Harvey Elliott has withdrawn from the England U21 squad.
The Liverpool attacker has returned to the club as a result of an injury that will prevent him from featuring in the Young Lions’ U21 European Championship qualifier against Kosovo on Tuesday night.
Fellow Red Curtis Jones is suspended for the fixture.
Four years at Liverpool have changed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It was the final day of the summer transfer window in 2017 when the midfielder made the 'tough decision' to leave Arsenal and join Jürgen Klopp's Reds.
There have been highs and crushing lows in the time since – all of which unknowingly helped shape the 28-year-old, speaking candidly to Liverpoolfc.com.
"I was sort of entering the second part of my career as I joined," he now reflects. "So you're not so much a kid anymore and the young talent with potential and prospects.
"Without really knowing, I think it sort of slowly happened over time, just maturing and becoming more of a senior professional on and off the pitch, I guess, in some respects – probably more so off the pitch. I still try to play in very similar ways to how I always used to.
"I've learned a lot over the years and obviously had the big knee injury that was my first sort of surgery, so that changes your perspective on everything.
"I'd say I am slightly different or just more mature, or more experienced, but I still feel like I'm the same character. The way I try to play football and express myself, that's not changed and I wouldn't really want that to change too much.
"I'd just say I became more focused on performing and trying to produce numbers – whether that's goals and assists – and winning basically. Making sure that we're winning games and going to win trophies, with a serious chance of doing that and expectation.
"I think all of that sort of stuff changes your perspective a little bit in your approach, your mentality."
Oxlade-Chamberlain faced Liverpool 10 times in his career with Arsenal.
After signing for the Reds, he wanted to leave a different, lasting impression.
He remembers: "That sort of wanting to turn up and probably change people's opinions of me, Liverpool fans' opinions of me and what I could bring, from what they might have seen from me over the years as probably a more out-and-out winger.
"I wanted to turn up and make sure I did well, kick on, improve myself and help the team to move forward as well."
It would take him a bit of time to feel like a Liverpool player, though – even before the well-known acclimatisation period to play in Klopp's team.
The formalities of Oxlade-Chamberlain's switch had to be completed at St. George's Park while away on international duty with England.
"Going away with England as an Arsenal player and then leaving England and then turning up to a completely different part of the country – that was quite surreal but it was exciting as well," the No.15 says. "I hadn't had anything like that before.
"I signed and then I had, I think, two more games with England to focus on. That finished and then all of a sudden I was like, 'OK, right, now I'm off to Liverpool.'
"When I actually signed I couldn't really process it as easily as you usually would. It wasn't until after the England international break and then when I came into Melwood and stuff. It was a bit of a delayed sort of reaction, I guess."
"I feel like I'm at a place where I'm feeling sharper, quicker, fitter, stronger."
An important, exciting season awaits in Oxlade-Chamberlain's mind.
With a full pre-season under his belt, he's determined to fully move on from a pair of untimely, serious knee injuries.
He would miss exactly one year and two days of first-team action following a duel in the first half of Liverpool's Champions League semi-final with AS Roma in 2018.
Then, on the third day of preparations for the 2020-21 campaign in Austria, he went down during a training session and would be ruled out until December.
He reflects: "When I came back from the ACL, I played quite a bit in the season we won the league [2019-20] and I think I got the most goals that I'd got from midfield in my career – I think eight goals and a few assists – and obviously we finished the season brilliantly in terms of winning the league and that was amazing.
"But I think that season when I look back to it from my point of view, I'm always proud of what I was able to do coming back from that injury and basically going the whole season uninjured and being available at all times, but I think there was probably a bit of hangover from that injury.
"In terms of myself, I don't remember a consistent enough spell where I felt like I was on fire. I think it was a good season in terms of what I'd come back from to get back to that level and play and be back away with England and stuff as well. But I knew there was more to come, more goals and just more consistent performances.
"I feel like it's just a chance for me to kick on and put down a really good season of consistent performances and hopefully some good numbers as well in terms of goals, assists. But I guess that's all to come.
"It doesn't feel like a new start because it's all been part of the journey, the story. But I feel like this season's important for me to go and do something really good – hopefully on an individual level and then obviously for the team."
