The American Gerrard – Transfer News and Rumors

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!

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This weekend saw another series of VAR decisions go against our beloved Liverpool Football Club. Every week it is feeling more and more as if there is a coordinated effort to stop Liverpool from winning another title. That last-minute penalty given against Liverpool left back Andrew Robertson was an absolute joke. I have said it before and I will say it again: I hate the early matches. If you live on the west coast, these matches are on at 4:30 in the morning. When you get up early only to watch your team get robbed by shit decisions it surely sets your weekend off in a not-so-great mood.

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Since the last time I wrote a transfer article, Liverpool have suffered yet another defensive injury setback. By now we know that Joe Gomez will miss at least the majority the rest of the season after suffering an injury while on international duty. Liverpool have only one senior first team center back at the moment, and he too is incredibly prone to injury. I present to you the invincible Joel Matip:

At the moment, Liverpool will call upon defensive midfield anchor Fabinho to fill the gap, and that is not to mention the emergence of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams…

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Will Liverpool be able to depend on their current options the entire season or will they spend big to plug the holes in their squad this January? In this week’s piece, I cover a few more center back options Liverpool might consider. I also discuss more on the Georginio Wijnaldum saga.

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Gini out of Wishes

Jurgen Klopp maintained his optimism on whether Georginio Wijnaldum will sign a contract extension. As I have discussed many times over the last six months, Wijnaldum’s current contract with the Reds will expire at the end of the current season, which means in January he will be able to negotiate pre-contract agreements with non-English clubs.

Barcelona were linked with signing Wijnaldum during the summer, and could look to sign him on a free in January. When asked at a recent press conference about the situation with Wijnaldum, Jurgen Klopp compared it to that of former Liverpool player Emre Can. The German midfielder let his contract at Liverpool expire before joining Italian side Juventus in 2018. While Can did not last long at Juventus, soon deemed surplus to requirements, he has found his feet now playing with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Is Klopp’s comparison a telling sign that he expects Wijnaldum to go?

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The Athletic‘s James Pearce admitted last week that Liverpool have accepted they will most likely be losing Wijnaldum when his contract expires at the end of the season. He has been offered a pay raise to stay at Liverpool, but Barcelona and Inter Milan are believed to be looking to sign Wijnaldum.

It is believed that Barca failed in their mission to sign Wijnaldum over the summer, as he was allegedly the top target for incoming manager Ronald Koeman. Inter Milan have now expressed their interest, and will likely throw a low-ball offer at Liverpool in January. Inter’s chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has supposedly approached Liverpool on the possibility of a deal for Wijnaldum though the club has not made an official offer yet. Would Liverpool be desperate to get at least some sort of transfer fee for a player that could leave for free in a matter of months?

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Realistically, I do not think anything will happen with Inter in January. Inter are currently having their own issues with midfielders and will need to offload a player or two just to balance their wages. It is believed they have put former Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen up for sale, along with Radja Nainggolan.

James Pearce maintains that only a ‘major change of heart’ from either party will keep Wijnaldum at Liverpool. Wijnaldum believes he has won everything he can at Liverpool, and at the age of 30 he is hoping for one last fresh challenge somewhere else. With his contract expiring, he and his agent can make some big bucks off his next contract. As sad as I will be to see him go, we cannot be angry as he has been a great servant to this club and will remain in Liverpool history as a legend that helped end the 30 year title drought. Good luck, Gini!

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50 Shades of Garay

Goal is reporting that Liverpool have been offered 34-year-old free agent center back Ezequiel Garay. The Argentinian defender has represented some big clubs over his career including Real Madrid, Benfica and Valencia.  Last season he made 17 appearances for Valencia in Spain.

With Liverpool’s current defensive crisis, Garay could be an experienced short-term option. Everyone in Europe will be aware that Liverpool are desperate to sign a center back in January, so it is likely that any good players will not be sold for cheap. Liverpool will be told high prices for top targets. If the Reds choose to sign someone like Garay to play for the rest of the season (until one or both of  Virgil Van Dijk / Gomez are back), they would not necessarily be willing to commit to a long-term signing that could eventually rot on the bench. Garay could leave or even retire at the end of the season, leaving an opening for a new center back signing in a better market.

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La Liga side Real Betis are in the market for a cheap center back in January and AS claims that Ezequiel Garay is their top target. There is also reported interest from Barcelona and Newell’s Old Boys in the defender’s homeland.

