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WATCH: Klopp's message to Blues fan

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 19:40

Last Updated: 06/09/17 5:44pm

Jurgen Klopp gives a special message to one unwell Everton fan, after his auntie meets the Liverpool manager at a petrol station. Pictures courtesy of @teamnoahappeal

Jurgen Klopp put local rivalry to one side as he left a get-well-soon message for a young Everton supporter on Tuesday.

An aunt of 13-year-old Noah Cunningham bumped into Klopp at a Merseyside petrol station and asked for a selfie to send her nephew as he recovers from spinal surgery in hospital.

Reds boss Klopp instead suggested making a video, in which he wished young Noah well and signed off with: "See you at the latest derby."

The German's charitable gesture did not extend to predicting an Everton victory, though: when Noah's aunt Aliston Ruston chipped in with "When we win" Klopp replied: "Yeah, of course not."

Hit the video link to see Klopp's message in full...

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Klopp welcomes Ox with a hug

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 15:00

Last Updated: 06/09/17 3:27pm

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How did your internationals do?

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 01:10

Last Updated: 05/09/17 11:14pm

Romelu Lukaku continued his fine start to the season with Belgium over the international break Romelu Lukaku continued his fine start to the season with Belgium over the international break Romelu Lukaku continued his fine start to the season with Belgium over the international break

After a fortnight of World Cup Qualifiers and friendlies, we look at how Premier League players got on during the international break.

With plenty of international games taking place around the world, there were important goals scored along with some significant injuries.

Here's a round-up of how players from your Premier League team got on...

Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez's Chile were on the end of a thumping as Colombia beat the South American champions 3-0 to leave their World Cup hopes handing by a thread. Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina enjoyed a better outing though, claiming a clean sheet as Sanchez and co were kept at bay.

Olivier Giroud continued to pull rank over Alexandre Lacazette in the France national team, playing 76 minutes against Holland and 60 minutes against Luxembourg. Gunners club-record signing Lacazette came on for the last 10 minutes against the Dutch and the final half hour against Luxembourg, but, like Giroud, failed to score. Laurent Koscielny played the duration of both games for the French.

Alexandre Lacazette reacts after France's shock draw with Luxembourg Alexandre Lacazette reacts after France's shock draw with Luxembourg Alexandre Lacazette reacts after France's shock draw with Luxembourg

Mesut Ozil played all of Germany's 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Czech Republic and scored the opening goal in the 6-0 hammering of Norway on Monday.

Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score England's third in their 4-0 win in Malta, and made a six-minute cameo from the bench at the end of the win over Slovakia. Aaron Ramsey played 90 minutes of Wales' 1-0 victory over Austria.

There were mixed fortunes for Gunners defender Sead Kolasinac as Bosnia and Herzegovina left the door open to their World Cup play-off rivals by letting a two-goal lead slip in their 3-2 defeat in Cyprus. Kolasinac then played his second 90 minutes in succession as he and his team-mates atoned by hammering minnows Gibraltar 4-0 as they remained second in Group H behind already-qualified Belgium, a point clear of Greece.

Granit Xhaka played 66 minutes of Switzerland's 3-0 win over Andorra and played 77 minutes as the Swiss beat Latvia by the same scoreline. Nacho Monreal was an unused substitute in Spain's 3-0 victory over Italy in Madrid.

Aaron Ramsey played the full match as Wales beat Moldova 2-0 to move up to second in Group D. The midfielder got his name on the scoresheet, rounding off Chris Coleman's side's win in stoppage time.

Bournemouth

Harry Arter played 61 minutes of the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw in Georgia. Ryan Fraser was an unused substitute in Scotland's 3-0 win against Lithuania and 2-0 win over Malta.

Highlights of the World Cup Qualifier between Georgia and Republic of Ireland

Joshua King scored Norway's first goal in their 2-0 win over Azerbeijian, but his second 90-minute performance was less enjoyable as his side were thumped 6-0 by Germany.

Asmir Begovic played 90 minutes but conceded three second-half goals as Bosnia and Herzegovina lost 3-2 in Cyprus. The goalkeeper did manage to keep a clean sheet in their 4-0 victory over Gibraltar, though.

Brighton

After being an unused substitute against France, summer signing Davy Propper gave Netherlands head coach Dick Advocaat food for thought with two goals in Sunday's 3-1 win over Bulgaria.

Davy Propper scored twice for the Netherlands against Bulgaria Davy Propper scored twice for the Netherlands against Bulgaria Davy Propper scored twice for the Netherlands against Bulgaria

Goalkeeper Matt Ryan played 90 minutes in Saitama as Australia's World Cup hopes were dented by a 2-0 defeat to Japan. Tomer Hemed played 45 minutes but was on the losing as Macedonia beat Israel.

Burnley

Shane Duffy scored the opening goal in the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw in Georgia, in which Stephen Ward, Robbie Brady and Jon Walters also played 90 minutes.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson played 90 minutes of Iceland's 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Finland. Chris Wood scored a hat-trick as New Zealand thrashed minnows Solomon Islands 6-0 in World Cup qualifying.

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Chelsea

Eden Hazard started a competitive match for the first time in almost 14 weeks, playing 77 minutes as Belgium demolished minnows Gibraltar 9-0 in World Cup qualification. The Chelsea winger, continuing his recovery from a fractured ankle, scored his first goal since the final day of last season with the sixth in Liege.

Hazard then came off the bench for the final 16 minutes in Greece as a 2-1 victory saw Belgium qualified for next summer's World Cup. Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, played the full 90 minutes in both of Belgium's qualifying victories.

Highlights of the Group H World Cup Qualifier between Greece and Belgium

Gary Cahill played the duration of England's World Cup qualifying victories over Malta and Slovakia. N'Golo Kante played the duration of France's impressive victory of Netherlands, and the not so impressive stalemate with Luxembourg.

Alvaro Morata scored within five minutes of coming off the bench in Spain 3-0 win over Italy. Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro were unused substitutes at the Bernabeu. Morata also grabbed a double and set up another as Spain beat Lichtenstein 8-0 on Tuesday evening.

Willian played 84 minutes of Brazil's 2-0 win over Ecuador. Antonio Rudiger played the final 29 minutes of Germany's 21 win in Czech Republic and was drafted in for the full 90 in their 6-0 win over Norway in Stuttgart. Victor Moses scored the third goal in Nigeria's 4-0 win over Cameroon, before being substituted with seven minutes remaining.

Crystal Palace

James McArthur scored for the second game running against Lithuania, notching the third in Scotland's 3-0 win in Vilnius. Christian Benteke was an unused substitute in Belgium's World Cup qualifying victories over Gibraltar and Greece. Jeff Schlupp played 90 minutes of Ghana's 1-1 draw with Congo in World Cup qualifying.

Highlights of Scotland’s 3-0 victory in Lithuania from Group F of the World Cup QualifiersEverton

Summer signing Gylfi Sigurdsson played 90 minutes but was unable to prevent Iceland slipping to a 1-0 defeat in Finland. Ashley Williams captained Wales to a 1-0 victory over Austria in World Cup qualifying. Kevin Mirallas was brought into the Belgium squad after sitting out their 9-0 victory over Gibraltar, but the Toffees forward was an unused substitute in their 2-1 win in Greece.

Sigurdsson then scored twice as Iceland beat Ukraine 2-0 on Tuesday evening.

