Liverpool 2021/2022 Jurgen’s Comeback Tour

Mighty Joe Young

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So .. good riddance to 2020/2021 ... in many ways a remarkable achievement to finish third, but it certainly didn’t generate many warm and fuzzy memories. (Allison’s goal not withstanding).

So Liverpool appear to be putting the band back together. Which seems like a pretty good plan given the huge cost of upgrading any of the 11.

That being said, some incomings are planned - Ibrahima Konate was announced today after they triggered his £38m release clause from RB Leipzig. He looks to be an upgrade on a healthy Joe Gomez , and certainly on an injured Joe Gomez. Given the uncertainty over the rehabbing CBs it seems a no brainer.

Further incomings are being mooted in midfield replacing the departing Gina Wijnaldum and maybe another forward to provide backup /competition to Bobby Firmino.

So what do we have?

Keepers
Allison
Kelleher
Adrian if he re-ups

CBs
VVD
Gomez
Matip
Konate
Phillips
Williams
Davis

Seems like two of Matip, Phillips and Davis will be sold. I’d love to see Phillips stick around. He’s not as good as Matip but Matip’s made of glass. Williams goes out on loan.

Fullbacks
AA
Robertson
Williams
Tsimikas

Don’t think we will see any changes here. Klopp seems to really like Nico Williams

Midfield

Fabinho
Thiago
Henderson
Milner
Grujic

Attacking midfielders

Jones
Keita
Chamberlain
Shaqiri
Wilson
Elliot

Looks like Shaqiri is being sold. Likewise with Wilson and Grujic. If they can’t get a suitable price then it’s going to be a loan. As it stands it’s looking like Curtis Jones will be the direct replacement for Wijnaldum. (Very different players though)

In the event they do bring in another mid , Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans have been linked along with a host of others.

I think this will be a luxury signing if they can raise sufficient cash from all the outgoings.

I think Klopp would love to have room for Harvey Elliot .. he’s kind of a direct replacement for Shaqiri .. plays either as wide right forward or more centrally.

Forwards

Mane
Firmino
Salah
Jota
Minamino
Origi

Origi is gone , and hopefully Minamino as well

As for additions at forward that’s another luxury signing dependent on resources.


While I know band reunions are sometimes quite fractious, I think this has the potential to be highly successful. Looks like a team good enough for a title challenge. Of course, if City or ManU bring in some heavyweights like Haaland or Kane then that’s another story.
 

67YAZ

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If only Liverpool could add Dortmund's Gio Reyne. It is almost astonishing to realize that just 3 springs ago, I was his English teacher and advisor when he was a ninth-grader.
!!!!!

It’s a nice idea, but they barely speak English in Liverpool. Would be a waste of what you taught him.
 

SocrManiac

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There were periods this year where it sounded like Salah leaving was a matter of course. I’m curious to see what happens with him. He and Mané disappear for a bit next January as well, so a little depth up front is critical.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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There were periods this year where it sounded like Salah leaving was a matter of course. I’m curious to see what happens with him. He and Mané disappear for a bit next January as well, so a little depth up front is critical.
I think the consensus amongst the press was he was just angling for a new contract. There are rumours Fabinho, Allison and VVD are due for extensions this summer.
 

SocrManiac

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International insurance picking up salaries could give LFC more spending money this summer.

I’m joking.

Kind of.
 

67YAZ

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I don't understand why Southgate went with Henderson over Ward-Prowse. Every Liverpool fan knows the Captain can't play twice a week for a month without an injury. Plus, young James as become one of the best free kick takers in the world and is money from the PK spot. Seem like useful skills in a scrappy tournament.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I don't understand why Southgate went with Henderson over Ward-Prowse. Every Liverpool fan knows the Captain can't play twice a week for a month without an injury. Plus, young James as become one of the best free kick takers in the world and is money from the PK spot. Seem like useful skills in a scrappy tournament.
I haven’t heard who AA’s replacement is to be but supposedly Ward-Prowse was under consideration. I was hoping Liverpool would sign him as Wijnaldum’s replacement.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Mo Salah reduces prejudice.

Can exposure to celebrities from stigmatized groups reduce prejudice? To address this question, we study the case of Mohamed Salah, a visibly Muslim, elite soccer player. Using data on hate crime reports throughout England and 15 million tweets from British soccer fans, we find that after Salah joined Liverpool F.C., hate crimes in the Liverpool area dropped by 16% compared with a synthetic control, and Liverpool F.C. fans halved their rates of posting anti-Muslim tweets relative to fans of other top-flight clubs. An original survey experiment suggests that the salience of Salah’s Muslim identity enabled positive feelings toward Salah to generalize to Muslims more broadly. Our findings provide support for the parasocial contact hypothesis—indicating that positive exposure to out-group celebrities can spark real-world behavioral changes in prejudice.
 

