Pep Lijnders took Liverpool’s pre-West Ham press conference, offering several updates on the players, while a journalist reported on the club’s sporting director position.
Schmadtke ‘stepping back’
Liverpool’s interim sporting director is “currently planning to step back” from his role after the January transfer window, according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg.
Jorg Schmadtke has been in the role since May and could extend his deal further. However, that is now unlikely as the reporter said “the collaboration is supposed to end.”
Plettenberg added that “all parties value each other and are very satisfied with the project,” which has involved a summer rebuild of Liverpool’s midfield.
While they weren’t all directly a result of Schmadtke being around, Liverpool signed four players under his watch, all of whom are showing signs they could go down as successes, relative to their respective price tags.
Who will replace the German when he does depart is anyone’s guess, at the moment.
Bad news on Mac Allister
However, the issue has since developed and Pep Lijnders said: “It will go into the new year, but that could be possible, we play January 1 so let’s see.
“He is a player who we miss. You see that in the game, sometimes it’s really rushed. He’s a player who’s really calm.”
Lijnders praised those who are filling in, though, adding: “So yeah, we miss a few boys, but with Wata (Endo) stepping up, Ryan (Graveneberch), Curt (Jones), Harvey (Elliott), Dom (Szoboszlai), it’s still good.”
3 more injury updates
- The coach’s update on Diogo Jota was more positive, declaring him “close” – he’s missed the last six matches with a hamstring injury
- Ryan Gravenberch is looking better, too, thankfully. Lijnders said “he can train hopefully” on Tuesday – a case of fatigue for the Dutchman
- Ben Doak was the worst update of the day. He requires surgery and could be out for between three to six months – such a shame
Latest Liverpool FC news
- Ahead of the League Cup quarter-final, Lijnders said Liverpool’s ‘big guns want more trophies’ – starting with silverware in February, please
- Lijnders also insisted Szoboszlai “will come back to his best,” despite a run of below-par performances – we would hope so!
- Liverpool’s annual trip to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is always a heartening day, and this year was no different – don’t miss the video further down the page
Latest chat from elsewhere
- Nottingham Forest have sacked manager Steve Cooper with Nuno Espirito Santo favourite to take over – not sure how well that will go down with the fans
- The former Red, Ovie Ejarie, has had his contract terminated early at Reading – he probably won’t be the last, due to the club’s less-than-reputable owner, Dai Yongge, and his practices
- Nat Phillips is set to return to Liverpool in January, with Celtic opting not to extend his loan, according to the Athletic – it’s not been the best few months for him
Video of the day and matches of the night
Liverpool made their annual Christmas visit to Alder Hey with heart-warming moments aplenty.