LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp can be Liverpool ace card in Jude Bellingham race as next transfer twist is claimed

Liverpool.com - 4 hours 49 min ago

The Jude Bellingham story is shaping up to be another marathon-esque saga, no doubt full of twists and turns between now and next summer.

The England international is one of the hottest prospects in the club game, and there is no shortage of clubs lining outside Borussia Dortmund’s door waiting to sign him.

Liverpool have been connected with Bellingham for what seems like an eternity now, and the rumours and whispers are only likely to ramp up the closer we get to the end of the season.

READ MORE:Liverpool and FSG know £100m Jude Bellingham reality as Jürgen Klopp faces transfer U-turn

READ MORE:Liverpool have two Jude Bellingham transfer advantages as Reds target can follow Luis Díaz path

Clubs in the shape of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United will be in the running to try and tempt Bellingham. According to Spanish paper Marca, the reigning European champions intend to do to Liverpool next summer what they did last, in stealing a top target.

Liverpool wanted Aurélien Tchouaméni last summer, but the Reds were outbid by Madrid, the side who beat them in the final of the Champions League mere weeks earlier, who eventually bought the midfielder in an £85m deal.

Madrid seemingly want to repeat that trick again next summer with Bellingham, but things are a little different with the Englishman this time around. Liverpool have an ace up their sleeve in Jürgen Klopp, and no doubt the club will fully intend to use it.

The Athletic have reported recently that Dortmund value Bellingham at around the £131m mark, an eye-watering amount of money. However, given Klopp’s close ties to Dortmund, Liverpool could be hopeful of bringing that figure down.

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On the other hand, given the length remaining on Bellingham’s contract and the demand for the player, Dortmund are in the driver’s seat in negotiations. They can demand the moon, and clubs will have no other choice other than to pay it.

Marca also state that Liverpool have already taken a leap of faith, actually going as far as submitting a bid for Bellingham, with Klopp ‘insisting’ on him given the problems in the Reds' midfield.

While that claim of an offer is unlikely at this early stage, Klopp will likely use his influence to try and convince not just Bellingham, but Dortmund executives, to agree terms with Liverpool at the expense of the other interested parties.

Klopp’s reputation in his native Germany is impeccable, more so than in the rest of the world, where he’s long enjoyed a high standing as one of the best coaches in the world. The influence he wields cannot be underestimated, especially when it comes to transfer dealing and German sides.

Of course, he doesn’t get involved in the actual negotiation and dealing with numbers, but players want to play for him (as Virgil van Dijk and others who had multiple options, but ultimately chose the Reds, have in the past), and Liverpool need to exploit that again if they want to win the race.

The road to signing Bellingham will be lengthy, but Liverpool must realise they have the ace card in Klopp.

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Jürgen Klopp has 97 days to make £52m call as Liverpool need for transfer 'game-changer' clear

Liverpool.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 22:00

Few players have had stranger and more up-and-down careers at Liverpool than Naby Keïta. Signed for £52m from RB Leipzig in 2017 (actually arriving a year later), the hype was built up and up and his reputation soared.

In an outcome that should really come as a surprise to no one, being billed as a blend of Andrés Iniesta and N'Golo Kanté was perhaps not the introduction to the Premier League that he needed.

Liverpool had shown how desperate they were to bring Keïta to Anfield by bidding around £70m for him (according to BBC Sport), before then agreeing in advance to meet his much lower release clause (which only came into effect 12 months later) on an advanced deal.

READ MORE: Double Liverpool transfer bargain proved by £30m Chelsea interest shows FSG beat the market

READ MORE: Darwin Núñez has already forced Liverpool change for Jürgen Klopp as Kevin de Bruyne overtaken

That kind of exceptional move was deemed the only way for Liverpool to get the man that they thought was going to be as transformative for their midfield as Virgil van Dijk at the back or Mohamed Salah in front of him.

The reality, though, is that Keïta has never managed to be what Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp envisaged him being. Now, his future very much hangs in the balance.

Football Insider reported last week that Liverpool are 'increasingly confident' that they will tie Keïta down to a new deal, but the longer it takes and the more time passes before an agreement is reached, the less likely it becomes.

In just 97 days, he — along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino, as things stand — will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs abroad. Once a contract situation reaches that point, things very rarely change course, meaning that within that period, things should become considerably clearer.

"There are ongoing contacts between Keïta's camp and Liverpool to decide about the future. There’s been a lot of interest around him for a long time but no official bids," Fabrizio Romano told Caught Offside last week.

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"Talks with Liverpool will continue, Keïta wants to understand how important he’ll be for Klopp in the future before making his final decision."

That fits with what Sky Germany reported over the summer: that Keïta wants a guarantee over his game time, which in itself is a baffling demand to make for someone in his position.

The only reason he has not played more — and indeed is yet to play a minute this season — is because he is injured once again. The situation will be resolved over the next few months one way or another, and by January, the outcome should at least be as near confirmed as it can be.

Ultimately, though, Keïta moving to Borussia Dortmund, with BILD reporting they are keen to sign him, may end up freeing up Jude Bellingham to leave, which could have its benefits for Liverpool regardless.

