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  1. Thiago Alcantara has bemoaned the changing face of Football saying that it lost the essence of the game we grew up with. The Spaniard came to Liverpool with one of the most glittering resumes in the modern era, having won 11 league titles in his career (7 with Bayern Munich/ 4 with Barcelona) to go along with two Champions League triumphs (1 with each club) and a host of domestic honours. And when you acknowledge the individual awards that the 30 year-old has earned including being selected in the UEFA and FIFPro teams of the year in 2020, you realise that he is one of the most qualified to speak on how he sees the game. It is never easy to adapt to a new league, let alone in the era of COVID, picking up a serious injury early on, and then having to strike up a connection with your fellow midfielders on your return. Naturally Thiago was off the pace for a period of time, so much so that some questioned the worth of Jurgen Klopp signing the 30-year-old, as they thought he was not a good fit for the Reds. But as all quality players do, Alcantara found a way to adapt and by the end of the season the cultured midfielder was showing his worth to the doubters. Speaking to the Guardian (per the Mirror), Thiago said he yearns for the old days when Football was a whole lot purer. “I have that ‘hate modern football’ mentality; I’m more classic in attitude. “The figure of the No.10 has almost disappeared. We see less magic, less fantasy. Footballers do more but think there’s a bit of everything and everyone in every coach. “There’s no need to dribble because you run. Players are more developed in every sense. You lose that player who’s different, who ‘breathes’; the playmaker who was slower even if he had sublime technique doesn’t get the opportunity to turn." One of the greatest bugbears for the great majority of Football lovers is the implementation of VAR which has taken the human aspect out of the game. Once again Thiago was very very forthright in his opinion and will certainly gain a lot of respect for his honesty. “There's also VAR. "I've always been against it and wish it didn’t exist. It takes the essence of the game away from you. It takes away the cunning, the mischief, that is part of football - as long as you don't hurt anyone, of course. "We make mistakes when we play. Referees must do so too, as they are human. Without trickery, many famous moments in the history of football would not have happened. "Above all, when we score, even if from midfield, we have to wait, it can be overturned.” · · · View full article
  2. Thiago Alcantara has bemoaned the changing face of Football saying that it lost the essence of the game we grew up with. The Spaniard came to Liverpool with one of the most glittering resumes in the modern era, having won 11 league titles in his career (7 with Bayern Munich/ 4 with Barcelona) to go along with two Champions League triumphs (1 with each club) and a host of domestic honours. And when you acknowledge the individual awards that the 30 year-old has earned including being selected in the UEFA and FIFPro teams of the year in 2020, you realise that he is one of the most qualified to speak on how he sees the game. It is never easy to adapt to a new league, let alone in the era of COVID, picking up a serious injury early on, and then having to strike up a connection with your fellow midfielders on your return. Naturally Thiago was off the pace for a period of time, so much so that some questioned the worth of Jurgen Klopp signing the 30-year-old, as they thought he was not a good fit for the Reds. But as all quality players do, Alcantara found a way to adapt and by the end of the season the cultured midfielder was showing his worth to the doubters. Speaking to the Guardian (per the Mirror), Thiago said he yearns for the old days when Football was a whole lot purer. “I have that ‘hate modern football’ mentality; I’m more classic in attitude. “The figure of the No.10 has almost disappeared. We see less magic, less fantasy. Footballers do more but think there’s a bit of everything and everyone in every coach. “There’s no need to dribble because you run. Players are more developed in every sense. You lose that player who’s different, who ‘breathes’; the playmaker who was slower even if he had sublime technique doesn’t get the opportunity to turn." One of the greatest bugbears for the great majority of Football lovers is the implementation of VAR which has taken the human aspect out of the game. Once again Thiago was very very forthright in his opinion and will certainly gain a lot of respect for his honesty. “There's also VAR. "I've always been against it and wish it didn’t exist. It takes the essence of the game away from you. It takes away the cunning, the mischief, that is part of football - as long as you don't hurt anyone, of course. "We make mistakes when we play. Referees must do so too, as they are human. Without trickery, many famous moments in the history of football would not have happened. "Above all, when we score, even if from midfield, we have to wait, it can be overturned.” · · ·
