- May 11, 2011
Need G cover, possibly CB cover, LB/RB cover and LM if Lallana leaves - should look to a Creative AM player (along the lines of Fekir (as an example)) and drop Shaqiri and Keita down the pecking order. The club would also need to replace Salah, Mane or Firmino if any were to leave. If a Striker is to be added I would think it more likely an out of contract reliable option like Kruse rather than anyone costing €75M or more.
GK - Liverpool should look for someone who can be trusted, is older, homegrown and can help with the younger goalkeepers and youth coaching
David Marshall (G) might be a good solution
RB is a difficult position for Liverpool to address unless TAA is moved to midfield (as Ed001 tells me is the plan) and a new first team player arrives - although finding space for TAA in midfield still looks tough to me. There is no natural RB in the U23s who can step up, or so I am told, but we also know that Gomez can provide cover as well. In terms of who the club has looked at, I can only say that I am aware of two players, but no doubt there will be others:
Kenny Lala (RB/RM) only just signed a new contract Racing Strasbourg but has been looked at by the club - not sure if he would be available
Noussair Mazraoui (RB) whilst it has been suggested that Liverpool scouts attended the Ajax v Fortuna Sittard game to watch other higher-profile players, I understand that it was Noussair Mazraoui that they were particularly interested in, who ironically had signed a new contract earlier in the day. Manchester United have had scouts watch Mazraoui and the sustained interest of Roma has not gone unnoticed at Ajax.
If you were to ask me who I think is a viable option but the club has shown no interest in, I would say Valentino Lazaro (RM/RW/RB) who would be a great fix for providing cover for the whole right hand side. Else look for someone who can cover both RB and LB.
The situation at LB is rather different as there is an up and coming player able to step in to Moreno’s position of providing cover. However, I keep being reminded that thought persist about Lloyd Kelly (LB/CB) who has been used more in the CB role as Bristol City have a young LB on loan who is clearly preferred. I cannot say whether or not there was any firm interest in Lloyd Kell, but I can say he is moving elsewhere - so strike him off the list.
So my advice would be to utilise what the club has or risk losing him:
Adam Lewis (LB) I think he should be promoted to provide cover, in which case LB cover becomes less of an issue
CB is easier to deal with but one thing to be remembered is that if Liverpool are to bring in a first pick CB then Gomez becomes available to play or cover either FB position in addition to CB. Although if an up and coming CB like Godrey or Fry were signed, then Gomez would likely be first pick and they could replace Matip perhaps?
Aidan Wilson (CB) who has been "recommended" to the club by an "agent" who may be open to cutting corners (and would be the last person on earth to discuss any of this with me). More than that I cannot say without some issues arising.
Diego Llorente (CB) has been watched by Marseille, Spurs, Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, West Ham, Fulham and Sevilla since joining Real Sociedad in the summer - Spurs could be tempted as they expect TA to leave – and I would not rule out a Liverpool offer
Dael Fry (CB) Liverpool has a declared interest in Fry as they look to bolster the HG quota - knowing that prices will increase - much is expected of Fry
Ben Godfrey (CB) - an option to Fry
Ruben Dias (CB) Liverpool have watched the Benfica CB on several occasions and watched him in a national game against Croatia in September - however, he is heading elsewhere - scratch him from the list
Mattais de ligt (CB) I am not aware of any offer from Liverpool for de Ligt – although many of the fans have raised the issue repeatedly.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) Liverpool has shown no interest but people still ask about.
Francisco Ferreira (CB) has also been mentioned and I will remind regular readers that was one of the three young CBs Liverpool looked at in 2017 with a view to taking one in January 2018. He is priced the way he is in order to turn any potential buyers away, such as Manchester City, West Ham and Borussia Dortmund who have also shown a little interest and watched him in the B side over the past 18 months. Anecdotally, the other two were Modibo Sagnan (he will be moving to Real Sociedad in the summer) and Perr Schuurs (he was expected to join Liverpool at 18 – but moved to Ajax).
