Last summer, Jürgen Klopp embarked on a full rejuvenation of his Liverpool midfield. It came a year later than it was probably needed, but the results have been excellent so far.
From week to week, the Reds got overrun in the middle of the park last season, with Klopp effectively punished for his loyalty to certain seasoned performers. He learned his lesson last term, and proceeded to allow as many as five of his midfielders to depart in the most recent window, including captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain James Milner.
Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta joined them in heading out of the door, with Liverpool having to source replacements ahead of the new campaign. Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endō and Ryan Gravenberch all proceeded to join, with three of those players under the age of 25.
The trio of youngsters are all comparable in many ways, as they are all number eights, even despite Mac Allister's usage in a deeper role in the main. The three players are well-rounded and relatively complete on the field, painting themselves as multifunctional talents with attacking skill sets.
Alongside Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, Liverpool is well stacked for creative and expressive number eights, which explains why recent links with Jamal Musiala are curious. The Bayern Munich wonderkid was said to be of interest to the Reds in October last year (via Christian Falk of the German publication BILD) with the German international not currently having conversations about a new contract in Bavaria.
Now, the Daily Star has reported that Liverpool and Manchester City are on 'red alert' because Musiala has rejected a new deal in Germany. The former Chelsea academy talent could make the move back to England.
Musiala is undeniably special. He's still just 21 years old, yet he's already a fairly regular starter for one of the biggest clubs on the planet, having established himself as a supreme technician who is very effective in the tightest of spaces. In fact, Gravenberch has tipped him for greatness since arriving on Merseyside.
Replying to supporters on the Reds' subreddit last year, Gravenberch was asked to name the most talented youngster that he's played alongside. "I’d go for Jamal Musiala," he said. "Jamal does crazy things in training and also in the game. He’s very good for his age."
Musiala is good enough to be deserving of a starting spot at Anfield, but it seems highly unlikely that any move is going to transpire any time soon. Upon inspection of the system that Klopp and his assistant, Pep Lijnders, have been installing since April, Liverpool can only field two number eights.
Jones and Szoboszlai have dominated the roles so far, with Gravenberch also making an impression. Elliott is another who has been awarded a fair amount of minutes, and then there is Mac Allister too.
Musiala is a versatile and flexible attacker but based on Liverpool's current system, it is reasonable to suggest that he'd be best deployed as a number eight, with those players expected to play like advanced midfielders whenever the Reds have possession under control.
The Bavarian talisman would be great, but Liverpool has other areas of need at present. The Anfield outfit is in need of a new Fabinho, for example, and a new defender is also on the agenda considering Joël Matip has a contract that is due to expire in 2024.
Supporters will no doubt get excited about the speculation surrounding Musiala. But rather than waiting to see the Munich maestro on Merseyside, fans should instead dedicate most of their energy to Szoboszlai, who is doing a pretty good job at ensuring the club's next midfield rebuild will not be happening any time soon.
An original version of this story was first published on 21 October 2023. It has since been updated.
This article (Match Report: Núñez Stoppage Time Header Gives Liverpool Massive Win) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-nunez-stoppage-time-header-gives-liverpool-massive-win/feed/ 0 Confirmed Lineups: Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool https://lfcglobe.co.uk/confirmed-lineups-nottingham-forest-vs-liverpool/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/confirmed-lineups-nottingham-forest-vs-liverpool/#disqus_thread Sat, 02 Mar 2024 14:46:01 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105146 Help has arrived for Liverpool as Darwin Núñez and Dominik Szoboslai are available to come off of the bench after recovering from injuries. Meanwhile, Bobby Clark makes his first Premier League start. For Nottingham Forest, former Liverpool man Divoc Origi gets the start vs his former club. Nottingham Forest Starters Sails, Williams, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi, Toffolo, […]
This article (Getting Back To Nature: Reds Travel To Forest For Big Match) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/getting-back-to-nature-reds-travel-to-forest-for-big-match/feed/ 0 Match Report: Liverpool 3:0 Southampton - Liverpool’s Youngsters Defeat The Saints To Clinch FA Cup Quarter-Final Passage https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-liverpool-30-southampton-liverpools-youngsters-defeat-the-saints-to-clinch-fa-cup-quarter-final-passage/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-liverpool-30-southampton-liverpools-youngsters-defeat-the-saints-to-clinch-fa-cup-quarter-final-passage/#disqus_thread Thu, 29 Feb 2024 14:36:35 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105135 Liverpool have staked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals after a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Southampton at Anfield First Half It was a bright start from Southampton who've impressed many in the Championship with their bold style of play and they certainly weren't afraid to showcase their skills at Anfield. In what was an […]
