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Liverpool trio lead PL Player of the Season shortlist

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 12:00
Manchester United forwards Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood on Young Player of the Season shortlist; Jurgen Klopp heads manager nominees By Joe Shread

Last Updated: 07/08/20 4:11pm

4:21 See why Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Vardy, Kevin De Bruyne, Danny Ings and Nick Pope were nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Season award See why Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Vardy, Kevin De Bruyne, Danny Ings and Nick Pope were nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Season award

Liverpool trio Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold are among the seven nominees for the 2019/20 Premier League Player of the Season award.

Henderson captained Liverpool to their first Premier League title and has already won the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year prize.

Mane once again proved himself to be a hugely reliable provider of both goals and assists for Jurgen Klopp's side, recording 18 and seven respectively.

Alexander-Arnold - who is the only nominee to also be on the Young Player of the Year shortlist - was instrumental in Liverpool's campaign and recorded 13 assists, second only to Kevin De Bruyne.

Premier League 2019/20 Player of the Season nominees Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Jordan Henderson Liverpool Danny Ings Southampton Sadio Mane Liverpool Nick Pope Burnley Jamie Vardy Leicester

De Bruyne is the only Manchester City player to be nominated for the Player of the Season award after they relinquished their Premier League title to Liverpool following two seasons as champions.

But even if City's domestic campaign fell short of their previous lofty standards, De Bruyne enjoyed his most productive season since arriving at the Etihad in 2015.

As well as recording 20 assists - equalling the league record set by Thierry Henry in 2003 - he also scored 13 times to help City finish as the division's highest scorers for the third successive season.

Kevin De Bruyne equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League record for most assists in a season this campaign Kevin De Bruyne equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League record for most assists in a season this campaign Kevin De Bruyne equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League record for most assists in a season this campaign

Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy also makes the shortlist after his 23 goals helped Leicester to fifth place - their second-highest Premier League finish.

Southampton striker Danny Ings missed out on sharing the Golden Boot with Vardy by just one goal, but could beat his fellow English striker to the Player of the Season award after also receiving a nomination.

The final nominee is Nick Pope, who played in every minute of Burnley's Premier League season and earned 15 clean sheets - second only to Golden Glove winner Ederson.

3:48 Watch the official Premier League Goal of the Season contenders, made up from every Goal of the Month winner. Including strikes from Kevin De Bruyne and Heung-min Son Watch the official Premier League Goal of the Season contenders, made up from every Goal of the Month winner. Including strikes from Kevin De Bruyne and Heung-min Son

The nominations for the Premier League Manager of the Season shortlist will be released at midday. The winners of the awards will be announced at 10am on Thursday, August 13.

How Henderson became Liverpool's leader

How has Jordan Henderson gone from a young promising midfielder from Sunderland to a Champions League and Premier League-winning captain with Liverpool?

Sky Sports' Nick Wright looks at where it's all gone right for the 30-year-old.

READ MORE

Klopp, Lampard among Manager of the Season nominees

Liverpool are also represented on the Manager of the Season shortlist thanks to Jurgen Klopp.

The German has helped his side to win 196 points over the last two seasons and they have not lost a league game at Anfield since April 2017.

Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp are both nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Season award Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp are both nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Season award Frank Lampard and Jurgen Klopp are both nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Season award

Also on the shortlist is Frank Lampard, who guided Chelsea to a top-four spot in his debut season as a Premier League manager.

Lampard did so while having to content with the club's transfer embargo during his first transfer window as head coach, as well as the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder makes the shortlist after the Blades finished ninth in their first season back in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers, who will take Leicester into Europe for the first time since the 2016-17 season, is the final nominee.

Man Utd forwards dominate Young Player shortlist

While Liverpool players dominated the Player of the Season shortlist, there is a heavy Manchester United influence among the Young Player of the Season nominees.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are among the eight players nominated after the three forwards scored 44 league goals between them to help United to third place in the table and a spot in next season's Champions League.

Premier League 2019/20 Young Player of the Season nominees Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Jack Grealish Aston Villa Mason Greenwood Manchester United Dean Henderson Manchester United/Sheffield United Anthony Martial Manchester United Mason Mount Chelsea Christian Pulisic Chelsea Marcus Rashford Manchester United

Both Rashford and Martial had personal-best seasons in front of goal, scoring 17 times each in the league to finish as United's joint-top scorers, while Rashford was also the club's joint-highest provider with seven assists.

1:57 The Premier League have revealed their eight-man shortlist for the Young Player of the Season award - find out who is on the list and why they are so highly regarded The Premier League have revealed their eight-man shortlist for the Young Player of the Season award - find out who is on the list and why they are so highly regarded

In addition, Greenwood contributed 10 goals in 31 games during a breakout season for the 18-year-old.

Also nominated for the Young Player of the Season award is Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who spent the 2019/20 campaign with Sheffield United.

Dean Henderson spent the previous two seasons at Sheffield United but could now challenge David de Gea at Old Trafford Dean Henderson spent the previous two seasons at Sheffield United but could now challenge David de Gea at Old Trafford Dean Henderson spent the previous two seasons at Sheffield United but could now challenge David de Gea at Old Trafford

The 23-year-old recorded 13 clean sheets - the third-highest in the league - in 36 games to help the Blades to a highly respectable ninth-place finish on their return to the top flight.

Henderson's performances during the 2019/20 season were so impressive that he is set to earn a new long-term contract at Old Trafford, and could even challenge David de Gea for the No 1 spot at United next term.

Chelsea duo Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic make the shortlist after helping the Blues to a top-four finish during their first seasons in the Premier League.

Christian Pulisic scored five of his nine league goals for Chelsea following the restart in June Christian Pulisic scored five of his nine league goals for Chelsea following the restart in June Christian Pulisic scored five of his nine league goals for Chelsea following the restart in June

Mount recorded seven goals and five assists - including one of each in the 2-0 win over Wolves that secured Champions League qualification on the final day - and played in all but one of Chelsea's games.

Pulisic overcame a slow start to the season and a long-term injury to shine for Chelsea following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, scoring nine goals to finish as the club's second-highest scorer, as well as four assists.

The nominations for Young Player of the Season are rounded off by Jack Grealish, who played a key role in keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League following promotion.

He topped the charts for both goals and assists at Villa during the 2019/20 campaign, with eight and six respectively, and scored in their final-day draw at West Ham that helped to secure their top-flight status.

Player, manager, goal of the season - Sky Sports verdicts Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Mason Greenwood feature in the Sky Sports journalists' picks Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Mason Greenwood feature in the Sky Sports journalists' picks Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Mason Greenwood feature in the Sky Sports journalists' picks

Sky Sports Football writers made their picks for Premier League manager, player, goal and moment of the season.

Who got the nod? Read their verdicts and have your say...

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool's £10m bid for Lewis rejected

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 18:45
Liverpool could offer teenager Yasser Larouci as part of any future offer

Last Updated: 06/08/20 9:26pm

Liverpool's bid for Jamal Lewis has been rejected Liverpool's bid for Jamal Lewis has been rejected Liverpool's bid for Jamal Lewis has been rejected

Liverpool have had a £10m bid for Norwich left-back Jamal Lewis rejected as they look to bring in cover for Andy Robertson.

Norwich are unhappy with Liverpool's conduct in their pursuit for Lewis. They consider the offer derisory, with the Canaries valuing the Northern Ireland international at £20m.

Despite relegation from the Premier League, Norwich are under no pressure to sell the 22-year-old.

Liverpool could include 19-year-old defender Yasser Larouci as part of the deal.

Crucially, Larouci is part of the 'home grown quota', so there is potential for a similar situation to the one that saw Kevin Stewart leave Anfield for Hull at the same time as Andy Robertson joined Liverpool in 2017.

Any potential deal for Lewis is very much dependent on the player's wishes given he is used to playing regular first-team football. The 22-year-old made 28 Premier League appearances for Norwich last season.

Andy Robertson has developed into one of the world's best left-backs in the last two seasons Andy Robertson has developed into one of the world's best left-backs in the last two seasons Andy Robertson has developed into one of the world's best left-backs in the last two seasons

With Andy Robertson first-choice left-back, game time is not guaranteed at Anfield.

Since Norwich's relegation, reports have linked Max Aarons with a move to Bayern Munich and Ben Godfrey with a move to either AC Milan or Bayer Leverkusen.

Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer market of late, only youngsters Harvey Elliott and Sep van den Berg, along with goalkeeper Adrian joined last summer, with Takumi Minamino added in January.

Harvey Elliott was one of three Liverpool signings last summer Harvey Elliott was one of three Liverpool signings last summer Harvey Elliott was one of three Liverpool signings last summer

However, Liverpool have been looking at left-back cover for a long time and the departures of Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana could mean the club are going to be doing more business this summer.

Analysis: 'A dream move - but how much would Lewis play?

Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol:

"Liverpool are not going to do any blockbuster transfer deals this summer. They're aware of the impact of the pandemic and they're going to be very careful when it comes to spending.

"They don't need that many players but one area they do need to look at is back-up for Andy Robertson and Jamal Lewis is on their list. There's a lot of interest in quite a few Norwich players following their relegation.

"Liverpool value him at about £10m but I don't think that will be enough for Norwich, who are looking for around double that. One thing that could help the deal would be if Yasser Larouchi was involved. But I think it's going to come down to Lewis. It's a dream move but, realistically, he's not going to play that much; he'll be the understudy."

What do Liverpool need?

Analysis by Sky Sports News' Liverpool reporter Vinny O'Connor:

"Liverpool have to improve because if you look at the likes of Chelsea at the moment, Man City are going to improve, Man Utd have had a run that has taken them into the Champions League once again.

"So Liverpool know they have to be better next season and if they are not going to do so much in the transfer market, then the Liverpool squad know they will have to raise their levels once again.

"Klopp has said they are not necessarily going to do too much business in the transfer window, although there could be the odd addition. But then there are the other improvements to the players they have already got. We saw with Naby Keita's performance, if you can get those kind of performances out of him consistently, that is an improvement Liverpool could make.

"And Klopp talked to us after the game about Curtis Jones and he could not help let it slip that he is ready now, they are very excited about what he can produce for Liverpool FC. Adam Lallana has left a space and Jones can more than fill that and become an influential member of that squad as there is a lot of excitement at what he can achieve in a red shirt. And he is taking on the No 17 shirt next season, which of course in the early years was Steven Gerrard's."

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.

A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Transfer Talk: Is Thiago missing piece in Liverpool jigsaw?

Mon, 08/03/2020 - 12:01
By Richard Morgan

Football journalist - @Richiereds1976

German football expert Raphael Honigstein joins Pete Graves and Dharmesh Sheth to discuss the latest major developments on the Transfer Talk podcast

Last Updated: 04/08/20 6:15am

Thiago Alcantara could be the missing piece in Liverpool’s jigsaw were the Bayern Munich attacking midfielder to move to Anfield this summer, German football expert Raphael Honigstein told the Transfer Talk podcast.

Jurgen Klopp's side have just won the Premier League in record-breaking time, with the German declaring himself "happy with my squad 100 per cent", although that does not mean the champions will not be strengthening in the transfer window.

Jamie Carragher believes Klopp should use the summer to fine-tune his squad ahead of next season, when there is sure to be a greater title challenge from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Alcantara's 2019-20 stats in all comps Pld 36 Total mins played 2646 Goals 3 Assists 2

"Liverpool's squad is fine in most areas," said the former Liverpool defender. "But l think there's a couple of glaring areas where it should be better than it is."

One such area that may need looking at is the addition of a technically accomplished playmaker who is not only capable of producing long-range goals, but can also help control and open up games with intricate passes and incisive runs.

The type of player who can be decisive in the big matches, which are invariably tight contests, and who the Reds have not been able to call upon since Philippe Coutinho's departure to Barcelona in January 2018.

Download the Transfer Talk Podcast on: Apple | Spreaker

Alcantara, whose father is Brazil World Cup winner Mazinho, certainly fits that bill and would add some flair to the champions' workmanlike midfield were he to join the club.

And Bayern are already bracing themselves for Liverpool to make a move for the 29-year-old, according to Honigstein.

"Bayern had an offer of a contract extension on the table," he told the Transfer Talk podcast. "They thought they'd agreed, but he's changed his mind. The club assumed that he must already have a deal in place with someone else, but that side are yet to reveal their hand.

Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021 Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021 Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021

"There's been no firm offer yet from anyone, but Bayern are bracing themselves for Liverpool because that's the rumour in the dressing room. But we haven't seen any offer yet and Liverpool have distanced themselves from making a move for Thiago. That could just be part of their strategy, but Bayern are more or less resigned to him leaving.

"I think that would be a big blow for them as he's more or less been running games for them and is an absolute key player in my mind. It'll be very difficult for Bayern to find a player who is like Thiago, who's so unique in his technical ability. It's a blow for Bayern and something that they didn't expect."

However, if the Spain international does move to Merseyside next season, then the balance of Liverpool's three-man midfield will be altered, warns Honigstein.

"In Germany they are saying that if Liverpool buy Thiago, they'll win every game next year!" he said.

"He's just been so good. If there's one player they're missing in that midfield it's that technical player. More of a creator and a dribbler, somebody who scores spectacular goals and can find a pass.

"It's not a player that Liverpool have accommodated in recent years and it would change the dynamic of their midfield if you find space for him."

In Germany they are saying that if Liverpool buy Thiago, they'll win every game next year!

Raphael Honigstein speaking on the Transfer Talk podcast

A further attraction to signing Alcantara is with his Bayern contract expiring next year, the player will be available for a knocked-down fee of just £25m this summer.

And in these uncertain financial times, Honigstein thinks that would represent a brilliant bit of business for a midfielder who has contributed 31 goals and 37 assists in 231 games since swapping Barcelona for Bavaria in 2013.

"But in terms of real quality, technique and unique skills any club in the world should be in for him," he added.

1:15 German football journalist Raphael Honigstein says Bayern Munich are 'bracing themselves' for an approach from Liverpool for Thiago German football journalist Raphael Honigstein says Bayern Munich are 'bracing themselves' for an approach from Liverpool for Thiago

"If Liverpool get him in the summer when the traditional powerhouses on the continent can't do it, the deal would be an absolute steal for the kind of money Bayern are talking about - £25m.

"He's only got a year left on his contract, but for a player who's going to be at his peak for another two or three years, that is a bargain in my book. Whoever gets him is getting an absolute diamond."

What do Liverpool need? Could Alcantara be the missing piece in the Liverpool jigsaw? Could Alcantara be the missing piece in the Liverpool jigsaw? Could Alcantara be the missing piece in the Liverpool jigsaw?

Analysis by Sky Sports News' Liverpool reporter Vinny O'Connor:

"They have to improve because if you look at the likes of Chelsea at the moment, Man City are going to improve, Man Utd have had a run that has taken them into the Champions League once again.

"So Liverpool know they have to be better next season and if they are not going to do so much in the transfer market, then the Liverpool squad know they will have to raise their levels once again.

"Klopp has said they are not necessarily going to do too much business in the transfer window, although there could be the odd addition. But then there are the other improvements to the players they have already got. We saw with Naby Keita's performance, if you can get those kind of performances out of him consistently, that is an improvement Liverpool could make.

"And Klopp talked to us after the game about Curtis Jones and he could not help let it slip that he is ready now, they are very excited about what he can produce for Liverpool FC. Adam Lallana is leaving a space and Jones can more than fill that and become an influential member of that squad as there is a lot of excitement at what he can achieve in a red shirt. And he is taking on the No 17 shirt next season, which of course in the early years was Steven Gerrard's."

Alcantara: In search of a new adventure Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021 Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021 Alcantara's deal at Bayern runs out in June 2021

Analysis by Sky Sports' Richard Morgan:

"It appears as though Thiago Alcantara's time in Germany is at an end after Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bild: 'Alcantara wants to leave. It looks like he may want to do something new at the end of his career.'

"What that new adventure will be is still to be decided, but the Spain international will not be short of suitors after seven trophy-laden years at the Allianz Arena and a knocked-down transfer fee with his Bayern contract expiring next year.

Guardiola took the Barca youth product with him when joining Bayern in 2013 Guardiola took the Barca youth product with him when joining Bayern in 2013 Guardiola took the Barca youth product with him when joining Bayern in 2013

"It was Man City boss Pep Guardiola who took the Barcelona youth product with him when swapping Catalonia for Bavaria in 2013, shortly after his hat-trick saw Spain crowned European U21 champions, so do not rule out the pair being reunited at the Etihad next season.

"Meanwhile, Liverpool are also reportedly interested in signing the 29-year-old in order to add some flair to the champions' hard-working midfield."

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.

A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Moore to step down as Liverpool CEO

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 09:13
Billy Hogan will replace Peter Moore as Liverpool CEO, beginning his new role on September 1

Last Updated: 31/07/20 10:27am

Peter Moore will step down at the end of August Peter Moore will step down at the end of August Peter Moore will step down at the end of August

Peter Moore will step down as Liverpool's chief executive officer at the end of August, the club have confirmed.

Moore, who took up the role in 2017 after stints with Sega, Reebok, Microsoft and EA, will be replaced by Billy Hogan, who currently serves as the club's managing director and chief commercial officer.

While Jurgen Klopp and his players have been delivering on the pitch, becoming European, world, and now Premier League champions over the past 15 months, Moore has ensured the club has been delivering off it.

In February, Liverpool announced a pre-tax profit of £42m for last year despite a record £223m investment on players.

Aided by a major increase in media receipts, revenues broke through the half-billion mark as the club brought in £533m during the period.

Moore said: "I've loved every minute of the job here in Liverpool and feel privileged to have moved the club forward on its civic, commercial and community operations during the last three years. It's been an incredible journey and I'd like to pay tribute to John, Tom and Mike for giving me the opportunity to lead the business operations at Liverpool.

Moore speaks with rising Liverpool star Harvey Elliott Moore speaks with rising Liverpool star Harvey Elliott Moore speaks with rising Liverpool star Harvey Elliott

"I've had the great pleasure of working with an exceptionally talented senior leadership team; a group of committed colleagues who work tirelessly for the club; former players; business, community and civic partners and sponsors; incredible supporters around the world and so many other people I've met through my role as CEO. I'm indebted to so many people I've met on this fantastic journey at Liverpool.

"To think we have won the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and now the Premier League title during my time here is way beyond my dreams. It's been a phenomenal achievement by the manager, players and staff. The team fully deserves the plaudits and recognition - and the memories I will cherish forever."

2:16 Liverpool's Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League trophy for the first time in the club's history. Liverpool's Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League trophy for the first time in the club's history.

Fenway Sports Group principal owner John W. Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon released a joint statement thanking Moore for his contributions during his three years at Liverpool.

"We would like to place on record our gratitude to Peter for his contribution and moving the club forward over the past three seasons," the statement said.

"He has strengthened the club's business operations through his leadership and we are grateful to him for his passion, dedication and support. 

"We wish him, his wife Debbie and their families every success for the future as they return to the US and hope they will come back to visit us to take in a few games at Anfield."

2:24 Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years

Hogan will take up his new role as CEO on September 1. He has worked for the Fenway Sports Group since 2004, moving to Liverpool from Boston in 2012, and has played a major role in significant recent moves including the Nike kit deal which officially starts on Saturday.

