Liverpool are reportedly eyeing up a £20million move for Schalke's USA international midfielder Weston McKennie.
Born in Texas, the 20-year-old is a versatile player who is able to play in both defence and attack.
McKennie has played 45 times for Schalke's first team since first breaking into the side in May 2017.
His exploits for the Bundesliga outfit has seen him called up to US senior squad, scoring on his debut against Portugal in November that year.
McKennie was part of the American side that lost 3-0 against England at Wembley last year.
He has featured 19 times for Schalke so far this season, scoring twice, and he has reportedly attracted the attention of Kop chiefs, according to a report cited by talkSPORT.
Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of players who can operate in several positions, and the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss could raid his former rivals for a deal either now or in the summer.
Source: Daily Mirror
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
The difficulty involved in Liverpool's win at Crystal Palace earlier this season will be in their minds for the return meeting at Anfield on Saturday, explained Fabinho.
Late goals in either half at Selhurst Park secured the Reds a hard-fought 2-0 victory in the second game of the Premier League campaign last August.
Roy Hodgson brings his Eagles to Merseyside tomorrow, with the home side holding a four-point advantage at the summit after beating Brighton and Hove Albion.
An awareness of Palace’s threats will influence Liverpool’s mental approach to the encounter, though they aim to be on the front foot from the off insists Fabinho.
The Brazil international spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about the match, the necessity for players to be bold on the ball, how he can use his experience as a Ligue 1 title winner in England, and more…
You’re back at Anfield this weekend when Crystal Palace visit. They were the last away team to win a league game there, almost two years ago. Is there a secret to your home form?
Liverpool are really consistent and defensively sound. We’re a team that attacks, we’ve always got a lot of numbers in the opposition half. When it comes to a player putting a cross in, there are always lots of bodies in the opposition box for us. And despite not being a defensive-minded team, we’re always ready to go on the counter-attack, our system is set up for that. The team is going through a great patch, every player’s confidence is sky high, and all of this has contributed to the team’s good form.
Liverpool tend to dominate possession in these games. How much onus is on the midfielders and the defenders to be creative and brave on the ball?
Yes, the last game was an example of this. We had a lot of possession, Brighton put a lot of men behind the ball, so we had to be patient and try to work hard to find an opening to split the defence and get the ball to our forwards. It was difficult but when we got behind them we managed to cause them problems. Perhaps the game this weekend will be similar in this regard. We’ve got to be patient and not squander possession with silly passes. We’ve got to play on the attack and try to get through their defence but while being patient, knowing if we get the ball to our attackers they can cause a lot of damage to the opponent.
You’ll know how dangerous Palace can be from their win at Manchester City. Was that a good reminder that every game in the Premier League needs 100 per cent focus?
Yes, no doubt about it. This is the most closely-fought league in the world. Any team can take points off any other team, as was the case with Crystal Palace playing against Man City. In our first encounter of the season, it was a really challenging game – we won 2-0 but it was a really tough game. They’ve got a great team and some great attackers. It’s another motivation that we’re playing at home. We’ll try to play our game and create as many chances as possible, but while always bearing in mind that they’re a dangerous team that can cause us damage.
You were involved in a successful title campaign with Monaco two years ago; what can you use from that experience as you try to do the same with Liverpool in the coming months?
It’s true that I did well in that league but it’s a different league. We won the league; I think it helped me for the future, as is the case now. We have to take things game by game. Our next ‘final’ is against Crystal Palace and we really have to treat this game as if it were a final. There’s still a long way to go, it’s a long league season, so we have to keep calm, take things game by game and keep going.
Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference live and free from 1.30pm GMT on Friday.
The Liverpool boss is set to address the media at Melwood ahead of Saturday's home game against Crystal Palace.
Return to this page shortly before 1.30pm to watch Klopp's briefing live and in full via our official YouTube channel.
A lifelong Liverpool fan has been given a birthday to remember by the club.
Local supporter Bernard Sheridan will celebrate his 104th birthday on January 25 and received a surprise visit this week to mark his forthcoming special day.
As a thank-you for his 96 years of support, LFC’s fan experience team called in to see Bernard at home at RMBI’s The Tithebarn in Crosby and presented him with Reds gifts - including a signed flag and birthday cake - alongside a personal letter from the manager, Jürgen Klopp.
“I’ve been a proud Liverpool fan since I was a boy and have supported the club through thick and thin, so I’m absolutely thrilled to receive these gifts,” he said.
“A win against Crystal Palace on Saturday will be the icing on the cake.”
Wavertree-born Bernard, who went to his first game in 1923, will be at Anfield on Saturday to cheer on the team alongside his son, who has travelled from Canada to join the celebrations.
On January 18, 1997, more than 40,000 fans inside Anfield witnessed a rarity - although they probably didn't realise it at the time.
Academy graduate Jamie Carragher, who had made his Liverpool debut as a substitute against Middlesbrough just 10 days earlier, scored for the Reds.
The strike initiated a 3-0 win over Aston Villa and, on the Scouser's first start in front of the fans that would come to adore him, helped launch an incredible 16-year playing career with Liverpool.