This article (Match Report: Liverpool 3:0 Southampton - Liverpool’s Youngsters Defeat The Saints To Clinch FA Cup Quarter-Final Passage) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-liverpool-30-southampton-liverpools-youngsters-defeat-the-saints-to-clinch-fa-cup-quarter-final-passage/feed/ 0 Lift It High: Van Dijk's Header in Extra Time Gives Liverpool Caraboa Cup Title https://lfcglobe.co.uk/lift-it-high-van-dijks-header-in-extra-time-gives-liverpool-caraboa-cup-title/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/lift-it-high-van-dijks-header-in-extra-time-gives-liverpool-caraboa-cup-title/#disqus_thread Mon, 26 Feb 2024 15:50:10 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105122 Virgil van Dijk headed home a cross from Kostas Tsimikas from a corner kick in the 118th minute as Liverpool dramatically defeated Chelsea in front of nearly 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium to win the Carabao Cup Final and lift the trophy. The victory marks the 10th time Liverpool has won the competition and Jürgen […]
This article (Lift It High: Van Dijk's Header in Extra Time Gives Liverpool Caraboa Cup Title) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/lift-it-high-van-dijks-header-in-extra-time-gives-liverpool-caraboa-cup-title/feed/ 0 Confirmed Lineups: Liverpool vs. Chelsea (Carabao Cup) https://lfcglobe.co.uk/confirmed-lineups-liverpool-vs-chelsea-carabao-cup/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/confirmed-lineups-liverpool-vs-chelsea-carabao-cup/#disqus_thread Sun, 25 Feb 2024 14:37:23 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105113 Liverpool had a pair of regulars return to the lineup with Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konaté, for the Carabao Cup Final vs. Chelsea, but the injury list is still a lengthy one. Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott among others, will have to continue to carry the scoring load as they did vs. Luton as there […]
This article (Confirmed Lineups: Liverpool vs. Chelsea (Carabao Cup)) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/confirmed-lineups-liverpool-vs-chelsea-carabao-cup/feed/ 0 London Calling: Liverpool To Face Chelsea in Cup Final https://lfcglobe.co.uk/london-calling-liverpool-to-face-chelsea-in-cup-final/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/london-calling-liverpool-to-face-chelsea-in-cup-final/#disqus_thread Sun, 25 Feb 2024 11:49:52 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105109 Liverpool havehas a chance to lift four trophies this season, the first of which comes on Sunday, February 25 at historic Wembley Stadium when they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup Final. The Reds will be short-handed as a total of 9 players are on the injury list with most not expected to return until […]
This article (London Calling: Liverpool To Face Chelsea in Cup Final) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/london-calling-liverpool-to-face-chelsea-in-cup-final/feed/ 0 Match Report: Reds Roar Past Hatters - Liverpool 4 - 1 Luton Town https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-reds-roar-past-hatters-liverpool-4-1-luton-town/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-reds-roar-past-hatters-liverpool-4-1-luton-town/#disqus_thread Thu, 22 Feb 2024 09:34:54 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105098 It took Liverpool a half to break down the Luton Town defence, but once they did the goals kept coming. The Reds banged home 4 goals in the final 45 minutes to run away from a game Hatters’ side to win 4-1. The victory also puts Liverpool 4 points clear at the top of the Premier League Table.
This article (Match Report: Reds Roar Past Hatters - Liverpool 4 - 1 Luton Town) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-report-reds-roar-past-hatters-liverpool-4-1-luton-town/feed/ 0 Match Preview: Reds Ready for Hard Fight vs Hatters https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-preview-reds-ready-for-hard-fight-vs-hatters/ https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-preview-reds-ready-for-hard-fight-vs-hatters/#disqus_thread Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:32:40 +0000 https://lfcglobe.co.uk/?p=105088 Liverpool and Luton Town meet on February 21 at Anfield in a rematch of what was an entertaining first encounter back in November. In that match, the Reds and the Hatters battled to a 1-1 draw. This is an important match for both teams as Liverpool look to expand their Premier League lead at the […]
This article (Match Preview: Reds Ready for Hard Fight vs Hatters) was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Liverpool FC news.]]> https://lfcglobe.co.uk/match-preview-reds-ready-for-hard-fight-vs-hatters/feed/ 0
The best thing that you can say about Liverpool's young talents is that they never look out of place at the moment. Jarell Quansah, for instance, has been showing that all season, but others have since followed.
