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Klopp: Alisson is world class

2 hours 12 min ago

Last Updated: 19/07/18 11:20pm

1:23 Jurgen Klopp insists new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who has completed his £67m move from Roma, is 'world class' Jurgen Klopp insists new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who has completed his £67m move from Roma, is 'world class'

Jurgen Klopp is thrilled to have signed a "world-class goalkeeper" in the shape of Brazil international Alisson.

Alisson underwent a medical and penned a long-term contract on Merseyside on Thursday in a £67m world-record deal for a goalkeeper.

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Speaking after Liverpool's 2-0 pre-season win at Blackburn, Klopp told Sky Sports News: "I saw him today for the first time live and in colour at Melwood.

"We've had talks over the last few days and that's good. We didn't sign him because he is good looking and a nice fella and his English is good and all that stuff - we signed him obviously because he is a world-class goalkeeper.

"We are really happy that the club gave us the opportunity to do so."

0:29 Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper

Alisson's Anfield arrival appears to have signalled Danny Ward's departure from Liverpool, with Sky sources indicating the Wales international is closing in on a £10m switch to Leicester.

Loris Karius' and Simon Mignolet's Liverpool careers also appear to be up in the air but Klopp gave nothing away when asked what he could say about their futures.

"Nothing in the moment," the Liverpool boss said.

"Liverpool FC needs just the highest quality goalkeepers and that's what we have at the moment, we'll see now what we do in the next few weeks.

0:26 We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma

"Loris played outstanding [against Blackburn] tonight.

"Since we started the pre-season - people have obviously never been in a difficult situation so they think it's funny to make some noise at the moment when he touches the ball or catches the ball and stuff like that, but that's how it is.

"But no, at the moment we have three outstanding goalkeepers and two very young and very talented goalkeepers but we need that, so I'm happy about that."

LFCTV is the only place to watch all of Liverpool's pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/lfctv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 425 and press red.

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Alisson: What you need to know

2 hours 22 min ago
By Richard Morgan

Football journalist - @Richiereds1976

Brazilian was confirmed as a Liverpool player on Thursday night

Last Updated: 19/07/18 11:19pm

Why is Alisson so highly rated? Why is Alisson so highly rated? Why is Alisson so highly rated?

Liverpool have signed Alisson from Roma for £67m, but what has persuaded Jurgen Klopp to make the Brazilian the world's most expensive 'keeper?

The Liverpool manager will be hoping the 25-year-old is the answer to the club's search for an established No 1 after using both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius in goal last season.

Loris Karius' errors cost Liverpool last season's Champions League final Loris Karius' errors cost Liverpool last season's Champions League final Loris Karius' errors cost Liverpool last season's Champions League final

Karius was eventually made the club's first choice in January. However, after two calamitous errors helped Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in May's Champions League final, the German's future on Merseyside was called into question by many experts, including Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness.

0:26 We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma

"I think as much as Jurgen would have wanted to be loyal and do right by the goalkeeper, he's got to go out and get another one," said the former Liverpool captain.

"That's simply because if Karius was to make the same mistake, or a mistake in a big game, it'd be down to the manager not correcting that situation. It's obvious to everyone - look at what happened in the Champions League final."

Highest fees for keepers Alisson £67m Roma to Liverpool (2018) Ederson £34.7m Benfica to Man City (2017) Gianluigi Buffon £32.6m Parma to Juventus (2001) Jordan Pickford £30m Sunderland to Everton (2017)

Klopp has now reacted though and has made the Brazilian, who was also reportedly interesting the likes of Real and Chelsea, the most expensive goalkeeper in history. But is the 'keeper the solution to Liverpool's long-running search for a world-class shot stopper?

With the help of Sky Italy, we look at why the player is so highly rated, how he compares to his rivals, and whether he would be a success in the Premier League…

0:29 Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper What was Alisson's rise to the top?

The Brazilian started out at Internacional in 2013, where he fought off competition from the experienced Dida to become the club's No 1, before joining Roma three years later for €7.5m.

Alisson did not feature at all in Serie A in his debut campaign at the Stadio Olimpico, instead acting as understudy to Wojciech Szczesny, while appearing in Roma's Coppa Italia, Europa League and Champions League qualifiers.

Alisson started out his career with Internacional in his homeland Alisson started out his career with Internacional in his homeland Alisson started out his career with Internacional in his homeland

However, Szczesny's departure from Roma last summer, coupled with Eusebio Di Francesco replacing Luciano Spalletti as the club's head coach, saw Alisson promoted to first choice this season.

"If I hadn't had the guarantee of playing, I would have asked to leave Roma," Alisson revealed in September.

How was his form last season?

"When Roma sold Szczesny to Juventus (the Poland international returned to Arsenal from a loan spell at Roma before joining Juve permanently), the club already knew Alisson was a better goalkeeper," says Sky Italy's Augusto De Bartolo. "Last season, he was one of the best 'keepers in Serie A, if not the best now that Gianluigi Buffon is at the end of his career.

Alisson has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Roma last season Alisson has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Roma last season Alisson has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Roma last season

"If Roma had the second-best defence in the league last season, then that was due to Alisson's abilities. Statistically speaking, he had the best save percentage (79.26 per cent) and was the 'keeper that not only stopped the most number of shots faced, but also the one that saved the most dangerous shots in the top flight."