At this point, though, a renewal seems unlikely to be the outcome. All signs so far point towards a departure for Keïta, with Liverpool needing to find an adequate replacement for a player they once deemed a game-changer.

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Liverpool got double transfer bargain as £30m Chelsea target proves FSG beat the market

Liverpool.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 19:00

What does £12m buy you? In modern-day football, not usually all that much, especially when shopping in the homegrown market. A little under one-eighth of a Jack Grealish, or maybe just over a seventh of a Harry Maguire.

When Liverpool sold Rhian Brewster — in the height of the pandemic, no less — FSG secured almost double that amount, netting a remarkable £23.5m (BBC) despite the young striker never having made a competitive senior appearance outside of the domestic cups and the Community Shield.

Now, Chelsea are reportedly prepared to go above even that price threshold for another player who is yet to make his competitive club bow. According to the Sunday Mirror, Todd Boehly and Graham Potter have identified Fulham’s 17-year-old striker Luke Harris as a £30m target.

READ MORE:Darwin Núñez has already forced Liverpool change for Jürgen Klopp as Kevin de Bruyne overtaken

READ MORE:Liverpool have another talent brewing and many more to come as £50m FSG investment pays off again

Harris is developing a reputation at youth level, and was even called up by Wales for the latest Nations League games. Chelsea, in particular, had their interest piqued when he scored a hat-trick against their U21 side last season. But the fact is that this is a player who, like Brewster before him, remains untested in the senior game, aside from 45 minutes in the Carabao Cup.

That Chelsea would be prepared to pay so much for Harris is testament to the reputation Fulham have garnered for fostering youth talent. Much of the evidence of their production line currently resides at Liverpool, where Harvey Elliott and Fábio Carvalho both ply their trade.

It is here where the £12m figure becomes relevant. Remarkably, that’s the maximum price Liverpool could have to pay for the two of them combined, assuming all add-ons are met.

In the case of Elliott, the fee was decided by tribunal, with Liverpool swooping before Fulham had even managed to tie him down to a professional contract. FSG paid £1.2m up front, a figure which could rise as high as £4.3m (via The Guardian).

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Fulham thought they had done everything right with Carvalho, tying him down to a professional deal, but Liverpool once again came out on top. The Portuguese youth international — who nonetheless classifies as homegrown, having trained at an English club for three years before his 21st birthday — ran down that first pro deal, and FSG pounced once again.

This time, Liverpool and Fulham struck a deal directly, with neither wanting to chance their arm at another tribunal. The eventual fee agreed was similarly favourable: £5m up front, with a possible extra £2.7m in add-ons (via The Athletic).

It is no secret that these were both remarkable pieces of business. But Chelsea are now underlining exactly how much of a bargain FSG engineered. Assuming Harris is a similarly-valued asset, Liverpool got the Fulham duo at effectively a fifth of the going rate by capitalising on their respective contract situations.

Even that is a conservative estimate, considering where Harris is in his development. He is still a pure youth prospect. Both Elliott and Carvalho had already had tastes of senior football prior to their Liverpool moves — in the latter case, a full Championship season.

The real proof, though, is on the pitch, where both already look remarkably at home in a side that has won everything there is to win over the past four seasons. Aged just 19 and 20, each has more than a decade left at the highest level, with plenty more development still to come. But they are good enough to be major contributors in the here and now: in their own ways, both have been among the standout Liverpool performers in the early part of the campaign.

It is almost inconceivable that FSG would make a loss on either player. Hopefully, they do not get sold at all, instead going on to play pivotal roles in the next great Liverpool generation. But if either were to complete another transfer somewhere down the line, the profits would likely be tenfold or more.

If that seems unrealistic, just look at what Chelsea are prepared to pay for an untested 17-year-old. Liverpool have two of the foremost homegrown talents in the country, and they got them for a combined £12m: FSG don’t get everything right, but this piece of business needs to be applauded at every possible opportunity.

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“A wonderful person… best in the world” – How Liverpool’s No. 1 enraptured ex-Red

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 18:00

Alisson has amassed quite the fanbase whilst at Anfield and one former Liverpool ‘keeper sits among them, proudly describing himself as an “Alisson fanboy.”

The Reds have had a long line of legendary figures between the sticks since the club’s inception, goalkeepers who have proven priceless in the pursuit of silverware.

Ray Clemence, Tommy Lawrence, Bruce Grobbelaar and Elisha Scott are among them, and Alisson is carving out his own legend and making it all look easy as he does so.

The Brazilian has featured 192 times for Liverpool, a tally that is 20 games less than David James played consecutively for the club between 1994 and 1998.

James and Alisson have both donned the No. 1 shirt for Liverpool but experienced different degrees of success on the pitch, but it is off it that holds a lot of value for the former.

And it is the combination of Alisson‘s ability on the pitch and his personality off it that has enraptured James, among countless others.

“Best in the world. I’m a fan,” James told This Is Anfield of Alisson.

[embedded content]

“When he gets close [to my clean sheet tally] I hope he moves back to Brazil or something, just so he doesn’t beat me!” he joked.