In the last few weeks, Quansah was first joined by Conor Bradley and then several more. Bobby Clark made his first Premier League start against Nottingham Forest and Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas have made a big impact this week as well.
Quansah, Bradley and Clark all look like players who will be squad members under whoever is to become the new Liverpool manager next season. That trio look ready to make themselves semi-regulars across all competitions.
But Danns has shown plenty of promise too. Coming into the Liverpool team as a forward is the hardest area of the pitch to make an impact as a teenager. It is easy for someone slight to be bullied by experienced defenders or lost in a sea of bodies.
And yet Danns never showed much of an inkling of that ever being likely in any appearance across the last week or so. His challenge on the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matz Sels that rightly earned him a booking was perhaps and sign that he was a bit over-desperate to exert some physicality, but Danns was able to use his body well to shield possession and link things together.
On top of being able to cope physically, Danns was also able to score two excellent goals midweek in the FA Cup tie with Southampton. While he didn't score at Forest, he was trusted to be on the field as Liverpool chased the breakthrough that Darwin Núñez eventually found deep into stoppage time.
It means that Jürgen Klopp has another option that he can turn to. You would not bet against Danns being involved again during the Europa League last-16 tie with Sparta Prague, maybe even in a starting berth.
While Clark has just got his first league start for Liverpool, he too should be eyeing up European minutes. Quansah is a shoo-in and Bradley would be too if he wasn't needed against Manchester City next weekend.
In the case of Quansah, it was a surprise last summer how quickly he looked established at senior level but that isn't now. Clark would have made his case a lot earlier had he not been injured at the back end of 2023.
Danns, though, had only made his U21s debut a few weeks ago. Even for the player himself, the last week or so must have come as a surprise. No one saw it coming — but it could still be a big Liverpool boost.
What all three young talents have now proven is that they are capable of stepping in as and when Liverpool needs them. In a season that could have another 21 fixtures — if everything continues to go to plan for Liverpool — that could be invaluable.
It is the final seconds of the NBA Finals. The clock hits 0.0 in a one-point game, but play continues for a few seconds because the Golden State Warriors are driving towards the rim.
The fight at Madison Square Garden is going the distance. The final bell goes in the 12th round, but the referee doesn’t stop Oleksandr Usyk’s advance, with the Ukrainian boxer close to a knockout.
There is one lap left in the Formula One World Championship and in a winner-takes-all situation, the race director refuses to drop the chequered flag because second-place is catching the leader. Actually, after the controversial end to the 2021 season, maybe that is not the best example.
Nevertheless, the point still stands. The circumstances above are ridiculous — every major sport has a clear ending, whether it’s an expired game clock, the final pitch, match point. They are objective, not subjective.
This is what transpired.Bellingham and other players surround the referee after the decision (Jose Hernandez/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Seven minutes of stoppage time came up on the fourth official’s board. After that, there was a two-minute delay when a penalty initially awarded to Real was overturned by the VAR. The visiting side’s hackles were up on an emotional night — winger Vinicius Junior had earlier scored two goals at a stadium where he was subject to racist abuse the previous season.
The delays meant the match continued into its 99th minute and as Luka Modric approached to take a Madrid corner, referee Jesus Gil Manzano signalled that this would be the match’s final play.
Valencia cleared — but only to the edge of the box. As Madrid winger Brahim Diaz prepared to cross the ball back in, Gil Manzano blew his whistle. Game over.
Less than a second later, Diaz delivered his cross. The referee’s whistle had not yet registered with the players awaiting it. Jude Bellingham, who has scored 16 La Liga goals this season, headed in. Wheeling away in celebration, he and Madrid thought this was the winner, another special moment in his spectacular debut season.
“It’s a f*****g goal,” Bellingham shouted at Gil Manzano — and was sent off. Speaking post-match, Carlo Ancelotti backed up his player.