All the surgeries, painstaking rehabilitation and dents to confidence are worth persevering through.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is keen to stress that the highlights of his LFC career so far provide far more motivation than memories of darker times.
"Definitely the highs," he says. "Even when you're not injured, I think the way that we live our lives at Liverpool and in this part of the country with the training and everything we do, without realising there's quite a lot of sacrifice.
"I think there's a difference when you're in London and there's all sorts of places you can go and do things, and for me moving further away from family and friends.
"I think everything just became more focused on what we're all here to do – it's to play football and perform as well as you can and sacrificing. So when you do achieve something together as a team, I think that stuff sort of sticks with you a lot more.
"Winning the Premier League, when the boys performed how they did out in Madrid and lifted the trophy, things like that – they're the ones that stick with me the most, of course, as moments.
"With injuries and stuff, that sort of mixes into a bit of a blur. You just know it wasn't enjoyable. So the ones that stick with me are definitely the high points – Champions League nights, Man City at Anfield, things like that.
"They're the things that I remember the most and take energy from, for sure."
Oxlade-Chamberlain turned 28 last month and became a dad for the first time.
The tag of 'senior player' in the squad may be fitting at such an age and footballing journey. It's something he welcomes, with a bit of fright at the same time.
"I still see myself the same age as Harvey, to be fair!" Oxlade-Chamberlain laughs. "So it is a bit strange when you dip into the senior player pool – it comes around quick!
"It's also important as well. Once you've been around the block and you've done a lot, that experience is important and it helps you going into games, into situations, playing with other players – how to communicate with each other and get the best out of each other and seeing them in general situations day to day.
"Experience always helps in that respect, so I don't mind it. But it's strange to think of me as one of the older ones now in the team."
They say age brings about wisdom.
Highlighting his changed perspective, Oxlade-Chamberlain is making efforts to appreciate the here and now more at this stage of his career.
"I think it's important for me at this point to sort of try to enjoy myself," he begins to finish.
"I don't really think that I've had, like, loads of injuries, but the ones I've had are big and they've kept me out for long spells, which I think sometimes makes people think I'm always injured. That's a bit of a frustrating one.
"But during those spells and the battle to come back and prove yourself and whatever, I've sort of had to remind myself that through all of that at this point in my career, I'm still lucky enough to be at an amazing football club like Liverpool and how lucky I am to have that opportunity to still be in this environment, competing at this level.
"So it's probably more a thing to sort of appreciate and enjoy every day. Enjoy the challenge of trying to get in our team, and when you are in the team or not in the team, helping to still be competing for the biggest titles in the world.
"I think that's something that when you've been in the Premier League, you've been at Arsenal and you've been at Liverpool for four years, sometimes it's easy to think, 'OK, I want more, I want more, I want more.' Of course you've got to have that where you want more, but I think sometimes it's also good to take a step back and have a look and realise I'm still in an amazing position and lucky enough to be at an amazing football club like Liverpool.
"It is a part of enjoying every minute, the highs, the lows and trying to take them for what they are and work through them.
"When you're 35 or 36 and you're not playing anymore, it's all said and done. I think I've got to 28 pretty quickly, so I'm sure that that will fly around as well.
"It's more just about trying to enjoy every moment, keep pushing myself as much as I can to get the most out of myself and keep helping push the team to achieve as much as you can.
"Because when it's all said and done, all you've got to look back on is what we all achieved as a team. So that's where I'm at with that."
The alumni project run by Liverpool FC's Academy keeps in contact and supports those who have been part of the Kirkby set-up and departed in years gone by.
As part of the scheme – run by Phil Roscoe, the Academy's head of player care – a regular newsletter is distributed featuring an interview with a former player to catch up on their career.
We recently caught up with full-back Ryan McLaughlin, who was a real favourite among Academy regulars during his time at Kirkby.
Ryan McLaughlin has had more ups and downs than most in his football career, but he's never far away from a laugh or a joke.
"Gary Bowyer signed me for Blackpool and then resigned five days later – I'm not sure if it was what he'd seen from me at training!" he quips.
At 26, the Northern Irishman should have plenty more years of football – and laughs – ahead of him.
A tough, energetic full-back, he is currently finalising a move to a new club as a free agent after leaving Rochdale at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
It is almost 10 years since McLaughlin made the switch across the Irish Sea to join Liverpool as a 16-year-old.
