LFC NEWS

Liverpool, Celtic and West Ham weigh up bids for Omar Colley

HEAD NEWS - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:55

Liverpool, West Ham and Celtic have all been credited with an interest in Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley, who is available at something of a bargain price this summer.

The Gambia international, who turns 28 later this month, has a release clause of just £10.8m, which is attracting the attention of a number of clubs in the UK.

Colley signed for Sampdoria in 2018 from Genk and has made over 50 league appearances in Italy, also racking up 13 Europa League appearances at his previous club.

Full story: Metro

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

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Liverpool, Celtic and West Ham weigh up bids for Omar Colley

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:55

Liverpool, West Ham and Celtic have all been credited with an interest in Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley, who is available at something of a bargain price this summer.

The Gambia international, who turns 28 later this month, has a release clause of just £10.8m, which is attracting the attention of a number of clubs in the UK.

Colley signed for Sampdoria in 2018 from Genk and has made over 50 league appearances in Italy, also racking up 13 Europa League appearances at his previous club.

Full story: Metro

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

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Liverpool, Celtic and West Ham weigh up bids for Omar Colley

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:55
Liverpool, West Ham and Celtic have all been credited with an interest in Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley, who is available at something of a bargain price this summer.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watford name price for Ismaila Sarr amid Liverpool interest

HEAD NEWS - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:36

Watford will demand at least £40m for Ismaila Sarr.

The Championship club want to keep Sarr to help their push for an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Sarr ever since the 22-year-old scored twice against Jurgen Klopp’s men at Vicarage Road in February.

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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Watford name price for Ismaila Sarr amid Liverpool interest

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:36

Watford will demand at least £40m for Ismaila Sarr.

The Championship club want to keep Sarr to help their push for an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Sarr ever since the 22-year-old scored twice against Jurgen Klopp’s men at Vicarage Road in February.

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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Watford name price for Ismaila Sarr amid Liverpool interest

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:36
Watford will demand at least £40m for Ismaila Sarr.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah on track for greatness

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:11
Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Will Mohamed Salah haunt his former club at Stamford Bridge? Watch Chelsea vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League HD from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 18/09/20 11:16am

For Mohamed Salah, a trip to Stamford Bridge serves as a reminder of how far he has come. The Egyptian has blossomed since he was cut loose by Chelsea as a youngster. As ever, he will be eager to show his former club what they are missing on Super Sunday.

He heads to west London having made an explosive start to the season, his match-winning hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-3 victory over Leeds United on the opening day prompting Gary Neville to say he is performing at "an absolutely different level". "He looks mean, he looks hungry, he looks strong," added the Sky Sports pundit on Monday Night Football.

Salah's brilliance can be taken for granted at times. Jamie Carragher said his achievements were "underappreciated" after a 3-2 win over West Ham in February. But his devastating performance at Anfield on Saturday was a reminder that he is on track to achieve Premier League greatness.

Raising expectations for himself 3:59 Gary Neville believes Mohamed Salah's performance against Leeds shows that he's playing at a different level to most players in the world Gary Neville believes Mohamed Salah's performance against Leeds shows that he's playing at a different level to most players in the world

Salah is a victim of the extraordinarily high standards he set himself during his first season at Anfield. He sent records tumbling that year, hitting a total of 44 goals in all competitions, including 32 in the Premier League - breaking the record set by Luis Suarez four years earlier.

Salah has not hit those numbers since. In fact, his goal totals have trended downwards. He scored 22 in the Premier League in 2018/19, followed by 19 last season.

But examine his time at Liverpool as a whole and it becomes clear that his output is unmatched.

Since his arrival at Anfield from Roma in the summer of 2017, Salah has scored 11 more goals than any other Premier League player, leaving Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero trailing in his wake. He has hit 26 more than Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane in the same timeframe.

To score 76 goals in just 109 Premier League appearances is a remarkable feat. And even after adding the 13 appearances he made for Chelsea - during which he scored twice - there are only four players who can better his record.

Salah boasts more goals after 122 Premier League appearance than Thierry Henry.

It is all the more impressive when you consider that, unlike the rest of the names in that distinguished list, Salah operates from the flank rather than as a central striker.