Leicester

Jamie Vardy came on for the final 20 minutes of England's win in Malta, but was an unused substitute in the win over Slovakia. Andy King played 45 minutes of Wales' World Cup qualifying win over Austria.

Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet as Denmark thrashed Poland 4-0 on Friday, and the Foxes stopper kept things tight at the back again as the Danes won 4-1 in Armenia.

Kasper Schmeichel celebrates Denmark's 4-0 victory against PolandKasper Schmeichel celebrates Denmark's 4-0 victory against Poland Kasper Schmeichel celebrates Denmark's 4-0 victory against Poland

Adrien Silva missed Portugal's 5-1 win over Faroe Islands following his Deadline Day switch to Leicester but teamed up with the European champions for their World Cup qualifier in Hungary. However, Silva was an unused substitute in the 1-0 win in Budapest.

Wilfred Ndidi played 90 minutes and Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to score Nigeria's fourth in their 4-0 thrashing of Cameroon. Daniel Amartey played the full 90 minutes of Ghana's 1-1 draw with Congo. With Riyad Mahrez missing, Islam Slimani played 90 minutes for Algeria but a 3-1 defeat to Zambia all but ended their World Cup qualification hopes.

Shinji Okazaki came on for the final three minutes as Japan booked their place at Russia 2018 with a 2-0 victory over Australia.

Liverpool

Jordan Henderson captained England to victories over Malta and Slovakia, in which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 76 and 83 minutes respectively.

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson scored a stunning goal as Scotland won 3-0 in Lithuania, and the full-back put in another 90-minute performance as the Scots remained in the hunt for a play-off spot with victory over Malta. Ben Woodburn came off the bench to score the winner on his international debut as Wales edged past Austria and provided an assist for Hal Robson-Kanu in the 2-0 victory over Moldova.

Highlights of the Group D World Cup Qualifier between Wales and Austria

Georginio Wijnaldum played back-to-back 90 minutes for Netherlands in their heavy defeat in France and 3-1 recovery win against Bulgaria. Emre Can played the final 11 minutes of Germany's 2-1 win in the Czech Republic but was an unused substitute in their 6-0 rout of Norway.

Dejan Lovren played 90 minutes as Croatia beat Kosovo 1-0 on Sunday, after their World Cup Qualifier had been abandoned on due to heavy rain on Saturday. Ragnar Klavan captained Estonia to a goalless draw in Greece but was missing from their late, dramatic 1-0 victory over Cyrus in Tallinn on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to score Brazil's second goal in their 2-0 win over Ecuador. Roberto Firmino was an unused substitute in Porte Alegre.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game as Egypt beat Uganda on Tuesday.

Sadio Mane played the full 90 minutes of Senegal's 2-2 draw with Burkino Faso The 25-year-old grabbed Sengeal's second in the 75th minute but it wasn't enough to seal all three points.

Man CityRaheem Sterling played for England during their 4-0 win against Malta Raheem Sterling played for England during their 4-0 win against Malta Raheem Sterling played for England during their 4-0 win against Malta

Raheem Sterling played the first half of England's win in Malta and the final seven minutes of the 2-1 win over Slovakia. Kyle Walker played the duration of both games at right-back.

Kevin De Bruyne played 84 minutes in Belgium's rout of Gibraltar and then 90 minutes in Greece as qualification to Russia 2018 was secured. Vincent Kompany, meanwhile, picked up a knock following the Gibraltar victory and head coach Roberto Martinez opted not to risk the City captain in Greece.

Bernardo Silva set up Cristiano Ronaldo for the opening goal as Portugal put five past Faroe Islands. Having played 90 minutes against the Faroes, Silva made a 27-minute cameo from the bench as Portugal edged past Hungary 1-0 on Sunday.

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Sergio Aguero was an unused substitute in Argentina's goalless draw in Uruguay. Nicolas Otamendi, however, played 90 minutes. Gabriel Jesus played the duration of Brazil's 2-0 victory over Ecuador. Claudio Bravo shipped three goals as Chile's World Cup qualification hopes were dealt a blow by Colombia on Thursday.

Having played the full 90 minutes of Spain's 3-0 win over Italy on Saturday, David Silva scored a superb free-kick in his country's 8-0 victory against Lichtenstein on Tuesday.

David Silva scored Spain's fourth goal against Liechenstein with a fabulous set pieceMan Utd

Having set up the opener, Marcus Rashford scored the winner in England's 2-1 victory over Slovakia with his first international goal. Phil Jones maintained his solid early season form with an impressive showing for England against Malta and Slovakia.

Highlights of England's World Cup Qualifier against Slovakia at Wembley

Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick against Gibraltar on Thursday and the winning goal in Greece as a 2-1 victory saw Belgium become the first European side to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. After sitting out the victory over Gibraltar, Marouane Fellaini played 89 minutes in Greece.

Paul Pogba played back-to-back 90 minutes as France outclassed Netherlands before being held to a surprise goalless draw by minnows Luxembourg. It proved to be a baptism of fire for Timothy Fosu-Mensah on his first international appearance for the Dutch in the 4-0 defeat to France. Daley Blind was helpless to prevent the French from running amok in Paris, but the United defender bounced back with two assists as Netherlands overcame Bulgaria 3-1 on Sunday.

Romelu Lukaku scored four goals in two games as Belgium qualified for the World CupRomelu Lukaku scored four goals in two games as Belgium qualified for the World Cup Romelu Lukaku scored four goals in two games as Belgium qualified for the World Cup

Nemanja Matic played 77 minutes of Serbia's 3-0 win over Moldova. The international break proved fruitless for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who played captained Armenia to defeats against Romania and Denmark. He's found game time hard to come by at Old Trafford but Victor Lindelof remains a mainstay in the Sweden defence, playing 90 minutes in their defeat in Bulgaria and healthy victory in Belarus.

David de Gea kept a clean sheet as Spain took a step closer to World Cup qualification with a 3-0 victory over an Italy side which featured Matteo Darmian. United No 2 Sergio Romero kept Uruguay at bay as Argentina secured a goalless draw in Montevideo. Antonio Valencia played 90 minutes of Ecuador's 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Brazil.

Newcastle

Ciaran Clark played 90 minutes of the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw in Georgia.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored Serbia's third goal in their 3-0 win over Moldova. Matt Ritchie played the final 24 minutes of Scotland's 3-0 win in Lithuania.

Christian Atsu played 90 minutes of Ghana's 1-1 draw with Congo in World Cup qualifying.

Southampton

Having scored a penalty to seal Northern Ireland's 3-0 win over San Marino, Steven Davis captained his nation to victory over Czech Republic as a second-place spot in Group C was secured for Michael O'Neill's men. Ryan Bertrand scored the second goal in England's 4-0 win in Malta and featured for the entirety of Monday's win over Slovakia.

Highlights of the Group C World Cup Qualifier between San Marino and Northern Ireland

There were contrasting fortunes for Saints summer signing Wesley Hoedt as he played 90 minutes in Holland's hammering in France and 3-1 win over Bulgaria. Cedric Soares played the duration of Portugal's victories over Faroe Islands and Hungary, as the European champions moved a step closer to Russia 2018.

Shane Long played 90 minutes of the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw in Georgia. Dusan Tadic played 66 minutes of Serbia's 3-0 win over Moldova and Manolo Gabbiadini played the final 12 minutes of Italy's 3-0 defeat in Spain. Maya Yoshida played the full 90 minutes as Japan booked their place at Russia 2018 with a 2-0 victory over Australia.