A one-club man, the Bootle-born defender would go on to achieve some awesome feats in a red shirt. He won the treble in 2001 and gallantly battled through cramp in extra-time against AC Milan to triumph in the greatest Champions League final ever played in 2005.
But a prolific goal return is not among them.
Just four more would follow over the Liverpool legend's 737 appearances for the club.
His second arrived almost exactly two years later, in a 7-1 win against Southampton, with his third, fourth and fifth coming in respective victories against FBK Kaunas (2005), Fulham (2006) and Middlesbrough (2008).
It's an unusual quirk for a player who began his youth career as a striker - and scored past iconic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon as an England U16, as he'll happily tell you - before going on to become one of Liverpool's greatest ever defenders.
Used as a utility man in his breakthrough years at LFC, he was featuring in midfield when his perfectly-timed header from Stig Inge Bjornebye's corner delivered that first goal of his career.
"Of all the preparations I'd considered, celebrating a goal was not one of them," Carragher later reflected.
"You spend years dreaming of such a moment, visualising how it will play out and how it will feel. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience you can never explain or understand. Suffice to say, having 40,000 supporters cheering you is spine-tingling."
Andy Robertson today committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract with the club – and immediately explained why it was one of the easiest decisions he's ever made.
The full-back put pen to paper on the deal at Melwood on Thursday just 18 months after initially arriving from Hull City.
Moments after inking his new terms, Robertson sat down with Liverpoolfc.com at the Reds’ training complex to outline why he was so eager to complete the formalities as quickly as possible.
The Scotland captain also reflected on a whirlwind first 18 months at the club, during which he’s established himself as a regular in Jürgen Klopp’s starting line-up and made 56 appearances to date, as well as detailing his aims for the future.
Watch our exclusive interview with Robertson now, or scroll down to read the transcript in full...
Andy, congratulations on signing a new long-term deal with the club. How does it feel to have it done and dusted and to have committed your future here?
I’m delighted. Obviously it takes time, but staying at this club is something I wanted to do. I’m glad to put pen to paper and hopefully there are a lot more successful years ahead at this club.
The boss said it was done in ‘record quick time’…
Yeah, as soon as the club came to me, it was a no-brainer for me – I want to stay here, so as soon as they put an offer on the table it was signed as quickly as that. It was a pretty easy contract for me and I’m sure for the club as well. We both agreed very quickly, that’s why it’s been done so quickly.
Now it is done, what are you feeling?
As I said, delighted and over the moon. Since I came in the door, I obviously had a bit of a frustrating start, but I’ve loved every minute of it. Getting to know the lads and working with all the staff at Melwood has been a pleasure. The best thing about work is when you love coming in every day – and that’s what I do here. I am glad I have extended my stay and hopefully we have a lot of good days ahead.
What kind of emotions have you gone through, from the beginning of the talks to now?
I think this time I didn’t have the time to really have any emotions! Some can drag out and there can be a lot of emotions, but this one was fairly easy, so [my emotions] were ones of happiness that they wanted to offer me a new contract. As quickly as that, it was signed. Emotions have been very positive the whole way through it and when you sign it, it’s a bit of a relief that it’s signed and finally done. This has definitely been the best one I’ve negotiated and done; it’s been pretty stress-free, which is always a bonus.
Get the new white colourway of the official 2018-19 New Balance training range at liverpoolfc.com/store from 9am GMT on January 18.
It’s the second contract you’ve signed here. How are you a different player and person to the lad who walked through the doors at Melwood 18 months ago?
When I walked in the door, it felt as if I had to kind of prove myself to everyone – all of the lads and all of the staff, more importantly, and the fans of course. Now I feel an established member of this squad and I think that’s the biggest difference – I feel comfortable in my surroundings, playing for such a massive club. I love playing with all of the lads and I hope they respect me as a player now. I’m sure they did at the time, but they probably didn’t know much about me, so it’s always nice to come in and prove yourself, see yourself progressing every day and I feel as if I am still improving.
A lot of people talk about your journey over the course of your career and how far you’ve come, but in the last 18 months things have really developed for you too…
Yeah, I’ve probably been on a journey within a journey really, if you look at the last 18 months. After I got into the team, I did touch on that the first three months were hard because it was the first time I’d ever experienced that and it was something I had to deal with. Looking back on it, I certainly learned a lot from it, I took everything in without probably noticing that I was learning every single day. That’s what helped me to move in and take my chance when it came. From that moment, I’ve not really looked back. The journey we’ve all been on in the last 18 months – not just myself – has been incredible. We were close to a Champions League, which was disappointing but an incredible journey for us all. Now we sit where we are in the league, so hopefully the journey continues. The last 18 months I can look back upon with a lot of fond memories.
You feel that initial period has made you a better player?
Of course. It made me a better player probably more mentally, but also physically as well in terms of the demands of playing for Liverpool, how fit you need to be and how on your game you have to be every single game. That’s what, luckily, I’ve done. Mentally, it really set me up and helped me with the attitude and mentally towards playing for this big club. I feel as though I’ve dealt with it well since then.
Would you say the boss has played a big role in your development?