While his goal totals may have dipped in the last two seasons, there is little in his underlying numbers to cause alarm. Salah has averaged around four shots per 90 minutes every season at Liverpool and his numbers for touches in the opposition box have in fact risen from year to year.

The difference is that he has not finished his chances quite as clinically in the last two seasons as in the one before that, but his hat-trick against Leeds was a reminder of what he is capable of. It might also hint that he is primed for another goalscoring campaign like his first one.

'Selfish' streak but creative too Salah celebrates scoring his second goal with Roberto Firmino Salah celebrates scoring his second goal with Roberto Firmino Salah celebrates scoring his second goal with Roberto Firmino

Neville touched on Salah's mentality as well as his ability on Monday Night Football, saying the 28-year-old's hunger for goals reminds him of his former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Mane is likeable… he'll do the selfless thing for the team," said Neville. "Then you look at Salah on the other side. He sometimes doesn't pass to his team-mates. He is a little bit more selfish and a little bit less likeable because of that, probably to the fans and to his own team-mates."

Chelsea vs Liverpool

September 20, 2020, 4:00pm

Live on

Neville believes that selfish streak will elevate Salah into the group of players vying to be considered the best in the world in the years ahead and that side of his character is no secret. It even caused tensions to boil over in August of last year, when Mane reacted angrily to his refusal to pass to him during a 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.

It would be unfair, though, to suggest that Salah is only out for himself. In addition to the 76 Premier League goals he has scored since his arrival at Liverpool, there have been 28 assists. Across the division since then, only Andrew Robertson, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne have provided more.

The statistics suggest Salah's perceived selfishness may in fact be overplayed.

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If his numbers for assists are not impressive enough, consider the fact that only De Bruyne has created more open-play chances since the start of the 2017/18 season. Salah's total stands at 175 - an average of almost two per 90 minutes played. Salah is a goal creator as well as a goal scorer.

Thiago to provide another lift 1:51 Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says Liverpool's £25m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara is 'incredible business' Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says Liverpool's £25m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara is 'incredible business'

The worry for Liverpool's Premier League rivals is that, with Thiago Alcantara finally on his way to Anfield, Salah is about to get even better.

Thiago, who is due to complete his £25m move from Bayern Munich imminently, will bring a new dimension to Jurgen Klopp's side. His passing ability and technical skill will allow them to play through midfield rather than bypass it. He will offer Salah a new source of ammunition.

The 29-year-old is not an assists-machine in the mould of Kevin De Bruyne. He plays deeper than the Belgian, controlling the game and orchestrating attacks from the base of midfield and most commonly providing the pass before the pass, as he did in the build-up to Kingsley Coman's winning goal in last month's Champions League final.

2:59 Highlights from Liverpool's 4-3 win over Leeds in the Premier League Highlights from Liverpool's 4-3 win over Leeds in the Premier League

But he still excels at picking out runners in front of him and that's good news for Salah, who is at his most dangerous when running in behind the opposition's defence. The kind of passes he needs rarely come from Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and the rest. But, as Carragher puts it: "Thiago would bring something different".

Salah will be licking his lips at the prospect of feeding off Thiago's passes. He has started the season in the most emphatic style possible, but it seems the best is yet to come from a player already destined for Premier League greatness.

Watch Chelsea vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League HD from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm

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Chelsea v Liverpool: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:00

Liverpool travel to Chelsea for their second Premier League fixture of the season on Sunday.

The game at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 4.30pm BST and will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Two minutes of highlights will be available to watch on LFCTV GO two hours after the full-time whistle and extended match action can be viewed from midnight.

Make sure you don’t miss a kick by using the code 2021GOFREE to start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO now – this can be cancelled at any time.

Our live Match Centre will be running throughout the day on Liverpoolfc.com and the official LFC app, bringing you all the build-up to the game, minute-by-minute updates, audio commentary, interactive features and much more.

For global broadcast listings, click here.

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Chelsea v Liverpool: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:00
Liverpool travel to Chelsea for their second Premier League fixture of the season on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

6.50pm BST: Watch Derby v Liverpool U23s live

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:45

Liverpool U23s are back in action on Friday night as they face Derby County in Premier League 2 - watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.50pm BST.

