LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp could be about to get a first-hand look at ideal Liverpool midfield transfer fix

Liverpool.com - 4 hours 21 min ago

Liverpool still feel a little short in the midfield department this season. While the club are adamant their business is done for the summer, Julian Ward could change his mind if the right player becomes available.

The Reds will want to add a specific type of midfielder to their ranks. One who would be able to cover several roles in midfield, and who has the work-rate to suit Jürgen Klopp's intense gegenpressing regime.

At the same time, this player would need to be relatively young and someone who would rejuvenate the club's ageing midfield options, while also being available for the right price. It's an extensive list.

Konrad Laimer, at 25 years of age, is a midfielder who ticks all of those boxes. According to SportBild, the midfielder is available for as little as €30m this summer, which is around £26m. The player has just one year left on his contract, explaining the relative discount.

READ MORE: Liverpool will watch closely as Serie A rule change could have huge effects on Man City rivalry

READ MORE: Liverpool star with Joël Matip trait may have just caught Jürgen Klopp's eye with special moment

RB Leipzig are yet to receive an offer for the midfielder, which is somewhat surprising given Laimer has experience in the Champions League and Europa League, as well as being a regular with the German giants. He helped take them to the DFB Pokal title last season.

It is also somewhat surprising that Liverpool have not been credited with interest for the player, considering Klopp's need for reinforcements in the position. Laimer is available for an affordable figure this summer, and has the playing style and work-rate to match what Liverpool require in the team.

Add to that FSG's strong relationship with Red Bull, and the deal makes even more sense. In the past few seasons, the Reds have conducted numerous pieces of business with both Leipzig and Salzburg, and they will face both teams in pre-season this summer.

Liverpool will play RB Leipzig on the 21st July, and Laimer should be in the squad unless something changes radically in the coming weeks in terms of his future. If he does feature, Klopp will be able to get a first-hand look at the Austrian international and assess his qualities in the flesh.

For Laimer, that will be an opportunity to not only showcase his ability to play in a holding midfield and box to box role but also to continue his purple patch from last season, with the 25-year-old making five goal contributions in his last nine Bundesliga appearances before the end of the campaign.

A good performance could put him on the agenda for Liverpool and open up the potential of a transfer. If not this summer, perhaps next, when he would be available on a free contract.

What the future holds, only time will tell, but Laimer is a player to keep a close eye on, and a bargain Liverpool would do well to land. Klopp may soon get to see that for himself.

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Liverpool will watch closely as Serie A rule change could have huge effects on Man City rivalry

Liverpool.com - 6 hours 21 min ago

Serie A is changing its format from next season.

The new rule only pertains to the top of the table and the fight for the Scudetto. Should the two teams at the top finish the season on equal points, then a play-off game will happen in order to crown a new champion, rather than the old method of head-to-head record in the two games during the season.

This new ruling has come into being due to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina, who is attempting to shake up the Italian game and to make it ‘more attractive’. Yet the chances of two sides ending on equal points remains remarkably slim, considering it hasn’t happened for decades.

The last time two teams finished level in Serie A was back in 1964 — ironically, the rules of the day required a play-off between Inter and Bologna. Since then, the league has been awarded on the usual basis of topping a league with the most points.

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It could’ve happened in the season just past, with Milan and Inter going into the final day with a chance of winning the title. Had Milan drawn against Sassuolo instead of winning 3-0, the Milanese cousins would have been tied on 84 points.

So what if a similar scenario happened in the Premier League, and how would it affect Liverpool?

The Reds pushed Manchester City all the way in the fight for the title race in 2021/22, going into the final day of the season with all to play for. in the end, Liverpool’s win against Wolves wasn’t enough, as Aston Villa couldn’t hold on against City to deny Pep Guardiola’s side from winning a fourth title in five years.

But imagine a scenario in which both sides did end in a point stalemate, something hardly beyond the realms of possibility given the fine margins between Liverpool and Man City. Who would benefit?

The answer would be arguably Liverpool.

Both teams squared off against each other three times last season, and Manchester City couldn’t manage to beat Liverpool once. Liverpool’s trouble over the last few seasons hasn’t been about beating City, it’s always been about having the squad depth to maintain a title tilt in such relentless conditions.

Liverpool have always managed to beat City in one-off games. But by the same token, City have also beaten Liverpool, with the last a 4-1 demolition at Anfield in February 2021.

Yet imagine the tension, the pressure, the excitement and the build-up for fans of both sides if the title came down to a one-off game? It is almost unimaginable — but the emotion of the occasion could well favour Liverpool.

As football tries new ways to appeal to a wider audience, this may be something that becomes in the norm in the coming years. The Americanisation of the beautiful game could see play-offs slowly creep more and more into the game, and not just for title deciders for teams on equal points.

Yet for now, the league system still captivates fans of the Premier League. If Liverpool are to overthrow Man City, they will need to do it the orthodox way.

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Liverpool star with Joël Matip trait may have just caught Jürgen Klopp's eye with special moment

Liverpool.com - 8 hours 21 min ago

Liverpool's academy in the last decade has experienced a bit of a revival.

During the 1990s, the club produced the likes of Steven Gerrard, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher. But in the early 2000s, the biggest names to leave Kirkby were Jay Spearing and Martin Kelly.

That changed in the 2010s. FSG's takeover heralded an increased focused on the academy and it has reaped rewards with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Conor Coady, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones making a breakthrough in the team or succeeding elsewhere in the Premier League.

Jürgen Klopp, who has a knack for working with young talent, has also helped to facilitate that at Anfield with the Liverpool boss always open to promoting from within and not fazed by throwing youngsters in at the deep end.

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Last season, Klopp gave debuts to the likes of Conor Bradley, Kaide Gordon and Tyler Morton, who are all highly-rated by the club's academy staff. They have been tipped to have successful senior careers in the future.

This season, Klopp will likely introduce more players into the first team. One such star could be Jarell Quansah.

The England U19 international is currently on duty with the Three Lions at the U19 European Championships in Slovakia, where he has been featuring regularly for his side at centre-back. Last night he scored a crucial winner against Italy in the semi-final of the competition to take England to the final.

It is not the first time Quansah caught the eye for England. During the qualifiers against Malta he had his own 'Matip-esque' moment, when he brought the ball forward from deep, skipping past several defenders and laying off a sumptuous pass for Alfie Devine to finish into the back of the net. You can watch the clip of the run here, starting from 0:05.

His positional rival Billy Koumetio has so far tasted more first team action for Liverpool, but Koumetio has been sent out on loan this summer, and his departure could be an opportunity for Quansah to catch the eye.

Something Quansah will be more than ready for, considering he statistically outperformed Koumetio last season.

In the UEFA Youth League last season, Quansah averaged more defensive duels (5.6 per 90) than Koumetio (2.83), and enjoyed a better defensive duel success rate (58.3 per cent over 54.2 per cent), as per Wyscout. He also won 77.3 per cent of his 3.46 aerial duels per 90 and averaged 6.45 interceptions — again outperforming his defensive partner Koumetio.

Composed on the ball, as well as being an accomplished defender, Quansah has even featured at right-back for the club's U23 side this season, and he is an extremely intelligent player. Having only turned 19 years of age in January, he is still very young, and has plenty of time to make his mark in senior football.

