Two new signings for the Women’s team and two more departures, sounds like summer.
Summer is in full swing for the Women’s team, including the transfer season even when things have been quiet around the World Cup. Liverpool Women have actually gone out and made a couple of exciting signings, following the departures of Leandra Little and Laura Coombs. The squad was thin enough as it was after last summer’s mass exodus, so to lose two more players felt like quite the blow. Liverpool was quick to make up for the losses by announcing their replacements this week.
Becky Jane was announced as filling the fullback position from Reading, having appeared in over 100 matches for the club during her eight years there. Jane was instrumental in helping Reading win the FA WSL 2 league in 2015, guaranteeing the team promotion into the first division and signed her first professional contract with them in 2016. She has 16 career goals to her name, roughly two a year at her time with Reading.
Our manager Vicky Jepson had this to say about Becky following the signing: “Becky is the first signing of the summer and I’m delighted to welcome her to the club.
“She’s a reliable Women’s Super League player who’s been loyal to Reading for many years and will bring a lot of experience to our club.
“She’s a quick attacking full-back, which is something we need in our squad, so she will certainly add quality and I can’t wait to get started with her. I’m really looking forward to having a full pre-season with the team.”
Becky Jane herself was positive about the signing, expressing her excitement to the club about the days ahead and the prospect of working into the team.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Jane. “It’s going to be a big change but one which I’m really excited about. I think it’s time for a fresh start, I had a great time at Reading but it’s time to move on.
“From playing against Liverpool for the past couple of seasons, they’ve got a good work ethic and a good team togetherness.
“Having spoken to Vicky, she’s what I need in a manager at the moment, she’s very player-focused and gives confidence to the players.”
Later on in the week Liverpool announced their second signing of the summer, bringing in winger Melissa Lawley from Manchester City (!!!). The jury is still out on why a player like Lawley, with over 50 appearances to her name — including time in the Champion’s League — and two FA Cup titles with Manchester City, would want to leave a club like that but their loss is our gain.
“I’m really excited to welcome Mel to our LFC family,” Jepson said of this particular signing.
“She’s a proven, quality Women’s Super League player, she’s exciting in the final third, a 25-year-old international player who has lots to bring to our club.
“She’ll bring so much to our squad in terms of creating and scoring goals in the final third.”
Lawley started her career through the Bristol Academy before moving on to Birmingham City and playing three years with them before moving on to the blue side of Manchester in 2016. It does sound like her time at Manchester was not as magical as it might appear, considering she only scored one goal for them in the three years that she was there, compared to her six for Birmingham previously.
“I’m so excited to get back to playing football and enjoying my football again,” Lawley said during her signing. “When I first spoke to Vicky, she turned my head straight away. The plans and the visions she has for this club excite me.
“Watching Liverpool at the end of last season, they finished on a high and I believe this squad has something special that I can add to and hopefully get Liverpool back to where we should be.
“I’m ready to attack pre-season now and show everybody what I’m capable of and with Vicky’s help, I believe I’ll be playing my best football at this football club.”
Both signings definitely bring an excitement to the club that we’ve needed to build on, although it feels very much already two steps forward, two steps back. Not long after the announcement of these signings, two more players departed “by mutual consent” — Yana Daniels and Jasmine Matthews. Both had come to the club last summer during our reconstruction era from Bristol City, with Daniels making 21 appearances (eight of them off the bench) and Matthews making 14, although dealing with injury kept that a low number.
Liverpool appear to be on the right track with the players, though, and hopefully more are to come.
The Reds are expected to sign a backup goalkeeper this summer and Alex McCarthy is a rumoured option.
The expectation is that Simon Mignolet will depart Liverpool this summer in search of a starting job, and with that the club will need a new backup goalkeeper, which is perhaps a more difficult task than it might at first sound.
Finding a player both good enough to contribute for a side looking to challenge for the Premier League title and content to potentially spend the entire season sat on the bench is a potentially tricky proposition for the Reds.