He is described by the club as "a strong leader with more than 16 years' institutional knowledge and experience in football and sports industries".

"On behalf of all our staff, partners and other stakeholders, I'd like to place on record our thanks to Peter for his leadership during the past three seasons and wish him well on his return to the US with his wife Debbie," said Hogan.

"Having been privileged to work at this club for over eight years, it is truly an honour to take up the role of chief executive officer and continue with the great work that has been done to date across the entire organisation. I thank John, Tom and Mike for this opportunity to lead the business into the next phase of this exciting chapter."

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Robertson, Klopp talk about losing loved ones

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 00:01
Ilkay Gundogan also discusses feelings of loneliness while playing in England with Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden as part of Heads Up campaign By PA Media

Last Updated: 29/07/20 5:13pm

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and defender Andrew Robertson have discussed how they felt after losing loved ones who supported them in their careers Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and defender Andrew Robertson have discussed how they felt after losing loved ones who supported them in their careers Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and defender Andrew Robertson have discussed how they felt after losing loved ones who supported them in their careers

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson and manager Jurgen Klopp have spoken about the pain of losing relatives who helped shape their careers.

Full-back Robertson recalled how his aunt showed belief in him when he was released by Celtic at the age of 15 in 2009 but died at Christmas 2013, before his career took off at Anfield, where he has become a European and Premier League champion.

"I was a normal 15-year-old lad so there were probably a few tears but my mum and dad got me my favourite curry that night [when Celtic let him go]," he said.

"My auntie came up to the house and she told mum 'I'm telling you, he'll make it as a footballer' and that's something that's always stayed with me.

"When I was at Dundee United, on Christmas Day, sadly she passed away. She was one that always believed I was something special even when probably nobody believed it when I was younger.

2:54 David Beckham joined the Duke of Cambridge, Tyrone Mings, Steph Houghton, Carlo Ancelotti and Andros Townsend to discuss the 'Mentally Healthy Football' Declaration David Beckham joined the Duke of Cambridge, Tyrone Mings, Steph Houghton, Carlo Ancelotti and Andros Townsend to discuss the 'Mentally Healthy Football' Declaration

"But that is something that does bug me a little bit, that she's not seen me lifting the Champions League, lifting the Premier League and things like that."

Robertson was speaking with Klopp in a video filmed as part of the six-part #SoundofSupport series from the Heads Up campaign, which seeks to encourage football fans, and men in particular, to feel more confident and comfortable in reaching out for support when they need it.

The campaign will be showcased at Saturday's FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley.

Klopp told Robertson he experienced something similar with his late father.

"My dad never saw me as a manager. He died four months before I became a manager," said Klopp.

"He pushed me through my [playing] career pretty much, with really harsh criticism and stuff like this, but now my real career, he never saw. That's hard from time to time."

4:41 Prince William talks us through football's new UK-wide mental health implementation group designed to look after everybody involved in the game Prince William talks us through football's new UK-wide mental health implementation group designed to look after everybody involved in the game

Robertson said he had struggled to open up when he was younger but having children has helped.

"When I started making it professional that's when I struggled the most," he added.

"I was down in Hull on my own and people thought 'okay, he's a Premier League footballer, he's playing for Hull, he's getting a good wage' so then people would stop asking 'how are you?' I used to be one who blocked everything up and thought 'my problems are my problems'.

"Now I feel so much better. I remember speaking to Rach (his partner) a year ago about something daft, something that was playing on my mind, and after a 10-minute conversation with her I felt everything was off [my shoulders] and thought, 'yeah, I should do this a bit more often'."

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan has spoken about how he found it hard to live alone in a foreign country, especially during lockdown Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan has spoken about how he found it hard to live alone in a foreign country, especially during lockdown Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan has spoken about how he found it hard to live alone in a foreign country, especially during lockdown

In another film, Manchester City team-mates Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden spoke about the coping mechanisms they use.

The German admitted it was sometimes difficult to live alone in a foreign country, something which had been brought into even sharper focus during the coronavirus lockdown.

"The fact that I spent so much time on my own during lockdown showed me how important it is to have your loved ones close to you," he told Foden.

2:14 Crystal Palace forward Andros Townsend says the signing of the 'Mentally Healthy Football' Declaration sends 'an incredible message' Crystal Palace forward Andros Townsend says the signing of the 'Mentally Healthy Football' Declaration sends 'an incredible message'

"I'm probably not the best person in terms of calling, but in that time I was on the phone talking, especially to my parents.

"Sometimes when you have bad games and bad moments, at home you have a lot of time to think about things.

"It's a human thing - you always feel more comfortable talking about positive things. When it comes to mental health, I've learned that talking about difficult stuff or problems, issues, makes me personally always feel released afterwards, like I'm lighter, I've lost weight."

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Community Shield confirmed for August 29

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 10:03
Liverpool will play either Arsenal or Chelsea in new season curtain-raiser By Blake Welton

Last Updated: 29/07/20 10:36am

Man City won last season's Community Shield by beating Liverpool at Wembley Man City won last season's Community Shield by beating Liverpool at Wembley Man City won last season's Community Shield by beating Liverpool at Wembley

The Community Shield will take place at Wembley on Saturday August 29, the FA has confirmed.

The traditional curtain-raiser for the new season will see Premier League champions Liverpool play either Arsenal or Chelsea, who meet in this Saturday's FA Cup final.

The kick-off time for the game will be announced at a later date.

4:22 Sky Sports' football pundits assess who will be challenging for the Premier League title next season.  Sky Sports' football pundits assess who will be challenging for the Premier League title next season. 

It has been reported that the match could welcome a restricted number of supporters into Wembley as part of plans for supporters to make a socially-distanced return to sports venues more widely from October 1.

The match will be immediately followed by an international break from September 2 to 10.

The announcement comes after the Premier League revealed last week the 2020/21 season would start on September 12 and run until May 23, 2021.

The EFL has also confirmed the Championship, League One and League Two seasons will commence on the same weekend, with their regular seasons ending on the weekend of May 8, 2021.

The dates of the new football calendar

Football is back and a new calendar is taking shape. From domestic and continental competitions to the new European Championship schedule, keep track of all the new dates...

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Podcast special: Liverpool's 10 steps to glory

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 07:00
An inside look at recruitment, culture, man management and the staff you may not have heard of

Last Updated: 27/07/20 1:44pm

From celebrating a 2-2 draw against West Brom to lifting the Premier League title… In a special Sky Sports Football podcast, Jasper Taylor and Gerard Brand talk through the major steps Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp took in the years preceding their title win.

Download the Liverpool Podcast special on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

Klopp took over Liverpool in 10th place in the Premier League in 2015, but through maverick decision-making, masterful motivating and tactical dexterity, he's made them England's best after a 30-year wait.

A squad transformation has played a part, but there is much more behind Klopp's influence at Anfield. Subtle technical changes, attitude shifts and behind-the-scenes genius have made them unstoppable.

Here, we walk through the steps Liverpool took from 2015, off the pitch as well as on it...

Step One - Celebrating a 2-2 draw

How Klopp helped create a comeback culture among Liverpool's supporters.

Step Two - Whispers turn to winners

How qualification for the Champions League on the last day of the 2016/17 season propelled Klopp's side.

Step Three - Coutinho's greatest assist

How Phillipe Coutinho's departure paved the way for a change of style, plus the funds for two special players...

Step Four - A £75m masterpiece

The first, Virgil van Dijk, and how the Netherlands international transformed Liverpool's defence...

Step Five - Safe hands… at last

And second, goalkeeper Alisson has finally brought stability between the sticks.

Step Six - Edwards doing the business

A look at Michael Edwards' business, his fine strike rate for incomings, and an even more impressive yield for players leaving Anfield.

Step Seven - Klopp's right hand man

How Pep Lijnders made Liverpool even better, plus the influence of the fitness coach, nutritionist, and even the throw-in specialist.

Step Eight - Heavy metal becomes organised chaos

How Klopp ditched the 'heavy metal' tag and made Liverpool proactive and dexterous.

Step Nine - The master man-manager

Examples of Klopp's superior man management in allowing players the freedom to do as they please, with trust and responsibility the non-negotiable.

Step Ten - The art of using defeat

And finally, how Klopp feasted on the feeling of defeat to make his side winners.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Best of the PL season: Journalists' verdicts

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 12:45
Sky Sports journalists make their selections for the best players, managers and more from the 2019/20 Premier League season. See their verdicts below and give us yours in the comments

Last Updated: 28/07/20 6:00pm

Player of the season 2:35 Highlights from three of the contenders for the Premier League Player of the Season award; Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Kevin De Bruyne Highlights from three of the contenders for the Premier League Player of the Season award; Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Kevin De Bruyne

Adam Bate: Jordan Henderson. He is not the best player in the Premier League, that is Kevin De Bruyne. But being the player of the season should mean something and being part of a meek title defence counts against him. Sadio Mane had my FWA vote but Henderson was a worthy winner too. His leadership of Liverpool and the Players Together initiative - as well as being the man to lift the Premier League trophy - means this will now always feel like his triumph.

Gerard Brand: Kevin De Bruyne. Yes, Liverpool won their first title in 30 years, but their quality is spread across almost the entire team. Individually, De Bruyne is miles ahead of the pack. His involvement in almost every City attack can be subtle - often if De Bruyne doesn't get the assist, he is the man getting the secondary assist - or it can be devastating: a 30-yard screamer, an impossible through ball, or a nightmare first-time cross. De Bruyne is an artist and the Premier League is lucky to have him.

Kate Burlaga: Kevin De Bruyne. A runner-up rather than a champion this term but, quite simply, the best footballer in the land. He is the chief conductor who defies concepts of time and space on the turf; nonchalant yet devastating, powerful and balletic. A joy to watch, week after week.

Peter Smith: Sadio Mane. The case for Kevin De Bruyne is a strong one but Mane has been decisive in the key moments for the champions. There is a nice story in the symmetry between the 18 points Mane's goals have won for Liverpool and the 18-point margin Liverpool finished with ahead of Manchester City. When the clock was running down or Liverpool were struggling to find a way through, Mane stepped up.

Nick Wright: Sadio Mane. The best and most decisive player in the team which won the title by an 18-point margin. Mane actually scored fewer goals than he did in the previous season, but what's crucial is that they counted for so much. He stood up at big moments and changed games single-handedly. At his blistering best, he is practically unplayable.

Manager of the season 2:24 Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years

AB: Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool's total of 97 points in the previous season, one in which they lost only one game, felt like a high watermark for this team. Instead, they went and topped it. That speaks volumes for the manager and his ability to maintain the momentum following the Champions League win. Notable mention for Chris Wilder but this was Klopp's year.

GB: Jurgen Klopp. To fall short by one point and come back even stronger the following season takes something special. Liverpool had to hope City would drop off, which they did, but they made sure of the title by getting better. What impressed me most about Klopp was the range of tactical approaches, for instance opting for more possession from December to keep energy in his players' legs and avoid the winter slump he'd become synonymous with.

Chris Wilder was runner-up to Jurgen Klopp in the LMA vote Chris Wilder was runner-up to Jurgen Klopp in the LMA vote Chris Wilder was runner-up to Jurgen Klopp in the LMA vote

KB: Chris Wilder. Jurgen Klopp has turned doubters to believers in spectacular style but while his Liverpool's achievements are historic and undeniable, Wilder's - in the context of expectation and resource - are remarkable. A ninth-placed finish has made a mockery of Sheffield United's wage bill - the lowest in the league - and the ample sceptics who cast them rock-bottom before a ball was kicked. A points haul of 54 is almost as many as those of the sides who came up with them combined. They have done it with style and no little skill and Wilder's success is a potent emblem of homegrown coaches doing it the hard way.

PS: Jurgen Klopp. What a record-breaking, history-making season it has been for Liverpool - and Klopp was the one who shaped it all. His team have achieved something no Liverpool side has managed in the Premier League era - and they did so thanks to Klopp creating a culture, a mentality and a brand of football which made them untouchable for the majority of the season.

NW: Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool did not shatter quite as many records as they might have, but it is a testament to their utter dominance that they were able to ease up with seven games to spare. To improve on a 97-point total is an extraordinary feat which demands an extraordinary manager.

Breakthrough player of the season 0:34 Mason Greenwood is determined to make his own name at Manchester United, but says he is flattered by comparisons to Robin van Persie Mason Greenwood is determined to make his own name at Manchester United, but says he is flattered by comparisons to Robin van Persie

AB: Mason Greenwood. I recall asking Luke Shaw about the teenager at the club's training ground in August and he was very open about his belief that Greenwood could go on to become one of the best players in the world. Still, I did not expect to see him begin to fulfil that potential so spectacularly and become the first English teenager since Wayne Rooney to reach double figures for goals in a Premier League season. A rare talent.

GB: Mason Greenwood. To score 17 goals before your 18th birthday takes something special. But more than the number itself, it's the type of goals Greenwood scores. Left foot, right foot, tap in, counter attack, from range, wherever and whatever. The youngster is one of very few teenagers that doesn't need acres of space to score - an extremely promising trait for a forward.

KB: Mason Greenwood. "This kid is on another level," reckons Gary Neville and who could argue on the evidence so far? The 18-year-old, who started 10 of the last 12 games of the season, ended a breakthrough campaign with 17 goals - only bettered at his age by Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs. An instinctive finisher with a cool head, two capable feet and a sharp turn of pace.

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Bukayo Saka gets the nod from one of the Sky Sports writers Bukayo Saka gets the nod from one of the Sky Sports writers Bukayo Saka gets the nod from one of the Sky Sports writers

AB: Mason Greenwood. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled him a 'specialist goalscorer' - and he should know one of those when he sees one. But everyone watching Greenwood's emergence this season must be excited by what's to come. At 18 he's scored 17 goals in his first full season. Particularly since the restart, his sharpness in front of goal has been frightening; confident, precise, powerful - and off either foot. The potential is huge.

NW: Bukayo Saka. The circumstances have not been easy given Arsenal's struggles, but that only makes Saka's emergence more impressive. He was outstanding at left-back in the first half of the season and since then he has excelled everywhere from central midfield to right wing. Such tactical intelligence is almost unheard of for an 18-year-old and his composure in the final third is something else too. He finishes the campaign with four goals and 11 assists in all competitions. A dazzling future awaits.

Signing of the season 0:48 Manchester United defender Luke Shaw says new signing Bruno Fernandes has played a key role in the change of culture at the club Manchester United defender Luke Shaw says new signing Bruno Fernandes has played a key role in the change of culture at the club

AB: Bruno Fernandes. Others could be included on this list but it would feel like a technicality to go with Danny Ings and Raul Jimenez, who had loan deals made permanent, or Dean Henderson whose temporary stay at Sheffield United was extended. Better to choose the man whose arrival in the Premier League simply transformed Manchester United's season.

GB: Bruno Fernandes. I'll admit, when Fernandes arrived I wondered what the fuss was about. Linked with the Premier League for two years, I assumed if he hadn't arrived earlier, he wasn't worth the clamour. But it quickly became clear that Fernandes has a priceless footballing eye, and a demeanour that energises all those around him. At 25, his peak years are ahead of him, and Manchester United have a gem.

KB: Allan Saint-Maximin. The bright spot in a torturous Newcastle season. Bruno Fernandes rescued Manchester United's season but Saint-Maximin just have might preserved his side's Premier League status. Only one win came from 12 games in which the headbanded Frenchman did not appear. There is room for improvement when it comes to his own output - three goals and four assists - but his unpredictable, high-octane play has been key to survival. Those thrilling dribbles, whatever their outcome, have made him box office for opposition fans too.

PS: Bruno Fernandes. When was the last time a January signing completely transformed the fortunes of a top six side? After his arrival Fernandes had more goal involvements (15) than any player in the Premier League. But perhaps more impressive than his eight goals and seven assists was the way he raised the standard of the players around him, changing the mood and the narrative at Old Trafford. From booed off against Burnley to unbeaten in 14 and finishing third - Manchester United's season was saved by Fernandes.

NW: Bruno Fernandes. There is no competition here. Manchester United's season was in a state of drift but his arrival in January changed everything. They went unbeaten from then on, with Fernandes contributing eight goals, seven assists and a whole lot more than that in 14 appearances. A world-class addition and a genuine game-changer.

Goal of the season 4:42 A look back at some of the best goals from the 2019/20 Premier League season A look back at some of the best goals from the 2019/20 Premier League season

AB: Heung-Min Son. There were all types of great goals from the overhead kick of Alireza Jahanbakhsh to the volleys half and full by Harvey Barnes and Kevin De Bruyne respectively. But sometimes the cheapest thrills are the best and watching a chap run past half a team takes some beating. It has to be the visceral joy of watching Son cut through Burnley.

GB: Jordan Ayew. This goal hasn't received the love it deserves. Ayew's last-minute strike in Palace's 2-1 win over West Ham in December had three major components; the determination to pile into a crowded box from the right wing, the skill to change direction and then nip past three opposition players with four touches, and the pure cheek to chip the ball over Roberto for the win. Sublime.

KB: Heung-Min Son's hold-your-breath burst from deep inside his own half would be a worthy winner. Anthony Martial's pirouette and dinked finish against Watford was special, too. But De Bruyne's crackerjack against Newcastle edges it here. The chest control was perfect, the body shape textbook and the power generated startling. That it thwacked the goalframe on its way in only added to the visual impact.

Jose Mourinho congratulates Heung-Min Son on his wonder goal against Burnley Jose Mourinho congratulates Heung-Min Son on his wonder goal against Burnley Jose Mourinho congratulates Heung-Min Son on his wonder goal against Burnley

PS: Heung-Min Son. "Even before this goal my son calls him Son-aldo, Son-aldo Nazario - and today he was Son-aldo Nazario!" Jose Mourinho purred with delight in his post-match press conference after Heung-min Son's stunning individual effort against Burnley, comparing the goal with a Ronaldo special for Barcelona. To watch Son take off from the edge of his own box, reach top speed, slalom pass Burnley defenders, and then - with his lungs surely on fire - have the composure to slot the ball past Nick Pope was something special. There was no stopping him.

NW: Kevin De Bruyne. I had to mention him somewhere and his goal in Manchester City's draw with Newcastle in November is tough to beat. Its execution - the chested control, the thunderous connection - was utterly perfect, and it gets Tony Yeboah bonus points for crashing in off the underside of the bar then bouncing up into the roof of the net. An aesthetic delight from a magical player.

Game of the season Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City was a pivotal moment in the title race Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City was a pivotal moment in the title race Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City was a pivotal moment in the title race

AB: Wolves 3-2 Manchester City, December 27. Keen to choose from matches that I went to for this one. Had the pleasure of seeing some emphatic performances from Manchester City's 5-0 thrashing of West Ham on the opening weekend to the controlled violence of Liverpool's 4-0 domination of Leicester in December. But the best match and best atmosphere was at Molineux that same month when Wolves came from two down to beat the champions.

GB: Man City 1-2 Man Utd, December 7. From minute one this was played at 100mph and never dropped to the speed limit. United showed what potential they have in the final third, and concerns over City's defensive vulnerabilities were confirmed. It had mistakes, quality, controversy and rivalry - an outstanding spectacle.

