Liverpool restarted their Premier League campaign with a 0-0 draw at Everton; today’s headlines sees the best of the match reaction meet some utterly nonsensical transfer rumours head on.
Klopp facing big call over Larouci progression
The injury to James Milner in a game that Andy Robertson was already sitting out has hammered home the notion that Liverpool are short a left-back.
Milner is clearly more suited to midfield at this stage anyway, and there isn’t enough senior depth across the defence to keep relying on Joe Gomez moving to full-back on one side or the other.
Neco Williams might be the locked-in back-up on the right, but Yasser Larouci remains largely untested, despite having made his senior debut and having made a decent impression in pre-season last year.
As such, the Athletic say that Jurgen Klopp and his staff have held talks over whether to make a move for a new signing at left-back in the summer, which will largely hinge around how much faith Klopp has in Larouci to step up if needed.
No clear indication, as yet, whether that would be a low-cost backup to Robertson or a higher calibre of player who can perform in multiple roles—with Bukayo Saka being a clear best option if the latter is pursued.
Rumour mills refuse to learn
Why are they even bothering, at this point? Everybody knows now that Liverpool aren’t going to be spending big money unless the deal is absolutely perfect and the player is a must-have this summer.
And yet several outlets are trying to convince us that bids are going in for massive-money, high-wage, enormous reputation players who, in some cases, Liverpool don’t really need.
Take your pick as to which of the three are more improbable right now:
Mundo Deportivo say Liverpool are considering a bid of around €50-60 million for Ousmane Dembele, who has again spent most of the season sidelined through injury at Barcelona.
Corriere dello Sport say the Reds have bid £58m for Kalidou Koulibaly, leaving us a handy £32m short of an agreement.
And just about every outlet is citing ‘Mail Online via Sports Mole‘ regarding Liverpool interest in Bayern Munich’s midfielder-turned-left-back-turned-centre-back David Alaba…yet there’s no link from Mole to Mail, no news story on the Mail’s site and the two are about as reliable as each other in any case.
Reaction to Goodison draw
Liverpool couldn’t take their chances to halve the number of points needed to claim the title on Sunday, but it’s still an unstoppable stroll to become champions that Klopp’s side are taking. Here’s the best of the fallout from the game.
- The Merseyside fans from both teams have been praised for staying away from the stadium, despite fears that they would congregate around Goodison Park
- A knock-on of no crowds at the games was the match being made free-to-air by Sky Sports, and the derby broke the all-time viewing record for a Premier League game
- And while Hendo says the Reds need to be a bit sharper and more clinical, Klopp acknowledges that rhythm can’t be forced back on the pitch after such a long time away
Quickfire LFC news
- John Aldridge says Liverpool should do all they can to re-sign Phil Coutinho from Barca (Goal)
- Virgil van Dijk and Dutch women’s national team captain Sari van Veenendaal are leading a boycott of a national TV station after racist comments from a presenter (Echo)
- Ben Woodburn marked his comeback after seven months out injured with a goal for Oxford United (TIA)
- And Rhian Brewster‘s weekend brace saw him make the Championship team of the week (SCFC)
Around the Prem
- Fenerbahce are going to ask fans to crowdfund a move for Mesut Ozil, which presumably Arsenal supporters will be only to keen to pitch in and help with (Fotospor)
- Joe Hart is Mikel Arteta’s No. 1 target to replace injured Bernd Leno, and we didn’t realise he aimed to take Arsenal down the table (Express)
- Everton have taken another step forward in their summer transfer plans by joining the race for Mohammed Salisu, so look out for next week’s updates on how they narrowly missed out on their man (Mail)
- And Juve will offer Federico Bernardeschi and Daniele Rugani in exchange for Raul Jimenez, which is such a Juventus type of offer it’s unreal (Tuttosport)
Stupid fact-check of the day
Jose Mourinho responded to criticism of his development of strikers by suggesting Didier Drogba scored an average of 46 goals per season.
Think he may have misread the games column as goals there, but perhaps the bigger mistake is bothering to engage Paul Merson in complete sentences anyway.
Tweet of the day
Three years since Mo Salah joined Liverpool and Klopp had the final piece of his attacking puzzle ? pic.twitter.com/nmIAiiVfJK
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 22, 2020
What we’re reading
A data-driven look at the reasons behind the Premier League‘s slow start to life and lack of first-half goals, by Daniel Zeqiri in the Telegraph.
And in the Guardian, Eni Aluko discusses the impact of players taking a knee on the pitch and what more must now be done to combat racial inequality.
Worth watching tonight
Fiorentina vs Brescia in Serie A at 6:30pm, then Manchester City vs Burnley in the Prem at 8.