While he came agonisingly close to a competitive first-team debut – he played twice for Brendan Rodgers in a pre-season tour of the USA – he has no regrets about his time at Kirkby and Melwood.
"I wouldn't change it for the world," he says, with absolute certainty. "Some people say if I'd gone for a lower Premier League team I might have got more opportunities, but they were there at Liverpool, too.
"The people, the staff, the coaches were all unbelievable with me and I don't think I'd have had the career I've even had now without them."
It was happy circumstance which brought the Belfast boy across the water to try to forge a professional career.
He remembers: "Liverpool had a scout, Clifford Ferguson, he was watching me for two years, I didn't even know about it. Then Kenny Dalglish – before he came back as manager – and Frank McParland were watching Raheem [Sterling] playing for England against Northern Ireland in the Victory Shield.
"I was playing and they basically said they wanted to sign me. It was between Liverpool and Manchester City."
He continues: "I was at a team called Lisburn Youth just outside Belfast. They were a very good club and a mixed club, Catholic and Protestant – I don't think I'd met a Protestant until then! I found it really easy and by the age of 11 many of them were my best friends.
"Scouts used to come and watch because a lot of players had come from the club, like Aaron Hughes and David Healy. My brother Conor was there, too – he's at Sunderland now. A lot of the Northern Ireland international team came from there.
"I stayed at home to do my GCSEs and needed a club for a year. So I went to Glenavon for a year and they were brilliant with me."
When he did move to Liverpool in the summer of 2011, homesickness set in for the self-confessed 'home boy'.
"Mum and dad came over with me and I was wanting to go home with them," he adds. "But the likes of Phil Roscoe looked after me really well and I settled in within two or three weeks. I've felt like an adopted Scouser ever since."
House parents Dave and Tina became a 'second family' where he lived alongside his best friend from the Reds, Kristoffer Peterson.
"All the people at the club were brilliant," he says. "It was a family atmosphere and I've been back since and it hasn't changed. The coaching we got was the best you could get, which helped you settle in because you felt you were improving every day."
McLaughlin swiftly found himself playing in some big games, especially in the NextGen series in Europe.
"Jon Flanagan went up to the first team under Kenny and I moved quite quickly up to the reserves," he details. "Rodolfo [Borrell] was the manager and I ended up clicking with Conor Coady, who helped me settle with them. I loved it. It was mostly an U19 group.
"I did quite well and got offered another contract. I went from playing school football with Glenavon to playing in the youth Champions League against these big clubs like Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund. It was quite crazy but I got more relaxed and confident in myself.
"I remember playing against Arsenal and having a decent game against Serge Gnabry – though he did score a worldie that day, too! – and then you look at him now at Bayern Munich.
"Then there's the players you played with, the likes of Suso, Conor Coady, Raheem Sterling and what they've gone on to do is incredible. It's a hard road. There's so many things that can go against you.
"You see a lot of people making excuses for why they didn't make it. Sometimes you might need a bit of luck but those three for instance, yes, there's talent first but look at the hard work and how good their attitudes were.
"Raheem got a bad press but not anymore because people realise what a good professional he is. Conor Coady the same. Suso is so talented it's ridiculous, so he was always going to make it as well."
The arrival of Rodgers saw McLaughlin head off on the club's USA pre-season tour in 2012, where he made his senior debut marking a certain Francesco Totti.
"That was incredible," he relives. "I remember Alex [Inglethorpe] saying to me Brendan wanted me to improve my passing and I might get a chance with the first team. But I was sat there looking at Glen Johnson thinking, 'What?', doubting myself.
"Alex became the U21s manager that season and he was unbelievable with us. Working on strengths and weaknesses. He had been saying to me about defending the back post and I was thinking, 'Why do I need to do that? We have the ball most of the time. I basically should be playing as a winger.'
"We worked on it after training sessions, heading crosses away. I went into Barnsley in the Championship on loan in the January in a relegation fight. That work helped me so much. I ended up having a really good loan and they wanted me to go back."
If McLaughlin could change anything about his Reds career it would be what happened next, as he feels he turned away some good opportunities.
"After that I was too picky with my loans," he admits. "It was probably one of my biggest mistakes.