And my thoughts on who Liverpool should look to: Jorge Mere (CB) of Cologne, Marseille's Boubacar Kamara (CB) and RBL's Ibrahima Konate (CB) – all young with expectations set very high.
In terms of the DM position I doubt Liverpool will look to adding anyone unless there is a plan to change the way they play, but:
Sandro Tonali (DM) there has been interest from Liverpool but he is going to be very expensive and it is hard to see where he will fit in – I expect him to stay in Italy or if he moves to England there is another club that would be more likely
Midfield/CM is not a position where much is likely to happen but Liverpool need Lallana to be available more often or look to replace him with a LM player:
Nicolo Barella (CM) Whilst it is true that Nicolo Barella is of interest to Liverpool and has been watched a couple of times recently, he is being priced at the very top end of his market value, and Barella has made it clear that he wants to be a starter and stay in Italy - so difficult unless Liverpool plan to move Naby Keïta on to raise the money and make space in the side, it seems an unlikely move.
Diego Laxalt (LM) Long term interest will come to nothing
Bruno Fernandes (AM) is of interest to Everton, Manchester United, Spurs, Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool who have all looked at him on two or more occasions. Spurs maintain an interest but only if Christian Eriksen leaves - which I suspect he will. Asking price has more than doubled from what was already a high price in recent months and that has pushed aside interest from Juventus who don't see the value, Valencia and CSKA. Whilst Bayern Munich and another EPL side have looked as well, neither have a declared interest that I know of and both have other AM targets. Unlikely. Spurs are very keen.
Julian Brandt (LW/AM) can be scratched from the list
Joao Felix (AM) is not a player Liverpool has spoken to his club about and a lot of efforts are being made to finalise a move elsewhere. But people keep asking.
Julian Draxler (AM/LW) is also being offered around - Schalke (interested at the right price), Arsenal, RBL and I suspect Liverpool.
Nabil Fekir (AM) flexible and available but Lyon won't want to be screwed around by Liverpool again. Don't rule him out.
Wings and Forwards:
Paulo Dybala (AM/RW/F) is another one of the nailed on players that is perhaps not as nailed on as people think – however, he is available and Juventus are open not use him in a little horse trading for either Icardi (who is likely heading elsewhere) or Salah (whose “agent” has been knocking on their door for a while trying to make a move happen. Would be a decent Salah replacement.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) two sides are in discussions with Lille and Liverpool has not submitted an offer – if they did it would most likely be as a Salah replacement – I would not hold your breath
Federico Chiesa (RW/LW/F) significant interest from elsewhere and Fiorentina planning on pricing him out of a move at something like €120M, Liverpool has shown no interest, but if they do it would be as a Salah replacement - Klopp likes him I understand
Maxwel Cornet (RW) I understand Liverpool have spoken with his agent but, as of this time, not Lyon
Lorenzo Insigne (LW) – has been mentioned regularly but would be a Salah or Mane replacement but very, very expensive €150M asking price that would need to halve - another Klopp likes
Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld (LW/RW) right footed left winger - would be cover for Mane and has been watched by Liverpool
Everton (LW) Manchester City don't see value in the €50M asking price and Milan see him as a potential option – I am not aware of any declared interest from Liverpool but would only be expensive cover for one position
Thorgan Hazard (LW/AM) watched but scratch him off the list
Timo Werner (S) It has been reported by the Fat Kid from Bolton that a deal for Werner was agreed with RBL in January – it wasn’t. Someone else (whose name escapes me) has apparently said again recently that the deal with RBL is agreed and it is just the salary deal to be figured out – this is all news to Leipzig who have been speaking to his agent over a move to Bayern Munich trying to agree a price. There has certainly been interest from Klopp but right now there is no deal in place at all. It is had to see how Werner would fit in unless there is a change of style.