The English tabloids, though, led by The Mirror, believe they may have found their man in Southampton’s Alex McCarthy, who’s 29 years old and lost the starting job for Saints after the arrival of Ralph Hasenhüttl last season.
McCarthy is probably still good enough to start for some other mid-table side, but if the choice for him came down to backing up at Saints or backing up at Liverpool, one imagines it wouldn’t really be much of a choice to make.
Liverpool have previously been linked with out of contract West Ham stopper Adrián, who would be a cheaper option and is more impressive by the numbers—but McCarthy does have the advantage of being homegrown.
Alex Inglethorpe hopes prospects find inspiration in late-developing stars like Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson
If you want to contribute regularly for a side challenging for top honours in England and Europe, it helps to be world class—or at least not far off it. The route to get there as a player, though, isn’t always obvious or straightforward, and not every player who will become a star looks it as a teenager.
That’s Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe’s message to the club’s young players. That not every player, when he’s 15 or 18 or even 21, looks on track to be that kind of a star that but that through hard work and determination some will still find a way to get there.
“It’s interesting the point about you have to be world class, and I understand that point,” Inglethorpe noted this week of where the bar is now set for any academy player who dreams of one day making the breakthrough to the Liverpool first team.
“But I think the great thing about the Liverpool team when I watch it is you see so many players in there who weren’t necessarily the high-flyers as kids. You look at Virgil van Dijk, who had a fairly late rise to prominence. Andy Robertson has had more than his fair share of challenges to overcome, Jordan Henderson as well.”
There has to be talent, of course, but as important as talent is determination, which is a message that certainly seems in line with the club’s approach on the pitch since Jürgen Klopp signed on, bringing with him a focus on maximising the talent he had on hand.
“That’s what I love about our first team,” Inglethorpe added. “I can see so much of our kids in them. They have had to work really hard to get into the first team and to get to Liverpool and stay there.
“They are world class now, but I’m not too sure how many of them would have been seen as child proteges or how many of them would have been seen when they were 15, 16, and 17 years of age that everybody on the planet wanted. I think it’s those sort of characteristics which can help you thrive at a club like this.”
Mohamed Salah. He’s a footballer who plays for Liverpool. He remains under contract. Apologies if this article seems awfully simplistic so far.
It’s mid June and we’re knee deep in transfer rumour nonsense. So deep, in fact, that we’re hearing huge news about things that are not happening. Which is why The Mirror, in a shocking turn of events, is reporting that Salah will not, in fact, be leaving Liverpool. Just in case you were wondering about that thing you definitely weren’t wondering about.
The report claims that Real Madrid and Juventus both showed interest in signing the Egypt international, and were willing to pay up to £150 million for his services. Salah, however, great bloke that he is, “feels the timing is wrong to leave Merseyside”.
Let’s unpack. Real Madrid are spending a lot of money this summer. Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic are the centrepieces of a new look attack. It’s entirely plausible that, at least at some point, Salah was seen as an alternative option to Hazard. It’s not as though Madrid were using their favourite Spanish press mouthpieces to constantly link him there, but sure, we can just about buy it.
Juventus, on the other hand? This feels like a stretch. Just last summer they bought in Cristiano Ronaldo. An explosive scoring wide forward isn’t high on the list of priorities. What they need is players who are more comfortable with the kind of possession football Maurizio Sarri believes in, if reports that he is the club’s next manager are correct. Why they would spend all their money on Salah is a mystery.
Of course, this story is perfect in that no one can ever prove it isn’t true. It said he’s not leaving, and he isn’t! It adds that Salah “has indicated that he will review his situation next summer”, and again, no one needs to know anything to put that line in. Of course he will review his situation next summer. Everyone reviews their situation every summer.
It looks like there will be yet more activity between Liverpool and Rangers this summer.
The Glasgow club, of course managed by Anfield legend Steven Gerrard, took Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria on loan last season. Kent had his injury issues over the campaign, but performed excellently when available. Ejaria, on the other hand, failed to settle, and returned to England in January for a loan to Reading.
