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Updated: 10 hours 36 min ago

Kylian Mbappé should have just reminded Liverpool of ideal free summer transfer at World Cup

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 16:00

The scoreline may not have reflected the overall balance of the match, but it was pretty easy going for Kylian Mbappé and France in the round of 16 against Poland at the World Cup.

Not only did the game ensure qualification into the next round, it was also a match in which Mbappé completely dominated, involved in all three of France's goals and providing a constant threat up front. Having scored five goals at the tournament, he has now surely cemented his name as one of the best in the world at the moment, and the game against Poland was of historical significance in terms of that endeavour as well.

Mbappé's second goal means he now has nine goals at the World Cup before his 24th birthday. That's more than anyone has ever scored at the same age, with the 23-year-old beating Brazilian legend Pele's record.

READ MORE: Liverpool should soon get major Trent Alexander-Arnold boost as Kylian Mbappé point overlooked

READ MORE: Two new names linked with Liverpool transfers as £34m duo 'emerge as Jürgen Klopp targets'

The goal that broke the record not only served as a reminder of one of the best in the world, it could also serve as a reminder for Liverpool in the transfer market.

With Marcus Thuram registering the assist for Mbappé, the Reds should have been sent a reminder of an ideal solution in the transfer market in order to bolster Jürgen Klopp's attacking options in the summer.

Thuram's contract expires at the end of the season and he is free to negotiate with clubs as early as January. The World Cup has provided him with an ideal platform to demonstrate his skills ahead of next month.

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Having featured as a substitute in three of France's games so far, Thuram's assist against Poland was his first goal contribution in the tournament. His ability to cause havoc in the limited time given to him displayed the devastating impact he could have at Liverpool, with Thuram using his speed and power to capitalise on the Polish defence's rugged legs.

The 25-year-old's direct nature combined with his versatility would make him a valuable asset at Anfield. Thuram already possesses the quintessential traits for a Liverpool attacker and he is at the right age to provide a bit of rejuvenation in the squad.

Considering the future of Roberto Firmino, who also has a contract expiring at the end of the season, Thuram presents the perfect solution for Liverpool. The club's recruitment team are unlikely to find another forward who has 17 goal contributions in 17 games for his club side this season and who is available on a free transfer — let alone one who is making a mark alongside Mbappé on the world's biggest stage for one of the tournament favourites.

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Two new names linked with Liverpool transfers as £34m duo 'emerge as Jürgen Klopp targets'

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 14:05

With the January transfer window just around the corner, Liverpool will be linked with a flurry of players. Some will be old names familiar to Reds’ fans; others will be fresh names, which may not be familiar at all to many.

Here at Liverpool.com, we will give you a complete run-down of the new names to be connected with a move to Liverpool (so don’t expect Jude Bellingham to appear on this list!).

AntónioSilva (Benfica)

The Portuguese defender has highly impressed at Benfica, and Jürgen Klopp would be wise to take a look at him. Silva is only 19 and has played in World Cup match already, against South Korea in the 2-1 loss.

Silva has been valued at €15m (£12.9m/$15.8m) by Transfermarkt.

Linked by: A Bola.

Read more about him: How Liverpool could copy Manchester City's move for teenage defender Silva.

Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)

The Real Madrid winger’s contract is expiring at the end of the season and the thought of Liverpool being able to sign someone like Asensio, with his vast experience, on a free transfer should no doubt be appealing to Jürgen Klopp.

Asensio has already won a bagful of honours in his time with Los Blancos. The forward, 26, is valued at €25m (£21m/$26m) by Transfermarkt.

Linked by: Diario Madridista.

Read more about him: Why the time might finally be right for Liverpool to make a move for Asensio.

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Full Liverpool squad heading to Dubai as Jurgen Klopp travelling party confirmed

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 13:32

As the World Cup churns through its games, the tournament comes closer to its finish line. That means a return to club football is drawing nearer, and Liverpool will be back in action.

The Reds, of course, will be flying out to Dubai soon for some friendly games to prepare for the second half of the season. Some players will be absent due to their ongoing involvement in the World Cup, but most of the main squad will be there.