KB: Sheff Utd 3-3 Man Utd, November 25. Might have fallen off some radars but a proper game, this; one that bubbled from first minute to last as Bramall Lane bounced on a November night. The Blades swaggered into a 2-0 lead, to Gary Neville's astonishment, before eight ruthless second-half minutes turned the contest on its head. All that and then one final twist as Oli McBurnie bundled in an last-gasp equaliser that eventually survived a VAR check. "Won, lost, got a result," was Chris Wilder's deadpan verdict but this one had everything. Special mention to Leicester's 9-0 thumping of Southampton: a jaw-dropper that would prove catalystic for the Saints.

PS: Liverpool 3-1 Man City, November 10. The anticipation was huge. The outcome pivotal. The match thrilling. Liverpool came flying out of the blocks and despite giving up chances at the other end, they were 2-0 up inside 13 minutes. There were stunning goals, mistakes and controversy - who can forget Pep Guardiola's penalty appeals - and at the end of it all Liverpool had taken a huge step towards their first Premier League title. A City win would have reduced the gap to three points. Instead Liverpool pulled nine ahead of the defending champions in front of an Anfield crowd turned up to the max - and they powered on to glory.

NW: Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal, January 21. I was lucky enough to be at Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Ajax in November but the pick of the Premier League games I covered came at the same ground two months later. It started with a David Luiz red card and ended, implausibly, with a left-footed equaliser from right-back Hector Bellerin. Throw in a Gabriel Martinelli wondergoal and it really had everything. A breathless game played in a frenzied atmosphere.

Moment of the season 1:49 Eni Aluko says the Premier League's support of the Black Lives Matter movement has been powerful, but must continue if it's to influence lasting change Eni Aluko says the Premier League's support of the Black Lives Matter movement has been powerful, but must continue if it's to influence lasting change

AB: First goal overturned by VAR. Gabriel Jesus became the first player to have a Premier League goal ruled out following a check by the video assistant referee against West Ham on that first weekend. It was a strange old feeling in the ground that day with Sergio Aguero's twice-taken penalty also leaving plenty of people perplexed. The brave new world was upon us.

GB: Spurs sacking Pochettino and hiring Mourinho. In the space of a few hours, there was a new era at Spurs, and the Premier League had Jose back, with all the entertainment he brings. Harsh on Poch? Perhaps, but it signalled a distinct change in tack from Spurs. Whether it brings silverware or not remains to be seen.

KB: After the devastation of a global pandemic, the images of football's sanitised return amid wider social discord will never be forgotten. The game, the most important of unimportant things, was back, but not as we ever knew it. And then, after the pages of protocol and all the anxious uncertainty, players at Villa Park and the Etihad took a knee for racial equality in front of the world.

PS: The Premier League restart. It is perhaps a shame for Liverpool that their season of brilliance will also be remembered as the year in which football - and the world - stopped. The coronavirus pandemic put football and the importance we place on it in the spotlight. But while the lockdown reminded us the outcome of football matches doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, it also underlined the joy, community and connection the game brings to our lives.

NW: There were plenty of standout moments in this extraordinary season but it's hard to look beyond the images of players kneeling in support of racial equality following the death of George Floyd in police custody in America. Impactful and important.

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Klopp wins Sir Alex award for LMA Manager of the Year

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 19:40
Leeds' Marcelo Bielsa, Coventry's Mark Robins and Crewe's David Artell win LMA men's divisional awards; Chelsea's Emma Hayes and Aston Villa's Gemma Davies land women's divisional awards

Last Updated: 28/07/20 8:10am

2:24 Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title for 30 years Jurgen Klopp has been named the LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Liverpool to their first league title for 30 years

Jurgen Klopp has pipped Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth and last season's winner Chris Wilder to the LMA Manager of the Year award after guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years.

Klopp, whose side are now reigning European, World and Premier League champions, scooped the Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy for the LMA Manager of the Year, with the announcement made by the former Manchester United boss himself.

In a personal message to Klopp after announcing him as the winner on Sky Sports News, Sir Alex said: "Jurgen, fantastic. We speak about Leeds spending 16 years in the Championship, but Liverpool, 30 years since winning that league, incredible.

"You thoroughly deserved it, but the performance level of your team was outstanding. Your personality runs right throughout the whole club. It was a marvellous performance.

"I'll forgive you for waking me up at 3.30am to tell me you have won the league! Thank you, but anyway, you thoroughly deserved it. Well done."

1:51 Sir Alex Ferguson reveals Jurgen Klopp has won the LMA Manager of the Year award Sir Alex Ferguson reveals Jurgen Klopp has won the LMA Manager of the Year award

Liverpool boss Klopp vividly recalled meeting Sir Alex for the first time and said he could never have imagined receiving a trophy bearing the name of the five-time former LMA winner.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get this wonderful trophy, it's really wonderful," Klopp said on Sky Sports News.

"I saw who won it before, some really big, big Liverpool names involved - not only Liverpool names - like Bill Shankly I think, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny [Dalglish] whose name seems to be all over the trophy. Brendan [Rodgers] also won it, which was well deserved.

"But the name on this is Sir Alex Feguson's and I know it's not 100 per cent appropriate as Liverpool manger but I admire him, not to say I love him.

Sir Alex Ferguson was the first British manager Jurgen Klopp met Sir Alex Ferguson was the first British manager Jurgen Klopp met Sir Alex Ferguson was the first British manager Jurgen Klopp met

"He was the first British manager I met and we had breakfast together. I'm not sure if he remembers it but I remember it still because in this moment it was for me like meeting the pope if you want. It was absolutely great and from the first moment we really clicked.

"I wouldn't have thought one day I would be holding a trophy in my hands that was named after him."

Klopp added: "I have to say thank you to a lot of people - and I know it is easy to say - but I am here on behalf of my coaches.

"I'm okay as a manager, but they make us a really special bunch of football brains and I love to work with them together. Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, John Achterberg, Vitor Matos and Jack Robinson - it's a pleasure. I could carry on with the list because we have so many great people here who make it happen.

"To my players, all of you who I have worked together with, I take this and I love it for all of us. Thank you very much, a very special season with a very special award at the end. Thank you I am really honoured to get it."

3:24 Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa was named LMA Championship Manager of the Year after securing the title and promotion to the Premier League Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa was named LMA Championship Manager of the Year after securing the title and promotion to the Premier League

The award for Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year will be announced separately at the start of August.

Bielsa did not come away from the event empty-handed as he landed the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Year award after leading Leeds to the title and a return to the Premier League after an absence of 16 years.

The 65-year-old Argentine thanked the club for hiring him, the staff he has worked alongside and the Leeds fans for showing him so much love.

"Finally, the biggest thank you is to the players themselves," he added.

"They are the ones doing the most difficult job in football, which is playing, competing and in this case clinching success. Coaches are always the product of the players we get to coach and I'd like to stress how grateful I am to them."

Chelsea's Emma Hayes was named Barclays FA Women's Super League Manager of the Year after leading Chelsea to a league and Continental Tyres League Cup double.

Jurgen Klopp was named LMA Manager of the Year, while Marcelo Bielsa and Emma Hayes won the Championship and WSL awards respectively Jurgen Klopp was named LMA Manager of the Year, while Marcelo Bielsa and Emma Hayes won the Championship and WSL awards respectively Jurgen Klopp was named LMA Manager of the Year, while Marcelo Bielsa and Emma Hayes won the Championship and WSL awards respectively

Coventry boss Mark Robins claimed the Sky Bet League One Manger of the Year award after winning the title and securing the club's second promotion in three seasons.

Crewe's David Artell was named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Year, finishing ahead of Cheltenham's Michael Duff, Plymouth's Ryan Lowe and Swindon's Richie Wellens, to claim the award.

"It's a terrific honour," Artell told Sky Sports News "To be recognised by my fellow managers doesn't happen every day so I'm delighted."

Gemma Davies - whose Aston Villa side dropped just two points as they won the title and promotion to the Women's Super League - won FA Women's Championship Manager of the Year.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Charlie's Premier League grades

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 14:33
Charlie Nicholas

Football Expert

From champions Liverpool to basement side Norwich, Charlie Nicholas gives us his grades for the 2019/20 Premier League season

Last Updated: 27/07/20 6:12pm

What's Charlie Nicholas' final verdict on the season of each Premier League side? What's Charlie Nicholas' final verdict on the season of each Premier League side? What's Charlie Nicholas' final verdict on the season of each Premier League side?

Who could have done better? Who's in freefall? Who has been the pick of the restart? Charlie Nicholas assesses every Premier League club's season...

Arsenal - D

They finished eighth, but it'll jump up to a C if they win the FA Cup, that's the nature of winning things. It's not Mikel Arteta's fault, it's a club that have been in freefall and haven't fixed things in six years.

They finished eighth because they only won 14 games - that's the lowest I can recall in the Premier League era. I could probably look back while Arteta has come in and say why am I giving them a D?

But I have to take it as a whole season. He's made it better. I'm not a great man for stats, and his stats have not been great, but I think as Arsenal people we want to see progress and we are.

There's been too many draws, I look at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - his goals have been great, both goalkeepers have been good, and other than that, I'm looking at Bukayo Saka? But no other players of real substance.

Aston Villa - C+ 0:52 Roy Keane is unimpressed by Aston Villa's changing room celebrations after they stayed in the Premier League Roy Keane is unimpressed by Aston Villa's changing room celebrations after they stayed in the Premier League

They survived! All they were interested in this season was staying up, especially after the lockdown. At the start of the season people might have said they brought in 12 or 13 players, so they would be expecting a mid-table finish, but the agenda when you get up is to survive, then you try to stabilise.

That was reached, people can pinpoint Watford's failures, Bournemouth's failures, but Aston Villa can only look after themselves.

Perhaps they should have been higher, Jack Grealish is an outstanding talent and John McGinn started well but faded through injury, but there's very few players who impressed for Aston Villa. They didn't really show a togetherness, a style we could identify with, it was about survival.

Bournemouth - E

I watched them against Everton on the last day, they played really well and I thought where have you been? Why have you not turned up? What have you not done, Eddie Howe, that's been different? I don't think he could pinpoint one thing. Bournemouth's issues are everywhere. The bigger the money they've spent, the bigger the disaster of the signings - Dominic Solanke, Jordon Ibe.

It's been Callum Wilson and Josh King, and Ryan Fraser refusing to sign an extension told me that would be pretty damaging. They never sorted the defence out properly, and because of that it's a failure.

Brighton - C

I'm tempted to give Brighton a C+. Again, it was about survival, they might not think that because they're starting to stabilise in the league, but with the change of manager when Chris Hughton was dumped, to be fair he's played a style I like to watch. They're still struggling for goals, but they play attacking and from the back.

I thought they'd be a team questioning themselves when we started back, because of a lack of goals, but they never really got dragged in. They got that late winner against Arsenal, and seemed in control of their own destiny and never really flustered after that. It's been pretty comfortable, and I'd look at Graham Potter and think he doesn't need to add too many new players.

Burnley - B

They use what I see as probably one of the smallest squads in the league, and then get to a period where they do quite well, then they don't win for six games, you think this is the season they're going to get dragged in, and then Sean Dyche gets them sorted out and all of a sudden, you think - how good are their centre forwards? He always seems to get them scoring goals. Looking back at Danny Ings too, he always seems to find goalscorers. Ashley Barnes never looked the ticket for a long time. You need the players to work it.

He gets responses from people at different times. They slipped up on the last day and could have ended up eighth, but it's another mid-table, comfortable season, a team that still scores goals. It might be a bit old-fashioned for some people, but it works. They're a great model for clubs that come up to say, if you fancy this style, it can work. This is how you get people to not panic, to not worry about what they're saying about you.

Chelsea - C+ 4:58 A transfer round-up with Kaveh Solhekol with updates on Chelsea's pursuit of Kai Havertz, Willian and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal A transfer round-up with Kaveh Solhekol with updates on Chelsea's pursuit of Kai Havertz, Willian and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

This will be a B+ if they beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final. The agenda for Frank Lampard was a change of style; youngsters getting more opportunities. When I look at who's been the real stars, Tammy Abraham had a good season, Reece James looks a good prospect, but I don't see the improvement in the defence generally or Kepa Arrizabalaga being a top-class goalkeeper.

Christian Pulisic is the one who's caught my eye most since the restart. He looks up to Eden Hazard's level already, he's got two great feet.

Frank's still had to rely on a couple of his old warhorses to get Chelsea over the line, but overall I think he can be pleased. The Champions League is a big thing for Chelsea financially.

Crystal Palace - D

If I'm taking them on the back-end of seven defeats and a draw to complete the season, I'm looking at it and saying it's been a bad season. But looking at the table, considering what Roy Hodgson has to deal with, he hasn't had a striker since the day he walked in.

This team needs a lot of changes, it's very old. It needs a bit of money. But for this season, it's not been impressive. They're a hard watch at times. I watched them against Chelsea recently, they were dead until Wilfried Zaha popped up with a goal, but they still lost. I would've thought this team could do better.

Everton - D

I don't know what Everton are. I don't know what their style is, what their shape is, Carlo Ancelotti is a man who should have got that embedded in them by now. It started well for him, but I look at people like Gylfi Sigurdsson and ask if they are that interested?

I think Ancelotti will look at this team and say how much have I got? I don't think there'll be a lot of money there, they've spent big before. It's been a pretty bog-standard season for them.

Ancelotti will be questioning his own job so far. He'll be asking why Duncan Ferguson could get a lift out of the players, then he did when he turned up, and now he can't get anything from them. Does it matter to them? His CV is to die for, and he'll ask why he's not getting the best out of certain players.

Leicester - B 3:33 Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits his players are disappointed after missing out on the top four, but insists they'll learn from the experience Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits his players are disappointed after missing out on the top four, but insists they'll learn from the experience

At the start of the season, you'd say if Brendan Rodgers could get Leicester into Europe he'd be sitting there thinking that's pretty good. Jamie Vardy obviously got his award, but in general terms, I thought Leicester deserved to get into the top four. But football's cruel at this level.

Before the lockdown, you could see they were questioning themselves, James Maddison went off the boil, Vardy wasn't getting the supply, and I think when I break down the defence he had, he deserves a lot of credit for his style. I like it a lot.

But he does get lucky most of the time with injuries - but on the last day it pinpointed to me with Wes Morgan coming in, he's hardly used any defenders. Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira get injured and they suddenly look all over the place. Have they got enough? The fact of the matter was, Leicester's squad has been too small.

But overall, for the season people might say they blew the top four. I never anticipated them being there. I thought they had a chance of the top six or seven, but fifth is a very good finish. It's their own fault, they blew it, but if you said to them if they'd be happy with finishing fifth next season, I think they'd take it again.

Liverpool - A+

I didn't think Liverpool could get to this level of consistency. The style of football they play, Manchester City are my favourites to watch with that style, but Liverpool offer you energy, speed, movement, skill, touch, and more importantly, a desire right to the end. Even if they're not playing well, they can dig out results.

They are the one club who need the supporters more than any other team, because of the way they are. No one quite does it like Liverpool in England, driving them out of being average.

There's one game in particular I remember, Aston Villa away. They were terrible. 1-0 down, should've been 2-0 down, and all of a sudden Andy Robertson pops up, I think Sadio Mane got the other one. They weren't satisfied with the draw, it was having another chance of winning. That's what you call rock and roll football.

Manchester City - B

Where do I think it's gone wrong for them? The problems have been the same. They had two seasons where they spent £50m on full-backs, and they were pinning people in. But now they're not at the byline like Liverpool's full-backs. It's not been as effective. Worse than that, they don't have the best centre-backs.

Kevin De Bruyne's last season has been of such a high standard, for a team who are way off the top. They're still going for the Champions League, I'd love to see them do it too. De Bruyne was carrying the team for a while, but now Raheem Sterling's popped up again with some goals and performances.

They're still playing the same way though generally, it's easy to turn around and say they get fed up whereas Liverpool stay patient, and yeah Liverpool are champions and they're not! But they're still trying to do things the right way.

Manchester United - C+ 2:31 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United team should be proud of the way they finished the season, after securing third place and Champions League qualification Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United team should be proud of the way they finished the season, after securing third place and Champions League qualification

I'm not enamoured by Manchester United. I think they're miles away. They finished third, but Leicester fell apart a bit, Chelsea were stumbling all over the place, take nothing away from them getting into the Champions League or from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer personally, but the reality is still that they've been poor.

They got there because of the failure of some of the other teams. We know Bruno Fernandes has given them a massive lift, at the back I don't think they've improved dramatically, I don't think their defenders or full-backs are the best defenders, and I don't think they're a passing machine in midfield too. There's a lot of work still to be done.

But making the Champions League mitigates some of that. There's been improvement, but I don't think it's been as eye-catching as some of the other teams.

Newcastle - B

Some Newcastle fans are questioning how dare we suggest Steve Bruce has done as good a job as Rafa Benitez, but come on guys, he has. A lot of people didn't want him there, didn't like the style, but I think he's been more attacking than Rafa.

Not as well-drilled defensively, but for what he had, and what he's done, Allan Saint-Maximin's been a good signing, Miguel Almiron has enjoyed himself, Joelinton's been a bit of a disaster though.

He ended up playing a decent attacking style which Newcastle fans would, if they're sitting over their beer in the stadium, say he did a good job but not as good as Rafa - you'd say really? The position he finished in the league? There wasn't even one bit of sweat on the brow about going down, which you got with Rafa.

Norwich - D

It's D for down. They were the real favourites from the start, they didn't change too much defensively which became an issue, they started well with Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki.

The squad itself wasn't good enough to get them out of the hole they were going to be in. To be fair to the manager it would've been crazy to get rid of him, he tries to play the right way, the home support like it, and with him as manager they'll be favourites to come straight back.

Sheffield United - B+ 3:24 Speaking after the 3-1 loss to Southampton, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted that if his side want to progress further up the Premier League table then they need to invest in better players Speaking after the 3-1 loss to Southampton, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted that if his side want to progress further up the Premier League table then they need to invest in better players

They've been the team who, after Liverpool, have caught my imagination of being better than we thought they would be. It's a great shape, a good style, in-your-face football with a twist - overlapping centre-backs, I've never heard of it before! My goodness.

There was an energy, a belief and desire, and I think behind Jurgen Klopp, Chris Wilder was manager of the year. Yes it was a little bit awkward when they started back, but the job was done. They never made Europe, but it's been an enjoyable and a wonderful season for them.

They've not got great pace up front, but Oliver McBurnie works for the team, David McGoldrick works for the team, great delivery from wide areas, and one season back - they look like they've been there for years.

Southampton - C+

Its about the way they came back from the 9-0 embarrassment… That was a question mark beside the manager. You thought no manager wants to work with an embarrassment like that. They were never going to sack him, but what he did… He took time out, he knew they liked his style, he had to get back to basics.

He delivered, and delivered it with style. If I was picking a team of the season after lockdown, it would be Southampton. He's even got a response from Che Adams in the last few games, getting a couple of goals, and all of a sudden he looks like he might be a good signing.