And it seems that Gerrard is raiding the Anfield bargain bin once more. Scottish newspaper the Daily Record report that Rangers have already agreed a loan deal for Sheyi Ojo. It’s fair to say the now 21 year old has had a frustrating few years. The promise he showed in his brief first team run in 2015/16 feels like a lifetime ago. Subsequent loans to Fulham and Reims haven’t seen him push on at all, and he in fact looks like he’s gone backwards. Rangers might be the right spot for him to finally mature into a real first team player, even if he looks unlikely to ever make it at Liverpool.
The Daily Record also states that Gerrard is very much interested in signing Kent permanently, though things may be a little more complicated there. Liverpool reportedly value Kent at £9-12 million, with Leeds and Aston Villa among the sides in the mix. As much as Gerrard has an obvious connection with Liverpool, and Kent apparently had a happy time at Ibrox last season, richer clubs may be in the hunt. It feels unlikely that the club will show a lot of sentiment on this, and Kent will surely end up at the highest bidder.
In truth, it’s unlikely that either of these players will make it at Liverpool. In Ojo’s case, another loan is almost certainly about putting him in the shop window to sell him on at a future date. Kent has already had that loan, and will now be sold permanently. All the best, lads.
Matthijs de Ligt will choose between Paris and Barcelona
Matthijs de Ligt is the hottest name this summer as the wonderkid centerback decides on where he wants to make a bazillion dollars or pounds or euros or yen or bitcoin playing football. Liverpool have been tentatively liked with the Ajax product, despite not really needing another centerback or willing to pay the exorbitant wages the 19 year old is demanding. Well, apparently Liverpool have decided to squash the kid’s hopes of playing at Anfield.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Liverpool have ruled themselves out of dealing for the centerback for several reasons. The first reason, obviously, is that de Ligt is demanding insanely high wages. There’s just no way they’re willing to pay a 19 year old kid more money than Virgil van Dijk or Mo Salah. The second reason is that Jurgen Klopp and the club highly rate Joe Gomez (no duh) and his ability to become an elite partner to van Dijk. The manager also loves Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren.
I highly doubt there was serious interest from the club, but rather de Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola using the Reds’ name to drive up demand for his player. The kid will now decide between PSG and Barcelona.
Sadio Mane is set to miss Senegal’s first match in the African Cup of Nations later this month due to suspension. Apparently, there had been some debate over whether or not his two yellow cards from the qualification rounds would carry over, but the BBC was able to confirm today that they indeed would.
Senegal’s manager Aliou Cisse spoke to the press about the 27-year-old forward before the team left for Egypt, “His absence should not in any way bother us,”
“Certainly the presence of Sadio is beneficial but without him we remain strong.
”The CAF [Confederation of African Football] has decided, so we will not linger,” Cisse added.
Mane has come off an incredible season with Liverpool, lifting the Champions League trophy and being joint top goal scorer in the Premier League. He will miss the first match against Tanzania. Even with Sadio’s absence, Senegal should be favorites to advance from their group. The other two teams in the group are Algeria and Kenya. Even if Senegal has a rough go of it in the group, 4 of the 6 third place teams from the groups advance to knockout stages of the tournament.
You know you want to relive all 27 of these beauties.
Done watching compilations, behind the scenes footage, or interviews celebrating last season? Yeah, us either. We may never, to be honest. And credit to the official site, because they’ve recognized a niche market when they saw one, and did their best to fill it.
The most recent entry in their growing collection is a compilation of Mohamed Salah’s 27 goals in all competitions last season.
Salah opened up the scoring for Liverpool this season in their first game, and was nearly the last player to score as well in their Champions League final win against Totteham Hotspur.
Every Mo Salah goal from the 2018/19 season | Chelsea screamer, CL Final penalty and more - YouTube
Watch Salah’s individual skill, as well as the combined brilliance of these players all working together. Salah’s cool as ice penalty against Spurs will likely be his goal that everyone remembers from this season, but there are so many beauties to choose from.
What was your favorite Salah goal from this season? Tell us in the comments, after you’ve enjoyed the four-and-a-half minutes of bliss that this video provides you.