Having been left out of Poland's heavy defeat in Denmark, Jan Bednarek came on for the final minute of their 3-0 win over Kazakhstan.

Mario Lemina scored Gabon's second as they secured a 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

Stoke

Xherdan Shaqiri played the duration of Switzerland's 3-0 victories over Andorra and Latvia, laying on the opening goal against the Andorrans for Haris Seferovic. Geoff Cameron played 90 minutes of the United States' 2-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica.

Swansea

Lukasz Fabianski had an evening to forget as his Poland side conceded four unanswered goals in Denmark, but the Swans stopper atoned by keeping a clean sheet as the Poles bounced back with a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan.

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Jordan Ayew played 90 minutes of Ghana's 1-1 draw with Congo in World Cup qualifying.

Tottenham

Eric Dier scored the equaliser with a clever near-post flick as England beat Slovakia 2-1. Spurs team-mates Harry Kane and Dele Alli both started the game at Wembley, and the 4-0 win in Malta beforehand, in which Kane scored twice. Ben Davies played 90 minutes of Wales' 1-0 victory over Austria.

Highlights of the Group F World Cup Qualifier between Malta and England.

Christian Eriksen produced a moment of magic, hitting spectacular fourth in Denmark's 4-0 mauling of Poland, and the Spurs midfielder followed that up with a fantastic free-kick as the Danes won 4-1 in Armenia on Monday

Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele featured in Belgium's World Cup qualifying victories over Gibraltar and Greece. Dembele played 119 minutes across the two games while Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who scored the opening goal in Piraeus, played the duration of both games.

Hugo Lloris kept a clean sheet as France took another step toward World Cup qualification with a 4-0 over Netherlands. But the international break ended on sour note for the Spurs captain as lowly Luxembourg - 126 places lower in the FIFA rankings - held France to a goalless draw in the Stade de France.

Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen opened the scoring for Belgium against Greece with a powerful strike from 25 yards out

Vincent Janssen played 64 minutes for the Netherlands' 4-0 defeat in France and 90 minutes in their 3-1 win over Bulgaria, but failed to find the net on both occasions. Son Heung-min played 90 minutes as South Korea missed the chance to qualify for Russia 2018 after they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Iran.

Watford

Sebastian Prodl limped off the field 27 minutes into Austria's 1-0 defeat in Wales. Goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann was an unused substitute in Cardiff. Nordin Amrabat played 74 minutes of Morocco's 6-0 rout of Mali.

West Brom

Jonny Evans sent Northern Ireland on their way to victory with the opening goal in their 2-0 victory over Czech Republic, with Baggies team-mate Chris Brunt scoring the second with an expert free-kick from 25 yards.

Highlights of Northern Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against Czech Republic at Windsor Park

Jake Livermore played 90 minutes of England's win in Malta, before coming on in added time against Slovakia at Wembley. Hal Robson-Kanu played the final 21 minutes of Wales' 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Austria and scored in the 2-0 win over Moldova. James McClean played 90 minutes of the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw in Georgia.

Having sat out Belgium's 9-0 win over Gibraltar, Nacer Chadli came on for the final 11 minutes in Greece as his nation qualified for the World Cup with a 2-1 victory. Salomon Rondon played 90 minutes as Venezuela were held to a goalless draw by Colombia on Thursday.

West Ham

Joe Hart played 90 minutes for England in their World Cup qualifying victories over Malta and Slovakia.Goalkeeper Darren Randolph played 90 minutes in Georgia were the Republic of Ireland held on for a 1-1 draw. James Collins was an unused substitute in Wales 1-0 victory over Austria.

Joe Hart played both games in goal for England during the international breakJoe Hart played both games in goal for England during the international break Joe Hart played both games in goal for England during the international break

Jose Fonte played 90 minutes in Portugal's 5-1 victory over Faroe Islands but was an unused substitute in their 1-0 win in Hungary. Edimilson Fernandes played the final 16 minutes of Switzerland's 3-0 win over Andorra but was an unused substitute as the Swiss won by the same scoreline in Latvia.

Marko Arnautovic, meanwhile, lined up on the opposing side but was unable to help Austria get a result in Cardiff. Javier Hernandez played the full 90 minutes as Mexico edged past Panama 1-0 in World Cup qualifying. Andre Ayew played 68 minutes of Ghana's 1-1 draw with Congo in World Cup qualifying.

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Clyne out for 'significant period'

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:07
By Mark Crellin

Last Updated: 05/09/17 7:54pm

Nathaniel Clyne looks set for a three-month spell on the sidelinesNathaniel Clyne looks set for a three-month spell on the sidelines Nathaniel Clyne looks set for a three-month spell on the sidelines

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Nathaniel Clyne will be on the sidelines for a significant period of time due to a back injury.

There was some surprise that Clyne was left out of Liverpool's Champions League squad but Klopp says the England international is unlikely to be fit until the group stages are almost over.

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The 26-year-old England international right-back has not featured since playing 45 minutes of the first pre-season friendly at Tranmere in July and Sky sources understand that the back problem will keep him out for up to another three months.

Klopp told Liverpool's official website: "Nathaniel is working hard on his rehab and we have kept a close eye on his progress, but the reality is we are looking at some time still before he is back and available for selection.

"I am told it will be longer than just a couple of weeks, so we will continue to monitor and assess.

"It is pretty certain he'll not be available for the majority of the Champions League group matches.

"If we are fortunate enough to still be in UEFA competition in the New Year, he could be added to the squad then.

Joe Gomez has featured for Liverpool in Clyne's absenceJoe Gomez has featured for Liverpool in Clyne's absence Joe Gomez has featured for Liverpool in Clyne's absence

"The medical guys are pleased with how he is responding and Nathaniel has shown a really strong attitude, given he is not someone who is used to being out injured."

The Champions League group matches run between September 13 to December 6 and will provide Clyne's deputies with further chances to impress.

And Klopp added: "What is positive for us is how Joe (Gomez) and Trent (Alexander-Arnold) have stepped up and grasped their opportunities."

Liverpool have made a positive start to the season and, as well as qualifying for the Champions League group stages, they lie second in the Premier League table after three matches, ahead of a trip to fourth-placed Manchester City on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am.

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Lightning Liverpool & PL styles

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 08:00
Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @p_smith86

Last Updated: 05/09/17 12:39pm

Mo Salah is one of Liverpool's fast attackersMo Salah is one of Liverpool's fast attackers Mo Salah is one of Liverpool's fast attackers

Examining Liverpool's rapid counter-attacks and contrasting Premier League playing styles with new Opta data...

Gary Neville described Liverpool's performance in their 4-0 win over Arsenal as "scintillating" - and their speed in attack will be a real worry for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of Saturday's Sky Live showdown.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he was eager to add more pace to his squad when Mo Salah was unveiled this summer and the threat of Liverpool's lightning counter-attacks was demonstrated by the new signing's breakaway goal against the Gunners.

The Egyptian hit the net just 12 seconds after an Arsenal corner to make it 3-0 and Opta recorded the speed of Liverpool's move downfield as 9.9 metres per second. That makes it the fastest move leading to a goal in the Premier League so far this season.

But it wasn't a one-off. Of the fastest moves leading to open play goals scored so far in 2017/18, Liverpool have scored four out of 20.

Sequences and direct speed

Sequences are defined as passages of play which belong to one team and are ended by defensive actions, stoppages in play or a shot. Direct Speed is progress (distance upfield) divided by sequence time.