Tottenham - C

When I saw them qualifying for the Europa League, I thought that was weird. Am I jealous being an Arsenal fan? No, not really. Spurs have always had this thing about Arsenal finishing above them, and in the last few seasons they've reversed the roles. That was because they were a much better team than Arsenal - but they're not much better than them now.

Jose Mourinho's target was to get into the Champions League, not the Europa League. That's what this stadium was built for; there's problems defensively, he doesn't know what his best partnership is at the back, and can they keep Harry Kane?

I don't think some of the players have adapted to his way. But in judgement of the season they've had, it's been up and down, pretty average.

Watford - D 2:59 Watford's Troy Deeney says they weren't good enough over the season and everyone involved at the club needs to look at what went wrong Watford's Troy Deeney says they weren't good enough over the season and everyone involved at the club needs to look at what went wrong

It's another D for down. At times they looked good, beat Liverpool, but didn't get enough out of Troy Deeney, didn't get enough out of Ismaila Sarr, Gerard Deulofeu's injury was a massive blow too.

The big ones that let me down were Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue. I thought that was a really good partnership in midfield, but it just never happened this season. Defensively they're all over the place, their best player of the season has been Ben Foster. That's the reality of it.

Whatever happened with Nigel Pearson, even if he had a fall-out with the players, he had to get them over the line. And if they didn't make it, they didn't make it.

West Ham - C+

David Moyes did a fantastic job. He worked a way to get the defence better, Lukasz Fabianski hasn't been as good as in previous seasons but he's still their best keeper, he's got more out of midfield too, and got Michail Antonio playing in a position which suits him.

I think they would be crazy not to extend his contract and say here's a bit of money, that's the second time you've got us out of trouble, you did it with a bit of style this time too.

I could see signs of what Moyes was building at Everton. It was slow, it took him time, but I could see this going the same way.

Wolves - C+

I was a bit disappointed; they were my outside bet for the Champions League. They've had a good season, but since they've started back, they lost against Arsenal, it was the first time they looked upset for a while and didn't get the right response.

But the team shape is good, they've improved Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez has improved, Jonny's improved, Diogo Jota has improved, Pedro Neto's improved.

He's a star turn, the manager. I can see him getting a big job in Europe if they're not careful.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Lovren leaves Liverpool for Zenit

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 14:09
"Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in"

Last Updated: 27/07/20 3:32pm

Dejan Lovren has left Liverpool to join Zenit Saint Petersburg Dejan Lovren has left Liverpool to join Zenit Saint Petersburg Dejan Lovren has left Liverpool to join Zenit Saint Petersburg

Dejan Lovren has completed his move from Liverpool to Zenit Saint Petersburg for a fee of around £11m.

Liverpool revealed the news on Twitter and said: "We can confirm Lovren has joined Zenit Saint Petersburg on a permanent transfer.

"Everyone at the Reds would like to thank Dejan for his brilliant contribution over the years and wish him all the very best in his new challenge."

Liverpool signed Lovren from Southampton for £20m in July 2014 and he has since helped the club win both the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.

However, the 31-year-old has found his first-team opportunities limited in recent seasons, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip largely preferred in central defence. This season he was limited to 15 appearances in all competitions.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to Lovren and acknowledged how important the player had been to him during his early days at the club.

"Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in," Klopp said.

"When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person. Really good, in the air a machine, and I really liked working together with him.

"It will be interesting to follow Zenit St. Petersburg now. I wish him the best of luck."

In addition to Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez, Liverpool currently have Dutch 18-year-olds Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg as options in the position.

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.

A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool's 2019/20 season - match highlights

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 11:16

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Summer shopping: What does every PL club need?

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 14:54
Analysis, insight and pundit views on what every Premier League club needs to do in the transfer market this summer...

Last Updated: 29/07/20 4:30pm

ARSENAL Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Arsenal targeting?

Other than persuading Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new contract, the key area for Arsenal this summer is midfield. The Gunners are looking to recruit both a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box number eight. Frozen out since the defeat at Brighton, Matteo Guendouzi appears to be heading out of the Emirates, while Mesut Ozil's future remains shrouded in doubt.

Arsenal will also consider signing a new centre-back if they can offload some of their fringe squad members - Sokratis, another player frozen out after the restart, is likely to depart even after Shkodran Mustafi suffered a long-term injury.

What do the stats say about Arsenal?

Aubameyang scored 22 goals and the Gunners' captain's goals won his side 20 points so persuading him to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium is paramount.

Creativity is another area Arsenal need to improve. They were only 15th in the league for shots on goal with 406, while no Arsenal player features in the top 20 in the Premier League for chances created.

The manager's view

Mikel Arteta on defensive shortages: "We have lost Calum Chambers the week after I arrived here, we lost Pablo [Mari] as well for three months...we will have to address that."

On signing more creative players: "That is one of the areas we can improve, but also, how important those players are will depend on the way we are going to attack, because some different teams do it differently."

On this summer's transfer plans: "You can see how [Liverpool] built their squad and there is no magic, you need to improve the squad with quality, quality players. And we need a bigger squad to compete in this competition. That is the challenge."

What do Arsenal need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Charlie Nicholas: "This has been a tough test for Mikel Arteta, but I think Arsenal have realised they have got to go all out and sort the defence out. If the defence is sorted, they can start moving up the table. Some players need moving out of the door, Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi - these players have to move on, and Arsenal need to freshen things up.

"The defence is key to the rebuild, they have been rebuilding for seven, eight years, this period in particular has been awful for Arsenal fans, but I think Arteta knows the right path to take."

Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol: "Mikel Arteta has made a promising start but he needs major backing in the transfer market from the owner. He's changed the culture at Arsenal and made progress on and off the pitch. Arsenal are a good team but to be a great team again, they need to spend to close gap to the top sides."

ASTON VILLA Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Villa targeting?

Following their final-day escape from relegation, Dean Smith is looking to strengthen in a number of areas during the summer. Significant funds are available for a centre-forward and possibly for a winger as well.

Much depends on the future of Jack Grealish, but Villa are also in the market for a defensive centre-midfielder, a right-back and a back-up left-back.

And if Tyrone Mings leaves, a replacement left-sided centre-back will be sought.

What do the stats say about Aston Villa?

Jack Grealish was involved in 34.1 per cent of Villa's goals this season and the club now faces a battle to retain their talisman, amid interest from Manchester United and other top clubs.

But with top-flight football guaranteed, Villa could also command top dollar for their prized asset and go again in the transfer market in an attempt to stabilise, having already spent £152.7m (including add-ons) on transfers this season.

A key area of focus should be to bolster their defence, which conceded a league-high 608 shots this term.

The manager's view

Dean Smith on transfer plans: "I'll sit down with the CEO and owners. We need to be smart in the market now. People had questioned the amount we'd spent (£130m) but we had such a big turnaround."

On Jack Grealish: "We've got billionaire owners and he'd cost a lot of money."

What do Aston Villa need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett: "There will be money to spend on the squad further in this transfer window. The club don't want to sell Jack Grealish but they will if a big money offer comes in for him so they're feeling pretty secure and relaxed about it right now. They've got a bit of time because the window doesn't close until October to get the players in that they need and want.

"I think they need to strengthen down the spine of the Aston Villa team, they certainly need another striker and another number eight if you like, a box-to-box midfield player and probably a centre back as well and we don't know about Pepe Reina's future either. The list can go on and on, even though they spent £140m last summer."

Sky Sports' Gerard Brand: "I think the first priority in the window will be the wide players. Anwar El-Ghazi has been average at best and Trezeguet, although he has had a purple patch of vital goals since the restart, I don't believe he has the quality to be a regular Premier League starter.

"After the wingers, it's the strikers situation. I don't think any Villa fans will want to see Wesley, Ally Samatta or Keinan Davis as their starting striker next season. Thirdly, it's a central midfielder and this has been switched a lot during the season. It tends to be Conor Hourihane or Marvelous Nakamba battling it out for the spot next to Douglas Luiz and John McGinn."

BRIGHTON Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Brighton targeting?

Brighton, who have already signed Adam Lallana on a free transfer from Liverpool, are planning to strengthen their options at the top of the pitch, looking for a winger and a centre-forward.

The club is likely to commit significant funds to both positions, especially on the centre-forward where they're budgeting to spend in excess of the £20m they spent on Neal Maupay last summer from Brentford.

What do the stats say about Brighton?

Tactically, Brighton are evolving at a rapid rate. Their total of 18,205 passes this season ranks eighth in the league and just short of Tottenham's total.

In addition, the Seagulls are now the league's top runners with 4,281 km covered during the campaign - the equivalent of a direct trip from the Amex to Quebec in Canada.

It's no wonder Adam Lallana fits into Graham Potter's plans under this style, and the 32-year-old will be looking to improve their statistics for converting that passing possession into shots at goal.

The manager's view

Graham Potter on Ben White following the defender's season-long loan at Leeds: "He's our player, he's got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea...he's our player and we're looking forward to working with him."

On Lallana: "Adam is a really exciting signing for us."

What do Brighton need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Charlie Nicholas: "I thought they'd be a team questioning themselves when we started back, because of a lack of goals, but they never really got dragged in... I'd look at Graham Potter and think he doesn't need to add too many new players."

Sky Sports' Nick Wright: "Adam Lallana should fit perfectly at the Amex Stadium. They will need to recruit more players to get on the end of his passes, but there is already a lot of potential in the squad and they will be stronger next season having had a year to adapt to Graham Potter's style.

"Attacking reinforcements will be the priority given they only scored 39 goals last term, but Potter should also consider bolstering his defensive options with players more suited to playing out from the back. Ben White fits the bill in that regard having spent a year under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds."

BURNLEY Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Burnley targeting?

As is usually the case with Burnley, the club are working to a strict budgets. However, significant - measured against Burnley's typical spending habits - will be committed on a winger while the club are also looking for young back-up centre-back to provide competition to Ben Mee and James Tarkowski.

What do the stats say about Burnley?

Burnley set a new club record by winning 15 Premier League games and equalled their points record of 54, while losing only twice in the final 16 games of the season.

But, for all the positives, the squad is shallow. Sean Dyche has called for contract situations to be addressed after losing Jeff Hendrick, Joe Hart and Aaron Lennon when their deals expired and recruitment is required.

The situation is best summed up with their league-low 44 changes to starting XIs this season, in addition to using the fewest number of substitutes - by some distance.

Dyche has never shuffled his pack too frequently, but one senses the stats below are increasingly borne from necessity, instead of preference.

The manager's view

Sean Dyche on the summer ahead: "We'll see about [the transfer market]. It'll be interesting. Resources are helpful but they don't guarantee anything. All I can do is offer the things I think are appropriate and good for the club and the team, the reinforcements I think we need, and that's the guidance a manager can give. I know the guidelines of the club, the financial framework, but we are in a very healthy state financially. As long as I know what the challenge is, I'm happy to manage."

On contracts: "It is important (to get the contracts sorted). But at the end of the day I can't sign the contracts."

On his own future: "I just get on with my work here as I always have done and I will do until things change whenever that day is. As I have said many times - things change in football, either you go somewhere or people have enough of you and want you out."

What do Burnley need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds: "It was a fine season for Dyche's side who lost just two of their last 16 games and equalled their best Premier League points tally of 54. But a glance at their bench during the restart shows just how difficult Dyche found it to select a group of 18 players let alone the 20 players that clubs have been allowed to name as part of the bolstered matchday squads.

"To improve on 10th place, Burnley must quickly address the issue of a number of players being out of contract next summer, and Dyche is keen to avoid a repeat as he looks to keep the club progressing. But key to Burnley's success has been stability, and tying down the ambitious Dyche at Turf Moor could prove to be their best business this summer."

CHELSEA Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Chelsea targeting?

Chelsea will try to sign a goalkeeper this summer because Frank Lampard is not convinced Kepa Arrizabalaga has a future as his long-term No 1 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are looking at a list of goalkeepers including Jan Oblak, Andre Onana and Nick Pope.

Chelsea have already been active in their transfer planning for next season, bringing in Hakim Ziyech from Ajax for £33.3m and paying £45m to RB Salzburg for striker Timo Werner. Talks are also continuing about a deal for Kai Havertz - the midfielder wants to move to Chelsea and only an agreement about the transfer fee is holding up the deal.

What do the stats say about Chelsea?

Frank Lampard dropped Kepa Arrizabalaga for the final game of the season and is reportedly looking to sign a replacement this summer.

In fact, xG data reveals the Spain international has conceded 12.5 goals more than expected during his two seasons at the club - more than any other stopper in the league.

The manager's view

Frank Lampard on the importance of securing Champions League football: "We know that the economics of the Champions League are big, we know that. We know the prestige, top players want to play in the Champions League.
If we're looking to recruit in certain areas then I think it may help. We want to have a better year next year. We'll try to better ourselves in any way possible."

On Kepa Arrizabalaga: "I have long, hard thinks about everything, not just individual positions but how we are as a team. I don't want to pinpoint it on Kepa. [The] Kepa decision [dropping him against Wolves] was a choice, probably in recent form and recent situations [it's] a tough time for him."

On Kai Havertz: "He's a top player but we won't comment on other players at other teams."

What do Chelsea need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher: "Chelsea will go no further unless they change the goalkeeper. I know they keep buying a lot of attackers but you see how many goals they have conceded. I think a lot of that is down to the goalkeeper...it is an area that - if they want to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City - they will have to rectify in the summer."

Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp: "I am sure Frank Lampard will be looking in pre-season trying to get a new goalkeeper. If you are sure about your goalkeeper, he starts every game. So, Frank doesn't think he is the right man. But it isn't easy to find good goalkeepers."

Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol: "Roman Abramovich is re-engaged again with Chelsea, he has got his hunger back and is really backing Frank Lampard, he wants to take the fight to Liverpool and Man City next season. And he knows that to be the best, you have to buy the best and he is in this incredible position this summer where he has got a lot of money at a time when a lot of Chelsea's competitors do not have much money to spend."

CRYSTAL PALACE Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Crystal Palace targeting?

Regardless of what happens with Wilfried Zaha, Palace may prove to be one of the busiest Premier League clubs during this summer's window.

The club plan to commit significant funds to a number of positions. Their three key targets are a centre-forward, a winger and an attacking midfielder - and Palace have a type in mind too: players in their early 20s who have the potential to develop and gain in value.

In addition to those three primary targets, all of which are expected to be expensive investments, Palace are also in the market for a young centre-back and a left-back.

What do the stats say about Palace? Crystal Palace amassed just four Premier League points since the restart Crystal Palace amassed just four Premier League points since the restart Crystal Palace amassed just four Premier League points since the restart

It will be no surprise to see Palace targeting younger players during this transfer window. The Eagles' starting XI had the highest average age of any team in the Premier League at 29 years and 336 days.

That may also be a key factor in why Roy Hodgson's men rank bottom in the league for sprints, and only Wolves covered less distance.

Attacking players are also on the agenda at Selhurst Park. Palace also failed to score more than twice in any of their Premier League games this season. It's the eighth time a team has gone through a whole campaign without doing so, while Palace are the first to do so while avoiding relegation.

The manager's view

Roy Hodgson on the summer ahead: "We need some investment in players, in particular, forward players because we've been really short in that area all the way through my time here. Investment is needed and players, younger players perhaps, rejuvenation, fresh faces coming into help us out in those front areas because our problem is we don't score goals. That's the priority and it's been the priority for a long time."

On Zaha: "It's a dilemma for the club and a dilemma for him if he is so set on leaving. If he feels he just does not want to be with us any more, that would be sad. We still like him very much, we can't make him like us."

What do Crystal Palace need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Charlie Nicholas: "This team needs a lot of changes, it's very old. It needs a bit of money."

Sky Sports' Nick Wright: "Palace's end-of-season collapse underlined the need for a refresh at Selhurst Park. The squad is old and tired and there is room for improvement in practically all areas. Replacing Zaha will be a major challenge - the 27-year-old started all but one of their Premier League games this season - but even if he stays there is still a need for fresh attacking impetus.

"No Palace striker has reached double figures for goals in the Premier League since the 2016/17 campaign, and Christian Benteke - the last man to achieve the feat for the club - has offered little evidence that he can get back to that level. It's time to bring in someone who can - and surround him with dynamic young players who can take the club forward."

EVERTON Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Everton targeting?

Carlos Ancelotti's budget will be focused on a high-energy box-to-box number eight and a left-footed winger - Everton could commit as much as £40m to fill the two positions.

The club are also seeking a quick centre-back, but any further investment will likely be dependent on how many players they can sell and the funds raised.

What do the stats say about Everton?

Everton collected just seven points from losing positions last season. Only relegated duo Norwich (0) and Bournemouth (five) as well as West Ham (also five) retrieved fewer from a deficit.

The Toffees have aspirations to break into the top six but against the league's traditional big six clubs, they collected just one win from 12 games; their total of eight points places them in 16th position in the division.

Until an apparent inferiority complex and the lack of resolve is addressed, European football back at Goodison will remain a pipe dream.

Ancelotti will look to build his team around Richarlison, who was involved in 36.4 per cent of Everton's goals (16) - the sixth-highest individual contribution to a team's league tally.

The Brazilian was the club's joint-top scorer on 15 in all competitions with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but much more output will be demanded from midfield with Bernard's tally of three placing him next on the list.

The manager's view

Carlo Ancelotti on an important summer ahead for Everton: "We are working on this. We know and everyone knows the squad has to be improved. We have time to think about this and we have improve it before new season starts.

"We know the market is open until October 5 but I don't know if it's possible to have the squad ready when we start in the middle of August. It will be the best scenario possible."

What do Everton need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds: "It was a disappointing end to an underwhelming season for Everton, beaten on the last day by relegated Bournemouth to complete a pretty miserable record against the bottom three. Prior to that loss, Carlo Ancelotti had only suffered defeat away from home against Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Wolves but the final day served as a reminder that this current Everton squad are capable of losing to just about anyone.

"Having finished 12th, their lowest position in 16 years, a busy summer lies ahead, and the form of Jordan Pickford has added to the manager's concerns. With Maarten Stekelenburg having returned to Ajax, Ancelotti will be in the market to find competition for England's No 1.

"Djibril Sidibe's loan from Monaco came to and end this week but the future of Jonjoe Kenny, who impressed during his own loan spell at Schalke last season, is still unknown.

"Ancelotti and club director of football Marcel Brands will be holding a transfer summit to map out how extra quality can be added to the squad between now and early October."

Jordan Pickford has also made the most errors leading to goals since August 2018 Jordan Pickford has also made the most errors leading to goals since August 2018 Jordan Pickford has also made the most errors leading to goals since August 2018

Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor: "Ancelotti is already a man down with the retirement of Leighton Baines, and what a career at the club. Baines' contribution to Everton over the years reminds you of a time when the club got their recruitment right.

"In recent times, Everton have struggled to replicate the consistent activity in the transfer market. Ancelotti and Brands have got to ensure that recruitment is right and we know the areas that they're looking to strengthen. Throughout this whole season, you've seen what Everton have been lacking, in particular a physical presence and a box-to-box midfielder in the same mould as Idrissa Gueye.

"They've lacked that destructive influence and we know that Everton have been in talks with Southampton over Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but we also know that his mind is set on a move to Tottenham.