It’s up for debate, but I’ve argued on this esteemed site that Andy Robertson is FSG’s best ever transfer success, in terms of his fee and his output. He seems to have solved the puzzling left-back problem that Liverpool spent years trying to unravel with various options.
Now the Scotland international makes up part of the best defense in world football, and he, along with his teammates, is a Champion of Europe.
But like any world class-calibre athlete, Robertson doesn’t want to rest on his laurels.
“I think I’ve been good but I can always be better,” he said. “That’s the way I’ve always worked.
”I’ll never praise myself because I think there’s always improvement to be made.
”Even when I have a good game, you can still do things better. I’ve had a good season but I still have a lot of improvement to make and hopefully I can show that in the following seasons.”
If Robertson wants to try and best his 13 assists from last season, it’s doubtful that Klopp will argue with that. The incredible synergy he’s cultivated with his fellow defenders has made the Liverpool goal nearly impenetrable.
The Scot praised the work of his centre-backs this season as well, particularly PFA Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk.
“He brings everything, in my opinion,” Robertson said of van Dijk. “He is one of the leaders in the changing room now, he is vocal. He is a lovely person off the pitch. He has been so crucial to what we do.
”The players around him have helped; Joel [Matip] has been magnificent when he has been called upon this season, Joe Gomez was different class at the start of the season, and Dejan [Lovren] has obviously played games and stepped up where he has been great.
”The central partnerships have been really good this season. Virgil takes all the plaudits but rightly so – he has been on a different level to anyone this season. What he brings on and off the pitch is special.”
While van Dijk is a treasure, it feels good to know that Liverpool’s whole defense doesn’t hinge on one player. There’s incredible talent in that back line, and Robertson himself is very much a part of that.
He should have known what Anfield was capable of. Even if he hadn’t experienced the hallowed ground on its most famous and raucous of European Nights, he had witnessed first hand how the excitement and passion of the fans was nearly enough to drag a lopsided and mediocre Liverpool side over the line in the league.
His once and current (but probably not future) teammate Philippe Coutinho damn well should have known, having experienced Anfield’s power during another impressive 4-3 comeback, the one against Dortmund in the Europa League quarterfinals.
Regardless, the two former Liverpool stars seemed stunned when the Reds mounted an incredible comeback. Indeed, the looks on their faces when Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 seemed to say, “Oh no. We’re in one of their stories, aren’t we?”
That shock quickly turned into fear when Gini scored a third a moment later. And finally that fear turned into horror when Divock Origi completed the comeback that he started.
Now, speaking to Fox ahead of the Copa America, Suarez reflected on that night. And the quotes are oh-so-delicious.
“The days after back in Barcelona were the worst moments of my life and career along with the 2014 World Cup, I wanted to disappear from the world,” Suarez said.
”I didn’t want to take my children to school, everyone could see I was in a very bad way, I had days I didn’t want to do anything, they were very difficult moments.”
Suarez, apparently couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s amazing how even players who should know better, and should respect what Anfield is capable of, do not.
“I didn’t see it because we are Barcelona and we thought we’d have two or three chances to score, but we became nervous, we gave stupid passes away, we didn’t show the right attitude.
“When the first goal came we didn’t know how to react, we knew we had really messed up. After the game in the dressing room no-one could say anything, there was sadness, bitterness and disappointment because we knew we’d given an awful image.”
It’s a telling quote from the player. Even after losing in a similar manner last year away to Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals, the squad believed that it couldn’t happen to them, simply because of the badge on the front of their shirt.
It is this arrogance that has helped Barcelona achieve great things over the last decade. But it is also this arrogance that made them vulnerable to a team that believed they could win, not because of the badge on their shirt, but because of their talent, togetherness, and shared purpose throughout the squad, management, and fanbase. Well, that and Divock Origi.
At the end of the day, what really matters is winning the big prize, which was only made possible by the historic comeback. But dishing out some cold revenge on a couple of players who thought they were too big for Liverpool? Well, that’s just an added bonus.