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TLW

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  1. Pep Lijnders has clarified a widely held theory that Liverpool have changed their playing style over the past few seasons. The “Red Arrows” were a famous period of the early Jurgen Klopp tenure which produced thrilling attacking football, but it also became more frenzied that left them susceptible at the other end of the pitch. While Liverpool were fast becoming the football favourites of the neutral, it was evident that it was not a style that was going to build success for the long term. Since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho, Liverpool have a defensive identity that has stood the sternest of tests against Europe’s elite and brought a consistent flow of silverware. The balance has been set to a more even keel as the assistant manager explained to the Big Interview Podcast via the Echo. "People always say 'ah Liverpool changed style' no, we never changed style. We have a more compact team, we are better positioned when we have the ball so they see less hectic moments. Going back a few decades and a majority of managers used to see the shortest route home (eg long ball) as the only recipe for success. But as more continental managers started to bring their talents to the Premier League, we started to see a different approach and a fascinating clash in football philosophies. Klopp and his coaching staff are renowned for their intricate thinking and not only prepare their players what to do with the ball but also when they don’t have possession. Lijnders who is seen as one of the main architects of the famous Liverpool “press” explained the theory around it. “We call it organised pressing, organised counter-pressing, organised chaos. “As staff, we are consciously working on what happens before and what happens around [the press]. “That is where our focus as a staff lies in each meeting and session. Creating this high-intensity tactical coach of counter-press football and improve our way. “The better you press, the better you counter-press, the less you run, it is that simple because you don't have to go 60 metres back. "That's the organisation and for me, our positional game in the last years has improved so much. What that means is we get better and more control of the games. “We always say the 30 per cent where we don't have the ball, we want to be different than all the other teams in the league. It is for that reason that Klopp is meticulous in which players he signs as not everyone are able to play in the way in this particular system. And as the Dutchman says, it is who Liverpool are so there is no compromise. "That's our fingerprint, that's our way. Because we believe when we don't have the ball, we dominate that moment if it is counter-pressing. "And the only way to have that freedom in the attack is to know that when we lose the ball, we can recover it quickly. "I think the main reason we won, are decisive and could keep it up for a long period, is we focused on the 30 per cent in training constantly. "That is where we wanted to improve constantly, but as I said before, the better you attack, the more you have the ball, the more you are connected and the closer you have players to each other. "All these things, the better you counter-press, the less you run. But the better your positional game, the less hectic moments you see." View full article
  2. Sepp Van Den Berg is set to leave the club on loan during the January transfer window to get first team experience. Despite the injury issues at the Centre Back position, The Mirror reports (via Goal) that Jurgen Klopp wants to give the young Dutchman who has made four total appearances in the League and FA Cup more consistent exposure to senior football, and the best thing for him would be a stint away from the reigning champions. That path is similar to what Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams went down last season where they spent time at Stuttgart and Kidderminster respectably. It has proven successful for the pair as between them they have made 14 appearances in the senior ranks across all competitions during this campaign. The report states the 19 year-old who started his senior career at PEC Zwolle in his homeland, has attracted interest in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland as well as the Championship. The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Blackburn are one of those clubs as they are in desperate need for defensive reinforcement and with Harvey Elliott already shining at Ewood Park, believe that they have a good working relationship with the Reds. A final decision is set to be made in the next week and will be the second loanee in January with U/23 captain Liam Millar joining Charlton while Algerian left-back Yasser Larouci could also be on the move as the youngster is in the final six months of his current contract and is unlikely to receive another one. View full article
  3. Sepp Van Den Berg is set to leave the club on loan during the January transfer window to get first team experience. Despite the injury issues at the Centre Back position, The Mirror reports (via Goal) that Jurgen Klopp wants to give the young Dutchman who has made four total appearances in the League and FA Cup more consistent exposure to senior football, and the best thing for him would be a stint away from the reigning champions. That path is similar to what Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams went down last season where they spent time at Stuttgart and Kidderminster respectably. It has proven successful for the pair as between them they have made 14 appearances in the senior ranks across all competitions during this campaign. The report states the 19 year-old who started his senior career at PEC Zwolle in his homeland, has attracted interest in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland as well as the Championship. The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Blackburn are one of those clubs as they are in desperate need for defensive reinforcement and with Harvey Elliott already shining at Ewood Park, believe that they have a good working relationship with the Reds. A final decision is set to be made in the next week and will be the second loanee in January with U/23 captain Liam Millar joining Charlton while Algerian left-back Yasser Larouci could also be on the move as the youngster is in the final six months of his current contract and is unlikely to receive another one.
  4. Pep Lijnders has clarified a widely held theory that Liverpool have changed their playing style over the past few seasons. The “Red Arrows” were a famous period of the early Jurgen Klopp tenure which produced thrilling attacking football, but it also became more frenzied that left them susceptible at the other end of the pitch. While Liverpool were fast becoming the football favourites of the neutral, it was evident that it was not a style that was going to build success for the long term. Since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho, Liverpool have a defensive identity that has stood the sternest of tests against Europe’s elite and brought a consistent flow of silverware. The balance has been set to a more even keel as the assistant manager explained to the Big Interview Podcast via the Echo. "People always say 'ah Liverpool changed style' no, we never changed style. We have a more compact team, we are better positioned when we have the ball so they see less hectic moments. Going back a few decades and a majority of managers used to see the shortest route home (eg long ball) as the only recipe for success. But as more continental managers started to bring their talents to the Premier League, we started to see a different approach and a fascinating clash in football philosophies. Klopp and his coaching staff are renowned for their intricate thinking and not only prepare their players what to do with the ball but also when they don’t have possession. Lijnders who is seen as one of the main architects of the famous Liverpool “press” explained the theory around it. “We call it organised pressing, organised counter-pressing, organised chaos. “As staff, we are consciously working on what happens before and what happens around [the press]. “That is where our focus as a staff lies in each meeting and session. Creating this high-intensity tactical coach of counter-press football and improve our way. “The better you press, the better you counter-press, the less you run, it is that simple because you don't have to go 60 metres back. "That's the organisation and for me, our positional game in the last years has improved so much. What that means is we get better and more control of the games. “We always say the 30 per cent where we don't have the ball, we want to be different than all the other teams in the league. It is for that reason that Klopp is meticulous in which players he signs as not everyone are able to play in the way in this particular system. And as the Dutchman says, it is who Liverpool are so there is no compromise. "That's our fingerprint, that's our way. Because we believe when we don't have the ball, we dominate that moment if it is counter-pressing. "And the only way to have that freedom in the attack is to know that when we lose the ball, we can recover it quickly. "I think the main reason we won, are decisive and could keep it up for a long period, is we focused on the 30 per cent in training constantly. "That is where we wanted to improve constantly, but as I said before, the better you attack, the more you have the ball, the more you are connected and the closer you have players to each other. "All these things, the better you counter-press, the less you run. But the better your positional game, the less hectic moments you see."