67YAZ

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Fixture list is out. I don’t see all that much to complain about outside of the typical winter congestion. That peaks with Leeds on Boxing Day, Leicester on the 28th, and then Chelsea on New Years Day.

AFCON runs Jan 6 to Feb 9, so the player release and return dates will bear watching. During that window Pool have Brentford, @Palace, & Leicester again. The two following weeks are @Burnley & Norwich. But if the African players agent released during that Boxing Day-New Years stretch, get ready for the Harvey Elliott era to begin!
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Guessing it's mainly posturing, but sounds like Henderson's contract negotiations (current deal expires 2023) are not going well

View: https://twitter.com/david_ornstein/status/1417015245202206722?s=21
Also read this as posturing. Plus, the Echo reporters have had nothing to report for weeks. They had a story today claiming Klopp wanted Gini to stay but was overruled by the bean counters. Just the beating of the “Bad FSG” drums methinks.

edit: obviously Ornstein’s not an Echo guy - but the English press love beating on FSG
 

67YAZ

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I appreciate the LFC is showing discipline and not re-upping players for huge wages well into their 30s. Financially they could, but it makes no sense for an already often injured Henderson to vying with Curtis Jones for playing time over the next 5 years.
 

Carbo Loading

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Liverpool are working on their outgoings in order to sign new players in the next weeks. Marko Grujić will be announced as new Porto player - agreement completed. #LFC

Grujić will sign until June 2026 and wanted to re-join Porto on a long term project, after Sassuolo bid.

View: https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1417314035935195141


Grujic to Porto on a permanent deal. Some rumblings on a LFC discord I’m on that Saul to LFC is happening.
https://discord.com/channels/513280912671113246/806140104019673148/866833047881252884

The poster is well connected and the text of the post is: It might be something, might be nothing. Was just chatting with someone the other day who said that if we could get Grujic out, Saul could happen really quickly.

And now Awoniyi is off to Union Berlin after 6 years and never playing a match for LFC due to never getting a work permit.

View: https://twitter.com/neiljonesgoal/status/1417356093588656130?s=20
 
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67YAZ

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James Pearce on Liverpool’s “evolution not revolution” squad building strategy. That obviously concerns the Captain, but Bobby, Mane, and Salah also have deals expiring in 2023. Running it back with all 4 would mean a much larger wage bill and a squad that’s probably on the downward trajectory in their performance and health. Of those 4, is Henderson the one to keep…or is it Salah?

Saul is an amazing midfielder, but I don’t quite see the fit in terms of age and contract. He’s 26, and on the heels of signing the older Thiago and trying to work a new deal with Henderson, it seems Liverpool would want to go even younger in that area. Plus, Saul still have 5 years to go on his current contract (he signed a 9 year deal in 2017!) is reportedly already on £200k/week. Saul has a ton of leverage. Is FSG going to reset the wave structure for him?

Maybe all the scouts and analysts agree that Saul is THE ONE and he’s desperate to play for Klopp. That would be amazing, no question. But I’m skeptical that this gets done. Florian Neuhaus seems like the exact target they pine after.

Also reports that Awoniyi is off to Union Berlin for £6.5m.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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James Pearce on Liverpool’s “evolution not revolution” squad building strategy. That obviously concerns the Captain, but Bobby, Mane, and Salah also have deals expiring in 2023. Running it back with all 4 would mean a much larger wage bill and a squad that’s probably on the downward trajectory in their performance and health. Of those 4, is Henderson the one to keep…or is it Salah?

Saul is an amazing midfielder, but I don’t quite see the fit in terms of age and contract. He’s 26, and on the heels of signing the older Thiago and trying to work a new deal with Henderson, it seems Liverpool would want to go even younger in that area. Plus, Saul still have 5 years to go on his current contract (he signed a 9 year deal in 2017!) is reportedly already on £200k/week. Saul has a ton of leverage. Is FSG going to reset the wave structure for him?

Maybe all the scouts and analysts agree that Saul is THE ONE and he’s desperate to play for Klopp. That would be amazing, no question. But I’m skeptical that this gets done. Florian Neuhaus seems like the exact target they pine after.

Also reports that Awoniyi is off to Union Berlin for £6.5m.
Yeah … I don’t get the Saul rumours. He seems like a very expensive luxury. Pool usually don’t spend big bucks unless there’s a clear hole in the lineup to fill so I’ll be shocked if they bring him in. The starting midfield is presumably Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago with Keita and Jones to backup. Doesn’t look like a big hole to me.

I get the penny pinching on old guys but I think I’d make an exception with a Henderson. He’s kind of the face of the club and letting him go would look bad.

As for Mane, Salah and Bobby … I’d move Firmino to a #10, extend Salah and sell Mane next summer. The market is going to be awash in available premium forwards with the likes of a Kane, Mbappe and Haaland.