Yes, huge. I think he helps with the development of all the players. People come in as probably a lot more the finished article than what I did when I came in, but he still helps them in every single way. For me, he’s been different class since the moment I walked in. It was hard at the start, but it didn’t mean that he wasn’t talking to me or helping to improve me as a player. I believed my chance would come and I am sure so did he, so he was trying to get me best prepared for it. Our relationship has been good since the very start and hopefully it will last longer with the contract being signed!
You mentioned it earlier, but the staff here too – how important have they been to you?
There are so many of them, but you go around every single one of them and they’re all first class at what they do. Some of them get more credit than others of course, that’s the way football works, but the team behind the team as such is second to none. They’re the ones that get us fit and keep us playing every single game; if you have injuries or you’re coming back from injury, they get you fully fit. These are the people that don’t get the credit they deserve, but all of the players appreciate them so much and they’re what make this training ground so special to come into every day.
So, in the last 18 months, a regular starter for Liverpool, a Champions League final, the Scotland captaincy, a title challenge and now a new contract with the club. Not bad…
Yeah, it’s not bad! In probably just over the space of the year, it’s all happened quite quickly but it’s all been so positive. The captaincy for Scotland was massive for me and something I was delighted with. Getting to the final of the Champions League is something I’ll always remember. As I said, it did end in disappointment, but it was an incredible journey. The title challenge is still ongoing, but it is something we hope we can look back upon with happiness – that’s still to be seen and there’s still a lot of hard work for that to happen. Over the last year or so, it’s been incredible for me and the stuff I’ve ticked off and done is really good. I am sure the day I retire and sit back to look at my career, that’ll be one of the biggest years of it.
Yeah, it’s probably why my eyes are a wee bit heavier than they probably were when I walked through the door! I have two children and that’s probably my biggest achievement. I love my family – I am a big family person – so to bring two children into the world, there is no better feeling. I think me and my Mrs are doing quite a good job of bringing them up, especially her! It’s always nice to bring kids into the world and we’ve been lucky to do that. One is only a week old, so she won’t know much, but it’s an incredible feeling – there’s probably not quite another feeling like it.
How has the sleep been in the last week?
It’s been OK! It’s been up and down, but we’ve just been trying to grab our sleep when and if we can take it. There’ve probably been a few late mornings when we’ve slept in, but every parent knows it’s just about survival in the first couple of weeks! That’s what we’ve done; we’ve had a lot of help from our families, our parents, which always helps and means we can catch up on sleep. Of course, I need to be ready to play games and train at the highest level – and by doing that, sleep is so important. They’ve been a massive help to us.
You’re part of a defence that’s conceded just 10 goals in the league so far this season. How pleased are you with the work that you and the team are doing in that regard?
I think all of the defenders have spoken about it – we defend as an 11. Our front three are so important to the way we defend and if they don’t press to start then our defending doesn’t really work. They work so hard and the midfield do some shift in there, they cover all the ground and maybe don’t get the credit they deserve. The defence has been highlighted this season, of course, and for the goalkeeper to only concede 10 goals is incredible. We need to make sure we keep that going because if you keep a clean sheet then at least you’re not going to get beat, that’s for sure, so that’s the attitude we’ve taken this season. You’ve probably seen a different team when we’ve gone 1-0 up and look comfortable in defence; we feel as if we can defend leads now, that’s probably one of the main keys – our mentality towards defending and keeping clean sheets has been second to none. That’s why we’ve probably kept so many this season.
Virgil van Dijk told us recently it’s important the praise for such records is shared out among the team. It is a collective effort, isn’t it?
Of course. But he is also the first to say that he will probably take the flak if the defence starts doing badly, just because of his stature and his transfer fee and stuff, so I think it’s a fair point. He is a great player and is very much about sharing the credit and stuff like that. I am sure he gets a lot of praise, but when he gets the chance to praise others he always does it and that’s why he’s one of the best. He is getting better as well, he is somebody that is improving and you can see him improving every day. People might think he is the finished article, but I think he’s still got a lot to give and I’m sure he’d agree with that.
Do you feel personally there’s more to come from you?
Every day that I come into training I feel as if I am improving on something. I am still young enough at 24 that I hope my best is still to come, that I can get better at the things that maybe are a small weakness or whatever. It’s about improving on them every day and the things you think are strengths, to try to get better at. I feel as if I have done that – this season I have already got more assists than last season, which is massive for me because I wanted to give more in attack and make my final ball a bit better. This season I feel it has been better, but it can still improve. As a defence we’ve improved and of course, defensively, I feel as if I have improved under that. I am happy with that side of the game as well, getting better and better and I hope there is still a lot more to come.
Speaking of assists, how is the competition going with Trent?
It’s going good from my perspective! It’s been put on pause unfortunately for the next couple of weeks because we’ve obviously lost him to injury, which is a massive disappointment. He is somebody that has got the attitude to get back as quickly as possible, as quickly as his body allows him, so I am sure we will see him back on the park again soon and we can start that competition again. I just want him to get back fit and back playing because he is a massive part of this squad and will be a big miss, but we’ve got people who will fill the gap for these games and I am sure they will do it well.
There’s a genuine bond among the players here. How significant has that been in terms of allowing the team to develop?