  5. Marko Grujic says that he is still not sure if he has a future at Liverpool. The 24 year-old Serbian international was the first signing Jurgen Klopp made as Liverpool manager in January of 2016, but has made just 16 appearances in his Reds career to date. In between times, the defensive midfielder has been loaned back to his original club, Red Star Belgrade, Cardiff City, spent two seasons at Hertha Berlin and is currently at Portuguese powerhouse Porto. The footballing nomad is at the stage of his career where he would want to call a club his true home. He says mixed messages from his parent club have not helped matters as reported in the Echo (via Serbian publication Kurir). “I went through preparations with the club, after two years in the Bundesliga, I returned more mature to England. "That's what they wanted from me at Liverpool. "But when Thiago Alcantara came from Bayern (Munich), I estimated that there would not be much space for me. I didn't want to gamble. “I see now that there are a lot of injured players at Anfield. It is certain that I would get a chance, but I could not have foreseen that." Grujic says the confusion in his mind lies in the fact that all conversations with the manager have been positive, however that does not translate into playing opportunities. “I believe that they believe in me. In every conversation, whether it's Klopp or one of the directors, they always remind me that I am a player of great potential. “But when I get into the system I don't get a chance. It confuses me a little." Grujic believes the club are waiting for the right deal to cash in on him, but in this time of financial uncertainty for football clubs, another loan was more practical. “They certainly want to make money on me. The English are quite demanding during the negotiations. “They do not lack money and can close the amount they want. So it is with me. “It was unrealistic that they asked for 20 million euros for me, so the loan was the most realistic." For now, he is looking forward to displaying his talents in Europe’s premier club competition as Porto take on Juventus in the Round of 16 tie. "There is no easy opponent. "Everyone at the club was afraid of Liverpool and Bayern, and Juventus fell to us. "Cristiano Ronaldo is returning to Portugal, we'll see." View full article
  6. Marko Grujic says that he is still not sure if he has a future at Liverpool. The 24 year-old Serbian international was the first signing Jurgen Klopp made as Liverpool manager in January of 2016, but has made just 16 appearances in his Reds career to date. In between times, the defensive midfielder has been loaned back to his original club, Red Star Belgrade, Cardiff City, spent two seasons at Hertha Berlin and is currently at Portuguese powerhouse Porto. The footballing nomad is at the stage of his career where he would want to call a club his true home. He says mixed messages from his parent club have not helped matters as reported in the Echo (via Serbian publication Kurir). “I went through preparations with the club, after two years in the Bundesliga, I returned more mature to England. "That's what they wanted from me at Liverpool. "But when Thiago Alcantara came from Bayern (Munich), I estimated that there would not be much space for me. I didn't want to gamble. “I see now that there are a lot of injured players at Anfield. It is certain that I would get a chance, but I could not have foreseen that." Grujic says the confusion in his mind lies in the fact that all conversations with the manager have been positive, however that does not translate into playing opportunities. “I believe that they believe in me. In every conversation, whether it's Klopp or one of the directors, they always remind me that I am a player of great potential. “But when I get into the system I don't get a chance. It confuses me a little." Grujic believes the club are waiting for the right deal to cash in on him, but in this time of financial uncertainty for football clubs, another loan was more practical. “They certainly want to make money on me. The English are quite demanding during the negotiations. “They do not lack money and can close the amount they want. So it is with me. “It was unrealistic that they asked for 20 million euros for me, so the loan was the most realistic." For now, he is looking forward to displaying his talents in Europe’s premier club competition as Porto take on Juventus in the Round of 16 tie. "There is no easy opponent. "Everyone at the club was afraid of Liverpool and Bayern, and Juventus fell to us. "Cristiano Ronaldo is returning to Portugal, we'll see."
  7. Steve Nicol believes that the lack of chances created by Liverpool’s much heralded front three are largely behind the poor form of late. Analysis has come thick and fast following the Reds 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday night. The tally of two points from nine over the festive period is far from what anyone would have expected on the back of Liverpool’s 7-0 thumping of Crystal Palace. Since Sadio Mane’s strike in the 12th minute against West Brom on Boxing Day, Liverpool have been held scoreless and some of the attacking statistics are quite revealing. The Reds have failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since May 2018. Their first shot on target against the Saints came in the 75th minute which is the latest they have produced in a Premier League match since December 2015. And having eight shots on target in their 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace, the reigning champions have managed just seven attempts on target in their last three league matches. Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Mane have been such a key element to the success of the side over the past few years and so much depends on their output with goals from midfield becoming a collectors item. It is therefore why Liverpool legend Nicol speaking as a pundit on ESPN FC (via the Mirror), said that they need to raise their game. "I think it’s pretty clear where the problems are. It’s up front. “The front three are not producing, not delivering… they’re not even creating. "Yes, at Newcastle they made opportunities but this Southampton game and the West Brom game, they never created anything. If you aren’t going to create, then you aren’t going to score goals. "This is where Klopp comes into it as well and earns his coin. It’s all very well saying, this is wrong, this isn’t right – the fact is these three games we’re talking about, they’ve had over 70 per cent possession of the ball in every game. “So it’s not a complete and utter shambles. The fact is Klopp now has to have a quiet word and a clever word with the front three." The renowned trio were not the only talking point coming out of the fixture on the South Coast, with Trent Alexander-Arnold having a difficult evening. The right-back is another player who has been a key element to what Liverpool have produced during their successful period, but David James believes the intense workload of late is possibly getting on top of the 22 year-old. “He got loads of plaudits and was an integral part of Liverpool’s success in the Premier League, Champions League, World Club Championship and has represented England. "He’s not a bad player, but at the same time he hasn’t had any respite. He had the injury earlier in the season but young players are going to have off form. Unfortunately for Trent he is going through that. “Maybe the calf strain he picked up against Manchester City, he hasn’t been used to anything else other than playing for Liverpool, and then an injury takes him into a different space. "I don’t think he has recovered from that mentally or in his normal life habit.” The former Liverpool, West Ham, Portsmouth and England keeper says that despite everything he has achieved, Trent is still very young in a Football sense and possibly needs to be rested. “For Trent, as a young player, there is an argument that you could take him out of the firing line for a week or two. The FA Cup is coming up, maybe that is a good opportunity to let him settle down. “For Gareth Southgate, he will be asking whether Trent is the right player to bring back into the England squad right now. “Everyone is entitled to one bad game. Trent’s performances of late, when you collect them together, haven’t been great. “Do you drop him, or do you rest him? "The word dropped sounds somewhat final. I think it’s giving someone a breather. I think he needs a rest.”
