Why Liverpool should move for Jordan Amavi

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Amavi could be the answer to Klopp’s problematic left back position, writes Sam May.

Given Aston Villa’s poor performance last season, a move for Amavi would raise eyebrows. However, having suffered a knee injury during the campaign, he can’t be blamed for their relegation.

Tenacious in the tackle, a set-piece specialist and fine dribbling skills, he is just what Liverpool need at the back and is also dynamic, quick and aggressive. The 22-year old Frenchman would definitely be a bargain at £10 million.

The Villains have made it clear, they would be prepared to part company with one of their consistent performers, and Amavi would be a more defensive option should the Reds make a move.

Liverpool need to buy a left back that can actually defend and should the medical team give the green light, Klopp is ready to take a gamble, despite his injury concerns.

He could be the replacement for the underperforming Alberto Moreno who has endured a tough time on Merseyside since his Premier League arrival.

The Reds do face competition for his signature with Lyon and AC Milan, who have reportedly been in discussions with his agent regarding a move.

 

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

What can Loris Karius bring to Liverpool?

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Having sealed the signing of goalkeeper Loris Karius for £4.7 million, Sam May takes a look at what the young goalkeeper can bring to Merseyside.

The Reds had been linked with a number of other German goalkeepers in recent times including Timo Horn of Cologne, Marc-André ter Stegen of Barcelona, Berd Leno of Bayer Leverkusen and ex-Manchester United keeper Ron Robert Zieler of Hannover.

Having spent 18 years at Mainz as a player and manager, Jürgen Klopp has strong connections with the Bundesliga outfit and has acted fast to secure the services of one of the best goalkeepers around.

It seems competition in the goalkeeping department is only going to get stronger with Karius being brought in to rival current Reds No.1 Simon Mignolet. With Adam Bogdan set to leave and Danny Ward expected to head out on-loan, 22-year old Karius is a no brainer.

Why Karius?

The German shot stopper has previous experience in England having joined Manchester City in 2009, aged 16. But would later make a permanent move to Mainz in 2012.

Athletic and likes to command his area, he went on to make 96 appearances for Mainz, maturing in the process, developing into one of the finest goalkeeping talents in Europe. Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Merseyside rivals Everton were all interested, but Liverpool have acted fast, and decisively for once, which maybe shows how Klopp is going to operate.

The fact is, he could have re-joined former boss Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, the manager who game him the break to showcase his talent at the Coface Arena. However, the opportunity of a move to Merseyside to work under Klopp was too good to turn down.

At 6”2’, he commands his box. He has good vocally helping defenders, a great presence, sharp reflexes, and likes to organize the defensive line. He has completed 99 catches, to Mignolet’s 74 this season, highlighting he is more than capable to command a place and rival the 26-year old Belgium shot stopper.

His calm and composed, but also dominant approach, is something that is suited to Klopp’s style of play. Having averaged 2.1 saves per goal, to Mignolet’s 1.27, the facts seem to say that he is the perfect option.

He has a similar style to that of David De Gea at Manchester United and is expected to rise to the top of the Premier League.

Mignolet has improved. He still however seems to be unconvincing amongst Reds supporters. His poor distribution is a weakness and something Klopp isn’t impressed with at times.

It seems Karius will settle into to life on Merseyside quickly, and if given a chance, and performs well then who knows, he could be the Reds keeper for the next 10 years, and join the likes of Clemence, Groballar, Dudek and Reina as a real red No.1.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

Gary McAllister to Celtic Park?

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McAllister could be set for Celtic coaching role, writes Sam May.

Former Liverpool great and first-team coach, Gary McAllister could be heading back to his homeland this summer, to link back up with new Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

It is understood the 51-year old Scot, could become the Northern Irishman’s No.2, as the former Kop boss, looks to re-shape his coaching staff ahead of the new campaign. A move would see him leave his ambassadorial role at Anfield.

Having been brought to Liverpool by the former Reds manager Rodgers in 2015, McAllister’s duties were to remind the Reds’ hierarchy of the importance of experience.

McAllister, who signed for the club aged 35, went on to make 87 appearances for Liverpool and helped his side to win the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.

Rodgers, 43, could also look to bring in former assistant managers Colin Pascoe and Sean O’Driscoll who both worked with him on Merseyside, whilst Neil Lennon and Malky Mackay have also been noted.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

Liverpool to rival Tottenham for Callum Wilson

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Liverpool and Tottenham are going head to head for Bournemouth striker, Callum Wilson, according to the Sunday Express, writes Sam May.

Wilson, 24, missed part of Bournemouth’s Premier League campaign having picked up a serious knee injury in September against Stoke City.