  3. Domenico Berardi is the latest player to be linked to Liverpool in the transfer window according to press reports in Italy. The left-footed winger has come off a fine season for Sassuolo who finished eighth in Serie A last season, scoring 17 goals in the league along with contributing seven assists. Berardi has also scored five goals for Italy during the last calendar year and has been a key player in their two impressive wins during Euro 2020. Gazzetta dello Sport (via The Express) have linked the 26 year-old to the Reds on the assumption that Mo Salah’s long term future with the club may be in doubt. The Egyptian has two more years to run on his current contract but there has been little progression on a new deal, and he has occasionally spoken about in La Liga to finish his career. Sassuolo would naturally love to hold on to their man and the Italian press speculate with the financial crunch hitting clubs in Serie A very hard, that none of their rivals would be able to afford the £43 million transfer fee. While no offer from a opposition club has been put on the table, once the Euros have concluded clubs in England are expected to be at the top of the list with Leicester and Tottenham possible suitors along with the Reds. The Scouting report on Berardi says that he is a playmaking winger whose main attributes revolve around the use of his excellent left foot when beating opponents one-on-one, creating chances for teammates and finishing off moves with left-footed shots. ‘The Italian’s trademark cut from the right wing into the inside channel onto his left foot is considered the basis of his style of play. In a 4-2-3-1 system played by Sassuolo. “As a winger, Berardi is practically a complete package in terms of his player profile and attacking output. The Italian’s playmaking abilities, however, stand out among a whole list of his qualities at a high level. One of the most creative wide forwards in the league, Berardi averages 4.78 shot-creating and 0.62 goal-creating actions per 90 minutes – both well above the Serie A average.’ ‘The Italian shows tremendous quality in progressive passes (avg. 6.32 per 90 min) and passes into the penalty area (avg. 3.58 per 90 min), as well as solid numbers in key passes (avg. 2.08 per 90 min) and through balls (avg. 0.22 per 90 min). ‘All in all, Berardi is a truly unique talent considering his nationality and playing profile. The Sassuolo winger bears resemblance to players like Riyad Mahrez or Hakim Ziyech – left footers with slender physique who like to cut inside from the right and shoot on goal or link up with other forward player.' In a interesting quote from Berardi back in 2019, he identified Liverpool as a club of great interest to him. “And if I hear that it is the right proposal, to be taken on the fly, this time I will say to Sassuolo: 'I'll take it'. Being able to choose, I would play in Liverpool. “Changing remains difficult for me, but it no longer frightens me, I would do it.” Berardi is just another name to put to monitor over the next few months.
  4. Domenico Berardi is the latest player to be linked to Liverpool in the transfer window according to press reports in Italy. The left-footed winger has come off a fine season for Sassuolo who finished eighth in Serie A last season, scoring 17 goals in the league along with contributing seven assists. Berardi has also scored five goals for Italy during the last calendar year and has been a key player in their two impressive wins during Euro 2020. Gazzetta dello Sport (via The Express) have linked the 26 year-old to the Reds on the assumption that Mo Salah’s long term future with the club may be in doubt. The Egyptian has two more years to run on his current contract but there has been little progression on a new deal, and he has occasionally spoken about in La Liga to finish his career. Sassuolo would naturally love to hold on to their man and the Italian press speculate with the financial crunch hitting clubs in Serie A very hard, that none of their rivals would be able to afford the £43 million transfer fee. While no offer from a opposition club has been put on the table, once the Euros have concluded clubs in England are expected to be at the top of the list with Leicester and Tottenham possible suitors along with the Reds. The Scouting report on Berardi says that he is a playmaking winger whose main attributes revolve around the use of his excellent left foot when beating opponents one-on-one, creating chances for teammates and finishing off moves with left-footed shots. ‘The Italian’s trademark cut from the right wing into the inside channel onto his left foot is considered the basis of his style of play. In a 4-2-3-1 system played by Sassuolo. “As a winger, Berardi is practically a complete package in terms of his player profile and attacking output. The Italian’s playmaking abilities, however, stand out among a whole list of his qualities at a high level. One of the most creative wide forwards in the league, Berardi averages 4.78 shot-creating and 0.62 goal-creating actions per 90 minutes – both well above the Serie A average.’ ‘The Italian shows tremendous quality in progressive passes (avg. 6.32 per 90 min) and passes into the penalty area (avg. 3.58 per 90 min), as well as solid numbers in key passes (avg. 2.08 per 90 min) and through balls (avg. 0.22 per 90 min). ‘All in all, Berardi is a truly unique talent considering his nationality and playing profile. The Sassuolo winger bears resemblance to players like Riyad Mahrez or Hakim Ziyech – left footers with slender physique who like to cut inside from the right and shoot on goal or link up with other forward player.' In a interesting quote from Berardi back in 2019, he identified Liverpool as a club of great interest to him. “And if I hear that it is the right proposal, to be taken on the fly, this time I will say to Sassuolo: 'I'll take it'. Being able to choose, I would play in Liverpool. “Changing remains difficult for me, but it no longer frightens me, I would do it.” Berardi is just another name to put to monitor over the next few months. View full article
  5. Alexander Isak is the latest striker being linked to Liverpool according to a new report. The 21 year-old Swedish international is coming off a fine season with Real Sociedad scoring 17 league goals in 34 appearances. Before his current stint at the Spanish club, Isak came through the ranks at his local club AIK, before being signed by Borussia Dortmund and then having a loan spell at Willem 11 in the Eredivisie. It was in Holland that Isak’s talents began to shine through as he scored 13 league goals in just 16 appearances and Sociedad saw enough to pay €10 million to Dortmund for his services. The Express reports that Isak’s impressive form has alerted many of the top clubs in Europe but it is believed Liverpool are keeping a particularly closeon Isak with his value seen The interest in Isak lies in the fact that Jurgen Klopp sooner rather than later will have to freshen up his front three who have given wonderful service for the large majority of the German’s reign. While Mo Salah lived up to his very high standards in the season which just concluded, both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino went through considerable dips in form leaving the Egyptian and Diogo Jota to carry the scoring load. While Salah and Mane have been linked to clubs on the continent throughout their stint at the club, a common view is that Firmino will be the first of the three to be moved on. The Brazilian has been an absolute credit to himself during his six seasons with the Reds with his workrate second to none, but it has become apparent that the miles on the clock seem to be catching up to the 29 year-old. Isak has 23 caps for the national team scoring six goals and is seen as the heir apparent to the iconic Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and has some qualities which will be compatible with what Klopp demands from his players as the scouting report documents below. ‘Isak is staking a claim as one of the most versatile and promising Centre forwards in Europe. While he is skilled at holding up the ball and playing with his back to goal, he is also adept at making piercing runs in behind the defence and attacking the box. ‘Isak is a tall player, standing 6’3″ and weighing 170 lbs, a adept technical quality to his game with a dribbling success ratio of 60.9% while attempting 2.29 dribbles per game. 'But despite his height, his aerial ability is definitely his most unexpected weakness, he is usually ineffective in the air, even against shorter opponents. Isak tends to generate very little height and power with his vertical jumps, which is reflected both in the numbers and on tape. ‘As a young striker, overcomplicating things or failing to identify the right option is understandable, and these misjudgments can hopefully be mostly ironed out of his game going forward. But, for now, he can miss some combination patterns or sometimes dribble himself into a corner. 'In terms of his Defensive Work rate, when the opposition are trying to build out from the back, Isak is there to make things more difficult. In these situations, he generally shows a good understanding of the timing and angles he should take to close down the ball. He is no Roberto Firmino, but certainly a capable presser already with potential left for growth. ‘Isak’s strengths, traits, tendencies, and even weaknesses combine to make him an incredibly unique player. The value he brings to the table without even mentioning goals and work in the box is immense, and that additional poaching threat just pushes him up into the upper echelon of young attacking talent.’ While Isak looks to have some things to work on in his game which is understandable for someone so young, the upside is undeniable and with the Euros currently taking place, it presents itself as the perfect opportunity to see what qualities he can possibly bring to the Reds.