He will be hoping to take some silverware back to Liverpool when he returns to pre-season, and whether he will start with the academy or the first team is still undecided. But with moments like his header at the Euros, he must be on the cusp of catching Klopp's attention.

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6 reasons why Liverpool may not need a new midfielder – yet!

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 18:00

Many Liverpool supporters want to see a new midfielder added to the ranks this summer – so why, if reports are to be believed, is Jurgen Klopp not so desperate?

“Announce midfielder.”

You’ve probably seen that plea on your timeline at some stage within the last month.

As it stands, Liverpool will go into the new season with their senior midfield options consisting of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

New signing Fabio Carvalho can also play in a number of roles in the centre of the park and further forward.

On paper, that looks to be plenty, with eight or nine players battling it out for three, or even two, positions.

Delve a bit deeper, though, and you can understand why some fans have concerns.

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara hands the captain's armband to Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 6-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Henderson is now 32. Thiago, 31, can be prone to injury, as can Keita, while Jones and Elliott are still learning. Milner will be 37 next year and Oxlade-Chamberlain was out of favour towards the end of 2021/22.

The Reds were interested in acquiring Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco, but after the Frenchman opted for Real Madrid, plans to sign a new midfielder have reportedly been shelved until next year.

Here, we assess several reasons why Klopp and the club’s recruitment team may feel they already have enough cover in the centre of the park.

Is Carvalho already the forgotten man?

 PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Portugal under-21s midfielder Carvalho is yet to have even been officially unveiled as a Liverpool player, but some are already overlooking the part he could play under Klopp this season.

At 19, Carvalho is a player for the future, but it would be naive to write off his chances of making an impact straightaway.

It remains to be seen where Klopp will feel the Fulham academy product is best utilised, with reports stating he may initially be used as part of the forward line or as a No. 10.

There are claims, though, that the club eventually see Carvalho establishing himself in midfield.

With 10 goals and eight assists in Fulham’s emphatic rise to promotion last season, this isn’t just a young player with a lot of potential, this is one who has the talent to feature now.

Don’t bet against him being this year’s surprise package of pre-season – and possibly the season as a whole.

More to come from Jones and Elliott

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jones is 21 years of age. Elliott is 19 years of age. That is often forgotten.

Many have labelled the pair as squad options for the upcoming campaign.

That may have been the case last season, but both will rightly have aspirations to eventually become first-team regulars. They certainly have the talent to do so.

Elliott in particular threatened to establish himself as a starter in the early stages of last season, before the nasty ankle injury he sustained at Leeds.

There is a reason that both were ahead of Oxlade-Chamberlain in the pecking order for the majority of last season.

Klopp is investing in them for the future. Jones and Elliott are at stages where game time is essential for their development. Oxlade-Chamberlain less so, with just one year remaining on his contract.

 Curtis Jones of Liverpool enters the pitch prior to the Liverpool FC Training Session at Stade de France on May 27, 2022 in Paris, France. Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final on May 28, 2022. (Photo by UEFA)

At youth level, Jones looked every bit the ultimate attacking midfield player, bursting past players for fun and scoring some ridiculously good goals.

We’re yet to see that at first-team level, but Klopp will know there is still a lot of unfulfilled potential in his No. 17.

Elliott, too, clearly has the talent to become a star of the future in this Liverpool team.

If we’re ever to see Jones and Elliott at their very best, both need games. Signing another elite midfielder would limit those opportunities even further.

One more year of Ox?

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As the 2021/22 campaign drew to a close, Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the players reported to be on his way out of the club this summer.

In recent weeks, though, the club have indicated a willingness to see him stick around until his contract expires next year.

That may be because Liverpool were unable to secure the services of Tchouameni and have now decided to target a midfielder next year instead.

Despite not playing a single minute for Liverpool since the FA Cup victory at Nottingham Forest in March, Oxlade-Chamberlain made some significant contributions earlier in the campaign – particularly in January, when Keita, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were away for the Africa Cup of Nations.

There was his all-action display against Atletico Madrid at Anfield last November, key contributions in the cups and important league goals against Brentford and Crystal Palace.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 6 game between AC Milan and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. Liverpool won 2-1 and top the group with six wins from six games. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last December, Klopp even claimed that we were seeing “the best Ox” since his arrival at the club in 2017.

Those contributions make him a valuable squad option and, although he may find himself at the bottom of the midfield pecking order at the start of the season, Klopp can continue to trust him to do a job when called upon.

The Bellingham waiting game

 27.08.2021, soccer ball, 1st Bundesliga, season 2021/2022, BVB, Borussia Dortmund - TSG Hoffenheim 3: 2 Jude BELLINGHAM, jubilation to 2: 1 Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

Virgil van Dijk. Alisson. Ibrahima Konate.

Three examples of Liverpool happily waiting until they got exactly who they wanted.

Could Jude Bellingham be the next?

Borussia Dortmund are very unlikely to sell this summer, having already offloaded their other star, Erling Haaland, to Man City earlier this month.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising, though, if the Liverpool recruitment team were putting most, if not all, of their eggs in the Bellingham basket for next summer. Who could blame them?

The Birmingham-born midfielder surely ticks all of the boxes Klopp will want for his next midfield addition.

Jordan Henderson, right, has backed Jude Bellingham to shine (Nick Potts/PA)

Having only just turned 19, he would be the leading figure in Liverpool’s midfield for years to come and a natural successor to Henderson.

Work may well already be going on behind the scenes to ensure Anfield is his destination of choice next summer.

If that’s the case, surely no Liverpool fan would begrudge the decision to wait until he’s available.

A change in system?

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at the Stade de France ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Some believe Liverpool’s summer transfer business, particularly the signings of Carvalho and Darwin Nunez, points to a change to a 4-2-3-1 formation this season.

That would, of course, mean Klopp would only have to select two midfielders, as opposed to three, which would further justify his decision to stick with the options currently at his disposal.

There is an argument to suggest that Nunez would benefit from being the focal point in Liverpool’s attack, in front of three other offensive players.

Carvalho would be ideal for role behind him, given his experience as a No. 10, with the likes of Salah, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota all capable of performing in any of the front four positions.

It would also mean that the likes of Jones and Elliott would be likely to get more opportunities in more attacking positions, where they are arguably most comfortable.

It is not the first summer a change to a 4-2-3-1 has been theorised among supporters, but could this be the year it really comes to fruition?

Wildcard: a surprise role for Calvin Ramsay?

When it emerged that Liverpool wanted to lure Ramsay away from Aberdeen, the general consensus was that he was being recruited as a right-back option.

He is seen as a player who can ease the load on Trent Alexander-Arnold, similar to Kostas Tsimikas for Andy Robertson on the other side.

That may well be the case, but in his first interview with the club it was intriguing to hear Ramsay himself say that he was also comfortable playing in midfield, having done so as a youth player in Scotland.

There were also external reports that claimed the club viewed Ramsay as a player who could fill a number of roles on the right-hand side.

Could it be that Klopp and his recruitment team have identified him as a player who can be a reliable midfield option?

Ramsay: "I can play a few positions, I think I’m quite composed on the ball, can find a pass, get shots away.

