Liverpool 2020-2021: Jurgen's Heroes

67YAZ

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It's been a helluva ride. It's great that the EPL was able to finish out the season without a virus outbreak & the Reds got to take the title without controversy. And bonus points for avoiding long-term injuries, though Player of the Season Jordan Henderson's knee will be one to watch.

Next season promises to be a knife fight at the top of the table. City are already making aggressive moves to replace Sane with Torres and bringing in Ake to solidify the backline. Chelsea are lining up every young attacking midfielder in Europe, and ManU looked irresistible with Pogba, Bruno, Rashford, and Greenwood after the restart. It may well take another 90 point season to win the league.

There's all sorts of mixed news out there about Liverpool's transfer plans. Clearly, FSG takes a fiscally prudent approach and are willing to let targets pass if the price gets too high (see Werner, Timo). It may well be a quiet window.

Who's out:
  • Lallana has already signed on with Brighton for 3 years with a pathway into coaching after. Hope he stays healthy and plays a big role there.
  • Lovren is off to Zenit. Mo Salah has lost his best friend, but good luck to the "Best Center Back in the World."
  • Shaqiri has been heavily rumored to be on his way out in search of a starting role.
  • Clyne's contract has expired.
  • Karius appears to have met the standards for Besiktas to have to buy him (appear in over half of the league matches & qualify for European competition), but I've also seen that Besiktas have gotten around that and shipped Loris back. I'm sure Karius will end up someplace else, the question is if any club will pay a fee.
  • Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson had nice loan spells, but hard to see where they fit in the club other than deep rotation options. They'll have loan and transfer options open to them.
  • Gruijic, Larouci, and Ojo will be sold.

Who's needed (in rough order):
  • Another CB
  • Back up fullbacks, especially on the left
  • Attacking depth
  • Midfield depth
Rumors:
  • The Thiago rumors won't die. I can see his value. An intelligent and clever midfielder would have been a huge help against Atletico this season, and that would also be a great tool against parked buses. But Liverpool have been very disciplined about bringing in younger players unless it's for a clear backup role (e.g., Adrian & Klavan).
  • The Sancho rumors drag on. If they wouldn't splurge for Werner, hard to see Liverpool going to toe to toe with ManU here.
  • Klopp appears to be bargain shopping for Roberston's back up, with Bournemouth's Kelly and Norwich's Lewis in the rumors.
There's also plenty of excellent prospects on the fringes of the first team who could be retained for depth or loaned out for experience - Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott, EPL Medal Winner Curtis Jones, Ki-Jana Hoever, and Sepp Van den Berg. A couple of cup starts aren't going to be enough for this crew.
 
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SocrManiac

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It’s been a very short time, but I’m pretty low on Minamino at this point. He’s shown some flashes but appears to be suffering from being dumb as a stump. He’s awfully “head down and dribble/shoot” from bad positions. His passing doesn’t seem particularly accurate or correct, either. He might not be the right guy.
 

fletcherpost

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It’s been a very short time, but I’m pretty low on Minamino at this point. He’s shown some flashes but appears to be suffering from being dumb as a stump. He’s awfully “head down and dribble/shoot” from bad positions. His passing doesn’t seem particularly accurate or correct, either. He might not be the right guy.
I hear you. That said, he might get another half a season to improve - it's a good thing Klopp is a manager who can actually improve players, but of course they have to put in the work. You'd have to think he'd be chomping at the bit to prove himself.

Naby Keïta had quite a slow start but is gradually showing his worth to the squad, his first few moths at the club were pretty low key, much like Minamino. Maybe when some players leave, this might push him up the pecking order...or at least act as a spur to really kick on. We don't know how settled into Liverpool life he is...it can be tough moving to a Northern City, the weather's not great and I don't know what kind of support network he has around him, if he's happy in his day to day non footballing life.