"Napoli's Allan is another name Everton keep getting linked with, someone Ancelotti worked with, but at 29 the figures being quoted are a lot for a player who has little or no resale value. It would go against Everton's transfer strategy.

"There are other areas that need addressing: firstly, a right winger. We're being told they're interested in Sassuolo's Jeremie Boga but again they face stiff competition for the former Chelsea man.

"They also want a centre-back with pace to provide more competition for Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. We know about Gabriel Magalhaes at Lille but still that situation is unresolved."

LEEDS UNITED Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Leeds targeting?

Ahead of their return to the top flight, Leeds are not expected to spend huge sums this summer although they could splash in excess of £10m in three different areas - a centre-forward, a winger and a centre-back.

They also require a new keeper, but it's likely that a smaller fee will be spent on that position.

What do the stats say about Leeds?

Leeds are back in the top flight after 16 years away. They were a Premier League mainstay until relegation in 2003/4 and dropped to League One - where they spent three seasons - in 2006/7.

After being pipped to automatic promotion by Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United in 2018/19, they finally clambered out of the Championship again at the 10th attempt.

Leeds conceded 10 fewer goals than second-placed West Brom and on-loan Ben White was a standout performer, making more interceptions than any other player in the league and more ball recoveries than any team-mate.

The owner's view

Andrea Radrizzani on his ambitions: "I have a clear vision. I need to first secure the team in the Premier League for the next three years, to stay there. If we stay there for three years at least then I think we can have a very bright future and stay just behind the top six. That's my goal."

On the impact of the pandemic and the need for fresh investment: "We have enjoyed fantastic success but the impact of Covid-19 is also hitting the club financially. So we will need additional investment to be competitive."

On the potential of Leeds breaking their transfer record: "Which is our transfer record? [£15m winger] Helder Costa? Yes, I think we could break it soon."

What do Leeds need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Simeon Gholam: "First things first is that any player that arrives will have been analysed at length by Marcelo Bielsa and his team to ensure they fit his structure and system. Those expecting an 'upgrade' for Patrick Bamford up front may be sorely disappointed as the front man is so vital to the way Leeds play, and he is only likely to be replaced by a player who can do the same job.

"A centre-back will be essential if they fail to re-sign Ben White either permanently or on loan from Brighton, and that will be a huge gap to fill. It is good news for them, however, that the vastly-improved winger Jack Harrison is likely to come back on loan from Manchester City for a third season.

"Expect signings to be minimal - and expect most of any new arrivals to take a while to be integrated into first-team plans, too. Particularly with the shorter summer for them to prepare. Some depth is needed, but Bielsa likes to manage a small squad, and with eight less games in the Premier League season than in the Championship, the group may become even more tight-knit."

LEICESTER CITY Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Leicester targeting?

City have steadily strengthened their squad since winning the Premier League title and could spend big this summer despite their late slump in form costing them a Champions League berth.

City have set aside significant funds to strengthen in three positions: First, Brendan Rodgers has been working closely with his head of recruitment Lee Congerton to find a striker to play alongside Jamie Vardy. Second, they have struggled to replace Riyad Mahrez since his departure to Man City and are keen to recruit a wide-man who can play on either flank. And third, Rodgers wants a strong box-to-box number eight to work alongside James Maddison.

At the back, Leicester have looked at several centre-backs in the last two windows after Harry Maguire's departure for Old Trafford. This time, the position will be a priority.

Finally, City will look to bring in a left-back if, as expected, Ben Chilwell leaves.

What do the stats say about Leicester?

Leicester were gunning for third spot when the league was suspended but capitulated after the restart and lost out on Champions League qualification on the final day.

Incredibly, the Foxes spent 92.1 per cent of the season in the top four, while Manchester United managed only 6.2 per cent and still pipped them to the post.

Key injuries played a major role in their downfall, with key creator James Maddison sidelined along with the full-backs Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira.

But Rodgers now has a Golden Boot winner among his ranks in Vardy, while Wilfred Ndidi excelled once again by breaking things up midfield - topping the league for tackles and interceptions.

The manager's view

Brendan Rodgers on his plans: "[We need to improve] the attacking element of the team. We've obviously been hurt in this last period, with three of the back four out of the team, and that speed and quality will affect any team at this level. But generally, I'm pleased with how we defend. We would like to add more creativity and more attacking thrust at the top end of the field."

What do Leicester need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett: "Brendan Rodgers has said throughout this season that they are a young team who are learning, but what the lockdown period has emphasised is the lack of resources at the King Power Stadium.

"Rodgers has a very good starting XI, a very good 13, but...if they get injuries, they do not have the strength in depth to cope. I know Brendan Rodgers is talking to the bosses at Leicester to get more depth [into the squad]. He was frustrated that they didn't sign a centre-back last summer when Harry Maguire left and the club were quite pragmatic, they said that there wasn't value in the market and they weren't going to overpay for James Tarkowski or Nathan Ake, who were two of the names in the frame.

"They will still take that practical viewpoint but Leicester now have Europa League football coming next season with even more games and so to that end, they desperately need to strengthen the squad and get more players of quality in to replace those players in the starting XI if they're injured."

LIVERPOOL Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Liverpool targeting?

How do you improve on greatness? One area of widespread speculation already is the depth of cover behind Liverpool's front three. The sale of Dejan Lovren to Zenit Saint Petersburg in a £10.9m deal and Adam Lallana's departure to Brighton already means there are places available in the Liverpool squad, while Xherdan Shaqiri is also expected to depart.

What do the stats say about Liverpool?

Liverpool won the Premier League title with seven games to spare, the earliest title win in English top-flight history in terms of games remaining.

Jurgen Klopp invited professional surfer Sebastian Steudtner to deliver a rousing speech to his squad following their Champions League triumph last year - intended as a stark analogy for his players to overcome the last outstanding achievement: a league title.

And so the analogy became a reality. But now Liverpool must go again, perhaps in the hunt to retain their crown and reclaim Europe in the same season, or even begin a run of domination comparable to the 1970s and 1980s.

However, there isn't much room for improvement in league points, perhaps only consistency and a drip feed of young talent to keep the conveyor belt fresh.

Meanwhile, Klopp has openly admitted he has reduced the distance covered by his teams over the years, but he still demands unrivalled intensity with a chart-topping 3,980 sprints.

The manager's view

Jurgen Klopp after the end of the season: "I am happy with my squad 100 per cent...If other teams invest I have no idea, they may know more about the future, I don't know. But the main difference between us and other teams this year was consistency. You saw how tight the game was against Chelsea when we won 2-1 I think, but they are 25 points or so behind us."

What do Liverpool need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher: "Liverpool's squad is fine in most areas. But l think there's a couple of glaring areas where it should be better than it is."

Sky Sports News' Vinny O'Connor: "They have to improve because if you look at the likes of Chelsea at the moment, Man City are going to improve, Man Utd have had a run that has taken them into the Champions League once again.

"So Liverpool know they have to be better next season and if they are not going to do so much in the transfer market, then the Liverpool squad know they will have to raise their levels once again.

"Jurgen Klopp has said they are not necessarily going to do too much business in the transfer window, although there could be the odd addition. But then there are the other improvements to the players they have already got. We saw with Naby Keita's performance, if you can get those kind of performances out of him consistently, that is an improvement Liverpool could make.

"And Klopp talked to us after the game about Curtis Jones and he could not help let it slip that he is ready now, they are very excited about what he can produce for Liverpool Football Club. Adam Lallana is leaving a space and Jones can more than fill that and become an influential member of that squad as there is a lot of excitement at what he can achieve in a red shirt. And he is taking on the No 17 shirt next season, which of course in the early years was Steven Gerrard's."

MANCHESTER CITY Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Manchester City targeting?

Man City are expected to be busy as they look to regain supremacy in the Premier League from Liverpool.

The priority around recruitment will be in defence and, in particular, signing two centre-backs following their costly shortages last season while a new left-back will also be sought.

Two other very difficult challenges await: finding a successor to Sergio Aguero and the search for a new number 10 to replace Premier League legend David Silva.

What do the stats say about Man City?

Manchester City finished the season with more goals than any other team for the third season running. Their total of 102 was 17 more than Liverpool. In contrast, City have conceded two more than their Merseyside rivals.

So City's 18-point deficit is clearly the result of weaknesses at the back. For all the flowing, attacking football, Guardiola's side are shipping almost one goal per game - the same ratio as his inaugural season before the serious rebuild.

To put a figure on it: the defence is currently 35 per cent less efficient, compared with last season.

Much was made of how City failed to replace Vincent Kompany after his departure from the club, but it was the serious injury to Laporte which exposed the cracks.

Without Laporte, City's weaknesses were laid bare. Even with Laporte, a natural partner is missing.

Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Eric Garcia have been tested, but Guardiola has still preferred to play veteran midfielder Fernandinho as one of the pair. Fellow midfielder Rodri has played there, too.

The manager's view

Pep Guardiola on the summer ahead: "If you bring in eight or nine players, which is impossible, you change a lot, the mentality or the freshness or the way you want to play. But I think 80 per cent or 85 per cent or 90 per cent of the team will be the same so it depends on the people who are here."

What do Man City need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Micah Richards: "City are looking at various players for the summer, but for me they need a leader at the back to play alongside Laporte. That's no disrespect to Nicolas Otamendi and Stones, I'd still have Stones around to try and win back the manager's confidence.

"Going forward it hasn't been a problem for City. They've been scintillating at times, but then you just know that there's going to be some sort of uncertainty at the back without Kompany's leadership.

"At left-back, I think with Benjamin Mendy getting a run of games, and with a good pre-season under his belt, I do believe he can nail down that spot and rotate with Oleksandr Zinchenko, because I like him too. You need two good players in every position."

MANCHESTER UNITED Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Manchester United targeting?

Manchester United's interest in Jack Grealish has "cooled" and instead, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is concentrating on his key summer transfer target - Jadon Sancho. It now looks unlikely United will try to sign Grealish in this transfer window, even though Solskjaer is a big admirer of the Aston Villa captain.

Meanwhile, United's focus has turned to Sancho who, as an out-and-out winger, they feel better fits their squad. It's clear that Sancho is keen on a move to Old Trafford, but Dortmund are at this stage standing by their £100m-plus valuation.

Having missed out on Erling Haaland in January, Ed Woodward has been willing to provide funds for a new centre-forward although the recent development of Mason Greenwood has eased pressure.

United are also looking for cover at centre-back alongside an attacking midfielder to avoid increasing reliance on Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

What do the stats say about Man Utd?

There have been question marks over David de Gea after a spate of mistakes but United still conceded the third-lowest number of goals and ranked fourth best for clean sheets.

Manchester United didn't lose a Premier League game after signing Fernandes for £47m in January and the Portugal international really found his groove after the restart.

At which point, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer also appeared to nail down his preferred XI with an unchanged side in five successive games - a run last achieved at the club 27 years ago.

A third-place finish was an exceptional feat after spending only 22 days in the top four all season, while the emergence of Greenwood contributed to a league-low average starting XI age of just 25 years and 96 days - suggesting more is to come.

The manager's view

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on his hopes for the window: "The club know what I feel we need and we are going to try and pursue it. Let's see where we end up. I think we've shown that this team is going place."

On David de Gea: "David is mentally strong enough to know his job is to perform in training the next day and be ready for the games. We are going to stick together."

What do Man Utd need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Gary Neville: "I don't think this Manchester United team at this moment can challenge for the title next season. It needs more additions and more of the right additions. I think that Ole needs three or four more of those as a minimum before he can even think about getting up into third or second place.

"My concern isn't really for the front three or the midfield three, it's the depth and the drop that you have beneath that talent. When I say that Manchester United need a centre-forward, that's not me saying they should sell Anthony Martial. They need a centre-forward because Manchester United should have two or three great centre-forwards. They should have two or three great wingers. Not just one in each position."

..."The first XI is ok but the squad needs four or five more. The last time Manchester United finished in the top three was under Jose Mourinho and they spent £170m that summer. United need to invest money again but do it correctly this time. The squad needs improving, the team needs improving. First and foremost, they need to improve the first eleven."

Sky Sports' Paul Merson: "I don't think they need Jadon Sancho at £90m or £100m - they need another centre-half, in fact they probably need two centre-halves as cover for Harry Maguire.

"Maybe they need a centre forward but I don't think you win the league with Anthony Martial playing up front - even though he's been brilliant and scored goals. But where are you getting a centre forward from? Every club in the world wants one. If they have the money, I'd go £120m for Harry Kane. If they get him and centre-half, they'd be massive players in the Premier League next season."

Sky Sports News' James Cooper: "There's no doubt their number one target is Jadon Sancho...But it's going to be really difficult, complex, difficult-to-structure deal, bearing in mind I don't think Manchester United will put a £100m cheque on the lap of Borussia Dortmund.

"I think they also want a bit of cover at centre back - the likes of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are not what Ole is looking for in that position - and ideally as well perhaps an attacking midfielder that complements the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba."

NEWCASTLE UNITED Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Newcastle targeting?

The potential takeover from Saudi investors means recruitment plans could change significantly over the next few weeks.

For now, Steve Bruce continues to plan for next season - and looks likely to be busy. Most of his budget will be spent on landing a young centre-forward and a left centre-back - with both costing up to £20m. The club is also targeting a young central midfielder as well as a left-back and, like so many clubs, a winger.

What do the stats say about Newcastle?

Newcastle averaged just 37.8 per cent possession across the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, their lowest in a single campaign in the competition on record (since 2003-04).

They were also heavily reliant on Allan Saint-Maximin - winning just one of 12 games where he did not feature - while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was their top scorer with six goals; £40m striker Joelinton managed only two league goals.

The manager's view

Steve Bruce on Newcastle's recruitment plans: "We've got one or two irons in the fire right now - let's hope we can pull them off. We've got competition, but I think that will be the case right through the summer. As soon as the window opens, we'll go to work. Things are not on hold. We need that decision [over the takeover] to be made, but the only thing I can do, along with Lee [Charnley, Newcastle's managing director] is to keep planning as best we can, and that obviously includes the transfer market."

What do Newcastle need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds: "Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is in the dark and wants clarity in the coming days over PCP Capital Partners' largely Saudi-backed bid to buy out current owner Mike Ashley.

"The quick turnaround in seasons means time is of the essence if Bruce is to be able to improve upon his squad in the transfer market but so far, his call for an answer has fallen on deaf ears.

"The proposed takeover has been with the Premier League for almost four months, but with no breakthrough imminent, it appears unlikely that Ashley will dispense with any more transfer funds when he is on the verge of selling the club."

Sky Sports' Paul Merson: "I personally don't think he will. If you're Newcastle, you might spend £200m and it still might not break you into the top six. It probably wouldn't, so why would you keep on spending now if you were Ashley?

"The name of the game for Newcastle is to minimise spending and to stay in the league. It's all well and good saying you need to show ambition, but how much is that going to cost? £300m? £400m? Arsenal are eighth!

"If you're the owner of a club and no one likes you there, are you going to spend £400m to move you up two more places? If it doesn't go right, you could get relegated.

"When Rafa Benitez left, the feeling was that Newcastle would struggle but Steve Bruce has done an unbelievable job. But if I was Ashley, I wouldn't be spending the sort of money needed to just become a top-half team."

SHEFFIELD UNITED Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Sheffield United targeting?

Chris Wilder said after the season-ending defeat at Southampton that he needs significant recruitment to strengthen a tired squad which lacks competition in a number of positions.

Key to United's recruitment will be the loan market - most notably, they hope they can extend the loan from Man Utd of keeper Dean Henderson for another season.

While Wilder is also hoping to bring in a right wing-back and a right-sided centre-back, the biggest outlay will be on a striker - possibly via the overseas loan market, with a view to a permanent deal.

What do the stats say about Sheffield United?

Outside the relegation zone, only Brighton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle scored fewer goals than Sheffield United; Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset were the Blades' join-top scorers (six). Wilder's system prizes high-quality chances but the Blades' 353 shots and 114 shots on target were the lowest in the league.

Overlapping centre-backs became a talking point in the early stages of the season, but Blades' stopper Henderson stole the headlines in equal measure.

The Manchester United loanee had a save percentage of 74.2 per cent - bettered only by Hugo Lloris (79 per cent) and Emiliano Martinez (78.6 per cent), while xG data suggests he also prevented 7.5 goals during the campaign.

The manager's view

Chris Wilder after the final day of the season: "It's a feeling like we had when we first got into the Championship, we just faded away towards the back end of the season. We have to come stronger next year, we have to recruit well in the summer, we have to improve the players we've got here, and bring better players in if we want to be an established Premier League football club... we have to recruit well and improve on the players and bring better players in to compete."

What do Sheffield United need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Kate Burlaga: "Chris Wilder has said himself that Sheffield United need individual upgrades but life after the restart - when injuries to the likes of Jack O'Connell, John Fleck highlighted just how stretched a small, exhausted squad had become - means depth and competition as well as quality is required.

"Cover on the right side of defence is needed; Chris Basham and George Baldock have stepped up impressively but have challenging roles in the Blades' unique system, while a significant void must be filled in goal if Dean Henderson does not return for a third term. The Manchester United loanee has been key behind a defence that conceded the fewest goals of a promoted side in the history of the Premier League and though Wes Foderingham has been signed on a free transfer, with Simon Moore likely to depart, securing a No. 1 is a priority.

"With Sander Berge earmarked for a deeper central midfield role and John Lundstram's longer-term future unclear, the right side of midfield is ripe for reinforcing. How Wilder looks to evolve his side tactically next season will be fascinating; the Blades boss has been flexible in-play but will he revert more regularly from a flat midfield three - certainly vindicated this term - as his seeks to see his side pose a greater attacking threat? While David McGoldrick, treasured at Bramall Lane, is used to dropping deeper to link play, a fresh creative spark in the No. 10 role would be welcome.

"Wilder is adamant that the 'top of the pitch' is key. Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset were the club's joint-top scorers with six goals each and while the manager has rotated young forwards finding their way alongside older heads like Billy Sharp, finding a mobile forward with a ruthless streak - plenty with bigger budgets are after those - is the significant challenge."

SOUTHAMPTON Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Southampton targeting?

Southampton look set to be busy over the 10-week window.

Tottenham are edging closer to a deal to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton and are thought to have offered £15m for the Denmark midfielder. If he does depart, club will commit significant sums on a replacement.

Similar transfer budgets exist for a winger - who can play in a front three and a left centre-back, with the manager understood to be keen on Eintracht Frankfurt's Austrian centre back, Martin Hinteregger.

What do the stats say?

The Premier League returned after a three-month suspension and some teams came back stronger than before, led by pressing kings Southampton, who saw a 71-per-cent improvement in points-per-game form to finish in 11th.

Danny Ings was central to their success up top, winning 17 points from his 22 goals and topped the league for his 43.1 per cent share of overall team goals.

But the Saints also frustrated top teams with their high press and ranked behind only Liverpool and Manchester City for possessions won in the final third, while midfielder James Ward-Prowse ran further than any other player in the top-flight.

However, the south-coast club did produce a peculiar record with their results - winning 31 points on the road and only 21 on home soil.

The manager's view

Ralph Hasenhuttl on the summer ahead: "I don't want to discuss individuals, but I can agree that, yes, we are busy on working to bring players in, because it is a short break and we want to bring players in as soon as possible.