“I can play centre-mid, right-back, right wing. Anywhere really."

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) June 19, 2022

Alexander-Arnold could also be useful further forward, but that seems highly unlikely after Klopp questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to use his No. 66 in that position at international level last year.

“Why make the best right-back in the world a midfielder?” Good question, Jurgen.

There’s no doubt that a new midfield addition will now be high Julian Ward’s list of priorities.

If it’s not this summer, though, then don’t be surprised if Klopp has something unexpected up his sleeve for the new season.

Trust him, why wouldn’t you?

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€120m Bellingham price tag and exclusive Anfield Road End update – Latest Liverpool FC News

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 17:30

Jude Bellingham’s price has been set at €120 million, while This Is Anfield can exclusively reveal new photos of the Anfield Road End expansion.

€120m for Bellingham, you say?

Borussia Dortmund will not entertain offers below €120 million for reported Liverpool Jude Bellingham this summer, according to Sport Bild.

Is €120 million really that much for a player of Bellingham’s potential? And would he cost even more than that next summer?

Those are the questions some Liverpool supporters are asking.

Bellingham turns 19 today and is still scarily young when you consider his achievements in the game so far.

He registered six goals and 14 assists from midfield for Dortmund last season and already has 15 England caps to his name.

Providing he stays fit, you’d imagine his stock is only going to rise in 2022/23 and Liverpool certainly won’t be the only interested party this time next year.

While Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund are unlikely to let Bellingham leave in the same summer Man City swooped in for Erling Haaland, if they really would consider an offer around €120 million, should Liverpool be testing the water?

How much do Liverpool want Bellingham and how much does Bellingham want Liverpool?

3 things today: Exclusive Anfield expansion update

? ANFIELD EXPANSION UPDATE

• Major progress since the end of the season
• Work on the new upper-tier has begun
• 2 large cranes on-site to lift roof truss

? Watch a full update here ??

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) June 29, 2022

  • This Is Anfield has exclusively revealed 10 new photos of the Anfield Road End expansion, with work on the upper tier now underway, as well as a new pitch being laid inside the stadium.
  • Neco Williams has reportedly been the subject of an opening offer from Nottingham Forest, with Liverpool said to have rejected it in the hope of eventually recouping around £15 million for the Welshman.
Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates with the trophy after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Latest transfer chat

 Leeds United's Raphael Dias Belloli 'Raphinha' (R) and Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Man United are said to be closing in on a double swoop for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia.
Tweet of the day

Admit it, this got you excited for the new season, didn’t it? A shiny new pitch is in the works at Anfield!

? Anfield

New pitch being prepared for the new season ? pic.twitter.com/1Y6t1dpjib

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) June 29, 2022

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Jürgen Klopp has ended biggest Liverpool debate as Naby Keïta could be set for new contract

Liverpool.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 17:30

There isn’t a more divisive player in the current Liverpool team than Naby Keïta. The Guinean has been at the club for four years now and many Liverpool fans feel they are still waiting to see who the ‘real’ Keïta is.

The Keïta issue tends to go as follows: there are those in the pro-Keïta camp, who believe that he is good when he’s on the pitch, and that his best qualities aren’t always those that can be easily picked up by TV cameras. Then there are those in the anti-Keïta camp, who believe he’s injury prone and doesn’t particularly excel in any given area.

Take a glimpse through social media platforms whenever Keïta plays for Liverpool and one can find a real mix of extremes, with people excessively lauding his performances, and others severely criticising him for the simplest of things.

READ MORE:Julian Ward may be about to repeat clever Liverpool transfer trick that will help Jürgen Klopp

READ MORE:Jude Bellingham 'the only man on Liverpool list' as Darwin Núñez could be eclipsed in pre-season

Keïta, it seems, brings out the worst in Liverpool fans.

Yet the former RB Leipzig midfielder has a chief ally in Jürgen Klopp, with Klopp calling him ‘one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga’ when the club bought him in the summer of 2018.

It’s presumably because Klopp is a big fan of Keïta’s that there are reports Liverpool are in talks with the player about extending his contract. Having been mentioned as a likely outcome earlier in the window, The Athletic report that the club are now 'pushing' for his signature.

Keïta’s current deal expires in 12 months' time, and the club won’t want to lose him for free in the summer of 2023. A move away this summer is also unlikely, given that Klopp needs every available body in midfield for 2022-23, as the club are supposedly looking to make a move for Jude Bellingham next summer.

So tying Keïta down makes the most sense, which is bad news for those in the anti-Keïta camp.

Last season was his most productive in terms of minutes on the pitch since joining the club. Keïta managed to stay relatively injury-free (by his own standards), missing only eight games. He clocked in some 2,000 minutes last season, scored four times and contributed three assists.

However, this only amounted to 14 starts in the Premier League and five in the Champions League. And critics have always used his transfer fee against him, as well as his inability to stay healthy, as proof that he isn’t a Liverpool-level player.

Yet Klopp has no doubts, and said as much earlier this year. “Naby, I would say, is one of the best midfielders I ever saw,” said Klopp in January.

That’s remarkably high praise indeed.

Retaining Keïta makes perfect sense. He’s still young enough that Liverpool could sell him in a year’s time should the club feel the need to, and they could still make back a portion of the mammoth £52m they spent on him in 2018. Moreover, he can still give his contributions throughout a season when fit, and he has a fan in Klopp who knows when and how to utilise him.

So renewing his contract is the right call to make, even if the critics will be sharpening their knives once more.

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Jude Bellingham 'the only man on Liverpool list' as Darwin Núñez could be eclipsed in pre-season

Liverpool.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 16:00

Liverpool are just days away from the start of pre-season, with the 'break' seeming to have passed in the blink of an eye. It will not be long before Darwin Núñez makes his eagerly-anticipated debut, but that's just one of many exciting things on the horizon.

Away from the looming return of the Reds, transfer rumours continue to rumble on in the background. Specifically, links to Jude Bellingham are reaching fever pitch, with the prospect of a 2023 deal talked up in many corners.

We asked Liverpool fan Nick Sapia a few questions about the Reds.

Transfers appear to be finished for the summer. Are you happy with that, or should Liverpool be looking for one or two more?

Yes, I am happy, and I think this will ultimately be seen as a critical window in Liverpool's evolution. Darwin Núñez is a statement signing, the club handled the Sadio Mané situation swiftly and deftly, and the potential of Fábio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay is exciting. The squad is set up for long-term success.

READ MORE: Liverpool make transfer ‘U-turn’ as potential £58.5m Mohamed Salah heir threatened with exile

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling has Mohamed Salah contract warning as Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool are right again

There is clamour for another midfielder, as it's the one area of the squad where FSG haven't made a significant refresh. Still, Liverpool have repeatedly proven that they will make the right choice over the expedient one, and I think they've earned the benefit of the doubt on this.

That said, Liverpool are always a little cheeky about their plans this time of year, and it wouldn't shock me if there were a few more twists and turns.

Pre-season starts in less than a week! Who are you looking forward to watching ahead of the new campaign?

It's hard to believe! A new season is exciting, but I do feel for the players, who could probably use a slightly longer break. It will be an unorthodox pre-season given the quick turnaround and the unique season ahead of us.