“I’m an Alisson fanboy.

“The way he plays is fine, he’s the best. Kicks it, catches it, saves it – does what he needs to do.

“But, fortunately, I’ve met him and interviewed him and he’s just such a wonderful person. He’s a bit like Bruce [Grobbelaar] in a way – I don’t know how Liverpool do it [find those characters].

“I like Bruce’s goalkeeping style, therefore you kind of like the person even though you don’t know them. When I joined the club he was as good as the person I thought he’d be.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson is the same. You look at him play and it’s like ‘wow, what a guy’. He looks like a really nice guy and then you get to meet him and have a chat with him and it’s like, he is!

“I’m a fan!”

You’re certainly not alone there.

But Alisson is only 17 clean sheets away from toppling the Englishman, and sorry David, we’re hoping he doesn’t move back to Brazil anytime soon!

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Alexander-Arnold out of England squad – it’s ridiculous his World Cup is in doubt

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 17:57

Gareth Southgate’s handling of Trent Alexander-Arnold has long since baffled Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp.

“I respect the decision but I don’t understand it,” was Klopp’s reaction to the “standout right-back in world football” being left out of the squad for England’s World Cup qualifiers in March last year.

Alexander-Arnold forced his way back into contention before the European Championship finals a few months later, but a thigh injury sustained in a warm-up game against Austria then cruelly wrecked his dream. Now he faces the growing prospect of watching a second major tournament in as many years from afar.

Klopp will have been scratching his head in disbelief again after the 23-year-old failed to make England’s 23-man squad for the Nations League group finale against Germany at Wembley tonight — their last match before the World Cup opener against Iran on November 21. His place on the plane to Qatar is now in serious doubt.

Many Liverpool supporters will view the idea of a lengthy winter break for Alexander-Arnold before the Premier League resumes on December 26 as a positive development in the club’s quest for further silverware. But Klopp won’t be celebrating.

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Double international boost & 2 managers up for award – Latest Liverpool FC News

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 17:23

Two players who have been away on international duty have offered Liverpool a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brighton, while two managers are up for an award.

England’s loss is Liverpool’s gain!

News emerged this morning that Trent Alexander-Arnold had been omitted from England’s squad to face Germany in their final match before the World Cup begins.

How Gareth Southgate can afford to make a decision like that at a time when his team are without a win in five games and without a goal in three, we’re not quite sure.

Nonetheless, the Liverpool right-back will play no part in the game at Wembley, meaning he should be nice and fresh for the Reds’ encounter with Brighton on Saturday.

So too, will be Mohamed Salah, who has been released early from international duty after it was decided he would play no part in their friendly with Liberia on Tuesday.

Salah scored twice in his side’s 3-0 win over Niger on Friday, but will now return to Merseyside ahead of Liverpool’s busy pre-World Cup schedule.

The news was confirmed on the Egyptian Football Associations’ Twitter page on Sunday evening, with forward Mostafa Mohamed and defender Ahmed Fatouh also left out of the squad for Tuesday’s fixture.

Let’s hope those involved in the last remaining internationals come through unscathed in the coming days!

3 things today: 2 Liverpool managers up for same award!

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool Women manager Matt Beard have been nominated for Manager of the Season in the 2022 Northwest Football Awards.
  • Naby Keita is being tentatively linked with a summer move to Borussia Dortmund in Germany, with Sport Bild claiming the Bundesliga side are showing interest in signing him on a free transfer.
Latest Liverpool FC news

 England's Trent Alexander­Arnold during the pre-match warm-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 England's Trent Alexander­Arnold during the pre-match warm-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda) Latest chat from elsewhere

 West Ham United's manager Slaven Bilic reacts during the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 West Ham United's manager Slaven Bilic reacts during the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Another Watford manager is gone! Rob Edwards’ lasted just 10 matches, with the Hornets announcing they had replaced him with Slaven Bilic on Monday. Baffling!
  • Brighton‘s Zambia international Enock Mwepu has returned to England for medical tests after falling unwell during a trip to Mali. He is a doubt to face Liverpool this weekend. (BBC Sport)
  • No Trent, but Harry Maguire is to keep his place in England’s defence tonight, with John Stones expected to start alongside him in a back three. (Sky Sports)
Tweet of the day and match of the night

England’s loss indeed!

One of the many reasons I admire Trent Alexander-Arnold as a professional and a person is that he keeps reporting for England duty even though he knows that the manager, Gareth Southgate, does not really believe in him. It's sad, it's a waste, and it's England's loss. #ENG #LFC

— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 26, 2022

Despite Trent’s absence, Jordan Henderson could make his return from injury in England’s meeting with Germany tonight.

Academy prospects Bobby Clark and Ranel Young could feature for England’s under-18’s against Belgium.

One day closer to the Reds being back in action. Enjoy your Monday evening’s!

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Why only 7 Liverpool players could go to World Cup – and how that compares to rivals

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 16:02

With less than two months to go until Liverpool’s season is paused for the World Cup, there are just seven members of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad who look likely to make the trip to Qatar as things stand.

