Liverpool are back to preparing for a Premier League, game with Norwich the opponents at the end of the week. Here’s the latest after a week-long break for the first-team.
January bid knocked back for Chukwueze
Liverpool signed Takumi Minamino from Salzburg in early January, with the Reds relatively low-key in the window from that point onwards.
Miles clear at the top as we are, that was of little surprise—but now stories have surfaced of an additional bid being made.
That came for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, who the Reds have been linked with previously—see here for more details on the forward’s style and stats.
Whether or not it’s true that Liverpool made an official bid, it seems our valuation of him is below his current club’s; France Football say the Reds offered €35 million, but LaLiga’s Yellow Submarine want almost double that for the skillful Nigerian.
Chelsea want him too, so we’ll have to wait and see whether he ends up a €60m addition in the summer.
Scouse, self-sustaining and superb
Trent Alexander-Arnold is almost an old head in the team now, so long has he been part of Jurgen Klopp‘s set-up.
Joining him in the second half of this campaign as the local presence in the first-team squad is Curtis Jones, scorer of a derby day wondergoal and the Reds’ youngest-ever captain.
The Reds’ CEO, Peter Moore, has paid tribute to the model of the academy and the way the youngsters are integrated, speaking about the importance of having a Liverpudlian flavour in the side.
On a related note, local left-back Adam Lewis has been praised after making his senior debut for the Reds against Shrewbury, while centre-back Sepp van den Berg has spoken about the differences of working elsewhere and under Klopp—with hugs a predictable focal point!
First-team fitness and focus
Does it feel like forever since the senior players last took to the pitch? The countdown starts now until they’re back against Norwich!
- The squad returned to training with James Milner involved after injury and Tom Werner watching on
- And Sadio Mane is back on the training pitch too, undertaking ball work as he recovers from his own injury
- And big Ali’s “nerve strength” has been praised by one of our goalkeeping coaches, who explains how the stopper makes it all look so easy
Throw-in debate? There is none
Throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark has hit out at critics of his work, pointing to Jurgen Klopp‘s absolute conviction that it has improved the team as proof of its legitimacy.
“It is not like he brought me in and said: ‘OK, let’s see if it works’,” the Dane said.
“He was 100 per cent sure I could make a difference and I am on my third contract with Liverpool, so it’s about giving meaning to the players and having support from the right people.”
Gronnemark also praised the personality of Klopp and the Melwood working culture.
Quickfire LFC news
- Ex-Reds striker Rickie Lambert has spoken of his admiration for current captain Jordan Henderson (LFC)
- And there’s more love for the skipper: When asked if he’d prefer to play with Messi or Ronaldo, Trent answered: Hendo! (TAA)
- Kai Havertz is back to the top of Klopp’s summer wish-list… (Express)
- …but the Reds can also re-sign Coutinho for £77m (Star)
Around the Prem
- Watford powerhouse Abdoulaye Doucoure says he’ll be allowed to leave the club easily if a Champions League side bids for him (Mirror)
- Man United want to sign West Ham holding midfielder Declan Rice after Moysey put up a great defence against the interest: “Quite often when building a club you have to sell.” Inspirational (MEN)
- The Premier League are planning a “Netflix” style of service to allow fans to stream matches – someone best tell them we’re usually allowed to watch The Witcher at 3pm on a Saturday if we want (TIA)
- And Everton ‘keeper says criticism doesn’t affect him and, well, the jokes write themselves at this stage after even Christian Benteke scored past him… (BBC Sport)
Stupid social media post of the day
Oh, Dele Alli. When will footballers get it that they can’t do stupid stuff on social media without causing outrage and having to apologise afterward?
Tweet of the day
Happy birthday Naby!
On his birthday, we look back at THAT Naby goal against @afcbournemouth ? pic.twitter.com/2zsHjQM1nC
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 10, 2020
What we’re reading
A really good interview with Pontus Jansson, Brentford defender, on Zlatan, Bielsa and the Premier League – with Ben Fisher in the Guardian.
Also, a tactical look at how Inter Milan kept faith and came from two down to beat AC Milan 4-2 in a wild derby on Sunday night, by Michael Cox for the Athletic.
Worth watching tonight
There are cup games ahead all week, but have a night off unless you want an MLS warm-up game: LA Galaxy vs. New England Revs, 7:30pm on your favourite streaming site.