Obviously, I can't wait to see Núñez and Luis Díaz with a pre-season under their belts, but for me, it's Curtis Jones. Suppose he can make a bit of a jump, find some more consistency, and put himself in the conversation to start every week. If that happens, we'll have few worries about the midfield.

Jude Bellingham appears to be the obvious midfield target for 2023. Would he be the one for you, or is there anyone else you think worthy of a mention?

It does seem like he is the extent of the list at the moment, and it's hard to argue against him. He ticks so many boxes at such a young age and is the obvious choice to build the next iteration of the midfield around.

He won't come cheap, both in terms of fee and his wage demands, and there's likely to be serious competition. If I'm building a target list behind Bellingham, I'd have Salzburg's Luka Sučić next up, given that he's of a similar age and looks like he has a lot of promise, and Nicolò Barella third on the list.

Anything else to mention?

I'm curious to see the tactical approach this season. I suspect we may see a lot more 4-2-3-1 with the likes of Roberto Firmino playing as an attacking midfielder. It seems clear that Jürgen Klopp is building a team of talented players with positional flexibility. I think he'll want to find ways to get Firmino on the field with Núñez, Díaz and Mohamed Salah.

This formation will help get more combinations of players on the field at certain times, while resting other midfielders and offering a bit of unpredictability.

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10 new photos of Anfield Road End expansion – UPPER tier begins!

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 15:32

Expansion of the Anfield Road End is now really taking shape, with major progress since the end of the season seeing work on the upper tier now beginning.

With Liverpool’s season at Anfield having come to a close on May 23, construction has had weeks of uninterrupted work to take the expansion to another eye-catching level.

At the start of April, foundations had been laid and were in place for the new upper tier to be constructed before joining on to the existing stand.

[embedded content]

And now, at the end of June, they have pushed on with speed as the ‘wow’ moment described by Colin Roddy of the contractors, The Buckingham Group, has been delivered as you can now start to appreciate the sheer size of the new stand.

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It now towers over the landscape in Stanley Park, which is where the roof is starting to be assembled with cranes at the ready to then put the roof trusses in place.

It ensures the project remains on schedule with Roddy having told This Is Anfield back in March that “you’ll really get a feeling for the height of the structure at about the end of June start of July.

“We hope to see the first grandstand steel go up and we can appreciate what we’re building here.”

[embedded content]

And what they are building is a structure that will see “the eventual roof be approximately 40 metres, which is nine metres shorter than the Main Stand, to give you some perspective.”

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It makes for an exciting new development for the £80 million project, which will add 7,000 extra seats and take the Anfield Road End capacity to 15,967 fans, boosting the stadium to 61,015.

The existing roof will be removed during one of two possible windows – during the Qatar World Cup or the end of the 2022/23 season – with the expansion due for completion in summer 2023.

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 An aerial view of Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. The image shows the ongoing construction of the Anfield Road stand which will add an aditional 7,000 seats to boost the overall Anfield capacity to 61,000. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is also work going on inside Anfield, with a new pitch being prepared for the new campaign.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side will grace the turf for the first time since May on July 31, when they host Strasbourg in a pre-season friendly six days before their league opener at Fulham.

Exciting times all around Anfield!

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Liverpool just got exciting Fábio Carvalho hint as Jürgen Klopp 'will not accept' transfer myth

Liverpool.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:30

Liverpool waved goodbye to Takumi Minamino this week, as the Japanese international completed his move to Ligue 1 side Monaco.

Minamino’s two-and-a-half years at the club weren’t an overwhelming success, but neither were they an outright failure: the truth is somewhere in the middle. He was pivotal for Liverpool last season in the earliest rounds of the cups, scoring a bagful of goals as they breezed through in the early going.

Minamino found playing time more difficult to gain when it came to the Premier League. He played a sum total of 176 minutes across the entire campaign. Yet even within that relatively short time, he still managed to score three goals.

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Despite the lack of game time in general across the season, Minamino’s impact, mostly unseen, was made public by Jürgen Klopp in his tribute to the departing forward, as he trades Liverpool for the Principality.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Klopp waxed lyrical about his now-former forward, saying: “It’s hard to see Taki go, but it’s a great move for him and one he thoroughly deserves.

“An amazing professional; super, talented player. As a person, he is full of warmth and makes everyone feel positive. A manager’s dream, to be honest.

“I’m sure there will be those who think it didn’t quite work out. Those who think this are wrong. I don’t accept that.

“His contribution far outweighs the opportunities we were able to give, in terms of starting matches. He made us better each and every day he was with us – not just in the games he played in but every single session in training. Perfect attitude, winner’s mentality.”

There have been question marks as to who will replace Minamino in the squad. Who will be that player to start in the early rounds of the cups? This has become an even more pertinent question with the departure of Divock Origi, who has joined Milan.

The likes of Fabio Carvalho, Kaide Gordon and Harvey Elliott could be the ones brought in to take over the Minamino role. Considering Klopp’s effusive praise of Minamino in the wake of his departure, if the German is to trust the likes of Elliott, Gordon and Carvalho to effectively replace Minamino, then that is a huge level of faith.

The young trio will no doubt get their chances, just like Minamino did, in the cup competitions. Moreover, with Klopp perhaps contemplating a switch in formation due to the amount of attacking talent within the squad, Carvalho, Elliott and Gordon could all see game time increased in a way that wasn’t possible for Minamino in the 4-3-3.

The young trio have a long future ahead of them, and next season will be about developing and improving, especially for Elliott and Gordon, who tasted first team football at various points last season. For Carvalho, it will be about settling into the club and impressing Klopp.

But given the high estimation Klopp holds Minamino in, instilling his faith in Gordon, Elliott and Carvalho is a wonderful show of faith. It will be up to them to seize their moments, just like Minamino did when he got on the pitch. Especially for the new man, it is a huge vote of confidence: it's set to be an exciting season ahead.

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Mo Salah links up with Gini Wijnaldum in surprise Liverpool reunion

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:05

Mohamed Salah has been spending his off-season on holiday with his family, but found time for a reunion with old Liverpool team-mate Gini Wijnaldum in Dubai.

Salah and Wijnaldum spent four years together at Anfield, making 182 appearances alongside each other as key cogs in Jurgen Klopp‘s successful side.

But the Dutchman opted to depart Liverpool on a free transfer at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, joining Paris Saint-Germain in a lucrative deal that, it is fair to say, has not panned out as hoped.

However, Wijnaldum did end his first season in Paris as a Ligue 1 champion, playing 31 times in the French top flight as PSG finished 15 points clear of second-placed Marseille.

The 31-year-old has headed into the summer with question marks over his future, and tentative links with a return to the Premier League.

Before that, though, he has been enjoying his post-season holiday in Dubai, where he was joined by Salah this week:

Reminiscing pic.twitter.com/rZHCLa1G4T

Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) June 29, 2022

In a short and sharp post on Twitter, the Egyptian shared a photo of the pair sat down for dinner, with the caption “reminiscing.”

Salah and Wijnaldum have a lot of fond memories from their time together at Liverpool, of course, having won the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup as part of one of the most dominant sides in the club’s history.

