Today in the Premier League

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The striker Vincent van den Berg has joined the Dutch second division club Go Ahead Eagles on loan until the end of the season. The 18-year-old Dutchman has yet to make an appearance for Arsen Wenger's first team and has been sent to the Netherlands to gain match experience.

Aston Villa

The midfielder Stiliyan Petrov believes the club must learn to improve their use of the ball and make the most of the opportunities they create if they are to challenge for Europe. "We need to use the ball better and take chances even half-chances," the 28-year-old Bulgarian said.

Birmingham City

The club have failed with a 2.5m bid for the Everton midfielder James McFadden. The 24-year-old played under City manager Alex McLeish for Scotland but will now remain at Goodison Park. McLeish has also been unsucessful with a move for Hibernian full-back David Murphy.

Blackburn Rovers

The Bulgarian trialist Valeri Domovchiyski said he is enjoying his time at Ewood Park. "Mark Hughes greeted me and made me feel more than welcome," the 20-year-old told Bulgarian newspaper Dni Sport. "I was also warmly welcomed in the dressing room and I spoke with Benni McCarthy."

Bolton Wanderers

Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has admitted it will be difficult to succeed the current first-choice Jussi Jaaskelainen. "He is the top keeper in the league and has had 10 years here," Al Habsi said. "It's not easy but I have to keep trying. Every chance I get, I must take. I have to be patient and keep concentrating and take chances when they come."


Petr Cech could return against Tottenham on Saturday after missing the Blue's last three matches. The goalkeeper suffered bruising to his hip and side during the 1-0 victory at Blackburn on 23 December. Meanwhile, the club's FA Cup fourth round tie at Wigan on 26 January will be televised by the BBC, with a 5.15pm kick-off.

Derby County

The club are awaiting international clearance for new signing Laurent Robert in the hope of naming him in the side to face Wigan this weekend. The Frenchman could be joined at Pride Park by fellow midfielders Robbie Savage and Hossam Ghaly, who have also been linked with the club.


The South African Football Association have asked Fifa, the world governing body, to penalise the club over their reluctance to release midfielder Steven Pienaar for African Nations Cup duty. "We've played the game by the rules," a South African FA spokesman said.


Roy Hodgson said he will take a long-term approach when looking at potential signings in the transfer window. "They've got to make us better," he said. "Not just in the last months of the season to keep us in the league, but also next season when we're trying to build an even stronger team."


The club claim defender Jamie Carragher was "subjected to a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse and also had beer thrown at him" after the FA Cup match at Luton on Sunday. The former England international has been pictured climbing hoardings to confront Luton supporters.

Manchester City

Ched Evans hopes the two goals in six starts he achieved on loan at Norwich can help earn him a place in the City first-team. "I learned a lot from my loan at Norwich," the 19-year-old Welshman said. "It's a big step up into men's football and it's so much faster than the reserves."

Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar has spoken of his relief at signing a new contract at the club. "We said we would re-evaluate in December, and that is exactly what we did," the Netherlands goalkeeper said. "Both parties are happy, so there was no reason to quit. I am still feeling good and it is a joy to be here."


Andrew Davies could make a permanent move to Southampton after impressing the Saints manager George Burley during a loan spell. "There's no doubt he's got Premier League quality," Burley said. "To get a defender like this would be great it's important for the future of the club."

Newcastle United

The Magpies manager Sam Allardyce has been linked with a move for Bolton Wanderers midfielder Kevin Nolan. Allardyce worked with Nolan during his time as manager at the Reebok Stadium and the 5m-rated captain has been criticised by sections of the Reebok crowd recently.


Manager Harry Redknapp admits the club could struggle to replace their African Nations' Cup-bound players. "We need to get people in and it is hard," he said. "We need to strengthen out wide and up front. We have just 14 outfield players here now who are capable of playing in the Premier League."


Steve Coppell believes new signing Marek Matejovsky will be a valuable addition to the Royals squad. "He's flexible, he's a good player," Coppell said of the former Mlada Boleslav captain. "He can play centrally or wide. He's a bubbly character and can slot in a number of places."


Black Cats manager Roy Keane is reportedly monitoring the situation of Birmingham midfielder Olivier Kapo. The Frenchman moved to St Andrew's from Juventus last year but has made just three substitute appearances since the arrival of the new manager Alex McLeish in November.

Tottenham Hotspur

Pascal Chimbonda fears his time at the club is nearing an end. "My future could be away from Spurs as a result of the club's activity in the transfer window," he said of the recent arrival of Chris Gunter. "It looks like the club are looking to replace me and we shall see what happens."

West Ham United

The midfielder Julien Faubert came through a reserve game this week as he continues his recovery from an Achilles injury. The Frenchman is reluctant to rush his return to the first team, despite being on the sidelines since July. "I have been waiting for five months," the 24-year-old said. "So I can wait for a few more weeks."

Wigan Athletic

The Welsh international David Cotterill hopes his performance in the FA Cup match at Sunderland last weekend impressed the manager Paul Jewell enough to increase his first-team opportunities. "Any player is frustrated when they don't play," the 20-year-old said. "Hopefully I did enough to show the manager I'm still about."