LFC NEWS

“Natural, intelligent mover” Takumi Minamino can still fulfil Liverpool need

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 22:30

The potential of Takumi Minamino continues to excite those behind the scenes at Liverpool despite his limited first-team opportunities to date.

The 26-year-old’s settling-in period at Anfield has been anything but smooth sailing, with a pandemic, loan switch and competition for places making a breakthrough tough going.

In his 31 appearances to date, Minamino has offered glimpses of the player Reds knew him to be while at Salzburg; an intelligent mover, confident finisher and playmaker.

Liverpool saw some of it throughout pre-season, having scored three goals in five appearances, but he has since only been an unused substitute on five occasions.

On the whole, it just has not happened for him so far, but he is considered a “long-term project” by Jurgen Klopp and it was reiterated by his assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders.

Fronting the media in place of the German ahead of the League Cup tie, Lijnders spoke highly of the Japan international and his potential – with time needed to unlock it.

“Taki had a really good pre-season and I think it was really important for him after going to Southampton,” Lijnders said.

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates after scoring the first goal during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“What was a good decision at the time is that he came back and had a complete pre-season with us, training-wise.

“He made an impact in the pre-season, we were really enthusiastic about him and then he had a small issue, with the national team, but he is back now.

“He was not 100 percent fit because he came back early but now he is good to go.

“We are really happy he is part of our team. Jurgen said, ‘Wow, the amount of times Taki is one vs one against the goalkeeper!’

“And I said, ‘It shows that you don’t need super, super speed to go one vs one with the goalkeeper’.

“He’s a very natural, intelligent mover. That’s what we need.

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“He has good timings to move in behind, good combination play when the players are close to him so he can only become better.

“That’s what we like. That’s why we brought him in at the time, we saw the potential, not the end product.”

It is anticipated that he will be handed his first minutes of the season at Norwich in the League Cup as part of a much-changed side, with the hope being he can build toward having a regular impact.

So far, Klopp has opted for the likes of Curtis Jones, Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to take the place of his regular attackers from the bench.

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'We're really happy Taki Minamino is part of our team'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 22:29

Takumi Minamino is pushing for an opportunity to show his pre-season form on the pitch for Liverpool, explained Pepijn Lijnders.

The Reds attacker is awaiting his first appearance of 2021-22, having been an unused substitute in five of the six fixtures so far this term.

Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff have been highly impressed by Minamino’s levels since returning from a loan spell at Southampton in the summer and are excited by his scope for further improvement.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City, assistant manager Lijnders said: “Taki had a really good pre-season and I think it was really important for him after going to Southampton, which was a good decision at that time.

“He came back and had a complete, full pre-season with us training-wise. He made an impact in pre-season, we were really enthusiastic about him. Then he had a small issue, with the national team, but he’s back now. He was not 100 per cent fit because he came back early, but now he is good to go and we are really happy that he’s part of our team.

“Jürgen said, ‘Wow, the amount of times Taki comes one-v-one against the goalkeeper.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it shows you don’t need super, super speed to come one-v-one with the goalkeeper.’ He is a very natural, intelligent mover.

“That’s what we need; we needed it already in the last games. He has this good timing to move in behind, good combination play when the players are close to him.

“He only can become better. That’s what we like, that’s why we brought him in at that time – because we saw the potential, not the end product.”

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'We're really happy Taki Minamino is part of our team'

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 22:29
Takumi Minamino is pushing for an opportunity to show his pre-season form on the pitch for Liverpool, explained Pepijn Lijnders.
Categories: LFC NEWS

10 key things to know ahead of Norwich vs. Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 20:00

Liverpool are in League Cup third round action on Tuesday night, making the trip to Premier League strugglers Norwich.

The Reds saw off a stubborn Crystal Palace side 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, going top of the table, momentarily at least.

It’s now time to focus on the League Cup, however, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side head to Carrow Road for a midweek assignment.

Here’s our match preview with 10 key things you need to know ahead of the game…

1. Norwich are in bad form!

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Norwich cruised to the Championship title last season and, having struggled in their last Premier League campaign, many felt they were better equipped this time around.

It hasn’t panned out that way so far, however, with the Canaries still without a point five matches into the season.

Defeats to the likes of Liverpool and Man City were understandable, but Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home to fellow newly-promoted side Watford was a tough one to take.

Daniel Farke has a huge job on his hands turning his team’s fortunes around – frankly, the League Cup is the least of their worries.

2. Kabak to face Reds?

 @ffsporttr (Instagram)

Ozan Kabak was an underrated performer for the Reds last season, joining on loan from Schalke and helping them seal an unlikely top-four finish.

