LFC NEWS

Watch every Liverpool pre-season game live on LFCTV GO

LiverpoolFC TV - 2 hours 27 min ago
Watch all of Liverpool's pre-season friendlies this summer live and exclusive on LFCTV GO*.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Video: Behind the scenes on Fabio Carvalho's unveiling day

LiverpoolFC TV - 2 hours 41 min ago
Enjoy a fresh look at Fabio Carvalho's official unveiling with our behind-the-scenes story of his arrival at Liverpool.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Divock Origi leaves Jürgen Klopp a curious Liverpool hole that no transfer could ever replace

Liverpool.com - 7 hours 16 min ago

Divock Origi is no longer a Liverpool player. After eight years at Anfield, with a couple of seasons out on loan in that time, the time was right for the Belgian to leave.

Far more than a cult hero, the hole that Origi leaves behind is a curious one. No player can match his ability to pop up with crucial goals at vital times — and yet he only played 126 minutes in the Premier League last season.

He needed and deserves more regular minutes, and AC Milan are likely to be able to provide them after Origi turned down interest from Spain, the Bundesliga and other Premier League clubs.

England bowler Issy Wong said this week that she is the "Divock Origi of women's cricket". The 20-year-old star of the sport was asked whether she was a 'big game player' and her answer was clear. Origi transcends football.

READ MORE: Liverpool have made transfer policy ‘change’ as FSG seek £67m saving before Jude Bellingham plan

READ MORE:Harvey Elliott is about to unlock exciting Liverpool partnership and 20-goal record is proof

Jürgen Klopp described his former number 27 as the 'best finisher' at Liverpool, while there was always a feeling that he was hampered by injuries at all the wrong times.

Had Ramiro Funes Mori not ploughed through the back of him during one Merseyside derby — almost pre-emptively getting revenge for what Origi was going to inflict on the team from the other side of the city — things might have been different.

That, though, might have taken away from the madness that is Origi's career. Few players can say they have scored in the Champions League final. Trent Alexander-Arnold's quickly taken corner will go down in footballing — let alone Liverpool — history and was just voted as the Reds' best ever goal.

The coolest and calmest footballer out there did not bother with the lesser games: he was here for the big moments, and the big moments alone.

Everton, Barcelona, late winners. That is what Origi will be remembered for.

Off the field, too, his legacy is clear. A partnership with the University of Liverpool means that students from the local area can attend higher education without the fees.

Origi has covered the £9,250 tuition fee, plus provided £3000 on top of that to help with other costs, for the last year. Bushra Ihmaidat and Grace Murphy began studying law in September 2021 with Origi's help.

"This scholarship has meant so much to me and has made a positive impact for me personally," Ihmaidat told Liverpool.com this week. "It has made me feel really supported and has motivated me to try my best in what I do despite any struggles I am facing. I am forever grateful for his kindness.

"It is sad to see Divock Origi go, but I'm happy that he is taking the steps towards what’s best for him and his career; to perform as a first-team member where his skills and determination will be recognised on a larger scale. It's well deserved and I wish him all the best in his career!"

"The scholarship provided by Divock means a great deal to me as the first in my family to go to university," Murphy added. "The bursary he provided meant I was able to purchase my first laptop and get my books for the year.

"I also don’t have to worry about how I will support myself throughout my studies or be in a lot of debt when I finish my degree.

"When I applied, I never ever thought I’d actually be lucky enough to get it. I can’t thank him enough for giving me this opportunity and for everything he has done for our city. In future, I’d just like to be able to pay it forward and help someone else the way he’s helped me!

"My family and I are huge Liverpool fans so getting the scholarship was just that much more special. I've worked at Anfield in the Kop serving food and drink since I was 16. It’s really a lovely place to work, you really feel a part of the community of the club and the city.

"It was great hearing the fans celebrating in the Kop whenever there was a goal! I’ll be sad to see Divock leave."

"I have been blessed by the opportunities I have had both on and off the pitch," Origi said of the scholarship. "When I established the scholarship with the University of Liverpool it was because I wanted to give young people the opportunity to develop their own passion for learning, and to help empower young people to achieve great things.

"Wherever I go in the world, the city of Liverpool and Anfield, in particular, will always be important to me, and I’m proud the scholarship will continue to inspire young people to follow their educational aspirations."

Despite no longer being at Liverpool, the scholarship will continue for the next two academic years as more students are funded. Origi might have departed, but his legacy very much remains.

In 175 appearances for the Reds, he scored 41 times. Not spectacular numbers, but he certainly picked his moments. Big moments and big contributions — on and off the pitch. Divock Origi arrived on Merseyside as a relatively unknown teenager. Mulitple iconic goals later, he leaves Liverpool as a legend that will never quite be replaced.

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Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp could be about to unearth another Harvey Elliott in pre-season

Liverpool.com - 8 hours 16 min ago

At long last, Liverpool have returned from their month-long hiatus and it is now less than a week until they are back in action.

Jürgen Klopp's pre-season preparations are underway, and the Liverpool coaching team will be keeping a keen eye on his players in the coming weeks. With plenty of players to test out and systems to trial, Klopp should be doing a lot of tinkering during the club's pre-season this summer.

How that will look only time will tell, but another thing that is guaranteed is that Klopp will also hand some of his younger players from the academy an opportunity to impress. In the limelight, one man, in particular, could be set for a breakout campaign.

READ MORE: Liverpool have made transfer policy ‘change’ as FSG seek £67m saving before Jude Bellingham plan

READ MORE:Harvey Elliott is about to unlock exciting Liverpool partnership and 20-goal record is proof

Kaide Gordon has already played a handful of games for the club's first team last season at 16 years of age. He made an impressive impression during Liverpool's last pre-season, but this time around, Gordon is expected to take on even more responsibility.

Having grown as a player in the last year, the 17-year-old will not just be looking to put his name down, but he will be looking to make a statement and stake a claim for himself to be a regular member of Liverpool's first-team squad.

Last season, Harvey Elliott did exactly the same thing, establishing himself as a player Klopp became confident he could trust over the course of pre-season training sessions and games.

The path into the first team has opened up a little for Gordon with the departure of Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Sadio Mané, and the young winger has a shot at establishing himself as a deputy for Mohamed Salah on the right-wing where Klopp's side currently lack depth.

With some strong opponents like Manchester United, Crystal Palace, RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg awaiting the Reds, Gordon will be tested to the maximum.

