LFC NEWS

Liverpool will find out next two FA Cup opponents if they beat Aston Villa

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 18:49

A change in the FA Cup draw process this year is being brought in, to allow teams to adequately plan their upcoming games in a crowded schedule.

It’s a fairly innocuous alteration, but one which managers might be glad of when the games come every three or four days in February and March once more.

Usually, the draw for the next round takes place once all the games are over and done with – other than replays – but this year the FA have announced they’ll draw the fourth and fifth-round ties together.

Liverpool are up against Aston Villa in the third round on Friday night, with most of the other ties being played over the weekend.

And on Monday, 11 January the final fixtures will take place along with the draw.

The fourth round draw should take place around 7:10pm, live on the FA Cup Facebook page or on BT Sport 1.

As soon as that’s done, the fifth round fixtures will be pulled out too, leaving the Reds to know their route to the quarter-finals…if they overcome Villa, of course.

The fourth-round games will be played the weekend of 23 January, with the fifth round across the midweek of Wednesday, 10 February.

Aston Villa or Liverpool will be ball No. 23 in the initial draw for the fourth round, with new numbers allocated for teams and ties after that round’s fixtures are confirmed.

The Reds haven’t won the FA Cup since 2006, coming runners up in 2012. Last year we reached the fifth round before losing to Chelsea.

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Wijnaldum financial demands claim & latest CB links – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 17:00

Liverpool news this week features transfer speculation, injury news, contract deliberations and more. Anything to take our mind off a defeat, hey?!

Juve centre-back the unexpected latest rumour

We’ve had the Bundesliga links, the Ligue 1 links, the Premier League links and the Austrian links, so perhaps we should have known Serie A was next in line.

Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral is rumoured to be on the Reds’ radar today, with the Turkey international an interesting prospect in terms of his age, strengths and supposedly wanting a move.

But the asking price of €50m doesn’t feel entirely probable this window, and there are other potential sticking points, too.

You can check out more about the rumour and the player himself on the link above, as well as a nice little video of his finest moments.

Just LaLiga rumours to come then? Oh wait…see below for that…

Gini Wijnaldum, we want you to stay

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Our Dutch midfielder is out of contract in the summer and, so far, there’s no agreement between player and club about a renewal.

The issue doesn’t appear to be a genuine desire on either part to extend the contract, but rather a lack of agreement about the No. 5’s worth.

Wednesday’s reports claim that Gini wants to be put in the same pay bracket as the club’s top earners, up towards £200,000 a week.

It’s a monstrous raise from his current level and debate will be fierce about whether he deserves it, he’ll be worth it in a year or two or whether he’s even replaceable.

As long as he’s good enough on the pitch will be the only thing Klopp cares about and he’s certainly been that this term.

The good, the bad and the departed

 Liverpool's Joel Matip during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Over in parts of Europe, they celebrate 6th January as a day of gift-giving. Today, Reds fans are given the gift of hope, regarding Joel Matip‘s fitness.

Quickfire LFC news

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

  • Mo Salah doesn’t feel “loved” at Liverpool and wants out… apparently (SW)
  • LFC Women are preparing for their first game of 2021 (LFC)
  • And Grujic says he’s “confused” at not getting a chance and mixed messages from Liverpool (Kurir)
Around the Prem

 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and West Ham United FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Mesut Ozil is chatting to DC United about becoming their very own overpaid mercenary for a while (f.l)
  • Pep is “pretty sure” Kevin de Bruyne will renew with Man City despite the midfielder turning one deal down. Not the first City individual to have an issue with “no means no”, hey? (Sky Sports)
  • Dani Ceballos hopes to leave Arsenal, return to Real Madrid and break into the first team, because the delusion remains strong with this one (Cadena Ser)
  • And West Ham will try to sign 35-year-old, playing-in-China striker Graziano Pelle if they fail to sign Bournemouth‘s 28-year-old Josh King. How is this even a strategy?! (Star)
Stupid rumour of the day

The absolute LIES on show from El Chiringuito, who say Liverpool have “knocked on the door” for Sergio Ramos.

Only reason we’d be knocking on his door is to show the youngsters at the club how not to defend, or behave.

Tweet of the day

It is indeed Liverpool vs VAR as a separate match every other week. pic.twitter.com/S5mcmtQm8v

— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) January 6, 2021

What we’re reading

The plans to expand LFC into Australia, an agenda headed up by a former title-winner with the Reds.

