Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson has earned his first England call-up for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday in place of the injured Chris Smalling.
The circumstances around Smalling’s withdrawal appear to be shrouded in mystery, prompting conspiracy theorists to attribute his release from the squad, to Jose Mourinho, who has already lost Phil Jones to a toe injury during the international break. England announced on Friday afternoon that Smalling would be replaced by Gibson due to an unspecified injury, and the lack of information regarding his sudden departure, certainly adds credence to the notion that the Special One has expressed concerns with Man United facing a hectic month ahead [9 matches]. However, with Gary Cahill suspended, Gareth Southgate won’t be looking to take any chances, so in reality, Smalling probably has an issue which United need to assess. Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo could line-up against West Brom if both Jones and Smalling are ruled out.
Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg wants manager Claude Puel to be able to trust him on the pitch.
The Denmark international admitted that he has been having a tough time lately as he has played most of his football with the Saints' U-23 team, the latest blow being omitted from his country's squad for the ongoing international break. The 21 year old explained: "I would lie if I said I felt fantastic but football is sometimes like this." The former Bayern Munich man added that he respects his manager's decisions, but he added that he deserves to play and is capable too: "I think if you ask everybody in the team, they would say they deserve it... So, if you deserve it or not, this is not the right question. More the question is: Am I good enough to be in the squad? Yes I am." Hojbjerg has been a victim of Southampton's move to a 4231 formation, with Davis and Romeu occupying his slot in the XI.
Kevin de Bruyne is hoping to be fit for next weekend despite his withdrawal from the Belgium squad because of injury.
Roberto Martinez confirmed on Friday that De Bruyne would miss the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Greece and subsequent friendly with Russia on Tuesday after he "felt pain after yesterday’s session." However, initial reports indicate that his omission was more of a precaution with De Bruyne expected to be available for the trip to Arsenal when the Premier League fixtures reconvene in seven days. City can ill-afford any slip-ups at this stage of the season if they harbour any real hopes of catching Chelsea at the top - the Citizens are currently 12pts adrift - and Pep will need of all his big hitters available despite the Gunners winning just one of their last five Premier League matches.
Hull City centre-back Harry Maguire is still sought by West Ham according to reports.
The Hammers already took City's top scorer Robert Snodgrass from the club earlier in the season. The defender's eye-catching displays since breaking into the first team this season have seen him linked to a variety of clubs, but his performances did not merit an expected England call-up as Gareth Southgate favoured Boro's Ben Gibson to the 24 year old. Rumours linking Maguire to a move will intensify if Hull's chances of relegation worsen as he has one year remaining on his current contract. The Tigers may be forced to cash in this summer while they can if they fail to dodge the drop.
Seamus Coleman is likely to miss the rest 2017 after sustaining a double leg fracture during Friday night’s World Cup qualifier against Wales in Dublin.
The Everton wing-back was on the receiving end of a horrific Neil Taylor challenge which left Coleman sprawled on the Aviva Stadium turf with Shane Long comforting his international teammate before being stretchered off. Coleman will have surgery, most likely a plate and screw method, to fix the fracture. Typically, recovery from this type of injury will physically take around 9 months, although the timeline can be affected by setbacks or complications during rehab. However, psychologically it may take a little longer for Coleman to return to the peak of his game. Following a similar injury in 2010, Aaron Ramsey admitted he didn’t feel fully confident and back to his best until three years later. We wish Coleman all the very best and a speedy recovery.
Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser did not make his international debut as expected against Canada on Wednesday due to a swollen knee.
The Scotsman was called up for the first time by his country for this international break but could not take to the field against the Canadians after he suffered his injury on the day of the game. Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee hopes that Fraser can be fit in time to face Slovenia on Sunday: " "Ryan will get a check... They will then make a decision on whether there is anything they can push Ryan towards, to try to get him fit."
Everton wing-back and Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has undergone surgery after suffering a horrific injury in his country's World Cup Qualifier on Friday night.
Coleman sustained the double leg fracture after a reckless challenge by Aston Villa's Neil Taylor in the 0-0 draw in Dublin. He went through surgery on Saturday morning to have screws inserted into his right leg to help the healing process. The extent of the injury means that the Irish skipper may not play again until 2018, and rules out any chance of a summer move which had been rumoured owing to his consistency and brilliance this season for club and country alike. Instead, the 28 year-old will go through months of rehabilitation to get back on the pitch and continue his sparkling career.
Everton suffered a major blow on Friday night with Seamus Coleman suffering a broken leg while on international duty.
The right-back was taken on a stretcher in the 68th minute of the Republic of Ireland's 0-0 draw against Wales on Friday in an international friendly and was taken to the hospital. Now Coleman faces a lengthy rehabilitation period after put together a good season for the Toffees, including four goals and three assists. Said Ireland manager Martin O'Neill: "It's a bad break. Seamus is a fantastic player and character - it's a major blow for the lad, for his club and for us. Apparently it wasn't the best challenge in the world - I haven't seen it back - but naturally disappointed. He's gone to hospital and I think it's broken. I saw Seamus' reaction - he was holding his leg up and it didn't look good."