If he can overcome the challenge and express himself on the pitch then he will be edging closer and closer towards tasting more first-team action in the season ahead.

As Elliott proved, all it takes is one good season and the doors will be opened by Klopp and his backroom staff. Now the ball is in Gordon's court to show exactly what he is capable of and make the step up from academy football into the senior set-up.

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Harvey Elliott is about to unlock exciting Liverpool partnership and 20-goal record is proof

Liverpool.com - 10 hours 16 min ago

Pre-season is an opportunity for new partnerships and systems to form, and for Jürgen Klopp to integrate some of his new signings and academy players into his first team set-up.

The next few weeks will offer a small glimpse of what may be about to come for the rest of the season ahead and fans and pundits will be keeping Liverpool under a microscope throughout all of it.

One player who will be determined to repeat the success of his pre-season last year will be Harvey Elliott. A fruitful pre-season campaign saw the youngster break into the starting XI during the early stages of Liverpool's Premier League campaign before an injury curtailed his breakout year.

READ MORE: Liverpool have made transfer policy ‘change’ as FSG seek £67m saving before Jude Bellingham plan

READ MORE:Liverpool may already have identified Roberto Firmino successor that could hint at 2023 plan

This summer, Elliott will eager to bounce back from the blow with aplomb and he may be aided by a burgeoning relationship that has just been rekindled at Anfield.

Fábio Carvalho will be joining Liverpool from exactly the same club that Elliott left in Fulham just over three years ago. The duo spent a considerable time together at Fulham's academy and therefore it was no surprise to see them cosy up to each other on the first day of pre-season on Monday.

Speaking to the ECHO ahead of the Champions League final, Elliott said Carvalho was 'one of his favourite players to play with as a youngster' and based on his record that is easy to understand.

Together they boast an impressive record beginning with their first ever U18 game in which Carvalho grabbed a hat-trick and registered an assist for Elliott in a 4-0 victory over Reading in a game the duo dominated according to Fulham's official website.

Altogether, they spent 1721 minutes on the pitch together so far in their career and in a total of 25 appearances they were involved in 20 goal contributions averaging 1.04 goal contributions per 90.

At Liverpool, the duo may be vying for the same number 10 spot if Jürgen Klopp opts to switch to a 4-2-3-1.

But at the start of the campaign, Liverpool are widely expected to use Carvalho in one of the front three positions and that could see Elliott and Carvalho continue where they left off from their academy days.

Whether their connection is still there only time will tell, but if they can conjure similar numbers from their time at Fulham during pre-season and beyond, Liverpool may just have another electric partnership that could be the future of the club for over a decade to come.

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Why Liverpool have paired lactate test with asthma diagnosis technology

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 18:00

This year has brought a big change to Liverpool’s pre-season, with the customary lactate test tweaked to involve indoor running and asthma diagnosis technology.

Pre-season is now underway at the AXA Training Centre, with the Reds getting back to work ahead of their flight to Thailand on Saturday.

The core of the squad reported back over Monday and Tuesday, with an extended staff brought in to oversee initial medical checks and fitness tests in the indoor gym.

Usually, day one of pre-season would bring the lactate test, which it is safe to say is more popular with certain members of the first-team squad than others.

“So I’m taking the lactate test and I’m thinking, ‘my stomach’s a bit dodgy here’,” Andy Robertson recalled of his first experience of a Liverpool pre-season in 2017.

“I started gagging and I was sick everywhere.

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“Halfway around I had to stop and be sick, then I tried to catch them up because I’m thinking, ‘I can’t drop out at this point’, because this point was like you are super unfit, that was the point you had to get by.

“So I was sick around the pitch, then I had to stop because they have to take the blood out your ear, and I was sick when I was getting my blood taken.

“I went another lap and I was like ‘I need to stop’.”

Designed to monitor levels of lactic acid around the muscles and the rate of fatigue, players were tasked with running laps around the outdoor pitches with their blood tested at every interval.

Unlike Robertson, it was an exercise James Milner relished, with the veteran midfielder routinely lasting longer than any of his team-mates.

But this year it seems as though Liverpool are taking a slightly different approach, with the introduction of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing using analysis technology from NIOX.

FeNO testing is typically used in diagnosing asthma, with NIOX describing the technology as “the most convenient biomarker of airway inflammation.”

Liverpool also employed Manchester-based respiratory and cardiology diagnostics company LoveMedical to oversee cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET).

Players were strapped with electrodes on their chest, pulse oximeters on their feet and wrists and an exercise mask to monitor their breathing.

They were then tasked with running at intervals on a specialist treadmill, with readings conducted before blood tests and heart-rate monitors were used to measure lactic acid and cardiopulmonary output.

As explained by LoveMedical: “CPET found favour in the sports and fitness arena, in particular as a tool to determine fitness by assessing the volume of oxygen output of a person under exercise.”

In short, the combined lactate, FeNO and CPET testing is designed to fully determine each player’s base fitness at the start of pre-season.

As Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain told LFCTV, it was an “uncomfortable” but vital experience.

“It’s never easy. [Adrian‘s] heart rate was through the roof and he was barely walking!” he joked.

“I think it’s more the sort of anxiety, everyone’s gearing up to that first day of testing and wanting to do well.

“We did it on the treadmill this year, we’ve all done running in the off-season and done preparation, so you should be pretty prepared for it.

“It’s never easy, this year with the mask and all the wires and everything it was a bit uncomfortable, which makes it a little bit more challenging.

“But it is what it is, you’ve just got to get through it and then the footballs come out and that’s when the hard work is more fun.”

The information gathered will then be provided to the club’s medical staff and sports science department, including head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, who oversees the testing.

That will then be used to accurately measure each player’s fitness to not only build for the pre-season schedule, but also the long campaign ahead.

It is rare, if ever, that a player will fail these tests, per se.

Instead, this is another of those marginal gains that have given Jurgen Klopp‘s side the edge in many areas in recent years.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool have made transfer policy ‘change’ as FSG seek £67m saving before Jude Bellingham plan

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 17:30

Liverpool have money to spend, but they have to be more careful than their rivals. Expensive failures are simply not an option: had FSG splashed out £100m on Jack Grealish, they would have been hamstrung in the transfer market for multiple seasons, quickly falling behind their rivals. It’s why any move for Jude Bellingham has to be carefully considered.

It looks like a deal will not be struck this summer. Liverpool have already signed Darwin Núñez for a potential club-record fee: another huge spend would be majorly uncharacteristic, even if Borussia Dortmund could be persuaded to sell. But next year, the timing may be right.

