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Van Dijk on the comeback trail & Origi back to Belgium? – Liverpool FC Roundup

As Christmas and the January transfer window draw closer, with Liverpool not in action again until December 28, we round up the latest Reds news and rumours.

 

Origi wanted in Belgium

Sunday evening brought a claim from the Telegraph‘s Mike McGrath that Schalke “believe” the Reds will approach them for centre-back Ozan Kabak in January, and if they do, they will attempt to negotiate a swap deal including Divock Origi.

Origi is widely reported to be available in the upcoming transfer window, but a switch to Schalke is questionable given their position at the bottom of the Bundesliga and their difficult financial situation.

Now, though, Belgian outlet Voetbal 24 has claimed that both Club Brugge and Royal Antwerp would be interested in bringing Origi back to his native country.

Voetbal 24 had previously claimed Brugge were hopeful of a loan deal for the striker, but now they may have to “act quickly” to bring him in before Antwerp advance.

Either way, it seems unlikely that Liverpool would sanction a temporary move.

 

Hendo hails “big addition” Ox

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain embraces Roberto Firmino as he comes on during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday’s record-breaking win at Crystal Palace was hugely positive for Liverpool, not least due to the successful return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after nearly four months out with a knee injury.

The midfielder replaced Roberto Firmino with 15 minutes to play at Selhurst Park, and promptly recorded an assist – albeit a very simple one – as Mo Salah netted the seventh in the club’s biggest-ever Premier League victory.

Speaking to LFCTV after the game, Jordan Henderson discussed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return, and described him as a “big addition.”

“He’s been working extremely hard to get back, looking sharp again and I thought he did well when he came on,” the captain said.

“So the more minutes he can get, the better really because he’s a big addition to our team.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely be eased back into the side in the coming weeks, but a start against West Brom on December 27 cannot be ruled out.

 

Van Dijk’s comeback & Gini’s minutes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 

Quickfire LFC news

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Claims of Salah being “unhappy” at Liverpool have been cleared up (Echo)
  • The LFC Women ended the year with a 2-0 loss to Durham on Sunday (LFC)
  • Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji is among our possible centre-back targets (Mail)
  • Carra has compared the “special character” Klopp to Alex Ferguson (Sky)

 

Around the Prem

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 2, 2020: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta pictured before the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Arsenal FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Mikel Arteta is leaning on bizarre stats to ponder on Arsenal‘s form (Sky)
  • Big Sam has claimed he may change captains after Jake Livermore’s red (Mail)
  • Marcus Rashford was given a special honour at the BBC SPOTY awards (BBC)
  • The League Cup final has been pushed back from February to April (EFL)

 

Stupid rumour of the day

There may be interest down the line, but a claim from TuttoMercatoWeb‘s Enzo Bucchioni that Liverpool have “already found an agreement” with Lille over midfielder Renato Sanches seems wide of the mark.

Sanches has been linked with a switch to Anfield in recent weeks, and an £18 million fee would be a bargain, but it is unclear how or why this news would be buried in a lengthy report from an Italian reporter…

 

Tweet of the day

 

What we’re reading

Over on The Athletic, their writers are running through the candidates for this year’s cancelled Ballon d’Or, with Seb Stafford-Bloor’s piece on the “physical riddle” Sadio Mane particularly good.

 

Worth watching tonight

There’s another Premier League double-header tonight, with Burnley vs. Wolves at 5.30pm and Chelsea vs. West Ham at 8pm. Both on Sky Sports.

 

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