Mbappe to Real
Kane to either Manchester club
Mane to PSG?
Haaland to Liverpool or Chelsea
 

teddykgb

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To me Saul makes complete sense. Thiago was always an enigma because Liverpool don’t build up through their midfielders. In Wijnaldum you had that talented workhorse who could cover for the fullbacks but also play a brilliant pass himself. Saul seems like a perfectly viable replacement of the things Wijnaldum did for Liverpool. I’d much rather watch you start Thiago every week than bring him in as a fan of a rival
 

Mighty Joe Young

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To me Saul makes complete sense. Thiago was always an enigma because Liverpool don’t build up through their midfielders. In Wijnaldum you had that talented workhorse who could cover for the fullbacks but also play a brilliant pass himself. Saul seems like a perfectly viable replacement of the things Wijnaldum did for Liverpool. I’d much rather watch you start Thiago every week than bring him in as a fan of a rival
I tend to agree with this. The thing is I (we) don’t really know what Thiago is at this point. He certainly improved in the last couple of months but the jury’s still out. He certainly doesn’t replace Gini’s skill set.

Under the Klopp/Edwards regime , when Liverpool really want a guy they get it done early in the window. Whether due to Covid related financial stress (a concept a few PL clubs seem unfamiliar with) or bargain hunting (my own view) they are content to wait.

personally I’d be very happy with Saul.
 

bosox4283

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Atletico fan here. I don't know enough about Klopp's system and where Liverpool wants to add skills, but I think Saul would be a fantastic addition (ignoring age, contract, etc.). He's very talented and has the ability to both add to a team's defensive cohesion and score goals. Saul is clearly lost some confidence, mostly due to the lack of consistency given that Simeone chooses to utilize Saul in so many positions on the pitch. But I think Saul can regain his top form with a new manager and new system.
 

Carbo Loading

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Anfield Index Discord is adamant Saul is done to Liverpool for £40m plus add ons. Sauls 3rd party ownership is forcing Atletico to accept the bid. Announcement is being held up until a couple more outgoing transfers and contracts extensions are announced. Take it for what it’s worth.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Anfield Index Discord is adamant Saul is done to Liverpool for £40m plus add ons. Sauls 3rd party ownership is forcing Atletico to accept the bid. Announcement is being held up until a couple more outgoing transfers and contracts extensions are announced. Take it for what it’s worth.
I don't know anything about this story but it doesn't pass the smell test.

Third party ownership is banned by FIFA. This ban is clearly circumvented in various ways in some situations, especially in South America. But Saul is a very unlikely case for third party ownership for a couple reasons. First, he was an Atletico youth player who went from the academy to the first team so it is not clear how or when a third party might have acquired part of his rights. This would be extremely unusual. Second, given the ban on third party ownership, a third party owner trying to force the sale of a very prominent player like Saul from one of the biggest clubs in the world to another of those clubs would almost certainly be noticed.
 

Carbo Loading

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I don't know anything about this story but it doesn't pass the smell test.

Third party ownership is banned by FIFA. This ban is clearly circumvented in various ways in some situations, especially in South America. But Saul is a very unlikely case for third party ownership for a couple reasons. First, he was an Atletico youth player who went from the academy to the first team so it is not clear how or when a third party might have acquired part of his rights. This would be extremely unusual. Second, given the ban on third party ownership, a third party owner trying to force the sale of a very prominent player like Saul from one of the biggest clubs in the world to another of those clubs would almost certainly be noticed.
What was said on Discord was a group led by Jorge Mendes and former Man U exec Peter Kenyon bought 40% of his transfer rights for €1.5 m when he was just 16 ten years ago. Whether that was possible then or not I don’t know. Edit - I just read 3rd party ownership was banned in 2015 so it’s possible.
 
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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What was said on Discord was a group led by Jorge Mendes and former Man U exec Peter Kenyon bought 40% of his transfer rights for €1.5 m when he was just 16 ten years ago. Whether that was possible then or not I don’t know. Edit - I just read 3rd party ownership was banned in 2015 so it’s possible.
My apologies. I did a google dive and this story indeed checks out, at least the part where Mendes and Kenyon once owned part of Saul. I have no idea whether they still own that stake or whether they would try to force Atleti to sell him to Liverpool.
 

Carbo Loading

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My apologies. I did a google dive and this story indeed checks out, at least the part where Mendes and Kenyon once owned part of Saul. I have no idea whether they still own that stake or whether they would try to force Atleti to sell him to Liverpool.
No worries. I guess it’s that Liverpool made the 40m offer an no other club has made an offer so the 3rd party wants its £16 m. Not a bad return on its investment if true.
 

