Premier League Q&A LIVE: Riath Al-Samarrai answers all the key questions on Tottenham


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Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the answers to all of the burning questions as Sir Jim Ratcliffe closes in on a 25 per cent stake of Manchester United, as well as Merseyside Derby, Chelsea and Tottenham talking points with the Premier League action returning.

Son Heung-Min and Cristian Romero both appeared to pick up injuries on South Korea and Argentina duty respectively – how serious do we believe these to be? Will they be expected to feature against Fulham?

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: Son has indicated it isn’t a big issue, but there has to be some degree of concern because aside from his discomfort against Vietnam, he said he had been struggling with his groin through the week. Given how strongly feels about playing for his country, it is no great surprise that he wanted to play through it.

But I do question the wisdom of him playing the full 90. Coupled with the travel involved, that would likely make him a doubt against Fulham on Monday. As for Romero, he came off at half-time against Peru. As we understand it, that was precautionary, but his importance to Tottenham (his partnership with Van de Ven has been one of the many high points of the early part of the season) is huge.

What is Tottenham’s response to Manor Solomon’s social media post after he claimed Hamas are ‘blaming Israel for killing their own people’?

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: There hasn’t been a public response to those particular posts. Tottenham’s position in this is obviously complicated and perhaps more so than any club over here they have found it a tough challenge to use the right words for the situation. Jonathan Adelman, who was the chair of Tottenham’s Tribute Trust, resigned last week in an open letter after 10 years in the post.

He pointed to a ‘chronic lack of moral clarity’. That has been something of a common message to Spurs around the crisis in Israel and Gaza. That they took five days from the first attacks to say anything in public was also criticised. As for Solomon directly, the club is supporting him in private through what is an awfully hard time.

So, Premier League-leading Tottenham return riding much higher than many expected – have expectations changed at Spurs? Is a successful season still top four?

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: First thing to say is it’s been an incredible turnaround. It’s hard to overstate just how much misery there has been around the club under successive managers, which was as much a symptom of performances as results. Then you have the Kane departure to factor in.

That Postecoglou has them playing such attractive football so quickly is obviously one upside and their place at the top of the league is mind-blowing in a more obvious way. Does that change expectations? Probably, because we have seen how good they can be. If it does subside to some extent, and I’d expect that to be case because the squad is thin in areas (centre-half, midfield) and lacking in others (striker), it will be ever-more important to attach some perspective.

So I don’t think they will win the league, which is hardly a brave thing to say. And I still think top four would be an extremely good outcome – they would bite your hand off for that. If they navigate the loss of Sarr and Bissouma for the Africa Cup of Nations I believe they can pull that off, but it’s a big ask.

That’s all from Chelsea, over to the Premier League leaders…

Are Chelsea keeping close tabs on Victor Osimhen’s situation ahead of the winter window? Are the club in for another striker?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: The striker situation in January is one partially dependent on how their current forward options perform so they have a chance to influence what the club do when the window re-opens.

The goal return did improve recently, with Cole Palmer a big factor in that with his impact on the team.

Chelsea have Jackson and Broja as main strikers and wide players too they will look to for goals. If they deliver sufficiently between now and January Chelsea might decide they have enough.

If not and an opportunity to bring someone in in January arises Chelsea, as they have shown, will be ready to act.

Osimhen is one potential opportunity they’re aware of, especially after his fallout with Napoli, and one they have considered in the past. Brentford’s Ivan Toney is too and he will be eligible to play again in January after his betting ban.

Will a win over Arsenal prove to be a real turning point in Chelsea’s season?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: That would be huge confidence wise and set them up for what’s to come.

The three games before the international break were important and needed, beating Arsenal would have further significance on many levels.

Chelsea can take heart for these games to come from how they performed in their opening game of the season against Liverpool.

Do you feel that Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea have now turned a corner?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: They did have a morale-boosting mini run before the international break, winning three in a row, keeping two clean sheets and scoring seven goals.

They were results which backed up the positive underlying stats that Chelsea had been recording and calmed things down.

As for a corner turned, this next period might give a clearer indication of that.

