England’s top 20 clubs reached a “unanimous” agreement on Tuesday not to release international players for any games which would include travel to a country on the UK government’s red list.
FIFA has chosen not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine when returning to club duties this season and, after La Liga backed up the Premier League’s decision not to send players to World Cup qualifiers in South America, it threatens to be an international break decimated by absentees.
The Athletic assesses the key developments.
What is the problem?
COVID-19, as usual. For all Premier League clubs will happily give their blessing to their internationals taking part in World Cup qualifiers across most of Europe after this weekend, there was a collective uneasiness in allowing any player to head off to one of the 60 nations on the UK’s red list.
That is where the dangers of COVID-19 are considered to be at their highest and, as a result, require returning travellers to observe a 10-day period of isolation in a “managed hotel” in the UK.
Problems have arisen from that ruling. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Egypt and Mexico are all among the red-list nations and any player travelling there would face an unavoidable period of quarantine before rejoining their clubs.
The UK government has taken an uncompromising stance on the issue, refusing to grant elite sport exemptions. A precedent was set with the British and Irish Lions rugby union squad, who had their request to skip quarantine denied when returning from their tour of South Africa, another red-list country, earlier this month.
That means Alexander-Arnold has assisted Mane four more times than he has done for any other Liverpool player.
This statistic should come as no real surprise, given the pair play on opposite flanks. Mane’s goalscoring prowess, agility, awareness and finishing expertise are well-known. As is Alexander-Arnold’s pinpoint delivery from dead-ball situations, as well as his general movement, reading of the game and the precision of his passes and crosses. It is a stat that makes sense.
However, if we dig a little deeper and run through each assist and other chances the England international has created for Mane in recent seasons then the extent of the duo’s on-field understanding — and what an asset that is to Liverpool — begins to emerge.
When we look at the player who has created the most chances for Mane since the 2016-17 campaign, it becomes clear just how much of a wavelength he and Alexander-Arnold find themselves on.
Alexander-Arnold is the Liverpool player who has created the most key passes and assists (50) for Mane in the league since the forward’s arrival from Southampton five years ago. A caveat to this is, of course, the large amount of set pieces Alexander-Arnold takes.
Liverpool's preparations for the weekend clash with Chelsea are in full flow and you can take a look in the latest edition of Inside Training on LFCTV GO.
There were goals galore, a special guest and much more on the agenda on Tuesday as the Reds build towards Saturday's showdown with the Blues.
See what Jürgen Klopp's side have been up to at the AXA Training Centre in the video from Kirkby above.
App users should tap here to watch the video.
Liverpool legend Terry McDermott has sadly been diagnosed with early stages of Lewy body dementia, and here Ste Speed praises the career and legacy of a rare breed.
Terry is one of those rare players to be seen as a club legend and be truly beloved by the fans of two different teams, Liverpool and Newcastle United.
When people put together fantasy teams of the greatest Liverpool players of all time, Terry McDermott is often overlooked. This is a shame because, in my opinion, he belongs among the all-time greats in the history of the club. He was a vital member of the side that won trophies for fun at home and in Europe. His passing was immense and he scored a number of spectacular and unforgettable goals. He also had incredible stamina and epitomised the will to win. This was never better encapsulated than in his headed goal in the 7-0 win over Spurs in 1978.
His stamina was even more impressive considering how much he enjoyed his pints away from the pitch. I have spoken to several former players about the drinking culture at Liverpool and have been told that Terry was incredible for the way he could go out all night, drink everyone under the table and then the next morning be the best and most energetic in training.
Terry was born in 1951 and grew up in Kirkby. He was a massive Liverpool fan growing up and was a regular at Anfield to watch his heroes. He started his football career with Bury in 1969, just before he turned 18. He played fairly regularly for the first team over the next four years before moving to Newcastle United in March 1973. In his first full season at Newcastle, they reached the 1974 FA Cup final against Liverpool in what was to be Bill Shankly’s final game as manager.