It is unfortunate how it has unfolded for Wijnaldum so far at PSG, but hopefully he can find his feet either in Paris or at another club for the campaign ahead.

There is very little chance of a return to Liverpool, of course, with Klopp’s midfield already well-stocked and plans in place for a high-profile addition next summer.

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Liverpool could target £63m dynamo Jürgen Klopp loves as transfer can new midfield dimension

Liverpool.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 03:00

It’s almost a certainty that Liverpool will aim to buy a midfielder next summer. It had been thought that the club would sign one this summer after losing Gini Wijnaldum a year ago without signing a replacement.

However, it seems Jürgen Klopp is content with his current crop of midfielders, and is happy to forgo another season without having signed a replacement for Wijnaldum.

All signs point to a big signing in midfield in the summer of 2023, when the likes of Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contracts expire. Keïta could, and likely will, renew with Liverpool, but Oxlade-Chamberlain's future is in serious doubt.

READ MORE: Forward 'like Luis Suárez' is 'on his way to Anfield' as Liverpool could make 'explosive' transfer

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Much speculation has centred around Liverpool holding off for a year to sign Jude Bellingham, but they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket, and a list of targets should be drawn up.

One name that will very likely be on the list is Inter dynamo Nicolò Barella, who Transfermarkt value at £63m, and who is under contract until 2026.

The Italian is an integral part of the Nerazzurri set-up in midfield, and it’s believed that Klopp is a big fan of the former Cagliari player.

Barella was signed by Inter in the summer of 2019 and quickly became a cornerstone of Antonio Conte’s side. Possessing a mixture of pace, strength, running and a powerful shot, his short height belies just how physical a footballer Barella is. He flies into tackles and is just as good as battling to win the ball back as he is when in possession of it.

He’s one of the only few Italian midfielders in recent years who can do it all in midfield, with Italy typically producing either footballers like Andrea Pirlo or Marco Verratti, who sit deep, or attacking midfielders like Domenico Berardi or Lorenzo Pellegrini.

The last box-to-box midfielder Italy produced of Barella’s quality was arguably Roma legend Daniele De Rossi in the early 2000s.

Last season, Barella scored three times and provided 13 assists in 36 league games as Milan wrestled the Scudetto from Inter’s clutches, but Barella was one of Inter’s best performers of the season, and without him in midfield, the Simone Inzaghi’s side aren’t the same.

This was evident in the two meetings against Liverpool in the Champions League when Barella was suspended for both games (much to the delight of Jürgen Klopp, who made reference to his quality in his pre-match press conferences). Inter lacked Barella's incisiveness and dynamism in midfield, with everything they did very laboured and slow.

Liverpool still would have progressed had Barella been available, but it would have made it more of a fight, and very much a lot closer than the actual games were, even though Inter won at Anfield.

Inter’s financial problems also aren’t going away anytime soon. Even with the return of fans to stadiums in Italy after the pandemic, the club will likely close their accounts for the 2021/22 season with a loss of £103m which, while bad, isn’t anywhere close to the £212m they posted a year ago.

The debt will likely still be high in a year’s time, and Liverpool could take advantage of that. It seems Inter will still have to sacrifice a big name this summer, with Milan Škriniar on the verge of joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Next summer, it could be Barella.

Barella would be ready-made for Liverpool’s midfield, with his combustible style perfectly fitting for Klopp’s 4-3-3. Moreover, at 25, he’s coming into the prime of his career, and a 2023 summer move would be the perfect time for Barella and Liverpool to make a deal happen.

Whether Inter will want to let Barella go is a different matter, but given their financial state, they may not have a choice, even a year from now.

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FSG may already be working on the perfect Mohamed Salah transfer plan for Liverpool next summer

Liverpool.com - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 01:00

Mohamed Salah — a name once worshipped at the Kop, despite still being a Liverpool player, his name has evoked apathy from a large section of the supporters base at Anfield of late.

Salah is a world-class talent who was undoubtedly one of Liverpool's best players last season, but with his long-term future in doubt, there is increasing trepidation he could depart the club on a free contract next summer and move to pastures new.

He will leave behind him an indelible legacy, and also a major void if he does decide not to extend his current deal. The gaping abyss left from his absence will be a mighty task for Julian Ward to fill. But it seems like the club's sporting director is already working on a plan to ensure Liverpool are prepared for the possibility.

READ MORE: Forward 'like Luis Suárez' is 'on his way to Anfield' as Liverpool could make 'explosive' transfer

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According to Sport, Liverpool are in discussion with Serge Gnabry, who also has an expiring contract with Bayern Munich next summer, and who the club could potentially see as an heir to Salah's throne at Anfield.

Predominantly playing on the right-wing, but also capable of playing on the left and in central roles, Gnabry's profile is similar to that of Salah as we have previously highlighted here. In key metrics, they match up well together but the key difference is that Gnabry is over three years younger than the Egyptian star and therefore Liverpool may be more open to giving him a long-term contract on the wages he would demand.

Not to mention, there will be a lure of replacing a player departing on a free with a player arriving on a free contract is one FSG will regard as the perfect solution to what would have been an otherwise hefty financial challenge considering there are few players of Salah's ilk on the market and most cost excessive figures.

Next summer, if he were to arrive on a free contract, Gnabry would be on the brink of turning 28 years old. He would be about to enter his prime years in his position and still have plenty of seasons left at the pinnacle of the game.

It's a sort of future proofing for Liverpool who will hope by the end of Gnabry's time at Anfield, his successor will already be primed through the likes of Kaide Gordon or Ben Doak, who have both been brought into the club's academy over the last years and a half with extremely high hopes and will be expected to make a gradual progression into the first team.

Gnabry has proven over the last few seasons his talent in the Champions League and the Bundesliga, and while he may not ever hit the heights of Mohamed Salah, he has the ability and potential to reach close to it.

Few players offer a guarantee of goals like Salah, but Gnabry, with 104 goal contributions in 171 appearances for Bayern Munich, would certainly come close.

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Real Madrid sound Jude Bellingham transfer 'warning' as Liverpool know 2023 plan's risks

Liverpool.com - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 22:00

Liverpool aren’t likely to make a move for a new midfielder this summer, despite a move seemingly making sense. The club still haven’t replaced Gini Wijnaldum, but it seems like they intend to hold off from making a big purchase in the middle of the park until next summer.

According to many, Liverpool intend to make a serious move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in the summer of 2023. This makes sense in a lot of ways as the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcântara and Jordan Henderson will be a year older, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely leave the club upon the expiration of his contract.

Moreover, Bellingham gets another year of top-class football under his belt at Dortmund, and given that he’s only about to turn 19, has a very bright future ahead of him.

READ MORE: Forward 'like Luis Suárez' is 'on his way to Anfield' as Liverpool could make 'explosive' transfer

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp forced to accept pre-season change as Liverpool prepare money-spinning compromise

However, Liverpool can’t sleep on Bellingham. According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid are considering making a 2023 move of their own for the former Birmingham player.

News outlet AS report that Madrid have identified Bellingham as their big midfield signing for next summer, after signing Aurélien Tchouaméni this summer for around £86m.