What are his main strengths?

"The Brazilian has many skills that are not common in every 'keeper - his major strength is the ability to be in the right position in order to cover a large portion of the goal," says De Bartolo. "If you look at his movements in a game, especially when forwards are bearing down on goal, he always adjusts his position according to the movement of the ball. And that allows him to cover a great section of the goal.

Highest saves rates in Europe's top 5 leagues last season Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) 83% David de Gea (Man Utd) 80% Alisson (Roma) 79% Neto (Valencia) 77% Ron-Robert Zieler (Stuttgart) 77% Nick Pope (Burnley) 77%

"Another of his big strengths is distribution and in that regard he is considered to be as good as his compatriot and Man City No 1 Ederson, especially when it comes to long-range passing.

He is the No 1 of No 1s. He is worth as much as Messi because he is as important as Messi. He is the type of goalkeeper which can define an era.

Roberto Negrisolo, Roma's goalkeeping coach (Il Romanista)

"And finally, Alisson excels when it comes to anticipation, as was noted by former Brazil boss Carlos Dunga. The 'keeper thinks like a striker and tries to anticipate if the opposition forward will dribble or shoot, and how he will shoot: close to the ground, in the air, with power, and in what direction."

How about his weaknesses and could they be exploited in England?

"Actually, it is difficult to find any weaknesses in Alisson, he is the complete goalkeeper," De Bartolo adds. "The charismatic Brazilian is also a very modern 'keeper and while 6ft 3in is not overly tall for someone in his position, and maybe a slight issue in England with crosses, his ability to anticipate should compensate for that."

But statistically, how does he compare to his rivals?

Alisson was outstanding for Roma in Serie A last season, conceding just 28 goals in 37 matches - including 17 clean sheets - numbers far superior, on average, to Karius'.

Goalkeeping stats in the league in 2017/18 Alisson Karius Games played 37 19 Minutes played 3330 1720 Goals conceded 28 14 Clean sheets 17 10 Saves 109 31 Save percentage 79.26 68.89 Penalties faced 5 3 Penalties saved 2 1 Errors leading to goals 0 0

As noted above, the 25-year-old's overall save percentage is just under 80 per cent - compared to Karius' 68.89 per cent - the third-best across Europe's top five leagues last season.

Perhaps most crucially of all, though, Alisson did not made a single error leading to a goal in the Italian top flight in the previous campaign.

Who is Brazil's No 1?

Alisson made his international debut in a World Cup Qualifier against Venezuela in 2015 and has since won 31 caps for the five-time world champions.

Despite Dunga - who handed him his first cap - being replaced as Brazil boss by Tite in June 2016 and Alisson warming the bench in his debut campaign at Roma, the player has remained his country's first choice.

Manchester City's Ederson is back-up to Alisson with the Brazil national team Manchester City's Ederson is back-up to Alisson with the Brazil national team Manchester City's Ederson is back-up to Alisson with the Brazil national team

And even though Ederson's form was outstanding in his first season at Manchester City, Tite kept faith with Alisson at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

What they said?

"He was a really important goalkeeper for us and his saves rescued a lot of points and games last season," Roma midfielder Diego Perotti told Sky Italy.

"Admittedly, Alisson is a big loss for us, because he's a great guy, was a strong part of the locker-room dynamic and we're sorry to see him go, but life is like that."

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Liverpool sign Alisson for record fee

Thu, 19/07/2018 - 23:50
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 19/07/18 11:18pm

Alisson completed his world-record move to Liverpool on Thursday Alisson completed his world-record move to Liverpool on Thursday Alisson completed his world-record move to Liverpool on Thursday

Alisson Becker has officially joined Liverpool from Roma in a deal that makes him the world's most expensive goalkeeper.

Sky Sports News understands that Liverpool have paid £67m for the 25-year-old, who has signed a "long-term" contract at Anfield.

It surpasses the £34.7m Manchester City paid in 2017 to sign Ederson, Alisson's understudy for Brazil.

0:29 Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper Alisson Becker puts on the Liverpool kit for the first time after his £67m arrival from Roma - a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper

"I'm really happy, it's a dream come true to wear such a prestigious shirt for a club of this size that is used to always winning," Alisson told Liverpool's club website after completing the deal.

"In terms of my life and my career, it's a huge step for me being part of this club and this family.

"You can be certain that I'll give my all."

1:23 Jurgen Klopp insists new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who has completed his £67m move from Roma, is 'world class'. Jurgen Klopp insists new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who has completed his £67m move from Roma, is 'world class'.

Alisson also revealed his experience of playing at Anfield last season - when he was in goal for Roma's 5-2 defeat by Liverpool in the Champions League - was a factor in his decision to move to the club.

"That game definitely did have an influence but I also watched other games," he said. "I've seen other games where I could see the way Klopp had the team playing.

"That has made me really excited to be part of this group. Apart from the fact that the club is massive, the players that have come through here and the titles won.

"Hopefully I can play a part in the history being created here, win titles and be a part of the project that has been developed here in the past few years so we can see Liverpool rise once again."

Alisson returned to Rome from John Lennon Airport in a private plane on Thursday evening after passing his medical.

