Liam Ridgewell leaves Portland for short-term Brighton loan move

Liam Ridgewell has left the Portland Timbers in order to return to English football for the second year running by moving to Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term loan deal.

Ridgewell will be eligible to play for Brighton from January 1 and will spend time with the Championship club until February 13, when he will then return to Portland to prepare for the 2016 season.

Brighton had enjoyed a fine start to the 2015/16 Championship season and were unbeaten for 21 games, until Middlesbrough beat them 3-0 two weeks ago, and Chris Hughton’s men have now not won in five.

Hughton worked with Ridgewell during their time at Birmingham City and he hopes that the signing of the versatile 31-year-old defender can help get his side back on track over the next six weeks.

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“I know Liam very well from my time as manager at Birmingham City, and he is an excellent and important addition for us,” Hughton told the club’s official website.

“He will bring extra experience to our defence at a crucial time, and will give me an option both in the centre of defence and at left-back.”

Ridgewell will hope the loan move will keep his match fitness levels up before returning to Portland as the Timbers look to retain their MLS Cup title – an achievement that Ridgewell labelled as “the best feeling of my career”.

Will Liam Ridgewell help Brighton get back on track? Are Portland fans happy to see him move back to England in another loan move?


USMNT star joins Sunderland from Spurs on season-long loan deal

Sunderland have secured the services of young Tottenham right-back DeAndre Yedlin on a season-long loan deal today, just before Tuesday’s transfer window slammed shut in England.

Yedlin was signed by Spurs from Seattle Sounders last August but had to wait until January to complete his move to Europe. He has struggled to get any game time under Mauricio Pochettino, making just one senior appearance, and will hope a move to Sunderland will help him develop.

The Black Cats have started the season in poor form and sit bottom of the Premier League table after four matches. They have strengthened late on in the transfer window, however, and Dick Advocaat will hope to turn things around from here on in.

Yedlin has made 23 appearances for the US Men’s National Team over the past two years and is a part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

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He will then return to England to team up with his new Sunderland teammates ahead of their next Premier League game against, would you believe it, Tottenham.

Spurs have surely implemented the usual loan clause that will not allow the pacey 22-year-old defender to face his parent club and so his debut will likely come in the away clash with AFC Bournemouth on September 19.

Many have questioned whether Yedlin will be able to shine in the Premier League as he did in MLS before joining Spurs, but he is sure to answer many of the questions as a part of a Sunderland defence that has conceded ten goals in four matches – more than any other top flight side.

Is a move to Sunderland a good one for DeAndre Yedlin?

West Brom want Manchester United striker on loan

West Brom manager Tony Pulis is said to be interested in taking Manchester United striker James Wilson on loan next season as he looks to bolster his attacking options.

With Saido Berahino expected to leave the Hawthorns this summer, Pulis will need a replacement and the United youngster could fill the void left by Berahino.

The 19 year old has made 12 appearances for United this season, ten of those appearances coming from the bench, though Wilson has managed to score only once.

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Wilson was given his debut towards the end of last season by Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs, and the possibility of game time at another top flight side will surely be too much to turn down.

The Daily Mirror also suggested that Baggies boss, Tony Pulis, sent his chief scout to watch Wilson play for United’s under 21’s last week.

Should James Wilson be allowed to leave Manchester United on loan next season?

Aston Villa lining up summer move for Chelsea starlet – report

Aston Villa continue to be linked with names ahead of the summer transfer window as Chelsea youngster Patrick Bamford is being linked with a loan move to Villa Park next season, according to the Daily Mail.

Bamford is currently on loan with Championship club Middlesbrough, where he has impressed this season, picking up the Championship Player of the Year award after netting an impressive 19 goals in all competitions.

The 21-year-old forward is unlikely to break into the Chelsea first-team next season and Jose Mourinho is thought to be willing to let him continue his development with a loan move to a Premier League club.

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Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Bamford, but Aston Villa have now joined the race and Tim Sherwood’s influence could persuade the Chelsea youngster to make the move to the Midlands.

Sherwood has proven to be one of the best coaches in the country when it comes to getting the best out of his players, especially youngsters, and that could appeal to Bamford.

The Villains are fighting for their Premier League survival and also have an FA Cup final to look forward to against Arsenal at Wembley, but that has not halted any talk of possible summer arrivals.

Wolves winger Bakary Sako is reportedly set to join the club when his contract comes to an end in June, while Massimo Luongo is another reported target of Sherwood’s.

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Bamford has netted 19 times with eight assists in 43 appearances for Boro this season and looks ready for a chance to prove himself in the top flight.

Villa may need a striker if Christian Benteke is to leave this summer. Wolfsburg and Liverpool are the latest teams to be linked with the powerful Belgian, while Spurs and Manchester United have also been rumoured as possible destinations for the in-form frontman.

