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Angels Links: January transfer window is in full swing

Also a USWNT star returns to NWSL, and a legend hangs up his boots.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg

Theo Walcott completes move to Everton, while Alexis Sanchez swap seems likely but is not complete yet

Ah, the January transfer window. How fun is it to be back in the world of wild rumors, and deals that are sure to be done, but still take forever to complete. This week’s news has mostly involved Arsenal. Theo Walcott has completed a deal to move to Everton. The winger is hoping to jump start his career after a successful yet at times unfulfilled career at Arsenal. Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking to sell Alexis Sanchez before he leaves for free in the summer. It seems likely now that Sanchez will go to Manchester United. The only holdup in the deal at this point seems to be the potential of Henrikh Mkhitaryan gong from United to Arsenal. We’ll see in the upcoming days, but at this point United seem to be in the driver’s seat for landing Sanchez.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set for messy exit from Borussia Dortmund

Speaking of players rumored to be joining Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Borussia Dortmund seem to be heading toward an acrimonious exit. Aubameyang is rumored to be heading to Arsenal, though Dortmund say no bid has been made. But tensions between the player and the club are high. Aubameyang was recently suspended for a game for missing a team meeting, the second time that has happened this year. The club appear to have lost all patience with Aubameyang, and reports are that some of his teammates feel similarly. Raphael Honigstein of ESPN details what is happening with Dortmund and the star striker.

Crystal Dunn is returning to the NWSL

Crystal Dunn spent some time abroad playing for Chelsea Ladies team, but now she is coming back to NWSL. She has ended her time in England, and her rights in NWSL were traded from the Washington Spirit to the North Carolina Courage this week for Taylor Smith and Ashley Hatch. Dunn had a decent time with Chelsea, but she was never able to nail down a consistent starting role with the Blues. Dunn was the NWSL MVP with the Washington Spirit back in 2015, and the North Carolina Courage are hoping she can recapture that form this coming season.

Ronaldinho, the player who made everyone smile

Ronaldinho announced this week that he was retiring. For people my age, he was a player who was at the top of the soccer world right as I was growing up and really getting into soccer. On his day he was unplayable, as good as anyone who has ever kicked a soccer ball. More so than that though, he made the game fun, both with his style and flair, the smile he almost always had on his face, and just the way he played the game, you could tell that he was enjoying paying as much as you were enjoying to watch him play. “You’re smiling because football is fun. Why would you be serious? Your goal is to spread joy.” This quote almost perfectly describes Ronaldinho’s perspective on the game. There’s a long running debate in American sports regarding the hall of fame, about what is better, to be a great player who hit historic heights but didn’t maintain that form for very long, or players who were very good for a very long period of time. Ronaldinho definitely falls into the former category, and there is a lot of debate about whether or not he could have maintained his stardom for a long period of time. Constantly having this discussion misses the point of why so many people enjoyed watching Ronaldinho. With his retirement, it’s nice to reflect on someone who made soccer so fun to watch for so many people.

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