Liverpool have two games lined up against Lyon and Milan, and as players return from the World Cup, they will likely enter the training camp later than others. Players like Arthur and Diogo Jota will make the journey as part of the travelling squad, continuing their injury rehabilitation in new surroundings.

READ MORE: Saudi-Qatar 'to make £4bn joint offer for Liverpool' as Virgil van Dijk aims 'brutal Man United dig'

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So who will go to Dubai, and who won't? Liverpool have confirmed the squad.

Goalkeepers:

Caoimhin Kelleher

Adrián

Harvey Davies

Fabian Mrozek

Marcelo Pitaluga

Defenders:

Joe Gomez

Andy Robertson

Joël Matip

Kostas Tsimikas

Calvin Ramsay

Nat Philips

Jarell Quansah

Luke Chambers

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Midfielders:

Thiago Alcântara

Harvey Elliott

James Milner

Curtis Jones

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arthur (injured)

Naby Keïta

Stefan Bajčetić

Jake Cain

Dominic Corness

Forwards:

Mohamed Salah

Roberto Firmino

Luis Díaz

Diogo Jota (injured)

Fábio Carvalho

Bobby Clark

Kaide Gordon (injured)

Melkamu Frauendorf

Layton Stewart

Ben Doak

Darwin Núñez is scheduled to arrive next week, following Uruguay's elimination from the World Cup.

GO DEEPER: Jürgen Klopp luxury about to be restored as Liverpool set for triple boost before Dubai trip

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Liverpool 'could beat Barcelona' to ideal Roberto Firmino successor who would cost no transfer fee

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 05:00

Liverpool have much to think about in 2023 in terms of transfers, made especially difficult by the changes being made behind the scenes including finding a new sporting director and a possible takeover and exit for FSG.

Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham and another midfield signing to go with him would seem logical, but another transfer in attack would make a great deal of sense as well.

Considering the outlay needed in midfield, with Bellingham likely to cost more than £100m ($123m/€116m), targeting a cheaper player to fill the attacking void — especially if Roberto Firmino is lost for nothing at the end of his contract — would seem to make sense.

READ MORE: Liverpool should sign Cristiano Ronaldo 'replacement' as transfer can be 'Philippe Coutinho repeat'

READ MORE: FSG Liverpool sale latest as Saudi-Qatar 'ready £4bn offer', best outcome and seven options assessed

With that in mind, Liverpool are being linked with a move for Real Madrid star Marco Asensio again, with the Spanish international seeing his contract expire at the end of the campaign. Jürgen Klopp, according to Diario Madridista, sees him as a 'priority'.

Carlo Ancelotti has already admitted that Real Madrid have not held talks over a new deal yet, but he expects to after the World Cup. For a player who will be able to seal a free transfer move for the summer with clubs abroad only a few days after the tournament ends, that seems quite late in the day to be making a move towards finding an agreement.

"We haven't talked about the issue of Asensio's contract," Ancelotti said. "He has played little but when he does, he shows that he can do it. He has been decisive and he will have more minutes in the future, and after the World Cup we will talk about his contractual position."

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Since then, Liverpool, AC Milan, Arsenal and even Real Madrid's big rivals Barcelona have been linked with a free transfer move for the player, with Catalan radio station RAC1 (via Sports Mole) reporting that a four-year contract had been agreed with the Camp Nou side.

Only turning 27 in January, a Liverpool move — assuming his wage demands are not astronomical — would make a lot of sense. As he has shown for Spain during the World Cup, Asensio can still be a very effective player.

Capable of playing on either flank, as a number 10 or a number nine, Asensio could add depth in the Liverpool attack. Replacing Firmino, who could leave on a free, with another player who would not cost anything, would be sensible.

And Asensio is a world-class operator at his best, too, with plenty of experience. Not being a regular for Real Madrid is certainly no slight on a forward who has to compete for minutes with Vinícius Jr., Rodrygo and Eden Hazard.

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Cody Gakpo and Mohammed Kudus truth clear if Liverpool were to make transfer move

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 03:00

It is simply not Liverpool's style to sign a player on the basis of their World Cup performances alone. The Reds' approach to recruitment is too forensic — too finely tuned — to be influenced by three or four outstanding performances at international level.