Max Kruse (S) a Sturridge replacement - low cost and reliable - may well be open to simply providing cover
Silas Wamangituka (S) I am not aware of any declaration of interest from Liverpool in Silas Wamangituka but he has certainly been watched by them so it is certainly possible it will come. Barcelona and numerous other sides, including several from England such as Brighton, Leicester and Spurs have also taken a look. A problem the English sides have is he will never be eligible to be home grown and would likely not get a work permit - whereas Barcelona don't have any such issues. I would not hold your breath.}
he Reds have implemented a successful loan strategy, which nurtures some starlets for the first team and generates money from sales from others
The exodus is officially underway.
With Liverpool expected to enjoy a quiet summer in terms of incomings, all eyes will be on the Anfield exit door in the coming weeks as Jurgen Klopp’s squad is trimmed ahead of the new season.
Big departures are not anticipated. Klopp has already allowed the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno to leave, and at this stage there are no plans to offload any other members of his Champions League-winning squad. Good bids for the likes of Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet, of course, could change that.
Rather, the focus will be on the club’s contingent of fringe players, most of which have spent some or all of the last 12 months out on loan.
Marko Grujic is the latest player to exit, with his season-long loan to Hertha Berlinannounced on Monday.
Sheyi Ojo has already gone, the latest player sent by Liverpool to work under Steven Gerrard at Rangers. The winger will hope for better fortune than he had with Stade Reims last season.
Behind those two, a queue is forming. All of Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent, Harry Wilson, Ovie Ejaria, Herbie Kane, Kamil Grabara, Liam Millar, Pedro Chirivella, Anderson Arroyo and Taiwo Awoniyi are expected to leave on loan. Others – such as the teenage duo Curtis Jones and Adam Lewis – could follow. All have suitors already.
It’s been a good few years for Liverpool’s recruitment team. They have bought well, well enough to assemble a Champions League-winning squad, and sold well too.
On Monday, for example, the exit of Danny Ings to Southampton was confirmed; the Reds will receive £20 million ($25m) for a player who was restricted to just 25 appearances in four years at the club. Ings joins the likes of Dominic Solanke, Danny Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Kevin Stewart, Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke and Joe Allen as scarcely-used players offloaded for eye-catching fees.
Their retention policy is equally strong, with the bulk of Klopp’s first-team squad tied down to long-term contracts. There are no release clauses at Anfield, enabling Michael Edwards and his team to demand big fees for any player – such as Philippe Coutinho – seeking an exit.
Those are three key strands of Liverpool’s long-term football strategy. The fourth concerns the club’s loan policy, and the way the development of their younger players is managed.
Last season, the Reds had as many as 20 players out on loan at various points, and that number is expected to be high once more. Julian Ward, the club’s loan pathways and football partnerships manager, will again be working overtime.
There are three types of loan at Liverpool. The first is the established first-team player who needs game time – such as Nathaniel Clyne and Loris Karius last season, or Sturridge the previous year.
The second is the non-EU player, who does not qualify for a UK work permit and so is ‘parked’ at a lesser European club to gain experience and improve their chances, long-term. Arroyo and Awoniyi are examples here.
The third, and perhaps most important, is the elite Academy player seeking to make the transition from under-23 level to senior football.
For Liverpool fans, the sight of talented young players leaving the club each summer brings a sigh. Especially if, as in the case of Wilson, Grujic or Kent, the player has made tangible progress elsewhere.
Liverpool take a wider view. There is an appreciation that the bar has been raised in terms of what is required to break into Klopp’s squad and that, in most cases, a player will be best served, in Ward’s words, “developing remotely” out on loan.
“Some players take the elevator,” says Alex Inglethorpe, Liverpool’s Academy director. “Others take the stairs.”
Inglethorpe cites Harry Kane, whom he worked with at Tottenham, as a prime example. The England captain enjoyed four loan spells, of varying success, before earning his shot at the Spurs senior side. Plenty within the current England setup have trodden a similar path.
Liverpool accept this. Research conducted internally by the club shows that players breaking into the first-team at an elite European club have, on average, 170 senior appearances under their belt by the time their chance comes.