“Bellingham did not insult the referee, he said in English, ‘It’s a f*****g goal’, which is what we all thought,” the Madrid manager said. “He came close to the referee, but given what had happened, that was pretty normal.”
Madrid’s official website called it an “unprecedented refereeing decision” — but by the letter of the law, they had no case. Gil Manzano had played enough stoppage time and signalled his intention to end the game and the final whistle means the game is over. No ifs, buts, or maybes.
The anger came from one of football’s unwritten laws — that when a team is attacking, the final whistle should not be blown.
“The ball is in the air — what the f*** is that?” Bellingham appeared to say during his protestations. From rewatching, the first blast of Gil Manzano’s whistle came before the ball was delivered — with the second and third occurring with the ball in the air, but before Bellingham headed it. Only the first whistle is needed to stop the game.
Football’s rulebook is vague about exactly when a referee should blow their whistle. According to the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the sport’s lawmakers, the referee “acts as the timekeeper”, “the additional time may be increased by the referee, but not reduced”, and “the allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee”.
IFAB Law 5.2 adds: “The referee may not change a restart decision on realising that it is incorrect if the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half.”
This wooliness has led to a subjective system. The game has developed in such a way that the expectation is that a half should not end if one team is on the attack, but without this being codified, referees can interpret this differently — if they recognise it at all.
What constitutes being on the attack? Being about to shoot or cross? What if there is a transition opportunity? What if a player has a clear run at goal from behind halfway? Is 60 seconds of patient build-up from around the edge of the box, a la Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, one ongoing attack?
Every other element of football is tightly regulated. IFAB’s Laws of the Game is a 230-page-long document. Six of those pages, including diagrams, are devoted to what constitutes handball. Why does one of its most important elements — when a game is over — scarcely merit a mention?
After posting about this on X, formerly Twitter, some replied to say the law was clear — the game is over when the whistle blows. Why the widespread anger then? Others responded by saying this was only an issue because it happened to Bellingham and Real Madrid — but this is not the first time it has happened. It was only a matter of time before it occurred again in a high-stakes, high-profile match.
Going right back to the 1978 World Cup, Welsh referee Clive Thomas blew for full time with a Brazil corner in the air during a group stage match against Sweden — disallowing a Zico header that would have given Brazil a 2-1 win. The decision meant they only finished second in their group, placing them in a harder pool in the second round, from which they failed to qualify for the final.
In January 2021, Paul Tierney blew for half-time a handful of seconds before the allotted one minute of stoppage time was up. Liverpool, playing Manchester United in a crucial Premier League match, had the ball behind halfway, but Sadio Mane appeared to be through on goal. He would not have been able to put the ball into the net before the clock struck 46 minutes.
One month later, Craig Pawson was refereeing Manchester United’s trip to West Bromwich Albion. With the score 1-1 and the clock at 47.07 after two minutes of stoppage time, United broke from their own half — with four attackers against only one West Brom defender. Pawson blew with the ball still 70 yards from the opposition goal and was surrounded by irate United players.
Most egregiously, in November 2017, Spanish second-division side Ponferradina thought they had a late winner to lift them clear of the relegation zone, but referee Alvaro Lopez Parra blew as Andy Rodriguez chipped the ball over the opposition goalkeeper.
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) November 2, 2017
The laws allow for subconscious bias, the possibility of home teams or favourites being given more chances, and for inconsistency, with referees interpreting what constitutes an attack differently.
Visit refereeing forums and the same issues arise. Dozens of grassroots officials have stories of being surrounded after blowing for full time. Their decision is final, but subjective. People disagree.
“It’s less aggro, believe me, to blow at a neutral situation,” wrote one referee, explaining one controversial incident. “But it isn’t necessarily always the correct thing to do.”
It does not need to be this way.
IFAB’s annual conference took place last week in Scotland. There, football’s lawmakers discussed permanent and temporary concussion substitutes, accidental handballs, and encroachment during penalties. What else might they have discussed had full time been on the agenda?
Football has a few challenges. Because of further stoppages after the 90th minute — injuries, substitutions, celebrations, time-wasting — referees cannot simply blow up the second that the clock hits the end of the allotted stoppage time.
If football had a system where the clock stopped when the ball was out of play, matches would swell to an unprecedented length — the typical ball-in-play time in the Premier League is roughly around 55 minutes.