It’s been huge. When you walk into the dressing room, you see that it is genuine closeness – it’s not put on as a front or whatever, it’s lads who enjoy playing with each other and enjoy spending time with each other. We spend a lot of time together, whether it’s in hotels or in training every day – sometimes you see players more than your families, so they’re probably your second family! We are all really close and that helps on the pitch. Off the pitch, we’ve been quite lucky that things haven’t went wrong, but when things do then we all pull together and all push in the right direction. That can only be a benefit to this club.
You’ve built quite a rapport with the supporters. What does that mean to you?
They’re massive as to what this club relies on, as such. They sell out every single game and make a great noise for all of the players. All the players have a really good relationship with the fans. It always helps when you’re winning games, of course it does – all fans are happy when you’re winning and luckily we’ve won our fair share of games this season and the fans have been excellent. Home and away, they follow us all around the country so credit to all of them and hopefully we can keep giving them something to celebrate about. That’s our main aim because if the fans are happy then we’re doing something right.
They’ve even got a couple of songs for you… and even more memes…
I obviously hear the songs. It’s always nice [to hear]. When the fans sing any of the lads’ names, I am sure it gives them all a lift because if they appreciate you then it is the best feeling. They’ve sang my song a few times and it is nice to hear it. It can give you a lift in the game. A lot more of the lads are getting songs now and they’re all getting appreciated. It was one of the big things for Virgil, I think – to get a song. He is delighted, I heard him singing it in the changing room a couple of days ago – he loves it! It helps all of the lads, of course. I’ve not really seen the memes, but I am sure there are a few kicking about. A couple of my pals have sent me them, it’s probably just me acting daft.
They’re mainly of you running...
Ah well, then – there you go! I always try to run and my attitude towards games is to give 100 per cent. I might not be at my best in games, but I will always give my all. It’s what I try to do every single game.
What are you hoping to achieve over the course of this new deal?
I hope to achieve success as a team. This club demands trophies and too long has probably passed without trophies. I hope to bring another couple of trophies to this club and help push in that direction because the fans demand it and the club demands it, so that’s what we aim to give. We came close, of course we have with the Champions League and things like that, but it’s about taking that next step and hopefully getting a winner’s medal around your neck, whatever competition it is. Whether we do it this season or next, or the one after that, it has to be the main aim for us.
Lastly, we always like to ask players if they have a message for the supporters at this point, so what would yours be to them?
I’d like to say to them thank you for your continued support for the team because, like I touched on, it’s a massive part for us that Anfield is sold out every single game, the away ends are always jam-packed in every game we play in. It gives us a lift, of course it does, when the fans are singing, getting behind the boys and making a great noise, especially at Anfield. It can lead us to victory – it has done this season. We’ve got a big run-in until the end of the season and we need everyone pulling in the right direction, especially the fans. They’ve been great so far and if they continue it then hopefully we can all be a part of something special.
Jürgen Klopp detailed his delight at the news Andy Robertson has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool, explaining how negotiations were concluded in 'almost record time' such was his eagerness to commit his future to the club.
The full-back put pen to paper on the deal at Melwood on Thursday having firmly established himself as a regular in the manager’s starting line-ups since his transfer from Hull City in July 2017.
“I think of all the contract renewals I have been involved with, this one was done in almost record time,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. “It’s fair to say Robbo didn’t hesitate for even a second when we spoke about extending his stay at our club for longer.
“I remember when we signed him back in the summer of 2017, I spoke a lot about ‘his story, his journey’ and how much I loved it and thought it pointed to the type of person and player he would be for us. He has exceeded these expectations.
“He might be from Glasgow originally, but everything about him screams Liverpool.
“It has been fantastic to see him grow, develop and improve. It was not the easiest of starts for him maybe, because we are blessed with another fantastic left-back in Alberto Moreno. He had to be patient - he had to be ready when his chance came and his progression since is an example to any player joining us.
“Everyone knows about his personality, on and off the pitch, but maybe we are guilty at times of overlooking his quality. Ask those who play against him - be it matchday or training - and they speak about his technical and tactical qualities, just as much as his character and heart.
“Our supporters have fallen in love with him, he has fallen in love with them - and both he and his amazing young family are very much at home in Liverpool.
“It’s fantastic this will now be their home for even longer.”
Get the new white colourway of the official 2018-19 New Balance training range at liverpoolfc.com/store from 9am GMT on January 18.
Our photographer was with Andy Robertson to capture a special moment in his Liverpool career with the signing of a new long-term contract at Melwood on Thursday.
The Reds left-back penned a fresh deal after an opening 18 months of constant progress since joining the club from Hull City.
"Over the moon," were the words Robertson used to describe his delight with the development - as you can see in the gallery of pictures below.
Get the new white colourway of the official 2018-19 New Balance training range at liverpoolfc.com/store from 9am GMT on January 18.
Andy Robertson pledged that his best is still to come after signing a new long-term contract with Liverpool.
It was announced on Thursday that the left-back has committed his future to the club he joined from Hull City in the summer of 2017.
And, shortly after putting pen to paper at Melwood, Robertson told Liverpoolfc.com of his desire to continue progressing on a daily basis.
“Every day that I come into training I feel as if I am improving on something,” said the Scotland captain.