This data comes courtesy of Opta's new analysis of passing sequences and the speed teams can move the ball forwards, known as 'direct speed'. The numbers also paint an interesting picture of the diverse playing styles among Premier League clubs.

Just three games into the new campaign there are significant differences between the sides already.

Stoke and Leicester, for instance, are the quickest at progressing attacks towards the opposition goal, with their moves averaging 1.99 metres per second. However, they use very few passes to do that. On average there are just 2.48 and 2.54 passes per sequence in their moves, respectively.

Of course, that style was a much talked about approach during Leicester's Premier League title win in 2015/16. But compare their methods to Arsenal, who are among the top five teams when it comes to the speed (1.79 m/s) they move the ball downfield yet use 4.38 passes on average.

Simply, Arsenal - unlike any other Premier League team - move the ball towards the final third extremely quickly but with intricate passing movements. Indeed, Arsenal have played fewer long balls than any other Premier League side so far this season (48).

Liverpool's attacks average a very high direct speed of 1.72 m/s, with a mid-range 3.49 passes per sequence.

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Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham use a similar number of passes in their moves (4.48) to the Gunners but interestingly are much slower in moving the ball forwards (1.34 m/s). Spurs - who have the second highest passes per sequence total in the league - have a direct speed about 33 per cent slower than Arsenal's.

Elsewhere, Everton (1.04 m/s) and struggling West Ham (1.05 m/s) are the slowest at moving the ball forwards. Curiously, the Hammers are averaging a similar number of passes per sequence as Burnley and Crystal Palace - who are among the quickest at progressing forwards.

While the sample size is small and teams have had different fortunes with different approaches, Opta's passing sequence and direct speed data shines a light on a diverse league which presents sides with an array of challenges to overcome.

For Manchester City this weekend - themselves the team with the most passes per sequence - the potential threat from pacey Liverpool is clear to see.

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'Elite will come to Premier League'

Mon, 04/09/2017 - 23:50
By Dev Trehan

Last Updated: 04/09/17 11:00pm

Christian Purslow says the Premier League's financial power is telling in terms of holding onto talent and bringing in the very best international players

The world’s best players will be playing in the Premier League in coming years, according to Christian Purslow.

The Premier League generates over £8bn from global television rights, dwarfing the TV revenue generated by any league across the globe.

And former Liverpool and Chelsea managing director Purslow believes that will ultimately lead to the best players in the world coming to England in the not too distant future.

"I think we're in the first phase of the massive financial superiority of Premier league clubs over all of their European rivals," Purslow told The Business on Sky Sports News.

"The total television income of the Premier League per year is over twice their nearest rivals Spain, three, four, five times that of Germany, France and Italy.

Christian Purslow has worked at Liverpool and Chelsea in recent yearsChristian Purslow has worked at Liverpool and Chelsea in recent years Christian Purslow has worked at Liverpool and Chelsea in recent years

"In any industry that economic advantage will ultimately tell. In the first phase what we are seeing is clubs keeping hold of talent that previously would have been sold for financial reasons.

"What we will see in the next phase is the Premier League [clubs] starting to sign the cream of the crop from Europe at the peak of their careers.

"I'm absolutely sure that will be the next phase. It simply cannot be true that the Premier League has such superior economic resources and not employ the most talented footballers in the world.

Christian Purslow: Liverpool were never going to let Coutinho go. It would have sent a terrible signal had they sold

"And other aspects that had tilted the table away from the Premier League like privileged tax rates for Spanish footballers those are long gone.

"There are no tax advantages for Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to play in Spain. Those are long gone in fact the Spanish government is going after them for tax avoidance/evasion.

"So I believe in the next phase, over the next four or five years you will see the top players in Europe coming to the Premier League because of those economic considerations."

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'Liverpool job was draining'

Mon, 04/09/2017 - 15:20

Last Updated: 04/09/17 1:23pm

Brendan Rodgers declined offers from England and China after being sacked by Liverpool in 2015Brendan Rodgers declined offers from England and China after being sacked by Liverpool in 2015 Brendan Rodgers declined offers from England and China after being sacked by Liverpool in 2015

Brendan Rodgers says managing Liverpool was so “draining” he needed to take a break from football.

The Northern Irishman was two points away from "the holy grail" of winning the Premier League in 2014 as the Reds finished as runners-up, two points behind Manchester City, but was sacked 17 months later in what was his fourth season at Anfield.

Rodgers declined offers from England and China before agreeing to take charge of Celtic in May 2016, and he led the club to the treble in his first season in charge, going unbeaten in all domestic games.

I came as close as anyone there to the holy grail of winning the league.

Brendan Rodgers on his time in charge of Liverpool

"When I came out of Liverpool, I needed a break," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"It was so intense. It was draining. We moved to London just to come away from it.

"I had offers from England and a couple from China where the money is very good, and that's tempting for a boy from Northern Ireland.

Rodgers won the treble with Celtic in his first season in chargeRodgers won the treble with Celtic in his first season in charge Rodgers won the treble with Celtic in his first season in charge

"But I had come out of one of the biggest institutions in the world and I had to find that pressure again. I've got that now.

"With Liverpool, you can go away from home and draw and that's okay. But Celtic, you have to win every game. It's a different pressure."

Rodgers failed to win a trophy with Liverpool but says it remains a special period of his career.

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"I came as close as anyone there to the holy grail of winning the league," he said.

"That season, with the fans, it was special."

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Coutinho named in CL squad

Mon, 04/09/2017 - 11:40

Last Updated: 04/09/17 1:25pm

Philippe Coutinho has been named in Liverpool's Champions League squadPhilippe Coutinho has been named in Liverpool's Champions League squad Philippe Coutinho has been named in Liverpool's Champions League squad

Philippe Coutinho has been named in Liverpool's Champions League squad after failing to secure a move to Barcelona during the transfer window.

Coutinho handed in a transfer request but remains at Anfield after the club rejected three bids from Barcelona, the final offer being worth up to £118m.

The 25-year-old is currently on international duty with Brazil and scored in their World Cup Qualifier win against Ecuador on Thursday.

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Coutinho will return to the UK after Tuesday's game against Colombia and he could make his first appearance of the season for Liverpool in Saturday's crunch Premier League clash with Manchester City, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am.

Manager Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool got "exactly the situation we wanted" after Coutinho stayed with the club, with Barcelona instead spending £97m to bring in Ousmane Dembele from Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund.

"Dortmund decided the player (Dembele) would leave them, so I cannot compare the two situations," said Klopp.

"We still have a really good player in the squad who can play."

Liverpool kick off their Champions League campaign at home to Sevilla on September 13, with Maribor and Spartak Moscow completing Group E.

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Klopp: Coutinho situation suits us

Sun, 03/09/2017 - 16:40

Last Updated: 03/09/17 3:05pm

Jurgen Klopp (right) indicated Philippe Coutinho will be available for Liverpool selectionJurgen Klopp (right) indicated Philippe Coutinho will be available for Liverpool selection Jurgen Klopp (right) indicated Philippe Coutinho will be available for Liverpool selection

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool got "exactly the situation we wanted" after Philippe Coutinho stayed with the club despite bids from Barcelona.

Sky Sports News understands Liverpool deny Barcelona's claim the Reds would have parted with Coutinho for a £183m fee, having already turned down three offers from the Spanish giants - the final offer being worth up to £118m.