Klopp opted to sign Ibrahima Konate instead of purchasing the Turk permanently, though, so he went in search for a new club.

Kabak ended up joining Norwich late in the transfer window and he made his debut against Watford at the weekend.

It could be that Farke puts the 21-year-old up against his former Liverpool teammates on Tuesday night, as he looks to show Klopp that he was wrong not to retain his services.

3. Changes expected for Reds

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The matches continue to come thick and fast for Liverpool, but this is an opportunity for Klopp to give key figures the night off.

The League Cup is at the bottom of the Reds’ priorities this season, so expect to see the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah rested, to name just a few.

Caoimhin Kelleher will be in goal, while Pepijn Lijnders confirmed Curtis Jones will start – to make his 50th appearance for the club.

Conor Bradley could be in line to start at right-back, and 16-year-old Kaide Gordon could also get his first senior start. The young duo were left out of Sunday’s under-23s match in preparation for Tuesday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi will likely be in attack, as they look to show that not signing an extra attacker in the summer wasn’t such a bad decision after all.

4. Injuries continue to arrive

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara limps off with an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Can Liverpool not just have a game when a player doesn’t go off injured? It feels like it’s happened in every match for about a year!

Thiago is the Reds’ latest casualty, with the Spaniard limping off with a calf issue in the win over Palace and being ruled out of this game and Saturday’s trip to Brentford.

The 30-year-old joins Harvey Elliott and Roberto Firmino on the sidelines, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is also unavailable after failing to recover from illness.

5. “Wow, we have a new player!”

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Kaide Gordon has a chance of making his Liverpool debut against the Canaries, following a promising pre-season at Anfield.

The 16-year-old looks a player of frightening potential and Pep Lijnders waxed lyrical over him in Monday’s press conference:

“He has fire in each moment he touches the ball. I saw him in pre-season and called Jurgen and said: ‘Wow, we have a new player!”

Could Gordon break Ben Woodburn‘s record (17 years and 45 days) as the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool‘s history on Tuesday?

6. Domestic cup woes

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s fair to say that Klopp isn’t too fond of the domestic cups in England, often paying the vast majority of his attention to the Premier League and Champions League.

Liverpool predominantly field much-weakened starting lineups and it has led to very little success in the competitions.

In fact, the Merseysiders have only got past the fourth round of the League Cup once in the past four seasons.

Liverpool did at least reach the final under Klopp in 2016, losing to City on penalties, but they have never even got to the quarters of the FA Cup with the German in charge.

7. Huge success in the past

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates with the Carling Cup Trophy

While the Reds’ success in the League Cup has taken a big backstep in the last decade or so, they have enjoyed many great days in the competition.

In fact, they and City have won the competition a record eight times overall.

Liverpool won it four times in a row between 1981 and 1984, three of which were during the glory days under Bob Paisley.

They then lifted the trophy in 1995, following a Steve McManaman-inspired win over Bolton, before seeing off Birmingham in the 2001 final, on their way to a cup treble under Gerard Houllier.

Man United were beaten two years later, with Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen finding the net, and Liverpool triumphed over Cardiff on penalties in 2012, no thanks to a horrendous spot-kick from Charlie Adam.

8. Did You Know?

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is a running joke that Norwich fans must be sick of the sight of Luis Suarez, but they may feel that way towards Liverpool in general.

The Canaries haven’t actually tasted victory against the Reds since way back in April 1994, in what was just the second season of the Premier League.

Incidentally, that was the final game in front of the standing Kop, as Jeremy Goss’ strike killed the mood and earned Norwich a 1-0 win.

That means it’s 15 games and counting undefeated in the fixture for Liverpool, with victory coming their way in nine of the last 10 meetings.

9. A new referee to ‘enjoy’

 Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

It has been confirmed that Darren England will take charge of the match and will also officiate a Liverpool game for the first time.

The 36-year-old has refereed 14 Premier League games to date, including Brentford‘s 2-0 win at Wolves on Saturday, as well as 13 in the League Cup.

Will he feel the wrath of Klopp on Tuesday?

10. TV Info

 A general view before the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tuesday’s match is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm (BST), with kickoff at 7.45pm.

There is also the option of joining us on our matchday live blog, with Henry Jackson in charge of keeping you entertained from 7.15pm.

Come on you Reds!

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Inside Anfield: Behind the scenes of Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 19:18

Go behind the scenes of Liverpool's hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace in the latest edition of Inside Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp’s Reds made it four wins out of five in the Premier League this term on Saturday, with Sadio Mane notching his 100th goal for the club.

Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita – via a sensational volley at the Kop end – were also on the scoresheet in front of another capacity crowd.

Take a different look back at the encounter with our special access around the stadium throughout the day in the video below.

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Inside Anfield: Behind the scenes of Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 19:18
Go behind the scenes of Liverpool's hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace in the latest edition of Inside Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Injury absences for Norwich & more links with big-name UCL duo – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 17:53

Liverpool picked up another pretty comprehensive win at the weekend in the end – but it’s straight back to business with a League Cup clash in midweek.

Euro pair in renewed Liverpool links

Apparently our reluctance to do business this past summer has only accelerated talk that we’ll be spending in force next summer.

European media today report Liverpool‘s interest in two players plying their trade in the Champions League this term – and one of them we’ve already had an up-close look at.

AC Milan’s Franck Kessie remains a player we’re keen on according to some of the less-reputable Italian outlets, though the fact his contract is up next summer will probably mean he’s at least on the Reds’ radar.

Over in Spain, meanwhile, it’s Erling Haaland we’re keen on: Mundo Deportivo say we’re following the “footsteps” of the Dortmund striker and keen to beat Barcelona, Real Madrid and every other team on the face of the planet to land him next summer.

There’s no doubt he’d be an incredible signing for the Reds and Jurgen Klopp has already spoken about his talents – but there will be an almighty fight for his signature.

Back to Carrow Rad

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's James Milner during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Tweet of the day and match of the night

Agree with the theory or will you be hoping the champions of Europe stumble domestically?

I think any Liverpool fan should be wanting Chelsea to beat City on Saturday. Just my opinion.

Of course Chelsea look stronger currently, but we should be wanting City as far adrift as possible, given their potential for long winning runs later in the season.

— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) September 20, 2021

Tonight you may watch Barcelona vs Granada (8pm) or Udinese vs Napoli (7.45pm). Nothing else is valid.

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Norwich City v Liverpool: Team news

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 17:00

Curtis Jones and Caoimhin Kelleher will start for Liverpool in Tuesday's Carabao Cup third-round tie with Norwich City.

The Reds visit Carrow Road for the second time this season, but their line-up is set to look significantly different to the side that beat the Canaries 3-0 in the Premier League last month.

“It’s gold for young players, proper gold, because we like this competition to introduce new players - and that’s why I have to say that Curtis, he’s going to start tomorrow and it’s his 50th game for Liverpool. That all started with this cup,” assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders said on Monday.

Lijnders also confirmed that Kelleher will play in goal and elaborated on Liverpool’s selection plans by detailing: “If you want to talk about team selection, you have to understand our way, our identity, our culture - what already started a long time ago. 

“We want to compete in each game and in these intense periods where you play each three days, it’s really important to, one, protect the players because it’s a high risk to play again and again and again. 

“And second, if you want to compete in the way we want to compete - with chasing the opposition and having fresh legs and having a fresh mind, having a fresh heart, having fresh lungs - then it’s important that you use energisers, [what] we call them, so players who come in and inspire the others with their game. 

“So, that’s what we are going to do tomorrow and what we are doing in the last week as well.”

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Four players who will not be involved are Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Neco Williams.

Thiago is certainly out of the Reds’ next two matches due to the calf injury he sustained during Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace.

“I can’t say now how long it will take but definitely not tomorrow and not at the weekend,” Lijnders stated.

Alexander-Arnold missed the weekend victory due to illness and Firmino has been absent for the last three games due to a hamstring injury, with Lijnders explaining: “[Trent] should be fine in a few days but Norwich comes too early… then we have Bobby, who will do parts of team training but also not ready. But progressing well.”

The Dutchman added: “Neco is progressing well as well. [For him] tomorrow also comes too early.”

For Norwich, Christoph Zimmermann and Przemyslaw Placheta remain sidelined, while Daniel Farke told the media on Monday that Todd Cantwell is unavailable due to personal reasons.

The Canaries manager reported no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s defeat by Watford - which was missed by Sam Byram, Bali Mumba and Jacob Sorensen - but confirmed his intention to rotate.

“Once you have to play against the best teams in the world, and we do this on league level and now we do this against Liverpool in the cup, we have to do this with full intensity,” Farke, whose team beat Bournemouth 6-0 in round two, said.

“For that I trust my whole squad. We have three games in seven days and it is important to bring some recovered players on the pitch, but not to rest other players. It is more to have players who can go with this intensity against the ball in order to be competitive.”