While a lot could change in a year, the last thing Liverpool need is to enter into a competition with Madrid for Bellingham, with FSG resistant to get into such battles with other teams for targets, preferring instead to have a clear run in order to keep the price down.

As history has proven time and again, the allure of playing for Madrid tends to win the day in a lot of cases, despite Liverpool’s own standing in the game, and so there is no guarantee that just because Bellingham is English, he would prefer a move to Liverpool if it came down to a choice between the two sides.

It’s just another reminder that Liverpool can’t take Bellingham for granted and that they must have something in place with Dortmund this summer, some agreement or another, that ensures that Bellingham stays where he is for the next year, but that in 2023 he moves to Anfield.

Liverpool no doubt know the risks involved in waiting a year for Bellingham. The club did the same with Fábio Carvalho, after his January deal broke down at the last minute. Other clubs could have come in and swooped for Carvalho ahead of a summer move, but Liverpool knew a deal wasn’t far away, and so bided their time to sign him officially.

Moreover, despite prioritising Bellingham for the midfield next summer, the club will no doubt have contingency plans put in place in case things don’t go according to plan, with it being said that the likes of Nicolò Barella, Luka Sučić and Ibrahim Sangaré all supposedly appreciated by Jürgen Klopp and the club.

Either way, the summer of 2023 will likely be a big one for Liverpool’s midfield, and the hope will be that Bellingham will be the marquee signing, but Madrid have sent a warning that waiting is a risky game.

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How Harvey Elliott could play a key role in next Liverpool evolution

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 18:00
Harvey Elliott‘s ankle dislocation curtailed what had been a promising rise at Liverpool – now fully fit, he could star for the Reds this coming season.

Last summer, there was some anticipation surrounding the ever-growing reputation of Elliott, returning from an impressive loan spell at Blackburn.

Still, not many predicted him to not only start three of the opening four Premier League games, including against Chelsea, but start them in central midfield.

He shone with a brave display in the 2-0 win over Burnley, and was even better in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, slotting in seamlessly.

Keeping Thiago on the bench, the Englishman provided guile and courage in midfield as part of the new-look triangle on the right-hand side with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah.

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadly, Elliott’s progress was cut short by a horror left ankle fracture-dislocation at Leeds and it was almost five months before he returned, scoring his first-ever Reds goal with a swivelling half-volley against Cardiff.

From that game onwards, though, he started just three times – only once in the league – and he was ineffective when thrown into the lineup away to Inter Milan.

The magnitude of the games post-Christmas required experienced heads, so it was invariably any three from Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita used by Klopp.

Elliott himself accepted that his lack of intensity in training played a part in amassing just 336 minutes on the pitch following his injury return.

“It’s been tough, there have been a few downfalls and I don’t think I’ve played as much as wanted to since I’ve been back, but hopefully there are many years to come of me playing football,” Elliott admitted to This Is Anfield in May.

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“There were a couple of weeks where I wasn’t training at my best, I wasn’t performing to the best of my ability and I knew that in myself.”

Because of that, the short attention span of modern football means Elliott’s stock has fallen and he isn’t considered a regular starter next season by some.

Those early-season appearances are proof that he can be, though.

Liverpool’s Foden?

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are clear similarities between Elliott and Phil Foden, in terms of their playing style and pedigree.

Both short in stature but supreme in natural ability, they possess stereotypically wand-like left feet, thriving with a low centre of gravity.

They play for their respective boyhood teams and have both been earmarked as future superstars since secondary school age, so the comparisons are understandable.

In fact, Elliott should be looking at Foden as the perfect role model – someone who is three years his senior and who similarly had to bide his time before becoming a fixture in City’s team.

 Manchester City's Phil Foden during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When Foden was 19, he was about to embark on a season that still only rendered nine league starts, but also 38 appearances in all competitions.

He wasn’t the main man under Pep Guardiola, but in the two seasons since, he has won back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards and become a leading player for club and country.

Elliott’s career may not mirror Foden’s by 22, but it is easy to envisage his 2022/23 campaign being similar to the latter’s 2019/20, in terms of impact and playing time.

Somewhere close to 40 appearances in all competitions would be considered a success, as long as his creative numbers are healthy.

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elliott has the ability to open up defences and add a new dimension to the midfield, while his pass completion rate in the league last season (84.3%) was superior to Jordan Henderson (83.8%), James Milner (83.2%) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (78.9%).

Consistency will come with time, but Klopp has called him a “fearless boy” and will know he has a jewel up his sleeve – someone with that healthy dose of arrogance that is required in elite footballers.

One year older and even more comfortable in his surroundings, this could be Elliott’s moment to go up a gear.

New gear, competition & system tweaks

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates with a smoke bomb as his side win the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool fans love a transfer soap opera and the current talking point is the Reds not signing another midfielder this summer.

While that is causing plenty of ire, especially with Milner, Thiago and Henderson now in their 30s – Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain turn 29 this year, too – Elliott could feel like a new signing.

He will be well-rested after enjoying a summer holiday, while a full pre-season can only bode well.

Now expected to take the No. 19 shirt, this suggests that Elliott’s squad status is naturally enhanced and that he is considered a regular part of Klopp’s plans.

Away from his No. 8 role in a 4-3-3 system, there is also the potential for him to be used in a 4-2-3-1, should Klopp opt to switch his formation.

 Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitutes new signing Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elliott has the guile to thrive as a No. 10 in front of a double pivot, allowing him more freedom, providing chances for the front three.

His fruitful spell at Blackburn saw him score seven goals and register 11 assists in the Championship – a superb effort in a tough league, especially as a teenager.

Elliott’s versatility means he is also capable of doing a job in a right-sided attacking berth, as was predominantly the case at Ewood Park.

He lacks Salah’s electric pace and dynamism, which is a drawback, but that natural ability to drift inside and create space for Alexander-Arnold can make him a good option there.

 Fulham's Fábio Carvalho during the Football League Championship match between Sheffield United FC and Fulham FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The signing of Fabio Carvalho will immediately make midfield competition greater, with the 19-year-old starting 32 of his 33 appearances in the No. 10 position last season.

But their shared experience coming through the youth ranks at Fulham could see an exciting tandem form at Liverpool.

Greg Cruttwell, the founder of Carvalho’s youth club Balham FC, believes that he suits Klopp “down to the bone,” and Elliott himself told This Is Anfield that he is a “great kid as well as a great player.”

It is easy to forget about Curtis Jones, too, and he is another who should be expected to take another positive leap in the right direction.

Elliott is a raw player who is still learning, and while moments of magic are to be expected, so are learning curves along the way.

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott, Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold during a training session at the Stade de France ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Frustrating displays are to be expected, as was the case with a teenage Steven Gerrard, but Liverpool have a special young player who would already be a more cemented figure had injury not occurred.

Expectations and excitement surrounding him should be great, given his talent.

And while a new midfielder still wouldn’t go amiss, the Reds may already have a secret weapon ready to explode.

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French interior minister apologises to Liverpool fans for CL chaos

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 18:00

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has offered an apology to Liverpool fans for the distressing scenes at the Champions League final in Paris.

Liverpool fans were initially blamed by the French authorities for the chaos outside the ground ahead of the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid, which saw thousands of supporters locked out and then tear-gassed by police.

