Liverpool 23-24: The Long Klopp Goodbye

67YAZ

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Let’s start with some great news. The Guardian quotes the fee at £35m. Mac’s contract was to expire this June, but he signed an extension in October. Brighton did pretty well in that spot, and Liverpool are definite beneficiaries.

 
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Nick Kaufman

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I am reading that Real are sealing a deal as we speak to sign Jude Bellingham. Was he already considered a lost cause for LFC?
 

SocrManiac

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At the reported price I can’t see how Liverpool could be buyers. He’s a fantastic player and would be a great homegrown talent, but if the 35mm reported for Mac is true, can Jude really be 3x the player?
 

allstonite

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Yeah I think they planted the seed in the media after failing to nab him in January. I think LFC realized they needed a LOT more than just Bellingham to solve their aging midfield issues. They’re definitely correct and already having Mac is a great start but man it would be fun to have Jude.
 

Zososoxfan

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Man, I'm excited to see Mac step up his club level at Anfield. I'm obviously obsessed with the guy due to his play for Argentina, but he's been a total G at Brighton as well.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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In my mind one of the best assets Mac Allister has is his flexibility. He can basically be a 6 or an 8 or even an out out attacking mid. He’s Wijnaldum 2.0. Probably means a lot less of Henderson next year - which is a good thing IMO.


In-depth story on his rise …

https://theathletic.com/4589652/2023/06/08/alexis-mac-allister-liverpool-transfer/?source=user_shared_article

His ancestry is, apparently Irish ( and not Scots as one might have guessed)

Have to love the fee. As I understand if it was some sort of quasi release clause.
 

67YAZ

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Ramsey going on loan to Preston for the season. Probably the right move for a kid who missed practically the entire season. If he can start regularly in the Championship at 19, there’s a player there.

This leaves Conor Bradley as the only other RB, though Gomez can cover…when healthy. Bradley had a great season in League One at age 18, so there’s something here. But ready to be the main backup?

It’s a tricky spot for Liverpool. A veteran back up would block the two kids for a while, even though neither profile to displace Trent. But Trent really does need a back up in case of injury as well as some regular rotation.
 

pedro1918

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Map Ref. 41°N 93°W
PL Fixtures:


AUGUST
Sunday 13th, 4.30pm – Chelsea (A)
Saturday 19th, 3pm – Bournemouth (H)
Saturday 26th, 3pm – Newcastle United (A)

SEPTEMBER
Saturday 2nd, 3pm – Aston Villa (H)
Saturday 16th, 3pm – Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
Saturday 23rd, 3pm – West Ham United (H)
Saturday 30th, 3pm – Tottenham Hotspur (A)

OCTOBER
Saturday 7th, 3pm – Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
Saturday 21st, 3pm – Everton (H)
Saturday 28th, 3pm – Nottingham Forest (H)

NOVEMBER
Saturday 4th, 3pm – Luton Town (A)
Saturday 11th, 3pm – Brentford (H)
Saturday 25th, 3pm – Manchester City (A)

DECEMBER
Saturday 2nd, 3pm – Fulham (H)
Tuesday 5th, 7.45pm – Sheffield United (A)
Saturday 9th, 3pm – Crystal Palace (A)
Saturday 16th, 3pm – Manchester United (H)
Saturday 23rd, 3pm – Arsenal (H)
Tuesday 26th, 3pm – Burnley (A)
Saturday 30th, 3pm – Newcastle United (H)

JANUARY
Saturday 13th, 3pm – Bournemouth (A) *This fixture is subject to change to the weekend of January 20th as part of the league's mid-season break.
Wednesday 31st, 8pm – Chelsea (H)

FEBRUARY
Saturday 3rd, 3pm – Arsenal (A)
Saturday 10th, 3pm – Burnley (H)
Saturday 17th, 3pm – Brentford (A)
Saturday 24th, 3pm – Luton Town (H)

MARCH
Saturday 2nd, 3pm – Nottingham Forest (A)
Saturday 9th, 3pm – Manchester City (H)
Saturday 16th, 3pm – Everton (A)
Saturday 30th, 3pm – Brighton & Hove Albion (H)

APRIL
Wednesday 3rd, 8pm – Sheffield United (H)
Saturday 6th, 3pm – Manchester United (A)
Saturday 13th, 3pm – Crystal Palace (H)
Saturday 20th, 3pm – Fulham (A)
Saturday 27th, 3pm – West Ham United (A)