  8. Steve Nicol believes that the lack of chances created by Liverpool’s much heralded front three are largely behind the poor form of late. Analysis has come thick and fast following the Reds 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday night. The tally of two points from nine over the festive period is far from what anyone would have expected on the back of Liverpool’s 7-0 thumping of Crystal Palace. Since Sadio Mane’s strike in the 12th minute against West Brom on Boxing Day, Liverpool have been held scoreless and some of the attacking statistics are quite revealing. The Reds have failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since May 2018. Their first shot on target against the Saints came in the 75th minute which is the latest they have produced in a Premier League match since December 2015. And having eight shots on target in their 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace, the reigning champions have managed just seven attempts on target in their last three league matches. Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Mane have been such a key element to the success of the side over the past few years and so much depends on their output with goals from midfield becoming a collectors item. It is therefore why Liverpool legend Nicol speaking as a pundit on ESPN FC (via the Mirror), said that they need to raise their game. "I think it’s pretty clear where the problems are. It’s up front. “The front three are not producing, not delivering… they’re not even creating. "Yes, at Newcastle they made opportunities but this Southampton game and the West Brom game, they never created anything. If you aren’t going to create, then you aren’t going to score goals. "This is where Klopp comes into it as well and earns his coin. It’s all very well saying, this is wrong, this isn’t right – the fact is these three games we’re talking about, they’ve had over 70 per cent possession of the ball in every game. “So it’s not a complete and utter shambles. The fact is Klopp now has to have a quiet word and a clever word with the front three." The renowned trio were not the only talking point coming out of the fixture on the South Coast, with Trent Alexander-Arnold having a difficult evening. The right-back is another player who has been a key element to what Liverpool have produced during their successful period, but David James believes the intense workload of late is possibly getting on top of the 22 year-old. “He got loads of plaudits and was an integral part of Liverpool’s success in the Premier League, Champions League, World Club Championship and has represented England. "He’s not a bad player, but at the same time he hasn’t had any respite. He had the injury earlier in the season but young players are going to have off form. Unfortunately for Trent he is going through that. “Maybe the calf strain he picked up against Manchester City, he hasn’t been used to anything else other than playing for Liverpool, and then an injury takes him into a different space. "I don’t think he has recovered from that mentally or in his normal life habit.” The former Liverpool, West Ham, Portsmouth and England keeper says that despite everything he has achieved, Trent is still very young in a Football sense and possibly needs to be rested. “For Trent, as a young player, there is an argument that you could take him out of the firing line for a week or two. The FA Cup is coming up, maybe that is a good opportunity to let him settle down. “For Gareth Southgate, he will be asking whether Trent is the right player to bring back into the England squad right now. “Everyone is entitled to one bad game. Trent’s performances of late, when you collect them together, haven’t been great. “Do you drop him, or do you rest him? "The word dropped sounds somewhat final. I think it’s giving someone a breather. I think he needs a rest.” View full article
  9. Jordan Henderson has reflected on a time at Liverpool which he believes made him into the fine player and outstanding leader he is today. It is remarkable the amount of times that personal success is built on the back of adversity and Henderson is testament to that. Henderson made a dream move to Liverpool from his hometown club Sunderland in June of 2011, but with that came with it a whole lotmore pressure which the midfielder had to adjust to. One story in the journey of the Champions and Premier League captain which is now folklore is the time where he was nearly sold to Fulham in 2012 by new manager Brendan Rodgers which would have seen Clint Dempsey come the other way. Henderson’s recollection of that sliding doors moment is vivid as he told the Guardian: “We were preparing for a [Europa League qualifying] game against Hearts at Anfield. We met as normal in the [Hope Street] hotel and I got a knock on my door saying the manager wanted to speak to us. "To be fair to Brendan Rodgers, it was really just a conversation. It was an opportunity [to leave for Fulham] I didn’t want and I didn’t like. I still felt I had an awful lot to give. Anyone who has watched Henderson from close quarters knows that he has a inner determination that burns in everything that he does and others naturally feed off it and it was developed in that fateful time. “I was in a very dark place at that time. It made us a lot stronger and a lot wiser later on and, without that, you never know what could have happened. So I really cherish them moments because you need setbacks, you need adversity. “You get back up, and it makes you stronger because you want to prove people wrong. Ever since that day I had something in me. I needed to prove to the manager I would get in his team eventually. "I’d do absolutely everything to be in his team, this football club, and I’d prove them wrong. In the end I did.” The 30 year-old was extremely thankful for the support that he received his wife Rebecca, and Steven Gerrard played a crucial role in a family sense. “ She (Jordan’s Mum) was worried for her boy. "He was a little lost. The move was initially too big for him," Gerrard said. Gerrard made sure that he would keep a close eye on Jordan, but he had been around the game long enough to realise that he would end up becoming a vital player for the club. A lack of confidence and potential transfer is just one hurdle Henderson has had to deal with in his near-decade stint with the Reds. A cancer battle for his father as well as a number of injuries and a change in his midfield role under Jurgen Klopp have all significantly challenged him. However it has helped him grow into the much all-round-respected figure we see today. With what he has achieved with team.over the past few years, you could excuse Henderson for having a quiet sense of self satisfaction. While proud of the achievements, he is certainly not satisfied. “The past few years we’ve proved how good we can be and now it’s about improving, working as hard as possible, wanting more and giving absolutely everything. "We’re in a good position but the Premier League can change very quickly. But that hunger and desire will always be there for me and the team.” “I hope I can play for a very long time, because the hunger, the desire and the love for the game is still there. "I feel good physically and mentally. So I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’m just concentrating on doing the best I can over the next however many years for the club and for England and see where that takes me.”