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Barcelona did spend £97m to bring in Ousmane Dembele from Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund after the forward outlined his intention to move to the Nou Camp, but the Liverpool boss insists Coutinho - who handed in a transfer request - will be welcomed back into his Anfield squad.

"We have our situation and Dortmund has another," Klopp told German media outlet SPORT1, when asked about Barcelona's failed pursuit of Coutinho.

Watch Charlie Wyett on the Sunday Supplement discuss why Coutinho will need a good season with Liverpool to keep alive his dream of moving to Barcelona

"Don't believe everything in the press or that there are offers here and there and that the minute after the offer has been entered, it should already be over.

"We are not like George Orwell where everybody knows everything immediately. We have exactly the situation we wanted and no other.

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"Dortmund decided the player (Dembele) would leave them, so I cannot compare the two situations.

"We still have a really good player in the squad who can play."

Klopp has said Coutinho has not featured for Liverpool yet this season due to a back injury.

Coutinho made his first competitive appearance of the season in Brazil's 2-0 win over Ecuador in their World Cup qualifier last week.

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Euro Papers: Griezmann clause halved

Sun, 03/09/2017 - 12:50
By Thomas McIlroy, Football Whispers

Last Updated: 03/09/17 11:40am

With the transfer window now shut across most of Europe, the fallout from deadline day is still taking place.

Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the continental media for the latest news and transfer rumours.

Spain

Now the transfer window has closed, Manchester United transfer target Antoine Griezmann's release clause has dropped back to €100m (£91.5m). His new contract signed in June put it at €200m (£183m) during the last transfer window to put off potential suitors as Atletico Madrid would have been unable to replace him due to a transfer registration ban. (Marca)

Chelsea registered Diego Costa in their Premier League squad to avoid legal problems, but don't expect the forward, who is currently in Brazil after falling out with Antonio Conte, to play. (Mundo Deportivo)

Liverpool set a price of €200m (£183m) for Philippe Coutinho two hours before the transfer window closed. Barcelona don't believe they wanted to sell, but they only did it as a manoeuvre to say to Philippe Coutinho that the Catalan club didn't want to pay the money it would take to sign him. (Sport)

Santi Cazorla isn't considering retirement despite being left out of Arsenal's 25-man Premier League squad due to an ankle injury that's seen him out of action since last October. (AS)

New Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele says he started to be a fan of the club after Andres Iniesta scored the goal to knock Chelsea out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage in 2009. (Sport)

Portugal

Sporting Lisbon president Nuno Saraiva has accused West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan of lying for claiming that his side was offered William Carvalho on Deadline Day. (Record)

Rui Fonte admits he was in tears when he left Braga, where he was captain, to sign for Fulham. (O Jogo)

Germany

Former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel laughed and refused to answer when he was asked about whether Chelsea's interest in him earlier this summer was real. (Sport Bild)

RB Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin has been sent home from the France Under-21 squad for disciplinary reasons. (Kicker)

Italy

Out of contract Cristian Zaccardo is a Inter Milan and Lazio transfer target, with both clubs failing to strengthen their defence adequately this summer. The former AC Milan centre-back is a free agent and has been trying to look for a new club via LinkedIn. (Tuttosport)

After keeping hold of Andrea Belotti, who had been subject of Chelsea transfer rumours, Torino president Urbano Cairo says he sees no limits for the club and hopes they can push for Europe. (Tuttosport)

France

Diego Rolan, who was turned down a move to Fulham this summer, this summer has agreed to join Deportivo La Coruna at the end of the season. That's despite him only signing for Malaga on a season-long loan from Bordeaux last Monday. (L'Equipe)

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Liverpool deny Coutinho price tag

Sat, 02/09/2017 - 16:54
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 02/09/17 9:36pm

Philippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador last weekPhilippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador last week Philippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador last week

Liverpool deny Barcelona's claim the Reds put a £183m price tag on Philippe Coutinho, Sky sources understand.

Sky Sports News has been told Liverpool's stance that Coutinho was not for sale did not change at any point during the transfer window, and Barcelona were aware of this.

After weeks of offers, yesterday Liverpool wanted €200m for one player. We won't put the club at risk.

Barcelona director Albert Soler on Coutinho

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp always insisted Coutinho is priceless to Liverpool, but Barca director Albert Soler claimed on Saturday that the Merseyside club did put a price tag on Coutinho and were open to selling to him.

The Spanish club failed with three bids for the Brazil international - the final offer being worth up to £118m - as they attempted to secure a replacement for Neymar, who departed for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record £200m transfer.

"On Friday, after weeks of offers and talks, Liverpool put a price on the player that we wanted [Coutinho]," Soler said in a media conference, alongside sporting director Robert Fernandez, on Saturday.

"A price of €200m (£183m) and we decided we wouldn't do it."

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Coutinho, who handed in a transfer request at Liverpool, is yet to feature for the Reds this season due to a back injury, but scored while playing for Brazil in the 1-0 win over Ecuador in their World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

The 25-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract at Liverpool in January, is expected to play for Brazil in their next qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday.

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'Klopp should sign The Beast'

Sat, 02/09/2017 - 11:50

Last Updated: 02/09/17 10:38am

Adebayo Akinfenwa has four goals in four games for Wycome this seasonAdebayo Akinfenwa has four goals in four games for Wycome this season Adebayo Akinfenwa has four goals in four games for Wycome this season

Adebayo Akinfenwa believes Liverpool are one striker - or one Beast - away from winning the Premier League.

The Wycombe Wanderers striker, a life-long Liverpool fan, has scored four goals in four games for the League Two side this season, and is already getting ready for a transfer call from Anfield.

Nicknamed 'The Beast', the burly forward is impressed with Jurgen Klopp's side this season, but believes they could do with a more imposing figure at the top end of the pitch.

Akinfenwa (right) is known as 'The Beast' for his burly frameAkinfenwa (right) is known as 'The Beast' for his burly frame Akinfenwa (right) is known as 'The Beast' for his burly frame

"I think we're one striker away, I think we'll be immense for the first half of the season and blow up a bit in the second half but I think we'll challenge," Akinfenwa told Squawka.

"Next season, we will be contenders if we can get Virgil van Dijk and one striker. We're close."

Akinfenwa added: "Klopp should come and get me! I need pace around me and they have obscene pace up front with [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino, [Mohamed] Salah. If you put me in there and get some crosses in the box I'd score goals.

"My manager [Gareth Ainsworth] knows I love Liverpool and if they ever came calling he'd have no problems with letting me go."

Wycombe do not appear as willing to part with Akinfenwa as the 35-year-old believes, though, jokingly posting on social media that "Klopp can do one!"

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Coutinho & Costa in PL squads

Fri, 01/09/2017 - 23:40
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 01/09/17 9:39pm

Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa seem to be staying in the Premier LeaguePhilippe Coutinho and Diego Costa seem to be staying in the Premier League Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa seem to be staying in the Premier League

Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa have been named in their club's Premier League squads despite their intentions to leave this summer.

The Spanish transfer window remains open until 11pm on Friday and theoretically, Coutinho and Costa could still secure their desired moves from England.

Liverpool forward Coutinho has been determined to leave for Barcelona and has not featured in his team's three Premier League games this season.

The Reds have rejected three sizeable offers for the attacker, the most recent totalling £113m and Sky Sports News understands Barca have a huge offer ready and waiting should Liverpool show any indication they are willing to negotiate.