67YAZ

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They’re doing a good job staggering the end dates - TAA 2025, Fabinho 2026, Alison 2027.
 

teddykgb

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Wonder what you are up to. This type of move is usually to update and lock in a salary structure to avoid player conflict should a new high wage earner come in. If you’re still looking at Saul I doubt he’d break that structure. Maybe a build up to new deals for Salah or Mane?
 

67YAZ

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It’s Salah. He and Thiago are currently top of the structure at $200k each, so these new deals are slotting in just below that. Then Salah will reset the top. Robbo & VVD seem likely to slip in there before Salah, too.

One of the reasons I’m skeptical of a Saul transfer is that he has 5 more years to run on his contract and his public reported rages run anywhere from £115k/wk to €300k/wk. he has a ton of leverage to secure a wage right at the top of Liverpool’s structure likely without significant resale value in the future.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Salah is the big one. I hope they resign him. VVD might want to wait to see how the knee reacts?

Then once the deals are set no one complains when they sign Haaland? Lololol.

Seeing Chelsea, City and United all go big it is a bit disappointing to see how the window has gone so far. maybe they have something up their sleeve but still need RB/LB depth, a midfielder unless you think Keira will actually be useful, and another attacker to replace Bobby.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Few observations after watching the Bilbao friendly today …

- very intense game, didn’t have much of a Friendly feel. Great the have 40,000 in the stands

- VVD played 70 minutes or so. Looked OK if a tad rusty. Guessing he’ll start against Norwich but it’s not locked down yet.

- Naby Keita continued his fine pre-season. Looked confident and put in a shift defensively.

- the front three looked to be in mid season form

- Harvey Elliot is going to be a star. He’s ready right now and Liverpool should not bring anyone in that blocks his progress. Let him start in the right sided attacking mid role while easing Henderson back in.
 

67YAZ

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Seeing online that Robbo rolled his ankle and had to be helped off. Lord knows how his body has held up over the past 2 years. Hope it’s a minor sprain.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Seeing online that Robbo rolled his ankle and had to be helped off. Lord knows how his body has held up over the past 2 years. Hope it’s a minor sprain.
forgot to mention that. It looked bad at first - lots of concern from fellow players as Robbo looked to be in severe pain.

After treatment the pain seemed to recede and he was helped off, walking gingerly. Klopp said post game the pain had stopped but the scan tomorrow will tell the tale.

fingers crossed
 

67YAZ

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forgot to mention that. It looked bad at first - lots of concern from fellow players as Robbo looked to be in severe pain.

After treatment the pain seemed to recede and he was helped off, walking gingerly. Klopp said post game the pain had stopped but the scan tomorrow will tell the tale.

fingers crossed
Also meant to add that I appreciate your write up. I’m excited for Elliott. If all goes well, he should slide into a lot of minutes come CAF time.
 

Carbo Loading

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Few observations after watching the Bilbao friendly today …

- very intense game, didn’t have much of a Friendly feel. Great the have 40,000 in the stands

- VVD played 70 minutes or so. Looked OK if a tad rusty. Guessing he’ll start against Norwich but it’s not locked down yet.

- Naby Keita continued his fine pre-season. Looked confident and put in a shift defensively.

- the front three looked to be in mid season form

- Harvey Elliot is going to be a star. He’s ready right now and Liverpool should not bring anyone in that blocks his progress. Let him start in the right sided attacking mid role while easing Henderson back in.
I watched the match also and I agree that Elliot was great today. Front 3 was dominating but finishing is still an issue other than Jota. Robbo’s ankle looked bad in real time. I was glad he kind of walked it off.

I hope Milner is not in Kloppo’s plans for league games. He’s toast.
 

67YAZ

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Robbo (ankle) & Curtis Jones (concussion) out for Norwich. Thiago & the Captain unlikely to start because their fitness levels aren’t up yet.

My guess:

Mane - Bobby - Salah
Keita - Fab - Ox
Tsmikas - VVD - Matip - TAA
Alison

Henderson & Jota will be on as subs.
 

67YAZ

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The Athletic reports that the Captain is close to signing a new deal. Happy for Henderson, though dubious that he’ll stay healthy enough to make it worth the wages. I’m going to guess that this a means Mane will see the door next summer and a replacement recruited.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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The Athletic reports that the Captain is close to signing a new deal. Happy for Henderson, though dubious that he’ll stay healthy enough to make it worth the wages. I’m going to guess that this a means Mane will see the door next summer and a replacement recruited.
Also rumours (the club is confident) of getting Salah tied down - which would be great.

It really is starting to look like one of Mane or Firmino (if not both) will be gone next summer.

The Echo is continuing to flog the MBappe rumours … whereupon he runs down his deal , leaves on a Bosman and somehow picks Liverpool. Would see fanciful given the wages he’s going to command … probably double what Salah is about to sign for.

Oh … and Ben Davies is going out on loan to Sheffield.