  10. Jordan Henderson has reflected on a time at Liverpool which he believes made him into the fine player and outstanding leader he is today. It is remarkable the amount of times that personal success is built on the back of adversity and Henderson is testament to that. Henderson made a dream move to Liverpool from his hometown club Sunderland in June of 2011, but with that came with it a whole lotmore pressure which the midfielder had to adjust to. One story in the journey of the Champions and Premier League captain which is now folklore is the time where he was nearly sold to Fulham in 2012 by new manager Brendan Rodgers which would have seen Clint Dempsey come the other way. Henderson’s recollection of that sliding doors moment is vivid as he told the Guardian: “We were preparing for a [Europa League qualifying] game against Hearts at Anfield. We met as normal in the [Hope Street] hotel and I got a knock on my door saying the manager wanted to speak to us. "To be fair to Brendan Rodgers, it was really just a conversation. It was an opportunity [to leave for Fulham] I didn’t want and I didn’t like. I still felt I had an awful lot to give. Anyone who has watched Henderson from close quarters knows that he has a inner determination that burns in everything that he does and others naturally feed off it and it was developed in that fateful time. “I was in a very dark place at that time. It made us a lot stronger and a lot wiser later on and, without that, you never know what could have happened. So I really cherish them moments because you need setbacks, you need adversity. “You get back up, and it makes you stronger because you want to prove people wrong. Ever since that day I had something in me. I needed to prove to the manager I would get in his team eventually. "I’d do absolutely everything to be in his team, this football club, and I’d prove them wrong. In the end I did.” The 30 year-old was extremely thankful for the support that he received his wife Rebecca, and Steven Gerrard played a crucial role in a family sense. “ She (Jordan’s Mum) was worried for her boy. "He was a little lost. The move was initially too big for him," Gerrard said. Gerrard made sure that he would keep a close eye on Jordan, but he had been around the game long enough to realise that he would end up becoming a vital player for the club. A lack of confidence and potential transfer is just one hurdle Henderson has had to deal with in his near-decade stint with the Reds. A cancer battle for his father as well as a number of injuries and a change in his midfield role under Jurgen Klopp have all significantly challenged him. However it has helped him grow into the much all-round-respected figure we see today. With what he has achieved with team.over the past few years, you could excuse Henderson for having a quiet sense of self satisfaction. While proud of the achievements, he is certainly not satisfied. “The past few years we’ve proved how good we can be and now it’s about improving, working as hard as possible, wanting more and giving absolutely everything. "We’re in a good position but the Premier League can change very quickly. But that hunger and desire will always be there for me and the team.” “I hope I can play for a very long time, because the hunger, the desire and the love for the game is still there. "I feel good physically and mentally. So I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’m just concentrating on doing the best I can over the next however many years for the club and for England and see where that takes me.” View full article
  11. John Aldridge says that Jurgen Klopp must buy another centre-back in the January transfer window if they are to stay on course to successfully defend their league title. With Joel Matip picking up another leg injury which will see him sidelined for around three weeks, Jurgen Klopp is once again down to the bare bones when it comes to alternatives. Midfielder Fabinho has filled the role with aplomb for a large majority of the season while the manager has alternated between youngsters Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams when the need arises. In the 0-0 draw with Newcastle, it was the former Bolton Wanderers junior who partnered the Brazilian in the heart of the defence. While both of the inexperienced pair have held their own, it has become apparent that despite his undoubted class, Matip cannot be relied on to put a consistent block of games together leaving leaving Liverpool in a perilous position. The former Reds and Republic of Ireland striker aired his thoughts in his Sunday World piece. “Word has been coming out of Anfield suggesting Liverpool are not looking to sign anyone next month, but it has to be a smokescreen because they simply have to sign a centre-half if they are serious about retaining the Premier League title," "Joel Matip's injury in Sunday's 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion confirmed what we have all appreciated for some time now - Liverpool have to spend money on a good quality defender. "The injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have ripped a hole in Liverpool's defensive line and with Matip clearly struggling with his fitness, Liverpool are horribly short at the centre of their defence. “Fabinho has been brilliant filling in at centre-back, but the suggestion that captain Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum can play in there is nonsense. While Aldridge praised the development of Phillips and Williams, he said consistently playing them in such a vital position is asking for trouble with opposition teams identifying weaknesses in their game. “Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have done well at centre-back, but playing youngsters in such a vital position is a recipe for disaster. “Against the top sides in the Champions League, youngsters are liable to found out - and that could also be the case in the Premier League. “We saw some naivety from Liverpool's young players as they handed West Brom a corner and conceded late on against Sam Allardyce's side and we can expect more of the same unless a defender arrives next month. “Rival managers will target the right side of Liverpool's defence, try and get in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold when he bombs forward and look to attack an inexperienced centre-back. January is widely seen as a extremely difficult time to do any transfer deals of note with teams understandably unwilling to give their rivals an advantage for the second half of the season. And those deals which do get done come at a increased fee such as Virgil Van Dijk, although it goes without saying that Dutch colossus has been worth every cent and then some. Aldridge says the transfer dealings of Liverpool have been of such a high standard on recent years that he wouldn’t be surprised if they are working on a deal behind the scenes. And if they get it over the line, it could be catalyst for a storied era of Liverpool dominance. “Liverpool's transfer committee, and especially recruiter-in-chief Michael Edwards, has done a magnificent job of identifying the right players in recent years and now they need to pull another rabbit out of the hat. “Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be back next season, but the here and now is all-important for Klopp and he needs to be given at least one quality centre-back to boost his options. “This really could be Liverpool's time to dominate the Premier League for years to come, as they are led by the best manager in the game and have some world-class performers in their line-up. “That's why it is more important than ever for the club to flex their muscle in the transfer market and protect their position at the top of the Premier League.” View full article
  12. John Aldridge says that Jurgen Klopp must buy another centre-back in the January transfer window if they are to stay on course to successfully defend their league title. With Joel Matip picking up another leg injury which will see him sidelined for around three weeks, Jurgen Klopp is once again down to the bare bones when it comes to alternatives. Midfielder Fabinho has filled the role with aplomb for a large majority of the season while the manager has alternated between youngsters Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams when the need arises. In the 0-0 draw with Newcastle, it was the former Bolton Wanderers junior who partnered the Brazilian in the heart of the defence. While both of the inexperienced pair have held their own, it has become apparent that despite his undoubted class, Matip cannot be relied on to put a consistent block of games together leaving leaving Liverpool in a perilous position. The former Reds and Republic of Ireland striker aired his thoughts in his Sunday World piece. “Word has been coming out of Anfield suggesting Liverpool are not looking to sign anyone next month, but it has to be a smokescreen because they simply have to sign a centre-half if they are serious about retaining the Premier League title," "Joel Matip's injury in Sunday's 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion confirmed what we have all appreciated for some time now - Liverpool have to spend money on a good quality defender. "The injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have ripped a hole in Liverpool's defensive line and with Matip clearly struggling with his fitness, Liverpool are horribly short at the centre of their defence. “Fabinho has been brilliant filling in at centre-back, but the suggestion that captain Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum can play in there is nonsense. While Aldridge praised the development of Phillips and Williams, he said consistently playing them in such a vital position is asking for trouble with opposition teams identifying weaknesses in their game. “Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have done well at centre-back, but playing youngsters in such a vital position is a recipe for disaster. “Against the top sides in the Champions League, youngsters are liable to found out - and that could also be the case in the Premier League. “We saw some naivety from Liverpool's young players as they handed West Brom a corner and conceded late on against Sam Allardyce's side and we can expect more of the same unless a defender arrives next month. “Rival managers will target the right side of Liverpool's defence, try and get in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold when he bombs forward and look to attack an inexperienced centre-back. January is widely seen as a extremely difficult time to do any transfer deals of note with teams understandably unwilling to give their rivals an advantage for the second half of the season. And those deals which do get done come at a increased fee such as Virgil Van Dijk, although it goes without saying that Dutch colossus has been worth every cent and then some. Aldridge says the transfer dealings of Liverpool have been of such a high standard on recent years that he wouldn’t be surprised if they are working on a deal behind the scenes. And if they get it over the line, it could be catalyst for a storied era of Liverpool dominance. “Liverpool's transfer committee, and especially recruiter-in-chief Michael Edwards, has done a magnificent job of identifying the right players in recent years and now they need to pull another rabbit out of the hat. “Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be back next season, but the here and now is all-important for Klopp and he needs to be given at least one quality centre-back to boost his options. “This really could be Liverpool's time to dominate the Premier League for years to come, as they are led by the best manager in the game and have some world-class performers in their line-up. “That's why it is more important than ever for the club to flex their muscle in the transfer market and protect their position at the top of the Premier League.”
