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Rafa Camacho: Jurgen Klopp’s versatile youngster proving invaluable this pre-season

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 21:00

Liverpool academy winger Rafa Camacho has slotted into a variety of roles for Jurgen Klopp in pre-season, with his versatility an invaluable asset.


So far this summer Klopp has called upon five players from his youth ranks, with Kamil Grabara, Caoimhin Kelleher, Nathaniel Phillips and Curtis Jones joining Camacho among more familiar faces.

Along with returning loanees and fringe figures vying for places, these youngsters have fleshed out the Reds’ pre-season squad while the World Cup has played out in Russia.

Phillips, Jones and Camacho have featured in all three of Liverpool’s domestic friendlies so far, and each has performed with distinction when called upon.

For Camacho it has been particularly testing as Klopp employs him and Pedro Chirivella as his utility men, but he has stood up to the challenge as he eyes a more focal role.

So who is the Portuguese, and how can he secure a place in Klopp’s first-team squad this season?

 Liverpool's Rafael Camacho on the pitch before a preseason friendly match between Chester FC and Liverpool FC at the Deva Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Rafa Camacho

Age: 18
Position: Winger
Signed from: Man City (free)

Camacho was signed as a 15-year-old in 2016, having spent a fruitless two-year spell with Man City, struggling to adapt after leaving southwest Portugal for northwest England.

His final six months with City saw him loaned to Queluz side Real SC, where he joined their U19 squad, but given his potential as a young talent Liverpool remained eager to secure his services.

Handed an opportunity on moving to Merseyside, taking up a regular role with the U18s, he quietly impressed, providing Neil Critchley with an intriguing prospect in attack.

When Critchley took over as U23s manager and Steven Gerrard arrived in his place Camacho excelled, with his new coach nurturing him as a right wing-back in a 3-4-3 formation.

Camacho’s displays for the U18s and U19s primed him for a call-up to Klopp’s squad for training at Melwood in February, and he has remained there since.

He travelled regularly for Premier League and Champions League games, and was named on the bench alongside Jones for April’s 0-0 draw with Everton after an injury to Alberto Moreno in the warmup.

 Liverpool's Rafael Camacho shoots at goal during a preseason friendly match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Camacho is a quick, skilful, direct winger whose apprenticeship in a deeper role has allowed him to develop the tactical flexibility and organisational qualities required in Klopp’s system.

His willingness to both track back out of possession and put pressure on defenders moving forward underlines a commitment to adjust to life in senior football.

But his defining quality remains the ability to create magic in the final third, with an unpredictability to his game that has set him apart from fellow youngsters such as Bobby Adekanye and Yasser Larouci.

This was witnessed with a sensational goal against Man United in the UEFA Youth League last season under Gerrard, six minutes after replacing Adekanye at Prenton Park.

Picking the ball up on the right flank, Camacho cut inside onto his left and fired a dipping effort over Alex Fojticek and into the far corner to seal a 2-0 victory.

The following day, the teenager was training alongside Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, with Klopp labelling him part of Liverpool’s “next generation.”

 Liverpool's substitute Rafael Camacho celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Youth League Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Camacho is an unassuming character whose development has been overshadowed by the exploits of Jones, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn and Rhian Brewster, but his potential is clear.

Speaking after his goal against United, Gerrard hailed how his contribution “helped the team breathe,” while Woodburn said it was a finish he had seen from his team-mate “plenty of times,” agreeing that it “took a lot of pressure off.”

This game-changing quality will be vital for Camacho if he is to earn a place under Klopp, with Mane and Salah established as first-choice wingers and Xherdan Shaqiri arriving as competition.

His performances during pre-season so far suggest he may be able to do so, albeit largely driving forward from right-back, which saw him net his first senior goal to open the scoring against Tranmere.

And despite Liverpool’s frustration at Bury in the following friendly, he was a constant threat as he adopted a more attacking role on the left, creating chances and testing the goalkeeper drifting inside.

