Several key players have returned to their respective clubs following the World Cup, and are hoping to be involved in Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League.
Last season’s top-scorer Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) was back at Liverpool’s training ground on Friday morning alongside team-mate Sadio Mané (£9.5m).
Both players were knocked out in the group stages in Russia, with Mané involved in three matches, Salah in just two.
The Reds are still waiting for the return of their contingent who reached the knockout stages which includes Roberto Firmino (£9.5m), Dejan Lovren (£5.0m), Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.5m), Jordan Henderson (£5.5m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.0m).
Christian Eriksen (£9.5m), Son Heung-min (£8.5m) and Davinson Sanchez (£6.0m) are all back with Tottenham and the trio are set to travel to the USA for the club’s pre-season tour.
All three could be involved in Gameweek 1, with the club confirming today that even Son will be available for that match before departing for the Asian Games.
The tournament kicks off on August 14, a few days later and Son has to win it in order to gain immunity from military service. If he achieves that, then he won’t be available until Gameweek 5, with the Games finishing on September 1. An early exit from the competition could see him come back sooner.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane (£12.5m) is hoping to start in Gameweek 1 despite an extended stay in Russia with England.
The Spurs man was at the World Cup until its final weekend, registering 582 minutes at and winning the tournament’s Golden Boot award with six goals.
“I’ll hopefully be back for the first game and hopefully I can try and score in August this year,” Kane told the press when he arrived back in England earlier this week.
Those comments come subsequent to an interview given after England’s third/fourth place play-off defeat to Belgium in which he said he’d be discussing his availability with Mauricio Pochettino.
“We’ll have to talk to the gaffer at Spurs, but it will be a couple of weeks away,” he said.
“Physically your body will always take you where you’d never think it would.
“The important thing is mentally. It will be difficult but something we have to deal with.
“We train all year round, we’re young, we’re fit, your body gets on with it.
“For me personally, and I know for the other lads, it’s just getting away from football really.
“It’s hard, but it’s what we have to do with the season starting so quickly.”
Kane won’t be on Spurs’ pre-season tour, though. In fact, none of the nine players who made it to the last four of the World Cup are on the tour.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is not going to rush any of his key players back, even though he only has four senior first-team players with him on the club’s pre-season tour in the USA.
However, the Manchester Evening News reported on Friday that defender John Stones (£5.5m) is willing to cut-short his extended break so that he can be available to face Chelsea in the Community Shield on August 5.
As we have already mentioned, Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) and Benjamin Mendy (£6.0m) have already agreed to waive their three-week entitlement, which is why they are currently training in Chicago.
“Physically it’s not a problem but mentally they must be ready, how they come back and handle the situation, day by day,” Guardiola said of his first-team players involved in the World Cup.
“I’d have preferred more time, one month or one month and a half. So many games – but they have to adapt.”
The City manager will support the decision of players who decide not to come back in time for Gameweek 1.
“It is what it is, we know because we spoke – they have to come back ready,” he added.
Elsewhere, Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m) and Idrissa Gueye (£5.0m) have now returned to training for Everton and will travel for the tour of Portugal.
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