Scoring five goals in seven appearances, the England Under-21 star, hasn’t netted since his return. This however, hasn’t put off Jürgen Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino.

It is believed, the Spurs boss is to be handed a £60 million transfer kitty as he looks to strengthen his squad and ease the burden on Harry Kane, 22.

Klopp is said to be keen on the Cherries’ Coventry born frontman as he looks to add firepower to his attacking line ahead of the new campaign.

The Reds have also been linked with a move for FC Basle’s Cameroonian striker, Breel Embolo, 19, who has recently been targeted in a £20 million move to Tottenham.

Clearly, both teams are going to try and out smarten each other, when the new season begins.

Liverpool close on Manchester City wonderkid

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Liverpool are closing in on a deal for Manchester City youngster Rafael Camacho, according to sources, writes Sam May.

Camacho, 15, joined the Sky Blues from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon since the summer of 2014. The attacking midfielder is seen as one of the best talents to come from Portugal for his age, and scored three goals in five appearances for his country’s under 16s.

Despite this, he is set to leave and is unlikely to win a professional contract at the Ethiad Stadium. The Reds are said to be keen admirers of the teenager, with talks at an advanced stage.

If brought in, he would become the second City youngster to move to Merseyside in recent weeks with Liverpool already signing defender Diego Lattie last month. Lattie, 16, was informed that he wouldn’t be given a professional deal before his departure.

The England Under-17 international has now agreed a three-year-deal with the Reds. Having been released from his Sky Blues contract, Liverpool don’t pay any compensation for the player.

Ex-Reds technical director, Rodolfo Borrell, who spent four years on Merseyside and is now at Manchester City, could be an influence in the players moving to Anfield.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

Klopp: Hard work and team ethic key to success

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Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp insists work rate and togetherness has played a huge part in Liverpool’s fortunes and transformation, writes Sam May.

Replacing Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, Klopp had a difficult start to life at Anfield, but 2016 has seen the Reds reach two-cup finals.

Despite losing the Capital One Cup final on penalties to Manchester City, the Reds can earn a place in next season Champions League if they beat Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basle on May 18.

The match at St Jacobs Park will see Alberto Moreno face his former club, since his £12 million move from Los Rojiblancos in 2014.

“Hopefully it is like this because we are together so often,” he said. “It is because of the boys. That makes it easy.

“We have a good relationship and that is very important when you have so many hours together every day. You want to feel close to your players.

“There are a lot of roads that lead to Rome. The most successful managers in the world may have different relations with the players – but I can’t change my character. Maybe I should in some parts, but not this.”

The Reds had to come from behind to score four goals to beat Klopp’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, in the quarterfinals. Liverpool then overcome Villarreal in the semis, having lost the first leg 1-0, before cruising to 3-0 an Anfield, with the Yellow Submarines offering little resistance.

“All I saw was the players working. Where is the miracle?” Klopp said. “We came back against Dortmund – see how often they have lost or drawn in 2016, not a lot. Teams who play like that deserve to win.

“Against Villarreal in the first half hour I have not seen this often from a team. It was pure power.

“But I have seen something in these boys that made me think there’s really something in this team.”

In the final, expect Liverpool to continue to show togetherness, great work ethic and high pressing. This should be enough to stop Sevilla making it an unprecedented hat trick of Europa League successes, having won it the last two years in succession.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

Liverpool interested in former Blues defender

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Jürgen Klopp is interested in snapping up Valencia centre back, Shkodran Mustafi according to reports, writes Sam May.

Mustafi, 24, has been in fine form for Valencia making 41 appearances and scoring two goals, and is seen as key summer signing for the Reds.

It is understood 48-year old manager Klopp, will send a scout to keep a close eye on the defender this weekend, when Valencia take on Liverpool’s semi final UEFA Europa League opponents, Villarreal on Sunday at the Mestalla.

Having had previous experience playing in England, rising through the youth ranks across Stanley Park at Everton, Mustafi made his first team debut for the Toffees back in 2009 in a 1-0 defeat to Bate Borisov in the UEFA Europa League.

Despite not being handed a start in the Premier League under former Blues manager David Moyes, the German International signed for Sampdoria in 2012, before moving to Los Che two years later.

Having already made 10 caps for the German national team, he is expected to feature for Joachim Low’s side at Euro 2016.

It seems Liverpool could have an advantage should they sign the player, with former Reds assistant Pako Ayestarán in charge of the Spanish side, who took over from the sacked Gary Neville in March.