On Monday, news of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s omission from England’s squad to face Germany led to plenty of conversation as to whether the Liverpool right-back will be included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man World Cup squad.

As of today, he certainly seems to have his work cut out, given the fact he has been excluded from England’s squad for their final match before the tournament.

If Alexander-Arnold does miss out, there may only be seven Liverpool players who are involved in Qatar.

So, as things stand, which players look likeliest to be involved at the World Cup, and how does this all compare to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals?

The 7 Liverpool players who look likely to go

The Netherlands' Virgil van Dijk reacts after the final whistle during the international friendly match at the Amsterdam ArenA

The Netherlands' Virgil van Dijk reacts after the final whistle during the international friendly match at the Amsterdam ArenA

Let’s start with the Brazilians. Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino were all included in Tite’s squad for their September internationals with Ghana and Tunisia, and will fancy their chances of being involved in Qatar.

Firmino is probably the biggest question mark, with the likes of Arsenal‘s in-form pair Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus waiting in the wings if Liverpool’s No. 9 doesn’t make the cut.

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk will be involved, with Louis van Gaal’s side in good form heading into the tournament.

Assuming Alexander-Arnold misses out, Jordan Henderson is likely to be the only Liverpool player in England’s squad.

The final two who look certainties to be involved in Qatar are Portugal’s Diogo Jota and Uruguay’s Darwin Nunez.

Who could miss out?

 England's substitute Trent Alexander­Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 England's substitute Trent Alexander­Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Alexander-Arnold isn’t included in Southgate’s final squad, his absence will certainly be the headline omission.

What may work in his favour is the fact teams can name 26 players in their squads, as opposed to 23 in previous World Cups.

Ibrahima Konate looks unlikely to be included in France’s squad having missed the start of the season through injury, while Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain haven’t played for England for some time.

Despite his recent return to fitness, Thiago was not included in Spain’s squad for their September internationals, which would suggest he’s unlikely to make the trip to Qatar, and the tournament will probably come a year or two early for the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho.

Arthur last appeared for Brazil in March but was not included in their most recent squad.

Then there are those whose nations have not qualified or who have retired from international duty. Caoimhin Kelleher, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, James Milner, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will all be watching on from afar.

What about Liverpool’s Premier League rivals?

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Could the fact Liverpool have just a handful of players who will be involved at the World Cup be a positive thing? Possibly.

Man City, for example, will probably have around 16 players in Qatar, including the likes of Ederson, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden. All key players.

It’s a similar story for Chelsea, who could have up to 14 or 15 players at the World Cup. Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling will be among them.

Current league leaders Arsenal are in a more similar predicament to Liverpool. Aaron Ramsdale, William Saliba, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus could all be involved.

Antonio Conte’s Tottenham could have around 10 of their squad featuring in Qatar, and Man United up to 12.

Compared to their rivals, Liverpool may get off lightly, and that could have a huge knock-on effect for the rest of the season.

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England vs Germany: Was Southgate right to omit Alexander-Arnold, Bowen, Tomori and Ward-Prowse?

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 13:09

England take on Germany at Wembley tonight, but will do so without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jarrod Bowen, Fikayo Tomori and James Ward-Prowse.

Those four players were all called up to Gareth Southgate’s final squad before the one he takes to the World Cup in Qatar in less than two months but will return to their clubs without playing any competitive football for their country over the past week. 

The quartet are not in Southgate’s 23-man matchday squad for tonight’s fixture, along with Jack Grealish, who is suspended.

England are enduring a miserable run of form — Friday’s defeat in Italy means they have gone five international matches without a victory for the first time since 2014 and are without an open-play goal in as many fixtures. The 1-0 loss in Milan also saw Southgate’s side relegated to the second tier of the Nations League for its next playing in 2024-25.

Southgate is therefore in dire need of a positive performance in what is England’s final match before their opening World Cup group game against Iran on November 21 — so, is he right to snub Alexander-Arnold, Bowen, Tomori and Ward-Prowse?

We asked our Liverpool correspondent James Pearce, West Ham correspondent Roshane Thomas, Southampton correspondent Jacob Tanswell and Serie A correspondent James Horncastle for their thoughts.

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Liverpool given wake-up call by Everton after dream start to WSL – what went wrong at Anfield?

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 13:00

After upsetting Chelsea with a 2-1 win against the run of play last weekend, a game against Everton at Anfield provided Liverpool Women with a big opportunity.

No newly promoted team have ever won their first two Women’s Super League matches of the season. But Everton’s press and precision in key moments proved hard to overcome and a 3-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby signalled why such a feat is still to be achieved.

Liverpool’s problems stemmed from failing to get going in a flat first half. Maybe it was playing at Anfield for only the third time, in front of a record crowd for a women’s game of 27,574. Or maybe it was the added pressure of also being shown live on Sky Sports.

Manager Matt Beard put the loss down to a slow start and agreed playing at Anfield, something the majority of the Liverpool side had not experienced before, may have been one factor as to why they struggled to get going in the opening 45 minutes.