And the story of the Premier League’s first British Asian, who turns out to be former Red Jimmy Carter.

Worth watching tonight

Manchester derby in the cup at 7:45 or Milan vs Juve at the top of Serie A at the same time.

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Training photos: LFC Women prepare for 2021 opener

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 16:40

Check out our gallery of photos from Liverpool FC Women's latest training session.

Wednesday's work-out came as the Reds prepare for their first fixture of 2021, Sunday's home match against London Bees.

Our photographer was in attendance and captured the images below.

Photos by John Powell

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Training photos: LFC Women prepare for 2021 opener

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 16:40
Check out our gallery of photos from Liverpool FC Women's latest training session.
Categories: LFC NEWS

RB Salzburg star Patson Daka fuels transfer links

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 16:17

RB Salzburg forward Patson Daka claims he will go on to emulate Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Daka, 22, is a target for some of the Premier League's biggest clubs, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all believed to be monitoring the centre-forward.

The Zambia international joined Salzburg's feeder club, Liefering, in 2017 after coming through the ranks at Nchanga Rangers and Kafue Celtic in his homeland.

Full story: Daily Mirror

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

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RB Salzburg star Patson Daka fuels transfer links

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 16:17
RB Salzburg forward Patson Daka claims he will go on to emulate Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Categories: LFC NEWS

RB Salzburg star Patson Daka fuels transfer links

HEAD NEWS - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 16:17

RB Salzburg forward Patson Daka claims he will go on to emulate Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Daka, 22, is a target for some of the Premier League's biggest clubs, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all believed to be monitoring the centre-forward.

The Zambia international joined Salzburg's feeder club, Liefering, in 2017 after coming through the ranks at Nchanga Rangers and Kafue Celtic in his homeland.

Full story: Daily Mirror

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

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Gini Wijnaldum “wants to stay” at Liverpool – but no agreement yet

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 15:09

Georginio Wijnaldum still hasn’t signed a new contract with Liverpool and although his priority is to remain at Anfield, there’s no agreement between club and player.

The Dutch midfielder is key for Jurgen Klopp and has been one of the driving forces putting the Reds top of the table this season, mostly maintaining form and, importantly, fitness while the side chops and changes around him.

But with just one year left on his contract heading into the 2020/21 season, there was plenty of speculation that he might leave for Barcelona.

That didn’t materialise, but the rumours remain that the Catalan side want him – with Inter Milan and one or two other sides also linked with our all-rounder.

Sky Sports now report that while “Klopp has made it clear he wishes to keep” Gini and the midfielder himself “wants to stay at Anfield”, there is an impasse because of financial details.

Wijnaldum “believes his wages should compare more favourably with the club’s top earners”, they claim, which would effectively mean doubling his salary or more.

Spotrac, a noted sports payroll website, have Wijnaldum currently earning £75,000 a week, while others such as Sportekz have the Dutchman slightly higher at £90k-a-week.

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A move into the top bracket would see him bumped to upwards of £180,000 a week, earned by the likes of Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago (£190k) and Mohamed Salah (£200k).

While there’s no doubt Gini has proven his worth on the pitch and is as important as those on a week-to-week basis, the club will factor in other details too with their offer.

Wijnaldum is 30, so a three-year extension will effectively take him to the end (or close to it) of his elite career, leaving no resale value, while his importance and effectiveness could also diminish in the next couple of years.

Sky report that an offer has not been rejected or withdrawn and the new contract remains on the table, but Wijnaldum seems unlikely to sign it unless matters change.

Players such as Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and Diogo Jota all reportedly earn more than Gini at this stage, which he could certainly argue he needs to be above, but there’s a big difference between that £100-120k bracket and the top earners at the club.

For now, Klopp remains convinced of Wijnaldum’s worth and the Dutchman remains committed on the pitch – and that’s all that can be asked of him until the contract is renewed or run out, which will happen one way or the other in the coming six months.

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Wijnaldum and Liverpool reach contract stalemate

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 13:10

Talks between Georginio Wijnaldum and Liverpool over a new contract have reached a stalemate.

A long-standing offer of a new deal remains on the table but, for now, the 30-year old Dutch midfielder has not accepted it.

Sky Sports News has been told suggestions that Wijnaldum has turned down a new contract offer from Liverpool are wide of the mark.

The player, who is out of contract in the summer, wants to stay at Anfield but believes his wages should compare more favourably with the club's top earners.

Jurgen Klopp has made it clear he wishes to keep Wijnaldum, who has played in all 17 of Liverpool's Premier League games this season.

