Another rebuilding and planning week for Liverpool then, an important week off to somehow get over the malaise infecting the team before next weekend’s game.
Jota on his way…but now Hendo’s out too
As of midweek, the Reds should have their numbers boosted by precisely one in training, with Diogo Jota almost ready to return to full training.
The Portuguese forward has been a big miss over the last couple of months, with a real lack of pace and direct running contributing to the Reds’ attacking threat diminishing on a regular basis.
But he’s now likely to return to full team training by Wednesday, all being well, giving him a handful of sessions before the Sheffield United game at the weekend. Even if he’s not ready to feature in that, the options should be on the increase for the attack in general as Naby Keita – unused sub in the derby – will have had another week getting back up to speed, too.
All well and good in attack…but we’re facing being without Jordan Henderson for around five games after he went off injured against Everton.
Hopefully we’ll also get Fabinho back in the meantime, so at least one of our midfielders-turned-defenders can play, even while none of our actual centre-backs are available.
Another new partnership to develop!
Mbappe ‘wants release clause’ to join Reds in new deal
Kylian Mbappe is being linked with the Reds on a weekly basis now, so expect to see the story continue to develop with regularity.
By “develop” we obviously mean “be spun out for clicks in new and interesting ways”.
Thankfully for you, that’s what we are here for: collecting all the ‘updates’ and letting you know exactly where they rank on the bulls**t-o-meter.
Today’s is quite high on that scale – FootMercato say Mbappe is keen for his departure from PSG to be a headline-making one, like a world record fee, which he probably can’t do unless he signs a new deal.
But he also wants to be able to leave when he chooses, not be tied down for another four years at the French club, so an agreement akin to a release clause is on the cards for specified clubs…including the Reds, of course.
Just one issue: they are illegal and irrelevant in French football law.
Problems and paradoxes
When Fantasy Football is causing real-world issues, we know we’ve reached a bit of a tipping point…
- Clubs are keen to stop ‘team leaks’ arising from Fantasy Football squad changes, with Robbo highlighting Mane’s injury and the same happening with Grealish and Villa this weekend
- Lyon defender Marcelo says the Reds tried to sign him in January but he turned down the deal
- And here’s a total list of our 18 (eighteen!) centre-back partnerships used this season…and the ones we could yet witness
Quickfire LFC news
- Taki Minamino has more goals on loan than he has for the Reds in the PL! He headlines this week’s loan watch (TIA)
- Our U18s had a second half of goalscoring the seniors can only dream about right now! (TIA)
- On-loan forward Taiwo Awoniyi will be out for several weeks through injury (SW)
- Young defender Sean Wilson has signed his first pro deal with the Reds (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Man United will apparently bin big contract David de Gea and new long contract Dean Henderson to sign out-of-contract Gigi Donnarumma. It’s already looking like a long summer tbh (Fichajes)
- AC Milan and…West Ham…are in a battle for Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri. How are all these teams in CL spots and Liverpool aren’t?! (SW)
- Chelsea want Niklas Sule but Bayern want to extend his contract. They might want to also consider actually playing him centre-back, not right-back (f.l)
- And if you usually play five-a-side, Sunday League or any variation thereof in England…rejoice! You can start again from 29 March. Don’t pull a hamstring first game back… (BBC)
Stupid blame of the day
Jose Mourinho has decided his team’s run of losing six of the last eight, or five of the last six in the league, or winning three of the last 13 in the league, is not his fault, but the team’s.
“I would say a bad, a really bad, run of results. That is obvious. We’re losing too many matches.
“No, not at all [my management style’s responsibility]. Mine and my coaching staff’s methods are second to nobody in the world.
“I think for a long, long time, we have problems in the team that I cannot resolve by myself as a coach.”
Tweet of the day
New career goal: kick people in the head and then claim that they have impeded me twice pic.twitter.com/Sk8ZxIjoC7
— Lubo 19* (@lubomerkov) February 22, 2021
Worth watching tonight
Tempted to say ‘nothing’, but we’ve been linked with several players from either Juve (Demiral!) or Sevilla (Kounde! Ocampos! – but he’s injured) so pick one of those this evening and remind yourselves what a win looks like.