Having addressed the attack and signed a back-up right-back in this window, Liverpool have now future-proofed almost every area of the side. Bellingham will be primed to come in as the last piece of the puzzle, the one big spend which elevates Jürgen Klopp’s second great team onto the level of their predecessors. He can be the Alisson and Fabinho of the new generation.

READ MORE:Jürgen Klopp can conduct three pre-season Liverpool experiments to unlock Roberto Firmino again

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp could be about to have another 'Darwin Núñez moment' and hint at Liverpool transfer

Once those transformative additions were made in 2018, Sepp van den Berg was the extent of the summer business for Liverpool in the following season. Likewise, if 2023 is the year of Bellingham, FSG will probably build in at least a year of minimal investment, allowing the books to balance themselves once more.

This would be a statement of faith in a team just beginning to hit their prime together. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konaté, Joe Gomez, Luis Díaz, Diogo Jota and Núñez should all be peaking. Harvey Elliott, Fábio Carvalho and Curtis Jones will have matured further. Adding Bellingham into the mix would allow FSG to put recruitment on the back burner for a while.

But what about Alisson? The goalkeeper turns 30 later this year — still young for a goalkeeper, but at the point where a future beyond him at least comes onto the radar. By next summer, FSG may be reluctant to sanction a huge spend if they believe that another massive outlay on a new goalkeeper will be needed before too long.

After all, the initial £67m purchase of Alisson was one of the most transformative in Klopp’s time at Liverpool. FSG know the importance of a top goalkeeper, and will not neglect this area when the time comes to replace the Brazilian. But if they need to hold back a big sum for this task, strengthening the rest of the team becomes more challenging. Bellingham starts to look like a stretch.

A slight change in transfer policy suggests that FSG are trying hard to save that £67m outlay. The last few years have seen a major influx of goalkeepers into the academy, with Claudio Taffarel among those hired to help oversee their early development. Now, Liverpool are into the next stage of the plan.

A flurry of transfer announcements have seen not one but three Liverpool goalkeepers leave on various loans. Clearly, a decision has been made that these stoppers need senior minutes as soon as possible if they are to have a viable path to eventually taking over from Alisson.

There are high hopes for Vítězslav Jaroš, Jakub Ojrzyński and particularly Marcelo Pitaluga, the oldest of whom is 20. Respectively, they have now gone out on loan to Stockport County, Radomiak Radom and Macclesfield FC: a fairly motley collection, to say the least, but clubs where Liverpool have clearly calculated that their goalkeepers will be the undisputed number ones.

Amid all this, there is Caoimhin Kelleher, whom Klopp called the best number two in the world for the way Liverpool play. But the prospects of keeping him contented until Alisson hangs up his gloves are bleak. The younger goalkeepers are getting what he has been denied: game time. Ultimately, FSG may have to cash in on the Irishman at some stage, at which point they will bank a handsome fee.

As such, the hopes of finding an Alisson heir fall on the next generation. The proactive decision to loan them all out is a clear indicator of FSG’s intentions: if they can help it, they will not be spending £67m on the next great Liverpool goalkeeper.

With this saving tentatively ‘banked’, FSG can spend with increased confidence elsewhere on the pitch: maybe even on Bellingham. After all, even if it takes years of loans, there is no particular indication that Alisson is anywhere near done just yet. He will be between the sticks for much of Klopp’s Liverpool 2.0 era — and when the time comes to change the guard, his successor may already be at the club.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

French minister’s “bulls***” called out & early fixture changes – Latest LFC News

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 17:08

While Liverpool return to pre-season and see changes made to their Premier League fixtures, the heat is still, rightly, on Gerald Darmanin for his lies following the Champions League final.

Darmanin called out for his “bulls***”

More than five weeks after the events at the Champions League final, Liverpool have yet to receive an official apology, namely, for the blame the officials looked to lay at the feet of supporters.

A report from the French senate into the chaos that ensued is expected on July 13 but in the interim, the interior minister Gerald Darmanin has seen his version of events aptly described as ‘lies’ and “bulls***.”

The words have come from one of the two men in charge of the ongoing inquiry, Francois-Noel Buffet, who slammed the version of events initially peddled by Darmanin, including the 30,000-plus fake tickets and Liverpool fans being at fault.

“The major problem comes from the Minister of the Interior, who lied. Following the events, he told bullshit,” Buffet said, via L’Équipe.

“He had also said that it was the fault of the English, who had made a mess. It’s not true, actually. The English were not responsible, they have nothing to do with it.”

It came before Darmanin again fronted the cameras with a change of tune, turning his attention to the “delinquency” and the lack of organisation, but still without formal and direct apology to Liverpool and Real Madrid.

“If there is one regret [I have], it is the fact of not having fought enough on delinquency, that I have indeed recognised [since],” he told BFMTV and RMC.

The pressure and scrutiny will remain and the words of Buffet do provide some hope that the inquiry will be damning of the lies peddled by Darmanin and co.

3 things today: Loans, friendlies and transfer hints?

 Liverpool's Neco Williams applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Neco Williams applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Neco Williams trained away from Liverpool despite being named in the 19-man squad for the first day, a hint at a looming transfer?
  • Liverpool’s under-21s have added another valuable friendly to their summer schedule, with Wigan and Kidderminster Harriers both offering senior opposition for the young Reds.
  • Vitezslav Jaros is the seventh youngster to secure a loan move for the upcoming season, with the highly-rated goalkeeper landing at League Two’s Stockport.
Reds back for pre-season!

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's Divock Origi during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Divock Origi during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Liverpool have seen FIVE fixtures selected for TV to start the season, including the Merseyside derby and the trip to Old Trafford – some early and late starts here!
Latest Transfer Talk

 Everton's Richarlison de Andrade during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Burnley FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Everton's Richarlison de Andrade during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Burnley FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is trying to jump ship from Man United and he’s said to be ‘upset’ over the 25% pay deduction after missing out on the Champions League, that’s what mediocrity gets you…
  • Tottenham‘s new forward Richarlison has received a one match suspension and fined £25,000 after throwing a flare into the crowd while celebrating with Everton.
  • Elsewhere in Europe, PSG have sacked Mauricio Pochettino and have already replaced him with Christophe Galtier, will we see Poch back in the Premier League?
Tweet of the day and match watch of the night

The hugs, the smile – he’s back. Jurgen Klopp is in the building, he’s looking tanned and fresh!