"Liverpool were saying these teams had come in and I was saying, 'I think I should be going to a better team.' I should have just gone. Alex and Michael Beale were right.
"You look at Rhys Williams going out to Kidderminster. That set him up to play for the first team and end up in the Champions League. My advice would be to listen to the coaches, who deserve a lot of credit for that.
"I felt like I missed a season doing that, just playing U21s. I think I could have gone to Rotherham but I wasn't keen. Sometimes when you're in that bubble at Liverpool, you don't realise there's a world outside."
When he did finally make another move, it was north to Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
He adds: "I was in my last year at Liverpool. Alex was telling me Toronto were on the phone and now I'd jump at something like that but then I was thinking, 'It's the other side of the world.' Motherwell were also interested.
"That year I had quite a few niggly muscular injuries, which I had a lot during my Liverpool career – though I don't like using that as an excuse for not pushing on the way I'd hoped.
"One of my good friends, Niall McGinn, was at Aberdeen and he said they were selling their right-back and I should come up. But he ended up staying and I only got five or six games.
"Jürgen [Klopp] then came in and I was desperate to get in front of him. I was begging the Aberdeen manager to let me come back as I felt I wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip.
"I went back, played a few games in front of him and thought I did well. But it's quite hard when you're 20, 21. You have to start looking for a career elsewhere."
When he did leave the club in 2016, it was in a summer which could have gone very differently.
He says: "I ended up with really bad luck – I did my ankle ligaments on the front pitch in a training session near the end of the year.
"That day I was in my apartment and Michael O'Neill rang me to tell me I was going to the Euros with Northern Ireland! I was waiting on a scan and ended up out for three months."
McLaughlin did go to France but only to watch his brother Conor, who was first-choice right-back in a tournament which was a huge adventure for the Green and White Army.
In club football, a coach he knew well, Stephen Robinson, persuaded him to come and sign for Oldham.
Two years, more than 60 appearances and three goals followed before that move to Blackpool and Bowyer's swift departure, although he made 11 appearances for the Seasiders.
By the January he'd moved to Rochdale in League One, though last year was interrupted by a frustrating plantar fasciitis foot injury.
"I think Jordan Henderson had it too," he says. "It was as if someone was stabbing you in the foot. I went to see Andy Renshaw, the old LFC physio, and he sorted me out. Plus staying off it for the lockdown really helped. Apart from that, my injuries have been OK this year.
"I haven't played as many games as I'd have liked to play due to injuries. But I've seen a lot, qualified with the Northern Ireland squads for the Euros, been in changing rooms for some big games. I've worked with some amazing pros and know how to do things right.
"I remember [Jamie] Carragher bursting my eardrums shouting after just an hour at Melwood! Conor Coady when he was 17 or 18, he didn't shut up. I remember we were beating Inter Milan 4-1 and he was screaming at us to do everything right."
Still with aspirations to play at a higher level, he remains in touch with many of his old Academy friends.
McLaughlin reveals: "I play Call of Duty with Raheem. I still speak with Jordan Williams. I was on holiday with Harry Wilson last summer."
He is also busy with his boxing podcast, Brawl Boxing, where he shares his love of the sport with close friends and some big-name guests, who have already included the likes of Michael Conlan, Carl Frampton, Billy Joe Saunders, Matchroom CEO Frank Smith, and Johnny Nelson from Sky Sports.
And while he may have left Liverpool the club, he's still firmly rooted in Liverpool the city.
He finishes: "I'm still in the same apartment building I was in when I was at Liverpool. I fell in love with the city and the people. If I stay in England, it'll be in Liverpool.
"But you can't live in the past, you've got to be proud of what you've done. For a kid from Belfast, I played in two senior friendly appearances. Looking back, maybe I could have achieved more but it's just down to me.
"I'll always remember marking Totti anyway! I played the first half and I thought, 'I can't swap shirts at half-time.' I was scared of getting shouted at, up with the first team.
"I remember sitting in the changing room talking to Mike Marsh and Brendan, and then James Bond [LFC fan Daniel Craig] is walking round shaking everyone's hand!
"A couple of weeks earlier I'm playing five-a-side with my mates in Belfast. The experience I had I wouldn't change. I really enjoy looking back on it."
Vote on Liverpool's best strikes during August with our Goal of the Month poll.