  13. Jurgen Klopp says he has learnt a lot about life in 2020, but one of the main things is how important fans are to the general footballing landscape. The coronavirus outbreak have seen supporters across Europe confined to watching their favourite teams at home and players being accustomed to the sound of silence inside stadiums. For all lovers of the great game, it has been a challenging time, but while it has been difficult to watch at times, it certainly beats the alternative of no Football at all. Reflecting on a calendar year that brought the Reds a long awaited title, the manager said (via the Official site) seeing fans even in a much reduced capacity at Anfield is a massive boost to the squad, but hopes it isn’t too long before more of them can come through the turnstiles throughout the country. “We’ve played in front of a full stadium and won, then in an empty stadium and then with 2,000 and we won most of the games – not all of them but some of them. You can see the massive advantage, but I wish for everybody that they could have it, honestly. “I don’t know how long we will have it and that’s what this year showed us: enjoy the good things as long as they are there because you probably should not take them for granted. “I will never, ever in my life take a full stadium for granted, 100 per cent. After working at Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool, I don’t think I played a home game for a long, long time in a not-sold-out stadium. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think about it [and] how special it is. That, for sure, I will do much more in the future than I did in the past." Always one to look at things in a philosophical way, Klopp saw the positives in winning the title in such a unique fashion, and that those memories will last a lifetime. “People told me from time to time, ‘Oh my God, you became champions and it was 2020 and nobody could celebrate…’ and stuff like this. I actually saw it the other way around: imagine if the year would have been like it was and we wouldn’t have been champions. Then the year would have been really rubbish. “For me, we had some highlights in a very tricky year. In a very tricky year for the whole world, we set some highlights for our supporters at least, for ourselves, for our families and for our friends. “That’s the way I see it. It was a special year; I got a lot of experiences I didn’t want to make in my life, but I had to do, I did and will use it, hopefully. And we created some memories, which I will never forget for sure for good reasons." Like many, Klopp looks forward to turning the page on this year and hopes for better days in a global sense. “That’s the year. At 12 o’clock on New Year’s Eve and you wish all the best for the new year and stuff like this, never before in my life was it so serious when I [will] say it because I really wish 2021 will be better for all of us than 2020 was. Maybe we can, if we all wish the same this one time – all of us, the same – we can produce some positive energy and it will help." View full article
  14. Jurgen Klopp says he has learnt a lot about life in 2020, but one of the main things is how important fans are to the general footballing landscape. The coronavirus outbreak have seen supporters across Europe confined to watching their favourite teams at home and players being accustomed to the sound of silence inside stadiums. For all lovers of the great game, it has been a challenging time, but while it has been difficult to watch at times, it certainly beats the alternative of no Football at all. Reflecting on a calendar year that brought the Reds a long awaited title, the manager said (via the Official site) seeing fans even in a much reduced capacity at Anfield is a massive boost to the squad, but hopes it isn’t too long before more of them can come through the turnstiles throughout the country. “We’ve played in front of a full stadium and won, then in an empty stadium and then with 2,000 and we won most of the games – not all of them but some of them. You can see the massive advantage, but I wish for everybody that they could have it, honestly. “I don’t know how long we will have it and that’s what this year showed us: enjoy the good things as long as they are there because you probably should not take them for granted. “I will never, ever in my life take a full stadium for granted, 100 per cent. After working at Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool, I don’t think I played a home game for a long, long time in a not-sold-out stadium. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think about it [and] how special it is. That, for sure, I will do much more in the future than I did in the past." Always one to look at things in a philosophical way, Klopp saw the positives in winning the title in such a unique fashion, and that those memories will last a lifetime. “People told me from time to time, ‘Oh my God, you became champions and it was 2020 and nobody could celebrate…’ and stuff like this. I actually saw it the other way around: imagine if the year would have been like it was and we wouldn’t have been champions. Then the year would have been really rubbish. “For me, we had some highlights in a very tricky year. In a very tricky year for the whole world, we set some highlights for our supporters at least, for ourselves, for our families and for our friends. “That’s the way I see it. It was a special year; I got a lot of experiences I didn’t want to make in my life, but I had to do, I did and will use it, hopefully. And we created some memories, which I will never forget for sure for good reasons." Like many, Klopp looks forward to turning the page on this year and hopes for better days in a global sense. “That’s the year. At 12 o’clock on New Year’s Eve and you wish all the best for the new year and stuff like this, never before in my life was it so serious when I [will] say it because I really wish 2021 will be better for all of us than 2020 was. Maybe we can, if we all wish the same this one time – all of us, the same – we can produce some positive energy and it will help."