 0:59 Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero believes it will be difficult for Barcelona to sign Georginio Wijnaldum in the January transfer window because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman remains keen to sign his compatriot but, as of yet, that interest has not progressed into an official offer from the Spanish giants to either the player or Liverpool.

A difficult start to the LaLiga season, as well as their ongoing presidential elections, has put any potential transfer business on hold, while Koeman's future at the club looks far from secure.

Barca's long-term intentions towards Wijnaldum may become clearer after the new club president is announced on January 24.

Who else's contract is running out?

Plenty of other top names will see their contract run out in the summer of 2021 and are consequently free to talk to clubs from foreign leagues now.

The pool of out-of-contract players is more high profile than ever, with club legends in Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero also up for grabs if they do not sign a new deal.

What about incomings at Liverpool?

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:

"If you go back to the summer, Liverpool actually sold a central defender in Dejan Lovren and Klopp decided that he didn't need to go into the market because he had Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

"He thought that would be enough to take them through the season. I don't think he foresaw the injury problems and having to play Fabinho, plus one of Phillips and Williams. People will say they only conceded one goal against Southampton, but playing two of your central midfielders in defence weakens two areas of the pitch.

preview image 2:36 Jamie Carragher told Monday Night Football that if Liverpool don't sign a new centre-back, they'll struggle their Premier League title.

"The way Liverpool approach their transfer policy, they always seem to have a shortlist of one player - when you look at when they first looked to sign Van Dijk. They didn't look to sign someone else and came back for him in the following January. Would I be surprised if Liverpool signed a centre-back in this transfer window? No.

"Would I be surprised if they didn't? Again no, simply because of their recruitment policy. But I just wonder if Klopp will change that policy very slightly and bring in a defender as a short-term fix, having watched what happened at Southampton."

Which defenders could Liverpool buy in January?

If Klopp does decide to go into the market, who could he land?

We look at how the club's reported targets have performed this season, what their attributes are, and whether a deal may be possible for any of them in January...

Transfer shows back on Sky Sports News!

The latest news and views throughout January on SSN with our football experts and special guests.

10am-11am: Good Morning Transfers

1pm-2pm: Transfer Talk

5pm-5.30pm & 7pm-8pm: Transfer Show

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11pm.

Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:47

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Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:47
Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'are pushing hard' to beat Real Madrid to David Alaba

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:40

Liverpool have joined Real Madrid in the battle to swoop for Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free transfer at the end of the season.

According to The Guardian, Jurgen Klopp's outfit are 'pushing hard' to land the 28-year-old, whose contract expires once the 2020-21 season ends.

But the publication adds that it has been a long held dream of Alaba's to one day play for Real Madrid and the Spanish giants are very much the favourites for his signature as things stand.

Full story: MailOnline

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

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Liverpool 'are pushing hard' to beat Real Madrid to David Alaba

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:40
Liverpool have joined Real Madrid in the battle to swoop for Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'are pushing hard' to beat Real Madrid to David Alaba

HEAD NEWS - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:40

Liverpool have joined Real Madrid in the battle to swoop for Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free transfer at the end of the season.

According to The Guardian, Jurgen Klopp's outfit are 'pushing hard' to land the 28-year-old, whose contract expires once the 2020-21 season ends.

But the publication adds that it has been a long held dream of Alaba's to one day play for Real Madrid and the Spanish giants are very much the favourites for his signature as things stand.

Full story: MailOnline

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

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Vote now: Liverpool's December Goal of the Month

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:00

Vote on Liverpool's best strike during December in our Goal of the Month poll.

We have picked out a shortlist of 10 efforts across all levels - and now you can decide the winner.

View the contenders in the video above and then cast your vote below...

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Vote now: Liverpool's December Goal of the Month

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:00
Vote on Liverpool's best strike during December in our Goal of the Month poll.
Categories: LFC NEWS

The 17 Liverpool players who left the club last summer – and what happened next

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 07:00

Liverpool saw 17 players depart the club last summer, with five staying in the Premier League and four leaving England, with mixed fortunes for those who left Anfield so far.

The Reds sanctioned a host of sales in the last transfer window, with a number of the title-winning squad moving on to pastures new and funds raised to bring in new recruits.

Others departed on the expiry of their contracts, with opportunities scarce on Merseyside and a move required to revive their hopes.

Of the 17 to leave, 16 have found new clubs, and many find themselves in a better position than they were while at Liverpool.

