Several rumours appear that midfielder Wilson Palacios could be coming to the end of his spell in English football. The Honduras midfielder came close to joining a Middle Eastern club in the summer only for the move to fall through at the last moment. The midfielder does not appear to figure in the plans of manager Mark Hughes and this has resulted in his £ 35,000 per week not being justified at the moment. The tough tackling midfielder could be allowed to move on, but Stoke appear aware that they cannot command a transfer fee for the 30-year-old. Hence, they are prepared to allow him to leave on a free transfer.
This will make Palacios an attractive prospect given that he still has a few more years left in him. After coming to English football with Wigan Athletic, he made a big impression and this led to the move to Tottenham. Even though he was a first-team regular at Spurs immediately upon his arrival, problems with his personal life led to a drop in form. He made 43 appearances in his second season at Tottenham, but a move to Stoke came soon afterwards. Palacios has been averaging only around 20 games per season and is no longer a key player at the club.
The likes of Steve Sidwell, Glen Whelan, Charlie Adam, and Steven N’Zonzi are about him in the pecking order. Further, the contract of Palacios expires in the summer. He is free to negotiate terms with foreign clubs once the January transfer window opens. The club even looked at the possibility of ending the contract through mutual consent in the summer, but this did not go through due to various reasons. Stoke are expected to confirm new contract for the likes of Peter Crouch, AsmirBegovic, and manager Mark Hughes in the next few days.
The 23 years old English defender of Hull City joined Barnsley on a loan deal which originally expired on August but after a successful campaign, the contract was extended until January of 2015.
Joe Dudgeon has established himself into the defensive backline of Barnsley as a consistent and reliable defender that has helped the League One club in securing clean sheets as well as not allowing many goals being scored in a number of matches. This is one of the main reasons on why the head coach of Barnsley Danny Wilson, was eager and determined on extending the loan contract of Dudgeon for an extended period of time.
When the deal was officially completed and extended, Danny Wilson took the chance to express his emotion concerning Dudgeon’s stay until January as the coach told reporters: “It’s a great bonus getting Joe until January. He’s a little warrior and a tremendous little warrior. I know he’s not been playing in the Premier League for them, but it’s a big, big step into the Premier League. But from our point of view I can certainly say I’m delighted he’s staying on’’
“He plays with a lot of maturity at times and, for a kid so young, that’s a great asset to have. Overall it’s great news we’ve been able to keep him. It’s been fantastic from Hull as well because they’ve trusted us with one of their players for a long period, which is great.”
Dudgeon initiated his career in the youth academy of Manchester United where he managed to make to a number of appearances for the Under-18’s team at the early age of 15 and eventually signed a trainee contract with the Premier League club.
Barnsley suffered a disastrous season during their time performing in the previous campaign in the Championship League which concluded by the club finishing at the 23rd spot and was relegated and they are now trying to fight back to return to the Championship League and the addition of Joe Dudgeon is expected to help in that quest.
French international Karim Benzema has stated that the national team was not able to reach the semifinals of the World Cup 2014 because they did not start the quarter-finals in positive fashion. France were knocked out of the tournament after a 1-0 defeat against Germany. Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels scored the only goal of the match in the 12th minute from a corner. From then on, France had a couple of opportunities to equalise. Their failure to do so saw them exit the competition, but with head held high.
Up until the quarter-finals, France were seen as one of the best teams in the tournament after having come through this stage by scoring a lot of goals. Benzema was one of the leading goal scorer’s at the time of France’s exit. However, the ability to finish as the Golden Boot winner now passes to the likes of Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, and Thomas Müller. Benzema has been in fine form for the national team, as he has been able to perform exceptionally well in the last 12 months.
He came into the World Cup after having just won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League with real Madrid. The exit of Gonzalo Higuain appears to have brought the best in Benzema, who is revelling in his role as a regular first-team player.
“We are disappointed that the adventure stops there. We gave everything, but we couldn’t score. The first period was quite difficult, we didn’t have enough attempts for my taste. We had more in the second half, they were endangered, but they have a very good goalkeeper. We can be proud of ourselves. Do not forget that this is one of the best teams in the world and not one of us had played in the quarter-finals of the World Cup,” said Benzema.