And so gone are the days that an El Hadji Diouf can secure a move to Anfield off the back of a single impressive tournament. But while Liverpool won't be using this World Cup as their sole guide to a player's quality, doing well in Qatar is hardly going to harm their reputation among recruitment staff.

As such, you can only imagine that both Cody Gakpo and Mohammed Kudus have boosted their standing at Kirkby over the course of the last two weeks.

READ MORE: Liverpool should sign Cristiano Ronaldo 'replacement' as transfer can be 'Philippe Coutinho repeat'

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In Gakpo's case, his World Cup goals are crucially backed up by an impressive return for PSV across the last two Eredivisie seasons.

And while Kudus is only in the midst of his first full campaign as a regular starter for Ajax (he almost secured a summer move to Everton in search of more playing time), he has scored just as regularly in the Champions League so far this term, including a brilliant finish against Liverpool at Anfield.

Unfortunately, there are other clubs out there who are far more easily influenced by these tournaments — and so events in Qatar could still have a knock-on effect for Liverpool.

The likelihood is that goals for Gakpo and Kudus (the Netherlands man could yet add more with his nation still in the competition) will serve to inflate the asking price of both players in the eyes of some suitors, creating a situation that the selling clubs will attempt to exploit.

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That risks Liverpool's in-house valuation being surpassed to the point that any initial interest is not explored further, with their stubbornness on that front having been showcased time and time again.

And so, while the Reds themselves may refuse to buy into the idea that a World Cup should decide a player's value, the nature of football means good performances in an international tournament may have a major impact on their transfer plans regardless.

If they did have interest in someone like Gakpo or Kudus, their price post-World Cup — and, crucially, the price that other teams might now be prepared to pay — is only going to have travelled northwards.

If Liverpool were really in for either player in January or beyond, they would almost certainly now face a lot more competition.

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Inevitable Cristiano Ronaldo reality is unavoidable as Liverpool can offer perfect future fix

Mon, 12/05/2022 - 01:00

Portugal may have qualified to the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup, but an issue could now emerge as Cristiano Ronaldo continues to try and find optimal form.

The 37-year-old striker hasn't quite been at his best this season, and having scored just a single goal from the penalty spot during the group stage, there is now pressure to perform with tougher opposition on the horizon.

As highlighted by the Daily Mail, sports statistics company SofaScore have rated him as the worst player among Portugal's squad — with an average rating of 6.37, and a chance conversion of just 25 per cent. Now preparing for the knockout rounds, the true cost of the loss of a Liverpool player back in October is set to be revealed.

READ MORE: Liverpool should sign Cristiano Ronaldo 'replacement' as transfer can be 'Philippe Coutinho repeat'

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Diogo Jota may have joined the Reds from Wolves as a predominant left-winger, but Jürgen Klopp got the best out of his goalscoring abilities last season. That could be a factor that Portugal miss, with Ronaldo becoming easier to mark by defenders, coinciding with a natural decrease of pace with age.

Of course, the former Manchester United forward remained clinical in the Premier League last season, but it is now becoming more difficult for him to fashion his own chances. It is a factor that has set Mohamed Salah apart in recent campaigns, but also a similar dilemma that the Egypt international could face later in his career.

Portugal have looked impressive in their opening two games from midfield, with Rafael Leao providing glimpses of a star destined for England's top division, but it is in games against better defences where they could find themselves stuck.

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To win the trophy this time around, Portugal must navigate through a tournament bracket that poses a potential quarter-final match with Spain, who would pose a significant test in the battle for possession. Without pace to threaten in behind, any forward must be able to help dictate the game in a similar way to Roberto Firmino — but that has never been Ronaldo's style.

And with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner relying on his midfield to create opportunities for him, less possession could see his chances limited. Inevitably, that will see questions asked of his inclusion in the current system.

Despite plans to play at the European Championships in 2024, it is after the World Cup where the torch may finally begin to switch hands — with Jota a strong candidate to lead the line for his nation. The 26-year-old is now headed into the cusp of his prime years, and offers a mobile option with the clinical nature that can help evolve Portugal's attack.

Ronaldo, whose next goal will be the 120th for his country, must face the reality that a future change in his role at international level has become unavoidable.

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