Terry was part of the team that was destroyed 3-0 by the Reds that day, but he must have made an impression because six months later Bob Paisley made his dream come true by bringing him home to Anfield.
Terry made his debut for Liverpool on November 16, 1974, in a fierce Merseyside derby. This was truly a baptism of fire for a player to make their debut in this fixture, especially for a passionate Scouser. Phil Neal also made his debut for the Reds in the same game. Terry wasn’t a regular in the team during the 1974/75 season and had to wait until March 1975 to score his first Liverpool goal, in a 1-1 draw away to Burnley. Liverpool won the First Division and the UEFA Cup in 1975/76 but Terry couldn’t hold down a regular place in the side and didn’t play enough games to win a league title medal, although he did make the squad in Europe.
Terry was rumoured to be leaving Liverpool in 1976 but he made the correct decision to stay and became a vital part of the side in the incredible 1976/77 season. The Reds won the First Division title again and had a chance of winning a historic treble as they reached the finals of the FA Cup and the European Cup. In the classic FA Cup semi-final against Everton at Maine Road, Terry scored a brilliant goal that would later be awarded the Goal of the Season. He controlled the ball beautifully on a damp muddy pitch before turning and catching the Everton ‘keeper off his line with an amazing chip. The match ended up finishing 2-2 and is a game that Everton fans still bring up regularly. The Blues were denied a late winner when a goal from Brian Hamilton was disallowed and to this day nobody really knows why. Liverpool stuffed them 3-0 in the replay and were off to Wembley to meet Man United in the final.
Sadly they were denied the chance to win the treble when the Mancs won 2-1. However, the sadness of this defeat was healed just a few days later in what has since become known as ‘The Glory of Rome’. Liverpool had reached their first European Cup final and the opponents were the German side Borussia Monchengladbach. Terry scored a brilliant goal to open the scoring on the night, before a classic Tommy Smith header and a Phil Neal penalty wrapped up a 3-1 victory and sent thousands of Liverpool fans into rapturous delight.
In November and December 1977 Liverpool played SV Hamburg in the UEFA Super Cup final. Back then it was played over two legs. The first leg in Germany finished in a 1-1 draw. The return leg was Kevin Keegan’s first game back at Anfield since he left to join Hamburg at the end of the previous season. It was not a happy return for Mighty Mouse as the German side was humiliated 6-0. Terry scored a brilliant hat-trick in this game with Keegan’s replacement, Kenny Dalglish, also getting on the scoresheet.
Liverpool reached their first League Cup final in 1978 when they played Nottingham Forest. The game at Wembley finished 0-0 and Terry had a goal disallowed due to Dalglish being in an offside position. In the replay, Terry and the team were robbed twice by the officials. Brian Clough’s men scored with a penalty that was awarded for a foul outside the box before Terry had a perfectly good goal disallowed for handball. Forest went on to win the trophy and then did a double over the Reds by also winning the First Division.
Liverpool had consolation, however, by retaining the European Cup at Wembley with a 1-0 win against the Belgian side Club Brugge. In September 1978, Terry was rewarded for his fine performances when he received the first of 25 caps for England.
The following season started badly when Liverpool were drawn against Forest in the first round of the European Cup and were once again defeated. From there the season went on to become one of the finest in the club’s history. They won the First Division title in style conceding just 16 goals, only four of which were at Anfield. Liverpool were unbeaten at home for the entire season with 19 wins and two draws.
Terry scored one of the greatest Liverpool goals of all time in September 1978, during a 7-0 win over Spurs. The move started with Liverpool defending a corner and Terry in the area to help out. Liverpool cleared the corner and the ball was cleared out to Steve Heighway on the left wing. Meanwhile, Terry was sprinting up the pitch. Heighway hit the ball first-time and it was the most perfect cross ever seen at Anfield. Terry, who had sprinted 70 yards, arrived in the box with perfect timing to meet the cross and score a quite stupendous header.