Having already signed Joel Matip from Schalke, the Kop boss will look to sign other central defender, given Mamadou Sakho’s ban and Kolo Toure, who is set to depart in the summer. The Reds are also said to be keen on 30-year old Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen and continued to be linked with a move for Mats Hummels.

Reds target River Plate striker

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Liverpool are interested in a move for River Plate striker Lucas Alario, according to sources, writes Sam May.

Alario, 23, has been in fine form for Marcelo Gallardo’s side, since his arrival from Colon, scoring seven goals and making three assists in 16 appearances.

Having helped River to win the Copa Libertadores, the lifelong Boca Juniors fan, scored the winner in the Club World Cup semi-final against Sanfrecce Hiroshima back in December, before his side were beaten in the final by Barcelona.

He has good movement, reading of the game and is good at goal poaching. It his quick feet, his opportunism and range of finishing which seen him score a hatrick against Nueva Chicago in the Primera last September.

Born in Sante Fe Province, the young prospect, who is rated as one of the best in the country, but has been watched previously by Liverpool, with chief scout Barry Hunter keeping a close eye on him earlier this year.

Joining former club Colon aged 16, he moved to River in 2015. He is said to be worth £9.5 million. Jürgen Klopp is expected to bolster his attacking options this summer, and it seems Alario could be the man the Reds turn to, with Christian Benteke out of favour and Divock Origi out injured.

Who is Liverpool target Ethan Ampadu?

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Who is Ethan Ampandu? Sam May profiles the Exeter City wonderkid who is being targeted by a number of clubs, ahead of a summer move.

The talented teenager, 16, has been watched over 25 times by a few Premier League Clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

So who is he?

The young centre midfielder is the son of former West Brom, Swansea, Leyton Orient and Exeter City midfielder Kwame Ampadu, who also played for Republic of Ireland and is now part of the Arsenal Academy, as a coach.

He has a Welsh mother and has been involved in the England set-up, with the Three Lions keen on luring him. Having Ghanaian heritage, they are also said to be running the rule over the youngster.

It seems Arsenal and Manchester United do have the edge, with his father working in the academy, while Manchester United snapped up centre back Regan Poole back in September for £100,00 from Newport County, aged 16. Both will have a huge impact on his thinking.

It is understood Paul Tisdale’s side will receive compensation should the player depart, although Ampadu himself claims he would like to stay with the West Country club for now, to continue his studies.

Ampadu, who attends St Luke’s Science and Sports College, helped his side to consecutive Victory Shield wins in 2014 and 2015, captaining the Welsh side throughout.

Exeter have produced a number of exciting prospects over the years, with Matt Grimes joining Swansea in January 2015.

It is clear, Ampadu could move away from St James park this summer, so where would be the best move for the youngster who is seen as one of the best in the country?

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam95May

Top 10 players who could leave Liverpool this summer

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With Kolo Toure and Jerome Sinclair all but certain to leave Anfield in the summer, Sam May takes a look at other potential players who could be heading through the Anfield exit door.

Christian Benteke

The 25-year old Belgium international has failed to live up to his £32.5 million price tag since joining from Aston Villa in the summer. Having had the chance to put the game out of sight against Southampton, he dragged the ball across the face of the goal, a miss that proved costly. Despite gaining confidence from his penalty at Crystal Palace, it is clear he doesn’t fit Liverpool’s style. The fans have been left frustrated by his recent displays and a move could be ideal for all parties. Having seen limited game time; a move could be the right choice for the player as he looks to recapture his form. Behind Sturridge and Origi, Benteke has previously been linked with a move to Tottenham as back up to Harry Kane, but whether this could happen in the summer is unknown.

Jordan Henderson

It would be seen as surprise to most Liverpool fans should he leave Anfield. It seems since taking over the armband from Reds’ legend Steven Gerrard, Henderson hasn’t been the player, fans would have been hoping for. Pressure of trying to live up to the expectations it seems. His performances have dipped and been disappointing of late. Liverpool need a leader in the middle of midfield, somebody who can take control, and be a game changer. With his relentless energy, being tenacity in the tackle and growing leadership skills, he’s a player who seems well equipped to perform in Klopp’s setup – just not as a captain. Recently linked with a £25 million move to Tottenham, it seems Liverpool could be persuaded to cash in on the 25 year-old in the summer. Klopp will see the qualities the England international adds to the team, although he will be acutely aware that if this is a side that is going to challenge for the top honours, many areas of the XI, including central midfield, need upgrading.