  6. Alexander Isak is the latest striker being linked to Liverpool according to a new report. The 21 year-old Swedish international is coming off a fine season with Real Sociedad scoring 17 league goals in 34 appearances. Before his current stint at the Spanish club, Isak came through the ranks at his local club AIK, before being signed by Borussia Dortmund and then having a loan spell at Willem 11 in the Eredivisie. It was in Holland that Isak’s talents began to shine through as he scored 13 league goals in just 16 appearances and Sociedad saw enough to pay €10 million to Dortmund for his services. The Express reports that Isak’s impressive form has alerted many of the top clubs in Europe but it is believed Liverpool are keeping a particularly closeon Isak with his value seen The interest in Isak lies in the fact that Jurgen Klopp sooner rather than later will have to freshen up his front three who have given wonderful service for the large majority of the German’s reign. While Mo Salah lived up to his very high standards in the season which just concluded, both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino went through considerable dips in form leaving the Egyptian and Diogo Jota to carry the scoring load. While Salah and Mane have been linked to clubs on the continent throughout their stint at the club, a common view is that Firmino will be the first of the three to be moved on. The Brazilian has been an absolute credit to himself during his six seasons with the Reds with his workrate second to none, but it has become apparent that the miles on the clock seem to be catching up to the 29 year-old. Isak has 23 caps for the national team scoring six goals and is seen as the heir apparent to the iconic Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and has some qualities which will be compatible with what Klopp demands from his players as the scouting report documents below. ‘Isak is staking a claim as one of the most versatile and promising Centre forwards in Europe. While he is skilled at holding up the ball and playing with his back to goal, he is also adept at making piercing runs in behind the defence and attacking the box. ‘Isak is a tall player, standing 6’3″ and weighing 170 lbs, a adept technical quality to his game with a dribbling success ratio of 60.9% while attempting 2.29 dribbles per game. 'But despite his height, his aerial ability is definitely his most unexpected weakness, he is usually ineffective in the air, even against shorter opponents. Isak tends to generate very little height and power with his vertical jumps, which is reflected both in the numbers and on tape. ‘As a young striker, overcomplicating things or failing to identify the right option is understandable, and these misjudgments can hopefully be mostly ironed out of his game going forward. But, for now, he can miss some combination patterns or sometimes dribble himself into a corner. 'In terms of his Defensive Work rate, when the opposition are trying to build out from the back, Isak is there to make things more difficult. In these situations, he generally shows a good understanding of the timing and angles he should take to close down the ball. He is no Roberto Firmino, but certainly a capable presser already with potential left for growth. ‘Isak’s strengths, traits, tendencies, and even weaknesses combine to make him an incredibly unique player. The value he brings to the table without even mentioning goals and work in the box is immense, and that additional poaching threat just pushes him up into the upper echelon of young attacking talent.’ While Isak looks to have some things to work on in his game which is understandable for someone so young, the upside is undeniable and with the Euros currently taking place, it presents itself as the perfect opportunity to see what qualities he can possibly bring to the Reds. View full article
  7. Newcastle have identified Nat Phillips as a transfer target according to reports. The central defender had a season to remember with his status rising quickly from a player firmly on the periphery, to a key member of the starting lineup. As other defenders fell around him Phillips stood tall and naturally grew in confidence, becoming a cult figure within the fan base due to his whole hearted commitment to the cause and his love of a powerful clearing header. But as the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip return to full fitness along with the addition of Ibrahima Konate the question has been raised regarding what exactly happens to Phillips. In a ideal world, Jurgen Klopp would love to keep the 24 year-old as a reliable back-up option in much the same way that Dejan Lovren was. On the other side of the coin, Phillips has now proven himself at this level and as someone who is close to entering the prime of his career will want to play consistently. The Mail reports that Steve Bruce is ready to put in a £10 million bid for Phillips but he is likely to find competition from Burnley. With the way that both of those clubs play their Football, Phillips would be the ideal signing and likely to go another level. In keeping with the honest way he goes about his Football, the former Bolton Wanderers youth player, recently spoke about his future possibilities. “We haven’t had a conversation about it up until now. I think the situation is, initially they didn’t anticipate me having the season and putting in the performances that I did do. “Maybe where they might have thought I was just going to do a job and then they would be able to sell me and I would move on, now they’re having second thoughts. I’m not sure. “I still need to have the conversations with them and just see if there is a role for me there and what role they would want me to play. “It would depend on if they saw a role for me at Liverpool and then what role that would be. I would have to decide what is best for myself off the back of that.” Phillips has left such an impression that it would be a shame to see him depart. But if he chooses that option, he will do so with the blessing of everyone associated with the club and in the knowledge that he played a pivotal role in Liverpool securing Champions League football for next season. View full article