"But until we have anything fixed, there is nothing to say about any names."

What do Southampton need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Matt Le Tissier: "The professionalism of the players has been an absolute credit to the manager and the football club. When you look at what we've been capable of in the past few weeks - we've just played Manchester City at home, Manchester United away, Everton away.

"Unbeaten with five points, you look at that and think if you take that form into next season, what can we realistically achieve? From what I've seen, I'd expect a top-half finish from this group."

Sky Sports' Nick Wright: "There is much excitement about what Southampton could achieve next term following their strong finish to the campaign, but there are certainly areas in need of strengthening.

"Hojbjerg, a leader and midfield all-rounder, will take some replacing, for a start, but reinforcements are also needed in defence - Saints conceded 60 Premier League goals in 2019/20 - and in attack, where the scoring burden currently falls squarely on the shoulders of the 22-goal Danny Ings. No one else in the squad managed more than five last season.

"Hasenhuttl will hope there is more to come from Che Adams, who finished the season strongly. But as well as finding a reliable strike partner for Ings, he'll need midfielders and wingers who can add to the goal total."

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Tottenham targeting?

At this stage it doesn't appear that Jose Mourinho plans a major overhaul of his squad.

Top of his list will be a back-up number nine to provide cover for Harry Kane.

Another priority will be a defensive midfielder and a right-back along with a young back-up goalkeeper.

What do the stats say?

Spurs ended up with a mediocre standing but it could have been far worse. The main issue for Jose Mourinho to address this summer is the dip in goals.

The reason? Well, the goals have been drying up for three successive seasons, but, chances have become rarer since the departure of playmaker Christian Eriksen - so a creative midfielder could, or should, be on the list of targets.

The manager's view Tottenham produced top-four form since the restart under Jose Mourinho Tottenham produced top-four form since the restart under Jose Mourinho Tottenham produced top-four form since the restart under Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho on his plans for the summer: "The main thing is to keep our very good players and after that improve the squad. Are we going to buy 10 players? No. Are we going to buy players for £100m? No. We are going to improve. We are going to keep the structure of this team because we have absolutely no interest in seeing one of our fundamental players leave."

What do Tottenham need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports News' Lyall Thomas: "Tottenham need to strengthen defensively after a season of leaking poor goals, costing them points, and that is exactly what they are looking to do this summer.

"Jose Mourinho wants a new centre-back, preferably to play as the left one of the two - and a left-footer would be ideal, although there are fewer of those options available. Min-Jae Kim has been linked but he is staying at Beijing Sinobo Guoan for now.

"Mourinho also wants a new right-back - someone physical and powerful - and a new defensive midfielder now that Eric Dier has moved to centre-back. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is the top choice and the club are edging closer to a deal to sign him from Southampton. Geoffrey Kondogbia is another they have been tracking.

"Spurs are also looking again at backup striker's to Harry Kane, after missing out on Olivier Giroud in January. Sky Italy have previously reported they are among the clubs keen on Arkadiusz Milik at Napoli."

Sky Sports insight: Which positions are West Brom targeting?

Premier League new boys West Brom are looking to recruit across the squad. Their top priorities are a goalscorer and a box-to-box midfielder.

In defence, they are presently looking for a centre-back, right-back and left-back, too.

What do the stats say?

More than a third of the goals West Brom conceded were from set-pieces; only Cardiff conceded more than the Baggies' 16 from dead-ball situations. In fact, among the Championship's top six, only the Bluebirds allowed their opponents more shots from outside the box than the Baggies' 204. A case then for defensive reinforcements alongside some organisational work.

The manager's view

Slaven Bilic on his approach: "We have a good team, we have breadth, we need quality. We have to do something similar to Sheffield United, not like Aston Villa, and not like Norwich. We need to invest but in quality. The majority of the guys we have counted on here are going to play in the Premier League because they deserve it. Over the whole season, the players have been fantastic. I really believe that some of them will be more suited to the Premier League."

What do West Brom need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Simeon Gholam: "The first area that needs to be addressed for West Brom is up front. They spent big money on Kenneth Zohore last summer - but he didn't make any kind of impression - while Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin have a lot to do to prove they are still cut out for Premier League football.

"Another centre-back may help, too. Semi Ajayi was excellent in their promotion push but Kyle Bartley and Ahmed Hegazi won't convince for me back in the top flight. Slaven Bilic may look for a central midfielder, too, to provide some competition to Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore, while full-back is also an area he may look to strengthen. Kieran Gibbs endured injury problems last season and the rest of their options in those areas are untested at Premier League level.

"In wide and creative areas, they possess the brilliant Matheus Pereira, Matty Phillips has shown he can excel in the Premier League in the past and Kamil Grosicki could be a good alternative. They do, however, need to convince West Ham to either let them take Grady Diangana on again, or find a suitable replacement. They didn't look the same without the young winger when he was out injured last season."

WEST HAM Sky Sports insight: Which positions are West Ham targeting?

As always, it seems, West Ham look likely to be busy this summer.

David Moyes looks likely to strengthen across the defence ahead of the new season and targets include a left wing-back, a left-footed centre-back, another centre-back and a young right-back. Moyes would also like to inject more speed into his forward line with funds available to bring in a pacey centre-forward.

West Ham are also on the look out for a box-to-box midfielder.

What do the stats say about West Ham?

West Ham soared to safety with their impressive post-lockdown form, powered by eight goals from Michail Antonio and the creative Jarrod Bowen.

But the standout issue for the Hammers was seeing out results after getting their noses ahead. In total, they lost a league-topping 26 points from winning positions.

The manager's view

David Moyes on his plans for the summer: "I think you have got to remember that the club spent £200m [recently]. We'll try and add to it if we can, if we can't we'll go with what we've got and there are a lot who can improve and a lot who have since lockdown."

What do West Ham need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Nick Lustig: Much of what West Ham will be able to do in the summer transfer window will depend on player sales. Though manager David Moyes will want to put his own stamp upon the squad, it may not be possible unless he is able to shift the likes of Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Fabian Balbuena and Arthur Masuaku.

"West Ham have spent over to £200m over the past two seasons and it has been made clear to Moyes that he will have to supplement his transfer kitty through player sales. Moyes is keen to strengthen his defensive options, however the emergence of young full-back Ben Johnson may help save him from spending the majority of his budget in that area.

"Winger Grady Diangana is expected to be given a chance to cement a first-team place next season following a superb campaign on loan at West Brom, while midfielder Josh Cullen may also be handed an opportunity to prove himself to Moyes during pre-season.

"West Ham and Michail Antonio have both been transformed since the 30-year-old was pushed forward into a central striking role, but despite this, Moyes remains keen to add to his attacking options.

"Sebastien Haller has struggled since his big-money move from Eintracht Frankfurt and lacks the pace, which Antonio possesses, to get in behind an opposing defence. Albian Ajeti, who has failed to start a Premier League match or score a goal since joining from Basel last summer, is expected to leave.

"Jarrod Bowen has been a revelation since joining from Hull City in January and Moyes will once again look to the Sky Bet Championship as he aims to bolster his squad, with the likes of Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins, Antonee Robinson and Said Benrahma on his shortlist."

WOLVES Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Wolves targeting?

Wolves' top priority is a high-class centre-back, young and preferably left footed.

Nuno Espirito Santo hopes to add strength to his squad by bringing in both a No 8 and a No 9, although neither are likely to be automatic first-team choices. They also hope to bring in a promising young keeper, who it's hoped could progress to become their No 1 in years to come.

What do the stats say about Wolves?

Wolves matched their seventh-place finish from last season, the first time that the club has finished that high in consecutive top-flight campaigns in almost 60 years. This was also their record points tally in the Premier League era.

With 26 goals in all competitions, Raul Jimenez has enjoyed the best season in front of goal by a Wolves player since the days when all-time top scorer Steve Bull was lighting up Molineux.

Jimenez has combined for more goals with Adama Traore than any other partnership in the Premier League this past season, with the winger's dribbling being a feature of the team's success. Traore completed 183 dribbles in the competition - the most by any player.

The manager's view

Nuno on how coronavirus could affect Wolves' plans: "Football is part of an industry inside society, so it will be a huge impact regarding the transfer window, the timings, the values, players, transfers, all these things will be new. So, us as a club, we have to prepare ourselves.

"I don't expect big amounts of money will be involved in the transfer window. Not only in football, in society, there are a lot of things we have to look at, knowing there are a lot of people in need, so it's up for us to make a step forward."

What do Wolves need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports' Adam Bate: "Nuno prefers to work with a smaller squad than most but Wolves will surely dip into the transfer market this summer even if they are able to hold onto key players such as top scorer Raul Jimenez and the phenomenon that is Adama Traore.

"Wolves have a flexible group that has seen Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker drop back to fill in among the back three but last summer's loan signing of Jesus Vallejo suggests that Nuno is keen to strengthen defensively even if that particular transfer was not a success.

"Joao Moutinho has not missed a Premier League game in two seasons but Wolves will be mindful that they cannot count on that consistency forever. A more attack-minded midfielder could give Nuno more potency when switching to 3-5-2, while a robust alternative to Jimenez would be worth considering. There would be a void without him.

"Of course, much will depend on whether the club is in Europe again. Wolves need Chelsea to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final if they are to play Europa League football next season, while the prospect of Champions League qualification is still there too - that's the reward for winning the Europa League."

The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5. A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Create a Liverpool trophy party with Fanzone

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 11:39
Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea and the trophy lift live on Sky Pick, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event on July 22 from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

Last Updated: 21/07/20 12:21pm

Liverpool supporters will be able to create their own Premier League title party at home with Fanzone Liverpool supporters will be able to create their own Premier League title party at home with Fanzone Liverpool supporters will be able to create their own Premier League title party at home with Fanzone

Liverpool supporters will be able to create their own Premier League title party at home and have the ability to watch with family and friends thanks to Sky Sports Fanzone.

Sky Sports will offer the fixture with Chelsea as one of its 25 free-to-air games as part of Project Restart after discussions with the Premier League and Liverpool.

Liverpool vs Chelsea

July 22, 2020, 8:00pm

Live on

Liverpool vs Chelsea fanzone available to everyone

With matches still taking place behind closed doors, Liverpool supporters will be able to have their own Premier League title party at home and the ability to watch with family and friends thanks to Sky Sports Fanzone. It will be open for anyone to use even without a Sky Sports log-in.

Whether you're a Sky Sports subscriber or not, everyone will be able to use a new feature on the Sky Sports website on your phone (optimised on iOS for iPhone 8 and above), laptop or PC to watch select matches with friends in a video room and interact while the action unfolds, giving them the chance to chat about the match and influence the crowd noise they hear on screen. It will run from an hour before the game until an hour after the game.

Users of the app can post predictions, join in-match polls and use the Sky Sports stats to fuel the virtual conversation.

Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of its 25 free-to-air games Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of its 25 free-to-air games Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of its 25 free-to-air games

Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop, surrounded by fan banners.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's manager when they last won the title in 1990, will be part of the trophy presentation party.

Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea live on Sky Pick, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event on July 22 from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

2:14 Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years How to watch Sky Pick

Pick is 159 on Sky and 144 on Freeview. You can also watch on Now TV.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Trophy lift to banish Liverpool's 30 years of title hurt

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 16:30
By Richard Morgan

Football journalist - @Richiereds1976

Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

Last Updated: 20/07/20 6:55pm

Liverpool will finally get their hands on the league championship on Wednesday night after 30 years. But while there have been many highs during that time, there have also been some spectacular lows Liverpool will finally get their hands on the league championship on Wednesday night after 30 years. But while there have been many highs during that time, there have also been some spectacular lows Liverpool will finally get their hands on the league championship on Wednesday night after 30 years. But while there have been many highs during that time, there have also been some spectacular lows

Liverpool are back at the summit of English football after 30 long years of frustration and strife. While there have been many highs - including two Champions League triumphs - during that period, there have also been some spectacular lows.

​​​​​​Kenny calls it quits - February 1991

On February 22, 1991, Kenny Dalglish shocked the football world by resigning as Liverpool boss, two days after a titanic 4-4 draw at Everton in an FA Cup fifth-round replay.

There were plenty of tears in the Anfield boardroom that day, including from the at times emotionless Scot, as the man who had not only been one of the club's greatest players - if not the greatest - but also one of their most successful managers left the club.

King Kenny had won the title in three of his first five seasons in charge, including the Double in his debut campaign in charge in 1985-86, and even came within a whisker of repeating that achievement in three successive seasons between 1988 and 1990.

However, the strain of the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989 had finally taken its toll on an exhausted Dalglish and despite Liverpool still leading the First Division and on course for title No 19, enough was enough.

Arsenal would go on to beat them to the league that season and so began a tortuous 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England again.

Liverpool vs Chelsea

July 22, 2020, 8:00pm

Live on

Robins leave Souness red faced - January 1994 Souness left his role as Liverpool boss after a home loss to Bristol City in the FA Cup in Jan 1994 Souness left his role as Liverpool boss after a home loss to Bristol City in the FA Cup in Jan 1994 Souness left his role as Liverpool boss after a home loss to Bristol City in the FA Cup in Jan 1994

Graeme Souness' arrival as Liverpool manager in April 1991 after the shock resignation of Kenny Dalglish had initially been met with great fanfare on Merseyside.

However, three years on and with just one FA Cup to show for his efforts, the former trophy-winning Liverpool captain was living on borrowed time as he struggled to keep the club challenging for the game's top honours.

Not only had Liverpool lost its undisputed status as the kings of English football, but to make matters worse arch-rivals Manchester United had replaced them as the summit after ending their 26-year wait for a top-flight title in 1993.

But it all came to a head for Liverpool - and Souness - in January 1994 in an FA Cup third-round replay with First Division Bristol City, who deservedly claimed a surprise 1-0 win thanks to Brian Tinnion's second-half strike.

4:10 Graeme Souness speaks candidly and frankly about his time as Liverpool boss and admits he still has regrets about his time as a manager at Anfield Graeme Souness speaks candidly and frankly about his time as Liverpool boss and admits he still has regrets about his time as a manager at Anfield

The Scot resigned shortly after, but in truth his days as Liverpool boss had been numbered ever since he gave an ill-advised interview to the Sun - a paper reviled on Merseyside for the role it played in the aftermath of Hillsborough - after recovering from heart surgery that came out on the three-year anniversary of the disaster.

Souness has since acknowledged the mistake, telling Monday Night Football in 2018: "There are other things that happened there while I was manager that I deeply regret, but I can't turn back the clock. How I wish that I could, but I can't. And it hurts me badly that I am perceived by some people to be something I'm not."

However, with United already a yawning 21 points ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League at the time of Souness's departure, and well on their way to a second title in a row, there was no way back for him.

Houllier's near-death experience Houllier on his return to the Anfield dugout in 2002, but the Frenchman's trophy-winning days at Liverpool were numbered Houllier on his return to the Anfield dugout in 2002, but the Frenchman's trophy-winning days at Liverpool were numbered Houllier on his return to the Anfield dugout in 2002, but the Frenchman's trophy-winning days at Liverpool were numbered

Gerard Houllier is the man often credited with dragging Liverpool into the modern era and starting them out on the road to recovery. But it came at some personal cost to the much-loved Frenchman.

Houllier - who took sole charge of the club in November 1998 - won an incredible Treble of League, FA and UEFA Cups in 2000-01 - before guiding Liverpool to runners up behind Arsenal the following campaign, the first time they had finished above United in the league since the Premier League's inception.

But it was what happened to Houllier at half-time of a game with Leeds earlier that season that left everyone at Anfield shaken, with the Liverpool boss rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.

It turned out the 54-year-old had suffered a dissected aorta that required him to undergo an emergency bypass operation lasting over 11 hours and while he actually returned to work in March 2002, things were never really the same thereafter.

Liverpool could only manage a disappointing fifth-place finish the following season, while they also failed to progress out of their Champions League group.

While he did manage to steer the club back into Europe's premier club competition after finishing fourth in the Premier League in 2003-04, time was up for the man who nearly died trying to bring that elusive 19th league title back to Anfield.

Adios Senor Benitez Benitez said goodbye to Liverpool in the summer of 2010 Benitez said goodbye to Liverpool in the summer of 2010 Benitez said goodbye to Liverpool in the summer of 2010

For a period at Liverpool, Rafael Benitez could do no wrong. Whether it be that miraculous comeback from 3-0 against AC Milan to win the 2005 Champions League, or the following year's penalty shootout triumph over West Ham in the FA Cup final, the Spaniard was the architect of some of the most memorable moments in the club's glorious and trophy-laden history.

Despite eventually losing out to of all sides, United, in the race for title in 2008-09, Benitez's side had still accumulated 86 points that season, their most in Premier League history, while losing just twice all campaign.

All of which made the following season's struggles all the more painful as they slumped to an underwhelming seventh-place finish, while their Champions League campaign also ended prematurely in the group stage.

Benitez paid the ultimate price by losing his job, but what was more galling for Liverpool fans was their team was now back in the same slump they had been enduring when the Valencia head coach first arrived at the club six years earlier.

In other words, they had gone full circle and were now back at square one, further than ever away from getting their hands on that coveted 19th top-flight title.

'We were only a day away from administration' Gillett and Hicks (right) endured a turbulent three years owning Liverpool Gillett and Hicks (right) endured a turbulent three years owning Liverpool Gillett and Hicks (right) endured a turbulent three years owning Liverpool

"We only sell the family silverware once, we have to get it right," then Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry famously said. While hindsight is a wonderful thing, boy did those in charge of selling the club back in 2007 get it spectacularly wrong.

Parry had actually wanted Dubai International Capital to become Liverpool's new custodians, but a late change of heart saw the then owner David Moores sell to American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

That decision would ultimately prove disastrous as the pair themselves fell out, while their wealth was also brought into question as a whole host of top players were sold in order to pay off increasingly crippling debt repayments.

In May 2010, accounts were published showing Liverpool's holding company to be £350m in debt, with losses of £55m, meaning creditors - such as the Royal Bank of Scotland - took Gillett and Hicks to court to force them to allow the board to proceed with the sale of the club.

As a result, the High Court ruled in favour of the creditors, allowing Fenway Sports Group [FSG] to buy Liverpool for £300m.

But it was a close-run thing and as the managing director at the time, Christian Purslow, recalled in 2012: "People have short memories, it's only 15-16 months ago we were a day away from being in administration."

Sorry seems to be the hardest word 12:25 Evra spoke to Monday Night Football about the problem of racism in football and how it should be tackled Evra spoke to Monday Night Football about the problem of racism in football and how it should be tackled

In November 2011, The Football Association charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules", including "a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra" after an incident in a match with Man United at Anfield the previous month.

Liverpool immediately announced they "fully supported" their star man, claiming: "No one else on the field of play - including Evra's own United team-mates and all the match officials - heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth."

Liverpool's players controversially wore T-shirts in support of Suarez in Dec 2011 Liverpool's players controversially wore T-shirts in support of Suarez in Dec 2011 Liverpool's players controversially wore T-shirts in support of Suarez in Dec 2011

However, after a six-day hearing that December, the FA handed Suarez an eight-game ban and a £40,000 fine for racially abusing Evra, resulting in Liverpool's players wearing T-shirts in support of the Uruguayan in the warmup ahead of match at Wigan later that month.

