We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Wednesday, as the Reds look for a rare favour from Man United.
Today’s Main Headlines
- Exciting rumour linking Liverpool with Joao Felix makes sense for Reds
The 19-year-old is one of Europe’s hottest properties.
- How spending on squad has been replicated throughout the club
The club is functioning superbly at the moment.
- Milner, super subs and Klopp’s clever use of strength in depth
Richard Jolly on the importance of the manager’s substitutions.
- The unwavering self-belief and fitness behind Reds’ title bid
Alex Malone discusses how Klopp’s hard work is paying off.
- Liverpool’s 2007 FA Youth Cup winners and lessons from the past
What happened to the Reds’ heroes from 12 years ago?
New Deal For Matip?
According to Football Insider—an unproven source, it must be stressed—Liverpool will open talks with Joel Matip regarding a new contract.
The centre-back has been in excellent form of late, putting in a string of influential performances alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Having been third-choice at best for most of his Anfield career, his upturn in fortunes is remarkable and Matip could be deservedly in line for a fresh deal.
He was voted Man of the Match in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Cardiff and will continue to be an important figure as the Reds aim to clinch a Premier League and Champions League double this season.
Matip’s current contract at Anfield expires in June 2020.
Young Reds learning from the Best, in Goal…
Alisson has been superb in his first season at Liverpool, proving to be arguably their best goalkeeper of the Premier League era.
Mark Morris, Liverpool’s U23s goalkeeping coach, has revealed that the Brazilian is inspiring a generation of young ‘keepers at Anfield, hailing him as one of the best he has seen.
“I work with the goalkeepers from U9s to U23s. We have trial days and the kids come in with the Alisson tops on. It’s certainly nice to see,” Morris told LiverpoolFC.com.
“He’s one of the best in the world, so you can’t help but look up to the guy.
“What we try to encourage the boys to do is to watch him. And the way we play at Liverpool, the boys have to be calm on the ball. He fits the bill in terms of modern goalkeepers.
“How we play, we use him as an example to the boys – playing out from the back, seeing if the longer passes are on and trying to be calm with the team. He gives a level of calmness out from the back, which is vital for the way we play.
“He’s the quickest I’ve seen. You strike a ball and as you strike the ball, you look up and you see the ‘keeper going. I was striking the ball, looking up and he was already there. He’s remarkably quick.”
…and in Defence
Rhys Williams has enjoyed an outstanding campaign and will be a key player when Liverpool U18s take on Man City in the FA Youth Cup final on Thursday night.
The towering centre-back couldn’t have a better role model to learn from than Van Dijk, and in an interview with LiverpoolFC.com, he told how he studies the Dutchman at every opportunity.
“I’m just taller than him! But his stature is just ridiculous.
“He’s so calm and confident in what he does. You don’t see him panicking in big situations. He’s just a great role model for everyone.
“I watch all the Liverpool games and he’s the main player I focus on. If they do analysis after the game and it’s on him, then I’ll record it or watch it there and then just to see if I can take bits of his game into mine.”
The Youth Cup final kicks off at 7.45pm (BST) at the Academy Stadium in Manchester; This is Anfield will be present and reporting on the game.
Anfield Pre-Season Friendly Likely
Liverpool’s pre-season friendly clash with Torino was a roaring success last summer, allowing local supporters to see the Reds in action.
That match was played just five days before the Premier League opener against West Ham and the same plan looks to be in order this year.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the club “are in talks with a number of potential opponents for the midweek game in early August.”
There are also ongoing discussions regarding a friendly at Tottenham‘s impressive new ground, although that wouldn’t be against the north Londoners.
Salah’s Night in NYC
Mohamed Salah was pictured in New York on Tuesday night, but fear not, he isn’t joining the New York Red Bulls this summer.
Instead, the Egyptian was attending the Time 100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world currently.
Salah’s inclusion in the list sums up what an important individual he has become, not just in a football context, but because of his religious beliefs and giant personality.
One thing the 26-year-old discussed at the event was women’s equality, saying:
“We need to change the way we treat women in our culture. I support the women more than I did before, because I feel like they deserve more than what they’re given at the moment.
“That has to be, it’s not optional.”
What a man.
How Liverpool U23s Left Gerrard Fuming
A Liverpool U23 side humiliated Rangers for 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly, prompting a furious Steven Gerrard to lay into his players.
The Daily Record report that the Reds were winning 4-0 at half-time, thanks to a Ben Woodburn double and further efforts from Rafa Camacho and Curtis Jones, with the Liverpool legend making changes at the break, bringing on several youngsters.
Speaking to Rangers TV after the match, which eventually ended 4-4, an angry Gerrard admitted that he has learned a lot about the senior players who performed so poorly, as well as his emerging talent:
“It was a very useful game. I probably learned more in that 90 minutes about the players than I have done all season because it was a game of two halves.
“First half was an embarrassment and the second half was fantastic. It was a very useful exercise for different reasons but in terms of us as staff, we learnt so much about the players individually.”
Liverpool U23s’ XI vs. Rangers: Atherton, Whelan, Masterson, Gallacher, Johnston, Coyle, Randall, Christie-Davis, Jones, Camacho, Woodburn.