“I am still young enough at 24 that I hope my best is still to come, that I can get better at the things that maybe are a small weakness or whatever. It’s about improving on them every day and the things you think are strengths, to try to get better at.
“I feel as if I have done that - this season I have already got more assists than last season, which is massive for me because I wanted to give more in attack and make my final ball a bit better.
“This season I feel it has been better, but it can still improve. As a defence we’ve improved and of course, defensively, I feel as if I have improved under that.
“I am happy with that side of the game as well, getting better and better and I hope there is still a lot more to come.”
Sustaining the ‘winning mentality’ they have cultivated so far this season is key if Liverpool’s are to achieve their ambitions, Xherdan Shaqiri believes.
The Reds sit four points clear at the top of the Premier League having lost just one of their 22 top-flight matches so far this term, and have a last-16 tie with Bayern Munich on the horizon in the Champions League.
Shaqiri is well-versed in the art of winning trophies from his spells with FC Basel and Bayern, and the Swiss knows there can be no let-up in terms of attitude and application as the campaign moves towards its conclusion.
“Obviously the coach tries to take the pressure always out of the players, that’s pretty normal, but if you see you have a chance to go through to win something then you have to take this mentality in you and to bring it on the pitch,” the No.23 says, on the latest edition of LFC Later.
“Until now, how we worked was very, very good and everything [was] top, but we have to keep going until the end. That’s the difficulty.
“I think the mentality, every single player here has to have the winning mentality. Even if you don’t play you have to believe this and to make a winning mentality in the dressing room. First of all to win games and to go on the pitch and say ‘we just want to win this game, nothing else’, that is very important.
“You also have to be patient sometimes [like we were in] many games we had this season. You can see how mature the team is because you learn a lot from these type of games.
“Until now, we did very, very good, but there is a long way to go.”
Watch Shaqiri star on the latest episode of LFC Later at 9pm GMT on Thursday on LFCTV or catch up on demand on LFCTV GO.
Liverpool's meeting with Crystal Palace this Saturday stirs memories of the last time the Eagles visited Anfield, back in August 2017.
Not that it was the most memorable of games but that hard-fought victory, sealed by Sadio Mane’s late goal, was significant for another reason – it was the only 1-0 win the Reds recorded last season.
Considering Jürgen Klopp’s side contested 56 fixtures across four competitions, it is quite the striking statistic, especially when compared to the current campaign.
With 30 games under their belt this term, the Reds appear to have become 1-0 specialists, winning by that scoreline on five occasions to date, four times in the Premier League and once in the Champions League.
But what does this streak of results tell us about Liverpool this season, and how far does it go towards explaining why they’re 13 points and three positions better off in the Premier League than they were at this point last term?
Their quintet of 1-0 wins, spanning from late August to last weekend and bookended by home and away successes over Brighton and Hove Albion, don’t follow an established template.
At home to Brighton and away to Huddersfield Town, the Reds scored in the first 25 minutes and saw the game out; at the Amex Stadium they struck shortly after half-time; and most unforgettably of all, Divock Origi’s winner in the Merseyside derby arrived in the 96th minute.
December’s defeat of Napoli, meanwhile, stands out as one of Liverpool’s most dominant attacking performances of the season and a match that could have been won by a wider margin in the event of slightly sharper finishing on the night.
If there is a common thread running through the five games, though, it is the decisive brilliance of the man that scored the winner in all of them bar the derby: Mohamed Salah.
The No.11 has not only demonstrated his penalty-kick prowess but lived up to another oft-repeated cliché – that of the piece of magic sometimes needed to decide a tight game. His goals against Brighton at Anfield, Huddersfield and Napoli were all remarkably similar, the Egyptian managing to find space in behind deep-lying defences on the right side of the box and sending precise low finishes across goal.
The club’s own history books provide plenty of evidence for correlation between 1-0 wins and seasons that reach satisfying conclusions.
Liverpool claimed seven 1-0 wins in the old First Division when Bob Paisley won his first league title as manager in 1975-76, and that figure stayed at seven then rose to eight as the Reds retained their title then finished second in the following two campaigns.
Even Kenny Dalglish’s 1987-88 squad – so renowned for their exhilarating attacking style – knew the value of a good 1-0 win, recording four of them in the league and seven in all competitions.
And 1983-84 was positively strewn with 1-0 victories, Joe Fagan’s treble winners responsible for 12 of them, including six in the league, one in every round of their triumphant European Cup campaign barring the final, and one in the League Cup final replay against Everton.
Klopp’s men haven’t forgotten how to entertain, however, as evidenced by their five goals past Arsenal and four-goal hauls against West Ham United, Red Star Belgrade, Cardiff City, Bournemouth and Newcastle United.
And, of course, 1-0 wins don’t guarantee anything as far as silverware is concerned, as the side that accrued 10 and finished third under Rafael Benitez in 2005-06 could attest.
But it is certainly a useful weapon to add to the armoury in the continuing development of Klopp’s Liverpool.
Liverpool FC’s Red Neighbours community programme is celebrating two successful years supporting local residents and schools in the Anfield area.
Since launching in January 2017, the dedicated team of LFC staff have worked with local people, community groups and key stakeholders to create events and experiences that support four key areas of need: food poverty and education, support for the elderly community, encouraging a physically active community and creating memorable experiences for young people.
Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours manager, said: “We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in just two years. This birthday is a great opportunity to reflect on all the achievements, and also to say thank you to the local community and the volunteers who support us year-round.”
Food poverty and education
As well as inviting hundreds of families to enjoy free breakfasts at Anfield during school holidays throughout the year, during the last two years the Red Neighbours team has worked alongside Fans Supporting Foodbanks to collect 13,582.7kg of items for North Liverpool Foodbank. This amount of non-perishable foods and toiletries equates to 913 emergency three-day food parcels, providing over 32,850 meals for 3,651 local people in crisis within the L4, L5 and L6 areas.
Support for the elderly community
The Red Neighbours team continues to visit local care homes and host monthly Monday Clubs at Anfield, where local pensioners can socialise while enjoying refreshments and a variety of entertainment.
Also, in a bid to tackle social isolation amongst the older community, each year in December the Red Neighbours team welcomes local pensioners to Anfield to enjoy a complimentary three-course Christmas lunch, catering for more than 1,300 people in the last two years.
Creating memorable experiences for young people
The Red Neighbours team has built excellent relationships with all 25 schools in and around Anfield, to ensure that the club can provide memorable experiences for their pupils.
First-team players have visited the schools to meet the children, while the Red Neighbours team has arranged numerous trip to Melwood, educational projects within the schools and special matchday opportunities.
In just two years, the Red Neighbours team has as provided 2,200 free tickets for Premier League homes games to school children in the local community.
Encouraging a physically active community
The Red Neighbours’ physical activity sessions continue to grow in popularity. In the last 12 months, Chair Based Yoga sessions were added to the weekly Red Neighbours calendar, and Walking Football sessions now take place twice a week due to popular demand.
During the last two years, over 300 local over 50s have attended walking football sessions.
To find out more about our projects and regular events, visit the community section on the LFC website here: https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/community.
A group of local pupils headed to Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium on Tuesday to compete in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge.
Four students, from Woodchurch High School on the Wirral, were selected to represent LFC Foundation at the national competition.
PL Enterprise works with football clubs to deliver enterprise education to young people throughout the country, aiming to inspire participants, increase their aspirations and develop their business skills.
As part of the competition, entrants are set a football business challenge and this year’s task was to present a proposal focused on attracting more young people to Anfield.
The youngsters engaged in a skills workshop hosted by Ernst Young and enjoyed a stadium tour before they presented their ideas, which centred around increasing LFC Foundation’s involvement with universities and improved matchday entertainment.
The PL Enterprise Challenge was launched in 2009 and works with 34 Premier League and English Football League clubs to engage around 850 young people every season. To date, more than 11,000 young people have been involved, with around 170 schools taking part each year.
Seeing Ashley Hodson back out on the training field has given everyone in the Liverpool FC Women's camp a huge boost.
The long-serving attacker has been sidelined since May when she suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage following an awkward fall in training.
But the 23-year-old, who came through the club's centre of excellence and development squad teams, has maintained a positive mindset throughout and is targeting a return to action next month.
"It's been going really well," Hodson explained.
"I'm back in training now so it's just a process of building myself back up to the same fitness levels as everybody else so I can be in the best place possible when I come back.
"We tend not to put a scale on it because there can be setbacks along the way, but I'm hopeful that I will be back for a few months before the end of the season.
"Now I need to play a few games for the development squad to get my match fitness back and hopefully by February, I'll be ready to go."
Hodson, who has the highest number of first-team appearances to her name in the Reds' squad, admits she had an anxious summer when the club had a managerial change.
"It was hard, especially to know that when we got a new manager I was going to be out for a while," she said.
"That was a really scary process for me because I was thinking, 'does he want me, does he not?' and obviously I was never going to be able to prove to him what I could do. I just had to be patient.
"Fortunately Neil Redfearn was very reassuring when he came in and so has Vick [Vicky Jepson] been now. That was good to know because obviously I was sat on a bit of uncertainty so it was really nice for me to hear that I was still wanted. That probably pushed me on more to want to get back."
Hodson's mental strength has come into play and she has always remained positive during the lonely months of rehabilitation.
She added: "I've had this kind of injury before and I think that has helped me.
"Being able to get back out on the grass with the girls has been a big thing for me.
"We have had a lot of change in the playing staff since last season and when all the girls are out on the pitch, that's when you get to know each other the best.
"Then I was in the gym on my own, it was hard but the girls have all really welcomed me back onto the pitch.
"When I was being integrated back into it, they were patient with me because it is hard to come back in after a long time out. They've all been really supportive and we've got a really good team bond here.”
Hodson was delighted to see Jepson named as manager having previously worked under her in the club's age group teams.
"I was really happy for Vick and obviously I have a lot of trust in her," she stated.
"I've worked with her throughout the centre of excellence and the development squad so I was really excited when I heard that she was going to be the manager.”
Hodson also paid tribute to the efforts of physiotherapist Hina Chauhan, who has helped facilitate her return.
She said: "I literally can't thank Hina enough. I've been a pain in her backside the whole time, constantly asking her questions but she's been my rock.