  15. Jamie Carragher believes Mo Salah has given the club owners a none too subtle hint that he is looking for a big new contract. The Egyptian superstar gave a wide ranging interview to Spanish publication last week in which he touched on hoping to break more records at Liverpool, links with Barcelona and Real Madrid and being disappointed not being given the armband for the final Champions League fixture against FC Midtjylland. It was that last statement that raised a fair few eyebrows and in the week before Christmas which is usually pretty quiet for storylines, this was a early present for the Football writers, even leading Jurgen Klopp to clarify matters once and all. Writing on the matter for the Telegraph (per Metro), Reds legend Jamie Carragher believes that Salah’s comment about the captaincy was odd as he should not have been looking to play in a dead rubber fixture. “Salah’s recent interview feeds that idea his career comes first. His comments about being upset not to be made captain in a dead rubber against Midtjylland underlined it. They were odd. I like most fans – did not think he should be playing in an inconsequential game, never mind be the skipper. “The timing of the player initiating transfer stories is also strange. My view is it was a message to Liverpool’s owners to offer him a lucrative new deal. Over the past decade, the likes of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have been lured away while still in their prime years. Carragher feels that Liverpool are in such a strong position that in terms of poaching their players, teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona do not pose a threat anymore. 'Seeing their players being courted by the La Liga clubs would have concerned Liverpool five years ago. ‘Not now. I am not convinced Madrid and Barca can afford Salah. Investing well in excess of £125 million on a player who will turn 29 this summer is not good business. “ No-one leaving Liverpool today can say they will improve their chances of winning trophies. Philippe Coutinho’s experience at the Nou Camp tells us that. ‘Liverpool can dominate in England and Europe – or certainly challenge for the Premier League and Champions League – every season Klopp is in charge. In terms of his career, Carra feels that Mo is underrated by some, but can go on to well and truly cement his legacy. “Salah may be one of the most underrated Liverpool players in the club’s history. I know how contentious that sounds. Salah is loved by supporters. He is already a club legend. “Fitness permitting, Salah is guaranteed to score over 200 goals and continue to break records if he stays on Merseyside for his prime years." View full article
  16. Jamie Carragher believes Mo Salah has given the club owners a none too subtle hint that he is looking for a big new contract. The Egyptian superstar gave a wide ranging interview to Spanish publication last week in which he touched on hoping to break more records at Liverpool, links with Barcelona and Real Madrid and being disappointed not being given the armband for the final Champions League fixture against FC Midtjylland. It was that last statement that raised a fair few eyebrows and in the week before Christmas which is usually pretty quiet for storylines, this was a early present for the Football writers, even leading Jurgen Klopp to clarify matters once and all. Writing on the matter for the Telegraph (per Metro), Reds legend Jamie Carragher believes that Salah’s comment about the captaincy was odd as he should not have been looking to play in a dead rubber fixture. “Salah’s recent interview feeds that idea his career comes first. His comments about being upset not to be made captain in a dead rubber against Midtjylland underlined it. They were odd. I like most fans – did not think he should be playing in an inconsequential game, never mind be the skipper. “The timing of the player initiating transfer stories is also strange. My view is it was a message to Liverpool’s owners to offer him a lucrative new deal. Over the past decade, the likes of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have been lured away while still in their prime years. Carragher feels that Liverpool are in such a strong position that in terms of poaching their players, teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona do not pose a threat anymore. 'Seeing their players being courted by the La Liga clubs would have concerned Liverpool five years ago. ‘Not now. I am not convinced Madrid and Barca can afford Salah. Investing well in excess of £125 million on a player who will turn 29 this summer is not good business. “ No-one leaving Liverpool today can say they will improve their chances of winning trophies. Philippe Coutinho’s experience at the Nou Camp tells us that. ‘Liverpool can dominate in England and Europe – or certainly challenge for the Premier League and Champions League – every season Klopp is in charge. In terms of his career, Carra feels that Mo is underrated by some, but can go on to well and truly cement his legacy. “Salah may be one of the most underrated Liverpool players in the club’s history. I know how contentious that sounds. Salah is loved by supporters. He is already a club legend. “Fitness permitting, Salah is guaranteed to score over 200 goals and continue to break records if he stays on Merseyside for his prime years."
  17. Mo Salah says he is intent on taking his game to a new level at Liverpool signalling that he would be keen to extend his contract. The Egyptian superstar was on the bench for Liverpool’s clash with Crystal Palace, but he played a delightful 33 minute cameo, scoring two goals and contributing a assist in the 7-0 rout of the South London club. In all competitions this season, Salah has scored 16 goals in 21 games including six in his last five games. Salah’s current contract runs until 2023, but he has given a subtle hint that he is keen to stick with the reigning Premier League Champions for a good while yet. The Echo reported the 28 year-old as saying: “That's a tough one, but right now I can say that everything is in the club's hands. “I think I have broken a few records, I wish I could break all the records for the club, that would be nice. "But the team comes first before any record. But as much as you keep breaking records and winning games, that's great also." His outstanding form over the years at Liverpool has understandably put top clubs from the continent on alert. It is something that Salah is aware of, but he just wants to stay focused on the job at hand. “I think Madrid and Barcelona are top clubs. "We never know what is going to happen in the future, but right now I'm focused on winning the Premier League and the Champions League again with my club." Salah says while team success personally ranks ahead of finishing top scorer in the Premier League where he currently sits, one thing he would like to be considered for is a leadership opportunity when it next arises. Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the armband for the final Champions League group game against FC Midtjylland and being overlooked was something Salah certainly took to heart, but he respected the decision. “Honestly, I was very disappointed. "I was expecting to be the captain. But it's a manager's decision, so I accept it." View full article
  18. Roy Hodgson has lavished high praise on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson saying his legacy is assured and that he will be honoured with a statue outside Anfield one day. Henderson produced another outstanding performance in Liverpool’s thumping 7-0 win against Crystal Palace topped off by a exquisite strike which was his first of the season. One man who has watched his development with interest is Palace manager Roy Hodgson who could not be happier to see the player he has become as the Echo reported: “He's an exceptional player, one who works exceptionally hard at his game and one who has got consistently better," “In 2012, when he'd just moved to Liverpool, we took him with us for his first England trip in the Euros to Poland and Ukraine. He was a very different player to the one he is today. “He's worked so hard on his game to become the lead figure at that club. He works hard on his game technically and tactically as well.” Henderson is among six nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the year that will be revealed this evening and the veteran manager had no doubt who had his vote and how he should be regarded once his career is over. "I tend always to vote for football people because that's my world and I know the people in football, so I'm pleased he's nominated and I wish him all the best for that. "Certainly a lot in his life will be of a very high standard at the moment in terms of his satisfaction because to lead Liverpool to their first trophy after so many years and to do it in such spectacular fashion, that's already guaranteed his statue outside Anfield one day." View full article