France's sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera and Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin both said ticketless fans or supporters with forgeries trying to get in were the cause of the trouble.

However, there have been numerous eyewitness accounts of major congestion problems on the approach to the stadium and patient fans being locked out for almost an hour amid issues with scanning tickets.

Having testified before the senate that some supporters arrived late, some were intoxicated and around 40,000 tried to enter the stadium with no tickets or fake tickets in "massive fraud on an industrial scale," Darmanin has now climbed down.

Darmanin did not retract his claims, but the evidence presented by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters chair Ted Morris and Spirit of Shankly's Joe Blott last week has forced him to admit "poor management" of the showpiece.

"Could the Stade de France have been better managed? The answer is yes," he told RTL in France.

"Do I have some responsibility for that? The answer is yes. I apologise to those who who suffered from this poor management.

"It is certain we have changes to make to the organisation."

Darmanin shifted blame to the "delinquency in Saint-Denis".

In response, Spirit of Shankly said: "No one should underestimate the significance of this. One week after the truth was told by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association and ourselves an apology has followed.

"While this is obviously welcome as a first and much-needed positive step, deflecting blame is not acceptable and greater sincerity is still required. Our basic demand remains unaltered - a fully independent investigation is essential."

Paris police chief apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans at CL final

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains how the Champions League final delay occurred, with thousands of Liverpool fans being held up outside the Stade de France

Paris police chief Didier Lallement admitted that the managing of the final was "obviously a failure, because people were being pushed around or assaulted while we owed them safety".

Lallement apologised for tear-gassing supporters, who were waiting to enter the Champions League final at the Stade de France.

Speaking at the French Senate, he said was sorry for authorising the use of tear gas but felt he had no other option under the circumstances.

Lallement said: "It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined."

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Sky Sports News' chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol says the events outside the Stade de France do not tally with what French interior minister Gerald Darmanin considered fraud

Lallement also admitted his early estimate of 30,000 to 40,000 fans without tickets or with fake tickets was probably inaccurate.

"Perhaps I was wrong," he said. "Whether there were 40,000, 30,000 or 20,000, it didn't change the fact that there were tens of thousands of people who could not fit in."

Lallement also admitted his decision to remove a filtration barrier to avoid congestion had seemingly allowed "undesirables" without tickets to get to the stadium gates.

"There were 300 or 400 people who did not seem to be fans. I don't know if they were people from the housing estates around the stadium," he added.

"Is this a type of delinquent population that we meet in Seine-Saint-Denis? Yes, it happens, but we also meet them in the north of Paris."

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Liverpool chief executive says he's 'horrified' by fans' accounts of their experiences at the Champions League final in Paris Liverpool to meet chair of UEFA's CL final review

Police chief Lallement's apology came after it was revealed Liverpool officials would meet the chair of UEFA's review into problems at the Champions League final in an attempt to help satisfy themselves the process will be fully independent.

European football's governing body appointed the Portuguese politician Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to carry out an inquiry into the circumstances which saw huge congestion issues which led to thousands of fans being locked out of the Stade de France and some being tear-gassed by police prior to Real Madrid's 1-0 win.

However, there have been suggestions Rodrigues has links to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin and Liverpool are understood to be keen to ascertain the independence and scope of his review.

Officials also want full explanations to 13 questions they submitted to UEFA, only some of which have been partially answered, and details of which experts will be involved on the panel before they can make a decision on whether Rodrigues is the right person to lead the review.

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Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan says he wants to see an independent investigation into the issues experienced by supporters at the Champions League final

It is understood UEFA, which has pledged unconditional access to its files and staff, has outlined its rationale for appointing Rodrigues but has not provided specific responses to the questions posed by the club.

Liverpool hope a meeting with the chair of the review panel, who will also meet Real Madrid officials separately, will provide more extensive answers.

Sources say they are keen to establish the process will be a thorough, independent and transparent investigation as they are unconvinced by the "independent review" terminology.

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Klopp’s ‘super’ message for Minamino & Neco ‘next to leave’ – Latest LFC News

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 17:06

Takumi Minamino‘s departure from Liverpool has been confirmed and that has seen fans and Jurgen Klopp heap praise on his contributions, while Neco Williams‘ exit is expected to be next.

Klopp lauds a ‘manager’s dream’

With Minamino’s move to Monaco now confirmed, in a deal worth £15.4 million, Klopp took the time to celebrate a forward who made a lasting contribution to the club.

The 27-year-old was the top goalscorer in both the League Cup (4) and FA Cup (3) last season and set the Reds on course to do a domestic cup double, a feat that is not lost on any Red.

And while his game time was limited, the manager knows Minamino “made us better” and had plenty to say as he wish his No. 18 well on the next chapter of his career.

“It’s hard to see Taki go, but it’s a great move for him and one he thoroughly deserves,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

“An amazing professional; super, talented player. As a person, he is full of warmth and makes everyone feel positive. A manager’s dream, to be honest.

“I’m sure there will be those who think it didn’t quite work out. Those who think this are wrong. I don’t accept that.

“His contribution far outweighs the opportunities we were able to give, in terms of starting matches. He made us better each and every day he was with us – not just in the games he played in but every single session in training. Perfect attitude, winner’s mentality.

“His performances and his goals are the reason we have had to redecorate the Champions Wall so often. His achievements here will stand the test of time.”

Well said, boss.

3 things today: NFTs, ‘apologies’ and loan interest

  • French interior minister Gerald Darmanin who has uttered one lie after another following the Champions League final has now apologised…all a little too late! He still needs to be held accountable.
  • Liverpool NFTs were released earlier in the year and have now seen fans lose money on their purchases, up to £48, not entirely a shock but troublesome nevertheless
Minamino bids farewell

 Terry/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News)

  • Liverpool fans showed plenty of love and appreciation for his “vital role” at the club, which was key in the two domestic cups last season!
  • It’s a “very exciting project” for Minamino and he says it’s “a great joy” to join Monaco. We wish you all the best, Taki!
Latest Liverpool FC news

 Aston Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Aston Villa FC at Goodison Park. Aston Villa won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Carney Chukwuemeka is ‘highly thought of‘ at Liverpool as midfield targets are considered, an affordable option that is contrast to the £100m-plus Jude Bellingham will demand
  • Polish side Slask Wroclaw have reportedly approached Liverpool to land 18-year-old Mateusz Musialowski on loan next season, and with an option to buy – not sure the club will be keen on the latter!
  • And Brazilian presenter Milton Neves has suggested prolific 19-year-old forward Marcos Leonardo is on his way to Liverpool, he’s tipped as the ‘new Romario’ but it seems these links are tedious at best – even if he would be a good fit
Latest Transfer Talk

 Manchester City's substitute Raheem Sterling on the bench before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester City FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Tottenham have offered Steven Bergwijn as a makeweight in their bid to sign Everton‘s Richarlison, you feel we have a duty to warn him, right?
  • Chelsea are preparing their first formal bid for Raheem Sterling, with Thomas Tuchel keen to add the former Red to his side, wonder if many would’ve been opposed to Liverpool being interested?
  • And it looks like Man United are to secure their first summer signing, with Frenkie de Jong to arrive for £56m – United still have plenty of catching up to do!
Tweet of the day and match of the night

What an impact he had, thanks for the memories!