Last match

Norwich 1-3 Watford (September 18): Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Kabak, Williams, Gilmour, Normann, McLean, Rashica, Pukki, Sargent.

Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace (September 18): Alisson, Milner, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Jota.

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Norwich City v Liverpool: Team news

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 17:00
Curtis Jones and Caoimhin Kelleher will start for Liverpool in Tuesday's Carabao Cup third-round tie with Norwich City.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Free coach offer for Liverpool FC Women fixture

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 16:24

A free coach will be in operation to take fans to the next Liverpool FC Women home game, against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

It comes as the club continues to trial a ‘Park and Ride’ offer and follows the successful uptake of the service at the first home match.

The service will depart Anfield at 12pm BST on Sunday and take supporters to Prenton Park for the FA Women’s Championship fixture, which kicks off at 2pm.

The coach will then leave from Prenton Park after the game and return fans to Anfield. Anyone who wishes to ‘Park and Ride’ can leave their cars at the Sir Kenny Dalglish car park at the stadium before taking the coach.

To reserve a place on the coach, fans just need to complete this form and display a valid match ticket to the coach steward.

Match tickets are on sale to the public now at www.liverpoolfc.com/women-tickets priced just £4 for children and concessions, and £6.50 for adults.

Anfield season ticket holders and LFC Members are also reminded that a discount code will be placed in the Members Area this week that entitles them to four free tickets for this match.

A family park will be in operation for children ahead of the game in the Prenton car park, including football games, photo opportunities with Mighty Red, and face painting with lots of glitter.

Matt Beard’s side have taken four points from their last two fixtures in the league and will be keen to secure their first home win of the season.

Palace have an identical points total and goal difference to the Reds so far, so a good contest should be in store – book your tickets now and come along to support the team.

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Free coach offer for Liverpool FC Women fixture

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 16:24
A free coach will be in operation to take fans to the next Liverpool FC Women home game, against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool and Man Utd 'eye January swoop' for AC Milan star

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:27

Manchester United and Liverpool are both reportedly keen on AC Milan star Franck Kessie amid a contract standoff with the club.

The Serie A giants have been in “continuous” talks with the midfielder and his agent George Atangana as Premier League giants Liverpool and United monitor the situation ahead of the January transfer window.

According to Ill Milanista, Tuttosport has reported it is “not a mystery” that the Premier League clubs have been considering a move for the Ivorian international.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Liverpool and Man Utd 'eye January swoop' for AC Milan star

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:27
Manchester United and Liverpool are both reportedly keen on AC Milan star Franck Kessie amid a contract standoff with the club.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool and Man Utd 'eye January swoop' for AC Milan star

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:27

Manchester United and Liverpool are both reportedly keen on AC Milan star Franck Kessie amid a contract standoff with the club.

The Serie A giants have been in “continuous” talks with the midfielder and his agent George Atangana as Premier League giants Liverpool and United monitor the situation ahead of the January transfer window.

According to Ill Milanista, Tuttosport has reported it is “not a mystery” that the Premier League clubs have been considering a move for the Ivorian international.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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5 key things from Pep Lijnders’ pre-Norwich press conference

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:26

An enthusiastic Pep Lijnders took over the press duties ahead of the League Cup meeting with Norwich, speaking animatedly about Kaide Gordon, Ibrahima Konate and Curtis Jones.

Here are five things Liverpool‘s assistant manager told the media and supporters in his press conference on Monday:

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1. Time to “attack” the League Cup

The Reds have not had a successful run in the League Cup of late, with penalty shootouts, Premier League opposition and a trip to Qatar putting a spanner in the works.

But it remains “an important competition, despite what people are saying” for Lijnders, Klopp and co. with the club yet to add a domestic cup to the tally under the German.

“We want to introduce new players and second, we have this group of players inside our building who won so much, but to become proper legends you need national cups as well so we want to attack them!”

2. One name confirmed to start

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rotation will be the word once more, but you can write Curtis Jones‘ name in the XI with a permanent marker as he is guaranteed a start.

Lijnders confirmed as much for what will be Jones’ 50th game for Liverpool, a milestone that will see him come full circle as “it all started with these kinds of games.”

It means he could be sitting alongside the likes of James Milner, Naby Keita or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield.

3. Reds to be without 4 at Carrow Road

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara is treated for an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Moreover, Klopp’s options have become clearer for Tuesday night’s clash, with Thiago, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Neco Williams all to play no part.

The Spaniard will miss at least the next two games with scans on his calf yet to determine the severity of his injury, while the game is too soon for Trent and Williams.

Firmino is to return to “parts of team training” on Monday before stepping up his recovery.

