THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

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DAVID MELLOR

Take a bow

RUUD GULLIT

Missing person

CARL TILER

Aston Villa

The former England Under-21 centre-back imagined his career being rescued when Villa paid pounds 750,000 for him last October, following six starts in two seasons with Nottingham Forest. Instead, he stepped from one nightmare into another. After 70 minutes of his debut against Everton he suffered a hamstring injury and has not been seen since, other than warming the bench.

Watch out for...

KEVIN NICHOLLS

Charlton Athletic

Not 18 until January, this defensive midfielder could be the next bright young prospect to bring a glow to Charlton's bank manager. A close friend of Lee Bowyer, who left The Valley for pounds 3m in the summer, this youngster faces inevitable comparisons.

Rumours...

fact and fiction from the Sunday papers

So who is on Arsene Wenger's Arsenal shopping list? According to the News of the World, the arrival of the Frenchman in north London will be marked with a "pounds 12m double swoop" for German sweeper Matthias Sammer and Brazilian defender Leonardo, best known for being ejected from the 1994 World Cup finals after elbowing the United States' Tad Ramos. The People concurs as far as Sammer is concerned, but reckons Wenger's defensive target is French international Lilian Thuram, of Parma. However, if the Sunday Mirror's spies have got it right, first priority is a pounds 5m offer to River Plate for midfielder Ariel Ortega. Closer to home, the Mirror reports that Newcastle and Manchester United are locked in a pounds 5m battle for Wolves defender Dean Richards, who is on his way to Tyneside, according to The People, for pounds 3.5m plus goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.

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