Under the current system, however, teams complain if the whistle is blown while they are on the attack. Amid this indistinctness, no one is happy.
One simple tweak could help. During stoppage time, the referee could switch to a stopped-clock system and blow up exactly on the minute. For example, if a team scores after the referee has signalled there would be four minutes of stoppage time, the referee could stop time, before restarting when the ball is in play, and blow up exactly on 94.00. Professional stadiums all have clocks displaying the exact time, so players can remain aware.
It gives the law objectivity, allows for post-90th-minute stoppages and, by only being implemented in stoppage time, means games will not take over two hours to complete. It is not a complete novelty to the sport — futsal already has a designated timekeeper and a strict full-time whistle.
Bellingham’s ‘goal’ should not have stood, but the vagueness and limitations of football’s laws put referees in a difficult position. The game is already hard enough to control. This is not a case of a rule being changed – but of basic clarity being introduced.
(Top photos: Getty Images)
Alexis Mac Allister has highlighted a key thing Liverpool’s leaders do in order to keep the team pushing until the very end.
Darwin Nunez‘s late winner against Nott’m Forest was Liverpool’s 18th injury-time winner in the Premier League with Jurgen Klopp in charge – that’s more than any other team in the division during that period, say Opta.
The common denominator here is Klopp, but the German can’t be on the pitch and everywhere all at once. One of the factors that has contributed to Liverpool’s success has been his ability to pick out leaders.
It is now those leaders who are pushing Liverpool on to multiple late winning goals. Mac Allister, who signed last summer, has described one key way the leaders do this.
After the match, he told BBC Sport: “We were always positive. Our leaders were keeping the team very positive. We’re a good group, nice players on and off the pitch.”
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, he later added: “You could see Virgil [van Dijk] and our leaders always keeping the team very positive, and that’s very important to keep going until the end.
“We are a very good team, a very good group with nice players on and off the pitch. That’s really important to be always positive.”
Mac Allister’s comments underline the mental strength Klopp has instilled in the players, and also highlights how the ‘doubters to believers’ phrase applies not only to fans, but players also.
The manager’s player leadership group has undergone several changes since he arrived.
It is that strength of mind that has seen Liverpool come through the last couple of weeks with four wins from four matches.
The never-say-die culture is also clearly evident throughout the club, with the youngsters who have made first-team appearances carrying the same attitude as the seasoned professionals.
Liverpool’s No. 9, Nunez, didn’t come through the Reds’ academy, but his goal at the weekend was the epitome of never giving up.
It is interesting that, in his home country of Uruguay, winning at the death is described as ‘a lo Penarol’ or ‘at the Penarol’ in English.
Penarol is the name of the first professional club Nunez played for, a team who became known for their dramatic winners, hence the saying.
Nunez has had this never-say-die belief instilled from an early age, and it is something Liverpool supporters love about him.
As one Uruguayan Red said: “Darwin, Penarol and Liverpool, a match made in heaven.”
Perhaps ‘Darwin Nunez‘s winner at the Liverpool’ would have been a better way to start this piece. Then again, it doesn’t quite have the ring of ‘a lo Penarol’.
Liverpool will lock horns with rivals Manchester City next weekend at Anfield in what promises to be a huge clash in the Premier League title race. The Reds left it very late to beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday with Darwin Núñez heading in Alexis Mac Allister's cross in the 99th minute.
That result put the pressure back on City and Arsenal, with Pep Guardiola's champions facing rivals United in the Manchester derby on Sunday. And it looked like being the visitors who would emerge victorious when Marcus Rashford fired past Ederson early on.
But City fired back in the second half with Phil Foden scoring twice before Erling Haaland added a third late on. It means the gap between the top two is just one point before they meet at Anfield next Sunday.
Arsenal meanwhile will travel to Bramall Lane on Monday night to take on struggling Sheffield United and can go within two points of Liverpool. Next weekend's clash is one of two potentially season-defining matches at the top of the Premier League this month, with City also hosting Arsenal at the Etihad on March 31.
Liverpool’s five Premier League fixtures (after Man City): Brighton (H), Sheffield United (H), Manchester United (A), Crystal Palace (H), Fulham (A).