Kick-off at Loughborough University is scheduled for 7pm as Barry Lewtas' side look to build on last weekend's opening-day win over Everton.

Supporters are reminded that this is a behind-closed-doors fixture. All matches will take place behind closed doors until October at the earliest.

Click here to watch the game live>>

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6.50pm BST: Watch Derby v Liverpool U23s live

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:45
Liverpool U23s are back in action on Friday night as they face Derby County in Premier League 2 - watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.50pm BST.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch live: Jürgen Klopp's pre-Chelsea press conference

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:30

Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference live with us from 12pm BST today.

The manager will preview Liverpool's Premier League trip to Chelsea by answering journalists' questions remotely from Melwood.

Watch Klopp's media briefing via our live YouTube stream by returning to this page shortly before the start time.

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Watch live: Jürgen Klopp's pre-Chelsea press conference

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:30
Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference live with us from 12pm BST today.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool could face Leicester or Arsenal in Carabao Cup

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 22:20
Spurs could face Chelsea if they progress past Leyton Orient and Barnsley respectively

Last Updated: 18/09/20 6:13am

The winner of Liverpool's Carabao Cup tie against Lincoln City, live on Sky Sports Football next Thursday, will face either Arsenal or Leicester in round four of the competition.

Spurs could face Chelsea if they each progress past Leyton Orient and Barnsley respectively, while the winner between holders Manchester City and Bournemouth will play either Millwall or Burnley.

Brentford could have a chance to exact revenge on Fulham for last season's Championship play-off final, if the Bees beat West Brom and their west London rivals beat Sheffield Wednesday.

Manchester United or Luton will come up against whoever is successful between Preston North End and Brighton, and a win for Aston Villa against Bristol City would see them play either Stoke City or Gillingham.

Fleetwood or Everton will take on West Ham or Hull, and the victors of Newport against Watford will get either Morecambe or Newcastle in round four.

Everton will face either West Ham or Hull if they beat Fleetwood in round three Everton will face either West Ham or Hull if they beat Fleetwood in round three Everton will face either West Ham or Hull if they beat Fleetwood in round three

The round four games will be played in the week commencing September 28, with four - to be announced at a later date - broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Carabao Cup round four draw
  • Lincoln or Liverpool vs Leicester City or Arsenal
  • Millwall or Burnley vs Manchester City or Bournemouth
  • West Brom or Brentford vs Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday
  • Fleetwood or Everton vs West Ham or Hull
  • Bristol City or Aston Villa vs Stoke or Gillingham
  • Leyton Orient or Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea or Barnsley
  • Newport or Watford vs Morecambe or Newcastle
  • Preston or Brighton vs Luton or Manchester United
Carabao Cup round three live on Sky Sports

Four round three ties have been chosen for broadcast live on Sky Sports:

  • Tue 22 Sep: Leyton Orient v Tottenham (6pm)
  • Tue 22 Sep: Luton v Manchester United (8.15pm)
  • Wed 23 Sep: Fleetwood v Everton (7.45pm)
  • Thu 24 Sep: Lincoln v Liverpool (7.45pm)
Carabao Cup round three draw

Round three ties to be played in the week commencing September 21:

  • Lincoln vs Liverpool
  • Bristol City vs Aston Villa
  • Morecambe vs Newcastle
  • Luton vs Manchester United
  • Preston vs Brighton
  • Fulham vs Sheffield Wednesday
  • Manchester City vs Bournemouth
  • Millwall vs Burnley
  • Chelsea vs Barnsley
  • Stoke vs Gillingham
  • Leicester City vs Arsenal
  • West Brom vs Brentford
  • Newport vs Watford
  • Fleetwood vs Everton
  • Leyton Orient vs Tottenham Hotspur
  • West Ham vs Hull
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Carabao Cup fourth-round draw revealed

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 22:09

Thursday night’s Carabao Cup fourth-round draw paired Lincoln City/Liverpool with Leicester City/Arsenal.

The Reds are set to face League One side Lincoln in the third-round stage on September 24.

The winners of that tie will progress to a home meeting with either Leicester or Arsenal, following the competition’s latest draw.

Fourth-round ties are scheduled to be played in the week commencing September 28.