Would Patrick Bamford be a good signing for Aston Villa? Does he have a future at Chelsea?

Liam Ridgewell “dying to get back on the field” after completing loan switch to Wigan

Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell has completed a short-term loan move to English Championship side Wigan Athletic and will train and play with the team for about six weeks.

The 30-year-old moved to MLS with Portland last summer as a Designated Player and made 15 appearances, scoring twice with one assist in his debut campaign as the Timbers narrowly missed out on the playoffs.

He is looking forward to playing in England once again but is fully focused on getting fit in time for the start of the new MLS season in March.

“I have loved my time out in Portland and I can’t wait to get back,” he said after completing the switch to Wigan earlier today.

“But I have had a lot of time off over Christmas and I’m dying to get back on the football field and start training and I’m very glad I’ll be able to do that with Wigan.”

Liam Ridgewell on loan move to Wigan (via Wigan Athletic on YouTube):

The Latics sit second from bottom in the Championship and have only won one of their last ten league games so Ridgewell will hope to help turn things around for the 2013 FA Cup winners.

They have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 league matches so the Timbers centre-back will need to come in and shore up the backline as he did when moving to MLS last summer.

Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager, revealed they had plenty of interest in the English defender but said the move to Wigan suited the Timbers best as he will back in time for the 2015 Simple Invitational on February 22.

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“Liam expressed an interest in staying in the UK on a short-term loan as this offseason is longer than any he has encountered in his professional career,” Wilkinson said.

“He wants to start the 2015 MLS season on the right foot. Several clubs had contacted us in regards to taking him on loan, however with us dictating the terms and timing of this deal it was not viable for all concerned.

“We feel that this deal works well for both the player and the club. Liam will return to Portland in time to prepare for the season with the Timbers and be match fit and sharp.”

Is a short-term loan move to Wigan a good thing for Liam Ridgewell and the Portland Timbers?

Robbie Keane rules out Premier League loan move

Robbie Keane is arguably in the best form of his life. He picked up the Major League Soccer MVP Award a few weeks ago and fired the LA Galaxy to their record fifth MLS Cup title too. But he’s not looking to continue playing through the offseason.

The 34-year-old see’s himself playing for at least three more years and so he needs to keep himself fresh for the upcoming MLS season which gets underway in March.

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And so Keane has ruled out a return to the Premier League in a short-term loan spell this winter, he confirmed to the Irish Independent.

“I’ve been asked to go on loan by clubs, mostly in the Premier League, but it’s not going to happen,” said Keane.

“Medically, I’ve been advised to take a break. Two days after I came home from America last year, I had the operation on both of my Achilles and was back doing intensive training two days later. That’s 22 months without a break, so I need one now.

“After a few weeks off, I start to get the itch and I’ve got that now. I was playing five-a-side with my mates 10 days after the MLS Cup final. I feel the best I’ve felt for years.

“Our break [in MLS] is that little bit longer so I feel the temptation is there only because I love playing the game.

“Although that’s there, I just can’t see a loan happening, to be honest.”

The Irish striker will return to Ireland with the Galaxy in February to face Shamrock Rovers in a pre-season friendly and he feels he has plenty left in the tank

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Keane admits that he has not thought about retirement and believes he could play for another four years.

“I see myself playing for three or four more years, 100 percent, so I need to be honest with everyone that my future is beyond next year,” he added.

“And for me to concentrate on playing for Ireland, and focus on playing in the Euros, I have to look beyond then. I never said I was going to leave the Galaxy, but I need to see what’s best for myself in the long term.

“That’s the reason I was being honest, too much perhaps, but I don’t want to see myself going into the Euros year [in 2016] wondering what’s going to happen.”

Premier League trio set to battle for Clint Dempsey loan deal

Three Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in bringing Seattle Sounders attacker Clint Dempsey back to England for a short-term loan deal.

The 31-year-old joined Fulham for a couple of months in the MLS offseason last year, and could be set for a similar move this year, with Aston Villa, Stoke and Queens Park Rangers all keen, according to the Daily Mirror.

Dempsey has been excellent for the Sounders this season, scoring 15 goals and adding 10 assists to help the side finish as the best side through the regular season.

Seattle lifted the MLS Supporters’ Shield for the first time in their history on Saturday night, and will need Dempsey to help them if they are to clinch the MLS Cup too.

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The USMNT star could then return to England after Christmas for a short spell in the Premier League, and his options would appear to be open.

He has American teammates at both Aston Villa and Stoke City, so may look there, but he could also return to London with QPR, to try and help Harry Redknapp’s side avoid relegation.

The former Spurs forward has had a long season, and alternatively may decide to have a rest ahead of the 2015 MLS season.

Should Dempsey return to the Premier League once again – or does he need to rest?