Good afternoon, boss ??#LFCPreSeason pic.twitter.com/pCciC0AEhG

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 5, 2022

If you’ve not caught up on the end of Stranger Things I’d highly recommend you do so with few offerings of football tonight.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Ruthless Sadio Mané decision proves Liverpool may already have mapped out Mohamed Salah future

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 16:30

For the considerable future, Julian Ward can sit back and relax. Having been thrust into the role and handed the challenge of trying to resolve one of the most important tasks in Liverpool's future in recent memory was like being thrown in at the deep end of an ocean and trying to learn to swim.

Fortunately, Ward had already acquired his scuba diving licence having worked under the shadow of his predecessor and that will have given him a significant leg up when negotiating with Mohamed Salah and his entourage.

No one will be as relieved as Ward to have succeeded in his endeavour and Salah's long-term stay at Anfield will be a significant boost for Liverpool in the next couple of seasons to come.

READ MORE:Jürgen Klopp can conduct three pre-season Liverpool experiments to unlock Roberto Firmino again

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp could be about to have another 'Darwin Núñez moment' and hint at Liverpool transfer

But with life, and with football, change is constant and even the best of things must ultimately come to an end. Sooner, or as Liverpool will hope, later, Mohamed Salah will have to part ways with the Reds, and following the latest decision about the African Cup of Nations, Liverpool may have just been given a hint at when that time will be.

Instead of taking place in the summer of 2023, as previously planned, AFCON has once again been moved to the winter of 2024 meaning Salah is set for a busy schedule that year. In the same calendar year, he could also compete at the 2024 summer Olympics should Egypt secure qualification to both respective tournaments.

If they do, by 2024, Salah will have just one year left on his contract again, and at 32 years of age, he will be nearing ever closer to the twilight of his career. Given his heavy schedule, another contract extension may be beyond Liverpool's means and that could see Julian Ward repeat history.

Sadio Mané left Anfield under similar circumstances this summer with his ceiling at the highest stage possible after a solid AFCON tournament and Salah will hope to do the same in two years' time.

Even at 32 years of age, Liverpool will be confident of getting a decent fee for Salah, who by that point will have just one year left on his contract and there will be appropriate suitors to take him away.

By then, the Reds will have also been able to identify his potential successor on the right wing either through a player from the club's academy or a transfer target.

Liverpool may have resolved Salah's future for now, but in two years' time the conversation will inevitably revolve around him once more. By then, Ward may be better prepared to make the decision he did not want to make this summer.

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5 Liverpool fixtures moved for TV – with 9-day break between opening games

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 16:02

Liverpool’s start to the Premier League season has now been locked in after broadcasters made their TV selections, and the Reds now have a nine-day break after their opener at Fulham.

The excitement is growing for the 2022/23 season, which starts in less than 32 days when Jurgen Klopp takes his team to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday, August 6.

The Reds knew from the off that they have the early 12.30pm kickoff to contend with, and now it has been confirmed that their second game of the season will follow nine days later.

Anfield will host its first match against Crystal Palace under the lights having been moved to Monday, August 15, with an 8pm kickoff on Sky Sports, for those in the UK.

It’s an extended break that Klopp will be eager to use as a valuable training block, but, for fans, it leaves plenty of time to sit and wait for the Anfield opener.

A further four games throughout August and September have been selected for television, including the Merseyside derby.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates with team-mates Roberto Firmino (L) abd Diogo Jota (R) after scoring the fifth goal, completing his hat-trick, during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates with team-mates Roberto Firmino (L) abd Diogo Jota (R) after scoring the fifth goal, completing his hat-trick, during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
  • 5 games selected for TV in month of August and September
  • Trip to Man United: Monday, August 22, 8pm
  • Trip to Everton: Saturday, September 3, 12.30pm
  • Two 3pm kickoffs: Bournemouth and Wolves

It, of course, also includes the trip to Man United, which is also to be played on a Monday evening, August 22 at Old Trafford, with Sky Sports having the rights for the 8pm fixture.

Bournemouth (August 27) and Newcastle (August 31) are next up for the Reds to close out the first month of the season, and the former is the first 3pm match, while the latter has been picked up by BT Sport.

The first Merseyside derby, at Goodison, kicks off the month of September and will take place on Saturday, September 3, with kickoff scheduled for the early 12.30pm slot on BT Sport.

Wolves will then make the trip to Anfield on Saturday, September 10 for a 3pm start, before Liverpool then meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, September 18 at 4.30pm.

It all makes for plenty of late and early starts for Liverpool in the first two months of the season.

Liverpool FC fixtures in August and September

 Wednesday December 1, 2021.

 Wednesday December 1, 2021.
  • Fulham (A) – Saturday, August 6, 12.30pm – BT Sport
  • Crystal Palace (H) – Monday, August 15, 8pm – Sky Sports
  • Man United (A) – Monday, August 22, 8pm – Sky Sports
  • Bournemouth (H) – Saturday, August 27, 3pm – Not on UK TV
  • Newcastle (H) – Wednesday, August 31, 8pm – BT Sport
  • Everton (A) – Saturday, September 3, 12.30pm – BT Sport
  • Champions League – Group Stage MD1 – 6/7
  • Wolves (H) – Saturday, September 10, 3pm – Not on UK TV
  • Champions League – Group Stage MD2 – 13/14
  • Chelsea (A) – Sunday, September 18, 4.30pm – Sky Sports

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Four Premier League fixture changes for Liverpool

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 16:00

Four of Liverpool's Premier League fixtures in August and September have now been rescheduled.

The Reds’ opening home match of the campaign, against Crystal Palace, will kick off at 8pm on Monday August 15 (Sky Sports).

Jürgen Klopp’s team will be in action at the same time the following Monday – August 22 – when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford (Sky Sports).

Their visit to Everton on Saturday September 3 has been moved to a 12.30pm kick-off (BT Sport), while the trip to Chelsea will now be played on Sunday September 18 and get under way at 4.30pm (Sky Sports).

BT Sport will also televise the Anfield clash with Newcastle United, which remains an 8pm start on Wednesday August 31.

Liverpool’s opening match of 2022-23 at Fulham had already been confirmed as a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday August 6 (BT Sport).

All times are BST.

View an updated 2022-23 fixture list here.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Four Premier League fixture changes for Liverpool

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 16:00
Four of Liverpool's Premier League fixtures in August and September have now been rescheduled.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Origi completes AC Milan switch

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 15:28

AC Milan have completed the free signing of striker Divock Origi after his departure from Liverpool.