  19. Stewart Downing has paid tribute to Harvey Elliott as the on-loan youngster makes impressive progress at Blackburn Rovers. The 17 year-old former Fulham junior made eight appearances in his first season for the Reds showing some promising signs but the decision was made by Jurgen Klopp that he needed some consistent minutes and he was sent to the Championship club. Since the move, Elliott has won rave reviews for his impressive performances scoring four goals and contributing as many assists. Speaking after the youngster produced a wonderful individual strike against Norwich earlier this month, Rovers manager Tony Mowbray said: “Seeing him produce a goal like that really doesn’t surprise me. He’s a wonderful talent, he’s a brilliant individual to work with as well. “Harvey has assets that (Rovers midfielder) Bradley Dack has that trust when he has the ball. It was a wonderful performance from Harvey. “We’re delighted to be working with him and I hope that he’s enjoying his time here." One player who has seen many things in his 19 year professional career is Downing and the former Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Aston Villa winger said (per the Mirror that Elliott has become one of the most important players. "We have to be careful with him because he’s still very young, but he’s almost the go-to man for us at the moment, he’s playing well and getting goals. “The manager’s probably trying to see whether he can rest him at some stage, but you have to play him at the minute. “He’ll have ups and downs in his career, but he has that quality through a goal or an assist. Just as important as showing talent is being able to fit into a certain team dynamic, but Downing said that he has been right at home with the group. “He’s fitted in so well here, he’s got a good environment around him and the lads all really look after him and It’s important for him to just keep enjoying his football." One of the most things that stands out to Downing is Eliiott’s maturity and general understanding of the game. “I think the lads have spoken to each other and mentioned that you look back to when you were 17, you’re a bit a headless chicken, aren’t you?” “But Harvey’s game understanding, his quality, his knowledge of when to release the pass, even with his goal, he never panics. “He has the finesse, the quality, but he’s also fitted into the group very well. He’s definitely got the quality, but he runs around and works hard as well. “I think most would look at him and say ‘he’s good, he’s got the technical ability’, but he’s buying into everything, the pressing, the tracking back, he’s a real team player.”
  20. Stewart Downing has paid tribute to Harvey Elliott as the on-loan youngster makes impressive progress at Blackburn Rovers. The 17 year-old former Fulham junior made eight appearances in his first season for the Reds showing some promising signs but the decision was made by Jurgen Klopp that he needed some consistent minutes and he was sent to the Championship club. Since the move, Elliott has won rave reviews for his impressive performances scoring four goals and contributing as many assists. Speaking after the youngster produced a wonderful individual strike against Norwich earlier this month, Rovers manager Tony Mowbray said: “Seeing him produce a goal like that really doesn’t surprise me. He’s a wonderful talent, he’s a brilliant individual to work with as well. “Harvey has assets that (Rovers midfielder) Bradley Dack has that trust when he has the ball. It was a wonderful performance from Harvey. “We’re delighted to be working with him and I hope that he’s enjoying his time here." One player who has seen many things in his 19 year professional career is Downing and the former Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Aston Villa winger said (per the Mirror that Elliott has become one of the most important players. "We have to be careful with him because he’s still very young, but he’s almost the go-to man for us at the moment, he’s playing well and getting goals. “The manager’s probably trying to see whether he can rest him at some stage, but you have to play him at the minute. “He’ll have ups and downs in his career, but he has that quality through a goal or an assist. Just as important as showing talent is being able to fit into a certain team dynamic, but Downing said that he has been right at home with the group. “He’s fitted in so well here, he’s got a good environment around him and the lads all really look after him and It’s important for him to just keep enjoying his football." One of the most things that stands out to Downing is Eliiott’s maturity and general understanding of the game. “I think the lads have spoken to each other and mentioned that you look back to when you were 17, you’re a bit a headless chicken, aren’t you?” “But Harvey’s game understanding, his quality, his knowledge of when to release the pass, even with his goal, he never panics. “He has the finesse, the quality, but he’s also fitted into the group very well. He’s definitely got the quality, but he runs around and works hard as well. “I think most would look at him and say ‘he’s good, he’s got the technical ability’, but he’s buying into everything, the pressing, the tracking back, he’s a real team player.” View full article
  21. Roy Hodgson has lavished high praise on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson saying his legacy is assured and that he will be honoured with a statue outside Anfield one day. Henderson produced another outstanding performance in Liverpool’s thumping 7-0 win against Crystal Palace topped off by a exquisite strike which was his first of the season. One man who has watched his development with interest is Palace manager Roy Hodgson who could not be happier to see the player he has become as the Echo reported: “He's an exceptional player, one who works exceptionally hard at his game and one who has got consistently better," “In 2012, when he'd just moved to Liverpool, we took him with us for his first England trip in the Euros to Poland and Ukraine. He was a very different player to the one he is today. “He's worked so hard on his game to become the lead figure at that club. He works hard on his game technically and tactically as well.” Henderson is among six nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the year that will be revealed this evening and the veteran manager had no doubt who had his vote and how he should be regarded once his career is over. "I tend always to vote for football people because that's my world and I know the people in football, so I'm pleased he's nominated and I wish him all the best for that. "Certainly a lot in his life will be of a very high standard at the moment in terms of his satisfaction because to lead Liverpool to their first trophy after so many years and to do it in such spectacular fashion, that's already guaranteed his statue outside Anfield one day."
  22. Mo Salah says he is intent on taking his game to a new level at Liverpool signalling that he would be keen to extend his contract. The Egyptian superstar was on the bench for Liverpool’s clash with Crystal Palace, but he played a delightful 33 minute cameo, scoring two goals and contributing a assist in the 7-0 rout of the South London club. In all competitions this season, Salah has scored 16 goals in 21 games including six in his last five games. Salah’s current contract runs until 2023, but he has given a subtle hint that he is keen to stick with the reigning Premier League Champions for a good while yet. The Echo reported the 28 year-old as saying: “That's a tough one, but right now I can say that everything is in the club's hands. “I think I have broken a few records, I wish I could break all the records for the club, that would be nice. "But the team comes first before any record. But as much as you keep breaking records and winning games, that's great also." His outstanding form over the years at Liverpool has understandably put top clubs from the continent on alert. It is something that Salah is aware of, but he just wants to stay focused on the job at hand. “I think Madrid and Barcelona are top clubs. "We never know what is going to happen in the future, but right now I'm focused on winning the Premier League and the Champions League again with my club." Salah says while team success personally ranks ahead of finishing top scorer in the Premier League where he currently sits, one thing he would like to be considered for is a leadership opportunity when it next arises. Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the armband for the final Champions League group game against FC Midtjylland and being overlooked was something Salah certainly took to heart, but he respected the decision. “Honestly, I was very disappointed. "I was expecting to be the captain. But it's a manager's decision, so I accept it."