  8. Newcastle have identified Nat Phillips as a transfer target according to reports. The central defender had a season to remember with his status rising quickly from a player firmly on the periphery, to a key member of the starting lineup. As other defenders fell around him Phillips stood tall and naturally grew in confidence, becoming a cult figure within the fan base due to his whole hearted commitment to the cause and his love of a powerful clearing header. But as the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip return to full fitness along with the addition of Ibrahima Konate the question has been raised regarding what exactly happens to Phillips. In a ideal world, Jurgen Klopp would love to keep the 24 year-old as a reliable back-up option in much the same way that Dejan Lovren was. On the other side of the coin, Phillips has now proven himself at this level and as someone who is close to entering the prime of his career will want to play consistently. The Mail reports that Steve Bruce is ready to put in a £10 million bid for Phillips but he is likely to find competition from Burnley. With the way that both of those clubs play their Football, Phillips would be the ideal signing and likely to go another level. In keeping with the honest way he goes about his Football, the former Bolton Wanderers youth player, recently spoke about his future possibilities. “We haven’t had a conversation about it up until now. I think the situation is, initially they didn’t anticipate me having the season and putting in the performances that I did do. “Maybe where they might have thought I was just going to do a job and then they would be able to sell me and I would move on, now they’re having second thoughts. I’m not sure. “I still need to have the conversations with them and just see if there is a role for me there and what role they would want me to play. “It would depend on if they saw a role for me at Liverpool and then what role that would be. I would have to decide what is best for myself off the back of that.” Phillips has left such an impression that it would be a shame to see him depart. But if he chooses that option, he will do so with the blessing of everyone associated with the club and in the knowledge that he played a pivotal role in Liverpool securing Champions League football for next season.
  9. A emotional Jurgen Klopp has paid a heartfelt tribute to one of the most dependable players throughout his tenure in Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman announced yesterday that he will join Paris St Germain. It was one of the ongoing storylines during this campaign season with Barcelona seemingly in the box seat to sign Wijnaldum due to the close relationship he shared with manager Ronald Koeman. While there was a continuing hope that he would remain at Liverpool, it eventually turned into a acceptance from club officials that the 30 year-old would move on to new pastures. Wijnaldum gave little away through the season, but as it drew to a close he gave little snippets of the thought process that he went through, The former Feyenoord, PSV and Newcastle man also stated that he was incredibly happy to stay with the Reds saying that he will ‘unveil the truth” after the Euros is over. The French powerhouse seemingly came from the clouds with a better financial offer than what Barcelona was offering and ended up signing for them. Wijnaldum was one of Klopp’s very early signings and it was clear from the early stages of his Liverpool career that Klopp placed a lot of trust in him. In the age of rest and rotation, the versatile midfielder was virtually a constant figure whether it was in the league or in Europe. He averaged a staggering 36 league appearances across his five years with the Reds including being involved in all 38 games in this past campaign. Along with his durability and incredible work rate, those around the club will miss his personality and positive demeanour which made him so popular. The Mirror reported Klopp recollections on their first meeting and how they instantly connected. “Where can I start?" “I met this wonderful player for the first time in my living room, in the first moment it clicked with us, he was a very friendly, very smart, very open person. “It's very emotional for me because I lose a friend, that is how it is, but it's normal for these kind of things to happen. “I couldn't be more positive about what he did here.” The ability of Wijnaldum to adapt to a completely different role asked of him by the manager was yet another quality that Klopp was eternally grateful for. “Not only was he always available, 90 per cent of the time he played really, really well. “People might not know exactly what I mean by good because sometimes it is not spectacular, but from a young kid who was an offensive 10, a winger at Newcastle and then came here and became such a controlling midfielder is a massive step, and you can only do that when you understand the game really in the right way. “He scored incredible goals, Barcelona, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, so many top, top class performances. While the departure will undoubtedly be felt, Klopp says that no one can take away the glorious memories that they built over a sustained period of time. "Everything will be fine, nobody can take away our memories from us, we will share them together. . "Goodbyes would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. It's really tough because we had a great time together." View full article