Origi ended an eight-year spell on Merseyside to sign a four-year contract with the Serie A champions through to the summer of 2026.

The 27-year-old Belgium international won everything there was to win during his time at Anfield and earned cult-hero status with vital goals on the biggest of occasions.

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Divock Origi bids farewell to Anfield, and looks back on some of his favourite memories at Liverpool.

Having scored twice in Liverpool's famous 4-0 Champions League semi-final triumph over Barcelona in 2019, Origi went on to score the game-clinching second against Tottenham in the final as the Reds claimed their sixth European crown in Madrid.

Origi reserved his best for Liverpool's rivals Everton, with his 95th-minute winner in the 2018 Merseyside derby at Anfield famously marked by Jurgen Klopp racing onto the pitch in celebration, and his sixth derby goal - and last in a Liverpool shirt - sealed a 2-0 victory over the Toffees in April 2022.

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A look back at Liverpool striker Divock Origi's six goals against their Merseyside rivals Everton.

Origi's half a dozen strikes against Everton is at least twice as many as he has managed against any other opponent in his Liverpool career, while he scored 11 goals as a substitute in the Premier League, the outright most by a Liverpool player.

He left the club after scoring 41 goals in 175 appearances and joins a Milan side who won their 19th, and first Scudetto in 11 years, under coach Stefano Pioli last season.

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Jurgen Klopp says Divock Origi is an 'outstanding' player who will be a success wherever he goes. Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool give exciting future glimpse as Pep Lijnders gets his wish and Roberto Firmino returns

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 15:17

Roberto Firmino was back among his Liverpool teammates today as the Reds continued their pre-season preparations.

The Brazilian forward returned for training as Jürgen Klopp continues to welcome his players back to action, with the new campaign just over a month away.

Firmino was not the only player to keep an eye on during the afternoon, though, with a training session taking place on the grass in Kirkby.

Several young players — including Bobby Clark, Stefan Bajčetić and Luke Chambers, all of whom were name-checked by assistant manager Pep Lijnders back in January as talents he was particularly keen to have on pre-season — were also involved.

READ MORE:Jürgen Klopp can conduct three pre-season Liverpool experiments to unlock Roberto Firmino again

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp could be about to have another 'Darwin Núñez moment' and hint at Liverpool transfer

So too were Melkamu Frauendorf, Isaac Mabaya, James Norris and Tom Hill, while Harvey Davies and Fabian Mrozek worked with the goalkeepers.

Frauendorf made his senior debut in the FA Cup last season, while Mabaya is a versatile player best deployed at right-back, where he enjoys bombing on down the wing. He can also play as a holding midfielder.

Tom Hill, meanwhile, has spent much of the last two years out injured with long-term issues. It would have been a big moment for him to be involved in the session — the highly-rated midfielder is a big talent who was robbed of a significant portion of his development at a vital time, and he will now be hoping to kick on.

That those nine academy starlets were the ones chosen to step up to the first-team shows where they are at in terms of progression and how highly-rated they are among senior staff, with Vitor Matos also a keen observer of the academy sides.

Mateusz Musialowski was not there but is being linked with a loan move away from the club, while Leighton Clarkson and Sepp van den Berg could head out on loan again unless they believe opportunities will arrive at Anfield.

Clarkson struggled to get regular minutes at Blackburn in the first half of last season but has played in the Champions League for the Reds, while Van den Berg, now 20, impressed at Preston North End.

Fábio Carvalho continued to get to know his new surroundings, while Luis Díaz, Ben Davies and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also among the training group — a blend of players each with differing ambitions in terms of their standing in the squad this summer.

Kaide Gordon was also there — as he was on Monday — though he is, at this stage, hardly viewed as a prospect and is closer to being in the first-team picture.

More senior Liverpool players like Firmino will continue to be brought back into the fold over the next few days ahead of the trip to Asia to play Manchester United and Crystal Palace next week.

But for the Academy starlets involved in this session, it was a good start to the summer — another reminder of which young players are the most highly regarded and are most likely to be gaining some senior minutes in the coming campaign.

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Reds name squad for preseason fixtures

LFC Globe - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 10:18

As the -’23 season inches closer, Jürgen Klopp has named his 19-man squad for upcoming preseason training and fixtures. These players will report to the AXA (Kirkby) Training Centre yesterday, July 4th, to begin training and conditioning in preparation for the Reds’ upcoming six-match preseason, including the Asian Summer Tour and a stop in Germany to face RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg (See the full schedule below.).

The newest names reporting July 4th are recent signees, Calvin Ramsey and . Ramsey signed with Liverpool on June 19th for £4.5 million while Carvalho is arguably the most high-profile player to join the squad during the transfer window, coming over from for a £5 million fee.

The other players reporting on July 4th are , , , Harvey Elliot, , , , Caoimhin Kellerer, , , , , , Alcantara, , Rhys Williams, and .

The rest of the team will join the squad when their international commitments are complete.

19-Men Preseason Squad
  1. Adrián San Miguel del Castillo (#13)
  2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (#15)
  3. Ben Davies (#24)
  4. (#22)
  5. (#62)
  6. Fabio Carvalho (#28)
  7.   (#19)
  8. Ibrahima Konate (#5)
  9. Joe Gomez (#12)
  10. Joel Matip (#32)
  11. Jordan Henderson (#14)
  12. Luis Diaz (#23)
  13. Nathaniel Phillips (#47)
  14. Calvin Ramsay (#22)
  15. Neco Williams (#76)
  16. Rhys Williams  (#46)
  17. Roberto Firmino (#9)
  18. Sepp van den Berg (#72)
  19. Thiago Alcantara (#6)
Full Squad
  1. Adrián San Miguel del Castillo (#13)
  2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (#15)
  3. Becker (#1)
  4. (#26)
  5. Ben Davies (#24)
  6. Calvin Ramsay (#22)
  7. Caoimhin Kelleher (#62)
  8. (#17)
  9. Darwin Nunez (#27)
  10. (#20)
  11. Henrique Tavares (#3)
  12. Fabio Carvalho (#28)
  13. Harvey Elliott  (#19)
  14. Ibrahima Konate (#5)
  15. James Milner (#7)
  16. Joe Gomez (#12)
  17. Joel Matip (#32)
  18. Jordan Henderson (#14)
  19. Kostas Tsimikis (#21)
  20. Luis Diaz (#23)
  21. (#11)
  22. (#8)
  23. Nathaniel Phillips (#47)
  24. Neco Williams (#76)
  25. Rhys Williams  (#46)
  26. Roberto Firmino (#9)
  27. Sepp van den Berg (#72)
  28. Thiago Alcantara (#6)
  29. (#66)
  30. (#4)
Liverpool Preseason Schedule Jul 12, 2022 - Thailand