What makes this goal a little extra impressive is that it was near the end of the game and Terry didn’t need to make that run, but it just shows how committed he was to the team winning – and indeed, winning in style – that he was prepared to do that.
Terry had another fantastic season in 1979/80 as he helped Liverpool to another First Division title. It was also a brilliant season for him personally as he was awarded the PFA Player of the Year. One highlight during the season came at White Hart Lane in the FA Cup when, for the second season in a row, Terry scored an absolute beauty against Spurs. Ossie Ardiles misplaced a pass straight to Terry who flicked the ball into the air and then volleyed into the top corner from about 30 yards to the right of the area.
Liverpool lost the league title in 1981 to Aston Villa but the trophies kept coming. The League Cup was won for the first time after a replayed final against West Ham. Terry then played in his third European Cup final as Liverpool beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris. Earlier in the competition, he scored another one of his classic goals away to Aberdeen with a sublime chip from the left of the area.
During the 1981/82 season, Terry was still a regular in the side, but unlike previous seasons he didn’t play every week. He was then 30 years old and younger players like Ronnie Whelan and Sammy Lee were starting to make their mark and stake their claims for first-team places. Terry played 20 league games that season, whereas he had played 40 in the previous one. He played in the 1982 League Cup final which Liverpool won 3-1 against Spurs and then won another First Division title medal.
He travelled to Spain as part of the England squad for the 1982 World Cup but didn’t play in any of the games. This was quite odd as he had played in all of the qualifiers. Terry never played for England again.
The 1982 league title was Terry’s final medal as a Liverpool player, as he was sold back to Newcastle in September 1982 after eight years of sublime service and incredible success. He was reunited with Keegan on Tyneside and played an important part in helping Newcastle get promoted back to Division One in 1984. In 1985, Terry left Newcastle and joined Cork City in Ireland. After five appearances for the League of Ireland side, he moved abroad to Cyprus and joined APOEL.
In his first season in Cyprus, Terry won even more medals as he helped APOEL to a double of the league title and the Super Cup in 1986. The league title win meant that they qualified for the European Cup. Sadly, Terry never got the chance to play in the competition again due to some controversial circumstances. APOEL were drawn against the Turkish champions Besiktas in the second round of the competition. The Cypriot government refused to allow APOEL to play against a team from Turkey and APOEL were kicked out of the competition by UEFA and banned for one year. After one more season in Cyprus, in 1986/87, Terry retired from playing.
After five years away from the spotlight, Terry began a long career in coaching. He was brought back to Newcastle by the new manager Kevin Keegan in February 1992. Terry worked as the first-team coach and in a parallel from nine years earlier, the combination of Terry and Keegan along with Peter Beardsley – who had also returned, as a player – led the club to promotion into the newly formed Premier League.
Under Keegan and Terry’s leadership, Newcastle had an exciting few years as they regularly challenged for titles, coming the closest in 1996 when they blew a huge lead. They were 12 points ahead of Man United in January and appeared to be cruising to the title. They went on a poor run of results in March and April, including the famous 4-3 defeat to Liverpool and allowed United to overtake them and win the title.
Keegan left in 1997 but Terry stayed on to work with the new boss, and another former Liverpool team-mate, Kenny Dalglish. Kenny left after one season and Terry also departed the club in 1998 when new boss Ruud Gullit brought his own coaches in.
He returned to Newcastle as a coach in 2005 when he was brought back by another old mate, Graeme Souness. After Souness was sacked, Terry remained at the club under subsequent managers Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce and then Kevin Keegan, who came back for a second spell. Keegan and Terry both left the club again in September 2008.
After leaving Newcastle, Terry became the assistant manager at League One side Huddersfield Town, alongside former Newcastle player Lee Clark. In February 2012, Terry and Clark were both sacked. In June 2012, Lee Clark became the manager of Birmingham City and brought Terry in as his assistant.
Since then Terry has been a familiar face around Anfield working for the club in various capacities showing fans around on Legends tours and chatting with fans who have purchased hospitality tickets to matches.