Watch the highlights of Deadline Day on Sky Sports News

Their American owners have maintained all summer that Coutinho was not for sale and on Friday night the Brazilian's entourage and Barca accepted there was no way he was leaving Liverpool this summer, according to Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.

Another player who would have hoped to have been omitted from the Premier League squad lists released on Friday night was Costa, who has been desperately pushing for a return to Atletico Madrid.

Negotiations have been ongoing between Chelsea and the La Liga club over the Spanish forward's acrimonious exit from Stamford Bridge. The chances of Costa sealing his dream move was described as "unlikely but not impossible" by Sky sources on Friday night.

Virgil van Dijk remains at Southampton after requesting a transferVirgil van Dijk remains at Southampton after requesting a transfer Virgil van Dijk remains at Southampton after requesting a transfer

Atletico, banned from registering new players before January, have so far not come close to matching Chelsea's £50m value of Costa, while the 28-year-old remains in Brazil refusing to return to Chelsea after a fall-out with manager Antonio Conte.

Leicester included new arrival Adrien Silva in their squad while they still wait for international clearance for the midfielder who they signed from Sporting Lisbon for £22m at the end of Deadline Day.

Other players named in their 25-man squads are Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk despite his intentions to leave St Mary's over the summer, and midfielder Ross Barkley who makes Everton's squad after rejecting a late move to Chelsea on Deadline Day.

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Barca 'admit Coutinho defeat'

Fri, 01/09/2017 - 17:20
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 01/09/17 4:45pm

Philippe Coutinho has wanted to move to Barcelona this summerPhilippe Coutinho has wanted to move to Barcelona this summer Philippe Coutinho has wanted to move to Barcelona this summer

Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho's entourage have finally accepted there is no way the Brazilian is leaving Liverpool this summer, according to Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.

The Spanish transfer window remains open until midnight on Friday and, in theory, the Catalonians could try again to sign their number one target.

In English: nothing new really. FCB and Coutinho entourage have finally accepted there is no way Coutinho is leaving. It took them some time

— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2017

Sky Sports News understands Barca have a huge offer ready and waiting should the Reds show any indication they are willing to negotiate, but they have maintained all summer that Coutinho is not for sale.

Philippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against EcuadorPhilippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador Philippe Coutinho scored in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador

Liverpool have rejected three sizeable offers for the attacker, the most recent totalling £113m.

Coutinho has been determined to leave for the Nou Camp and has not played in any of Liverpool's Premier League games so far this season.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has said he has been both unwell and had a back injury, but Coutinho was cleared to play in Brazil's World Cup Qualifier against Ecuador on Deadline Day.

He scored in a 2-0 victory in which Paulinho, who also recently signed for Barcelona, scored the other.

I'm convinced that if FCB had put on table, with enough time, €60m for Ozil they would have got him. But they say he's not what they need

— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2017

Reports on Friday have claimed Barcelona have been thinking of a move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil instead and Balague has said: "I'm convinced that, if FCB had put on table, with enough time, €60m for Ozil they would have got him.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho takes part in a training session for Brazil as he recovers from a back injury

"But they say he's not what they need."

Ernesto Valverde appears set to continue with his La Liga campaign without another attacking replacement for Neymar, having brought in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund last week.

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Gerrard: Ox will thrive at Anfield

Fri, 01/09/2017 - 13:50
By Stephen Turner

Last Updated: 01/09/17 12:11pm

Steven Gerrard says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will improve the Liverpool team - and hails Naby Keita as a 'fantastic player'.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can give Liverpool "the best years of his career", according to club great Steven Gerrard.

The Reds spent an initial £35m on deadline day to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain, who chose Anfield as "the next stage of my ongoing development" after six years at Arsenal.

Gerrard was a senior England figure when Oxlade-Chamberlain first broke into the squad and says Liverpool have signed a 24-year-old who is "already a fantastic player".

Gerrard and Oxlade-Chamberlain pictured in England training in 2012Gerrard and Oxlade-Chamberlain pictured in England training in 2012 Gerrard and Oxlade-Chamberlain pictured in England training in 2012

But there is more to come, according to the Champions League-winning skipper - now back on Merseyside as the club's U18 manager.

"I think he definitely strengthens the group and the team," Gerrard said. "He's English, he's 24, he's just coming into his peak years.

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal

"He's a very quick and exciting player. It seems as if he wasn't happy at Arsenal, so now hopefully he can settle down, give the best years of his career at Liverpool Football Club. But I think he's a very, very positive signing."

Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of three major summer signings for Liverpool, who paid Roma just shy of £40m for Egyptian Mohamed Salah and agreed a club-record deal for RB Leipzig's Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, who will arrive next summer.

Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summerNaby Keita will join Liverpool next summer Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer

Gerrard said: "It's fantastic for Liverpool to have Naby Keita. He's a fantastic player and I'm really excited for when he joins next year. And, obviously, to have Mo Salah as well, another new signing, I think we're very, very lucky.

"I'm sure that they're big, big role models in Africa for younger players who are all aspiring to be top, top footballers."

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Top 10 Premier League deals

Fri, 01/09/2017 - 01:50

Last Updated: 31/08/17 11:59pm

The transfer window has slammed shut after another summer of heavy spending in the Premier League.

Manchester United and Chelsea clinched the biggest deals with the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata, but what were the other money-spinning moves?

From Lukaku to United to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, here are the 10 most expensive Premier League deals of the window...

Romelu Lukaku - £75m, Everton to Manchester United

Lukaku seemed destined to return to Chelsea before Manchester United swooped in to make him the second-most expensive player in their history. The Belgian arrives at Old Trafford having scored 71 goals in 133 appearances for Everton. With three in three for his new club, he has already started justifying his price tag.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against SwanseaRomelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Swansea Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Swansea Alvaro Morata - £70m, Real Madrid to Chelsea

Having missed out on Lukaku, Chelsea set their sights on Morata to replace Diego Costa. The former Real Madrid and Juventus striker has big shoes to fill and a club-record fee to live up to, but he has started promisingly. In fact, he is the first player in Premier League history to both score and assist a goal in each of his first two home appearances for his club.

Alexandre Lacazette - £52m, Lyon to Arsenal

Arsenal broke their transfer record to bring in Lacazette. The France international boasted a formidable scoring record at boyhood club Lyon, and Arsene Wenger now hopes he can have the same kind of effect for the Gunners. Scoring on his debut against Leicester was a good way to start.

Arsenal sealed a £52m club-record deal for Alexandre LacazetteArsenal sealed a £52m club-record deal for Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal sealed a £52m club-record deal for Alexandre Lacazette Kyle Walker - £50m, Tottenham to Manchester City

Walker became the most expensive defender in history when he completed his £50m move from Tottenham to Manchester City. The 27-year-old was a key figure for Mauricio Pochettino's side, and now looks set to feature prominently for a City side who lacked pace and power in the full-back areas last season.

Benjamin Mendy - £49.2m, Monaco to Manchester City

City's full-back splurge continued with a £49.2m deal for Mendy. The 23-year-old starred for Monaco last season, helping them to the Ligue 1 title and the Champions League semi-finals. Like Walker, he has the physical attributes to get up and down the pitch and contribute at both ends.

Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City from French champions MonacoBenjamin Mendy joined Manchester City from French champions Monaco Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City from French champions Monaco Naby Keita - £48m (plus undisclosed premium), RB Leipzig to Liverpool

After failing in their attempts to sign Naby Keita this summer, Liverpool agreed a deal with RB Leipzig to bring him to Anfield in a year's time. The Reds have paid the £48m release clause which comes into effect next season, as well as an undisclosed premium. It's an unusual move which shows just how highly Jurgen Klopp rates the 22-year-old midfielder.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - £45m, Swansea to Everton

After one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the summer, Sigurdsson finally sealed his £45m move from Swansea to Everton in mid-August. The Iceland international has plenty of work to do to live up to his price tag, but Ronald Koeman will be happy if he can replicate his numbers from last season.

Can Gylfi Sigurdsson live up to his price-tag at Everton?Can Gylfi Sigurdsson live up to his price-tag at Everton? Can Gylfi Sigurdsson live up to his price-tag at Everton? Bernardo Silva - £43m, Monaco to Manchester City

Guardiola bolstered his attacking options with a big-money deal for Silva at the end of May. The Portuguese playmaker was outstanding for Monaco last season, starting all but one of their Ligue 1 games as they won the title. His next task is to nail down his place in City's star-studded line-up.

Nemanja Matic - £40m, Chelsea to Manchester United

Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea decided to sell Matic to one of their title rivals, and the decision looks even more questionable after the Serb's impressive start to life at Old Trafford. Antonio Conte has already described Matic as a "great loss". It could be Manchester United's gain.

Nemanja Matic has made an impressive start to life at Manchester UnitedNemanja Matic has made an impressive start to life at Manchester United Nemanja Matic has made an impressive start to life at Manchester United Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - £40m, Arsenal to Liverpool

One of the most dramatic transfers of the summer saw Oxlade-Chamberlain move to Liverpool just days after starting for Arsenal at Anfield. The England international turned down higher wages at Arsenal and rejected the chance to join Chelsea in order to link up with Klopp, who has promised to use him in his preferred central midfield position.

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Palace £26m Sakho bid accepted

Thu, 31/08/2017 - 21:10
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 31/08/17 9:36pm

Mamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last seasonMamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last season Mamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last season

Liverpool have agreed to sell defender Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace for £26m, according to Sky sources.

It is understood the 27-year-old was on his way to London on Thursday evening for a medical.

The France international was a big hit when he was loaned to the Eagles last season and they have been attempting to land him on a permanent basis throughout the summer.

Sky Sports News reported on Tuesday that Palace placed a third bid worth £22m, plus £3m in add-ons, but Liverpool remained unhappy as they valued Sakho at £30m.

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With four hours left on Deadline Day, news emerged that the Reds had accepted a fee of £24m plus £2m in add-ons.

Palace have made a miserable start to the Premier League campaign under new boss Frank de Boer and are without a point in their three matches.

Sakho played a key role as they secured Premier League survival under Sam Allardyce towards the end of last season.

He joined Liverpool in 2013 for £18m after a five-year spell at Paris-Saint Germain.

Watch the new signings back in Premier League action from September 9 as Man City host Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League at 12.30pm.

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Liverpool sign Oxlade-Chamberlain

Thu, 31/08/2017 - 14:10

Last Updated: 31/08/17 9:41pm

Liverpool have signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal for £35m, he's agreed a six-year deal

Liverpool have completed the £35m signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal.

The 24-year-old passed a medical on Wednesday after the Gunners accepted Liverpool's bid for a player who made it clear he would not extend his Emirates contract beyond next summer.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has since agreed personal terms on a long-term deal, and the transfer was confirmed at 12pm on Deadline Day.

It is understood the fee could eventually reach £40m with appearance-based add-ons.

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Speaking from England's St George's Park base, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "I'm delighted to have signed for Liverpool and a big thank you to everyone here at the FA that has made this possible, using the facilities. It has been a massive help.

"I'm not going to say too much. I'm here with England and we've got two big games coming up, so I want to focus on them. But I can't wait to get to Melwood."

A post on his Instagram page, addressed to Arsenal fans, read: "After six years, three FA Cup wins and countless incredible memories, the time has come for me to move on from Arsenal.

"I want to publicly thank Arsene Wenger, the coaching and club staff and my amazing team mates for all of the incredible opportunities I have been given. Thank you so much to you, the fans, who have always had my back - I honestly couldn't be more grateful. The club, and my time here, will always mean a massive amount to me.

"I know my choice might come as a surprise to many, and the decision to leave was tough after being a part of the club for so many years, but I feel that this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development."

Oxlade-Chamberlain was used at wing-back in his final few months at Arsenal, and his desire to establish himself in central midfield was a motivating factor in his departure.

After six years, three FA Cup wins and countless incredible memories, the time has come for me to move on from Arsenal. I want to publicly thank Arsene, the coaching and club staff and my amazing team mates for all of the incredible opportunities I have been given. Thank you so much to you, the fans, who have always had my back - I honestly couldn't be more grateful. The club, and my time here, will always mean a massive amount to me. I know my choice might come as a surprise to many, and the decision to leave was tough after being a part of the club for so many years, but I feel that this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development.

A post shared by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (@alexoxchamberlain) on Aug 31, 2017 at 5:15am PDT

Jurgen Klopp told the Liverpool website: "I hear a lot of talk about positions but let's talk about the player; he is someone with really good abilities who always gives everything for his team. A player that is positive and willing to take risks to try and make positive things happen.

"He may still be young but he has a lot of experience in the Premier League, Champions League and for his country. Already he is a very, very good player and I think he has the mentality and desire to get even better - and that excites me.

"I am really, really happy we have got Alex signed. Since the last game I have been waiting and hoping we could make this transfer - and when I got the news he was ours it was fantastic."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain trains with England ahead of their World Cup Qualifiers

Oxlade-Chamberlain's final game of a six-year spell at Arsenal came at Anfield on Sunday as he was part of a side beaten 4-0 by Klopp's Reds.

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The Debate: Top-six transfer verdict

Thu, 31/08/2017 - 02:20

Last Updated: 31/08/17 12:24am

Nemanja Matic traded Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford this summerNemanja Matic traded Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford this summer Nemanja Matic traded Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford this summer

With less than 24 hours to go until the transfer window closes, the final episode of The Debate to fall inside the window was dedicated to Premier League club's dealings this summer.

Craig Bellamy and Andy Townsend joined Geoff Shreeves in the studio to offer their verdict on a frantic summer of comings and goings in the top flight.

Here, the pair cast their eyes over the dealings of last season's top six, in the order in which they currently find themselves in the Premier League.

Manchester United (1st)Great business

TOWNSEND: "They've done fantastic. Their business has been great. They needed a big centre forward, someone who could handle the responsibility, and they got that in Romelu Lukaku. I think Victor Lindelof will turn out to be a good signing; physically he's got a little bit to find for the Premier League.

"Nemanja Matic is just the most incredible signing of the window so far. I think Jose will be happy with what he's got. Maybe he'd have wanted one more, whether or not they'll do something on Deadline Day, we'll see, but it's great business for them."

Andy Townsend and Craig Bellamy discuss Manchester United's business in the transfer window so far

BELLAMY: "They've got their business done earlier. Lukaku is a brilliant signing, you can't get away from that. Matic, just from the fact they got him away from Chelsea, he's still a very good player, and exactly what United needed."