Here’s where each player has ended up, and how the campaign is going so far.

Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United)

 Sheffield United's Rhian Brewster during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Sheffield United FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The big hope; it has been a hopeless season for Brewster at Bramall Lane so far, with there being few worse clubs for the young striker to have made the permanent jump to from Liverpool.

Sheffield United made a big show of faith in the 20-year-old with a club-record £23.5 million deal, with a three-year buyback clause included in the package that would allow the Reds to trigger his return to Anfield if he progressed as expected.

Unfortunately, Brewster’s start to life in Sheffield has been a nightmare, with the Blades picking up just two points from their first 17 league games, failing to win even once and scoring just eight goals.

Brewster is yet to find the back of the net, having started six of his 13 appearances so far, and with Chris Wilder expressing the desire to bring in another striker, United’s No. 24 may be regretting the decision to leave Merseyside.

Dejan Lovren (Zenit St Petersburg)

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After six years with Liverpool, and just 15 appearances in his final season on Merseyside, Lovren opted to join Russian champions Zenit in a £10.9 million deal in July.

The centre-back went straight into the side in Saint Petersburg, and just over a week after his move he was lifting the Russian Super Cup – the equivalent of the Community Shield – before assuming a first-choice role in 2020/21.

With the campaign on a break until the end of February, Zenit sit top of the league and four points clear of CSKA Moscow, with Lovren captaining the side in five of their last nine games in all competitions.

The decision to allow Lovren to leave without a replacement being brought in is arguably now damaging Liverpool, but it remains a move that was necessary for the Croatian.

Adam Lallana (Brighton)

Like Lovren, Lallana felt he had more to offer in his early 30s than the bit-part role in store at Anfield, and having run his contract down the midfielder joined Brighton on a free transfer.

A leader and a go-to starter at Brighton, Lallana has remained unfortunate with injuries, including a flare-up of a groin injury just eight minutes into the 1-1 draw between his current and former clubs back in November.

The Englishman is being given the game time he craved on the south coast, however, and his versatility is invaluable to Graham Potter, who has started the ex-Red in deeper and more advanced midfield roles, as well as up front in the 2-1 loss to Tottenham.

Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace)

 Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Also departing on a free transfer last summer was Clyne, who had played just 10 times in his final three seasons with Liverpool, ending the title-winning campaign exiled and training alone, using the academy facilities.

A clean break was essential to revitalise a flagging career, and Palace offered the right-back an opportunity for Clyne to return to his hometown club – signing a short-term deal in October.

Since then, he has been a regular starter, and though more recently he has found himself in a battle for the starting shirt with Joel Ward, it is likely that he has earned an extension beyond the initial expiry of his contract on February 1.

Ki-Jana Hoever (Wolves)

 Liverpool's substitute Ki-Jana Hoever on the bench before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of the surprise sales of the summer came with Hoever’s £13.5 million switch to Wolves – which effectively covered some of the cost of Diogo Jota‘s move in the opposite direction.

Widely considered one of the most promising talents in the Liverpool academy, Hoever had already played four times for the first team and looked set for a summer loan ahead of a long-term role under Jurgen Klopp – before uprooting to Molineux instead.

Wolves also signed Nelson Semedo from Barcelona, which has limited the 18-year-old’s game time, but he has been a near-everpresent in Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad and made an eye-catching first league start in the 1-0 loss to Man United in December.

Hoever could become a useful player for Wolves as he develops, and it remains unclear as to why his exit was sanctioned despite the fee offsetting Jota’s arrival.

Pedro Chirivella (Nantes)

Liverpool offered Chirivella a new long-term contract as the final months of his existing deal ran down last season, but the Spaniard opted to turned down the club he had spent the last seven years with and move on.

A switch to Nantes, in Ligue 1, presented itself, and Chirivella was a first-choice starter under Christian Gourcuff, prior to the Frenchman’s sacking at the start of December.

Strangely, though, Ouest-France journalist Jean-Marcel Boudard claimed on the Sans Controle podcast that Gourcuff had told him the midfielder was “completely lost on the pitch,” amid questions over his form.

Boxing Day saw ex-France manager Raymond Domenech take over Nantes for his first job since 2010, and it remains to be seen where Chirivella features in his long-term plans.

Andy Lonergan (Stoke)

 Stoke City's goalkeeper Andy Lonergan during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Stoke City FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Bet365 Stadium. Tottenham won 3-1. (Pic by Propaganda)

It seemed that likely, and sensible, that Lonergan would be offered another one-year contract with Liverpool after his surprise role in the successful season last time out.

