We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Wednesday, as focus turns to the weekend visit of Newcastle.
Today’s Main Headlines
- Kompany names Van Dijk as Premier League’s greatest centre-back
Huge praise from the Man City legend.
- Alisson back in light training for Liverpool
Reds “cannot look too far ahead” with Brazilian’s recovery.
- Newcastle missing six players for Liverpool clash
Injuries mount up for the Magpies.
- Coutinho on the “honour” of working with Klopp
Firmino’s role in his move to Bayern Munich also discussed.
- Fabinho and Firmino return from United States
Liverpool’s internationals conclude, thankfully.
Van Dijk Can Get Better, says Wenger
Virgil van Dijk has earned endless plaudits since joining Liverpool in January 2018.
The 28-year-old is the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or later this year, potentially pipping all-time great Lionel Messi to the award.
Speaking to beIN Sports, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he thinks the Dutchman can get even better, though, saying he’s so good that he isn’t often tested enough:
“What is interesting with him [is] you feel there is even more in him than what he does. Sometimes you feel ‘come on’.
“He’s very good in one-against-one, he’s very good at…it’s difficult to find a weak point in his game!”
Van Dijk’s next test will be against Newcastle on Saturday, as he looks to ensure Liverpool register back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool Move Up UEFA Coefficient Rankings
Liverpool have risen from 11th to eighth in UEFA’s coefficient rankings following last season’s Champions League triumph.
This was revealed late last month but it is only now being reported. The rankings determine a club’s seeding in draws and the revenue distribution based on results in the Champions League.
Match points and bonus points have been collected over the past five years by clubs in European competitions, which further determines where a team is placed.
Real Madrid currently top the pile, followed by their two biggest rivals, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Man City (sixth) are the highest-placed English club.
Kelleher’s Trickery Impresses Achterberg
Caoimhin Kelleher appears to be learning fast from training alongside Alisson if his Republic of Ireland under-21 antics are anything to go by.
Footage has emerged of the 20-year-old showing some nimble footwork to sidestep an opponent in his side’s 3-1 win over Sweden U21s on Monday night.
Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg was left impressed, taking to Twitter to laud Kelleher’s calmness in possession:
Calm under pressure what we need @LFC? https://t.co/jKeZohZky8
— John Achterberg (@1JohnAchterberg) September 11, 2019
In an interview with LiverpoolFC.com on Wednesday, Achterberg also highlighted the importance of experienced ‘keepers helping Kelleher’s development:
“It helps for the young boys when they take advice from both myself and Jack [Robinson] as well as the other goalies – that’s the ideal situation for them.
“The more experienced ‘keepers – Ali, Adrian and Andy – can talk to Caoimhin [Kelleher] and to Jakub, and so for them that’s a big help.”
Switzerland Want Shaqiri to End International Exile
Xherdan Shaqiri has played no part in the international break, instead remaining in Liverpool to focus on featuring more regularly this season.
According to Kurier, the Swiss FA are keen on the 27-year-old ending his current Switzerland exile, though, sending delegates to Liverpool to make him reverse his decision.
Shaqiri turned down the chance to once again represent his country in their Euro 2020 qualifiers, instead choosing to focus on club duties.
They hope that the Liverpool forward will change his mind and return to international in October, when Switzerland take on Denmark and Ireland.
Van den Berg “Not Here in Vain”
Sepp van den Berg is still feeling his way into life at Liverpool, having made the switch from PEC Zwolle in the summer.
A few shaky performances for the under-23s show that he is adjusting to life at his new club, but the teenager has his eyes set on a bright future a Anfield.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Van den Berg said he draws inspiration from the first-team players and intends to prove his worth over time:
“They actually teach me everything.
“Virgil van Dijk, for example, who I can watch, they teach me how to win the Champions League final. That’s football.
“Everyone helps me. I can learn the most from Van Dijk. So if he gives me tips, I’ll save them. If I make a mistake like not stepping up and things like that. It is things you need to know.
“Everyone has received me well. That has made me feel good. In the end, I’m not here in vain. I want to show what I can do.”
Van den Berg is likely to be in action for Liverpool’s U23s on Saturday (3pm GMT), as Neil Critchley‘s side host Derby County.
He could make his first senior appearance for the club against MK Dons in the League Cup later this month.