Personally I'd like to see Liverpool really go after a quality centre back. I think the market for centre backs is gonna explode, everyone wants them. DUnno if it's best to look for an experienced player around 28-30 who you can potentially get 3-5 seasons or someone younger.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I actually think Rhian Brewster could fill in capably for you guys up front. He flourished with some gametime with Swansea, and while he's not starting 30 games, I think he could start some and do the job off the bench. I'm curious to see, because you will need some attacking depth over the course of the season.

I know I was accused of trolling (and maybe I was just a teeny bit), but I really think not signing Werner was a mistake, and would be quite annoying if it was a financial one. I think Liverpool has a great chance at winning any of the 4 trophies next season, but at some point the legs start to go on the front 3- Werner seems built for Klopp.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I believe Larouci’s leaving on a free ..

its a shame that they are crying poor .. lots of excellent bargains out there .. Chelsea , Manu U and City are all going to be much better next year.
 

teddykgb

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It’s really hard to sign players when you’re at the top. You can’t offer guaranteed roles to players and it’s hard to cast off the players who got you there. Liverpool are basically set on starters at 10 positions on the pitch with a healthy rotational option at b2b CM. It’s really tough to bring in absolute top talent to fight for a role if you’re not Real Madrid
 

SoxFanInCali

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Nice to see that Nike spent like 10 minutes coming up with a design.

Not a huge fan of the teal but I could live with it, but I think the way it comes across the white on the neckline looks bad, especially on the back.

This is the $90 "Stadium" jersey. The "Vapor" model that I assume is similar to the game-worn ones will be around $125.




 

SocrManiac

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That is a huge letdown after the incredible kits they’ve rolled in the past few years. The pinstripe accents and blood red colors have been fantastic. This is pre-kit licensing FIFA ‘94.
 

Section30

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As a player I always wanted a pad on the sleeve to wipe away the sweat on my face.

This style of sleeve is worse as there is no way to keep the thread from the seams from rubbing due to sweat. Especially in the inner seam in the arm where the threads from the extra material from the cuff make a knot crossing over the seam threads.

The worst uniform I ever had to play in was a collared THREE BUTTON jersey. The buttons were rubber but it was still ridiculous. We convinced the property manager to remove them and claim that they came off in the wash.

Expect to see the players stretching out the sleeve opening routinely as part of their game prep.
 

koufax32

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Nice to see that Nike spent like 10 minutes coming up with a design.

Not a huge fan of the teal but I could live with it, but I think the way it comes across the white on the neckline looks bad, especially on the back.

This is the $90 "Stadium" jersey. The "Vapor" model that I assume is similar to the game-worn ones will be around $125.




I’ve been waiting for the anime takeover as their products fit me like a custom fit shirt. But man, is this underwhelming. Looks like I’ll be waiting another year.

There was awhile that I thought Joe Gomez was the answer next to VVD. That opinion has been completely turned on it’s head now and I wonder, if that doesn’t get addressed, will that position be the LFC’s undoing next season.
 

tmracht

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At some point I'm going to stop throwing up in my mouth a little every time I see that new kit, right?

Right?
I'm pretty sure I've made better for PES and I have 0 artistic ability.
 

67YAZ

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A £10m bid for Jamal Lewis got batted back. I hadn’t realized Lewis was signed to 2023. It looks like Norwich has a bunch of their young’uns locked in for a few more years and want to take a run at getting back to the EPL next season before letting players go for anything less than a king’s ransom.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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After being rebuffed by Norwich over Lewis it looks they are moving on to Plan B

Being Olympiakos LB Kostas Tsimikas


Considerably cheaper than the 20m Norwich demand. Of course that included the obligatory tariff on British players.

edit: nickel and diving over a few million would seem to prove that money is tight. Hope he can play CB

edit # 2 : Norwich must be really hoping LCFC loses Chilwell .. can’t see any other Premier League clubs ponying up 20m for Lewis. Mind you, he’s signed through 2023 so maybe they are hoping to hold onto him until the market is restored post Covid
 
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SocrManiac

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A £10m bid for Jamal Lewis got batted back. I hadn’t realized Lewis was signed to 2023. It looks like Norwich has a bunch of their young’uns locked in for a few more years and want to take a run at getting back to the EPL next season before letting players go for anything less than a king’s ransom.
The first relegated side that conceded more than any other is overvaluing a defender. Hmmm...
 

