitoring him should their pursuit of Jadon Sancho (£14.05) fall through.
Those transfer links, as well as his form, has seen his Share Price rise by 5p in the last 24 hours, as he looks to help Wolves to not only a spot in next season’s Champions League, but also a chance at winning this season’s Europa League once that competition resumes in August.
Manchester City Draw Up Steller Centre-Back Shopping List
It’s no secret that the right centre-back position has been a problem for Pep Guardiola ever since Vicent Kompany departed and they failed to suitably replace him.
The likes of John Stones (£0.77) and Nicolas Otamendi (£0.40) have failed to fill the void, and although Eric Garcia (£1.23) – who has risen by 24p since the beginning of June – has progressed well in that position since the restart, it looks as if Pep Guardiola is targeting a major signing in that department.
Kalidou Koulibaly (£1.36), who is reportedly available for £70m as Napoli look set to unwillingly depart with the 29-year-old, is one name that has been bandied about by news outlets, while Milan Skriniar (£0.91) of Inter Milan is another, with the aforementioned duo representing experienced solutions to the problem.
As well, Ruben Dias (£1.16) of Benfica and Pau Torres (£0.99) of Villarreal (both 23), are two other names that have been linked with the Citizens in recent times, and are both players with a view to the long term were they to be signed, although face plenty of competition for their signatures from sides across Europe.
With money to spend following the sale of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich, don’t be surprised to see City linked with even more central defenders between now and the closure of the transfer window, as they look to rebuild and reclaim their Premier League crown.
*All Share Prices, rises and falls accurate at time of writing