0:51 Exclusive pictures of new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson leaving John Lennon Airport after having his medical Exclusive pictures of new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson leaving John Lennon Airport after having his medical

Roma's sporting director Monchi said the Italian club were reluctant to part with Alisson but that the offer from Liverpool was too good to turn down.

"When a very substantial offer comes in you have to consider it," he said. "We weighed up the pros and cons and decided to speak to Liverpool."

Roma tweeted their best wishes to Alisson on Thursday evening, saying: "Thank you Alisson and good luck with your new adventure."

0:26 We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma. We take a look at Brazillian goalkeeper Alisson Becker's stats from his 2017/18 season with Serie A side Roma.

Alisson's move to Liverpool had appeared unlikely earlier in the summer after the Premier League club were quoted an £80m asking price, Sky Sports News understands.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had accepted previous first-choice goalkeeper Loris Karius was going to be regularly scrutinised after he made a mistake in the 3-2 pre-season win over Tranmere.

Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid's three goals in May's Champions League final defeat - after which it was revealed by US doctors the player was suffering from concussion.

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Liverpool give Kirkby move green light

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 17:43

Last Updated: 17/07/18 4:10pm

Liverpool will press ahead with the redevelopment of their Kirkby site Liverpool will press ahead with the redevelopment of their Kirkby site Liverpool will press ahead with the redevelopment of their Kirkby site

Liverpool have confirmed they will continue with the £50m redevelopment of their academy site in Kirkby and the neighbouring Eddie McArdle community playing fields.

The project will see the club's first-team squad and academy sides share an "elite performance centre" and "state-of-the-art training facility" on the same site.

The new facilities in Kirkby will include two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites.

The project is expected to cost £50m The project is expected to cost £50m The project is expected to cost £50m

Liverpool's first-team squad currently train separately at Melwood, which is due to be redeveloped into housing after the move to Kirkby.

"Today represents a significant milestone in the club's history," said Liverpool's chief operating officer Andy Hughes.

The new facilities in Kirkby will include two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites The new facilities in Kirkby will include two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites The new facilities in Kirkby will include two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites

"We would like to thank Knowsley Council and local residents for their time and support throughout the planning stages of this project.

"This is a major step forward for the club and we're proud to be investing in the Knowsley area. Our aspirations to create a clear pathway for our young players through to the first team is an ambitious project.

Liverpool's first-team squad will share the facilities with the club's youth teams Liverpool's first-team squad will share the facilities with the club's youth teams Liverpool's first-team squad will share the facilities with the club's youth teams

"The site in Kirkby provides the ideal location for the new home of our elite performance centre and state-of-the-art training facility.

"The commitment to deliver this exciting project further demonstrates the continued investment by our owners and reinforces the identity of LFC as one of the top football clubs in Europe.

"The scheme will not only provide first-class facilities for our players and staff, but also help create quality sports facilities for the community of Kirkby to enjoy."

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Liverpool deny 70m euro Alisson bid

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 17:17

Last Updated: 17/07/18 3:59pm

Alisson has been linked with a move to Liverpool since the winter transfer window Alisson has been linked with a move to Liverpool since the winter transfer window Alisson has been linked with a move to Liverpool since the winter transfer window

Liverpool have denied making a 70m euro bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker after reports in Italy suggested the two clubs were in talks.

However, Sky in Italy claim that a fee of 70m euros has been offered by Liverpool, although Roma want closer to 75m euros (£66.6m) to complete the deal, and that talks between the two sides are ongoing.

Sources close to Liverpool have told Sky Sports News that there has been no bid and no approach for Alisson.

Sky sources have previously told us that Liverpool have no plans to bid for Alisson this summer.

 Liverpool beat Roma in the Champions League semi-finals last season  Liverpool beat Roma in the Champions League semi-finals last season Liverpool beat Roma in the Champions League semi-finals last season

The 25-year-old made 49 appearances for Roma last season as he helped the Serie A side reach the semi-finals of the Champions League where they lost 7-6 to Liverpool over two legs.

Alisson played five times for Brazil at the World Cup in Russia where his side suffered a quarter-final defeat to Belgium.

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Tuesday's Liverpool transfer rumours

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 11:00

Last Updated: 17/07/18 9:09am

Could Lyon's Nabil Fekir be joining Liverpool after all? Could Lyon's Nabil Fekir be joining Liverpool after all? Could Lyon's Nabil Fekir be joining Liverpool after all?

Jurgen Klopp's side may reignite their interest in a World Cup winner as we round up the latest transfer rumours on Tuesday, July 17.

Nabil Fekir's on-off move from Lyon to Liverpool could be back on, according to reports in the Metro.

The France international playmaker was on the verge of joining the Reds prior to this summer's World Cup, only for the transfer to collapse at the last minute.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News reported in June that Danny Ings would be leaving Liverpool this summer in order to pursue first-team football.

However, so far there has not been a move for the striker, who had been linked with Southampton, only for the Daily Echo to now suggest that the deal for the player will not go through.

Elsewhere, Liverpool defenders Joel Matip and Joe Gomez may line up alongside Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the club's back four.

And that is because Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren is set to be given an extended rest period following his country's run all the way to the World Cup final.

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Van Dijk starts in Liverpool draw

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 20:23

Last Updated: 14/07/18 6:46pm

Virgil van Dijk started for Liverpool Virgil van Dijk started for Liverpool Virgil van Dijk started for Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip made their first appearances of pre-season as Liverpool drew 0-0 with Bury on Saturday.