Takumi Minamino was Liverpool's outright top scorer in both the League Cup and FA Cup last season – he joins quite the list of players to do that for #LFC in the same season. pic.twitter.com/aNKrRFQLfZ

— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) June 28, 2022

There is U19 European Championship action you can follow tonight, with France meeting Israel for a place in the final at 7pm (BST), which directly follows England’s bid to make it to the end.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp: Taki is a reason we had to change the Champions Wall so often

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:15

Jürgen Klopp views Takumi Minamino's quality and attitude as a big reason for Liverpool's success in recent years.

The Japan forward today completed a permanent switch to Ligue 1 side AS Monaco after two-and-a-half seasons and 55 appearances as a Red.

Minamino arrived at Anfield from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020 and made 14 appearances during his first campaign as he claimed a Premier League winner’s medal.

He was the club’s top scorer in the Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup during 2021-22 to help Klopp’s side deliver a domestic double.

[embedded content]

Reacting to the news of Minamino’s switch to Monaco, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “It’s hard to see Taki go, but it’s a great move for him and one he thoroughly deserves.

“An amazing professional; super, talented player. As a person, he is full of warmth and makes everyone feel positive. A manager’s dream, to be honest.

“I’m sure there will be those who think it didn’t quite work out. Those who think this are wrong. I don’t accept that.

“His contribution far outweighs the opportunities we were able to give, in terms of starting matches. He made us better each and every day he was with us – not just in the games he played in but every single session in training. Perfect attitude, winner’s mentality.

“His performances and his goals are the reason we have had to redecorate the Champions Wall so often. His achievements here will stand the test of time.

“I know he will be a big success at Monaco. I’m sure we will look on with a mix of celebration and envy as he progresses and flourishes there.

“He leaves with our appreciation and best wishes. Thank you, Taki.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp: Taki is a reason we had to change the Champions Wall so often

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:15
Jürgen Klopp views Takumi Minamino's quality and attitude as a big reason for Liverpool's success in recent years.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool fans show gratitude for Takumi Minamino’s “vital role” after Monaco move

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:14

After two-and-a-half years with Liverpool, Takumi Minamino‘s time at Anfield has come to an end with a move to Monaco now confirmed, leaving fans to show appreciation for his contributions.

The Ligue 1 side have secured his signature on a four-year contract in a deal worth £15.4 million, with a new chapter now ahead for the Japan international.

The 27-year-old joined the Reds at the most ideal and simultaneously unfortunate time, with a Premier League title on the cusp of being secured and a pandemic grinding the world to a halt.

It left little time to settle with his new teammates after joining from Salzburg in January 2020, and he never quite broke into Jurgen Klopp‘s first team.

But that does not mean he was without vital contributions, his efforts in the League Cup and FA Cup last season were key to Jordan Henderson giving us a trophy shuffle in each.

And fans were quick to show their appreciation to Minamino after his move was confirmed on Tuesday.

??? #LFC have confirmed the departure of Takumi Minamino to AS Monaco. Feels like a good move for a player who deserves regular football, but his 10 goals last season will be missed. pic.twitter.com/HM0FeX0Dke

— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) June 28, 2022

?? Never likely to unseat any of the more established forward options, but Taki Minamino still played a vital role over two-and-a-half years with #LFC.

Could see his presence grow after a tough start, especially post-Southampton loan.

Shame he's not opted to stay in the PL. pic.twitter.com/OHcYcfhdxP

— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) June 28, 2022

Loved this lad. Don't even know why, just desperately wanted him to do well. And you know what, he did do well. Top scorer in the two competitions we won last season. And let's be honest, was never given enough minutes in the PL or CL. Good luck, Taki! https://t.co/wCyFvTkUwT

— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) June 28, 2022

Takumi Minamino for Liverpool last season:

? 24 Appearances
???? 9 Starts
?? 10 Goals
? FA Cup Top Goalscorer
? League Cup Top Goalscorer

Vital ? pic.twitter.com/YgQTEfxNeo

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) June 28, 2022

Didn't get much time on the pitch but played a major part in the team winning both the FA and League Cups last season. Good luck Taki ? https://t.co/4lCQyKfLFx

— Chris Smith1??9???????? (@_SmithChris) June 28, 2022

What. A. Finish. ?

You’re getting some player, @AS_Monaco_EN

pic.twitter.com/rJBz1lqZBS

— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) June 28, 2022

So long, Taki. Great squad player and definitely played his part.

Type of player you’d love to keep in the squad but can understand he wants to play.

Scored some great goals.

That equaliser in the League Cup against Leicester saw limbs everywhere.

Good luck @takumina0116 https://t.co/AL6o8fXQ58

— Daniel Gore ???? (@KoptimusPrime) June 28, 2022

Thank you for your services Minamino-san! It sad to see you go but deserves to play weekly. All the best at Ligue 1. #YNWA https://t.co/cU7fXVWYva

— Gomez? (@Harith_Ashraf) June 28, 2022

All the best Minamino. Boss player on his day. https://t.co/NMdomxOhZ5

— Tim Eales (@Timmeh93) June 28, 2022

Thank you Taki!

Will never forget the late equalizer against Leicester and the 2 cups you have won us.

Good luck! https://t.co/T5DuwHIb82

— Habeeb Abdul Rahman Rafai (@Habeebrafai24) June 28, 2022

Played a massive part in success last season. Developed a really good eye for goal towards end of his time at the club. £15.5m might be a bit on the cheap side but definitely deserves more regular football. https://t.co/u4D3iYZ9jT

— Jack Sear (@JackSear) June 28, 2022

Minamino makes the move to Monaco after 55 appearances for Liverpool and 14 goals, and will now seek the regular game time that eluded him at Anfield.

Wishing you all the best, Taki!

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Categories: LFC NEWS

CONFIRMED – Takumi Minamino joins Monaco on permanent deal

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:00

Takumi Minamino has left Liverpool after two-and-a-half years, with the versatile forward joining Monaco in a deal worth over two times the fee he arrived for.

The club has now confirmed the transfer, with the Japanese swapping Liverpool for Monaco for £12.9 million rising to £15.5 million.

That represents an £8 million profit on the fee paid to sign him from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020.

It was often a thankless task for Minamino at Anfield, filling in when required but never cementing himself as a regular starter.

His arrival on Merseyside came in lockdown, bringing a unique challenge for a player who barely spoke English, and understandably he spent the second half of 2020/21 on loan with Southampton.

But the 27-year-old returned to play a key role in the remarkable campaign just gone, scoring 10 and assisting one in only 22 appearances.

Only Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino netted more than Minamino, who averaged a goal or assist every 81.3 minutes in all competitions.

 Terry/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News)

 Terry/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News)

He was vital on the road to the FA Cup and League Cup finals but featured in neither of the victories over Chelsea at Wembley, which was clearly a blow for the No. 18.

In a recent interview, Minamino claimed that most of the games he played in “weren’t of interest to anyone,” and it is no surprise, then, that he sought a permanent exit this summer.

The forward departs having made 55 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 14 goals, and will be remembered fondly for his contribution at Anfield.

All the best, Taki!

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