To make matters worse, though, when the two sides next faced each other at Old Trafford in February 2012, Suarez refused to shake the France full back's hand prior to kick-off, an action both he and his then manager Dalglish were subsequently forced to apologise for by the club's American owners.

1:27 Evra told Super Sunday in Jan 2020 that Liverpool CEO Peter Moore had personally written to him about the Suarez affair Evra told Super Sunday in Jan 2020 that Liverpool CEO Peter Moore had personally written to him about the Suarez affair

All in all it was a sorry saga as far as Liverpool were concerned and not one anyone involved with at the time will look back on with any fondness, as Jamie Carragher recently admitted: "There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake [wearing the T-shirts]. That was obvious. As a club, we got it wrong and we were all part of it. Apologies. We got it massively wrong."

Evra has since revealed that he received a letter from Liverpool CEO Peter Moore in October 2019 regarding the whole episode, telling Super Sunday back in January: "I was really pleased Jamie Carragher apologised and I received a personal letter from Peter Moore and I was really touched about it. He told me he hoped it wasn't too late because this incident happened nine years ago.

"I said thank you very much. I was so disappointed that Liverpool supported a cause like that but now I can see it's real and honest people working for this club."

The King is dead, long live the King Dalglish's second spell in charge of Liverpool came to an end in May 2012 Dalglish's second spell in charge of Liverpool came to an end in May 2012 Dalglish's second spell in charge of Liverpool came to an end in May 2012

Kenny Dalglish was the last manger to win the league with Liverpool, so it was understandable his return to the dugout, initially as caretaker boss in January 2011 and then in a full-time capacity four months later, proved so popular with the fans.

However, despite bringing Luis Suarez to the club and at first producing an upturn in results, the team's league form then dropped off in 2011-12, culminating in the club's worst Premier League finish for 18 years.

Yes, the hugely popular Scot did claim Liverpool's first trophy in six years when they beat Cardiff to win the 2012 League Cup, but after then losing to Chelsea in that season's FA Cup final, he was given his marching orders.

While deep down most Liverpool supporters could not really argue with FSG's decision as they looked to bring in a younger, more modern coach, it was still a painful exit that left a bad taste in the mouth and another reminder of just how far the once mighty institution had fallen since King Kenny's first spell in charge.

United well and truly knock Liverpool off their perch Ferguson celebrates United's record-extending 20th top-fight title in 2013 Ferguson celebrates United's record-extending 20th top-fight title in 2013 Ferguson celebrates United's record-extending 20th top-fight title in 2013

When United turned up at Anfield in January 1994 having finally ended their 26-wait for a top-flight title the previous campaign, Liverpool's fans responded by unfurling a banner that simply read: "Come back when you've won 18," in reference to the record-breaking number of leagues they had won.

Seventeen years later, however, and United supporters bravely sneaked into Anfield to reveal their own banner, stating: "MUFC 19 TIMES," after the club had secured its own record-breaking 19th league title.

Two seasons later and Alex Ferguson guided United to title No 20 as the Scot ended his final campaign in charge at Old Trafford by definitely "knocking Liverpool off its f***ing perch".

For Liverpool fans, while the serial winner from Glasgow may had finally brought down the curtain on his remarkable 27-year managerial career at Old Trafford, he still left with United now two titles clear of their rivals.

Considering they had trailed them 16 to seven when Fergie first arrived at Old Trafford back in November 1986, this was perhaps one of the lowest points for Liverpool fans since they last won the league.

Stevie G's costly slip Gerrard reacts after that slip against Chelsea Gerrard reacts after that slip against Chelsea Gerrard reacts after that slip against Chelsea

Liverpool were within touching distance of that elusive 19th league title heading into the climax of the 2013-14 season.

Brendan Rodgers's vibrant and energetic team had surprised everyone by soaring to the top of the table on the back of a blistering 11-match winning run, opening up a six-point lead on Manchester City, albeit having played a game more than Manuel Pellegrini's side, with just three games to go.

So just seven points from that trio of fixtures, starting at home to second-placed Chelsea, would mean a first championship since 1990 for Liverpool, whose fans were understandably in a state of delirium by this stage of proceedings.

Liverpool had already seen off City 3-2 at Anfield a fortnight earlier and there was a carnival atmosphere in the ground at kick-off with another expected win supposedly just 90 minutes away.

0:56 Relive Gerrard's infamous slip in 2014 Relive Gerrard's infamous slip in 2014

But all that was reckoning without that arch tactician Jose Mourinho, who set his side up to frustrate the hosts on a hot Sunday afternoon in April, and with great success too, culminating in that now infamous slip from Steven Gerrard as the game approached half-time still scoreless.

The Liverpool captain's unfortunate slip near the halfway line allowed Demba Ba a clear run on goal and the Chelsea striker accepted the gift to put the visitors ahead, a blow from which they never really recovered.

A second-half equaliser would still have left Liverpool's title destiny within their own hands ahead of games at Crystal Palace and, on the final day of the campaign at home to Newcastle.

But the 'Special One's' spoiling tactics worked to perfection and Liverpool - and Gerard in particular - were left to rue what might have been as the title slipped through their hands and that long wait for that coveted title went on…

Not such a fitting farewell for Captain Fantastic Gerrard's last Liverpool appearance came in a 6-1 drubbing at Stoke in May 2015 Gerrard's last Liverpool appearance came in a 6-1 drubbing at Stoke in May 2015 Gerrard's last Liverpool appearance came in a 6-1 drubbing at Stoke in May 2015

Hopes were high at the outset of the 2014-15 season after Liverpool had gone so close to finally getting their hands on the title the previous campaign.

But the sale of Suarez that summer had robbed Rodgers of his most important player, a blow from which the team never really recovered as they failed to qualify from their Champions League group, before limping to a sixth-place league finish.

Steven Gerrard talks ahead of his last Premier League match with Liverpool Steven Gerrard talks ahead of his last Premier League match with Liverpool

Not only that, but Gerard also ended his 17-year career at Anfield to join LA Galaxy in the MLS, the inspirational captain's final game for his boyhood club being a humiliating 6-1 drubbing at Stoke on the final day of the campaign.

As the skipper said his tearful goodbyes at the Britannia that May afternoon, he and the club's fans could have been forgiven for thinking the team were further away than ever from getting back to the top.

Third time unlucky for Klopp and Co A dejected Liverpool fan after City's title win was confirmed in May 2019 A dejected Liverpool fan after City's title win was confirmed in May 2019 A dejected Liverpool fan after City's title win was confirmed in May 2019

Jurgen Klopp wasted little time in turning Liverpool's fortunes around after replacing Rodgers in the Anfield dugout in October 2015, making it through to the League Cup final five months later.

A painful defeat to Manchester City on penalties followed at Wembley, although the team soon found themselves back in another final, this time against the holders Sevilla in the Europa League.

However, despite leading 1-0 at half-time, Klopp's side crumbled in the second half, going down 3-1 to not only miss out on the chance of silverware, but also the opportunity to qualify for the following season's Champions League.

Not to worry, though, as surely it would be a case of third time lucky for Klopp and Liverpool after they reached the 2018 Champions League final against holders Real Madrid.

The club had not won a trophy for six years and the fans were hurting, especially after watching their side lose their previous two finals in painful fashion.

2:56 Liverpool's win over Wolves in May 2019 ultimately counted for nothing Liverpool's win over Wolves in May 2019 ultimately counted for nothing

But that was nothing compared with the numb feeling they felt at the full-time whistle in Kiev after a combination of bad luck - star man and top-scorer Mohamed Salah had been forced off early with a freak shoulder injury - and a catastrophic display from goalkeeper Loris Karius had resulted in an agonising 3-1 defeat.

Klopp may have laughed off those events after the game, but deep down, he and the players were hurting.

Hurting enough to return to European football's show-piece event the next season, when this time they did finally manager to get their hands on a well-deserved trophy.

That triumph in Madrid last May was without doubt the catalyst to the remarkable season Liverpool have produced this campaign.

Liverpool vs Chelsea fanzone available to everyone

Sky Sports Fanzone will be made available to everyone for Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift on Wednesday evening, whether you're a Sky Sports subscriber or not.

Sky Sports will show Liverpool's game against Chelsea (Kick-off 8.15pm) and the presentation of the Premier League trophy free to air on Sky Pick, where Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop, surrounded by fan banners.

And all Liverpool supporters will be able to have their own Premier League title party at home and the ability to watch with family and friends thanks to Sky Sports Fanzone.

Whether you're a Sky Sports subscriber or not, everyone will be able to use a new feature on the Sky Sports website on your phone (optimised on iOS for iPhone 8 and above), laptop or PC to watch select matches with friends in a video room and interact while the action unfolds, giving them the chance to chat about the match and influence the crowd noise they hear on screen. It will run from an hour before the game until an hour after the game.

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Where are Liverpool's 1990 title winners now?

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 16:30
Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

Last Updated: 21/07/20 10:33am

Liverpool will finally get their hands on the Premier League on Wednesday night, 30 years after they last lifted the league. But what happened to those players who were crowned top-flight champions in 1989-90?

Liverpool's 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on April 28 1990 confirmed the club's 18th league title, with Kenny Dalglish's side expected to continue challenging at the top for years to come.

Liverpool's players celebrate with the title in 1990, but where are they all now? Liverpool's players celebrate with the title in 1990, but where are they all now? Liverpool's players celebrate with the title in 1990, but where are they all now?

However, none of the 13 players who featured for Liverpool that day would ever win the title again.

Ahead of Liverpool's Premier League trophy lift, live on Sky Sports on Wednesday night, we look at what Liverpool's last title winners did next...

Liverpool's line-up against QPR on April 28, 1990 Liverpool's line-up against QPR on April 28, 1990 Liverpool's line-up against QPR on April 28, 1990 Bruce Grobbelaar

Grobbelaar left Anfield in 1994 and went on to play for Southampton and Plymouth, with nominal appearances for Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham, Bury and Lincoln among others.

He was found not guilty of match-fixing claims in 1997 and had a string of coaching jobs in South Africa before becoming goalkeeping coach for the Matabeleland football team in May 2018.

Gary Ablett

Tragically, Gary Ablett died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012 aged just 46.

In 1992 Ablett made the short trip across Stanley Park to join Everton, becoming the only player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside clubs. He also played over 100 matches for Birmingham, returning to coach Everton's academy, Liverpool's reserves and Stockport County after retirement.

Steve Staunton

Staunton left Liverpool a year after the title win to enjoy a successful spell at Aston Villa, winning two League Cups, only to return to Anfield for two seasons in 1998 before finishing his playing career at Villa (again), Coventry and Walsall.

Managed Republic of Ireland in a turbulent 21-month period, then took charge of Darlington for 23 matches and his last involvement in football was as a scout for Sunderland, before leaving that role in 2013.

Staunton then launched his own academy based in Staffordshire, only to declare himself bankrupt in April 2016.

David Burrows

Burrows departed in 1993 for West Ham and went on to play for Everton, Coventry, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday before injuries forced his retirement and he moved with his family to start a new life renting out properties in southwest France.

Steve Nicol

After 13 years at the club the Scot left in 1994 to be player-assistant coach at Notts County, and then joined Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster, before moving to America first as a player with Boston Bulldogs and then coach of New England Revolution.

Nicol is now a pundit for ESPN in the US.

Barry Venison

Joined Newcastle in 1992 and brief spells at Galatasaray and Southampton followed. Venison then took up punditry with Sky and ITV, and also had played a cameo role in comedy film 'Mike Bassett: England manager' in 2001.

Relocated to the US in 2003, working initially in property development, before becoming technical director and then in 2016 coach at Orange County Blues.

Gary Gillespie

Gillespie moved to Celtic less than 18 months after the club's last title win, making 69 appearances before joining Coventry, where a knee injury ended his career after three games in as many years.

Now works as summariser on Liverpool games for both BBC Radio Merseyside and LFCTV.

Alan Hansen Rosenthal, Rush, Whelan, Hansen and Barnes (from left to right) after winning the league in 1990 Rosenthal, Rush, Whelan, Hansen and Barnes (from left to right) after winning the league in 1990 Rosenthal, Rush, Whelan, Hansen and Barnes (from left to right) after winning the league in 1990

Retired in March 1991 after injury prevented him playing at all in the post-title season. Hansen then enjoyed a hugely successful post-playing career when he was employed as the BBC's main football pundit for 22 years - and remains famous for his 'You can't win anything with kids' remark about Manchester United, who went on to lift the title and FA Cup in 1995-96.

Hansen retired from Match of the Day in 2014.

Glenn Hysen

Won the title in his first season at the club, but left in 1993 to return to his Swedish homeland with GAIS after falling out of favour with new manager Graeme Souness.

After hanging up his boots in 1994, the Swede became a reality television star, coach, and football commentator.

Steve McMahon

Midfielder McMahon joined Manchester City 18 months on from the title win and then left to become player-manager at Swindon. Promoted from League Two with Blackpool, with whom he twice won the Football League Trophy, before briefly becoming boss at Perth Glory.

After leaving that role, he became a pundit for ESPN Star Sports in Asia as well as joining the Profitable Group, who tried unsuccessfully to buy Newcastle in 2009.

Ray Houghton

Left Liverpool in 1992 after winning another FA Cup and enjoyed a League Cup triumph with Aston Villa, followed by spells at Crystal Palace, Reading and Stevenage, before becoming a media pundit and he still works for the likes of Sky Sports, RTE, talkSPORT and LFCTV.

Ronnie Whelan

Whelan spent two years at Southend after leaving Liverpool in 1994, some as player-manager. Managed in Greece with Panionios, guiding them to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup-Winners' Cup, and Cyprus with Olympiakos Nicosia and Apollon Limassol.

After leaving Cyprus, the Irishman became an after-dinner speaker, while also working as a pundit for RTE back in his homeland.

Jan Molby

Survived at Anfield longer than most of his contemporaries, leaving in 1996, but with only one FA Cup to show for his extended stay, to become player-manager at Swansea. Molby won promotion to the Football League in his first season as Kidderminster manager and had brief spell as Hull boss.

Now works for Danish television.

Ronny Rosenthal

After leaving Anfield in 1994, the Israeli played for Tottenham and Watford, before retiring in 1999. Rosenthal stayed in England, becoming a football agent and consultant.

John Barnes

Barnes continued to excel for seven years after the title triumph, winning an FA Cup and League Cup. Was reunited with former team-mate and manager Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle and finished his playing career at Charlton.

Barnes then became head coach of Celtic, with Dalglish as his director of football, and later coached Jamaica and Tranmere.

As well as being a contestant on TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother, Barnes is also a pundit for various media outlets - including Sky Sports - and has also become a high-profile anti-racism campaigner.

Peter Beardsley Barnes and Beardsley (right) celebrate Liverpool's 1989-90 title win Barnes and Beardsley (right) celebrate Liverpool's 1989-90 title win Barnes and Beardsley (right) celebrate Liverpool's 1989-90 title win

Following the 1990 trophy lift, Beardsley remained at Anfield for one more season before making the switch to Everton and becoming only the second man after David Johnson to score for both sides in a Merseyside derby.

Returned to Newcastle on their promotion to the Premier League and struck up a brilliant partnership with Andy Cole. Spells at Bolton, Fulham and Hartlepool followed.

Had two coaching jobs in Newcastle's academy, but was suspended from football for eight months in September 2019.

Ian Rush

Another long-term stayer, Rush moved on to Leeds in 1996 and then Newcastle and Wrexham. Had a season as manager of Chester, but resigned on principle after his assistant was sacked without his knowledge.

Has been a club ambassador for Liverpool since returning to the club in 2010.

Kenny Dalglish Dalglish (centre) with the 1990 league title Dalglish (centre) with the 1990 league title Dalglish (centre) with the 1990 league title

Resigned in February the following season after the emotionally draining 4-4 FA Cup draw with Everton. Returned to management in the second tier with Blackburn in October 1991, eventually leading them to the Premier League title in 1995. Also managed Newcastle and Celtic, before a second spell in charge at Liverpool after replacing Roy Hodgson, winning the League Cup in a controversial reign which saw him defend Luis Suarez in his racism row with Patrice Evra. The Scot was then sacked and replaced by Brendan Rodgers in 2012.

Dalglish, who was given a knighthood in 2018, was made a non-executive director at Liverpool in October 2013, while Anfield's Centenary Stand was renamed after him in May 2017 and he is reportedly set to hand out the winners' medals to the players on Wednesday night.

Liverpool vs Chelsea

July 22, 2020, 8:00pm

Live on

Liverpool vs Chelsea fanzone available to everyone

Sky Sports Fanzone will be made available to everyone for Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift on Wednesday evening, whether you're a Sky Sports subscriber or not.

Sky Sports will show Liverpool's game against Chelsea (Kick-off 8.15pm) and the presentation of the Premier League trophy free to air on Sky Pick, where Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop, surrounded by fan banners.

And all Liverpool supporters will be able to have their own Premier League title party at home and the ability to watch with family and friends thanks to Sky Sports Fanzone.

Whether you're a Sky Sports subscriber or not, everyone will be able to use a new feature on the Sky Sports website on your phone (optimised on iOS for iPhone 8 and above), laptop or PC to watch select matches with friends in a video room and interact while the action unfolds, giving them the chance to chat about the match and influence the crowd noise they hear on screen. It will run from an hour before the game until an hour after the game.

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Who should win PFA Player of the Year?

Sun, 07/19/2020 - 12:53
Make your pick by voting below before the winner is announced on Friday

Last Updated: 19/07/20 4:52pm

3:26 The Sunday Supplement panel give their verdicts on who has been the outstanding performer in the Premier League this season The Sunday Supplement panel give their verdicts on who has been the outstanding performer in the Premier League this season

Ahead of this week's announcement of the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, the Sunday Supplement panel give their own verdicts on who has been the outstanding performer in the Premier League this season.

With Liverpool having run away with the title this campaign, the champions are likely to dominate the voting, with a whole host of possible contenders coming from Anfield.

Liverpool vs Chelsea

July 22, 2020, 8:00pm

Live on

Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, captain Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have all enjoyed impressive seasons for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Meanwhile, the winner may come from recently deposed champions Manchester City, with both Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling having produced a number of eye-catching performances to help Pep Guardiola's team seal the runners-up spot behind Liverpool.

Download the Sunday Supplement podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

And do not forget Leicester City's red-hot striker Jamie Vardy, who currently heads the race for this seasons' Golden Boot having scored 23 goals to help push the Foxes to the brink of Champions League qualification.

However, this is who the Sunday Supplement's three guests have voted for ahead of Friday's announcement...

Dominic King, northwest football reporter, the Daily Mail - Jordan Henderson

I believe he has been the outstanding performer for Liverpool. He has been man of the match in all the big games, the intensity that he provides in driving the team forward, the standards that he sets every day in training.

And that is even without me mentioning the stuff he has done with the Players Together Campaign. I think he has been an absolute credit and that is where my vote [for the Football Writers' Award] went.