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Carabao Cup fourth-round draw revealed

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 22:09
Thursday night’s Carabao Cup fourth-round draw paired Lincoln City/Liverpool with Leicester City/Arsenal.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Do Liverpool have the squad depth to win back-to-back Premier League titles?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 19:00

With the transfer window bringing inevitable talk of new signings at Liverpool, and all quiet at Anfield so far, Andy Campbell assesses the Reds’ squad depth and title hopes.

Soak it up, savour it. Breathe it in.

Every last intoxicating trail of smoke from the celebratory fireworks. Each and every angle of Klopp’s dazzling dance moves. Every precious, tantrum-induced, salty tear stain from rival supporters.

For the first time in 30 years, Liverpool took to the field as league champions as the season kicked off. The trophy lift will feature in every opening segment of Match of the Day, the infamous shuffle in all its HD glory for the entirety of 2020/21.

Martin Tyler can no longer drone on about the long wait, whether it’s on Sky Sports or infuriatingly every single game of FIFA featuring the Reds. Alan Smith will still ramble on about ’89 at Anfield mind!

For a significant section of the fanbase, this is uncharted terrain. And that’s putting aside the post-apocalyptic young-adult fiction vibe COVID-19 brings.

Previously, the standard summer cycle typically involved varying degrees of squad overhaul, new management and squabbles over who would be this year’s final piece of the jigsaw.

That those arguments are now largely played out across social-media platforms with strangers of unspecified age, knowledge and motive reflects the insanity of modern dialogue on…well, everything really.

Is it really worth arguing over Liverpool’s fiscal position and consequent transfer options with an eight-year-old on their lunch break in Valparaiso, Chile, who it turns out was a Porotos Granados-munching Everton fan on the windup all along? Le faltan palos para el Puente!!

 Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and assistant manager Peter Krawietz celebrate on the podium during the trophy presentation as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I naively thought Jurgen Klopp had rather ruined our traditions by winning the Premier League. A summer of bliss, unity and well-placed optimism beckoned.

A supremely talented squad, that has already delivered success, is still in its peak years in terms of age profile and has no glaring long-term injury issues surely only needs tweaking.

Instead, Twitter user @LFCDavidSilvaSuperFanNudes, who may or may not be a bot, explained the glaring holes in the team and why they’ll be lucky to finish above Norwich.

To suggest a schism in the fanbase is probably a step too far but there’s certainly differing opinions on what’s needed in this season’s squad.

Mind the Gap

 Liverpool’s players in anthem jackets before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The current Reds team have an outstanding and well-established starting XI. There’s strength in depth, exemplified by players coming off the bench to impact games across the 2019/20 title win.

So where are the gaps? Are there areas that can be improved?

Goalkeeper?

 Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson is, perhaps, the best goalkeeper in world football. The undisputed No. 1 at Liverpool. He’s a majestically handsome bastard to boot!

Injuries restricted Alisson to just 37 appearances but Adrian offers more than adequate backup.

Yes, he cost Liverpool with expensive errors in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid and yes, he cost me personally.

That exclusive Karl Thyer mug was irreplaceable frankly, let alone the cost of replacing my TV that evidently isn’t shatterproof. So much for the lavender-scented zen calming candles.

Yet overall, Adrian’s contribution was positive.

On a more practical level, it’s simply not feasible to go out and waste a restricted transfer budget on someone who’s unlikely to match Adrian’s 11 appearances of last season.

VERDICT: All good here, but time for Karius to move on.

Centre-back?

 Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk has proven his quality time and again. Factor in his durability, contentment with life on Merseyside and an increasingly reliable partner in Joe Gomez.

This is a first-choice pairing even peak Mourinho would have looked at with snide, envious glances. Respect.

Gomez’s 43 appearances last term suggest a young player overcoming earlier serious injury concerns, but beyond the first-choice pairing, problems are evident.

Matip is a first-rate performer and when fully fit would compete fiercely with Gomez for a starting slot. Unfortunately, he’s injury prone and has been throughout his career.

Lovren is gone, no need to debate his merits anymore.

All told, the Reds are short in this department. That’s not to say there aren’t options. Fabinho is excellent when required to step back into defence but he’s a big loss from the middle of the park.