 Liverpool's Rafael Camacho celebrates scoring the first goal with Sheyi Ojo during a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

This versatility has allowed Klopp to rotate his depleted side throughout the Reds’ opening games this summer, and it will give Camacho a better opportunity of claiming a role in 2018/19.

With Woodburn, Divock Origi, Harry Wilson, Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent all expected to leave the club on loan or on a permanent basis this summer, he and Jones could provide Klopp with cover.

Though Liverpool are well-stocked at right-back, and with the arrival of Shaqiri are in a healthier position in attack, Camacho’s youth boosts his chances.

The hope will be that, if they remain a full-time fixture at Melwood this season, Camacho and Jones can impress Klopp enough to gain minutes in the FA Cup and League Cup.

And if, as has been the case in recent seasons, injury strikes out wide, their experience this pre-season could give them the platform required to step up and fill in for their senior counterparts.

Though still a work in progress, with consistency his aim, Camacho is certainly one to keep an eye on.

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Lovren displeasure, Wilson loan future & rumours of 2 offers made – Liverpool FC News Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 18:49

The World Cup is over and focus shifts back to domestic matters and the upcoming campaign for Liverpool FC.


Main headlinesHarry Wilson edges closer to Derby switch

 Liverpool's Harry Wilson during a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

The battle to sign Reds winger Harry Wilson on loan looks to have taken in over a dozen clubs now.

Teams such as Swansea and Norwich City have been keen on signing him, but the Mirror report Derby County are close to a deal.

Wilson was left out of the Reds’ 0-0 draw at Bury over the weekend, with Jurgen Klopp admitting a loan switch was close.

His long-term future remains with Liverpool though, after a new deal was signed last week.

Lovren not impressed by France

 Croatia's Dejan Lovren is surrounded by France players during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Final match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dejan Lovren ended on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Croatia were beaten by France despite playing largely well, and the centre-back was unimpressed with the victors’ approach.

“They had their one tactic and you have to respect it,” said Lovren, according to BBC Sport. “They waited for their chance and scored. They played every game like that.

“I’m disappointed because we lost the game but played much better football than them.”

The defender is set for a three-week holiday now before returning to Liverpool a week before the new Premier League season gets underway.

U23s’ opponents revealed for PL International Cup

 Liverpool's manager Neil Critchley during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds’ U23 side will again take part in the Premier League International Cup competition this term.

A 24-team tournament, half are Premier League 2 teams and the other half are from club academies around Europe, with a group stage and knock-out format. The Reds reached the semi-finals last season, losing to Porto B.

This year, Liverpool will face Hertha Berlin, Villarreal and Swansea City in the group stage.

Neil Critchley will again lead the team as U23 boss.

Adam Lewis called up for England duty

 Liverpool's Adam Lewis celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group E match between Liverpool and Spartak Moscow FC at the Spartak Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The World Cup might be over but the international tournaments are still ongoing.

This week, the U19 European Championships get underway and the Reds will have one representative in the England team, with left-back Adam Lewis in the squad.

The tournament takes place in Finland and England are the reigning holders from last year.

Lewis could first be in action on Tuesday, with England facing Turkey.

Reds ‘make offer’ for Cillessen

 The Netherlands' captain Arjen Robben, goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen and Jeffrey Bruma before the International Friendly match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first of two bids that Liverpool have seemingly made—though not yet reported by any hugely credible source.

French Canal+ journalist Romain Collet-Gaudin tweeted on Monday that the Reds have made an offer for Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, but included no details on fee or whether it was accepted.

By contrast, the Mail’s Dominic King rejected the notion an offer had been made.

Want to know more on Cillessen either way? We’ve got you covered right here.

Can the Vida links please stop

 Croatia's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Semi-Final match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium. Croatia won 2-1 after extra-time. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dejan Lovren in dreamland: Liverpool want to pair him at the back with international team-mate Domagoj Vida.

Perhaps something got lost in translation when Reds fans were talking about pairing up Virgil van Dijk with Matthijs de Ligt?

