Will Liverpool keep pace with Manchester City in 2019/20?

Manchester City v Liverpool

Many Liverpool fans are already concerned that Jurgen Klopp’s Reds may have fallen further behind Manchester City this summer.

With just over two weeks of the summer transfer window remaining, Klopp and his backroom team have not, as of yet, added any personnel to the squad who will be pushing for a first-team place this season.

Liverpool did manage to sign Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle despite a late attempt from FC Bayern to hijack the deal. However, Van den Berg is still only 17, meaning he will be given a year or two with The Reds’ youth setup before he is expected to feature for the senior squad. Continue reading

10 Premier League players who should leave their current clubs before the window closes

Islam Slimani (Leicester)  

It is easy to forget that Slimani is still a Leicester player. Signed following their improbable Premier League title triumph in 2016, the Algeria international made something of an impact in his debut campaign, scoring eight goals in 29 appearances, but he fell sharply out of favour the following season and was loaned out to Newcastle in January. Slimani spent 2018/19 in Turkey with Fenerbahce; given that he is unlikely to play much for the Foxes next term, he should now seek a permanent exit.

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)

The much maligned Lovren is a perfectly capable centre-back on his day, which is why clubs such as Milan have explored the possibility of signing him this summer. According to the latest reports, the Rossoneri have been priced out of a move for the former Southampton man, who has slipped further down the pecking order at Anfield thanks to Joe Gomez’s emergence at centre-half and Joel Matip’s tremendous end to last season.

Jairo Riedewald (Crystal Palace)  

Clashes with powerful members of the Crystal Palace squad supposedly contributed to Frank de Boer’s sacking as the club’s manager after just four games of the 2017/18 campaign, but Riedewald would have been disappointed to see his compatriot go. The Dutchman was a bit-part player under Roy Hodgson for the remainder of that season, before making just a single Premier League appearance last term. His career would surely be best served by a move away from Selhurst Park this summer.

Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)

Manchester City’s recruitment has generally been excellent in the last three years, but Mangala’s presence in the squad is a reminder that it was not always thus.

Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa)

No club has spent more in this summer’s transfer market than Aston Villa, who have splashed out £83m since winning the Championship play-off final against Derby County. That is not particularly positive news for Lansbury, who only played 10 games in the second tier last term. That was in large part because of injury, but having been out of the first-team picture for so long, it make sense for the Arsenal academy graduate to start afresh elsewhere.

Joe Hart (Burnley)

Hart’s decision to move to Burnley last summer always felt like a curious one; granted, he was guaranteed to start in the first few months of the season due to injuries to Tom Heaton and Nick Pope, but his future beyond that was doubtful. Indeed, Heaton’s return to the starting XI coincided with an upturn in form for the Clarets, and Hart may even fall to third in the pecking order now that Pope is back to full fitness. For the sake of his career, the former England net-minder should seek pastures new.

Yannick Bolasie (Everton)

It is fair to say that Bolasie’s move from Crystal Palace to Everton in 2016 has not worked out. The DR Congo international made a decent start at Goodison Park, but a severe knee injury suffered against Manchester United kept him out of action for a year, and he struggled to make much of a positive impression thereafter. Reports suggest that Bolasie is available for £10m this summer, but at the time of writing he remains on Merseyside.

Guido Carrillo (Southampton)

Southampton parted with £19m to acquire Carrillo in January 2018, a decision they must massively regret 18 months on. The former Monaco frontman failed to score in his 10 appearances for the club before a season-long loan move to Leganes last term. Now back at St Mary’s, Carrillo was left out of the Southampton squad that travelled to Austria last week.

Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)

If Laurent Koscielny gets his way and departs the Emirates Stadium this summer, Jenkinson will take over as Arsenal’s longest-serving outfielder. That is extraordinary given that he has played only four league matches for the club since 2013/14, and a situation that surely cannot continue. Now 27, Jenkinson must secure a transfer that brings him more first-team football.

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Rhian Brewster shows why he may play a big part in Liverpool’s first team next season

Rhian Brewster

Liverpool got their pre-season friendlies off to a flying start with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Thursday evening.

The young Reds striker put a season of injury woes behind him by turning on the style against League One side Tranmere and, in doing so, declared himself fit, ready and able to play a part in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team squad for the 2019/20 campaign.