67YAZ

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Tsimikas is the new Robbo! Or at least, in the Greek league he makes a lot of dribbles per match.


If Tsimikas is good enough to give Robertson a regular breather, than he’s well worth it.

Thiago rumors bang on, but I wonder if Liverpool have pinged Barca about Dembele. Barca seems desperate to move him out to raise funds, and Dembele is a longtime Klopp favorite. But he’s making a reported €230k a week, which would almost certainly require trimming to fit the Reds’ wage structure. Would Dembele take a pay cut to fight for a spot at Anfield?

Edit: here’s a comparison showing Tsimikas as completing the second most dribbles per match among a selection of FBs. But dang, Alphonso Davies. What a player, eh?



 
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Mighty Joe Young

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Is this Thiago move really close or just silly season click bait?
That rumour has been around for months and refuses to go away. Mind you, most of rumours have come from Germany and Spain and not Liverpool. The Echo journalists have been downplaying It every chance they get (and they’re reasonably plugged into the team). Klopp , apparently really likes the player .. and it’s not hard to envisage a role for him .. probably replacing Wijnaldum who’s on the last year of his deal. He profiles as basically the second coming of Xabi Alonso. But he’s getting on (29) and doesn’t really fit a Klopp/Liverpool signing - he’s old, they don’t “need” him and he’s relatively expensive.

I can only see it happening if they can offload a couple of squad players (Harry Wilson, Shakiri and Grujic being on the block). Thiago is basically a nice to have .. but it would be fun watching him so here‘s hoping.
 

SoxFanInCali

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If you thought the bit of teal in the home kit wasn't enough, you should love the turquoise away kit.
 

RIrooter09

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Living in Oregon makes me hate Nike even more than most due to the locals’ sycophantic love for it. That jersey is a crime against humanity.
 

67YAZ

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The schedule is out and Liverpool open the season with Leeds. Now that should be fun.

After having a few season of pretty balanced schedules with big matches spread out, this season skews a bit. The first couple months see a lot of tough ones, and then January also looks very difficult. But that’s life in the EPL.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Up 2-0 at halftime of a friendly against Stuttgart. Klopp put out pretty close to a first-choice team (only Williams for Trent and Jones for Henderson) and was rewarded with goals from Firmino and Keita. I'd expect a bunch of changes for the second half.
 

swiftaw

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Up 2-0 at halftime of a friendly against Stuttgart. Klopp put out pretty close to a first-choice team (only Williams for Trent and Jones for Henderson) and was rewarded with goals from Firmino and Keita. I'd expect a bunch of changes for the second half.
He already said he would change all 11 at half time. :)
 

SocrManiac

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FWIW, I don’t think Juventus will be a problem. Pirlo’s model doesn’t seem to be interested in quick, incisive players.

If you need me, I’ll be drinking.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Watched the Blackpool friendly today .. was really, really impressed by the kid CB Billie Koumetico. There’s been quite a bit of hype about the 17 year old so far and I can see why .. the good .. his range of passing is superb .. pinging 40 yard passes around the pitch. He’s going to be very good in the air , just needs to be more aggressive. He lined himself up to head a clearance and was completely put off by a nudge from behind. The bad .. positionally not very aware yet .. played a couple of Blackpool players onside and was partially at fault for a give away that lead to a goal. Also misread the play completely a couple of times resulting in being bypassed.

Those are 17 year old mistakes .. playing for the first time with Matip.

I don’t know what the plan is for him. I think it’s telling they haven’t replaced Lovren yet. Maybe they think keeping him around .. ably tutored by Van Dyke .. Is the best path. He’s a little young to be going out on loan anyways. But he’s still very raw.
 