But instead the veteran goalkeeper left the club in July to little fanfare, and remained a free agent for five months before signing a short-term deal with Stoke.

Joining as an emergency backup, Lonergan has played just once for the Potters, in a 3-1 loss to Spurs in the League Cup quarter-finals – though that is still one more appearance than he was afforded while at Liverpool.

Ovie Ejaria (Reading)

Ovie Ejaria, Reading (Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Ejaria was, for all intents and purposes, already a Reading player last season, with Liverpool having agreed a loan-to-buy deal that saw the midfielder make 39 appearances for the Championship club in 2019/20.

There was uncertainty over whether Reading would be able to afford the £3.5 million fee negotiated with the Reds following the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ejaria eventually made the permanent switch to the Madejski Stadium at the end of August.

The 23-year-old has proved indispensable under new manager Veljko Paunovic, largely operating on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1 system as the Royals push for promotion to the Premier League.

Herbie Kane & Isaac Christie-Davies (Barnsley)

 Liverpool's Herbie Kane during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at Holmes Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Christie-Davies joined Barnsley on a free transfer in September, with Kane following his former Liverpool academy team-mate a month later, but neither player is yet to command a first-choice starting role.

In fact, Christie-Davies is yet to feature for the Tykes, while the more experienced Kane has made 16 appearances but only four of those have come as a starter.

The arrival of a new manager, Valerien Ismael, a week after Kane’s £1.25 move to Oakwell has seemingly complicated matters, and it will be interesting to see if either Kane or Christie-Davies moves on again in the near future.

And the rest

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Daniel Atherton during an Under-18 FA Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at the Clayton Wood Training Ground. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

Liverpool also released a host of young players last summer, and the majority of those have now found new clubs.

Goalkeepers Shamal George and Kai McKenzie-Lyle have joined Colchester United and Cambridge United respectively, though neither is a regular starter, while fellow stopper Dan Atherton is yet to permanently sign a deal with any club.

Niall Brookwell has been a staple for the Newcastle under-23s in Premier League 2 and Dal Varesanovic rejoined boyhood club FK Sarajevo but is yet to make the matchday squad.

Lesser-spotted duo Alex Turner (Runcorn Linnets) and Abel Rodriques (US Lusitanos) have also settled elsewhere.

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Ole: Klopp's penalty point may be to influence refs

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 05:50

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has laughed off Jurgen Klopp's comparison of penalty records between Manchester United and Liverpool, but suggested the point could have been made to influence referees.

Klopp was aggrieved Liverpool were not awarded either of their two second-half penalty appeals in the 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Monday night, with a Kyle Walker-Peters challenge on Sadio Mane and Jack Stephens' handball while blocking a Georginio Wijnaldum shot going unpunished by referee Andre Marriner.

Speaking after the match, Klopp said: "I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years. I've no idea if that's my fault, or how that can happen. But it's no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions."

preview image 2:20 Jamie Carragher analyses whether Liverpool should have had a penalty after Sadio Mane was brought down in the box against Southampton

In response, Solskjaer said he would not spend his time counting as his side prepare to host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening, live on Sky Sports.

"That's a fact? Probably," said Solskjaer. "That's probably going to be my answer, that's a fact that we've got more than them. I don't count how many penalties they've had, so if they want to spend time on worrying about when we get fouled in the box… I don't spend time on that."

What do the penalty stats say?

Statistics show Liverpool have been awarded 30 Premier League penalties since Klopp took charge in October 2015, while United have taken 32 since the start of 2018-19.

Leicester (45), Man City (43), Man Utd (41) and Crystal Palace (36) are the four Premier League teams to have received more penalties than Liverpool since Klopp's appointment.

'Maybe it's a way of influencing the referees'

Solskjaer made reference to a penalty shout which was overlooked in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea last season when suggesting a reason why other managers are highlighting their record.

"I can't talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this," he said. "I felt it worked last year in the semi in the FA Cup, because Frank [Lampard] spoke about it and we had a nailed-on penalty that we should have had, that we didn't get.

preview image 5:09 We take a look at the 11 spot-kicks Liverpool and Manchester United have been awarded in the Premier League this campaign.

"So maybe it's a way of influencing the referees. I don't know. But I don't worry about that. When they foul our players it's a penalty when it's inside the box."