We've compiled a shortlist of the eight best efforts across all levels during the opening month of the season – and you can decide the winner.
Watch the video above before casting a vote using the tool below.
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Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota both played as their countries recorded wins in Saturday’s round of international matches.
Liverpool’s Robertson captained Scotland to a 1-0 World Cup qualification victory over Moldova. The left-back - winning his 50th cap - was substituted with 17 minutes remaining at Hampden Park.
Jota, meanwhile, came off the bench on the hour as Portugal beat Qatar 3-1 in a friendly.
Elsewhere, Virgil van Dijk was an unused substitute during the Netherlands’ 4-0 success against Montenegro and Caoimhin Kelleher remained on the bench throughout the Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.
Rianna Dean’s first two goals for the club helped Liverpool FC Women to a 3-2 win over Watford Women at Vicarage Road.
The Reds were 3-0 up at the break of Saturday’s FA Women’s Championship match as Dean’s double added to Missy Bo Kearns’ opener direct from a corner during a dominant display.
But Matt Beard’s side couldn’t pick up where they left off after half-time and Watford pulled two late goals back to set up a nervy finish.
However, the visitors saw the game out to pick up their first victory of the season following last weekend’s loss to London City Lionesses.
Beard made three changes to his starting line-up, with Dean, Rylee Foster and captain Niamh Fahey replacing Jade Bailey, Rachael Laws and Rachel Furness.
Liverpool started well and should have been ahead early on. Dean robbed a defender 30 yards out and played Ceri Holland in on goal, but Georgie Ferguson was out well to narrow the angle and Melissa Lawley’s follow-up was deflected wide.
They did go in front with 17 minutes played, though, when Kearns – whose delivery had already troubled Ferguson – curled a corner straight into the net.
Dean then saw a diving header drift wide before the summer signing got her first goal on the half-hour mark through a moment of individual brilliance, as she curled a beautiful effort into the top corner from 20 yards.
Three minutes later Lawley had the ball in the net, heading home a fine cross from Leanne Kiernan, but the assistant ruled the ball had just gone out for a goal kick.
But Dean was not to be denied as she quickly arrowed a left-footed shot into the corner following a clever pass from the lively Lawley.
Foster was called into action for the first time in the early stages of the second period, the goalkeeper diving low to her right to deny Rosie Kmita, before Dean and Kiernan both went close at the other end.
Dean almost secured her hat-trick 15 minutes from the end, meeting Kiernan’s perfect cross with a header which drifted agonisingly wide, but Anne Meiwald then reduced Watford’s deficit from distance.
Ashley Hodson – who came off the bench to equal Gemma Bonner’s all-time appearance record of 115 for the club – met another fine Kiernan ball from the right but couldn’t find enough power to beat Ferguson and when Watford’s Helen Ward headed home a cross in injury time, it set up an uncomfortable finish.
But the Reds held firm to pick up their first points of the new campaign.
Liverpool FC Women: Foster, Wardlaw, Hinds, Robe (Roberts, 55), Matthews, Fahey, Kearns (Humphrey, 67), Holland (Furness, 72), Lawley (Hodson, 73), Dean, Kiernan.
Unused substitutes: Startup, Moore, Walters, Parry.
Liverpool FC Women can confirm that Georgia Walters has joined the club on a non-contract basis.
The Wales international forward played for Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the FA Women’s Championship last season, scoring five goals.
Walters spent much of pre-season with the Reds and has now earned herself a spot in Matt Beard's squad.
Beard said: “Georgia played in a number of our pre-season games and did well.
“She offers something different to the centre-forwards we’ve got at the club. She’s got a lot of experience as well and we’ll just see what happens from here.”
Walters will be a part of the Liverpool squad that travels to Watford for Saturday's Championship match at Vicarage Road.
Tickets are now on sale for Liverpool FC Women’s second home game of the season against Bristol City Women.
The FA Women’s Championship fixture kicks off at 2pm BST on Sunday September 12 at Prenton Park.
Bristol played in the Women’s Super League last season and Reds boss Matt Beard spent the second half of the campaign as interim manager there.
It will also be a reunion for Liverpool players Carla Humphrey, Jasmine Matthews and Yana Daniels, who all joined from Bristol in the summer.