The youngsters Koumetio, Van den Berg and Hoever all represent promising and varying degrees of unknown talent, and it would be a significant gamble, and show of trust, asking any of the kids to step in as fourth-choice centre-back.

VERDICT: I’d like to see game time afforded to the young players, so have no issue with any of them (likely Koumetio) filling the fourth-choice slot.

The problem is the sadly excellent but rarely fit Joel Matip. For that reason, another centre-back is an essential purchase.

Full-backs?

 Liverpool’s Andy Robertson (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Complementing the best centre-back pairing in European football are two of the finest full-backs around.

Trent’s solid defensive abilities continue to improve, while his creative output puts him up there with the best playmakers…and no he doesn’t need to move into midfield!

On the other side, Robertson is almost as prolific. Albeit in a more traditional fashion.

These two are critical to Liverpool. Not simply for their play down the flanks but crucially for their ability to quickly and accurately switch play, exposing opposition vulnerabilities.

Kostas Tsimikas offers welcome cover at left-back, affording Robertson much-needed relief from his previous workload.

Whether Neco Williams is comparable with Alexander-Arnold is, to an extent, irrelevant at this stage. He falls into the ‘raw but promising’ category and will get game time to develop.

VERDICT: Two elite full-backs and two adequate backups. Gomez and Milner able to cover in an absolute worst-case scenario. The Reds have got this covered.

Midfield?

 Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is proving the most contentious department for obvious reasons. Across much of Klopp’s tenure, there’s been an almost wilful ignorance demonstrated about how the unit functions.

I’ve touched on it before but a first-choice trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Wijnaldum is the fulcrum of the side.

They offer a perfect balance of tactical awareness, selfless defensive instincts and the ability to chip in with a few key goals or assists. It’s not their primary purpose but don’t mistake that for an inability to deliver.

That said, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders are more aware than anyone that teams are trying to solve the puzzle of closing down the full-backs without exposing a soft underbelly to Liverpool’s lethal front three.

Allowing for the slight post-lockdown dip, it doesn’t really appear anyone is close to solving the conundrum.

Arsenal have certainly posed questions in the last two meetings, yet for all Arteta’s obvious tactical acumen it’s largely been based on an ultra-defensive approach that even Roy Hodgson might’ve blushed at, along with uncharacteristic defensive errors and pre-season fatigue.

Klopp has hinted at a tactical shift over the summer to combat such scenarios.

It’s not really about the myth of Liverpool struggling to break the low block. Rather it’s when they encounter games against higher quality opposition using stifling tactics. Again, think Arsenal, Spurs or even Man United.

 Liverpool’s Naby Keita shakes hands with manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A fully fit Naby Keita has been a frustratingly, flitting illusion in his time at the club but he remains an enticing prospect. A very different profile from the rest of the midfield, there’s a sense he could yet offer increased creativity without sacrificing defensive solidity.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s problems with injury are a worry but he continues to be a more-than-useful line-breaking option.

Curtis Jones is the wildcard here. Only 19 years old but already established as a first-team squad option. Eye-catching technique, confidence and he’s starting to find an end product.

He’s nowhere near his physical peak at this point, which could drastically alter the kind of player he’ll become. His development will be fascinating over the next couple of seasons.

VERDICT: Did someone mention Thiago? I heard a rumour James Pearce caused a Kardashian-esque stir today on the internet, some breaking news around him apparently…Thiago that is, not James Pearce!

There’s been more than enough impressive insights written on This is Anfield around his merits already, so there’s little to add there.

He will offer the additional tactical flexibility that Jurgen desires and arguably needs. Indeed, his press resistance could well have afforded Liverpool increased control over the game against Leeds last weekend.

My only caveat being I wouldn’t want to lose Gini or hinder Curtis Jones’ exciting development by bringing him in.

Regardless, he’s a ‘here and now’ signing. A genuinely thrilling addition, who you suspect will delight fans with his ability and leave opposition players fearful of yet another attacking threat in the Reds’ armoury.

Forwards?

 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal, his hat-trick, from a penalty-kick to make the score 4-3 during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This will be a bigger question in the next couple of years. Not this season, though. Salah, Firmino and Mane are peerless as a front three and still in their peak years.

