Liverpool played their first—and possibly only—warmup game ahead of the Premier League restart on Thursday and are linked with a talented teenager.
The next Firmino on Reds’ radar?
Remember the name: Mohammed Kudus. The 19-year-old is currently with Danish side Nordsjaelland, but is already a senior international with Ghana and is wanted by half of Europe.
His youth coach at the club, Laryea Kingston—a former Ghana international himself—has been discussing Kudus’ future and explaining his role, with Liverpool one of several teams hoping to entice him to a bigger league.
Kudus plays up front in a 4-3-3, but plays the centre-forward role in a particular way, as Kingston explained to Goal.
“We play with a false nine sometimes and always I see him at that role. Our wide players don’t usually stay on the line, like you see with Mane and Salah at Liverpool.
“Any time you see our wide players at wide positions, then it is when we are defending and are deep in our half. In the attacking third, you see them very narrow, going close to the false-9 which is mostly Kudus.
“Kudus’ role is like a No.10 but he drops to the midfield to pick the ball and drive up. The moment the ball goes to the wide areas, you see him making runs into the 18-yard box.”
Sound familiar? Could well be that the Reds are tracking a player who likes to play the Bobby Firmino role to perfection—and his coach backed him to join Liverpool over Newcastle and Everton, too.
Back among the goals, back on the pitch
Liverpool’s first team played at Anfield on Thursday in preparation for the resumption of the Premier League.
It could well be the only match against an opponent before the Merseyside derby is played, so it bodes well that the outcome was extremely positive: a 6-0 win for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
The Reds scored three in each half, with Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino all finding the net in the first 45.
Joel Matip, Ki-Jana Hoever and Leighton Clarkson all found the net too after the break, with Klopp making changes and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being replaced after a knock.
Great to see the Reds back in action—now onto the real stuff!
Ten days and counting!
Assume by now you’re all in full frenzy mode over the impending restart. Derby day in Spain tonight; Derby day on Merseyside a week on Sunday.
- The full rundown on who can attend matches and how press conferences will function
- One positive test returned from the latest batch of 1,200 coronavirus tests in the Premier League
- And Jake Cain has spoken of his rise through the ranks and the players in the senior squad who set such incredibly high standards
Quickfire LFC news
- The Reds generated well over £250 million from TV deals according to the latest financial reviews (TIA)
- Gini says Milner is “unbelievable” in training and keeps the rest of the squad firing on all cylinders (Mirror)
- Steve McManaman has suggested Klopp could be tempted away by Bayern, showing a woeful lack of knowledge of what the boss actually looks for (ES)
- And big news for LFC Women as key forward Rinsola Babajide agrees a new contract to stay (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Dortmund want £115m for Jadon Sancho, so expect a bid from Chelsea in the next few days as the next name on their apparent £2bn summer spending spree (Telegraph)
- Wilf Zaha is wanted by PSG, apparently. The new Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting! (90 mins)
- Mourinho wants Giroud from Chelsea, so perhaps somebody should send him the press release from when the striker signed a new contract all of two weeks ago (Express)
- And Leicester want Max Clark from Vitesse to replace Ben Chilwell, which sounds less glamarous than the Ajax-Tagliafico headlines of last week (Mail)
Stupid social media incident of the day
Not technically of the day, but the FA’s impeccable timing has handed the decision down today. Dele Alli posted a joke on social media about coronavirus right back at the start of the situation; today, the week before matches resume, he has been banned for one game and fined £50,000.
He’ll now miss the Spurs game against Man United because of a tweet.
Tweet of the day
Magic Mo, what a man.
Mo Salah just casually paying for everyone’s petrol at Sainsbury’s, Old Swan, in a full @LFC training kit too ? pic.twitter.com/eNVb0kzZNH
— LFC (@RockyKlopp) June 10, 2020
What we’re reading
Remember when LaLiga got a bit mad in early 2020 and Martin Braithwait signed for Barcelona after the transfer window shut? He speaks to Sid Lowe for the Guardian on his journey from Boro to the Camp Nou.
And in the Telegraph there’s a report about Spanish teams potentially facing a transfer window open from August to October!
Worth watching tonight
THE RETURN OF LALIGA! It’s the Andalucian derby, Sevilla v Betis, Ocampos v Fekir, great atmos…oh, yeah. Well, it’s at 9pm anyway, on LaLigaTV—and it’s free for anyone in the UK to watch the Spanish league so get registered quick!