Seven league games including six against teams currently above them plus a Carabao Cup tie against Blackburn.

More on injuries…

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Chelsea have just confirmed that Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah have had setbacks too.

Reports claim that Reece James is a major doubt for Arsenal this weekend, is that the case? What’s the latest on his hamstring injury?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Yes that is the case, sadly for James and Chelsea after all the injury problems he has had.

The hope was after the injury suffered following the opening game against Liverpool and also his one-match ban that he would be available to face Arsenal but he has had a setback.

If there is a small consolation it is that Chelsea do not need to rush him back as they might have in the past.

They have the newly-capped France international Malo Gusto back from suspension which buys them time to get things right with James.

Is Christopher Nkunku close to a return?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Still a little way off for him sadly with his anticipated December return.

His injury was a big shame as he looked good in pre-season and was going to be a key part of Chelsea’s attack one way or the other with his quality and versatility.

His return and how he comes back will be one of the things that comes into play when thinking about what Chelsea may or may not do with their attack in the January window.

Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja have both looked impressive recently, who is likely to lead the line against Arsenal on Saturday?

ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Finally, for the Burnley game before the international break Mauricio Pochettino had a decision to make over who to start up front with Jackson and Broja both available at Turf Moor.

He went with Broja but he had to come off at half time and was replaced by Jackson who scored in the second half. Both had to pull out of international duty, Jackson to have wrist surgery and Broja because he has been feeling the effects of his long-term knee injury since returning.

It all leaves Jackson as the most likely starter as things stand.

That’s all from Man United, up next we will talk all things Chelsea

Adrian Kajumba will be here for the next hour to answer all the keys Blues questions ahead of a huge clash against Arsenal this weekend.

Submit YOUR questions in the comments…

MIKE KEEGAN

It’s safe to say that the story of Ineos and sport so far has not been a total success and yes, Nice have not managed to get to where they would like to be.

Forays into the likes of cycling, rugby and sailing have also yielded what you could politely call mixed results.

I’m sure that there will be a confidence from their side that they can make a positive impact at United.

The perception is that the club has been underperforming for years and that the bar is set pretty low at the moment.

Final question on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment…

What would a staged takeover look like?

MIKE KEEGAN: Those who are hoping to learn exactly when the Glazers are leaving may well be left disappointed. 

While this may be the first step of a staged buyout there is unlikely to be any official confirmation of this.

Again – we’re going back to NYSE rules. I spoke to Keiran Maguire from the Price of Football about this earlier and he pointed out that it would be highly unlikely for those involved to say that a price for all the shares had been agreed and a majority stake will be taken by SJR in, for example, four years.

The share price may well fluctuate between now and then and the rules would appear to prevent such an agreement from existing – on the record, at least.

What’s happening to the debt?

MIKE KEEGAN: It’s a good question again. One of the issues we have here is that it is difficult to get information because, as I mentioned earlier, the club are bound by NYSE rules.

That means any financial information about what will and won’t happen can’t come out before the market is informed about it.

Paying off the debt may well be an instant win with fans, but then it impacts how much money can be spent elsewhere.

And SJR is not silly, obviously. Some believe he is paying a over the odds already. Would he then pay down what we know is someone else’s debt?

MIKE KEEGAN: The club say yes

In an ideal world there would be a new roof – hopefully with a guarantee against Manchester’s magnificent climate.

At the moment there are companies responding to issues as and when they happen and providing repairs.

Indeed, I was there about a week ago and there were vans of contractors plus workmen on the roof of the East Stand.

Will the roof be fixed soon?

MIKE KEEGAN: Very much hoping this does not come back to bite me

But I asked this exact question of someone involved in the process yesterday. Their response? ‘Zero chance’.

Mike, will Jassim go back in?

That moves us nicely onto United’s home, what’s happening with Old Trafford?

MIKE KEEGAN: At the moment, not much. Word from inside the club is that they’ve been operating pretty much in a state of uncertainty for months.

Anything that has not been agreed in pre-authorised budgets is not being signed off which – when you consider what is going on off the field – is understandable.