Liverpool vs - Rajamangala Stadium

Jul 15, 2022 - Singapore

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace - National Stadium

Jul 21, 2022 - Germany

Liverpool vs - Red Bull Arena

Jul  27, 2022 - Germany

Liverpool vs - Red Bull Arena

Jul 30, 2022 - England

Liverpool vs  - King Power Stadium

Jul 31, 2022 - England

Liverpool vs  - Anfield

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Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland have just explained truth of Liverpool and Man City difference

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 05:00

Liverpool were quick to withdraw from any race for Erling Haaland, with his wage demands seemingly the major offputting factor. Now, depending on which report you believe, Mohamed Salah has either just leapfrogged the new Manchester City man in the salary stakes, or else come up narrowly behind him. FSG’s differing approach to the two situations speaks volumes about the club culture.

It seems clear, now, that Liverpool could at least theoretically have afforded Haaland. There were certainly plenty of extra one-off fees, like commissions and agent payments, but Darwin Núñez proved that FSG can stomach big isolated costs. By all accounts, the wage demands were the major sticking point — but unless Manchester City are paying their new man far more than the headline figure of £375,000 per week, the recent Salah deal proves that the owners could have stretched their budget that far.

On paper, FSG would be expected to prefer a deal for Haaland over an extension for Salah. When looking at their transfer activity, age and potential is king. The Egyptian is 30 now, and seems unlikely to get significantly better — although the same was said prior to the first half of last season before he hit new heights once again. Why, then, was one of the continent’s foremost young strikers allowed to go to Manchester City unchallenged?

READ MORE:Liverpool beat Manchester United to transfer of exciting Spanish starlet Pep Lijnders is eyeing

READ MORE: Liverpool know Cristiano Ronaldo claim is absurd as Mohamed Salah shows Gary Neville must worry

The answer lies not in the basic fact of salary paid, but in the desire to create a long-term project. Yes, Liverpool could have stretched every sinew and put together an acceptable proposal for Haaland, but there would have been nowhere to go. He would have been parachuted in with an unearned status as top dog, most likely leaving without an extension due to the bumper nature of the initial deal.

Infamously, Haaland insisted upon a delayed-effect release clause in his Manchester City contract, which does not scream of somebody intent on sticking around. At the tender age of 21, his career is already set up for a tour of some of the best (and richest) clubs: not inherently a bad thing, but not something that will tempt FSG. Masters of long-term thinking, they built Jürgen Klopp a core that remained substantially intact for a full footballing ‘cycle’, and are now in the process of building the next one.

Salah will now be tasked with carrying the torch between the generations. FSG believe he has the longevity to straddle the divide. Just as significantly, they can now hold him up to the next crop of talent as the model of what a perfect Liverpool career looks like. There is no ceiling on progression, and the very upper echelons of wages can be reached, but they must be earned through loyalty and through years of consistently elite performances.

By dropping Haaland straight in on the top wage bracket, Manchester City are blithely disregarding the importance of team culture. The money itself is little more than a drop in the ocean to a club with the wealth of a nation behind it — but while Pep Guardiola gets to play with Monopoly money, he still has to manage real people. This summer, more players than ever seem unhappy at the club, and it is not too hard to see why.

Some of it comes down to the simple matter of game time. Haaland will further block minutes for the likes of Raheem Sterling, which increases the incentive to move. But more fundamentally, there is a tinge of disrespect to the big-money addition, a failure to recognise the basic principle that players should have to earn their status at a club.

As of now, Haaland has achieved nothing at Manchester City. His track record elsewhere suggests he will quickly remedy that, but for the time being it is only his potential at the Etihad that endears him to supporters. But like it or not, wages come with a label of status and seniority: it’s why Salah could genuinely say it was ‘not about money’, but still needed to be paid more in order to get the respect he deserved at Liverpool.

Agreeing to such a large hike on their wage ceiling is bound to have some sort of across-the-board inflationary effect for FSG, but they will be confident that it won’t be too bad. After all, they can legitimately point to Salah as a special case: half a decade of elite Liverpool service needed to be rewarded. What will Manchester City’s case be when the next transfer target wants parity with Erling Haaland? It will be harder to give a convincing reason why not.

In practice, their answer might simply be to pay those wages, shelling out time and time again. This is the reality of what Liverpool is up against. But even if that is financially possible for Manchester City, it could be unwise in practice: not making players earn their money and their status creates a team who view their club transactionally. FSG have carefully developed a squad of mentality monsters, and Salah has just rightly been crowned king.

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Liverpool can sign 'next Mesut Özil' for £25m but Jürgen Klopp has Arsenal transfer dilemma

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 03:00

There are still a little less than two months to go from now until the end of the summer transfer window. Naturally, that means even if it seems like Julian Ward has concluded Liverpool's incoming business this summer, the rumours will continue to persist.

How credible reports are will vary depending on the player in question, but Liverpool's latest reported target could be an intriguing player for the Reds. He is also one who is very much a star for the future rather than the present, which has been in line with how Julian Ward and FSG have operated in the past few seasons.

According to Turkish outlet Aksam, Liverpool are keeping a close eye on the exciting Fenerbahce talent, Arda Güler, who is also wanted by fellow Premier League rivals, Arsenal. Fenerbahçe are allegedly asking for a fee in the region of £25m for the 17-year-old's services who is already a regular member of the club's first team despite being born in 2005.

READ MORE:Liverpool beat Manchester United to transfer of exciting Spanish starlet Pep Lijnders is eyeing

READ MORE: Liverpool know Cristiano Ronaldo claim is absurd as Mohamed Salah shows Gary Neville must worry

Last season, Güler made 16 appearances for the club's first team, predominantly coming off the bench towards the second half of the campaign. Most used as an attacking midfielder and dubbed the 'next Mesut Özil' (the German is also at Fenerbahçe, at least for the time being), Güler is also capable of dropping deeper into midfield as well as playing on either flank.