MAY
Saturday 4th, 3pm – Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Saturday 11th, 3pm – Aston Villa (A)
Sunday 19th, 4pm – Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
 

litigator02

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nowhere, really
Anyone who’s been paying attention longer know when they’ll work out the actual game times? (Like, not every weekend game is Saturday at 3pm local, but that’s what the PL schedule is showing…)
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Liverpool don’t get a home game against a top 6 rival until December 16th (ManU) . I’m not sure what to think of that. On one hand, if they’re still competitive by the festive period they’re in great shape .. on the other hand …
 

SocrManiac

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Liverpool don’t get a home game against a top 6 rival until December 16th (ManU) . I’m not sure what to think of that. On one hand, if they’re still competitive by the festive period they’re in great shape .. on the other hand …
Having the home challenges back loaded can help, but not if they repeat their bottom half performances next year. I can’t imagine they’ll be as bad against the minnows, so I’m taking this as a Good Thing.

Not having Tierney for a quarter of their games would be nice, too.
 

67YAZ

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Liverpool don’t get a home game against a top 6 rival until December 16th (ManU) . I’m not sure what to think of that. On one hand, if they’re still competitive by the festive period they’re in great shape .. on the other hand …
Right. If they can put on a boffo performance the back half of December, that could set them up very well. It’s going to be hard - I think Burnley is going to finish top half next season.
 

67YAZ

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Also, lots of chatter in recent days that Matip will stay on, run down his contract to leave on a free next summer.
 

swiftaw

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Anyone who’s been paying attention longer know when they’ll work out the actual game times? (Like, not every weekend game is Saturday at 3pm local, but that’s what the PL schedule is showing…)
Can't find anything for this year yet, but from last year: August/September in early July, October in late July, November in mid-september, December/January in mid-October.

https://www.premierleague.com/news/2647056
 

67YAZ

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The Athletic has a story up on Liverpool midfield target Gabri Viega (Celta Vigo) - young , highly skilled and cheap - get er done boys

https://theathletic.com/4614736/2023/06/17/gabri-veiga-celta-analysis-transfer-liverpool/?source=user_shared_article
That release clause puts him within the reach of a lot of clubs, all of whom are going to float offers and send intermediaries to see hats possible. Viega already changed agents to help manage the chaos. I think this one drags out as the kid has to wade through all the shit being thrown at him and Barca supposedly lurks in the background.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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That release clause puts him within the reach of a lot of clubs, all of whom are going to float offers and send intermediaries to see hats possible. Viega already changed agents to help manage the chaos. I think this one drags out as the kid has to wade through all the shit being thrown at him and Barca supposedly lurks in the background.
Which means he probably goes elsewhere as they’ll want things wrapped up ASAP.

According to all the usual suspects Liverpool have a rather lengthy shortlist - several of whom are going to be playing in Euro-21 - that will probably cement the pecking order. Then it’s down to the price. I expect at least one more mid - maybe two if Klopp decides TAA’s future isn’t in midfield.

On the other hand, outside of Pavard there haven’t been much in the way of FBs being linked. So maybe the experiment continues.
 

67YAZ

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If they add Thuram and Mickey van de ven, who seem to be the two most connected names right now, that’s 2 more 6’4” dudes to go along with Gakpo. They might assemble a really imposing, physical squad to implement the high press

If you can’t outskill them…
 

SocrManiac

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Lots of names with big number switches this year. 7-10 will all be turned over.

I don’t think 8 is taken yet. A continuation on Stevie G’s legacy would be nice. Keita didn’t exactly do it proud.
 

ehaz

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Throw another attacking mid onto the pile - this guy sounds very intriguing … RB Leipzigs Dominik Szoboszlai (sob-oss-lie)

https://theathletic.com/4647063/2023/06/28/liverpool-transfer-szoboszlai-rb-leipzig/?source=user_shared_article

he also sounds expensive
Szoboszlai is very good, only 22, and has been linked to the big Premier League teams for a few years now. A bit surprised that they'd go after more of an attacking player though. The reports are that his $70M release clause expires on Friday so I guess we'll see.

https://theanalyst.com/eu/2023/06/how-good-is-dominik-szoboszlai/
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Szoboszlai is very good, only 22, and has been linked to the big Premier League teams for a few years now. A bit surprised that they'd go after more of an attacking player though. The reports are that his $70M release clause expires on Friday so I guess we'll see.

https://theanalyst.com/eu/2023/06/how-good-is-dominik-szoboszlai/
They may be worried Salah might decamp to the Saudi league so they are proactively lining up replacements.
 

ehaz

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I’m guessing Mac Allister and Szoboszlai will take up the advanced midfield spots in the box midfield lineup Liverpool played with towards the end of the season, with Alexander-Arnold continuing to play on the right side as a defensive midfielder in a double pivot.

