Lovren’s return date & new Red tipped as “superstar” – Monday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Monday, as more returning players link up with their team-mates at Melwood.

Today’s Main Headlines

Lovren to Return on Tuesday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, May 6, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dejan Lovren is due to report back for pre-season training on Tuesday.

The club confirmed the centre-back’s return date on Monday evening, following an extended break after international duty with Croatia.

He could, therefore, take part in the opening friendly at Tranmere Rovers, though Jurgen Klopp is well-stocked at centre-back with Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Sepp van den Berg among those available.

There remain question marks over Lovren’s future, with AC Milan interested in signing the 30-year-old.

Gomez’s Subtle Hint

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 9, 2019: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joe Gomez was a contender for Liverpool’s Player of the Year before breaking his leg last December, following an immaculate run of form.

It was in his preferred centre-back role that the 22-year-old was thriving, although Klopp has also used him at right-back.

Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, Gomez hinted that he wants to “nail” that central position, even though he is willing to play anywhere for the team:

“I’ve played a number of positions over the years I’ve been here.

“I like to excel in one and nail that spot but I’m happy to play wherever for the team and the manager.

“It’s just about development in whatever way I can and doing all the extra bits I can to develop off the pitch as well as on it.

“Hopefully things fall into place.”

The form of Joel Matip won’t make it easy for Gomez to retain his place alongside Virgil van Dijk this campaign.

A strong pre-season is required, proving that he has overcome his latest injury setback.

“No Contact” Between Gerrard and Newcastle

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Rangers. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Steven Gerrard is flourishing at Rangers, guiding them to a second-placed Scottish Premiership finish last season, helped by the performances of Ryan Kent.

The Liverpool legend has been the subject of reported interest from Newcastle, however, with Magpies owner Mike Ashley eyeing him as a successor to former Reds boss Rafa Benitez.

The Times‘ Paul Joyce has confirmed that “no contact” has been made yet, however, although he reports that Gerrard is on Newcastle‘s radar.

The 39-year-old is viewed by some as Klopp’s long-term replacement at Liverpool—very long-term, hopefully!—but it is arguably too early for him to be moving to the Premier League.

Plus, who in their right mind would want to go to Newcastle, considering their current off-field mess?

Elliott Tipped to be “Superstar”

Fulham's Harvey Elliott applauds the fans at full time of the third round Carabao Cup match at The New Den, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 25, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Millwall. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications

Danny Murphy may not always be the most fascinating of pundits, but his comments about Liverpool’s rumoured new signing Harvey Elliott are exciting.

The 16-year-old is set to join the Reds from Fulham, beating off competition from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

And former Liverpool and Cottagers midfielder Murphy believes Elliott has the talent to become a “superstar”, pinpointing his role moving forward:

“He’s a great dribbler, he’s very sharp and he’s got good feet.

“He could play in one of those front three roles, that’s probably where we’d see him get his go.

“We’ll probably see him in a cup competition this season.

“I think this kid could be a superstar and if he has got the talent to do it, he’s at the right place.”

Murphy’s comments are only going to enhance Elliott’s reputation, although it is also heaping more pressure on his young shoulders.

Should the deal go through, the teenager will hopefully show that he can thrive under some expectation, much like Trent Alexander-Arnold has.

Ojo Opens Rangers Account

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 10, 2018: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Sheyi Ojo will spend the 2019/20 season on loan at Rangers, following the route taken by Kent and Ovie Ejaria last year.

The winger will be looking to kick on after a forgettable spell with Stade de Reims and early evidence suggests he could excel in Scotland.

Ojo scored a well-taken effort in Rangers’ 5-0 friendly win over Oxford United on Sunday, burying an effort with his left foot:

His all-round impact so far has received positive reviews and he has the natural talent to be a key performer under Gerrard.

Incredible, Rangers will play their first competitive game of 2019/20 on Tuesday, when they play St Joseph’s in a Europa League qualifier.

Referees’ Chief Provides VAR Update

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 9, 2019: Referee Andre Marriner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

VAR continues to be prominent in the modern game, with supporters’ opinions split when it comes to the technology.

To some, it is essential in getting correct decisions, while to others it is taking away a human aspect of football, slowing down matches at the same time.

Speaking to BBC Sport, referees’ chief Mike Riley has played down any negative impact VAR could have on the Premier League in future, saying it won’t “re-referee the game”:

“Where VAR has been implemented successfully in other competitions it’s been a very high bar.

“We don’t want VAR to come in and try to re-referee the game.

“We actually want it to protect the referees from making serious errors, the ones everybody’s goes: ‘Well, actually, that’s wrong.’

“If we keep to that really high bar there is more chance of keeping the flow of the game, the intensity of the game and people enjoying the spectacle of it rather than constantly referring to the video screen for changing decisions.”

Only time will tell how effective VAR becomes, although the Women’s World Cup was proof that there are still creases to be ironed out.

Interestingly, the Times add that the penalty Liverpool were awarded in the Champions League would not be in this season’s Premier League.

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