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Lion Links: 12/27/21

Ricardo Pepi reportedly talking with Wolfsburg, Anthony Martial wants out of Manchester United, A-League action,and more.

A-League Women’s Rd 4 - Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Welcome to the weird week between Christmas and New Year’s Day as we return to work but prepare for 2022. I don’t think I’ll be doing any resolutions this year beyond trying to read more. If you have any book recommendations, let me know in the comments below on what’s worth checking out. For now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world!

Wolfsburg Interested in Adding Ricardo Pepi

FC Dallas and United States Men’s National Team striker Ricardo Pepi is reportedly in talks with Wolfsburg to join the German club in the upcoming transfer window. The 18-year-old had a breakout year for club and country and would certainly boost Wolfsburg’s offense should he head to Germany. Wolfsburg sits in 13th after losing its past five matches and has only scored 17 goals this season. Nothing is official at this point, but the move makes sense for both sides as Pepi could earn valuable playing time in the Bundesliga while Wolfsburg would receive a young forward to develop.

Boxing Day Matches Deliver Plenty of Goals

The most exciting match from the English Premier League’s slate of games on Boxing Day was between Manchester City and Leicester City. Manchester scored four goals in the first half, but Leicester battled back in the second half with three goals within 10 minutes. Aymeric Laporte extended Manchester’s lead in the 69th minute and then Raheem Sterling completed his brace in the 87th minute to put a bow on a 6-3 win.

Chelsea came back from an own goal to win 3-1 against Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur beat Crystal Palace 3-0, and Arsenal cruised to a 5-0 win over Norwich City. Southampton came up with a big 3-2 win on the road against West Ham United in a back-and-forth affair.

Anthony Martial Wants to Leave Manchester United

French forward Anthony Martial is seeking an exit from Manchester United according to Ralf Rangnick, the club’s interim manager. Rangnick spoke about a meeting between him and the 26-year-old regarding the player’s wish to leave the club.

“We spoke at length and he explained to me he has been at Manchester United now for the last seven years and he feels it is the right time for a change, to go somewhere else,” Rangnick said.

However, Rangnick stated that other clubs haven’t made offers for Martial and that he will stay with United until another club shows interest. COVID-19 and a congested schedule due to various competitions puts more of an emphasis on a club’s depth and Martial could become important for United’s hunt for silverware this season. Martial’s situation will be worth keeping an eye on once the transfer window opens this Saturday. For now, United will focus on its first match since Dec. 11 as it takes on Newcastle United today at 3 p.m.

Catching Up With the A-League

Emily van Egmond, who was transferred from the Orlando Pride to the Newcastle Jets, is still searching for her first goal during this Liberty A-League season. She came close in the Jets’ 1-0 win against Wellington Phoenix FC, one of her shots hitting the post minutes before Jemma House scored the winner.

Pride midfielder Chelsee Washington is on loan with Canberra United in Australia and has started in all three of the team’s games so far this season. Washington created a couple of chances in Canberra’s 3-3 draw with the Brisbane Roar in Round 4 as both sides are still hunting for their first win of the season.

Round 4 also included a fantastic performance from Melbourne City’s Hannah Wilkinson as she scored five goals in a 5-1 win against the Melbourne Victory. Wilkinson scored a hat trick within just 26 minutes of play to set a league record and added two more goals in the second half.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando City Foundation encourages you to go outside and stay active during the holidays.
  • Scottish midfielder Greg Stewart scored one of the best goals of the year in the Indian Super League.
  • American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic beat St. Johnstone 3-1, but Rangers won 2-0 against St. Mirren to maintain its lead in the Scottish Premiership title race. Hibernian has quietly won three straight league matches after a 3-1 win against Dundee United.
  • AFC Wimbledon in the English Football League One sent a letter to the league expressing its disappointment in recent postponed matches due to COVID-19 outbreaks. The club cited the hard work and sacrifice from its players to ensure safety at the club despite its small budget and limited resources.
  • A scoreless draw was enough for Thailand to get past Vietnam on aggregate and reach the AFF Suzuki Cup final against Indonesia.

That’s going to be it for today, folks. I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and rest of your week!