Garay League Stats 2019-2020 (La Liga)

Appearances: 17
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Accurate Passes: 767 (88%)
Tackles Succeeded: 8 (67%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 2
Cleared off the line: 0
Clearances: 71
Headed Clearances: 24
Interceptions: 14
Errors leading to goal: 0

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For sure, Perr Schuurs

Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) are reporting that Liverpool have opened negotiations with Ajax for 21-year-old center back Perr Schuurs. Liverpool have supposedly made an offer around $35 million for the Netherlands defender.

With Ajax and Liverpool set to play at Anfield next week, Schuurs will conveniently be in town and available for any quick chats with Jurgen Klopp and the rest of the Liverpool hierarchy, assuming Ajax are happy with the money Liverpool are offering. Schuurs has excelled for Ajax since the departure of top talent Matthijs de Ligt to Italian side Juventus. Schuurs has a very similar playing style to that of De Ligt.

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This season, Schuurs has made eight league appearances, including the a 13-0 thrashing over VVV-Venlo. In those eight appearances, he has helped Ajax maintain five clean sheets and a 100% win rate. In the only Eredivisie game Ajax have lost this season Schuurs was an unused substitute. He only made his breakthrough into the first team last season, making 10 league appearances and scoring one goal… so it may be too soon to deem him a potential first-team player at Liverpool. Schuurs likes to play short passes, and is known for decent passing accuracy. Although he stands 6’4″, he is not known for his aerial ability. He has commits a lot of rash challenges which might be expected from a player of his age and experience.

Considering the small amount of first team experience Schuurs has, it is hard for me to imagine Liverpool paying $35 million for him. I do not believe they would pay such a high price for a player most likely deemed “one for the future.”

Schuurs League Stats 2019-2020 (Eredivisie)

Appearances: 10
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
Accurate Passes: 481 (89%)
Tackles Succeeded: 12 (63%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 3
Cleared off the line: 1
Clearances: 9
Headed Clearances: 6
Interceptions: 14
Errors leading to goal: 0

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Kabak to the Drawing Board

I have previously reported Liverpool have been linked with Turkish center back Ozan Kabak over the summer. In my last transfer article, I pointed out key stats and traits proving Kabak to be most like Virgil Van Dijk out of popular rumored targets.

This week Liverpool were dealt a blow if they were potentially interested in Kabak. Tuttosport via Milan News are reporting that his agent is already in contract discussions with Milan. It is believed Schalke have officially lowered Kabak’s asking price to $30 million, which has seen the Italian side move quickly to capture his signature.

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A Killer Deal in Villarreal?

Liverpool are now being linked with 23-year-old Spanish center back Pau Torres from Villarreal. Torres has been attracting a lot of interest in Europe lately due to his recent form for club and country. He first cemented his place in the Yellow Submarine’s first team in 2019-20 after his making his professional debut at only 19 years old. Four years later, he is now considered one of the most assured defenders in the league. He is currently approaching 50 top-flight appearances at club level, and has made seven appearances for Spain, scoring one goal.

Torres is believed to have a release clause set at $60 million. If he truly is as good as the Spanish critics say, that price could be a steal.

Torres can be described as having exceptional vision, and is comfortable playing the ball out from the back. He is excellent in an aerial challenge. Despite his young age, he has not been prone to lapses of concentration or making rash decisions. He has been described as the complete defender. His weaknesses suggest he lacks leadership qualities and a touch of aggressiveness. He has also been compared to Liverpool’s least favorite center back Sergio Ramos, and touted as his future replacement for Spain and Real Madrid.

I believe Pau Torres has the potential to be a great center back. However I get the feeling that if Real Madrid and other big Spanish clubs are sniffing around, he may want to stick around Spain. Perhaps we can get Agent Alberto Moreno to hit him up for us.

Torres League Stats 2019-2020 (La Liga)

Appearances: 34
Goals: 2
Assists: 1
Accurate Passes: 1,729 (85%)
Tackles Succeeded: 21 (62%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 0
Cleared off the line: 1
Clearances: 148
Headed Clearances: 66
Interceptions: 27
Errors leading to goal: 0

At the End of the Storm, a Golden Light…

Many respected Liverpool journalists do not expect Liverpool to go big in the market in January. The current rumor circulating about our center back targets is that we have a plan to sign someone next summer for the long term.

The target supposedly has some clause or expiring contract, of which Liverpool will look to take advantage.  The player has also supposedly already expressed a desire to come play at Anfield. We could surmise that this target is RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, as he has the release clause that lowers in June 2021.  It could also perhaps be David Alaba, with his expiring contract with Bayern this summer. I will stay on this and let you know as soon as I have more information.

I am Jordan Gerrard, and as always I thank you for reading!