I suppose the two questions now are:

- Do they sign a third midfielder to play the second DM role and replace Fabinho? Or do they count on a bounce back season from Fabinho and perhaps Thiago and Henderson can play in that role too? I’m guessing we’re done in midfield.

- Do they sign a defender? The box midfield shifts everyone along the back line so Robertson is basically playing LCB. They might sign a new center back to play in that role.

Eventually I’m guessing we see something like:

Diaz - Gakpo - Salah

Mac Allister - Szoboszlai

Fabinho - Trent Alexander-Arnold

[Robertson] - VVD - Konate

Allison
 

67YAZ

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Ornstein is reporting that Liverpool are pushing ahead with a deal for Szoboszlai

https://theathletic.com/4655310/2023/06/30/liverpool-domink-szoboszlai-transfer/?source=user_shared_article
My guess is that Liverpool were very in on Viega, but that Viega was holding out for City or maybe even Barca. I read that Viega caught Liverpool scouts' eyes when they were looking at Bajcectic, so the club has been digging into Viega for a while now. But with that relatively reasonable release clause, the kid really is in the driver's seat. Good for him.

So Liverpool are turning to Szoboszlai. Szoboszlai had the 7th most sprints in the Bundesliga last season and the 31st highest top speed. The skills plus physical profile look like a perfect fit for Klopp.

Another guess is that the club sees Bajcectic as Fab's backup/understudy while Thaigo and the Captain can cover for Fab and the advanced 10s.

van de Ven looks like a good understudy for the LCB role - left-footed kid that's massive and fast. But the fact that Schmadtke has to negotiate with his son to swing this deal seems tricky. Like Liverpool would need to pay a premium to show Wolfsburg they aren't taking advantage.

No idea about the RB backup. There's no real replacement for what Trent is doing these days, so it makes sense that if Trent gets injured, the side goes back to a 4-3-3. But can they rely on Conor Bradley to go from League One to the EPL? That's quite a jump for a teenager.

The other thing to watch is that after Mac, the squad only has space for 2 more non-homegrown over-21 players. Szoboszlai, Thuram, Kone, and van de Ven would all fill up those slots. But Lavia wouldn't and would qualify as homegrown by the time he reaches 22.
 
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swiftaw

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So … what’s left to do ? Another young MF and a young LCB - they’ve spent £100m this window … can’t imagine there’s much left in the transfer war chest.
I wonder if they are waiting for the U21s to be over before going after Thuram?
 

67YAZ

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The declining wage bill is part of why they’ve been so aggressive.

 

koufax32

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Yet to be seen if the midfield’s ills have been properly cured, but you gotta hand it to them this summer. They’ve seen an area to improve and they’ve hit it hard.
 

SocrManiac

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With Hendo seemingly gone and Fabinho looking likely to leave, the rebuild path just got longer.

Bagcetic looks like a strong potential alternative (not replacement) to Fab, but he could have used another year as an understudy. We should hope he's robust enough for that sort of role. Regardless, that's a thin area again.

It's hard to begrudge Henderson. He's going to get stupidly overpaid beyond his wildest dreams. He's injury prone and limited in minutes. Getting a return for him doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world.

Who wears the armband? I assume it goes to VVD or Alisson. I'd slightly prefer Ali as VVD doesn't seem to have a great "lead by example" to him. He can be a bit whiney, he clearly turns it off at times... Not what I want in a captain. The loss of Henderson's leadership is going to sting- he clearly had a way about him that lifted the team.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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With Hendo seemingly gone and Fabinho looking likely to leave, the rebuild path just got longer.

Bagcetic looks like a strong potential alternative (not replacement) to Fab, but he could have used another year as an understudy. We should hope he's robust enough for that sort of role. Regardless, that's a thin area again.

It's hard to begrudge Henderson. He's going to get stupidly overpaid beyond his wildest dreams. He's injury prone and limited in minutes. Getting a return for him doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world.

Who wears the armband? I assume it goes to VVD or Alisson. I'd slightly prefer Ali as VVD doesn't seem to have a great "lead by example" to him. He can be a bit whiney, he clearly turns it off at times... Not what I want in a captain. The loss of Henderson's leadership is going to sting- he clearly had a way about him that lifted the team.
Agreed this is less than optimal - too many changes - especially if Fabinho goes as well - not to mention Thiago. It’s rumoured they’d get £40m for Fabinho.

Pretty hypocritical of Henderson after all his LGBTQ awareness work. And so it goes … the backlash has already started.

https://theathletic.com/4688074/2023/07/13/jordan-henderson-saudi-arabia-transfer-liverpool-lgbt/?source=user_shared_article

I wonder if they’d jump into the Caicedo race now? With sales of Hendo and Fabinho that would certainly help with the transfer kitty.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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So it’s looking like both Hendo (£10m) and Fabinho (£40m) are off to KSA … what to do ?

