THROWBACK: IVANOVIC MAKES BEST TEAM

Branislav Ivanovic attained legendary status at Chelsea before he left the club to return to the Russian Premier Leaguefour years ago. The Serbian defender left Lokomotiv Moscow to sign for Chelsea in a £9m deal in January 2008 and he spent over nine years at Stamford Bridge. Branislav Ivanovic left Chelsea to join Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Russian top flight as a free agent in 2017.

His performances at Chelsea propelled Ivanovic to bag a spot on the list of the best Premier League players as far as the last decade is concerned. The Serbian was named on the Premier League Team of the Decade which was revealed by Premier League legend Alan Shearer.

Branislav Ivanovic returned to the Premier League briefly when he signed for West Brom as a free agent last summer on a one-year deal. He left the Baggies after their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season and he has been without a club since then. In Premier League terms, Ivanovic has 20 goals and 22 assists in 274 appearances. Also, the Serbian utility player has 88 clean sheets in those games. The majority of the games were during his time at Chelsea where he won three Premier League titles.

Shearer named Branislav Ivanovic as one of the three players in the front of Chelsea legend Petr Cech in defence as regards the Premier League Team of the Decade. Apart from Ivanovic, ex-Chelsea teammate John Terry and Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany also made the three-man defence.

The Manchester City trio of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Yaya Toure were named in midfield alongside Chelsea star N’Golo Kante who recently finished fifth in the latest Ballon d’Or rankings. The three forwards who made the team are Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney.

DEAN HENDERSON ON HOWE RADAR

New Magpies manager Eddie Howe has already began the difficult task of taking the Northeast club up the Premier League table after his unveiling earlier this week. The ex-Bournemouth manager has been given a three-year deal until 2024 as the new permanent manager at Newcastle United in the place of the sacked Steve Bruce. 

The Daily Mail says that Howe has already started to trail players who can improve his team and that he’s interested in signing Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson who has seen limited playing time under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (OGS) this season. The England shot stopper has played second fiddle to Spanish international David De Gea in the Red Devils goal this season. 

Dean Henderson came through the Manchester United Academy and he rose to prominence for his impressive performances during a two-year loan spell at Sheffield United from Manchester United. He returned to Manchester United last summer after the impressive loan spell at Sheffield United and was given a new deal said to be worth £100,000 weekly.

De Gea lost his place to England international Henderson as the first choice goalkeeper towards the end of last season, but he was able to reclaim it in time for the Europa League final. The Spaniard was the villain in that final after he missed his spot kick to hand opponents Villarreal their first European title. 

Henderson was named in the England squad for the Euro 2020 tournament, but he had to pull out because of a hip injury. Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale took his place for the tournament which ended in a heartbreak for England following the 3-2 penalty shootout loss to Italy in the final.

Manchester United shot stopper Henderson has been overlooked for the England squad since the Euro 2020 tournament due to his lack of playing time and a move to Newcastle United could provide him with the platform needed to get back into the England squad. His immediate target is to stay and fight for his place at Old Trafford.