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Alisson & Firmino Among Reds Nominated For Ballon d’Or
Four Reds are among the 30 nominees for this year’s prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
There’s no surprise that Mohamed Salah is one of the frontrunners after his incredible 2017/18 season, and he’s joined by Liverpool‘s other attackers Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on the long list that was released on Monday.
They’re joined by new signing Alisson, who (briefly) became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when joining the Reds in the summer from Roma.
To have four players among the 30 nominees is impressive for any club, with only Real Madrid having more on the list.
Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named on a 10-man shortlist for the new Kopa Trophy for players under the age of 21.
Nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Neymar (Paris St Germain), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).
Reds not talking titles, says Trent
Trent Alexander-Arnold has played a big part for the Reds this term, though dropped out of the starting lineup at the weekend.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” the 20-year-old said. “We’ve got a lot more to give and a lot more to improve on.
“We know that we’re not a perfect team. That’s something we want to achieve, to be as close to perfection as possible. That’s what we’re working towards every day.
“We want to win as many games as possible. It doesn’t matter how we do it, we’re not fussed as long as we get the three points…we’ve shown this season, when we haven’t been at our best, we’re still grinding out results and getting results on the board.
“That’s something that’s important to us and important for any team that wants to be successful.”
The right-back also stresses that there’s a long way to go and the squad aren’t getting carried away by discussing the title.
“No, definitely not. There’s only been eight games, so we’ve still got another 30 to go. It’s a long season.
“We know it’s going to be very difficult, but it’s an aim of ours and we want to be around the top of the league come May.”
Reds Keeping An Eye On Bergwijn?
The 20-year-old winger has impressed in the early months of 2018/19, scoring and assisting four times in the Eredivisie, and he is being tipped for a bright future at both club and international level.
Carragher On The Need For Creativity
Someone who is concerned about the Reds’ lack of guile in the middle of the park is Jamie Carragher, who told Sky Sports that a creative addition would be just what the doctor ordered.
“If Liverpool are in a really good position in January, I think they’ve got to be looking to address that [midfield area].
“It’s not even necessarily having someone who comes in and plays every single game. They just haven’t even got anyone like that in the squad. Adam Lallana is too injury prone.
“Even if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes back, [Naby] Keita goes in or Fabinho goes in they are all the same. Liverpool don’t play with a No 10, but there’s no David Silva or Bernardo Silva or a player like that in the squad.
“I’m not talking about that player playing every week. It’s just the fact of having someone like that in the squad to turn to when you feel you need that player.”
There is a Nabil Fekir-shaped hole in that area of the pitch—will Liverpool go back in for the Frenchman in January?
Ziyech’s Agent Wants Liverpool Move
Ajax favourite Hakim Ziyech was loosely linked with a move to Liverpool during the summer transfer window, but he ended up staying in the Netherlands.
His agent, Rene van der Gijp, wants to ensure the 25-year-old’s next club is a genuinely top-tier one, rather than Roma, who are currently tipped to sign him.
Van der Gijp will further endear himself to Reds supporters after a later response to a question about him moving to Everton, with Ziyech’s representative saying, “that would be crazy for that boy, he should not go to Everton.”
The Moroccan is a great talent who would add some of the much-needed creativity Carragher was discussing above—don’t bank on it happening, though.