United lost 3-1 to Chelsea in July last year, but late in the first half they were denied a penalty after Anthony Martial went down under pressure from Kurt Zouma, with Mike Dean waving away claims while the scoreline was still goalless.

After that match, Solskjaer said "it seemed that little bit of influencing the officials worked", which followed on from Lampard's claim United "got a few [decisions] in their favour" from VAR heading into the semi-final.

Wednesday 6th January 7:00pm Kick off 7:45pm Sky Sports Football HD Sky Sports Football HD Mourinho's previous penalty jibes

Liverpool remain top ahead of United on goal difference, but the champions could be replaced as outright Premier League leaders by the time they welcome their rivals to Anfield on January 17 - live on Sky Sports - if United avoid defeat in their game in hand against Burnley.

Klopp is not alone in highlighting United's penalty record, with Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho having twice referenced the amount of spot-kicks his former side have been awarded.

Last July, Mourinho said Bruno Fernandes has "proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score".

And after Spurs' win over Leeds on January 2, Mourinho aimed another apparent jibe at United while praising Heung-Min Son for reaching 100 goals for the club.

"To get the Puskas award, to be scoring 100 goals for Tottenham and to be maybe in the top three Premier League scorers without penalties," Mourinho said.

"Some players score 10 goals a season on penalties and I'm not speaking about Harry Kane, by the way. I'm so happy for Son."

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Toothless Liverpool Without A Prayer At St Mary's As Southampton Win Southampton vs Liverpool Preview - Reds look to climb out o...

Anfield Index.com - Tue, 01/05/2021 - 21:37

Liverpool fell to their second defeat of the season with a 1-0 reversal away to Southampton.

Danny Ings early goal was enough to seal the hosts win as the Reds — who owned the possession and territorial stats — failed to turn their dominance into goals at St. Mary’s.

It was the third bad performance on the trot for Jurgen Klopp’s team, who drew with West Brom and Newcastle in the preceding games, and it was his attack — and not the defence, which featured Jordan Henderson at centre half — that let him down.

Sadio Mane was busy, if ineffective, and both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were peripheral to the extent that you would almost forget they were playing, despite Liverpool having upwards of 80% possession.

Right from the first whistle, the sense was that the visitors would be slow out of the blocks. Thiago, who started only his second game after joining the club in September, was booked after giving away a free-kick.

The Saints, whose plan was to clearly sit deep and look to frustrate the champions made the most of the opportunity and James Ward Prowse cutely played an against the grain free-kick. The dozy Trent Alexander Arnold didn’t track the run of Ings and the striker, against his former club, lifted the ball over Alisson for 1-0.

Liverpool huffed and puffed in an attempt to get their way back into the game, but all of their attempts were poor. Passes were under hit or overcooked, movement was slack and the array of bad first touches belonged in a museum of horrors. The Reds went into the break without a shot on target.

The visitors at least started the second half in better, quicker fashion and laid siege to the Southampton goal. The left-hand side was utilised extensively with Andrew Robertson and Mane the chief architects of attacking play.

Mane had a shot expertly blocked by Jack Stephens in the box, several crosses cleared away by last-ditch dives and blocks and, inexplicably, was denied a penalty when Kyle Walker Peters — who got away unchecked for fouling the Senegalese star on umpteen occasions — fouled him in the box.

The Reds had another penalty shout when Georginio Wijnaldum’s shot was blocked by Jan Bednarek, but, in truth, it would have offered a scantly deserved opportunity to draw level.

Klopp rang the changes when he brought on Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner for the underperforming duo of Trent Alexander Arnold — whose form has notably dipped — and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, whose showing at his former club was marred by heavy touches and poor passes.

On and on the Reds pushed, but it took until the 75th minute for their first shot on target; Mane’s drive was low and soft and in the routine bracket for Fraser Forster, the Saints back up keeper after first choice Alex McCarthy pissed out due to a positive covid test.

Liverpool almost conceded a second when Yann Valery poked the ball at goal after Alisson had rushed off his line to sweep up, but Henderson cleared from near the line and the Reds escaped a second goal.

There was to be no second goal of any kind as the toothless visitors fell to a defeat that gives Manchester United the chance to move above them at the top of the table if they win their game in hand.

Liverpool team: Alisson; Alexander Arnold, Henderson, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Oxlade Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Replacements: Milner for Alexander Arnold, Shaqiri for Oxlade Chamberlain.

Subs not used; C.Kelleher, R.Williams, N.Williams, D.Origi, T.Minamino, N.Phillips, C.Jones

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