"I've spent a lot of time with her and got to know her really well. She knows me really well now too and we work really well together. That's probably why my rehab's gone so well.”
Chauhan added: "Ash has been doing fantastically well. It's hard when you're the only one re-habbing and you're in there day in and day out on your own but she's put her head down and worked really hard."
James Milner has identified consistency as the latest phase of Liverpool's evolution.
Last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion took the Reds to 57 points from 22 Premier League games this season - a figure that has been bettered just twice before at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1992.
The shutout at the Amex Stadium was Jürgen Klopp’s team’s 13th of the domestic campaign, and only once has a Premier League side conceded fewer goals than their record of 10 after 22 matches.
Mohamed Salah’s winner on the south coast represented Liverpool’s 50th top-flight goal of the season, and Milner believes an ability to ally their renowned attacking ruthlessness with defensive solidity has enabled an ongoing and sustained title challenge.
“I’d certainly say it is a progression. You can see how the team’s improved,” the vice-captain said in the new edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine.
“Over the last few years you could see that on our day we could beat anyone but maybe we haven’t had that consistency. Now you can see the consistency coming more and more.
“I think we have a good ability of being able to win games in different ways. If things aren’t going well for us, we can grind it out, we can play in different styles and that’s evidence of us developing as a team, which is important.
“It is a results business and in previous years we have not had that consistency. We have been able to play really well one week but then the next we wouldn’t have looked like the same team.
“Gradually we’ve got better and better at finding that consistency. It starts with the base and the foundation that we have starting from the goalkeeper and the back four, but it’s the full squad who have to buy into the defending and how we do that.
“The defensive record’s been a base for us this season. In games where maybe we haven’t played as well as we can, we’ve still been able to nick a 1-0 and stay solid at the back. That’s so important if you want to be successful.”
Heading into the weekend meeting with Crystal Palace at Anfield, the Reds sit four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Milner, of course, is a man with first-hand experience of successful title pursuits from his time at the Etihad Stadium, and the No.7 warned there is plenty more work to be done if Liverpool are to end the campaign as champions.
“The biggest thing for us is that you want to get through the first part of the season and then through Christmas, which is always a critical period in the season,” he explained.
“If you get through Christmas and you’re there or thereabouts, I think you have to be considered as challengers - but we also know how tough it is.
“I know how difficult it is to win a Premier League and that’s why everyone wants to win it. It’s so special when you do achieve it because of that level of difficulty. There are 38 games where you have to deliver and be on your best form every week and that is a tough test. To be where we are at this moment in time says that we are a good team but there’s a long, long way to go and I’m sure there will be ups and downs to come.
“Since I’ve been here, I think you’ve seen the team getting better and better, seeing that consistency, seeing the team being able to win in different ways. This season we haven’t played well in every game, but being able to deal with little blips and below-par performances and having that bit of luck which you always need and finding a way to win games is an important attribute.
“You can see how solid we are as a unit defensively and we’ve also seen the manager change the team and deal with injuries.
“Everything’s there for us but of course it’s very difficult. We’re coming up against a lot of tough teams but the potential’s there and hopefully we can continue moving forward and keep improving.”
Fabinho saw it coming.
When first Joe Gomez and then Joel Matip suffered injuries within one December week, the thought began to formulate in the Liverpool No.3’s mind.
Circumstances, the midfielder realised, could soon dictate that Jürgen Klopp would require his services in central defence.
And so it came to pass.
Fabinho started the FA Cup tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers alongside Dejan Lovren in the backline and then, as a result of the latter’s injury in that game, partnered with Virgil van Dijk to record a clean sheet at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.
The Brazilian’s assured transition to the role did not happen by accident.
Rather, that foresight allowed him weeks of preparation, training sessions to fine-tune, for such a scenario.
“Some weeks ago, I knew this could be an option because we had some players out injured and we only had two centre-backs available,” Fabinho tells Liverpoolfc.com.
“When Dejan got injured, I knew it would be logical that I’d play in that position.
“I had some training sessions playing in that position, which helped me adapt better and pick up certain aspects, like positioning and movements you need to be natural at to play in this position. When it came to playing in a game it was a bit easier because I’d trained in the position.”
It showed on the south coast on Saturday.
Fabinho made more clearances than any player on the pitch against Brighton and no defender on either team bettered his 85.7 per cent success rate in duels.
And then there was his crucial block to deny Pascal Groß at close range shortly after Mohamed Salah netted the single, match-winning goal in the game from the penalty spot.
“I’d already played the previous game as a centre-back against Wolves,” he reflects.
“I think it went well, I had a good understanding with Ki-Jana Hoever, the communication was good. Regarding positioning, I improved throughout the game in this aspect. I did well.
“And in the last game against Brighton, I think I played well. Playing alongside Van Dijk helped, he’s really vocal, he guided us. He helped me a lot. I had good communication with Trent and also with Hendo; they were the players closest to me on the pitch.
“In general, I think it was a good game. In this position, which I haven’t played in a lot, I think I adapted well. There are some aspects, such as positioning, that I need to improve on.
“If I were to play in this position more, I’d improve on these things, but that’s natural.”
