“The name’s Gerrard, Jordan Gerrard,” also known as “The American Gerrard!” You know about the “Welsh Pirlo”, you’ve seen the “Egyptian Messi”, but you never knew about the American Gerrard! When the American Scouser needed a transfer expert I was there to smash it in from long range with an absolute belter. What a hit son, what a hit!
The summer transfer window is now open, and teams across the Premier League are being linked with moves for players all over Europe. The past few months have been monopolized by murmurs that Liverpool’s transfer activity would be quiet this summer due to financial concerns. Will this be another summer where we enviously watch our biggest rivals enjoy spending sprees while our club sits idle?
Despite the news of Liverpool potential tightening their belts, transfer rumors are still seeping through the cracks. The way some of these stories refusing to die – coughThiagocough – it becomes difficult to write the Reds completely off regarding transfers. After all, if Liverpool were really in the market for players, they likely would not be completely open about their intentions – they would not take out newspaper ads or announce their intentions to journalists so that other teams could swoop on their targets. When one looks at the squad, there are positions that could still use reinforcements, and the time to step up may soon come for some of our younger stars. That being said, let’s explore this weeks biggest transfer rumors, including several defenders whom Liverpool are considering after the departure of Dejan Lovren.
This week, according to the Daily Mail, Liverpool Football Club are being linked with highly rated Turkish Center back Ozan Kabak. Kabak currently plays for Schalke F.C. in the Bundesliga and is valued at $31.9 million. The 20-year-old center back has three goals and one assist in 26 appearances in the Bundesliga this season. It is worth mentioning that Klopp’s friend and former staff member David Wagner is currently the manager of Schalke. 90Min even goes as far as reporting that Wagner spoke to Klopp about Kabak last year. Kabak is believed to have a $52 million release clause.
The word on this one is Liverpool are trying to negotiate a cheaper deal then the release clause using the current financial uncertainty and Klopp’s connections with Wagner to lower the price. I think Ozan Kabak could be a great signing for Liverpool. Kabak recently revealed he idolizes Virgil Van Dijk. Despite the fact that his playing style has been compared to Sergio Ramos, Kabak has been described as a player who likes to keep things clean. He recorded only four bookings the entire season, and has never been sent off in 60 first-team appearances at club level.
In the 2018-2019 season, while playing for relegation-bound VFB Stuttgart, Kabak contributed three goals from defense in only 15 appearances. He is powerful in the air with a great sense of timing for headers. He could add an extra attacking element to set pieces and corners.
I think this transfer depends on Liverpool’s willingness to spend money this summer. Kabak looks like a player FSG’s transfer committee would recommend: a young talent with a good injury and behavior record. With David Wagner at Schalke, Klopp may even have a friend to facilitate the move.
A Void for Lloyd or Avoid the Lloyd?
After the confirmation of Bournemouth’s return to the Championship, Liverpool may be reigniting their interest in 21-year-old Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly. The versatile defender, who has represented England under 21s joined Bournemouth for $16 million. Lloyd Kelly is described as a utility defender able to play in both left back and center back positions. Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe recently described Kelly:
“From Fullback hes really good athletically, he uses the ball well and is strong in the air- has lots of good qualities. At center back the same qualities show and his use of the ball is very good.”
Injuries to his ankle, thigh and hamstring have prevented Lloyd Kelly from starting majority of the past season. On paper this may seem like a clever and affordable signing for Liverpool as a backup option. However, I believe Lloyd’s recent injury issues will prevent Liverpool from pulling the trigger. As Randy Jackson says… It’s a no from me, dog.
Olympiacos and Greek national team defender Konstantinos Tsimikas is being linked as a potential backup to Andy Robertson. The 24-year-old defender, who plays mainly at left back, recorded five assists in 20 appearances in Greece’s Super League 1.
Transfermarkt values Konstantinos Tsimikas at $3.85 million, but he is reportedly available for $9 million. French club Nice are also credited with interest. Tsimikas could be a decent backup to Andy Robertson. Tsimikas is an experienced champion at a young age, winning the league in Greece three times before the age of 25. FOS, a Greek sports news outlet, are reporting Tsimikas is on Liverpool’s four man wish list as a backup to Andy Robertson. Originally valued at around $29 million, the financial impact of the global health crisis has seen his value dramatically reduced, and Liverpool could be ready to pounce.
The Next Lewandowski
Several days ago Liverpool announced the signing of teenage sensation Mateusz Musialowski from SMS Lodz in Poland. Musialowski is a 16-year-old winger that has been described as “the next Lewandowski.” After watching the teen play for youth teams at international level, Poland Manager Jerzy Brzeczek told the press Musialowski had the potential to be the country’s best-ever player. Musialowski has scored an impressive 130 goals in 80 competitive matches in the fourth tier of Polish football. Due to age restrictions, he will be joining the Liverpool academy on scholarship contract, but will be eligible to a sign professional contract on his 17th birthday on October 16th, 2020. He could be one to watch as Klopp has a history with finding successful Polish youngsters. I must admit, like many others, I had never even heard of this kid prior to this week, but after seeing his goal tally I am excited to see what he can do.
New Kit Nuisance
Early Saturday morning, on August 1, Liverpool began the sale of their new Nike kits. The new highly-anticipated Nike kit deal was pushed back after Nike and New Balance agreed to allow New Balance to finish the 2019-2020 season as Liverpool’s sponsor.
Many fans were excited to see what a successful sponsor like Nike could do for the newly-crowned English champions. I liked New Balance but I am trying to be optimistic about Nike taking over. I am looking forward to being able to pick up Liverpool related merchandise in local stores, a luxury not available when New Balance was in charge.
Unfortunately some fans were left disappointed when Nike unveiled two separate qualities of Liverpool home kit. One type of jersey modeled after the exact kits worn on match day called the “Vapor” and another cheaper model called the “Stadium” jersey.
New Balance had offered their own versions of a cheaper and professional quality kit in the past. This time, however, Liverpool fans believe there is a distinct difference between the two kits: many perceive the quality of the Stadium kit as not justified by its price, resulting in the Vapor kit selling out within hours of its release. While the new LFC-Nike partnership may not be off to the best start with fans, they were still able to make a lot of money on the first day.
In the Liverpool groups I frequent on social media, many are saying they do not like the new kit design. Personally, I find that funny – I believe this kit looks just like one of Liverpool’s best selling kits from the ’17-18 season. To me, Nike decided to play it safe and attempted to make this year’s design look like that kit, merely adding a turquoise stripe to the collar and sleeves. Apparently the turquoise color choice comes from the Liverbird being that color.
So, I do not have any real issues with the new kit design. I ordered mine with Henderson on the back but had to settle for the Stadium kit – the Vapors were sold out!
I’m Jordan Gerrard and as always I thank you for reading.