It’s no secret that Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer market so far this summer. Could Klopp’s faith in Brewster’s abilities be one of the main reasons why Liverpool have not looked to spend big on another forward? Continue reading

Lampard to usher in new era at Chelsea

Tammy Abraham

It’s a new dawn at Chelsea FC this summer.

Frank Lampard has returned to Stamford Bridge, the ground he once ruled over as one of the best goalscoring midfielders in the Premier League.

This time, Lampard is replacing Maurizio Sarri as the club’s head coach. Sarri, despite a relatively successful season at Chelsea, was glad to get the opportunity to return to Serie A, taking over Max Allegri’s mantle at league champions Juventus.

Lampard, arriving from his stint at Derby County where he led the Rams to a promotional playoff spot, knows that he will have to play the hand he has been dealt at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea are currently limited by a new player registration ban. Continue reading

Laurent Koscielny problem is the last thing Arsenal needed

It is fair to say that Arsenal have not had the most straightforward of summers so far. Defeat by Chelsea in the Europa League final and a failure to finish in the top four in the Premier League last term did not only deny the Gunners Champions League football in 2019/20, but it also further restricted their transfer budget ahead of next season. The fact that Aaron Ramsey’s contract had expired by the time of his official move to Juventus means that the north Londoners were unable to recoup any funds to lessen the blow of losing their star midfielder, while the chances of getting Mesut Ozil’s sizeable wages off the payroll are slim to nil.

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Why Liverpool signing Coutinho is unlikely to happen

Philippe-Coutinho-682140

18 months after leaving for Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho is being linked with a move back to Liverpool.

The Brazilian’s time at the Nou Camp has not been a happy one. Rather than becoming the world-class midfielder and justifying the £130 million price tag, Coutinho has struggled for any kind of form. He’s managed 21 goals and 11 assists in 76 games and barely managed a game that can be described as good enough.

Rather than making the step up as expected, Coutinho has regressed.  At this point, the club wants rid and will move him on if there was a suitor. Indeed, if the rumours are true, they will use him as a makeweight in any to bring Neymar back from Paris Saint Germain this summer. Continue reading

Should Arsenal break the bank to sign Wilfried Zaha this summer?

Crystal Palace, it is fair to say, have not been happy with Arsenal’s behaviour in recent days. The Gunners’ offer of £40m for Wilfried Zaha was dismissed out of hand by the Eagles, who consider the bid derisory and have privately accused their London rivals of deliberately trying to unsettle their star man.

Palace have made it clear that they value their academy product at closer to £80m, and they were further incensed by Arsenal’s proposal to split the fee into five yearly instalments. Roy Hodgson’s side went into the summer pledging not to sell both Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who joined Manchester United in a £50m deal last week. As things stand, then, a move would appear unlikely.

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Top Premier League Defenders in 2018/19 – Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker picked up another Premier League winner’s medal when his side held off the challenge of Liverpool to win the title by one point back in May.

Walker was also the fourth-highest scoring defender in EPL fantasy football for the season with 89 points from his 33 appearances (30 starts).

Aymeric Laporte was the only City defender ahead of Walker. Laporte earned 100 points in 2018/19.

Liverpool’s trio of Virgil van Dijk (119 points), Andrew Robertson (118) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (102) were first, second, and third respectively. Continue reading

Divock Origi needs to hit the ground running next season

Divock Origi

Liverpool are reportedly confident that Divock Origi will extend his current contract deal with the club to go beyond 2020.

Origi showed his worth to the first team on several occasions last season when he filled in for one of the first-choice front three and, more often than not, provided important goals when called upon.

The Reds’ forward line consists of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane so Origi has one of the toughest jobs in football trying to break into Liverpool’s first eleven. However, Jurgen Klopp is reportedly very happy with the Belgian international’s contribution and his ability to be effective in a short space of time. Continue reading

The stability of the Premier League’s top six

Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne

Can it be done? Can another Premier League (PL) side penetrate the invisible but very existent barrier which separates the top six English clubs from the rest of the teams in the country’s top division?

For those of you old enough, you may remember when it was the ‘big four’ in the PL. Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea were the breakaway clubs who populated the top spots during the noughties.

Two important changes have taken place since, however. Manchester City acquired a seemingly bottomless pit of funds thanks to their owners while Tottenham Hotspur landed themselves one of the best coaches in the modern game when they swooped Continue reading