The most poignant note from Lijnders on the situation was that “In one week we lose two really influential midfielders, that’s the bad thing.”

4. The next in line to inspire the whole academy

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) and Kaide Gordon during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC MIlan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having long been instrumental in acting as the bridge between the academy and the first team, Lijnders’ excitement for the club’s future stars is infectious, to say the least.

Kaide Gordon is one name that could feature on Tuesday and the “fire” he showed before his senior pre-season call up won the assistant manager over and the sky is truly the limit.

“He’s a typical Liverpool Football Club winger, in my opinion. He has goals, speed and we really like him and we are really happy he is with us!”

As are we, and there is a lot more where Gordon came from.

“I’m excited about our academy, there are so many talents! Diamonds! So many special players. There are so many who cannot wait to take their step up.

“Young players never let you down, they never do and they never will.”

5. Reds have a “beast in terms of physics” in their midst

 Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ibrahima Konate made his Liverpool debut against Crystal Palace, a solid performance that offered a glimpse at what is to come from the young defender.

Klopp was equally full of praise post-match but knows there are still “harsh lessons” to come and Lijnders echoed the sentiment and nodded to the famous settling-in period needed at Anfield.

“Robbo said it to him: All of us need time to adapt to our style. Virgil is probably one of the only ones who came in but he still needed to adapt,” Lijnders explained.

“He’s a beast in terms of physics! He can catch so many players, strong in the air, has a really good build-up so strong offensively as well. But he’s still so young.”

Another outing could come at Carrow Road, with Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips the other candidates.

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Pep Lijnders on team selection for Norwich, Carabao Cup ‘gold’ and more

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:15
Liverpool will be going all out to add the 2021-22 Carabao Cup to the club’s honours list, Pepijn Lijnders stressed.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'I'm so excited about our Academy - we have so many diamonds'

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 13:00
Pepijn Lijnders believes the Academy boasts numerous ‘diamonds’ with the potential to make the step up to Liverpool’s first team.
Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC assistant reveals phone call to Jurgen: “Wow, we have a new player!”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 12:44

Kaide Gordon more than caught the eye during his spell with the first team in pre-season and he has assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders speaking glowingly of his talent.

The 16-year-old only arrived at Liverpool in January but had a long list of admirers that spoke volumes of the talent he possesses.

A versatile forward, Gordon assimilated to life at Liverpool first with the academy before being drafted into the first team’s pre-season plans, going on to play 194 minutes across five games.

His place in the squad came thanks to his show of “fire” in training that caught the attention of non-other than Lijnders, who immediately got Jurgen Klopp on the line to tell him: “‘Wow, we have a new player here!'”

The excitement is more than warranted and it was matched by Lijnders’ enthusiasm as he spoke of the teenager ahead of Liverpool‘s League Cup tie at Norwich, with Gordon anticipated to play a part.

“Before pre-season we always make sure our biggest talents they start a week earlier than we start so they start with the U23s training,” Lijnders told reporters on Monday.

“I went to the U23s training and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball and he always passes players like they’re not standing there.

“So I called Jurgen immediately and ‘Wow, we have a new player here!’

“We took all these young players to pre-season and when you know you have a good player around you is when the senior players start taking care of this young player.

“So when you see James Milner speaking with Kaide, Trent becoming a proper mentor and when you see they invite him to sit at the table.

“And all of our boys invited him in our group and that made it good for him, how to adapt to our team and to our style.

“What you see a lot with these kind of wingers is they can outplay, they can combine and he has a goal in him – he has this natural ability to be in the box, between the goalposts to score.

“Not many talents have this. They may have the dribbling skills but they don’t have this desire to shoot, to come into the box, to score.

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“He’s a typical Liverpool Football Club winger, in my opinion. He has goals, speed and we really like him and we are really happy he is with us!”

While Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are vying for positions in attack at Carrow Road, Gordon will certainly come into Klopp’s thinking – on the bench at the very least.

Expectation will rightly remain carefully managed, but the excitement at what Gordon can offer in the future is clear to see – with the youngster in line to be the next to inspire a “whole academy.”

 Liverpool's Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Leeds United AFC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. Leeds United won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I am excited about our academy, there are so many talents! Diamonds! So many special players who just who cannot wait to make their step up,” Lijnders added on the club’s youth pathway.

“It’s so important we keep doing this because with one player we push, we inspire a whole academy so we have to keep this pathway.

“Young players will never let you down, never! They never did and they never will.”

Right-back Conor Bradley could also be in line for his debut against Norwich on Tuesday night.

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