The Reds went closest to breaking the deadlock but Sheyi Ojo and Dominic Solanke saw efforts blocked on the line.

Loris Karius, who made an error in Tuesday's win at Tranmere, played an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.

Liverpool first half team: Karius, Clyne, Van Dijk, Matip, Moreno, Milner, Fabinho, Jones, Ojo, Origi, Sturridge

Second half team: Karius (Grabara), Gomez, Phillips, Klavan, Robertson, Chirivella, Woodburn, Keita, Camacho, Lallana, Solanke

Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved as he looks set to leave on loan.

New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week's International Champions Cup in the United States.

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Liverpool made 10 changes at half-time and Ben Woodburn was denied a winner in the second half by a brilliant save.

"We could have scored five or six times with a little bit more in the last," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. "But these were the good moments and the rest was really a lot of intensity in the body, with all the tired bones and stuff like this.

Naby Keita got another run out for his new side Naby Keita got another run out for his new side Naby Keita got another run out for his new side

"I saw a little bit more in the first half than in the second half, but both [Liverpool] teams struggled and that's OK.

"If you want, it's my fault because we did a lot in the last two days. I wanted us to score, I don't like the a few situations; first half with Divock [Origi] when maybe he can pass the ball for an easy goal.

"It's the part of the season when players try to impress me, but I've told them already: 'You impress me not by scoring any goal; if you see someone in a better position then that impresses me much more.' Making the right decisions when you are really tired, when it is really warm and the ball is not really rolling is very difficult. I knew that before, and that's what we saw today."

LFCTV is the only place to watch all of Liverpool's pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/lfctv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 425 and press red.

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Klopp offers Sturridge hope

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 20:16
By PA Sport

Last Updated: 14/07/18 6:46pm

Daniel Sturridge has been linked with a move away from Liverpool Daniel Sturridge has been linked with a move away from Liverpool Daniel Sturridge has been linked with a move away from Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the door remains open for striker Daniel Sturridge despite doubts remaining over his future.

The England international fell down the pecking order last season after injuries impacted on his availability and he has been linked with a move to Sevilla and Besiktas.

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The 28-year-old still has plenty to prove to Klopp, considering his fitness record, but he has looked one of the sharpest performers in pre-season - although he failed to break the deadlock in a goalless draw at Sky Bet League Two side Bury on Saturday.

"It's funny, this is my third pre-season and every year we talk about the same things," said the Reds boss.

"It's no problem. I always said there is a future, it's about what we do in the moment.

Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool

"At the moment it's all good and we don't have to make decisions. I don't think about my players like this - like, maybe he's in or out.

"With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.

"The window is still open, right? Is it closing tomorrow? Good."

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Bury in their third pre-season game Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Bury in their third pre-season game Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Bury in their third pre-season game

The game saw Loris Karius, who made another error in Tuesday's win at Tranmere, given an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.

Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved with the likelihood he will go out on loan to a Sky Bet Championship club in the near future with Stoke, Derby and Swansea all interested.

New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for £13million on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week's International Champions Cup in the United States.

There were first pre-season appearances for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with the Dutchman looking particularly composed in a 45-minute first-half run-out.

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How will Klopp fit Shaqiri in?

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 23:10
Sam Drury

@SamDrury11

Last Updated: 13/07/18 9:12pm

How will Xherdan Shaqiri fit in at Liverpool? How will Xherdan Shaqiri fit in at Liverpool? How will Xherdan Shaqiri fit in at Liverpool?

When it became clear that Mohamed Salah would not be able to continue, Jurgen Klopp had a big decision to make.

Trying to replace a player with 44 goals in the season to his name is an unenviable task at the best of times, let alone 29 minutes into a Champions League final. Klopp plumped for Adam Lallana, who had played just 16 minutes of football in the two months prior, had played more than half an hour only once since January and has not played regularly in the front three since the 2015/16 season.

Liverpool confirm Shaqiri signing

The only realistic alternative was Dominic Solanke, a 20-year-old with only one senior goal to his name. Liverpool's fearsome front three had taken them to Kiev but the drop off in quality to those in reserve was stark, certainly following the departures of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, on loan, in January.

It is little surprise then that Klopp and Liverpool have moved to address the issue with Xherdan Shaqiri becoming the club's third summer signing.

1:34 Xherdan Shaqiri has joined Liverpool - here are some of his best moments from last season Xherdan Shaqiri has joined Liverpool - here are some of his best moments from last season

There was a decidedly mixed reaction from Liverpool fans when the Swiss international was first linked with a move to Anfield, around the time a deal for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir fell through.

However, Shaqiri's release clause of £13.5m makes it a relatively risk-free deal. Even if things were not to work out for the former Stoke playmaker on Merseyside, Liverpool would be confident of at least recouping their money for a player who does not turn 27 until October, especially given the current state of the transfer market.

Of course, the hope for both the player and the club is that it won't come to that and there is plenty to suggest he can be success at a club he first wanted to join in 2014.