67YAZ

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Liverpool get the Swiss Ramble treatment, and it’s as illuminating as you’d hope. The short of it is that FSG are running a self-sustaining club that is paying down its debt while also making major capital investments. But growth in the wage bill due to locking up the core players through their prime years has tightened the cash flow, meaning Liverpool are in sell-to-buy mode in the uncertain COVID environment.

 

Pesky Pole

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I understand the whole financials here but wonder if FSG is missing a nuance of soccer here. When you’re on top, you have the ability to attract players you cannot when you struggle. By ostensibly sitting out the last two years of windows, they sat out the windows where they could attract nearly anyone. With all the extra competitions and the (hopefully) prolonged runs in each, they are risking falling back to the pack. Turning down under market deals for Werner and Thiago could really look short sided very quickly.

I hope I’m wrong but I fear that multiple kids like Curtis Jones, Rhian Brewster, Neco Williams and Billy Koumetio will have to pan out to make me wrong. I know it’s weird to complain coming off Champions League and Premier League in back to back years but this feels odd.
 

teddykgb

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I think you have that backwards. It’s really hard to add when you’re on top and not Real Madrid because players want to play. Liverpool have put everyone to the slaughter for 18 months and they basically only have real rotation in workhorse CM positions and at partner to Van Dijk. A top player doesn’t want to come to Liverpool because you can’t guarantee significant time
 

Pesky Pole

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I think you have that backwards. It’s really hard to add when you’re on top and not Real Madrid because players want to play. Liverpool have put everyone to the slaughter for 18 months and they basically only have real rotation in workhorse CM positions and at partner to Van Dijk. A top player doesn’t want to come to Liverpool because you can’t guarantee significant time
But Werner wanted to come up front and Thiago wants to come at mid. Both seemed to fall apart over financial constraints. I hear you on the competition piece but it seems Klopp had both convinced of a role.
 

67YAZ

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I understand the whole financials here but wonder if FSG is missing a nuance of soccer here. When you’re on top, you have the ability to attract players you cannot when you struggle. By ostensibly sitting out the last two years of windows, they sat out the windows where they could attract nearly anyone. With all the extra competitions and the (hopefully) prolonged runs in each, they are risking falling back to the pack. Turning down under market deals for Werner and Thiago could really look short sided very quickly.

I hope I’m wrong but I fear that multiple kids like Curtis Jones, Rhian Brewster, Neco Williams and Billy Koumetio will have to pan out to make me wrong. I know it’s weird to complain coming off Champions League and Premier League in back to back years but this feels odd.
Given how they have empowered high-quality career football people, I doubt nuances have been lost. Rather, FSG seems to be running all their teams & clubs to be financially self-sustaining without regular investments from FSG. They seek to win championships and make smart long-term capital improvements, but if every once in a while they have to trade a truly great player to reset the luxury tax bill or go a few transfer windows without a major move...well, then so be it. It's at all part and parcel with supporting a John Henry owned club. My hope for this current squad is that since the core is still in its prime and Klopp is locked in for another 5 years, the window to refresh the squad will stay open for another 2 years. Fingers crossed.
 

teddykgb

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But Werner wanted to come up front and Thiago wants to come at mid. Both seemed to fall apart over financial constraints. I hear you on the competition piece but it seems Klopp had both convinced of a role.
I am thankful every day that Werner didn’t go to Liverpool because I think he’s gonna tear the league apart. He’d have been devastating.

I guess my point is that if Liverpool viewed Thiago or Werner as every week first XI pieces they’d be selling and sliding pieces to get them in. But imo they see them as complementary pieces and aren’t willing to pay the prices required (but still May with Thiago)
Probably a useful side discussion is that the economics of football in a FFP world when you’re at the top sort of dictate that a team needs to speculate on players. When you can’t sell your best players because you are expecting to compete you need to do some of the stuff Chelsea and City are doing to move a bunch of players for 10-20 million to generate revenue. I’m truly ignorant of what Liverpool are doing there but it’s just different when your XI is set and the only players you have to sell are players you don’t want
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Werner has been widely reported to be on £270k per week at Chelsea and to have received a £10m signing on bonus in addition. I don't know if that is what he was asking from Liverpool but it could have been a relatively simple story of being able to afford the transfer fee but balking at making Werner the highest paid player at the club, especially if he wasn't necessarily going to start.

