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Hello and welcome to The Athletic's coverage of today's football news.
It is the final international break of the calendar year in which we will be bringing you all the latest injury news as players head off on international duty.
We'll also have the latest on Norwich City and Aston Villa's managerial searches as well as Xavi's fist day at Barcelona as he returns to the club as their new head coach since Ronald Koeman's dismissal.
(Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images)
November 8, 2021 at 4:27 PM EST
Leicester's Youri Tielemans has been ruled out of action for 2-3 weeks with a calf/ankle injury.
The midfielder has withdrawn from the Belgium squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Estonia and Wales, and will undergo further treatment with Leicester.
November 8, 2021 at 3:43 PM EST
The hearing date for Derby County’s appeal against their 12-point deduction for going into administration has been adjourned, the EFL confirmed on Monday.
For more information, click here.
November 8, 2021 at 2:19 PM EST
Well why not have a transfer story in November….
Watford have signed goalkeeper Nigeria international goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for a fee understood to be in the region of €6 million (£5.1million).
The 22-year-old will join in the summer from Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam.
Read more here.
November 8, 2021 at 1:52 PM EST
Howe oversaw a rapid rise at Bournemouth underpinned, according to former players, by incredible attention to detail in training.
For more detailed analysis, read below.
What Eddie Howe brings as a coach: Innovator, relentless drive to improve ‘every player’, an unseen ruthlessness
November 8, 2021 at 12:40 PM EST
A former Manchester City youngster who committed suicide after his release felt let down by the club, his father told an inquest.
Read the full story here.
November 8, 2021 at 11:48 AM EST
Following Dean Smith's dismissal on Sunday, Aston Villa have confirmed assistant head coach Craig Shakespeare has also left the club.
A statement read: "We would like to thank Craig for his valuable contribution during his time here and wish him all the very best for the future."
To find out the inside story on Smith's sacking, read more below.
Dean Smith’s Villa sacking: His hurt at timing, leading players shocked, Gerrard and Hjulmand among contenders
November 8, 2021 at 11:45 AM EST
Emile Smith Rowe has been called up to the England squad for the first time.
The 21-year-old has been named in Southgate’s squad after the Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and the Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse withdrew on Monday.
For more analysis, click here.
November 8, 2021 at 11:43 AM EST
Marcus Rashford has withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Southgate will face Albania on Friday and San Marino on Monday to continue their 2022 World Cup qualification.
You can read more here.
November 8, 2021 at 10:38 AM EST
The Athletic understands that Howe impressed the Newcastle hierarchy when he was interviewed about the job last month but what do you think of Howe’s appointment?
Discuss with fellow subscribers below.
Newcastle fans: What do you think of the appointment of Eddie Howe?
November 8, 2021 at 10:34 AM EST
The Athletic's Newcastle reporter George Caulkin is "encouraged" and "excited" about the incoming manager.
But he's got a lot in his in-tray to say the least.
What are his priorities? Find out more below.
The (lengthy) to-do list awaiting Eddie Howe at Newcastle
November 8, 2021 at 10:25 AM EST
It's official, Newcastle United have appointed Eddie Howe as their new head coach.
The former Bournemouth boss has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and replaces Steve Bruce.
The Athletic reported on Thursday last week that Howe had agreed a deal in principle to take over at Newcastle, just a day after Unai Emery ruled himself out of contention for the Premier League club’s managerial vacancy.
To read more, click here.
November 8, 2021 at 9:51 AM EST
Each team can have moments that define a season.
For Burnley, Nick Pope's save in their 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Saturday could be the one to determine their season. Pope's outstretched leg diverted Callum Hudson-Odoi's effort to help Sean Dyche's side secure a point.
It could arguably be the moment that keeps Burnley in the Premier League.
Nick Pope: Burnley’s superhero back to his best
November 8, 2021 at 9:17 AM EST
From wanting to leave Arsenal in the summer to now looking as comfortable as ever in Arsenal's midfield, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has turned a corner in his career this season.
He has played an exciting role in Arsenal's recent success, including the only goal in their 1-0 win over Watford on the weekend.
The Athletic's Art de Roche has analysed the 24-year-old's performance.
Maitland-Niles looks right at home in Arsenal’s midfield
November 8, 2021 at 8:54 AM EST
Barcelona wasn't the only option for Xavi — he was offered a job with Brazil!
He said: "There were conversations with the Brazilian FA. We spoke about joining Tite's staff, being his assistant and then taking over, after the next World Cup. But my priority was always to return to Barca as coach."
But did he make the right decision to wait and go to Barcelona?
November 8, 2021 at 8:44 AM EST
Xavi has spoken highly of one of his players — French international Ousmane Dembele.
The new manager said: “Dembele for me in his position could be the best in the world. He has spectacular ability but needs to be coached, to be looked after, and to feel comfortable. It also depends on him – his mentality. We must also look after him so he is not injured so much. So his renovation is a priority.”
The 24-year-old has not featured in a league game as of yet as he is continuing to recover from a knee injury.
November 8, 2021 at 8:23 AM EST
The January transfer window is approaching but will Xavi be given the funds to sign the players he wants?
At his opening, he was asked if he wants to sign a winger in the New Year. He said: "We are working on many things, and one of them is the summer window. I like to have wingers, to open the field. We have some players who are injured and we will get them back. So will see. We have players to play different systems."
If you were Xavi, who would you sign?
November 8, 2021 at 8:11 AM EST
Six years after he left the club as a player, Xavi is excited to start work at Barcelona as their new manager.
He said: “I’m very excited, really looking forward to starting work, talking to the players. I am returning home in a difficult moment – financially and football – not the best moment but the motivation, passion, and excitement of the fans will bring us back to the top. I want to communicate to the players that we must be excellent, just notable does not work here. We have to try and be the best, we have to work hard, me and the staff are all cules and very motivated and excited. Effort, sacrifice, attitude, maximum demands – we need all this.
“We cannot let the fans down. We must have effort, sacrifice, hard work – and then work very hard footballistically. We have to communicate to the players that we are Barca – we have to give everything.
“I am coming with a very clear idea, which has worked very well at Al-Sadd. We will work together, enjoy it, training hard and working to communicate this idea of the play. The players I know least I will work hard to convince that playing this way is the way to success. In the end we will be judged by results.”
November 8, 2021 at 7:57 AM EST
As new manager Xavi is unveiled at the Nou Camp, 9,422 fans attended the event waving Catalan flags.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta was looking happy while signing Xavi's contract with him and was even seen joining in with the singing.
Laporta said: "This is a day which will go down in Barca history."
November 8, 2021 at 7:47 AM EST
He said: “I don’t want to get too emotional — so I can just tell you one thing — we are the best club in the world. And we will work with the highest standards to have success.
“We cannot accept defeats or draws, we have to win every game.”
November 8, 2021 at 7:41 AM EST
The former midfielder has been officially presented at Barcelona's stadium.
There are thousands of Barcelona supporters in attendance chanting Xavi's name, with the head coach having walked out alongside Joan Laporta.
For more on what Xavi can expect as Barcelona manager, read on below.
Being Barcelona manager is a huge challenge for anyone, but nobody is better prepared to take it on than Xavi