Anyway, the Mirror cite Turkish reports as suggesting the Reds have gone back in with a new offer for Vida.

£20 million is the price this time, with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla also interested. Besiktas want £30 million. Let’s end the ‘bidding war’ here, then.

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Available now: LFC's 'back to school' range

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 15:52
Liverpool FC's 'back to school' essentials collection is available to buy online and in store now.
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Available now: LFC's 'back to school' range

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 15:52

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U23s to face Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in PL International Cup

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:59
Liverpool U23s have been drawn to play Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in the group stages of the 2018-19 Premier League International Cup.
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U23s to face Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in PL International Cup

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:59

Liverpool U23s have been drawn to play Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in the group stages of the 2018-19 Premier League International Cup.

No dates or venues have yet been confirmed for these fixtures.

The Premier League International Cup consists of 12 Premier League 2 teams and 12 U23 sides from elite academies across Europe, split into six groups of four.

The six group winners and two best runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals, while all group game matches and knockout ties will be one-off matches.

Last season, Neil Critchley's side got to the last eight, where they lost 2-1 to eventual winners FC Porto B.

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Klopp sets World Cup quartet's LFC return date

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:15
Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet are scheduled to report for Liverpool duty on August 5.
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Klopp sets World Cup quartet's LFC return date

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:15

Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet are scheduled to report for Liverpool duty on August 5.

The quartet were the Reds’ last participants at the World Cup, with Lovren playing in Croatia's defeat in Sunday’s final after Henderson and Alexander-Arnold’s England had lost to Mignolet’s Belgium in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

All four will now take a near-three-week break and are set to return to their club seven days before Liverpool host West Ham United in their opening game of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

Klopp said: “They are back as well at August 5, I think, then we have proper week to prepare the season.”

The boss has already confirmed that new signing Xherdan Shaqiri will be involved in the Reds' tour of the USA, with Roberto Firmino to report at the subsequent pre-season training camp in France.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic, meanwhile, will travel with Liverpool to America.

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Adam Lewis named in England's U19 Euros squad

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:11
Adam Lewis has been called up by England for the U19 European Championship.
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Liverpool 'increase offer' for Domagoj Vida

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 11:53
Liverpool have reportedly made an increased offer of £20million for Croatia defender Domagoj Vida.
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Liverpool 'increase offer' for Domagoj Vida

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 11:53

Liverpool have reportedly made an increased offer of £20million for Croatia defender Domagoj Vida.

The Besiktas man enjoyed a successful World Cup in Russia as he helped his side to Sunday's final in Moscow.

He has been linked with a subsequent move away from Turkey with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla joining Liverpool in the race for his signature.

According to reports in Turkey, the Anfield club have doubled down on their efforts to land Vida who has also attracted the attention of Everton and Leicester.

Besiktas are believed to want more then £30m for the player.

A spokesman for the club said: "“We have received offers for Vida and we are considering them but that does not mean he will definitely leave.

“Every player has a price, we will make a final decision in accordance with our budget and interests.”

Source: 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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Dejan Lovren: We can be proud of what we achieved

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 11:46
Dejan Lovren acknowledged Croatia’s disappointment at losing out in the World Cup final to France on Sunday, but insisted his country should be proud of their achievements.
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July 16: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 16/07/2018 - 11:00
Visit our dedicated Media Watch section for all of the latest LFC-related transfer speculation and newspaper stories.
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Heartbreak for Lovren in World Cup final

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 19:55
Dejan Lovren's Croatia saw their World Cup dream dashed at the final hurdle as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to France in Sunday's showpiece fixture.
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Heartbreak for Lovren in World Cup final

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 19:55

Dejan Lovren's Croatia saw their World Cup dream dashed at the final hurdle as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to France in Sunday's showpiece fixture.

The Liverpool defender played another 90 minutes as his country dominated large swathes of proceedings in Moscow but were edged out by a clinical French outfit.

Didier Deschamps' men went ahead early through Mario Mandzukic's own goal before Ivan Perisic thrashed in a deserved equaliser after pinball in the box.