Sami Mokbel, chief football reporter, the Daily Mail - Sadio Mane

I do not think you can go too far between Man City and Liverpool, there have been fantastic performances and players throughout those squads. I think if you are looking at City, Kevin De Bruyne, what a fantastic footballer. Raheem Sterling, again improving on his numbers and he is an absolute superstar, while Jordan Henderson is the driving force behind that Liverpool team. When he plays, and plays well, Liverpool essentially win that football match.

But for me, Mane is what makes them tick, when he is in the team and playing well, he is a frightening prospect. He is a fantastic footballer, assists, goals, everything you name it. And for me, I think Liverpool would be a completely different proposition without Mane in the team, hence why I voted for him.

Rory Smith, chief soccer correspondent, the New York Times - Kevin De Bruyne

I think the problem Liverpool have this season is the problem Man City had in the previous two in that there are lots of different players who you could pinpoint as being central to Liverpool's success.

Henderson is the driving force, he sets the standards, Mane has moved on to another level this season, they look a massively different prospect when Mo Salah is playing, the whole system struggles if [Roberto] Firmino is not there, Virgil van Dijk is quite good people might have noticed, Alisson is a pretty good goalkeeper generally, Trent Alexander-Arnold is a quite a good right-back.

And I think the issue they have is they are such a team Liverpool that it is actually pretty hard to pick out one individual and say, 'that individual makes a difference,' which was true of Man City last year and the year before when Liverpool players won the individual awards.

And I actually think to me the reverse should probably be true this year in that Kevin De Bruyne has maybe been the outstanding footballer this season even though he has not ended up on the team that has won the Premier League and run away with it.

But that did not stop Salah winning it the year City got 100 points, so for me it would be De Bruyne's year, although I suspect that it will go to Henderson.

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Liverpool transfer rumours

Sun, 07/19/2020 - 08:45
Transfer news, rumours and gossip from Anfield By Sky Sports Football

Last Updated: 19/07/20 8:50am

The latest transfer news and gossip on the players linked with Liverpool - and those who could leave the club.

The latest players linked with a move to Liverpool...

Ismaila Sarr - Liverpool are reportedly interested in the Watford winger, who is also said to be on Man Utd's radar (Sunday Mirror, July 19)

Diego Carlos - Liverpool are set to rival Manchester City for the Sevilla defender's signature (Mail on Sunday, July 19)

Is Thiago Alcantara on his way to Liverpool this summer? Is Thiago Alcantara on his way to Liverpool this summer? Is Thiago Alcantara on his way to Liverpool this summer?

Thiago Alcantara - The Bayern Munich midfielder is reportedly weighing up his future at the club as he contemplates a move to Liverpool (Sun, June 25); The 29-year-old Spain international has turned down a new contract at Bayern Munich and is confident of completing a move to Liverpool (Daily Mirror and Daily Star, July 17); Jurgen Klopp has sanctioned Thiago's move to Anfield and the midfielder has agreed personal terms with the Premier League champions (Daily Express, July 18)

Victor Osimhen - Liverpool and Manchester United have held talks with the agent of the Lille striker, who wants to derail his proposed move to Napoli (Daily Express, July 18)

Weston McKennie - Midfielder McKennie is set to leave Schalke this summer with Chelsea and Liverpool interested (The Sun, July 12)

Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool have been linked with a sensational return for Coutinho with the star set to quit Barcelona this summer (Daily Express, July 9)

The Brazilian is being linked with a move back to Liverpool, with Barcelona's asking price for the winger now heavily reduced (Daily Mirror, June 23)

Nick Breitenbucher - Liverpool are interested in German winger Breitenbucher after the youngster's impressive form in the youth ranks at Hoffenheim (Daily Mail, July 3).

Adama Traore - Liverpool have made official contact with Wolves regarding the transfer of Adama Traore. (Mundo Deportivo, June 26).

Kalidou Koulibaly - Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly says he could finish his career with Napoli, despite being linked with Liverpool. (La Gazzetta dello Sport, July 12) Manchester United and Liverpool have "made contact" with Napoli over the availability of Koulibaly - but Manchester City could try and swoop in. (Daily Star, July 11); Liverpool are not interested in signing Napoli defender Koulibaly - but they may be in the market for another centre-back if Dejan Lovren leaves the club (Sky Sports News, June 29).

Other players recently linked with a move to Anfield...
  • David Alaba (Daily Telegraph, June 19)
  • Raul Jimenez (Daily Mirror, June 18)
  • Ousmane Dembele (Daily Express, June 15; Daily Star, June 10; L'Equipe, June 5)
  • Ben White (Daily Express, June 15)
  • Ruben Neves, Adama Traore (The Sun, June 13)
  • Ferran Torres (Daily Star, May 31)
  • Kylian Mbappe (Daily Mirror, May 27)
  • Rav van den Berg (HITC, May 26)
  • Adama Traore (The Sun On Sunday, May 24)
  • Leroy Sane (Bild, May 20)
  • Diego Carlos (Daily Express, May 22)
  • Wout Weghorst (Goal, May 20)
  • Talles Magno (Daily Mirror, May 16; A Bola, May 5)
  • Tanguy Ndombele (The Independent, May 14)
  • Thomas Partey (The Sun, May 11)
  • Bukayo Saka (Daily Mirror, May 9)
  • Eduardo Camavinga (Daily Star, May 9)
  • Milot Rashica (Bild, May 6)
  • Aster Vranckx (Daily Mirror, May 6)
  • Nicolo Zaniolo (Corriere dello Sport, May 18)
  • Dominik Szoboszlai (Tuttosport, May 13)
The latest on players linked with a Liverpool exit...

Dejan Lovren - Liverpool are looking to sell Croatia defender Dejan Lovren despite seeking to extend his contract (Goal, July 14); Zenit St Petersburg are willing to offer £9m for the centre-back but Liverpool are likely to demand £15m (Mail on Sunday, July 19)

Yasser Larouci - The 19-year-old Algerian defender is set to leave Liverpool this summer, with Leeds and Brentford among the clubs interested in signing the full-back (Goal, July 17)

Naby Keita - Liverpool are considering selling the midfielder this summer (Milan Live, June 19)

Jurgen Klopp is ready to offload six first-team players this summer as he looks to raise funds to bring his top transfer targets to Anfield (The Sun, June 18)

Rhian Brewster - Rangers are eyeing up a loan move for the Liverpool youngster (Scottish Sun, June 8) .

Adam Lallana - The midfielder is poised to agree a short-term deal with Liverpool that will enable Lallana to stay at Anfield for their title coronation (Daily Mail, June 9); Brendan Rodgers is closing in on a reunion with the free agent at Leicester (Daily Mirror, June 6)

Other players recently linked with a move away from Liverpool...
  • Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster (Daily Telegraph, June 2)
  • Xherdan Shaqiri (Daily Mail, May 27)
  • Dejan Lovren (Gazzetta dello Sport, via Liverpool Echo, May 13)
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (The Sun, May 11)
  • Pedro Chirivella (Mail On Sunday, May 10)
  • Loris Karius (Liverpool Echo, May 6; Daily Star, May 19)
  • Sadio Mane (The Athletic, April 2; The Sun, April 14; AS, April 18; France Football, April 22).
  • Adam Lallana (The Sun, April 6)
  • Curtis Jones (Daily Mirror, April 14)
  • James Milner (Daily Star, April 22)
The latest contract news from Anfield...

Adam Lallana - The midfielder has signed a short-term contract extension with Liverpool until the end of the current campaign (June 9)

Transfer Centre - follow the latest news with our live blog

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Liverpool points record dashed at Arsenal

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 22:09

Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker errors gifted Arsenal a 2-1 victory as Liverpool's hopes of breaking the Premier League points record were dashed.

Sadio Mane looked to have set the champions on course for one of the three victories they needed to surpass Manchester City's record 100-point haul with the opener on 20 minutes at the Emirates.

But the bedrocks of Liverpool's title triumph handed Arsenal a half-time lead, as rare Van Dijk and Alisson mistakes were ruthlessly punished by Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson's first Premier League goal.

And, despite a commanding second-half performance, Liverpool were unable to prevent a third defeat of the season as Arsenal climbed to ninth after their first victory over Jurgen Klopp's side in five years.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Martinez (7), Cedric (6), Holding (7), Luiz (7), Tierney (7), Nelson (8), Xhaka (7), Torreira (6), Saka (6), Pepe (6), Lacazette (8).

Subs: Maitland-Niles (6), Ceballos (5), Willock (5), Aubameyang (5), Kolasinac (n/a).

Liverpool: Alisson (4), Alexander-Arnold (6), Gomez (6), Van Dijk (4), Robertson (7), Fabinho (6), Wijnaldum (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Salah (7), Firmino (6), Mane (7).

Subs: Keita (5), Minamino (6), Shaqiri (n/a), Origi (n/a).

Man of the Match: Alexandre Lacazette

How Liverpool lapses gifted Gunners win Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring for Arsenal vs Liverpool Image: Alexandre Lacazette sparked Arsenal's comeback against champions Liverpool

A near full-strength Liverpool were dominant from the outset and were nearly gifted the opening goal on 13 minutes when Roberto Firmino charged down goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez's lethargic clearance, sending the ball cannoning off the base of the post.

It was only a matter of time before the champions converted their dominance, as Mane rounded off a flowing attack with a simple finish from Andrew Robertson's pin-point cross on 20 minutes.

mane Image: Sadio Mane scored his sixth Premier League goal against Arsenal, only against Crystal Palace has he scored more Team news
  • Mikel Arteta made five changes from the defeat at Spurs as Cedric Soares, Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson, Lucas Torreira and Buakyo Saka were recalled into the Arsenal starting line-up.
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned as Liverpool made two changes from the draw with Burnley.

It looked to be business as usual for Liverpool as they stifled Arsenal, but then two pillars of their Premier League title-winning season conspired to gift the Gunners the lead out of nowhere.

More on this story

The usually flawless Van Dijk succumbed to Nelson's high press, relinquishing possession to Lacazette, who rounded Alisson and stroked the equaliser into the empty net.

Lacazette Image: Lacazette rounds Alisson after Van Dijk's error to haul Arsenal level

It was Van Dijk's first error that led to a goal in the Premier League since March 2019, and things soon took a turn for the worse for the champions as goalkeeper Alisson's loose pass was intercepted by Lacazette, who squared to Nelson to rifle his first league goal for the Gunners.

Liverpool re-emerged from the break on top and determined to right the wrongs on the first period, and nearly drew level on 54 minutes when Mohamed Salah drew a fingertip save from Martinez.

2016 - Liverpool have gone in behind at half-time despite scoring the opening goal for the first time since December 2016 vs West Ham; that game was also the last time they made two errors leading directly to a goal in the opening half. Shaken. pic.twitter.com/k2ig5mZMUX

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 15, 2020

The introduction of Takumi Minamino energised the Liverpool attack but he shanked a shot wide before Salah planted a header straight into the arms of Martinez, as desperation crept in as the seconds ebbed away.

Substitute Ainsley Maitland-Niles did just enough to put Mane off from hauling Liverpool level as he fired wide at the near post with two minutes remaining, moments before Joe Willock missed the chance to seal the Arsenal victory with a wild sliced shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's centre.

The final throw of the Liverpool dice saw Trent Alexander-Arnold's deflected drive draw a stunning save from Martinez at full stretch in the fifth minute of stoppage time, but the Gunners stood firm to warm up for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City in style.

Van Dijk: I take the blame

1 - Arsenal's equaliser came following Virgil van Dijk's first error leading to a goal in the Premier League since March 2019 (v Fulham), while it was also the Gunners' first shot of the game. Gift. pic.twitter.com/N6IlV0hgJL

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 15, 2020

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk told Sky Sports: "We gave them goals as a present. We dominated and put pressure on them but gave them two goals and obviously then it's difficult to come back. If you give goals away like we did today, including myself, you get what you deserve.

"The goals shouldn't happen, but until then nothing was wrong. We pressed them and scored a fantastic goal. A moment of concentration [cost us] and that was unfortunately something we had to deal with twice. It's so easy to blame us having won the title.

"I had a feeling we could win here comfortably, but if you give them goals you see what happens. I made a mistake, I take the blame for it, I take it as a man, and we move on."

Virgil van Dijk Opta stats: Gunners finally get one over Klopp
  • Arsenal have beaten Liverpool for the first time in the Premier League since April 2015 (4-1), with this being the first time Jurgen Klopp has suffered defeat against the Gunners in the competition (W5 D3 L1).
  • Liverpool suffered their first Premier League defeat in a game they opened in the scoring in since April 2017 (1-2 v Crystal Palace), ending a run of 83 consecutive league games without losing after scoring the opening goal.
  • This was Arsenal's first Premier League win against the team starting the day top of the table since February 2016 (2-1 v Leicester), having lost each of their previous five such games before tonight.
  • Liverpool have conceded 10 goals in their last five Premier League away games (W1 D1 L3), as many as they had in their previous 19 league games on the road.
  • Arsenal's equaliser came following Virgil van Dijk's first error leading to a goal in the Premier League since March 2019 (for Liverpool v Fulham), while it was also the Gunners' first shot of the game.
What the managers said… preview image 3:07 Arsenal's Mikel Arteta says the belief of his players pleased him the most in the win over Liverpool at the Emirates.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta: ""In terms of energy and happiness before a semi-final, it was the best medicine. We had a bit of luck, but the belief was good. Before, going behind, I think we could have gone down, but we reacted.

"You only need to look at the difference between the two teams, the gap is enormous. But the energy, commitment and fight between the two teams is equal - and the rest will come. It will take time, but we can create something.

"We need to build and improve the squad; it is not magic. You need a bigger squad to compete in this competition and that is going to be the challenge."

preview image 2:12 Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool can't win games in the Premier League if they make two major mistakes as they did against Arsenal.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "We took a break at 1-0. Twice a massive lack of concentration and these two moments killed the game for us. Arsenal had no real chances, but you cannot win football games when you concede goals like this.

"We took a break, that's clear, lost concentration, it's the Premier League and you cannot do that. Virgil van Dijk lost the ball, but I didn't see a lot of offers. Nobody wanted the ball. It makes no sense.

"We have to learn from that 100%, and we will. I am not sure we never did it all season, we had sloppy moments, once, twice, maybe three times but tonight we got punished from it. It's good on one side because we have to learn from it."

Man of the Match - Alexandre Lacazette Fabinho is challenged by Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette

The Gunners captain for the night produced a crucial performance as an opportunistic goal and assist saw teh Frenchman's direct goal involvement against Liverpool increase to four goals in three Premier League appearances against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium (two goals and two assists).

What's next? Tuesday 21st July 8:00pm Kick off 8:15pm Sky Sports Premier League HD Wednesday 22nd July 8:00pm Kick off 8:15pm Sky Sports Premier League HD

Arsenal take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday at 7.45pm, travel to Aston Villa on July 21 at 8.15pm and complete their Premier League season at home to Watford at 4pm on July 26.

Liverpool host Chelsea at 8.15pm on Wednesday, with the game and post-match trophy lift free-to-air on Sky Sports, before completing their title-winning season with a final-day assignment at Newcastle at 4pm on July 26.

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Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea and trophy lift free on Sky

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 17:30
Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea and the trophy lift live on Sky Pick, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event on July 22 from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

Last Updated: 16/07/20 12:15am

Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of their 25 free to air games Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of their 25 free to air games Sky Sports will offer Liverpool vs Chelsea and the Premier League trophy lift as one of their 25 free to air games

Sky Sports will show Liverpool's game against Chelsea on July 22 and the presentation of the Premier League trophy free to air on Sky Pick.

Sky Sports will offer the fixture as one of their 25 free to air games as part of Project Restart after discussions with the Premier League and Liverpool.

Liverpool vs Chelsea

July 22, 2020, 8:00pm

Live on

Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop, surrounded by fan banners.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's manager when they last won the title in 1990, will be part of the trophy presentation party.

Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop Liverpool's players and staff will be presented with their medals and the Premier League trophy on a special podium built on the Kop

With matches still taking place behind closed doors, Liverpool supporters will be able to have their own Premier League title party at home and the ability to watch with family and friends thanks to Sky Sports Fanzone.

The interactive option allows fans the opportunity to chat about the match and influence the crowd noise heard on screen. Users of the app can post predictions, join in-match polls and use the Sky Sports stats to fuel the virtual conversation.

0:31 Champions Liverpool were given a guard of honour by Manchester City ahead of their game at the Etihad Champions Liverpool were given a guard of honour by Manchester City ahead of their game at the Etihad

Sky Sports decided to offer 25 of their remaining 64 matches free to air as part of Project Restart back in June. Since then, Sky Sports coverage has achieved record viewing audiences, including a highest ever Premier League match average of 5m, with coverage peaking at 5.5m for Everton vs Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on June 21.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We were pleased to secure a third of Premier League matches on free to view TV so fans could all enjoy this season like no other.

"Sky Sports deciding to broadcast this match is brilliant for Liverpool fans who will now get to see their players lift the trophy. I'd like to thank Sky Sports for opening up this unforgettable occasion to fans."

2:14 Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years. Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years.

Rob Webster, Sky Sports Managing Director said: "We are delighted to make this occasion free to air in the UK. Liverpool vs Chelsea is always one of the Premier League's most eagerly anticipated fixtures, and now more viewers than ever before will have the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by what will unfold in front of them on Wednesday July 22.

"On this occasion, because of the unprecedented times we decided to make this blockbuster Premier League fixture free to air, and for Liverpool fans to have the chance to see the lifting of the Premier League trophy."

Watch Liverpool vs Chelsea live on Sky Pick, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event on July 22 from 8pm; Kick-off 8.15pm

How to watch Sky Pick

Pick is 159 on Sky and 144 on Freeview. You can also watch on Now TV.

Which other games will be shown free-to-air?

Wed July 15: Manchester City vs Bournemouth - 6pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Thu July 16: Leicester vs Sheffield United - 6pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Fri July 17: West Ham vs Watford - 8pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Sat July 18: Norwich City vs Burnley - 5.30pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Mon, July 20: Brighton vs Newcastle - 6pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Wed July 22: Liverpool vs Chelsea - 8.15pm, Sky Sports, Sky Pick

Is crowd noise also available on Sky Pick? 0:30 The Premier League is back, and Sky Sports has launched a variety of new innovations to make your viewing experience even better... The Premier League is back, and Sky Sports has launched a variety of new innovations to make your viewing experience even better...

Absolutely. The Crowds feature will be available on Sky Sports Main Event for the majority of our scheduled games unless stated, and all free games on Sky Pick and Sky One will also have the Sky Sports Crowds feature available.

The Sky Sports Crowds feature will also be available to NOW TV customers.

And in Sky Sports' chosen Fanzone and Watchalong games, fans will be able to vote for their choice of song with the 'Choose a Chant' feature.

If sticking with stadium noise is for you, watch the games on Sky Sports Premier League, unless otherwise stated below.

Watch Premier League highlights

From now until the end of the season, you can watch Premier League highlights from every single game just after the full-time whistle for free and without being a Sky Sports subscriber.

We'll bring you highlights of every Premier League game on the Sky Sports website and app.

You'll also be able to watch in-game goals from Sky Live games on Twitter and catch Premier League highlights on our Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.

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