Tickets for the game are on sale now, priced £6.50 for adults and £4 for concessions. Wheelchair access can also be booked.Get your tickets for the game here>>
Cast your vote for Liverpool's Standard Chartered Men's Player of the Month in August now.
The Reds kicked off their 2021-22 campaign by collecting seven points from three Premier League matches, with wins over Norwich City and Burnley followed by a 1-1 draw with Chelsea last weekend.
Jürgen Klopp used 18 players in those fixtures – but who was the team’s star man?
Have your say via the poll below and stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com to find out the winner of the prize soon.
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Sadio Mane's finish for Liverpool against Burnley has been nominated for August's Premier League Goal of the Month award.
The No.10 emphatically completed a brilliant team move from the Reds to make it 2-0 in the victory over The Clarets at Anfield.
The strike is one of eight on the Premier League's shortlist for the monthly prize, with supporters able to vote for Mane's effort here.
Liverpool FC welcomed Jeff Stelling as he marches across the country for a fourth time in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and honour of Ray Clemence.
The long-serving TV presenter is tackling four walking marathons in four regions, with his third march taking place on Merseyside on Wednesday.
His route started at Tranmere Rovers and ended with a short stroll across Stanley Park from Goodison Park to Anfield. He also visited Marine AFC and the iconic Aintree Racecourse earlier in the day.
Anfield was a fitting finale on a day that Stelling paid tribute to LFC legend Clemence, who sadly died last year after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Jeff was joined on the walk by Stephen Clemence, Ray’s son, as a wreath was then placed at L4 in memory of the goalkeeping great.
Stelling’s aim is to fund lifesaving research to improve testing, treatments and care for those impacted by the most common cancer in men.
“One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime,” he said. “I deal in stats but that one still shocks me.
“Last year, we lost the great Ray Clemence to prostate cancer. A terrific goalkeeper and a terrific human being.
“I also lost my mate, Lloyd Pinder, to the disease a few months earlier. I met him on the second day of my very first march for Prostate Cancer UK up in Yorkshire. This highlights once more what an indiscriminate disease this is, and it’s for men like Lloyd and Ray, their families and everyone affected by prostate cancer that we march again.”
You can support Jeff by donating here.
Liverpool FC Women continued their build-up to Saturday's FA Women's Championship trip to Watford with a training session at The Campus.
Matt Beard's side will face the Hornets at Vicarage Road, with kick-off set for 2pm BST.
The Reds will be hoping to get their first three points of the season following their opening day loss to London City Lionesses.
Take a look through our gallery below.
Photos by Andrew Powell - @andyphotolfc
Sadio Mane believes the synergy between team and supporters can drive Liverpool to more success this season.
The Reds have made an encouraging start to 2021-22, collecting seven points from their first three Premier League games while scoring six times and conceding just once.
Two of those matches – a 2-0 win over Burnley and last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea – were played in front of a capacity crowd at Anfield, and Mane considers the return of fans to be a huge boost to the club’s ambitions.
“You know, this has always been my boyhood dream: to play against the best players in the world, and everyone knows the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world, so I love every second of playing and it is that which brings me happiness,” the No.10 told Liverpool’s official matchday programme.
“As a footballer you always want to be playing, and playing against the best opponents, and also to go out there and win trophies. So it’s fantastic for me to be playing here, evolving within this big, legendary club with our amazing fans.
“Having our fans back in the stadium is an extra motivation because, like I have always said, the Liverpool fans are the best fans in the world. It was fantastic to play in front of a full Anfield again. Having them back can be massive for us and they can play a huge part in our success.”
Another positive in the early weeks of the campaign has been the classy displays of the fit-again Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, who have performed with typical assuredness having recovered from injuries that forced them to miss large portions of 2020-21.
Joe Gomez is also available once again following a long-term knee injury, while Jürgen Klopp bolstered his central-defensive ranks further with the summer signing of Ibrahima Konate.
“Having one of the best defenders in the world back on your team, you don’t need to describe it – it’s amazing,” Mane said, of Van Dijk.
“Last year was obviously a tough time for him but now he’s always smiling! And, of course, we are all happy for him.
“He is a very professional athlete who looks after his body all the time and I wasn’t surprised to see him straight back into his old form. We have seen him play a few games now and, for me, we have seen him at that level already.