Liverpool does appear to have a favorable run compared to City, with next Sunday's clash the first of three home matches on the spin. A trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United is also scheduled for the first weekend in April, a fortnight after the two sides meet in the FA Cup, before clashes with Palace and Fulham.
Manchester City’s next five Premier League fixtures (after Liverpool): Arsenal (H), Aston Villa (H), Crystal Palace (A), Luton (H), Tottenham (A)
The champions face a tricky run over the coming weeks with its next two Premier League matches coming against its title challengers. That is followed up by the visit of Aston Villa, who beat City earlier in the season, and remains in Champions League contention. There is also a trip to north London on the horizon to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where City hasn't won or scored a single goal in its four visits in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s next five Premier League fixtures (after Sheffield United): Brentford (H), Manchester City (A), Luton (H), Brighton (A), Aston Villa (H).
Arsenal will be confident of continuing its excellent recent run against Sheffield United on Monday. Brentford travels across London to the Emirates next Saturday and wins in both of those games will put the Gunners top before Liverpool plays City. After the trip to the Etihad, Arsenal faces home clashes against Luton and Aston Villa and a tough trip to Brighton in April.
Liverpool.com says: Next weekend's clash at Anfield is going to be a big one but Liverpool is in the driving seat right now and it is down to City and Arsenal to knock Jürgen Klopp's men off top spot. With those two sides also facing off against each other at the end of the month and at least one dropping points, a victory next Sunday could be huge for the Reds.
Liverpool is sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League following another round of fixtures this weekend. Jürgen Klopp's side left it late to secure the win against Nottingham Forest after Darwin Núñez came on as a substitute to score in the 99th minute.
The Uruguayan had missed the last three fixtures — including the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea last weekend — due to injury but made an emphatic return to the match-day squad to secure a vital three points for his side. Liverpool is now four points clear of Manchester City in second, which could be cut to just one point if they triumph over local rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
Despite welcoming back Núñez and Dominik Szoboszlai from injury, Liverpool was still without key players such as Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Alisson Becker and several others due to issues. Setbacks have plagued the Liverpool squad throughout the 2023./24 campaign.
And that may need to be addressed in the upcoming summer transfer window as the club looks to enter a new era without Klopp at the helm. Here is the Liverpool.com verdict on the transfer gossip to emerge around the Reds today, including a shock move for a Brentford star and an international winger.Bryan Mbuemo (Brentford)
Liverpool is being linked with a move for Brentford and Cameroon forward Bryan Mbuemo ahead of the summer transfer window. According to Fichajes, the Reds have identified Mbeumo as a potential option to replace Mohamed Salah this summer, as the club plans for life without the Egyptian.
Salah, 31, was the subject of heavy transfer interest from the Saudi Pro League last summer, with the likes of Al-Ittihad and other teams set to reignite an interest in the Liverpool talisman in the summer. The Egyptian international will be entering the final year of his contract at Anfield and while an exit is unlikely, at some point he will have to be replaced.Liverpool home shirt 2023/2024 Get the Liverpool home kit
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Brentford would demand a sizeable fee for the player — who has seven goals and three assists to his name this season — if a departure was on the cards. The 24-year-old has thrived in the absence of Ivan Toney, who missed the vast majority of the season due to a suspension.
Liverpool.com says: Mbuemo would be a smart signing from Liverpool, with his finishing ability from the right-wing offering a similar profile to Salah. Whether or not he could replicate the same successes and rise as Salah in red, remains to be seen.Federico Chiesa (Juventus)
Liverpool is 'interested' in signing Juventus and Italy winger Federico Chiesa as a possible option to replace Mohamed Salah, according to Italian outlet TuttoSport. Salah is entering the final year of his contract this summer and Liverpool could look to enter a new era on all fronts, the report claims, with Jürgen Klopp also set to depart at the end of the current campaign.
The report goes on to state that Liverpool has shown previous interest in the player in other windows but is yet to make a formal offer for the Italian international. Juventus is said to be open to parting ways with the player but will not accept an offer lower than $54m (£43m/€50m).
Liverpool.com says: Chiesa, 26, would be another smart acquisition by the club and has been linked repeatedly with a move to Anfield. $54m is a relatively small asking price in the current market, especially when considering clubs will be aware of Liverpool's plans to replace Salah if he does depart. Chiesa's injury record, though, would be a major concern.