His most impressive quality during his inaugural season was his ability to make an impact even with the limited time he spent on the pitch. Güler played just 373 minutes of first-team action but scored three goals and registered five assists averaging a whopping 1.93 goal contributions per 90 minutes.

An adept dribbler who is hard to dispossess and a pure creator with the ability to conjure opportunities from nowhere while also offering a goal threat, Güler is absolutely the real deal and his output at such a tender age is wholly impressive.

But whether Liverpool would be the right move in terms of his development is moot. Jürgen Klopp would absolutely like to add such an exciting teenager to his ranks, however, the Liverpool boss already has the likes of Harvey Elliott, Fábio Carvalho and Curtis Jones who play in a similar position in the current squad.

The above-mentioned trio would certainly stifle Güler's transition to first-team football at Anfield and for that reason, while the pull of Liverpool will be difficult to resist, the Turkish youth international may find other opportunities more appealing outside of Liverpool where he would be guaranteed the playing time needed for his continued development.

Given his talent though, Liverpool should keep a close eye on his progress in the coming years. Güler is currently his generation's biggest prospect in world football, and if he continues to develop his ceiling will continue to rise with the sky the limit for the 17-year-old's potential.

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Liverpool know Cristiano Ronaldo claim is absurd as Mohamed Salah shows Gary Neville must worry

Liverpool.com - Tue, 07/05/2022 - 01:00

Manchester United have a Cristiano Ronaldo problem. Their big-name striker, their top scorer last season, wants out, following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

This would not necessarily be a bad thing for the club, whose overall progression has been stunted by indulging the 37-year-old. But their reported top striker target, Darwin Núñez, has already gone to Liverpool. Manchester City have snapped up Erling Haaland. Chelsea are among the candidates to sign Ronaldo and they are one of the teams Manchester United are meant to be chasing.

In short, Erik ten Hag has been left high and dry.

Amid all this, Gary Neville has concluded that Mohamed Salah has ‘played’ Liverpool. The Egyptian recently signed a new contract: in holding out for better terms and ultimately getting them, he has apparently somehow made his club look foolish.

Negotiations are a normal part of any contract renewal. Meanwhile, the way Ronaldo has treated Manchester United is a long way from normal. If anyone has ‘played’ anyone, the problem is not at Anfield.

Let’s look at the facts. Having given his prime years to other clubs, Ronaldo eventually returned to Old Trafford — but only after attempting to engineer a transfer to Manchester City. Once the move was complete, he spent a season refusing to press, demanding that the system be built around him. He finished as the top scorer, but his team ended up with 16 fewer goals than they managed in the previous campaign.

After failing to prevent Manchester United from missing out on the Champions League places, Ronaldo has now made it clear that he wants to leave the club for one that can offer him a place back in Europe’s elite. It could not be clearer that he is simply using his employers to pursue personal landmarks (or to use the words of Neville: he is playing them).

READ MORE:Liverpool beat Manchester United to transfer of exciting Spanish starlet Pep Lijnders is eyeing

READ MORE: Five things to watch as Liverpool pre-season begins including Darwin Núñez and Luis Díaz changes

The contrast to Salah could hardly be more pronounced. Unlike Ronaldo, he did not seek a move abroad once Liverpool had helped him make his name. He stayed, and made the team a force to be reckoned with, ultimately delivering every single trophy on offer. Seeing out this latest renewal will take him to eight years of service at the club.

Yes, he has made Liverpool pay through the nose for the privilege of keeping him this time. But depending on which reports you believe, Salah will still be making less than Ronaldo. And, crucially, he has actually done something to earn it.

Ronaldo’s reputation precedes him, but he had done nothing to prove himself at Manchester United in well over a decade when they parachuted him in on a bumper wage. As for his previous role, all the warning signs were there: he had scored freely for Juventus, but the team as a whole had moved backwards. Sound familiar?

In shelling out for Salah, Liverpool know exactly what they are getting. Still seven years the junior of Ronaldo, and similarly intent on keeping himself in shape, the three-year deal is perfectly timed to ensure that the contract covers only his remaining prime years.

There can be no doubt about what he offers the club. He has broken countless records since joining Liverpool and is among the pantheon of all-time greats. Already sitting ninth in the all-time goalscorers list, he will have the top five in his sights. He finished last season as the top scorer and assister in the Premier League. Keeping him at Anfield is nothing short of a major victory.

If Liverpool had failed to keep hold of Salah, it seems obvious that Neville would have delighted in this too. The attempt to spin the renewal as some kind of defeat for the club is embarrassing — especially when a look closer to home would show him exactly what getting played really looks like.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League seeks clubs' backing for gambling sponsor ban

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 07/04/2022 - 20:39

​​​​​​​The Premier League is asking clubs to support phasing out shirt sponsorship by gambling companies in a last-ditch effort to avert a government-imposed ban.

Sky News has learnt that the Premier League contacted clubs on Monday to propose a resolution that would see betting companies disappear from teams' shirts within the next three years.

Under the proposal, a voluntary ban would come into effect at the start of the new season, but would allow existing deals to run their course, providing they expire no later than the 2024-25 campaign.

The communication with the 20 top-flight clubs represents the Premier League's most concerted effort to address an issue which has drawn intense political scrutiny in recent weeks.

Under Premier League rules, support for the proposal from at least 14 clubs would see it being adopted immediately. One club executive said they had been given just days to respond.

Sky News reported late last week that the Premier League had suggested to the government that shirt-sleeve branding should be permitted to continue indefinitely, although it was unclear if that idea was part of Monday's communication with clubs.

An executive at another club said the Premier League had indicated that the ban on betting sponsorship was intended to be permanent, but that it would be subject to a clause allowing it to be overturned with two years' notice in certain circumstances.

Perimeter advertising by gaming companies would continue to be allowed, according to one of the recipients of the proposal.

The issue is a sensitive one for English football's leading clubs because so many of them have become reliant on revenue from the gambling sector.

Almost half of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United and West Ham, were sponsored by betting companies last season, although the Magpies are likely to secure a replacement for Fun88 after the coming campaign.

Last season's other shirt sponsors included SpreadEx Sport at West Ham, Hollywood Bet at Brentford, and Sportsbet.io at Southampton.

The Times reported last week that ministers had dropped plans to legislate to ban betting groups' names appearing on football shirts, and were instead seeking a voluntary agreement with clubs.

The Premier League is said to have told clubs on Monday that it believed that that was inaccurate, and that the government would seek a legislative ban unless a voluntary accord was reached.