GO DEEPERThe Women's Super League needs shocks - Liverpool beating Chelsea is perfect start

Other factors were Everton’s alertness and composure. Their pressing gave Liverpool little room to misplace a pass — as last Sunday’s goalscoring hero, Katie Stengel, found out the hard way.

The American striker’s pass as Liverpool attacked was picked off by Sweden international Nathalie Bjorn. She played an instinctive ball in to Jess Park who rounded goalkeeper Rachael Laws confidently to put Everton 2-0 up after 33 minutes.

Stengel’s pass was not the first time Everton had profited from a home mistake.

Their first goal, scored by Megan Finnigan, came from a corner Liverpool had failed to clear. Emma Koivisto was also caught ball-watching as Finnigan powered in to head home at the Kop end.

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“He gave up his holidays” – Liverpool “very happy” with Arthur, claims agent

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 12:30

Having arrived at Liverpool on transfer deadline day, Arthur “gave up his holidays,” to improve his fitness over the international break, according to the midfielder’s agent.

The Brazilian joined the Reds on loan from Juventus on the final day of the summer transfer window, with Liverpool’s midfield injury problems forcing Jurgen Klopp back into the market late on.

Having fallen out of favour in Turin, Arthur spent much of the summer months training away from the rest of the Juventus squad, leaving him with some catching up to do in terms of fitness.

He made his debut for the Reds in their 4-1 defeat to Napoli earlier this month, and was an unused substitute in the victory over Ajax.

The former Barcelona midfielder has used the 17-day gap in between first team matches to his advantage, choosing to play for Liverpool’s under-21’s side against Leicester and Rochdale last week.

 Liverpool's Arthur Melo during the English Football League Trophy Northern Group D match between Rochdale AFC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Spotland. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Arthur Melo during the English Football League Trophy Northern Group D match between Rochdale AFC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Spotland. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And despite some inaccurate reports from Italy that Liverpool have already lost faith in him, Arthur‘s agent has explained how everyone at the club is “very happy” with his client, claiming he will soon be at “100%” fitness.

“He arrived there on the last day of the transfer market and played little last year because of both Allegri’s choices and an injury,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It’s normal for the first weeks to be used for adaptation and recovery of physical condition.

“Everyone is very happy with him. He gave up his holidays to stay in Liverpool to work. He’ll be at 100% soon.”

 Liverpool's Arthur Melo during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Arthur Melo during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last week, it was also revealed how Arthur had appointed extra fitness staff in his bid to prove himself at Liverpool.

With several of the club’s midfielders, including the likes of Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones, set to return to action in the coming weeks, it’s unclear how often Arthur will be called upon.

It would be unfair to judge the midfielder so early into his time at Anfield, but one thing’s for sure, he is doing everything possible to ensure his spell on Merseyside is a successful one.

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Mohamed Salah returning to Liverpool early after being rested for Egypt friendly

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 12:00

Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah will play no part in Egypt’s friendly against Liberia on Tuesday.

National team boss Rui Vitoria has taken the decision to rest Salah, who will return to Merseyside earlier than initially expected.

The news is a boost for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as he cranks up preparations for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Brighton at Anfield.

Salah has endured a slow start to the season at club level with just two league goals so far, but he netted twice in Egypt’s 3-0 win over Niger on Friday.

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“Get back to Kirkby!” – Liverpool fans react to Alexander-Arnold’s England omission

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 11:59

Liverpool fans have had plenty to say after Trent Alexander-Arnold was left out of England’s squad to face Germany on Monday.

The Reds right-back was one of five players to be omitted from Gareth Southgate’s final matchday squad before the World Cup begins in November.

The England boss has consistently overlooked Alexander-Arnold, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier ahead of him in the pecking order.

If Alexander-Arnold, a player who has registered 66 assists in his six years as a Liverpool player, can’t make the squad at a time when England haven’t scored in any of their last three games, then the writing appears to be on the wall.

Jurgen Klopp, however, certainly won’t be complaining about the fact his most creative player hasn’t played a single minute over the course of the international break.

Here’s how Liverpool fans have reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s England snub:

Get back to Kirkby Trent and focus on Brighton Saturday. That’s what matters. https://t.co/i13nhG2V7s

— Dan Roach (@DanielRoachLFC) September 26, 2022

As good as it is for Liverpool that Trent isn't playing pointless international games, you've got to wonder how Southgate looks at a talent like him and willingly leaves him out. He's only featured in 5 of England's last 31 games which is just absurd considering his quality.

— LFC Stats (@LFCData) September 26, 2022

From a selfish point of view, it's great that Trent is coming back early, but from his point of view, he'll be gutted. I hope he goes to the World Cup. It's what players dream of.

— – (@AnfieldRd96) September 26, 2022

Trent left out of the England squad tonight, it'll hurt him if he misses the world cup but has played an incredible amount of football at his age, might be good to miss out of this tournament and they'll be plenty more for him in the future

— Dinesh Kumar (@DHardayal) September 26, 2022

Pointless calling him up really, Southgate has his favourites & it's so clear to see

— ROB (@97_BULLDOG_97) September 26, 2022

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fikayo Tomori left of of England’s squad against Germany tonight by Gareth Southgate. Harry Maguire, Eric Dier, Conor Coady and Luke Shaw still in the squad.