Zlatan no-brainer

BELLAMY: "If any club has the opportunity to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic, you have to take it, just for what he can bring to a football club. That guy just has so much class.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses after re-signing with Manchester UnitedZlatan Ibrahimovic poses after re-signing with Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses after re-signing with Manchester United

"His impact at United last season was incredible. With Lukaku there as well, just by spending time with him and training with him, that will bring on Lukaku too. It's a brilliant bit of business."

Still a bit short?

BELLAMY: "I still think they need cover at left back, for Luke Shaw."

Liverpool (2nd)Ox move great for both parties

TOWNSEND: "Oxlade-Chamberlain is a great purchase. He's a player who we've yet to see the best of, there is unfulfilled potential with this boy, he's a fantastic athlete and ticks the boxes now of requirements of a modern-day player, and he's clearly got ambition too.

Kaveh Solhekol gives an update on the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal

"I think that's a very good move for the player."

Spanish window worries?

BELLAMY: "It is just an extra day, of course, it's going to be more of a concern for a club like Liverpool, but as I said a couple weeks ago, I don't see them selling Philippe Coutinho. The owners have come out, and don't forget these owners also own the Boston Red Sox.

"Boston Red Sox don't sell players, they take your players. They never have done, their wage bill is the highest in baseball. So if those owners come out and say they won't sell, they're used to this!"

One more year?

TOWNSEND: "With Luis Suarez there was that year where they said "give us one more year" and you wonder if that deal has also been struck with Coutinho. It does seem slightly strange that they're spending so much money now literally as the window is about to close. It wouldn't surprise me at all if that extra day means Coutinho goes."

Philippe Coutinho takes part in a Brazil training session amid interest from BarcelonaPhilippe Coutinho takes part in a Brazil training session amid interest from Barcelona Philippe Coutinho takes part in a Brazil training session amid interest from Barcelona Manchester City (4th)Sanchez to City?

BELLAMY: "Do they need Alexis Sanchez? Any team does! If they get Sanchez they could play him up top too."

TOWNSEND: "I'm still not convinced about Aguero and Jesus as a brilliant pairing together, and if they get Sanchez done it is serious business for them."

Bryan Swanson has the very latest news on Alexis Sanchez's possible departure from ArsenalBig finale

BELLAMY: "Deadline Day is going to be a big day for them, their spending hasn't stopped."

Chelsea (6th)More bodies at the Bridge?

TOWNSEND: "I just think the manager has been pretty vocal about needing more. I just could not understand them letting Matic go, especially to United. I still think they need one or two more, I really do.

"I don't think Antonio Conte can be happy. I think he'll put on a brave face and say the right things, but I don't think deep down he'll be happy."

Andy Townsend and Craig Bellamy believe Antonio Conte may not be happy with Chelsea's transfer dealings in the window so farDrinkwater doubt?

BELLAMY: "I was looking at the potential deal with Drinkwater, by putting in a bid for him I don't think they're going to get anywhere near what Leicester want, and there's Ross Barkley too."

Dubious departures

BELLAMY: "But why did they let Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah go? They were getting games last year. Why let them go, and then bring in maybe a Drinkwater or a Barkley, when we all know Roman Abramovich is so eager for a youth player to come in and be a key player. Does it make business sense?

Ross Barkley's suitability at Chelsea questioned by The Debate panelRoss Barkley's suitability at Chelsea questioned by The Debate panel Ross Barkley's suitability at Chelsea questioned by The Debate panel Tottenham (9th)Not too much to tinker

BELLAMY: "Tottenham are always busy on the last day, Daniel Levy always leaves things to the last minute. I can see him doing business on Deadline Day. At the same time, I like this Spurs team. There isn't too much more you need to come into it.

Andy Townsend and Craig Bellamy are quizzed on a range of topics, including who they think has been the best purchase of the current transfer window

"I think they'll be in the top four. They have too much quality in their team, and that's even playing at Wembley. They'll be fine. Don't forget, they didn't start too well last year."

Aurier an awesome alternative

TOWNSEND: "If they get Serge Aurier from PSG, he is a phenomenal athlete. A ferocious athlete. To let Walker go for £50m, and get Aurier in for perhaps half that, could be serious business."

Lowdown on Serge Aurier

Serge Aurier has been granted a work permit ahead of a £23m move from PSG to Tottenham, according to Sky sources

Arsenal (16th)Worst window ever?

BELLAMY: "Sanchez will not be an Arsenal player beyond Thursday. I can really see City forcing their hand. I can see this being the big one on Deadline Day. I hate being like everyone else, critical of Arsenal, but they are in a mess. They've got themselves into a situation where the manager didn't sign his contract, so a lot of players' futures remained uncertain too.

"Arsenal have themselves to blame at this moment, and tomorrow it could get worst. It could be the worst transfer window in Arsenal's history, it could be that bad. They're light on numbers as it is. They could end up losing the best players they've had at Arsenal since your Thierry Henry days."

Andy Townsend and Craig Bellamy discuss Arsenal's business in the transfer window so farSterling for Sanchez

TOWNSEND: "Sanchezhas got a value of £60m, £70m with a year left on his contract. If the weekend was anything to go by, he's had enough. And that money is a lot to take for someone who doesn't want to be there.

"If City desperately want Sanchez, then Arsenal should surely have to turn around and say yes, but we want Raheem Sterling. Surely Arsene and Arsenal can't leave themselves that open-ended? I can't see anything positive about what's going on at Arsenal at the minute."

Deadline Day on Sky Sports

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Deadline Day promises to be a cracker - join us on Sky Sports Newsand our digital platforms from 6am right through to the 11pm deadline and beyond...

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Ox undergoes Liverpool medical

Thu, 31/08/2017 - 01:00
By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 31/08/17 12:04am

Liverpool have agreed a fee for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, say Sky sourcesLiverpool have agreed a fee for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, say Sky sources Liverpool have agreed a fee for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, say Sky sources

Liverpool have agreed a fee of £35m for Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a medical with the Anfield club on Wednesday evening, according to Sky sources.

The 24-year-old is set to join Liverpool on a six-year deal after the two clubs came to an agreement on Wednesday, although Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to agree personal terms with the Reds.

Kaveh Solhekol gives an update on the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Arsenal Deadline Day on Sky Sports

Follow all the last-minute deals on Sky Sports

Liverpool will pay a fee of £35m for Oxlade-Chamberlain - the same figure that was previously agreed with Chelsea for the versatile midfielder.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, currently away on international duty with England, conducted a medical at St George's Park ahead of his proposed move to Anfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain played against Liverpool on Sunday when Arsenal lost 4-0Oxlade-Chamberlain played against Liverpool on Sunday when Arsenal lost 4-0 Oxlade-Chamberlain played against Liverpool on Sunday when Arsenal lost 4-0

The former Southampton youngster turned down a new improved deal at Arsenal earlier this month which would have seen him earn £180,000 a week.

Arsenal agreed a deal with Chelsea for Oxlade-Chamberlain earlier this week but the midfielder rejected the chance to join the Blues in favour of a move to Anfield.

News of the deal will come as a major blow to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who urged Oxlade-Chamberlain to commit his future to Arsenal last week.

Arsene Wenger urged Oxlade-Chamberlain to commit to Arsenal earlier this month

"I think we invested a lot of time and confidence and money in players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that we bought at a very young age" said Wenger.

"For me, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one of the big English players in the coming years and I personally am highly determined to keep him here at the club in the hope that he will commit."

Sky sources understand Oxlade-Chamberlain will earn a minimum of £120,000 a week at Anfield - a figure which could increase with win bonuses and loyalty payments.

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