I will go against the grain and predict that Werner will be relatively disappointing in the Premier League - a great counter-attacking player who will also feast on mistake prone sides but wont be very effective against organized low blocks as he has no aerial game and isn't really a lethal-with-a-half-yard type box striker either.
 
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67YAZ

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Werner has been widely reported to be on £270k per week at Chelsea and to have received a £10m signing on bonus in addition. I don't know if that is what he was asking from Liverpool but it could have been a relatively simple story of being able to afford the transfer fee but balking at making Werner the highest paid player at the club, especially if he wasn't necessarily going to start.
The Athletic reported LFC were offering £170k/week, so....

Another piece I’ve seen referenced several times is that under Mike Gordon, LFC offer very creative contracts with more than typical bonuses and performance clauses built into them. So while the baseline wage bill is lower than most of the other mega clubs, that 40% jump in wage outlay the past 3 years reflects a squad hitting a lot of its club and individual targets. Of course, when competing for a player like Werner, all those clauses will pale in comparison to another £100k/week guaranteed.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I am thankful every day that Werner didn’t go to Liverpool because I think he’s gonna tear the league apart. He’d have been devastating.

I guess my point is that if Liverpool viewed Thiago or Werner as every week first XI pieces they’d be selling and sliding pieces to get them in. But imo they see them as complementary pieces and aren’t willing to pay the prices required (but still May with Thiago)
Probably a useful side discussion is that the economics of football in a FFP world when you’re at the top sort of dictate that a team needs to speculate on players. When you can’t sell your best players because you are expecting to compete you need to do some of the stuff Chelsea and City are doing to move a bunch of players for 10-20 million to generate revenue. I’m truly ignorant of what Liverpool are doing there but it’s just different when your XI is set and the only players you have to sell are players you don’t want
they’ve been reported as trying to sell a bunch of marginal players - Shaqiri, Grujic, Wilson , Origi and the like .. the problem seems to be they were hoping to get near 70m pounds for those guys .. but offers have not met expectations so far. Michael Edwards has been pretty astute for the past few years with transfers but Covid may be a tougher nut to crack .

There was a really bizarre report today that they were open to selling uber prospect Ryon Brewster for a paltry 20m . If that’s the case then their financials must be a complete mess.
 

67YAZ

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There was a really bizarre report today that they were open to selling uber prospect Ryon Brewster for a paltry 20m . If that’s the case then their financials must be a complete mess.
This one looks to be an agent trying to pros the club into making a decision. If multiple offers, even around £20m, come in this week, maybe that’s gets Liverpool moving on a decision about another loan or sale or even an Origi sale. Who knows.

Brewster shares an agency with Gomez as well as our man in Turin, Weston McKennie.
 

SocrManiac

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Not real LFC content, but I had to share.

I think a lot of folks know that we lost a baby in 2018. Our rainbow baby daughter was born last week. My wife is the LFC driver in our family. She adopted the Never Give Up from the Barca return leg as her personal motivator to push through fertility issues and finally complete our family. We had a professional photographer here this morning and she had to do some pictures in one of her many motivational shirts.

This isn’t the professional picture, obviously, but after all we’ve been through this just rips me in half.

34141
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Not real LFC content, but I had to share.

I think a lot of folks know that we lost a baby in 2018. Our rainbow baby daughter was born last week. My wife is the LFC driver in our family. She adopted the Never Give Up from the Barca return leg as her personal motivator to push through fertility issues and finally complete our family. We had a professional photographer here this morning and she had to do some pictures in one of her many motivational shirts.

This isn’t the professional picture, obviously, but after all we’ve been through this just rips me in half.

View attachment 34141
Congrats socrmaniac! That is wonderful on many many levels.