The favoritism has never been more obvious.

— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) September 26, 2022

Gareth Southgate left Jordan Henderson out of a recent England camp because he “didn’t need to know anymore about him”. Southgate leaves Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his England squad having played 5 of 31 matches in the World Cup lead up.

I don’t think he goes to the WC.

— Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021) September 26, 2022

For me is going to depends how good he perform in October for us. If he is coming back to the Trent we need he should be the starting right back or wing back for England but we will see it all depends on him pic.twitter.com/GJZHe71dRf

— José enrique (@Jesanchez3) September 26, 2022

The general mood, then, is one of disbelief.

How can Southgate really afford to overlook a player of Alexander-Arnold’s creative threat, at a time when his side are without a win in five games and without a goal in three?

Alexander-Arnold will be disappointed, and will be even more so if he is not included in England’s World Cup squad.

From a Liverpool perspective, though, England’s loss can only be our gain.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold experiment would fix England but Liverpool will now benefit instead

Liverpool.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 11:30

Trent Alexander-Arnold looks set to miss out for England once again on Monday night. After spending 90 minutes on the bench against Italy on Friday, the Liverpool full-back has been omitted from the 23-man squad to face Germany.

His career at international level has been a curious one so far. Despite winning every available trophy at club level and evolving to become one of the world’s biggest talents, he hasn’t yet shined for his national team.

Gareth Southgate has favoured others ahead of the Scouse defender. Kyle Walker and Reece James are two names in particular that seem to be ahead of him in the England pecking order.

READ MORE: Liverpool and FSG know £100m Jude Bellingham reality as Jürgen Klopp faces transfer U-turn

READ MORE:Darwin Núñez has already forced Liverpool change for Jürgen Klopp as Kevin de Bruyne overtaken

Southgate has been asked about Alexander-Arnold on a number of occasions throughout his tenure because of his controversial squad decisions, with many questioning his usage of the Reds star.

"He does have a fantastic range of passing [but] we're blessed with different profiles of player in that position," Southgate said recently. "If we play with wing-backs, Kieran Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball."

Since the beginning of his time in charge of England, there has been an underlying belief among Liverpool supporters that Southgate doesn’t know how to truly maximise Alexander-Arnold’s skillset.

If he did start against Germany on Monday night, he would almost certainly be deployed as a right wing-back given Southgate’s preference to use a back three system, opting for 3-4-3 against Italy.

Jürgen Klopp, by contrast, uses 4-3-3 at Anfield, and he’s largely refrained from embracing back three formations because of his belief in offensive football and committing bodies forward.

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Alexander-Arnold’s customary role as a full-back isn’t always available for England, with Southgate naturally fielding him as a wing-back instead, due to his attack-minded nature.

However, the 52-year-old could experiment further down the line by using Alexander-Arnold as a right-sided centre-back rather than a wing-back.

It seems like a controversial choice because of the popular narrative that he’s not particularly strong on the defensive side of the game, but Alexander-Arnold would benefit from time and space when in possession of the ball, while having support around him in defence.

No player in the Premier League has completed more progressive passes than his total of 56 so far this season, even though he’s played one game fewer than many of his peers.

Those numbers capture Alexander-Arnold’s ability to move the ball through the lines, and he could do exactly that as a wide centre-back, initiating offensive moves from deep for Southgate.

England wouldn’t necessarily profit from his chance creation in the final third, but his ball progression and crossing — from more withdrawn zones — could prove to be very dangerous.

As a wing-back, Alexander-Arnold has never truly shined but as a wide centre-back, he could play similarly to how he performs for Liverpool in deeper areas, getting on the ball and almost dictating the game from a space between the centre and the flanks.

With England now without a goal in open play in 495 minutes of football, Southgate must surely have a quiet interest in mixing things up a little. Fielding Alexander-Arnold in a back three could change his team’s fortunes, but whether he'll realise that remains to be seen.

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Van Dijk scores winner & youngster nets on first start in latest Liverpool internationals

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 11:04

Three Liverpool players featured in Sunday’s set of international fixtures, with Virgil van Dijk scoring the winner for Netherlands in their Nations League win against Belgium.

Van Dijk‘s 73rd-minute header was the only goal of the game as Louis van Gaal’s side saw off a Belgium team that included the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

The victory means Netherlands have won their Nations League group, finishing six points ahead of Belgium in second, and will be one of the four teams to progress to the tournament’s deciding phase in 2023.

Captain Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes, just as he did in the Oranje’s win over Poland earlier in the week, alongside Man City‘s Nathan Ake and Ajax’s Jurrien Timber at centre-back.

The goal came midway through the second half, when Liverpool’s no. 4 headed Cody Gakpo’s corner past Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois.

?? @LFC defender Virgil van Dijk towers home the header and the Netherlands lead 1-0 v Belgium!#NEDBEL pic.twitter.com/iBdX4V0TOs

— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 25, 2022

Van Dijk has an impressive scoring record with the Netherlands, having scored six goals in 49 appearances for his country.