Terry is one of the most loved Liverpool players of all time and his part in the glory years from the late 1970s to the early 1980s will never be forgotten.
In 2006, Terry was voted in by Liverpool fans at No. 37 in the series ‘100 Players Who Shook the Kop’. In the 2013 version, he came in at No. 42.
His sense of humour, approachability and friendliness have made Terry one of the most popular ex-players among Liverpool supporters – and all Reds and football fans in general around the world will be thinking of him with the news about his diagnosis.
The Danish attacker shone in the summer at Euro 2020 and the Reds are far from alone in being admirers – though we were in attendance for Monday night’s game against AC Milan.
We’ll see if that transpires into a bid for him, but again, it’s worth noting that local rumours have said no moves for attackers unless Origi leaves as well as Shaqiri.
Elsewhere, we’ve come up with a list of 12 moves which could still go through this week involving Reds.
Latest Liverpool FC news
Heart emojis for Robbo.
There’s no place I’d rather be! Love it to bits here, it’s home. Thanks to everyone for the incredible support from day one until now. My focus is on working even harder so we can achieve more great memories together #YNWA pic.twitter.com/5vPrOPaLXN
— Andy Robertson (@andrewrobertso5) August 24, 2021
Jürgen Klopp and four members of his Liverpool squad were presented with FIFA awards by Arsene Wenger on Tuesday.
Former Arsenal manager Wenger, now FIFA's chief of global football development, handed over the 2020 Best FIFA Men's Coach prize to Klopp.
Meanwhile, he gave Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara trophies to mark their inclusion in the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World11.
Wenger watched Tuesday's session at the AXA Training Centre and also caught up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who he coached at Arsenal between 2011 and 2017.
Take a look at our collection of photos below.
Photos by Andrew Powell - @andyphotolfc
The 27-year-old was given as much time as he required to mourn, but stayed with the group for sessions at Kirkby and sat alongside the injured James Milner throughout the triumphant return of a full Anfield.
He will now be considered for selection as Chelsea visit Merseyside this weekend, having returned to training on Tuesday morning.
The Frenchman, who now serves as FIFA’s chief of global football development, joined Klopp to watch training afterwards, with Andy Robertson also part of the group having recovered from his ankle injury.
There appear to be no new injury problems, though Milner was not part of training as he recovers from a minor issue.Liverpool squad training on Tuesday
Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Gomez, Konate, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas
Forwards: Salah, Mane, Jota, Firmino, Minamino, Origi
Andrew Robertson has signed a new contract with Liverpool which runs until the summer of 2026.
The 27-year-old has missed a total of just four games since joining the Reds from Hull City for £8m in 2017 and started all 38 Premier League games last season.
Only forward Sadio Mane provided more Premier League assists (8) than Robertson's seven last term, with the full-back also registering 11 assists in 2018/19 and 12 in 2019/20.Saturday 28th August 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm
However, Robertson has missed the start of the new campaign with ankle ligament damage sustained during the pre-season friendly against Athletic Bilbao.
On the announcement, Robertson told Liverpoolfc.com: "Obviously when the negotiations started and it looked as if my future was going to be here longer term than what it was, then I think it's no secret that I'm happy at this club.
"I want to stay at this club for as long as possible and to extend my stay, it's always a happy time for me, for my family.
"We're settled here, we love everything about this football club and I'm glad that the journey is continuing."
In total, Robertson has made 177 appearances for the club to date and has won the Premier League, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.
Liverpool reportedly have scouts watching Sampdoria winger Mikkel Damsgaard, the 21-year-old who caught the eye with two goals for Denmark at this summer’s Euros.
Damsgaard was one of the heroes of Denmark’s push to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, stepping into the breach following Christian Eriksen’s shocking cardiac arrest on the pitch.
The young winger struck against both Russia and England, along with providing an assist in the 4-0 thrashing of Wales, building on a breakthrough campaign with Sampdoria.