A Whitehall source said there had been intensive discussions in recent days about the terms of voluntary agreement. That suggests that ministers would support an agreement if passed by the requisite majority of clubs.

One football finance analyst suggested that the big six clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur - would be expected to support a voluntary ban, since none of them had existing shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies.

Nevertheless, the Premier League's proposal would, if accepted, anger anti-gambling campaigners, since it would not trigger an immediate and complete ban on the gambling industry retaining a presence at stadia and on shirts competing in the most-watched domestic football tournament in the world.

A broader package of gambling reforms is expected to be unveiled in a white paper in the coming weeks.

A DCMS spokesperson declined to comment on the Premier League proposal but had said last week: "We are undertaking the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years to ensure they are fit for the digital age. We will be publishing a White Paper as part of a review of gambling legislation in the coming weeks."

The Premier League declined to comment.

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Martin Skrtel: ‘I think Steven Gerrard could be Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Liverpool’

the Athletic - Mon, 07/04/2022 - 18:19

Martin Skrtel walks in, takes his seat on a terrace in the Slovakian sun, removes his sunglasses, and looks strikingly younger than he did when he left Liverpool in 2016.

The 37-year-old retired from football in May due to long-term back issues, ending his career at Spartak Trnava, 21 years after he made his professional debut for Trencin.

You would suspect that not having to endure another pre-season is one reason he looks relaxed, although he points to spending quality time with his family as the most enjoyable element of hanging up his boots.

Talking to The Athletic during the European Under-19 Championship, where he was an ambassador for the Slovakian FA, it is not long before the focus turns to Liverpool and his former team-mate Steven Gerrard’s move into management.

“At the moment, we have Jurgen Klopp and he is the best man for the job,” says Skrtel. “But I see Stevie as manager after because he’s getting the experience now.

“I hope he can do a good job and then, one day, Jurgen or Liverpool will decide to go a different way and they bring new people in — he will be the one. That would be a perfect step for the club and Steve.”

Gerrard, however, would be the first to admit that he is not thinking about the job at Anfield.

The 42-year-old former Liverpool captain has a close relationship with Klopp, who signed a two-year contract extension in April that will keep him at Anfield until 2026, and is staying focused on taking Aston Villa forward.

Steven Gerrard Skrtel’s former team-mate Steven Gerrard has been Aston Villa’s head coach since November 2021 (Photo: Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Despite acknowledging that he knew Gerrard would become a manager, Skrtel predicted that Jamie Carragher would have entered the dugout sooner than his former team-mate.

“Everything from when he opened his eyes in the morning until he went to sleep was about football,” continues Skrtel. “He would be getting a massage and he was on the phone watching other leagues, watching the Italian league, so I thought he will be the one.

“I didn’t ever think that he will be involved in these TV shows or even be a fan of Instagram! But, yeah, Stevie has the personality and also his quality on the pitch. The guy loves and understands football.”

Skrtel is yet to decide whether he fancies testing the managerial waters, noting that he has completed the work needed for his UEFA A Licence but is yet to begin working towards his Pro Licence.

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Although he left Liverpool six years ago, Skrtel explains how you never truly depart the club.

The Liverpool red runs through his blood and the smile does not leave his face as he reels off Anfield, the training ground, the staff and the supporters as reasons he has such a strong emotional connection to his former side.

It is easy to forget Skrtel was voted the club’s player of the year in 2012.

“I think it was when Luis Suarez was suspended,” he quips when reminded of the moment.

“Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world historically, but also the team and the club are working like a family,” he says. “Since I left, I have never stopped watching or supporting Liverpool. It’s something where you have to be there to understand.”

It is for this reason he hoped Mohamed Salah would sign a new contract — something he did 24 hours after The Athletic’s conversation with Skrtel — but Skrtel sensed it was always going to come down to the business side.

“There are many factors that players have to deal with and they have to deal with it in their own way,” he explains.

“We are talking about the biggest stars in world football, so maybe they have different opinions on some things that are happening around the team and the club.

“Because I came to Liverpool from a small country, I was happy to be there. I tried to enjoy every single day. I was proud to be part of the team. Every single day was like a big present.

“It’s different for every player but Salah has been there for such a long time and has achieved everything, so maybe there is a question of motivation, but his importance for the club and the team is big.”

Martin Skrtel, Liverpool Skrtel made more than 300 appearances for Liverpool after joining the club from Zenit Saint Petersburg in January 2008 (Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

While Salah signed a new three-year contract, making him the club’s highest-ever earner on a package thought to be worth £350,000 per week, Liverpool were unable to retain Sadio Mane’s services.

The Senegal international, like Salah, had 12 months remaining on his contract but informed the club of his desire to leave once the season came to an end.

Liverpool accepted a £27.5million bid — which could rise to £35million if performance-related add-ons are met — from Bayern Munich and Mane signed a three-year deal with the Bundesliga champions.

This was done without hard feelings or public fallouts. There was only admiration and gratitude for one of the club’s best players in modern history.

“It is difficult to leave a club like Liverpool because if you are there, if you’re doing well like he was doing, and we can call him legend because of what he achieved in the club, it’s brilliant,” says Skrtel.

“But I think each player, at a certain stage of his career, has a feeling that you need to change. You need some maybe new motivation, a new challenge.

“After eight and a half years (with Liverpool), I also had that feeling like, ‘Oh, maybe I should change something’ to find a different kind of experience. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an easy decision for him to leave the club.

“But he gave his maximum and did really well for the club, and now all you can do is wish him luck. If they (Bayern Munich) play in the future against Liverpool, I hope he won’t be at his best!”

Mane, Bayern Munich Sadio Mane joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool for £35million last month (Photo: S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images)

As the conversation drifts back to Slovakia and the Under-19 Euros, Skrtel is not surprised to see England performing at the highest level.

Speaking before Ian Foster’s side beat Israel in the final on July 1, the ex-Liverpool defender believes the steps forward England have made in recent years will set them up for future success.

“We all know about the attitude of the English player; of how fast and how high the tempo is,” he said. “But when they get the technical stuff, they can become one of the best national teams in the world.

“In England, you can see many big teams have foreign managers. When I was at Liverpool, we had Rafa Benitez from Spain, so it’s a different kind of football.

“Now you have Pep Guardiola, you have Klopp, and many other coaches from abroad, and maybe they brought their own ideas and have tried to not change English football, but bring some points from other countries.

“That’s why the guys from the academies changed their way of playing and the English players became more technical.”

(Top photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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