  10. A emotional Jurgen Klopp has paid a heartfelt tribute to one of the most dependable players throughout his tenure in Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman announced yesterday that he will join Paris St Germain. It was one of the ongoing storylines during this campaign season with Barcelona seemingly in the box seat to sign Wijnaldum due to the close relationship he shared with manager Ronald Koeman. While there was a continuing hope that he would remain at Liverpool, it eventually turned into a acceptance from club officials that the 30 year-old would move on to new pastures. Wijnaldum gave little away through the season, but as it drew to a close he gave little snippets of the thought process that he went through, The former Feyenoord, PSV and Newcastle man also stated that he was incredibly happy to stay with the Reds saying that he will ‘unveil the truth” after the Euros is over. The French powerhouse seemingly came from the clouds with a better financial offer than what Barcelona was offering and ended up signing for them. Wijnaldum was one of Klopp’s very early signings and it was clear from the early stages of his Liverpool career that Klopp placed a lot of trust in him. In the age of rest and rotation, the versatile midfielder was virtually a constant figure whether it was in the league or in Europe. He averaged a staggering 36 league appearances across his five years with the Reds including being involved in all 38 games in this past campaign. Along with his durability and incredible work rate, those around the club will miss his personality and positive demeanour which made him so popular. The Mirror reported Klopp recollections on their first meeting and how they instantly connected. “Where can I start?" “I met this wonderful player for the first time in my living room, in the first moment it clicked with us, he was a very friendly, very smart, very open person. “It's very emotional for me because I lose a friend, that is how it is, but it's normal for these kind of things to happen. “I couldn't be more positive about what he did here.” The ability of Wijnaldum to adapt to a completely different role asked of him by the manager was yet another quality that Klopp was eternally grateful for. “Not only was he always available, 90 per cent of the time he played really, really well. “People might not know exactly what I mean by good because sometimes it is not spectacular, but from a young kid who was an offensive 10, a winger at Newcastle and then came here and became such a controlling midfielder is a massive step, and you can only do that when you understand the game really in the right way. “He scored incredible goals, Barcelona, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, so many top, top class performances. While the departure will undoubtedly be felt, Klopp says that no one can take away the glorious memories that they built over a sustained period of time. "Everything will be fine, nobody can take away our memories from us, we will share them together. . "Goodbyes would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. It's really tough because we had a great time together."
  11. Caoimhin Kelleher is set to stay with Liverpool for the foreseeable future with the club looking to keep an eye on his progress from close quarters. When speculation arose last week that Adrian was close to signing on for another year, there was a thought that the Irish youngster would be sent away to get valuable first team experience. However that is not the case as the Echo reports that despite a number of clubs enquiring about his availability, Kelleher is to stay put and will be rewarded with a new contract. Being a reserve goalkeeper is tough for anyone, let alone being backup to someone as good as Alisson Becker. However when Kelleher was given a opportunity to show his talent in Europe and the Premier League, The 22 year-old made a very big impression. The biggest game of his young career to date came against Ajax in the Champions League group game where Liverpool booked their place in the knock-out stages of the competition. The Irishman made a key save in the last few minutes of the contest to preserve his clean sheet and Jurgen Klopp was glowing in his assessment, saying he had no reservations giving him the nod over the more experienced Adrian in filling in for the injured Brazilian. “Top. Top, top, top. It is a situation, which I have to say, it was easy to decide for Caoimhin because he just deserves it, but it was difficult to decide against Adrian because he did really well for us: a lot of clean sheets, what a season last year, Super Cup final and all these kind of things. “He did a really good job, but tonight we needed the package of Caoimhin – and he is a top talent anyway, but a really good shot stopper and a top footballer, so I like that." In all, Kelleher made five appearances for the first team before an abdominal tear late in the season put pay to any more opportunities. That injury also cost Kelleher a chance of making his senior international debut for the Republic of Ireland, but got his opportunity on Tuesday evening in a 0-0 friendly with Hungary and his 45 minute performance impressed countryman and highly respected former keeper in Shay Given who said “Congrats to Caoimhin Kelleher on a brilliant debut for @FAI.” Former Reading and Wolves striker Kevin Doyle concurred comparing him with Gavin Bazanu (Man City youngster who played the first 45 mins against Hungary) and said Caoimhin’s continuing development has a lot to do with the coaching he is getting at Liverpool. “He’s a few years older than Gavin, maybe a bit more experienced, you know, training with the Liverpool first-team every day, playing a couple of Champions League games this season. His saves got better and better as the game went on. “He just looks like nothing is going to faze him. We did the game with Liverpool in the Champions League when he was playing and we were worried about him – his first start, a Champions League game. With his first touch, I think, he chops someone and just strolls it out. Calm, collected. He looks like he’s been number one for Ireland for a long time, and I imagine he will be.” While Alisson is the undisputed number one at Liverpool and likely will be for a long period of time, he is somewhat prone to the odd injury leading to extended time on the sidelines. If that occurs again, you can be sure that Kelleher will be ready for the opportunity that will come his way.