On the one hand it’s probably good transfer business … but for a club which likes to do succession planning years in advance this must come as a shock.

That’s another big chunk off the payroll - they really have to bring in a ready made 6. I can’t conceive they’d simply hand the gig to Bajetic (or Morton)

Lavia ? Hardly ready made and overpriced
Caicedo ? Perfect fit but will cost £100m

all the other linked midfielders are more box to box guys

maybe they transform Mac Allister to the 6 and bring in Thuram or Gravenbirch
 

fletcherpost

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Who wears the armband? I assume it goes to VVD or Alisson. I'd slightly prefer Ali as VVD doesn't seem to have a great "lead by example" to him. He can be a bit whiney, he clearly turns it off at times... Not what I want in a captain. The loss of Henderson's leadership is going to sting- he clearly had a way about him that lifted the team.
I hear you, but I'm not that concerned. There's four players who are captains of their national side in the first team; no shortage of leaders in the dressing room.But sure there's always an element of nervousness in such times of transition when a long serving captain and vice captain leave.

There was a video last season of Salah talking about Henderson and Milner making the rounds of the dressing room, when they were in that run of bad form, making sure everyone knew what was expected at the club. Salah was totally cool with it...casually saying oh yeah Hendo and Millie spoke to everyone...and then he started talking about how much they all like playing together and how they knew they had to improve. (They'd turned it around by this time and had strung some results together.)

Salah, Robbo, Virgil, Trent and Alisson are the senior players i expect to maintain the standards set by those who came before them - or do the dirty work in the dressing room like the above example. Robbo is a great captain for Scotland. He's grown into the ambassadorial part of the job as well as doin bits on the field. He's not gonna get the armband, but he's not shy about handing out motivational speeches and gee ups to the players when he feels like it. I'm keen to see if Salah gets a bit more demonstrative on the pitch as well. If our Hungarian Adonis hits the ground running i can see him pointing a finger or two as well. And Jota's no mug either, i think he's earned the right to dish out a few admonishments as well if needs be.

I'm more worried about getting a central defender and a right back. I think the leadership side of things will take care of itself.
 

SocrManiac

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Looks like Fab is a done deal with the state paying the transfer fee. I haven't heard much on Hendo in the past day or two. Now Luis Diaz is under threat. The rebuild plans didn't include KSA going insane.

Edit: I say that about Hendo, now I see he was left out of the squad. Bah.
 

67YAZ

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Looks like Fab is a done deal with the state paying the transfer fee. I haven't heard much on Hendo in the past day or two. Now Luis Diaz is under threat. The rebuild plans didn't include KSA going insane.

Edit: I say that about Hendo, now I see he was left out of the squad. Bah.
I'm still trying to figure out who is who in the Suadi league.

Al Ettifaq is moving for the Captain. This club is owned by the Ministry of Sport, but it is not one of the 4 clubs hooked up to the PIF cash spigot. It seems they thought they could get Hendo on a free, so they offered him a bumper contract. But now that Pool are holding form for £20m, Al Ettifaq is stuck - they don't want to piss off Hendo by reducing the wage offer, but can't stump up the cash for the transfer. We'll see.

Al Ittihad is a PIF club, and they've already splashed out cash for Nuno to manage Kante, Benzema, and Jota...I'm not really sure why they need Fab and Kante, but I guess you gotta spend it on something. Sounds like this one is down to the structure of the transfer fee payments.

Al Hilal is after Luis Diaz. They are another PIF club who have already snapped up Koulibaly, Milinkovic-Savic, and Ruben Neves - so bringing in an attacker at least makes sense. Sounds like Liverpool have no interest in this move, but who knows if Al Hilal can turn Diaz's head with big wages.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Luis Diaz would really be a watershed move, its hard to see it happening. We've seen the Saudi clubs sign older players that clubs didn't want to lose (Benzema) and prime age players that teams were happy to sell (Neves, SMS). But we haven't seen them wrest away a prime age key player from a big club that didn't want to get rid.

I have a hard time seeing it happening but you never know.

FWIW, to me the Fabinho and Henderson sales seem like godsends for Liverpool, just as the purchases of players like Mendy and Mahrez have been for other clubs. Lots of experience and leadership to replace but neither player was really living up to his contract and nobody else was paying fees for those players.
 

SoxFanInCali

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It just feels wrong that Naby Keita got more of a tribute upon his departure than Jordan Henderson is going to get.
 

Auger34

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It looks like Fabinho to the Saudi league and Romeo Lavia to Liverpool are both very close to being done.