Support from the bench is a bigger question. Minamino looks a clever and promising alternative, as does Brewster.

I sometimes wonder if Origi’s complete unpredictability is what makes him an asset to Klopp. Even Divock seems uncertain of what he wants to do at times, let alone the opposition. The problem is he doesn’t frequently enough impact games.

Shaqiri? The quiff alone is worth keeping him as an option, if he’s content grabbing minutes from the bench.

VERDICT: As much as I adore him, it’s time to seek a more reliable option than Origi.

Brewster might not be far from usurping him as the go-to option from the bench anyways and if Edwards can pull off his usual magic-man routine, then the funds from Origi’s sale would be welcome—funds that should also be boosted by the sale of Harry Wilson.

Can this team win it TWICE?!!

 Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cover at full back has been secured, which was vital. Thiago looks to have been sealed, so there’s now a surplus of options in midfield.

Perhaps in this intense, compacted season that will prove a sensible approach giving Klopp an array of fresh options and legs rather than prompting sales. They now need to find a centre-back as a priority.

Funds remain tight, a sentiment only heightened by the collapse of the Premier League’s deal with Chinese streaming service PPTV.

However, a replacement for Origi or Brewster could provide further freshness and, ideally, a different threat from the bench, one that puts pressure on our fabled forwards as well as the opposition.

This will only happen if a buyer is found for the cult Belgian, I suspect.

Chelsea and Man United look better placed with the business done so far but it shouldn’t be understated how abysmal their respective points tallies were last season and bedding in new players isn’t always a straight line to success.

Improvement should be a given, but it’ll have to be considerable to mount a challenge.

This Liverpool squad has the right age profile, know-how and, more importantly, talent to deliver back-to-back titles for the Reds’ faithful.

 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal from a penalty-kick during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Desire and consistency could be their biggest obstacles rather than City.

After two seasons of outstanding achievement, going again is a big ask and an understandable dip will be difficult to avoid.

But Klopp, Edwards and dare I say FSG have surely earned our trust to deliver a 20th title back to Anfield.

* This is a guest article for This Is Anfield. If you’d like to contribute a piece for consideration please see this page. Follow Andy on Twitter, @AndyC1874.

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Liverpool enquire about Watford winger Ismalia Sarr

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:57

Liverpool have made an enquiry into the availability of Watford winger Ismaila Sarr, as their summer business finally picks up in the final month of the window.

Sarr has long been known as a target for the Reds this summer, with Jurgen Klopp eager to add depth to his attacking ranks following the collapse of a move for Timo Werner.

The Senegalese was part of the Watford side to suffer relegation to the Championship last season, but is yet to feature in their matchday squad this time out amid claims of an injury.

After a breakthrough in the pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool have now made an approach for Sarr.

That is according to the Mail‘s Dominic King, who reports that the Reds have enquired about a possible deal for the 22-year-old, who became Watford‘s record signing upon his £30 million switch in 2019.

King claims the Reds have “discussed his situation,” but as of yet “no bid has been made.”

However, he adds that the winger is “seriously considered as a backup option for the front three,” though any move would likely need the Hornets to reduce their asking price of around £36 million.

 Watford's Ismaïla Sarr during the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sarr largely operated on the right flank for Watford last season, but is also comfortable on the left and up front, which would provide ideal cover for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and, at a push, Roberto Firmino.

Already a Senegal international, Sarr has a strong relationship with Mane, which could aid his transition if he does swap Vicarage Road for Anfield.

There have been times over the past two seasons in which Liverpool have looked short in attack, with concerns over how injury to any of Klopp’s established front three would impact the side moving forward.

Signing Sarr would give another versatile option along with the likes of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, though his arrival would likely be contingent on the sale of Harry Wilson, and possibly even Xherdan Shaqiri and Rhian Brewster.

Earlier in the window, claims of an enquiry would have been met with pessimism, but with Thiago now close to joining Liverpool, a move for Sarr seems increasingly likely.

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Watford set price for Sarr & Reds focus on retaining title – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:49

Liverpool are closing in on Thiago Alcantara as a second signing of the summer…but there’s other news of a non-Thiago variety, too!