Shaqiri came close to joining Liverpool in 2014 Shaqiri came close to joining Liverpool in 2014 Shaqiri came close to joining Liverpool in 2014

"I had offers from Liverpool and Atletico Madrid," Shaqiri told spox.com in December 2016. "I opted for Liverpool. [Then-manager] Brendan Rodgers contacted me a few times during the World Cup. But Bayern blocked my move."

Four years on and having finally arrived, Shaqiri will have a point to prove.

While few would argue against his quality, stylistically Shaqiri will have to make some adjustments. His work rate was called into question at times last season and whether it is in the front three or in midfield, if such questions are asked again this season then he won't be in the team for long.

The numbers show that Shaqiri actually covered more distance per game (9.6km) than any of Liverpool's front three but it is how he went about that that will likely need to change.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has put faith in his new man Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has put faith in his new man Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has put faith in his new man

Shaqiri made significantly fewer sprints per game than any of Salah, Firmino or Mane and with a limited pre-season due to his World Cup commitments, it will be interesting to see if he has the time, or indeed the capability, to adapt to a more physically demanding style of play.

While the expectation from the outside is that Shaqiri will act as back-up to Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, as someone who can be rotated in when one of that forward line are in need of a rest, the player himself will no doubt believe that he is capable of making a spot in the starting XI his own.

What he cannot expect is to be seen as the star man, as he was at Stoke, and how he deals with sitting on the bench and having to make an impact off it could go a long way to determining how successful he is at Anfield.

Shaqiri's versatility makes him an attractive option for Klopp Shaqiri's versatility makes him an attractive option for Klopp Shaqiri's versatility makes him an attractive option for Klopp

One thing may help him to minimise his time on the sidelines is his versatility. Although he predominantly featured on the right for Stoke, Shaqiri is more than capable of operating on the left and played as a No 10 for much of last season.

Given the way Klopp has used Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the past couple of years, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Shaqiri could even feature as a 'No 8' in games where Liverpool are expected to dominate possession.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, in particular, caused opposition sides problems with his direct running from the middle of the pitch and Shaqiri certainly has the pace and creativity to do similar. The Swiss created 43 chances from open play last season, in addition to scoring eight goals and making seven assists in a struggling Stoke side.

That there are question marks over Shaqiri and his suitability for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool is indisputable but given his age, ability and the fee, the risks are outweighed by the potential rewards.

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Shaqiri excited to sign for Liverpool

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 23:00
"I want to win titles," says Switzerland forward after moving to Anfield on long-term deal By Allan Valente

Last Updated: 13/07/18 10:29pm

Xherdan Shaqiri has joined Liverpool for £13.5m Xherdan Shaqiri has joined Liverpool for £13.5m Xherdan Shaqiri has joined Liverpool for £13.5m

Liverpool have completed the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke on a long-term contract.

It is understood Stoke accepted a bid of just over £13.5m after Liverpool met the release clause valuation in the Swiss midfielder's contract.

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Shaqiri becomes Liverpool's third summer signing after Fabinho and Naby Keita joined the club and he is keen for the Premier League season to get underway.

"I'm very happy to be here. It's a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I'm really glad and happy to be here," Shaqiri told Liverpoolfc.com.

1:34 Shaqiri has completed his move for Liverpool - here are some of his best moments from last season Shaqiri has completed his move for Liverpool - here are some of his best moments from last season

"As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn't happen. I'm really happy that now I'm finally here.

"I want to improve myself too, I want to be with the best and I want to win titles. That's what I'm here for."

Shaqiri made 36 Premier League appearances for Stoke last season, scoring eight goals Shaqiri made 36 Premier League appearances for Stoke last season, scoring eight goals Shaqiri made 36 Premier League appearances for Stoke last season, scoring eight goals

The 26-year-old, who was part of the Switzerland squad which reached the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia, joined Stoke in 2015 from Inter Milan before going on to make 84 league appearances for the club.

He started his career at Basel before moving to Bayern Munich where he won two Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal cups and the Champions League, with the Bavarians beating Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund in the final in 2013.

Klopp believes Liverpool are the "perfect" club for his new signing and described the move as a "no-brainer".

The Switzerland international played in the World Cup this summer The Switzerland international played in the World Cup this summer The Switzerland international played in the World Cup this summer

He said: "I think the English phrase to explain the decision to sign Xherdan is a 'no-brainer'. When someone like him becomes available in this way you have to react if you are smart - and we have.

"He has speed and ability, has the right amount of arrogance on the football pitch, real bravery to want the ball and influence things. To play for us these are mandatory requirements.

"We are the perfect move for him in this moment as well I think, because he needs to push himself and challenge himself and our environment encourages that.

"From our perspective, he is someone who makes a big difference to the squad and team, because he can fit in so many positions in our system. He gives us greater flexibility in how we can use our current players also. This is cool.

"I know him well from his time in Switzerland and especially Germany - I have been a long-time admirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Premier League and what it takes to perform in this uniquely intense environment."

LFCTV is the only place to watch all of Liverpool's pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/lfctv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 425 and press red.

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Salah, Mane to join Liverpool US tour

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 12:58
By PA Sport

Last Updated: 13/07/18 11:51am

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will join up with Liverpool having returned from World Cup duty Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will join up with Liverpool having returned from World Cup duty Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will join up with Liverpool having returned from World Cup duty

Liverpool have confirmed that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be joining them on their pre-season tour of the United States.

The forward pair are yet to report back for training following their involvement in the World Cup with Egypt and Senegal respectively.