Mo Salah actually had 251 by the time he arrived at Liverpool in 2017. Sadio Mane had played 185 games when he moved to Anfield, Virgil van Dijk 261, Roberto Firmino 207, Andy Robertson 202, Alisson Becker 179. Even Jordan Henderson, signed as a 20-year-old eight years ago, had 92.
“These players, they wouldn’t have taken the place of a senior, established player when they were 19 or 20,” Inglethorpe told Goal recently. “A 20-year-old Mo Salah isn’t taking the shirt of a 26-year-old Mo Salah, is he? And the only difference between the two players is 200 games somewhere.”
Of the players expected to leave Liverpool on loan this summer, Kent has racked up the most professional games, clocking 125 across spells with Coventry, Barnsley, Freiburg, Bristol City and Rangers. Grujic is not far behind on 97, with Wilson on 68 and Ejaria on 63.
This is not to say that those four can expect to be first-team regulars in the future. Rather, it offers perspective when people wonder why they are unable to break in right now. They are, to use Inglethorpe’s analogy, on the stairs.
Of course some are lucky enough to use the elevator. Trent Alexander-Arnold is an obvious example, while Rhian Brewster could prove another. Academy staff, meanwhile, are quietly optimistic about the hopes of 16-year-old forward Layton Stewart, who will join Barry Lewtas’ under-18 squad for this season.
More common, though, are cases like that of Woodburn, who emerged at the same time as Alexander-Arnold and was tipped to make a similar impact.
Still only 19, he is already a full international with Wales but this is a crucial summer. A disappointing spell at Sheffield United last season means he needs a productive loan this time around. As it stands, Hull and Wigan lead the race to sign him.
It is a risk, naturally. Managers come and go in the Championship at an alarming rate, and few have time to nurture and develop players that have been dropped into their clubs from above.
Liverpool know the importance of picking their clubs judiciously when it comes to loans – they have established relationships with certain coaches and certain clubs – and they encourage players to learn from the bad experiences as well as the good.
The reality, of course, is that many of these players, perhaps all of them, will eventually fail to make the grade at Anfield.
In that case, the next-best scenario is to develop them into saleable assets. Not as romantic as bringing through a home-grown star, of course, but important still. Impressing on loan adds value to a young player, which simply wouldn't be the case if they were in the cosseted world of under-23 football, waiting for an injury crisis or the early rounds of the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool already value both Grujic and Wilson at more than £20m, and would ask for as much as £12m for Kent should he wish to leave permanently this summer. Awoniyi has already been the subject of interest at around £10m after a promising stint in Belgiumwith Mouscron. Successful loans this season, of course, would only raise those price-tags further.
It may jar with the traditionalists, but it represents improvement. Only a few years ago, Liverpool were getting precious little from their Academy, producing few first-teamers and losing the rest for peanuts. As an example, they received just £500,000 for Conor Coady, who has developed into a Premier League captain at Wolves.
Those days, they hope, are over. As they have with buying, selling and retaining, Liverpool have tightened up their loan game, formulating a clear strategy.
In the coming years, they can expect to see the fruits of their labour, whether it’s in their first team or their bank balance.
Liverpool Sign Dutch Defender Amid Bayern Munich Interest
At the beginning of June 17-year-old Sepp van den Berg was at home with his family watching Liverpool lift the Champions League trophy on TV.
By the end of the month he was at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground signing on the dotted line, and will join the European Champions for pre-season training on July 6.
Liverpool has signed the young Dutchman from his hometown club, PEC Zwolle, for an initial fee of $1.6 million. An extra $3.9 million will be due should the player rack up 350 appearances for his new club.
In a heartbeat. Here’s why...Would you take Phillipe Coutinho back....I would
Liverpool are thought to have made an offer to take Philippe Coutinho on a two-year loan from Barcelona, with the winger 'keen' on returning to Anfield.
Coutinho's future at Camp Nou appears uncertain following Barcelona's capture of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, with a number of sides around Europe believed to be interested in offering the Brazilian a way out of Barcelona.