Full focus on a difficult retention challenge

The Reds fulfilled the dreams of many when they won the title last season – but in true Ronnie Moran spirit, that was last season.

Now it’s all about 2020/21, when another league title is up for grabs and we’ve got to be just as good to earn the trophy again.

The squad concur, and as difficult as they know it’ll be, they are fully focused on being up to the task.

Virgil van Dijk says it’s consistency which is key, being a defining trait of the team from last season and even beforehand, which they’ll need to replicate this year for further success.

And the boss says that the Reds are fully committed to self-improvement, saying it’s our desire to get better which pushes us to improve in training and transfers, rather than teams around us spending to catch up.

It all bodes well for another year of the mighty relentless Reds.

Watford “set price” for Ismaila Sarr – and Reds are in for him

 Watford's Ismaïla Sarr (R) gets away from Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season’s destroyer of Reds’ hopes and dreams of going an entire league season unbeaten, Ismaila Sarr, has been rather heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.

It’s an on-again, off-again sort of rumour rather than a daily update of developments type, as Thiago has been, but there’s solid reasoning behind the interest.

He’s young, improving, has just had a first season of reasonably good impact in the Premier League – but there’s far more to come.

Sarr is also a good mate of Sadio Mane‘s, fills a couple of positions the Reds could do with depth in and has the pace and goalscoring potential to be a decent acquisition over the longer term.

The downside then? £40 million, say the Mirror, is the asking price.

It’s an amount we’d expect only to shell out if there are departures this summer, particularly concerning Origi or Wilson, as they’d fill similar squad spots as well as raise that type of funding if sold.

“No bid or formal contact” at this point, says the report in the Mirror – but Dominic King of the Mail says the Reds have enquired and are “seriously considering” him as a back-up option for the forward line. He also notes a slightly reduced asking price for the winger.

Transfer pace is picking up!

Countdown to Thiago…!

 Guido Kirchner/dpa

OK, ok…we’ll give you what you came for! Here’s all the latest on Thiago to Liverpool…

Quickfire LFC news

 Liverpool’s Andy Robertson during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Andy Robbo says Felipe Luis called him the ‘best left-back in the world’, which we agree with wholeheartedly (Goal)
  • Trent says retaining the title will be the Reds’ “toughest challenge yet” after a trophy-laden couple of seasons (PL)
  • New U23 coach Gary O’Neil is already having a positive impact on the club’s youngsters due to the recent senior experience he brings (LFC)
Around the Prem

 Real Madrid's Gareth Bale looks dejected after missing a chance against Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Gareth Bale is flying in on Friday to seal his probable loan to Spurs, which should help the club’s so-called push for ‘young’ signings for the ‘future’ (BBC)
  • Leicester are close to signing Roma winger Cengiz Under, who has a reputation almost as big as his waistline but who has achieved little thus far (Telegraph)
  • Gareth Southgate is now allowed back into Prem stadiums on ‘scouting’ missions for England, so maybe he’ll see a left-back or two for the next squad (Mail)
  • And ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says he only watched 25 minutes of the Spurs Amazon documentary, which is about the same length of time until they were no longer in title contention under him last season (Independent)
Stupid decision of the day

Leeds came under fire for making Kiko Casilla captain in midweek, with the goalkeeper being banned for racist abuse last season and having not apologised for it.

Marcelo Bielsa defended the decision by saying the squad “think he deserved to be” skipper – so, instead of a single player thinking racial abuse is fine, they apparently have an entire group of them.

Tweet of the day

Thiago Keita and Fabinho at Liverpool next season pic.twitter.com/U30IZgRCPZ

— 19 Times (@LFCLiverbird96) September 17, 2020

What we’re reading

Can Van de Beek play alongside Pogba and Fernandes? Mark Critchley asks the question for the Independent.

And if you’ve been considering more of an interest in the growing world of women’s football, this year’s a good time for it after a slew of elite signings joined the WSL this summer. BBC Sport investigates which new arrival will make the biggest impact.

Worth watching tonight

We’re not going to actively tell you not to watch the Europa League qualifiers, but the best match on offer is Shamrock Rovers vs AC Milan at 7pm. Take it as you will.

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