With both players exiting the competition after the group stages, they will now return to club duty for the tour, which begins a week on Saturday.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said of the pair: "They had their holiday and then they'll come with us to the USA. They only had three weeks' holiday so it means they didn't lose too much.

"We have to see how they are and then we'll see if they can play in the games. They will be there."

Liverpool's front three scored 91 goals between them last season Liverpool's front three scored 91 goals between them last season Liverpool's front three scored 91 goals between them last season

Klopp also confirmed that striker Roberto Firmino, who reached the quarter-finals with Brazil, will report back for Liverpool's second training camp in France later in the month.

All three players scored for their countries during the World cup and managed a combined 91 goals last season in a campaign which saw Liverpool lose out to Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League.

Liverpool players involved in the World Cup semi-finals will return the week prior to the Reds' Premier League opener against West Ham on August 12, live on Sky Sports.

Klopp added on the club's website: "We have the English guys, Simon (Mignolet) and Dejan (Lovren) - (they) will come another week later.

"We'll already be back from France and will have exactly one week to prepare (for) the game (against West Ham). That's no problem."

The week-long US tour will feature games against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Manchester United.

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Karius at fault as Liverpool win

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 00:50

Last Updated: 10/07/18 11:04pm

Liverpool No 1 Loris Karius was at fault for one of Tranmere's goals at Prenton Park Liverpool No 1 Loris Karius was at fault for one of Tranmere's goals at Prenton Park Liverpool No 1 Loris Karius was at fault for one of Tranmere's goals at Prenton Park

Liverpool overcame Tranmere Rovers 3-2 at Prenton Park in a friendly on Tuesday, but their win was overshadowed by another error from goalkeeper Loris Karius.

The visitors opted to field two completely different teams in each period, as they also did in their win at Chester on Saturday, with their first-half line-up giving Jurgen Klopp's side a 3-0 lead at the break.

Liverpool made the breakthrough after fine approach play down the right from Sheyi Ojo, with the exciting winger then setting up Portugal midfielder Rafael Camacho for a simple finish.

Liverpool doubled their lead after 27 minutes when Naby Keita, playing alongside fellow new signing Fabinho in central midfield for the first time, found Ojo in space.

The England U21 international then got past his marker, before firing a left-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Two soon became three when Ryan Kent's brilliant flick released captain Adam Lallana in the area and the midfielder's early strike caught the Tranmere 'keeper off guard.

However, after Liverpool made a raft of changes at the interval, the home side got themselves back into the contest, albeit after another Karius mistake.

The German, whose high-profile errors cost Liverpool in last season's Champions League final against Real Madrid, failed to hold on to Ollie Norburn's long-range free kick, with Jonny Smith scoring from the rebound.

Despite adding a second nine minutes from the end through Amadou Soukouna, Liverpool held on to make it two pre-season wins from two ahead of their trip to Bury on Saturday.

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Klopp defends Karius after spill

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 00:40

Last Updated: 10/07/18 11:14pm

0:32 Jurgen Klopp accepts Loris Karius is going to be regularly scrutinised after he made a mistake in Liverpool's pre-season win over Tranmere. Jurgen Klopp accepts Loris Karius is going to be regularly scrutinised after he made a mistake in Liverpool's pre-season win over Tranmere.

Jurgen Klopp accepts goalkeeper Loris Karius is going to be regularly scrutinised after he made a mistake in Liverpool's 3-2 pre-season win over Tranmere on Tuesday.

The German's handling was back in the spotlight after he spilled a free-kick which was hit at him and Tranmere scored from the loose ball.

Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid's three goals in May's Champions League final defeat - after which it was revealed he was suffering from concussion - and Klopp knows the focus will continue to be on the 25-year-old.

"Yeah, it will probably happen for a while until he has a few fantastic games, that is how the situation is," Klopp said. "We cannot change that. Our job is to perform and you do what you do and that is part of the deal.

Klopp saw his Liverpool side beat Tranmere Klopp saw his Liverpool side beat Tranmere Klopp saw his Liverpool side beat Tranmere

"Yes he could have made that save even though the shot was not easy to deal with.

"I've seen this situation 500 times at least in my life - 'Bam', against the chest, (ball) going down.

"Now Loris concedes that goal but we cannot start the story always after each mistake. Mistakes will happen.

"I don't like it, you don't like it, he doesn't like it, but they do happen. So let's carry on and make the best of all these situations to learn from it.

"No one likes that goal but if we talk about the second goal I think it was Millie's (James Milner's) fault together with (Pedro) Chirivella.

Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid's three goals in the Champions League final Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid's three goals in the Champions League final Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid's three goals in the Champions League final

"Two brilliant footballers make this mistake, which one was the bigger? I would say the second one but we don't talk about that."

Karius' error handed the initiative back to the hosts, who pulled back a second when makeshift centre-back Chirivella's pass put Milner in trouble and Amadou Soukouna ran through to score.

Liverpool had led 3-0 at half-time through goals from Rafael Camacho, Sheyi Ojo and Adam Lallana, who made his first appearance of pre-season.

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Transfer Talk: How Ronaldo fits at Juve

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 20:20

Last Updated: 10/07/18 6:57pm

The latest episode form the second series of our Transfer Talk podcast is here!