“Obviously it was a big blow for us missing not only Virgil but also Joel [Matip] and Joe Gomez last year. If you have these kind of players in your team and you’re missing them, then for sure you will feel it. I think any club in this world would feel the same.
“Now we are really happy to have them back and it’s been a good start to the season with these names on the backs of the shirts behind me! But we should also remember that the young lads like Nat [Phillips] and Rhys [Williams] who came in to deputise for these players last season did a great job too.”
And on Konate, the forward continued: “He is a very nice lad and from the first day he was with us I was really surprised because it was like he has been here for years. With myself that was not the case because I am a bit shy, but he just came in and settled straightaway which is really important.
“You could see in pre-season that he was doing well from the start and we are really, really happy to have him. I feel that this year he will have a great season for Liverpool.”
Sadio Mane scored for Senegal as six Liverpool players were in international action on Wednesday.
The Reds’ No.10 put his country ahead from close range in their 2-0 win over Togo while, elsewhere in the African section of World Cup qualifying, Naby Keita’s Guinea drew 1-1 with Guinea Bissau.
In the European groups, meanwhile, Diogo Jota’s Portugal staged a late fightback to overcome the Republic of Ireland 2-1. Caoimhin Kelleher was an unused substitute for the visitors at Estadio Algarve.
Virgil van Dijk returned as captain of the Netherlands as they drew 1-1 with Norway in Oslo and Andy Robertson skippered Scotland in their 2-0 away defeat to Denmark.
Finally, Kostas Tsimikas played the first half as Greece were beaten 2-1 by Switzerland in a friendly.
Sheyi Ojo has completed a season-long loan move to Millwall.
The Liverpool forward will spend the 2021-22 campaign with Gary Rowett’s team in the Championship after finalising a temporary switch on transfer deadline day.
Ojo, who joined the Reds in 2011, has made 13 first-team appearances for the club and opened his goalscoring account with an Anfield strike against Exeter City in a 2016 FA Cup tie.
The versatile attacker was also part of the England squad that lifted the FIFA U20 World Cup in the summer of 2017.
He has previously completed loan spells at Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham, Reims, Rangers and, most recently, Cardiff City.
Liverpool U21s were beaten 4-0 by League Two side Rochdale in their opening group-stage fixture of the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday night.
Liam Kelly’s pinpoint 33rd-minute strike separated the sides during an opening half in which the young Reds enjoyed repeated spells of attacking and possession superiority.
Rochdale strengthened their advantage in the tie at Crown Oil Arena four minutes after the break as Corey O’Keeffe won and then converted a penalty.
O’Keeffe blasted in his second and Rochdale’s third of the evening, before Josh Andrews added a fourth to seal a scoreline that did not fully reflect the visitors’ commendable display.
Liverpool had clicked into an assured and confident rhythm from kick-off and soon went close twice in quick succession.
First, Tyler Morton struck a dipping shot from around 25 yards out that was central enough for the goalkeeper, though needed a careful tip over the crossbar nevertheless.
When the resulting corner was cleared by Rochdale to the waiting Matteo Ritaccio at the edge of the area, his crisp low drive whistled just the wrong side of the right post.
The Reds’ early momentum was marred by the sight of Fidel O’Rourke pulling up with an injury on the quarter-hour, the forward having to be replaced by Mateusz Musialowski.
Still, the visitors were doing practically everything but put the ball in the net, with a slick passing move midway through the half seeing Jack Bearne deftly beat Max Taylor inside the box only to fire his finish too high.
A warning was served at the other end moments later, however, as Kelly whipped an effort from 20 yards that needed strong palms from Liverpool ‘keeper Harvey Davies to repel.
Max Woltman was inches away from finding the bottom corner with his clip over the outrushing ‘keeper from Luke Chambers’ clever pass into the area.
And Rochdale swiftly made the Reds pay for their missed chances; Tom Clayton’s poked clearance to halt an attack came to Kelly, who emphatically swerved a shot beyond Davies.
The hosts almost doubled their lead with the final kick of the half but Taylor could only divert Kelly’s left-wing corner onto the post from close range.
It would prove a short respite for Liverpool, though.