His 50th cap looks set to come against Senegal in their first game at the World Cup, where he’ll likely be up against former Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane.

There were also two young Reds in international action on Sunday, with under-18’s striker Keyrol Figueroa scoring in his first start for USA’s under-17s.

Son of Maynor, the former Wigan and Hull full-back who, at 39 years of age, still captains Honduras, Figueroa has chosen to represent USA at youth level.

pic.twitter.com/kfegExuJWR

— Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021) September 25, 2022

The striker, who turned 16 at the end of August, made his first start for their under-17’s side in their 4-1 win over Czech Republic, and got himself on the scoresheet after 42 minutes.

There was also another Scotland under-21’s appearance for 16-year-old Ben Doak, who scored on his debut against Northern Ireland on Thursday.

The exciting young winger, who has thrived for Liverpool’s under-18’s since his summer arrival from Celtic, was a 62nd minute substitute as his side took on the same opposition.

He wasn’t on the scoresheet this time, but caught the eye again and went close to setting up the winner late on.

Three more Reds could be in action for their nations on Monday, with Jordan Henderson set to return from injury in England’s Nations League meeting with Germany. Trent Alexander-Arnold, though, has been left out of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the fixture.

Elsewhere, academy prospects Bobby Clark and Ranel Young could feature for England’s under-18s against Belgium.

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Barcelona 'have budget' for Liverpool man as Dortmund want 'swap' amid Jude Bellingham 'offer'

Liverpool.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 10:00

Welcome to the Liverpool.com daily Media Digest. From transfers to tweets, it can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the Anfield sphere. Credible, incredible and anything in between: we round it all up in one place here, taking a sideways look at the day’s media goings-on from around the world.

***

Naby Keïta free transfer lined up

Liverpool could lose a midfielder to Borussia Dortmund next summer, according to Bild (via Fichajes), with a report claiming that the Bundesliga side are about to 'go fishing' at Anfield.

Naby Keïta is said to be being lined up by Dortmund as a free agent in what would be a move back to the league in which the Guinean has excelled the most — and where he managed to avoid injuries.

READ MORE: Liverpool and FSG know £100m Jude Bellingham reality as Jürgen Klopp faces transfer U-turn

READ MORE:Darwin Núñez has already forced Liverpool change for Jürgen Klopp as Kevin de Bruyne overtaken

Jürgen Klopp is supposedly 'delighted' with Keïta but the 27-year-old has always struggled for fitness and has never really got going in his four years with the Reds to date.

A move away from Liverpool might be the best thing for both parties — and Dortmund would be a good destination for him — but losing Keïta for nothing after spending £52m to sign him would not be the best return.

It wouldn't be a 'swap' per se given that Keïta would be a free transfer but perhaps he could fill the void in Dortmund should Jude Bellingham depart — possibly swapping places with him.

Liverpool 'submit Bellingham offer'

Liverpool have submitted an offer to Borussia Dortmund to sign Jude Bellingham next summer, according to Spanish outlet Marca (print edition via Paisley Gates), with Real Madrid also very keen on the 19-year-old.

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The report states that Real Madrid have instructed Bellingham not to sign a new contract at Dortmund but that Liverpool are becoming 'increasingly intent' on the England star because of 'special insistence' from Jürgen Klopp.

In his column for the Daily Mirror, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler suggested that signing Bellingham would be in the 'same category' as bringing in Erling Haaland and that the Reds would see a similar impact from him in midfield as they saw with Virgil van Dijk in defence.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 'wanted'

Barcelona are taking a look at Trent Alexander-Arnold as an option for next summer, according to journalist Gerard Moreno (relayed by Barca Universal), who says that they will have a 'high budget' to sign a right-back in 2023.

Alexander-Arnold has been linked with a move to Barcelona before and in terms of the La Liga side being interested, it makes sense — but it is highly unlikely that he would want to leave Liverpool, and there is no chance that Liverpool would want to allow him to go.

While Alexander-Arnold has had a few struggles at the start of this season, he remains an elite talent and still only 23, his best years are likely to still be ahead of him — even if the England national team continue to fail to spot that.

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Alexander-Arnold and Tomori left out of England squad to face Germany tonight

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 09:03

England manager Gareth Southgate has left Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fikayo Tomori, James Ward-Prowse and Jarrod Bowen out of his matchday squad to face Germany at Wembley tonight.

Manchester City’s Jack Grealish will also miss out through suspension after he picked up a yellow card in the 1-0 defeat by Italy in Milan on Friday.

Alexander-Arnold’s omission is eye-catching given that the Liverpool man also failed to play any part against Italy.

The 23-year-old has played 235 times for Liverpool but only has 17 full international caps and has failed to cement a regular place in Southgate’s starting XI.

AC Milan defender Tomori, 24, will also be disappointed not to have the chance to add to his three international appearances, particularly given England’s recent struggles at the back.

GO DEEPEREngland and USMNT… just how bad was it? Are changes needed?

England need a positive performance at Wembley tonight — despite their Nations League match against Germany being nothing more than a dead rubber.

England are enduring a miserable run of form and last week’s defeat in Italy means they have gone five international matches without a victory for the first time since 2014.