After waiting until mid-September for his first competitive Liverpool appearance, Fabinho has been involved in each of the team’s last nine games – including six starts.
Klopp always preached patience when asked about the summer signing’s situation in those early months of the season, and now player, manager and club are beginning to reap the rewards.
“He’s a brilliant player,” reiterated the boss in his post-match assessment at Brighton.
Fabinho feels Klopp’s man management is designed to get the best out of those under him, both in their ongoing development and match-specific situations.
“The relationship with the coach is good,” says the 25-year-old. “He has a different way of speaking to each player.
“He understands things about us, things we need to improve on. He’ll tell you what he wants you to do on the pitch concerning movement, so that when we’re on the pitch we understand the best options for us.
“The relationship I have with him is very good.”
Before Fabinho’s recent move backwards in the Reds system, he exhibited his ability to influence play in advanced positions.
The Brazil international registered outstanding assists against Manchester United and Wolves in December, the former a precise pass over the top for Sadio Mane to strike and the latter an intelligent drive forward and cross into the clinical Salah.
So, was that down to instruction, decision or confidence?
“I think it was a bit of everything,” comes his response. “Of course, playing more and getting more minutes is going to lead to my confidence growing.
“The chemistry on the field between players has been improving, I already know what runs the forwards like to make and on many occasions when I pick up the ball in midfield, I can look at their movements and put a ball over the top to take advantage of their pace.
“With the assists, it has made me more confident; the more you play, the more natural these things become and I hope I can keep on being important for the team.”
Fabinho’s fine form in December, coinciding with a run of eight consecutive Liverpool victories, also included a belated festive gift for the former AS Monaco man.
His near-post, 85th-minute header against Newcastle United on Boxing Day made little difference to the result given the Reds already held a commanding 3-0 lead.
But it meant plenty to the scorer.
“It was really special to score my first goal,” he adds.
“Despite my height, I don’t score a lot of headers, so it was great in that aspect as well. It was great to have scored at Anfield wearing a Liverpool shirt.
“When I scored, I went over to the part of the ground where my family were, to celebrate with them. Then I celebrated with the players – it was a really special moment.
“It had been a while since I’d scored and I wanted to score again. It was great that it happened.”
Attack versus defence drills were on the agenda during Liverpool's second training session of the day on Tuesday.
After a morning workout that included rounds of rondos, the Reds stepped up their preparations for Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace in the evening as forwards were pitted against defenders.
Watch the best of the action from Melwood above.
The team are wearing the new white colourway of the official 2018-19 New Balance training range, available to buy at liverpoolfc.com/store from 9am GMT on January 18.
Liverpool are facing competition from Premier League rivals Tottenham in the race to sign Nabil Fekir this January.
The Reds were set to sign the France international in the summer before the deal broke down at the eleventh hour following his medical.
Despite this sudden collapse, Liverpool have remained linked to the midfielder this January amid claims Jurgen Klopp could go back in for the Frenchman.
But according to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, The Reds will have to act quickly.
The publication claims that Tottenham have also become interested in Fekir in recent weeks and are looking to beat Liverpool to his signature.
Source: Daily Mirror
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are planning to sign a new defensive midfielder in the January transfer window to ease the pressure on Jurgen Klopp's injury-hit squad, according to reports.
Klopp faces several problems in defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren all sidelined.
The absences of Alexander-Arnold and Gomez means that Klopp is currently without a recognised right-back.
Fabinho and James Milner are capable of deputising in that position but both players have been a crucial part of Liverpool’s midfield this season.
Klopp has already admitted that he is open to welcoming a new signing in the January transfer window.
And according to the Daily Record, Liverpool are now planning to sign a ‘readily available’ defensive midfielder who is also capable of deputising in defence.
The report also claims that Liverpool are open to signing a player on loan and are looking to sign a ‘cheap and reliable’ solution to Klopp’s current predicament.
The Liverpool manager has also blocked Rafael Camacho’s loan move back to Sporting Lisbon on loan.
Camacho, 18, was handed his senior debut by Klopp in the FA Cup defeat to Wolves last week.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool Football Club will host a range of activities to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of the Reds' most successful manager – Bob Paisley.
The landmark occasion for the manager nicknamed the ‘Quiet Genius’ will see Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace dedicated to the celebration.
Supporters in the Kop will create a commemorative mosaic ahead of kick-off, which will feature the words ‘Paisley 100’ to pay homage to the man who led the Reds to three European Cups, six league titles, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup.
A special edition of the matchday programme featuring a rare photograph of the great man in his playing days on the cover, with more rare photographs inside, has also been produced.
Fans at the game will also be encouraged to take part in a period of applause to pay their respects to Paisley and the late Peter Thompson, who sadly passed away recently. The wing wizard made 416 appearances in a red shirt and helped them to win two league championships and the FA Cup.
On January 23, Paisley’s actual birthday, supporters will be able to enjoy a day of special programming on LFCTV. This will include tributes from a host of notable former players who served under him and a series of archive matches from his time as manager.
A special commemorative animation has also been created. ‘Bob Paisley: Humble Genius’ tells the story of his life from growing up in a mining village, through his early football career, right through to his success as a manager and subsequent retirement, all told using excerpts from archive interviews with the man himself.