Martin Škrtel

Perhaps not the most popular man since his display against Southampton with many fans calling for the 31-year old to be axed. In the first half, the chase for Champions League football was on… then came on Martin Skrtel. By the end of the match, it was totally different. It wasn’t just the fact they had shipped two goals it was the fact the Reds’ lost the game. It was a nightmare return and 45 minutes for the defender, a day to forget. Despite this, we shouldn’t take away the fact; he has been one of the most solid defenders since arriving eight years ago from Zenit St. Petersburg, it’s a season too far. Having made his debut back in 2008 in the FA Cup against Havant and Waterlooville, the Slovakian defender has made over 300 appearances for the club. It seems time is running out for Skrtel. With the arrival of Joel Matip in the summer and another potential centre back, there could be no place for the long serving centre back. Tah? Süle? Subotic? These are just a couple of names Liverpool could target as his replacement.

Alberto Moreno

Spaniard Moreno has failed to live up to expectations since sealing a £12 million move from Sevilla in 2014. Scoring his first goal in the 3-0 victory over Tottenham that year – Liverpool fans thought they had a consistent and found a quality left back since John Arne Risse. Moreno does have something to offer, but he hasn’t lived to up what is required to make the grade at Anfield. He has blistering pace but commits needless fouls. Liverpool have recently been likened with many-left backs – but should Klopp sign 1. FC Köln Jonas Hector in the summer as his replacement? He would definitely be the perfect addition or rival Moreno for the left-back starting birth. He does however offer a balance to the equally forward-thinking Nathaniel Clyne on the opposite flank, and fits into Klopp’s style of play. No Liverpool player finds a team-mate with more deliveries into the box than Moreno, excluding corners. Should he be sold in the summer?

Jose Enrique

Almost a certainty to leave. Liverpool will look to offload the 30-year old Spaniard who is earning £65,000 a week. Recently, turning down a move to former club Newcastle it is not known where could move to in the summer. He has gone from being essential, to sporadic and has a mixed spell on Merseyside. With his contract expiring in June it’s not known whether he will find another club who will pay him the same wage. Jurgen Klopp had told Enrique that he wasn’t in his plans, but player himself decided to stay and try and fight for his place. Having signed in 2011 for £6 million by former manager and club legend Kenny Dalglish, he now finds himself a regular in the Under 21s, and behind Alberto Moreno and Brad Smith.

Adam Bogdan

Seen at the time as a good move, Bogdan has made some high profile and costly errors since arriving on Merseyside. Most noticeably against Exeter and Watford, he has found himself behind current number one, Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward. Having failed to take his chance when given, it’s seems the 26-year old Hungarian stopper is surplus to requirements and will look for a new club when the window re-opens. Many goalkeepers have been linked with the Reds’ including: Timo Horn, Loris Karius, Bernd Leno and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, so it seems there isn’t a place for Bogdan.

Mario Balotelli

Having recently been linked with a move to West Ham, it seems Liverpool could look to offload misfit, Mario Balotelli. The 25-year old, endured a tough time on Merseyside after joining the club from AC Milan in 2014. Having been shipped out on-loan by former manager Brendan Rodgers, who brought him in, he still hasn’t hit the ground running in Serie A, making just 10 appearances, scoring three goals. His agent Mino Raiola recently stated that Klopp could revive his Liverpool, but whether that will happen is unclear.

João Carlos Teixeira

The 23-year old Portuguese attacking midfielder has recently been linked with a £12 million move to Fiorentina. Joining the Reds’ from Sporting Lisbon in 2012, he has had limited game time on Merseyside, becoming a fringe player. Having had spells with Brentford and Brighton on-loan, he was brought back to Liverpool hoping to revitalise his Anfield career. Many Liverpool fans hope he will be handed a deal in the summer, when his current contract runs-out. He has a lot to offer and needs to be given more of a chance it seems. Should Klopp keep him at Anfield?

Luis Alberto

Alberto made just nine appearances, since swapping Sevilla for Liverpool in 2013 in a £6.3 million deal. Brought in by Brendan Rodgers, he struggled to adapt to Premier League football and was shipped out on-loan to Malaga and Deportivo La Coruña, where he remains. He will return to pre-season training in the summer but could be moved on following the squad re-shuffle which is set to take place. Klopp will look to strengthen his midfield, and Alberto doesn’t fit the German’s style, a move seems very likely.

Andre Wisdom

It seems a move away from Anfield is very likely. The 22-year old defender who is currently on-loan at Norwich City joined the Reds’ in 2008 from Bradford City. There is no place in the squad for Wisdom and a permanent move to the Canaries could be possible in summer. Making 22 appearances before moving out on-loan, he will look to find a new club this summer, as Klopp looks to strength his side ahead of the new campaign.

 

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