But France were in front again before the break as Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty after Perisic was deemed to have handled in the area following a VAR review.

Les Bleus pulled away in the second period with Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe both netting, but Mandzukic offered Croatia hope when he punished a Hugo Lloris mistake to bring his nation within two goals.

However, the French expertly slowed things down from that point on, securing their second World Cup victory as a result.

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Lyon president opens door for Fekir move

HEAD NEWS - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 16:22

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is open to Liverpool renewing their efforts to sign Nabil Fekir.

Jürgen Klopp is still keen on signing an attacking midfielder having already signed Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer.

And Lyon chairman Aulas believes there's a chance Fekir will still end up at Anfield before the transfer window closes next month.

"It seems to me that Liverpool could come back in," he said in an interview with le10sport. "That's what I've read in the press, but I've not been told anything.

"His transfer failed in June, but he hasn't been affected by it. He is focused on the World Cup, and he still has his heart in Lyon.

"Nabil is much closer to Lyon today than he was when we talked to Liverpool.

"Maybe he will go to Liverpool, or another club, but if he stays at Lyon, it will be a great year for him and for us."

Fekir has in recent weeks been linked with interest from a number of clubs including Real Madrid and Manchester United, but it's believed he has set his heart on a move to Liverpool.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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

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Lyon president opens door for Fekir move

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 16:22
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is open to Liverpool renewing their efforts to sign Nabil Fekir.
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Lyon president opens door for Fekir move

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 16:22

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is open to Liverpool renewing their efforts to sign Nabil Fekir.

Jürgen Klopp is still keen on signing an attacking midfielder having already signed Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer.

And Lyon chairman Aulas believes there's a chance Fekir will still end up at Anfield before the transfer window closes next month.

"It seems to me that Liverpool could come back in," he said in an interview with le10sport. "That's what I've read in the press, but I've not been told anything.

"His transfer failed in June, but he hasn't been affected by it. He is focused on the World Cup, and he still has his heart in Lyon.

"Nabil is much closer to Lyon today than he was when we talked to Liverpool.

"Maybe he will go to Liverpool, or another club, but if he stays at Lyon, it will be a great year for him and for us."

Fekir has in recent weeks been linked with interest from a number of clubs including Real Madrid and Manchester United, but it's believed he has set his heart on a move to Liverpool.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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

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Academy duo relishing pre-season opportunities

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 13:56
Nathaniel Phillips and Pedro Chirivella picked up welcome minutes in the Liverpool first team on Saturday as they featured in a 0-0 friendly draw with Bury.
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Academy duo relishing pre-season opportunities

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 15/07/2018 - 13:56

Nathaniel Phillips and Pedro Chirivella picked up welcome minutes in the Liverpool first team on Saturday as they featured in a 0-0 friendly draw with Bury.

And the Academy pair are keen to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way during a period that offers numerous chances to impress manager Jürgen Klopp.

Phillips made his third appearance of pre-season on Saturday, coming on at half-time to help the Reds secure a clean sheet alongside Ragnar Klavan.

Reflecting on his recent first-team involvement, the defender told Liverpoolfc.com: "At the moment I’m just trying to relish every opportunity I get given because I know in football opportunities are few and far between.

"So any chance I get in front of the manager is like a blessing really. I’ve just got to make the most of it."

Highlights: Liverpool play out draw at Bury

The next target for the Bolton-born centre-back is to secure a place in the squad for the upcoming tour of the United States.

Asked about the prospect, he added: "I’d say so, yes, but I’ve got to take each step at a time. 

"It’s not that far around the corner and there will be players returning from the World Cup so if I can hold my place [in the squad] that will be one thing accomplished."

Chirivella, meanwhile, is aiming to make an impact at Anfield after enjoying a successful loan stint at Dutch outfit Willem II last season.

He said: "It was a good period. I played a lot of minutes that I needed. I think I’ve come back in better shape physically and hopefully I can get more minutes."

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