Host Tom White was joined in the studio by Sky Sports News reporters Dharmesh Sheth and Michael Bridge to chat about the latest moves in the transfer market.

Sky Italy reporter Valentina Fass phoned in to discuss where Cristiano Ronaldo will fit in at Juventus and the players that could leave following his arrival in Turin.

Click here to listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Sky Sports football feature writer Adam Bate popped into the studio to give an insight into what Uruguay international Lucas Torreira will bring to Arsenal.

The panel also provide updates on two other midfielders that could join Torreira at the Emirates.

Transfer Talk: How Ronaldo fits at Juve

The panel discuss where Cristiano Ronaldo will fit in at Juventus.

New West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has already spent big this summer, but could he be about to smash the club's transfer record for a second time? Dharmesh has all the latest on the moves being made by the Hammers.

Sky Germany reporter Max Bielefeld joined the show to discuss the possible deals in the Bundesliga, with the futures of Robert Lewandowski, Max Meyer and Christian Pulisic high on the agenda.

Click here to listen to the Transfer Talk podcast.

There is also news from Manchester United, Everton, Southampton, Newcastle, Wolves, Brighton and Rangers.

Finally, the panel answer your transfer questions!

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Wilson signs long-term Reds deal

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 19:10
By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 10/07/18 5:17pm

Harry Wilson has signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool Harry Wilson has signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool Harry Wilson has signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool

Harry Wilson has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract with the Reds.

The 21-year-old forward, who joined the club's academy at U9 level, has been rewarded after a successful loan spell at Sky Bet Championship side Hull last season.

"I'm delighted to sign the new deal," Wilson told Liverpool's official website.

"When it got offered to me, I was desperate to get everything sorted so I could sign it fairly early on in pre-season because I want to focus on playing football.

"So, now this is sorted, I feel I can do that and push on and try and impress."

Wilson scored seven times in 13 matches while on loan at the KCOM Stadium and around a dozen clubs, including Celtic, have reportedly made enquiries about the Wales international ahead of the new campaign.

However, Wilson is hoping to avoid going out on loan as he looks to secure first-team football under Jurgen Klopp.

Wilson has been with the Reds since U9 level Wilson has been with the Reds since U9 level Wilson has been with the Reds since U9 level

"I think my short-term focus is to keep trying to impress the manager day in, day out in training and, the minutes I get in pre-season, try and impress," said Wilson, who scored twice in the 7-0 pre-season win over Chester on Saturday.

"[I want to] keep trying to score goals, [get] assists, help the team out and then I'm not looking too far beyond that.

"I feel if I do well enough here, everything else will take care of itself."

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Wilson desperate to succeed at Liverpool

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 01:09

Last Updated: 09/07/18 11:28pm

Harry Wilson made his Liverpool debut in an FA Cup tie in January 2017 Harry Wilson made his Liverpool debut in an FA Cup tie in January 2017 Harry Wilson made his Liverpool debut in an FA Cup tie in January 2017

Liverpool forward Harry Wilson's dream of playing first-team football for the club means he will resist going out on loan for now.

The 21-year-old has consistently been the U23's best player over the last two seasons and he enhanced his reputation further with an impressive five months at Sky Bet Championship Hull, scoring seven times in 13 matches.

Around a dozen clubs, including Celtic, have reportedly made enquiries about the Wales international but Wilson wants to prove his worth to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in pre-season.

"The dream of mine is to play regularly for Liverpool's first team," he said.

Wilson's Hull loan heroics saw him named PFA Championship Player of the Month for April Wilson's Hull loan heroics saw him named PFA Championship Player of the Month for April Wilson's Hull loan heroics saw him named PFA Championship Player of the Month for April

"At the moment I am getting the chance to train at Melwood and get minutes in the friendlies and my aim is to impress the manager and stay here.

"If that's not possible then we will weigh up the options and go from there.

"Everyone wants to start games. If that's not the case and you're on the bench then you need to be ready to come on and make an impact."

Harry Wilson is Wales' youngest-ever international Harry Wilson is Wales' youngest-ever international Harry Wilson is Wales' youngest-ever international

Wilson, who scored twice in Saturday's 7-0 friendly win at Chester, believes his spell at Hull provided the perfect grounding to make the step up to the first team.

"It was what I needed - a lot of minutes in a competitive league in the Championship," he added.

"What I achieved while I was at Hull has given me a lot of confidence coming back to Liverpool. I always had the belief in myself but I wanted to show people that I could handle that step up to senior football.

"Maybe there were a few doubts from my first loan (at Crewe in 2016) about whether I could handle it. I was glad that I was able to go to Hull and prove those people wrong."

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Sunday's Liverpool transfer rumours

Sun, 08/07/2018 - 11:30

Last Updated: 08/07/18 10:53am

Liverpool's pursuit of a long-term target may be at an end as we round-up the latest transfer rumours on Sunday, July 8.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas believes Nabil Fekir will line up for the Ligue 1 club next season, reports Goal.

The 24-year-old France international looked the verge of joining Liverpool before this summer's World Cup but the transfer fell through.

"I think that Nabil will be at OL next season," Aulas told RMC Sport.

"I have almost a father-son relationship with my players, I gave him the chance to go to Liverpool because it was his dream club.