The 1-0 loss in Milan also saw Southgate’s side relegated to the second tier of the UEFA Nations League.

And, ahead of the match, Southgate said he knows his future will be decided by England’s performance at this winter’s World Cup — and not his previous successes or the fact his contract runs until 2024.

“I am not foolish.

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Liverpool have another talent brewing and many more to come as £50m FSG investment pays off again

Liverpool.com - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 08:30

Recruitment for Liverpool's academy sides has seen a shift over the past few years, with a focus on bringing the very best British talents to Merseyside just as they are about to be old enough to sign professional terms.

The likes of Harvey Elliott and many more have proved the bargains that can be found at that age, with the England youth star developing into a top talent for the senior Liverpool team to make use of.

This summer, they added Ben Doak and Trent Kone-Doherty to their ranks at a similar stage of their careers, and there have been other examples — even the likes of Fábio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay, who are little older — who have followed a similar pathway.

READ MORE: Liverpool and FSG know £100m Jude Bellingham reality as Jürgen Klopp faces transfer U-turn

READ MORE: Liverpool should sign 'new Neymar' after transfer hint in repeat of proven Luis Díaz template

Doak, signed for around £600,000 from Celtic over the summer, scored on his Scotland U21s debut during this international break. That follows an electric start to life at Liverpool, where he has already netted four times and assisted three in just six appearances.

The 16-year-old starts from a position on the right-hand side but drifts inside and has already begun to show real signs of getting regular goal contributions — an important step to make it long-term at Liverpool.

Doak is already well-built for his age and is physically beyond his years, drawing comparisons to Xherdan Shaqiri, and the player himself has explained how he is settling in.

"It's mostly been about me getting to know people — the football has not really changed — it's been about getting to know the boys and the staff at the new club. I just need to try and keep getting better, particularly on the off-the-ball stuff," he said, via the Glasgow Times.

"I am trying to make what I do on the ball a lot better. That's one of my strengths, but you can always do better. I look up to Mohamed Salah, obviously. Even if he is not having the greatest of games he always pops up with a goal. His numbers are incredible and speak for themselves.

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"I scored against Napoli in the UEFA Youth League. It helps that I've done really well in the first couple of games. I've got all the numbers to back that up as well. Even if I am not having a good game, I can just look back to what I have done earlier in the season to keep my confidence up.

"Six months ago you would never have found me defending whatsoever. And that's the difference between making it into a first-team player rather than just a youth player.

"I am trying to turn my all-round game into a strength. I have not seen the first team too often, but I think that's deliberate and to make you want to get up there. If I saw them all the time it wouldn't be normal. It should be a privilege to be up there."

If Doak, who clearly speaks as maturely as he plays, continues to play the way that he is, he will follow the likes of Bobby Clark and Stefan Bajčetić in making the move to training regularly for the senior side under Jürgen Klopp very quickly.

That pathway being well-trodden is important in itself, too, as Liverpool attempt to continue the conveyor belt of talent that they have coming through the Academy and try to bring in the next player in the line to add to their ranks.

"I was just trying to think of the best path to go down to get better as a football player," Doak explained when asked about his decision to move south. "But once I went down there to Liverpool and saw the standards and the facilities, it's top, top level. You don't get any better than where I am at right now.

"I'm in the best place. Celtic are the club that made me the person I am and the player I am. I owe everything to Celtic. I still speak to a lot of the boys. I keep up with the results."

Since opening their £50m AXA Training Centre in November 2020, Liverpool have seen the results of having their youth team on the same site as the first team, rather than having a 15-minute or so drive between the two, as was the case at Melwood.

Klopp, Pep Lijnders and Vitor Matos are all, to differing extents, regular attendees at U18 and U21 matches, while the link-up has worked nicely in reverse, too, with Arthur Melo getting up to speed with two games at youth level to build his fitness during the international break.

Less than two years on from the move to one site on Kirkby having taken place, Liverpool are already reaping the benefits. The best thing is that they will only do so even more as the link continues to be strengthened — with players like Doak only helping to further reinforce it.

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Liverpool and Man City’s injury records: Pep’s side had 30 fewer injuries in four years

the Athletic - Mon, 09/26/2022 - 05:13

A special report released by The Athletic recently investigated Liverpool’s medical department during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at the club.

The medical staff at Liverpool had their work cut out to manage the squad’s fitness last season after a marathon 63 games, especially since 45 of those games were played with an average of three to four days of rest. 

This season, injuries to senior squad members have impacted Liverpool’s performances and results in the early part of the campaign, leaving them playing catch-up with closest title rivals Manchester City.

The absences of key players have been a crucial factor in derailing both sides’ seasons in recent years. City struggled to replace defender Aymeric Laporte after his knee injury in the early weeks of 2019-20, allowing Liverpool to breeze to the title.

Likewise, Virgil van Dijk’s anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2020-21 represented the beginning of an unforeseen collapse for Liverpool, as City regained the Premier League trophy with little challenge elsewhere. 

But beyond the standout absences, what can we glean from the data when comparing the medical records of these title rivals in recent seasons?

First, the context.

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