With 49 on the clock, Chambers was judged to have illegally obstructed O’Keeffe as he attacked the byline and the Rochdale man stepped up himself to guide the penalty into the left side of the net as Davies dived in the other direction.
Musialowski went direct in the search for a way back into the contest when he let fly from long range, his effort swerving in the air but being pushed out by Joel Coleman.
The home side perhaps should have bagged a third at the three-quarter mark of the game, Conor Grant harmlessly scuffing his shot when found in space in the box by O’Keeffe.
Rochdale did turn their increasing ascendancy into goals as full-time neared.
O’Keeffe provided the third by powering in off the right flank and swiping a fierce finish across the reach of Davies, and Andrews found the same corner from a similar angle six minutes later to consign the Reds to a harshly heavy result.
Liverpool: Davies, Wilson, Clayton, Koumetio, Chambers, Morton, Ritaccio (Stephenson, 68), Dixon-Bonner, Bearne, Woltman (Miles, 82), O’Rourke (Musialowski, 15).
Unused substitutes: Kelly, McConnell.
Academy midfielder Luis Longstaff has completed a season-long loan move to Queen’s Park.
The 20-year-old links up with the Scottish side, who top the League One table after five matches so far, for the remainder of 2021-22.
Since joining Liverpool in 2015, Longstaff has been part of the 2019 FA Youth Cup-winning squad and made his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup tie at Aston Villa in December of the same year.
He committed his future to the Reds by signing a new contract last June and will now look to build up further senior experience during his spell with Queen’s Park.
Rhys Williams has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool and joined Swansea City on a loan deal until the end of the season.
The centre-back penned the fresh terms with the Reds before departing to spend the 2021-22 campaign with the Championship club having completed his temporary switch on transfer deadline day.
Academy graduate Williams made 19 senior appearances for the Reds last season after debuting in September 2020, including playing nine times in the Premier League and on six occasions in the Champions League.
His partnership with Nathaniel Phillips in the final stages of the campaign was instrumental in securing a third-placed finish and a return to the Champions League for Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Williams, who spent 2019-20 on loan at Kidderminster Harriers, will now seek to gain more first-team experience at the Liberty Stadium, with his loan move subject to international clearance.
Jordan Henderson penned his new Liverpool contract at the AXA Training Centre today and our photographer was there to capture the captain’s moment.
The No.14 sealed a fresh extension to his Reds deal, further continuing a 10-year spell with the club that has so far included 394 games, six years as skipper and five major trophy wins.
Henderson marked the occasion by posing for pictures and conducting an exclusive reaction interview with Liverpoolfc.com – take a look in the images below.
Photos by John Powell
Jordan Henderson’s hunger for success is as strong as ever as he embarks on his 11th season at Liverpool with his long-term future at the club freshly secured.
The Reds captain today signed a new contract at the AXA Training Centre, further extending a spell at Anfield that began in 2011.
In the decade since he first pulled on the shirt, Henderson has made 394 appearances, scored 30 goals, worn the armband for six years and counting, and lifted five major trophies – including, of course, the Premier League and Champions League.
But as the midfielder and his teammates set about their quest for more silverware in 2021-22, his ambition to help Liverpool win honours burns as fiercely as it ever has.
“Every year is the same, every year is the biggest challenge, the biggest season ahead,” Henderson told Liverpoolfc.com in an exclusive interview after penning his new deal.
“I feel as hungry as ever. I feel as hungry as I did when I first walked in 10 years ago, to prove to people that I deserve to be at this football club and give absolutely everything every single day for the badge, for the fans and for each other in this building. If we do that, I feel as though we’ve got a good chance of being successful.”
The skipper is the sixth first-team player to agree fresh terms with the club in recent weeks, following Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
“I’m very proud of all the lads,” said Henderson. “Every time I see someone get a new deal, it makes me feel happy for some reason, other than they’re doing well and they’ve deserved everything they’ve got really in terms of the lads that have been renewed.
“I’m delighted for all of them and hopefully there’s more to come in the near future. They deserve everything they’ve got and do get going forward because I know how hard they work, I know every day what they give to this football club. They deserve to be here for as long as possible.
“I hope the togetherness of this group can take us even further the longer we’re together.”
Watch the full interview with Henderson on signing a new long-term contract in the video above. App users should tap here to watch.
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