  12. Caoimhin Kelleher is set to stay with Liverpool for the foreseeable future with the club looking to keep an eye on his progress from close quarters. When speculation arose last week that Adrian was close to signing on for another year, there was a thought that the Irish youngster would be sent away to get valuable first team experience. However that is not the case as the Echo reports that despite a number of clubs enquiring about his availability, Kelleher is to stay put and will be rewarded with a new contract. Being a reserve goalkeeper is tough for anyone, let alone being backup to someone as good as Alisson Becker. However when Kelleher was given a opportunity to show his talent in Europe and the Premier League, The 22 year-old made a very big impression. The biggest game of his young career to date came against Ajax in the Champions League group game where Liverpool booked their place in the knock-out stages of the competition. The Irishman made a key save in the last few minutes of the contest to preserve his clean sheet and Jurgen Klopp was glowing in his assessment, saying he had no reservations giving him the nod over the more experienced Adrian in filling in for the injured Brazilian. “Top. Top, top, top. It is a situation, which I have to say, it was easy to decide for Caoimhin because he just deserves it, but it was difficult to decide against Adrian because he did really well for us: a lot of clean sheets, what a season last year, Super Cup final and all these kind of things. “He did a really good job, but tonight we needed the package of Caoimhin – and he is a top talent anyway, but a really good shot stopper and a top footballer, so I like that." In all, Kelleher made five appearances for the first team before an abdominal tear late in the season put pay to any more opportunities. That injury also cost Kelleher a chance of making his senior international debut for the Republic of Ireland, but got his opportunity on Tuesday evening in a 0-0 friendly with Hungary and his 45 minute performance impressed countryman and highly respected former keeper in Shay Given who said “Congrats to Caoimhin Kelleher on a brilliant debut for @FAI.” Former Reading and Wolves striker Kevin Doyle concurred comparing him with Gavin Bazanu (Man City youngster who played the first 45 mins against Hungary) and said Caoimhin’s continuing development has a lot to do with the coaching he is getting at Liverpool. “He’s a few years older than Gavin, maybe a bit more experienced, you know, training with the Liverpool first-team every day, playing a couple of Champions League games this season. His saves got better and better as the game went on. “He just looks like nothing is going to faze him. We did the game with Liverpool in the Champions League when he was playing and we were worried about him – his first start, a Champions League game. With his first touch, I think, he chops someone and just strolls it out. Calm, collected. He looks like he’s been number one for Ireland for a long time, and I imagine he will be.” While Alisson is the undisputed number one at Liverpool and likely will be for a long period of time, he is somewhat prone to the odd injury leading to extended time on the sidelines. If that occurs again, you can be sure that Kelleher will be ready for the opportunity that will come his way. View full article
  13. Ralph Hasenhuttl has signalled an intention to bring back Takumi Minamino to Southampton but is unsure on what Liverpool have in mind for the player. The Japanese international was sent on loan to the South Coast club in the January transfer window with Jurgen Klopp wanting to assess his progress as a player from afar with opportunities few and far between with the Reds. The 26 year-old made a dream start in his first appearance scoring a goal against Newcastle and then made it two in three games against Chelsea. But rather than being a pathway to further opportunity and much needed confidence, Minamino was an unused substitute for a stretch between mid March and late April with no clear explanation given. He returned to the starting lineup for the Saints final four games and in all made 10 appearances with nine starts. Speaking about the attacking midfielder to Hampshire Live, Hasenhuttl explained the difficult position that a player like Minamino found himself in “It is never nice for a player when you don't end up getting the game time that you want to have, when you only train and are not see as part of the first 11. “This definitely then helps your mentality when you later get a lift and a chance to play. Players like to join big clubs because they get a lot of money there and they get a lot of praise for being a part of the top six, if you will. “But it is only for a short moment that you are