  23. Ian Wright has hailed the development of Curtis Jones and says that it is a triumph of the youth program of Liverpool. It is just over 12 months that the 19 year-old made his Premier League debut as a late substitute against Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium. As he has done with many players, Jurgen Klopp has guided his progress steadily, not wanting to put too much pressure on the academy graduate. But unlike some managers who give prospects a taste of the action and then forget they exist, Klopp constantly put Jones a match day squad and he was a prominent figure after the season re-start in June, so much so that he won a Premier League title medal. That experience of being part of a winning squad has seen the midfielder reach new heights during this campaign already surpassing last years tally of appearances with 15 and scoring as many goals (three). Arguably his best performance came in the top of the table clash against an in-form Tottenham at Anfield on Wednesday. His composure in possession and general game awareness in someone who is in the early stages of their senior career is certainly eye-catching. The Arsenal legend was glowing in his analysis as the Echo reported: “You look at him and I watched him in a massive game for Liverpool and he just looks like he fits there now. “For Curtis Jones, it looks like he has really solidified the place. “Some of the skills he was doing, it just shows how confident and ready he is. "You have to say it’s testament to Klopp and his team for the way they’ve put him through. It’s brilliant management." In his post Footballing career, Wright has made his name as one of the pre-eminent Football pundits and contrasted the senior journey of Jones to his contemporary at Man City in Phil Foden. Foden was seen as the ready made replacement for the much loved David Silva, but City Fans have grown in frustration for the inconsistent way that Pep Guardiola has looked to use him this season. “You have to look at the comparison,. “We’re still waiting for someone like Phil Foden to get a proper run and start to impose himself on the team in the way we thought was going to happen when David Silva went.” Not only have Liverpool fans seen their team conquer all challenges over the past few years, they are seeing the next generation of stars grow right before their eyes. And that is the best of both worlds. View full article
  24. Ian Wright has hailed the development of Curtis Jones and says that it is a triumph of the youth program of Liverpool. It is just over 12 months that the 19 year-old made his Premier League debut as a late substitute against Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium. As he has done with many players, Jurgen Klopp has guided his progress steadily, not wanting to put too much pressure on the academy graduate. But unlike some managers who give prospects a taste of the action and then forget they exist, Klopp constantly put Jones a match day squad and he was a prominent figure after the season re-start in June, so much so that he won a Premier League title medal. That experience of being part of a winning squad has seen the midfielder reach new heights during this campaign already surpassing last years tally of appearances with 15 and scoring as many goals (three). Arguably his best performance came in the top of the table clash against an in-form Tottenham at Anfield on Wednesday. His composure in possession and general game awareness in someone who is in the early stages of their senior career is certainly eye-catching. The Arsenal legend was glowing in his analysis as the Echo reported: “You look at him and I watched him in a massive game for Liverpool and he just looks like he fits there now. “For Curtis Jones, it looks like he has really solidified the place. “Some of the skills he was doing, it just shows how confident and ready he is. "You have to say it’s testament to Klopp and his team for the way they’ve put him through. It’s brilliant management." In his post Footballing career, Wright has made his name as one of the pre-eminent Football pundits and contrasted the senior journey of Jones to his contemporary at Man City in Phil Foden. Foden was seen as the ready made replacement for the much loved David Silva, but City Fans have grown in frustration for the inconsistent way that Pep Guardiola has looked to use him this season. “You have to look at the comparison,. “We’re still waiting for someone like Phil Foden to get a proper run and start to impose himself on the team in the way we thought was going to happen when David Silva went.” Not only have Liverpool fans seen their team conquer all challenges over the past few years, they are seeing the next generation of stars grow right before their eyes. And that is the best of both worlds.
  25. Renato Sanches is the latest name to be linked to Liverpool as a possible replacement for Gini Wijnaldum. The Reds midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and has been frequently linked with a move to Barcelona, but to this point has kept his cards close to his chest regarding any decision on his future. There is no doubt that Jurgen Klopp, his teammates and a great majority of the fanbase would want the 30 year-old to sign a new deal such is the high regard that he is held in. While there has been negotiations, seemingly no progress been made and therefore Liverpool would have contingency plans in place if he indeed departs. The Mirror (via Le 10 Sport Witness) reports that the 23 year-old Portuguese star is on the top of the list replacements. Sanches may be in the early part of his career, but he already has a great deal of European experience to his name. Coming through the Benfica youth system and graduating to the senior team, he won a domestic double with The Eagles in the 2015/6 season as well a number of individual honours including the prestigious Golden Boy, which is a award given by sports journalists to a young footballer playing in Europe viewed to have been the most impressive during a calendar year. Sanches also shone on the international stage as he was member of Portugal’s Euro 2016’s winning squad earning a lot of praise and claiming the Young player of the tournament. His ascent was certainly noticed by Bayern Munich who signed him for around the £35 million mark. However, he did not settle well in his first season only making 25 appearances and not registering a single goal or assist. For the 2017/8 season he was sent to Swansea City who were then in the Premier League, however a catalogue of leg muscle injuries put pay to any progress making only 15 appearances and once again his career was in limbo. He then returned to Bayern and made another 27 appearances but knew he needed a fresh start. Over the last season and a bit, he has found a settled home at French club Lille, earning a spot in the team of the season for 19/20 and starting the new campaign strongly before more muscle injuries saw him out of action. The report states that Lille who currently sit atop the Ligue 1 table have been hit exceptionally hard in a financial sense by COVID-19 crisis and could be willing to sell. At Lille he has become much more versatile and with manager Christophe Galtier moving into a wide midfield position in contrast to his more central role that he had been used to at Bayern. Those close observers of Sanches’ progress at Lille say he has a great deal of technical ability combined with aggression, work rate and elite athleticism. What lets him down is a lack of concentration and poor decision making where he looks to take the more difficult option more often than not. While not the complete package as yet, Sanches looks a intriguing option if the need arises to buy a replacement for Gini. View full article
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