That situation needs resolving for the benefit of all involved. We’re all aware of the leaky roof and parts of the ground that are in desperate need of attention.

It’s still an iconic venue but not being selected for the Euros was a stark reminder of its fall from grace.

What is the £1.4bn being used for?

MIKE KEEGAN: Again, a great question and the truth is that, at this stage, we don’t know. What we can say is that, based on previous involvements with other sports organizations, there is likely to be focus on what happens in the arena.

The key here is that United are on the New York Stock Exchange and so we should get a picture on the investment either when it is confirmed or when the post-injection quarterly figures are out.

The current figures are due before the end of October so there will be a little time if they want to get their ducks in a row.

You would imagine some cash will go towards buying shares.

Then there’s the question of the debt. And then investment in the playing side – although it’s my understanding that United have very little room to spend in January thanks to FFP regulations.

From what I’m told they’ll need to sell first unless there’s outgoings, a large injection of capital or a removal of the debt. And that’s before you talk about work on Old Trafford…

What will the structure be like under the Ratcliffe/Glazer partnership?

MIKE KEEGAN: We are led to believe that SJR will have control over football operations. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

There has to be something in it for both sides. SJR wants a return on his £1.4bn and, as a United fan and someone who has interests in other sports, a big influence on what happens on the field has to be expected.

But let’s be clear – if some of the Glazers stay they are doing so for a reason. And if they retain a big stake in the club then they are unlikely to just hand over the keys.

Mike Keegan is here to answer all the big questions

Amrabat was left out of the Atlas Lions’ friendly against Ivory Coast on Saturday and failed to recover in time to feature against Liberia in Morocco’s final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

San Marino players have rejected Manchester United star Rasmus Hojlund’s claims they deliberately looked to injure him during Tuesday’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Mike Keegan joins us at 12pm to answer all the Man United investment questions

Submit your questions in the comments!

The Glazer family may be clinging to power at Manchester United despite Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s offer of £1.4billion for a 25 per cent stake in the club, but it’s unlikely supporters will be seeing Joel Glazer again anytime soon.

United’s imports have been hit-and-miss in recent years and they have topped the global spending table for the last decade, splashing out £1.67bn on new stars with little to show for it.

Good morning!

The Premier League action returns this weekend and so does Mail Sport’s Q&A.

There’s only place to start and that’s with Manchester United as their takeover saga looks to be coming to some sort of end.

Sports news correspondent Mike Keegan has been right across this story and he will answer all YOUR burning questions around the £1.4billion investment.

Submit them in the comments…

Key Updates

  • 13:42

    Son Heung-Min and Cristian Romero both appeared to pick up injuries on South Korea and Argentina duty respectively – how serious do we believe these to be? Will they be expected to feature against Fulham?

  • 13:29

    What is Tottenham’s response to Manor Solomon’s social media post after he claimed Hamas are ‘blaming Israel for killing their own people’?

  • 13:13

    So, Premier League-leading Tottenham return riding much higher than many expected – have expectations changed at Spurs? Is a successful season still top four?

  • 12:55

    Are Chelsea keeping close tabs on Victor Osimhen’s situation ahead of the winter window? Are the club in for another striker?

  • 12:47

    Will a win over Arsenal prove to be a real turning point in Chelsea’s season?

  • 12:42

    Do you feel that Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea have now turned a corner?

  • 12:31

    More on injuries…

  • 12:30

    Reports claim that Reece James is a major doubt for Arsenal this weekend, is that the case? What’s the latest on his hamstring injury?

  • 12:20

    Is Christopher Nkunku close to a return?

  • 12:10

    Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja have both looked impressive recently, who is likely to lead the line against Arsenal on Saturday?

  • 11:50

    What would a staged takeover look like?

  • 11:46

    What’s happening to the debt?

  • 11:21

    That moves us nicely onto United’s home, what’s happening with Old Trafford?

  • 11:11

    What is the £1.4bn being used for?

  • 11:05

    What will the structure be like under the Ratcliffe/Glazer partnership?







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