Primarily a left-sided attacker, Damsgaard can play in a variety of other roles including on the right, as a No. 10 and even in central midfield, while he was regularly deployed up front for previous club Nordsjaelland.
Damsgaard only joined Sampdoria in 2020, in a deal worth €6.7 million, but appears to be already in line for a move away, with a number of clubs claimed to be interested.
Whether or not the Reds’ interest is genuine remains to be seen, though this is not the first time Damsgaard has been linked with Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
Given his age, potential, current ability and tactical flexibility, it would be no surprise if the Dane was being considered as a possible target, particularly as Liverpool will be weighing up reinforcements attack.
It could be that if Origi moves on, the club pushes forward with a late move before the transfer deadline on August 31, with the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Ismaila Sarr and Pedro Neto among the targets.
Damsgaard could be an expensive addition, but he may turn out to be an ideal player to provide competition for Sadio Mane on the left flank.
Liverpool right-back Conor Bradley has kept his place in the Northern Ireland squad after his surprise debut in May, despite having yet to play for the first team.
Bradley is one of the most highly regarded talents in the Reds’ academy, and was part of Jurgen Klopp‘s senior squad for pre-season training in Austria.
The 18-year-old featured in the friendlies against Stuttgart and Osasuna, before rejoining the under-23s for the start of the new campaign, which saw him assist twice in Monday’s 3-1 victory over Everton.
He is also part of the Northern Ireland squad for next month’s clashes with Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland, two of which are World Cup qualifiers.
This follows his shock call-up to Ian Baraclough’s side at the end of last season, which brought his international debut as a late substitute in the 3-0 win against Malta in May.
Tellingly, Bradley is the least experienced player in a squad that has seen the likes of Steven Davis, Jonny Evans, Jamal Lewis and Corry Evans recalled.
Stuart Dallas and Craig Cathcart are among the other Premier League regulars involved, along with familiar faces such as Shane Ferguson, Paddy McNair and Conor Washington.
Though Northern Ireland are a low-ranked side, the calibre of Bradley’s team-mates is a testament to the esteem he is held in by Baraclough despite having yet to make his competitive debut for Liverpool.
Whether he features in the World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Switzerland remains to be seen, but his inclusion suggests he could at least be involved in the friendly against Estonia.
If he does, he can hope to give a good account of himself when handed another big chance.
Having joined the Reds from Stoke in a £13.5 million deal in 2018, Shaqiri departed for Ligue 1 in transfer that recouped £9.5 million for the 29-year-old.
Arriving to bolster the attacking ranks, the Swiss performed to a high standard throughout his time at Anfield but was rarely considered a first-choice starter despite his versatility.
In 63 games for the club, Shaqiri scored eight goals and laid on nine assists, but his record is more impressive than it seems given the minutes he was afforded on the pitch.
Only 25 of his appearances came from the start, with the No. 23 only completing the full 90 minutes on nine occasions and coming off the bench 38 times.
Three years as a Liverpool player saw him total just 2,525 minutes of game time, with eight players clocking more than that last season alone – but whenever called upon, Shaqiri made his influence felt.
A statistic courtesy of Opta’s Michael Reid highlights that in the Premier League era, no player has averaged fewer minutes per assist in all competitions for the club than Shaqiri:
Best mins/assist ratios for #LFC in all comps since 1992-93 (50+ apps):
?Xherdan Shaqiri – 278?
Jermaine Pennant – 286
Vladimir Smicer – 323
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 340
Craig Bellamy – 346
Philippe Coutinho – 346
Roberto Firmino – 356
Steve McManaman – 364
Mo Salah – 375 https://t.co/vgzd1dUMRF
— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) August 22, 2021
His tally of assists includes a particularly memorable one with his cross for Gini Wijnaldum‘s header against Barcelona, while his last was a sumptuous crossfield pass for Salah in last season’s 3-1 win at West Ham.
At Lyon, Shaqiri is likely to be given the regular role he desires, with the Ligue 1 club reportedly making him their highest earner after he signed a three-year contract.