A Merseyside derby win, a crop of youngsters praised—and plenty of consideration for what comes next for Liverpool’s squad in today’s roundup.
Wijnaldum contract the big summer question
Gini Wijnaldum is the outlier in the Liverpool first-team squad, it seems: a contract with dwindling length which has not been renewed yet.
Wijnaldum has a year left after this season and the Athletic‘s David Ornstein says both the Dutch midfielder and the club are “comfortable with the situation and potential scenarios”—those being a renewal, a free transfer in 2021 or a big-money move away this summer.
The latter seems improbable unless a team from Serie A or LaLiga are coughing up £30m plus for a 29-year-old.
Game time and performances between now and May should be the most telling factor in judging how important the No. 5 remains to Jurgen Klopp‘s team.
New crop to push for game time
Klopp says the performance level from the youngsters was the perfect response to those who have criticised the Reds’ efforts in the domestic cups, and spoke of his pride at how good some of the youngsters are.
“We saw these boys come closer and closer to being ready to play for us. I’m really happy about that,” he said.
At age 22, he’s actually one of the oldest players in the group!
Curtis writes the headlines
Unsurprisingly, match-winner and man of the match from the derby, Curtis Jones, has seen heaps of praise come his way after his first senior goal for the Reds.
- The national media saw Jones as a star in the making
- The attacker himself spoke about his determination to impress
- And his goal put him into the record books, among the key stats from the game
New contract for Chirivella?
We’ve already heard how Chirivella and Co impressed—but the Spanish midfielder in particular may have done enough to significantly affect his future.
Having now played nine times for the Reds’ first team, and being out of contract at the end of the season, it would be expected that he might move on even as soon as this month—but Sky Sports are reporting that the Reds may have changed their mind.
A new contract could be on the cards, as a reward for his progress this season—though any agreement may be largely down to whether he sees any domestic action at all.
With Fabinho out injured, this might be his chance to get some game time in a true first-team lineup—but in truth, any contract extension might just be to try and ensure the Reds get fair value for his services in a permanent transfer.
A big decision for the young midfielder could lie ahead.
Quickfire LFC news
- The Reds have signed 21-year-old striker Joe Hardy, presumably to fill the void which will be left by Rhian Brewster in the U23s (TIA)
- Adam Lallana says he one one of the oldest, but also one of the fittest out on the park against Everton after a good midfield showing (Echo)
Around the Prem
- One-time Reds target Hakim Ziyech will be allowed to leave Ajax this month, with Spurs and Arsenal keen (football.london)
- …and several sides want Olivier Giroud, but the blues will only let him leave once they have a replacement. Inter and Newcastle are keen (Telegraph)
Stupid rumour of the day
Any website or news outlet headlining stories of Ousmane Dembele “liking” the idea of a move to Anfield…because he liked an Instagram mock-up picture of him in a Liverpool kit.
Have a day off from it, yeah?
Tweet of the day
Jones’ goal…Mane’s reaction!
— Terry&little Abi's page #MYHERO ??? (@TerrywardLFC) January 5, 2020
What we’re reading
Paul Wilson goes into some detail about just how embarrassing the defeat was for the Ev, and how much work Carlo Ancelotti has on, for the Guardian.
And the Athletic have seen fit to put five people on the byline, but the story is good—behind the scenes of Carlos Tevez’s time in Manchester.