"I did that too with (Corentin) Tolisso and (Samuel) Umtiti, he is our captain and it is the coach's wish to keep him."

Liverpool have entered the race to sign Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The Merseyside club have held talks with the 22-year-old, although the Mirror claim Tottenham remain favourites for his signature.

Rangers will have first refusal on any young players Liverpool want to send out on loan, reports the Sun on Sunday.

It is understood a deal have been struck between both clubs' manager, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

The partnership has already seen Ovie Ejaria move to Ibrox on loan and Jon Flanagan join on a free transfer.

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Liverpool hit seven past Chester

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 19:40

Last Updated: 07/07/18 5:51pm

Divock Origi and Jon Moran during Saturday's friendly Divock Origi and Jon Moran during Saturday's friendly Divock Origi and Jon Moran during Saturday's friendly

New signings Fabinho and Naby Keita made their Liverpool debuts in a 7-0 pre-season victory at Chester FC.

Harry Wilson (37, 44), James Milner (48), Daniel Sturridge (54, 88), Ryan Kent (56) and Danny Ings (79) were all on the scoresheet for Jurgen Klopp's side, while Loris Karius made his first appearance in goal since his errors against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Liverpool manager Klopp named a different team in each half at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday afternoon with Fabinho, a £43.7m summer signing from Monaco, named in the starting XI.

Wilson struck twice for the Premier League side before the break. The first was a lob over goalkeeper Grant Shenton after he had denied Alberto Moreno and the second was a close-range finish from Curtis Jones' pass.

Fabinho was named in Liverpool's starting XI Fabinho was named in Liverpool's starting XI Fabinho was named in Liverpool's starting XI

Keita, who arrived at Liverpool on July 1 after signing from RB Leipzig last summer, was part of the second-half team that put a further five goals past the National League North side.

Sheyi Ojo was brought down by Shenton three minutes after half-time, allowing Milner to stroke home from the penalty spot before Sturridge netted on his return from his loan spell at West Brom.

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Kent made it 5-0 two minutes later when he struck into the top corner after a good run from the left, while Milner set up Ings to score the sixth from near the penalty spot.

Sturridge scored a fine goal from the edge of the area to complete the scoring as Klopp's side started their pre-season in fine style. Their next fixture is at Tranmere on Tuesday evening.

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Saturday's Liverpool transfer rumours

Sat, 07/07/2018 - 10:46

Last Updated: 07/07/18 9:46am

Liverpool should sign Leicester defender Harry Maguire, says Phil Thompson Liverpool should sign Leicester defender Harry Maguire, says Phil Thompson Liverpool should sign Leicester defender Harry Maguire, says Phil Thompson

Liverpool are urged to buy a new central defender as we round-up the latest transfer rumours on Saturday, July 7.

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson has told Klopp to go out and buy Leicester City's England centre-back Harry Maguire this summer.

"I was saying long before the tournament started that he has all the attributes needed to be a Liverpool player," Thompson told the Liverpool Echo.

"Big clubs will be after him and I'd like to think that Liverpool would be at the forefront."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been tipped to sign Paulo Dybala from Juventus with the Argentina international facing an uncertain future in Turin, according to reports in the Daily Express.

The Serie A champions are currently trying to lure Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin, which may force the playmaker to leave Juve.

Could Juve star Paulo Dybala be heading to Anfield next season? Could Juve star Paulo Dybala be heading to Anfield next season? Could Juve star Paulo Dybala be heading to Anfield next season?

The 24-year-old contributed 26 goals and seven assists in 46 games in all competitions for the 'Old Lady of Italian football' last season.

Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp has dropped a huge hint he will be signing more players at Liverpool after landing Naby Keita and Fabinho.

"I am happy," the Reds boss told LFCTV. "The work is going on and why should we stop until the window is done?"

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Klopp happy with Liverpool transfers

Fri, 06/07/2018 - 21:30
By Matthew Treadwell

Last Updated: 06/07/18 7:41pm

0:38 Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is happy with their transfer business but hopes his internationals return unscathed from the World Cup Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is happy with their transfer business but hopes his internationals return unscathed from the World Cup

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has declared himself happy with his transfer business, despite a relatively quiet summer so far.

The deal to bring midfielder Naby Keita to Anfield was agreed during the summer 2017 transfer window, but his £52.75m move from RB Leipzig has only now gone through.

Monaco defender Fabinho has also joined for £43.7m, with 20-year-old Isaac Christie-Davies having already secured a move to Merseyside after coming to the end of his contract with Chelsea.

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That is as far as Klopp's squad-strengthening has progressed but he insists he is happy with his signings, while indicating there may be more to come before the Premier League transfer window closes on August 9.

"I am happy," he told LFCTV. "The work is going on and why should we stop until the window is done?

"It is all good but we will see what happens. If all the players come back healthy from the World Cup, then we already have a really good team and that is all I need to know.

"What happens on the other side [of the World Cup], we will see."

Keita, Fabinho to make Liverpool debuts

Naby Keita and Fabinho are set to make their Liverpool debuts against Chester on Saturday, while Loris Karius is also expected to play.

Video courtesy of LFCTV, the only place to watch all of Liverpool's pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/lfctv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 425 and press red.

Watch Liverpool's opening game of the new Premier League season against West Ham on Sunday August 12. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Premier League at 1:30pm.

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