happy about it because when you are not playing enough times and you are not important for the club, then it feels very awful, very quickly. “The most important thing for him is that he gets a chance to play. We had so much rotation with injuries and everything that it was clear he would get a lot of game time with us. With the transfer window now open, there are many decisions that all clubs have to make in who they keep, move on and send away for more experience. Klopp has been highly complementary of Minamino’s progress but as someone in their mid 20’s, the time for a definite decision on Minamino is likely to be imminent. Hasenhuttl says that they will remain in dialogue with Liverpool throughout the summer. “We have had talks with them and they are not so sure what will happen with him because Liverpool may make some things happen in the transfer market. “For him, it was important to play here. We gave him that chance to play and we have enjoyed having him here."
  14. Ralph Hasenhuttl has signalled an intention to bring back Takumi Minamino to Southampton but is unsure on what Liverpool have in mind for the player. The Japanese international was sent on loan to the South Coast club in the January transfer window with Jurgen Klopp wanting to assess his progress as a player from afar with opportunities few and far between with the Reds. The 26 year-old made a dream start in his first appearance scoring a goal against Newcastle and then made it two in three games against Chelsea. But rather than being a pathway to further opportunity and much needed confidence, Minamino was an unused substitute for a stretch between mid March and late April with no clear explanation given. He returned to the starting lineup for the Saints final four games and in all made 10 appearances with nine starts. Speaking about the attacking midfielder to Hampshire Live, Hasenhuttl explained the difficult position that a player like Minamino found himself in “It is never nice for a player when you don't end up getting the game time that you want to have, when you only train and are not see as part of the first 11. “This definitely then helps your mentality when you later get a lift and a chance to play. Players like to join big clubs because they get a lot of money there and they get a lot of praise for being a part of the top six, if you will. “But it is only for a short moment that you are happy about it because when you are not playing enough times and you are not important for the club, then it feels very awful, very quickly. “The most important thing for him is that he gets a chance to play. We had so much rotation with injuries and everything that it was clear he would get a lot of game time with us. With the transfer window now open, there are many decisions that all clubs have to make in who they keep, move on and send away for more experience. Klopp has been highly complementary of Minamino’s progress but as someone in their mid 20’s, the time for a definite decision on Minamino is likely to be imminent. Hasenhuttl says that they will remain in dialogue with Liverpool throughout the summer. “We have had talks with them and they are not so sure what will happen with him because Liverpool may make some things happen in the transfer market. “For him, it was important to play here. We gave him that chance to play and we have enjoyed having him here." View full article
  15. Liverpool will say a final farewell to Marko Grujic this summer with the club set to sell him. The Serbian midfielder who was Jurgen Klopp’s first signing for the club has become a regular on the loan circuit over the past few seasons making stops at his original club Red Star Belgrade, Cardiff, Hertha Berlin and currently is at Porto. While some players may lose a sense of purpose being sent from club to club and start to feel like a footballing nomad, the performances of Grujic during this period of his career have been highly commendable. The 25 year-old has stated on a couple of occasions that his main goal would be to be a consistent starter in Liverpool’s midfield, but after making his last league appearance for the club in December 2017, deep down he probably knows that is a pretty tough ask. It is therefore why a number of clubs are looking closely at signing Grujic on permanent deal with the Echo saying Porto and Hertha Berlin have shown a interest while a number of Serie A clubs are also reportedly interested. Sergio Conceicao the current manager of Porto, has made no secret of his delight over the performances by Grujic both domestically and in the Champions League. It is thought that the Portuguese giants have first refusal to buy the defensive midfielder and that fee is likely to around £20 million.
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