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!

I just have to say it is always easier and more enjoyable to write about Liverpool when they are winning. I have been pretty spoiled, starting off writing during some of Liverpool’s best seasons. One does not really appreciate it until they go four games without a win or even a goal. I have been here for harder times…. I just never had to write during them.

I am back again writing about more center backs because we all just wish Liverpool would f***ing sign a senior center back. I even bought that ugly new Baseball-uniform-looking Nike kit hoping they would use the money to pay Eder Militao’s loan fees. Obviously they did not… do you see his name listed below?

Jurgen Klopp got Red tails wagging when he told reporters he has asking FSG, Liverpool’s owners, to sign a center back this month but it just has not happened. He even asked sarcastically for reporters and fans to recommend a good center back for $80 million whose club would be willing to sell this month. Ouch!

With such little time left, you really have no idea what could happen on deadline day. In an attempt not to talk about the same players over and over I have taken the time this week to dive into the details on three new center backs Liverpool have been heavily linked with this week.

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Will the real Ben Davies please stand up?

News Sunday morning erupted, initially coming from Dominic King on reddit, that Liverpool were close to singing Preston North End center back Ben Davies.

Reports suggested the Reds had made a $3 million bid for the defender, who will be out of contract in the summer. Prior to Liverpool’s, interest Scottish side Celtic were believed to be talks with 25 year old.

Davies has made 135 league appearances for Preston and has been a first-team regular for the Championship side since the 2017-18 season.

Ben Davies can be described as a defender with some pace. To put it in perspective, he is not as quick as Joe Gomez or Van Dijk, but he is likely faster than Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, and Fabinho.

Davies is naturally left-footed and stands 6’1. Although he is yet to set the world on fire, he is highly regarded at his current club Preston North End and is seen as someone who provides leadership from the back.

Liverpool are reportedly ready to let young defender Sepp Van den Berg leave the club with a loan deal lined up to Preston North End.

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According to Football Insider, talks have been held over Van den Berg joining Preston, with Liverpool keen for Van den Berg to gain some experience of playing regular first-team football in the Championship.

Some fans might question why Liverpool would allow Sepp Van den Berg a natural center back to leave the club when we are so short on options? Apparently he is nowhere near ready to play for the first team in Jurgen Klopp’s mind.

On Sunday after Liverpool’s match against West Ham Klopp was asked about the potential of Liverpool singing Ben Davies.

Klopp told Sky Sports: “[He plays for] Tottenham? Nothing to say about it. I say all the time, in our situation, it makes sense. Nat Phillips played really well and Hendo too. Our eyes are always open and we try to fix our situation.”

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Klopp, played coy, seeming having no clue about Ben Davies as he quickly “confused” the player for the defender who plays for Tottenham under the same name.  The new was broken shortly thereafter, as James Pearce (among others) announced Liverpool have agreed to a deal worth $2.7 million, which includes Sepp van den Berg going the other direction on loan. More on this to come!

Davies League Stats 2020-2021 (Championship) So far

Appearances: 19
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Accurate Passes: 597 (79%)
Tackles Succeeded: 8 (36%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 1
Cleared off the line: 1
Clearances: 81
Headed Clearances: 41
Interceptions: 26
Errors leading to goal: 0

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Is Issa a Red?

Liverpool have made an enquiry over the potential signing of West Ham United defender Issa Diop. Over the course of the past few season the 24 year old was slowly rising in stock. He featured regularly for West Ham in the seasons prior making 69 appearances for the Hammers since joining them from Toulouse in 2018.

Diop’s performances have earned him links with big clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea. Unfortunately, Diop has fallen out of favor this season with manager David Moyes. You would question Moyes decisions more carefully if West Ham were not in the middle of such a good run of form.

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Could a signing like Diop mirror a signing like Diogo Jota? Jota had previously been one of Wolves’ best players, but had fallen down their pecking order prior to joining Liverpool. Diop could be another player ready to reach the next level of his game under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, and would suit Michael Edwards’ methods of seeking underrated players.

My most reliable sources claim Liverpool have not made a move or any contact over the signing of Issa Diop. West Ham would be reluctant to do business with Liverpool and strengthen a potential top four rival being so close in the Premier League table. It is believed the Hammers are looking to sell Diop for $27 million, and would not entertain loan offers.

Diop League Stats 2019-2020 (Premier League)

Appearances: 32
Goals: 3
Assists: 1
Accurate Passes: 760 (78%)
Tackles Succeeded: 15 (56%)
Last Man Tackle: 1
Blocked shots: 1
Cleared off the line: 0
Clearances: 164
Headed Clearances: 84
Interceptions: 47
Errors leading to goal: 1

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An American Scouser?

Imagine Jurgen Klopp goes into the Liverpool board room and he says “We need a center back right away!” Then FSG says “We have no money” So Klopp says “Pretty please!” and FSG say “Ok but he has got to be American!”

According to ESPN, Liverpool are supposedly interested in center back Aaron Long. If you’re not familiar with the USMNT or MLS, you may have found yourself wondering who is this guy?

Aaron Long is a 28 year old American center back who plays for New York Red Bulls in the MLS. He stands 6’1 and is right footed. He is currently valued by Transfermarkt at $3.8 million and his current contract with Red Bulls expires at the end of this year in December.

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In 2017, Long made a breakthrough into the Red Bulls first team, and has been a first team regular ever since with over 120 league, cup and playoff appearances. During that time he has scored nine goals.

He was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2018, a season in which the Red Bulls claimed the Supporters Shield, a Trophy which goes to the team with the highest regular season points total.

Long’s form then caught the eye of U.S. men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter, with Long making 18 appearances for the U.S., scoring three goals.

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Long is described as a cerebral presence at center back with a mindset focused on perseverance. He has a personality that may compliment Jurgen Klopp’s mentality monsters. He also has been known to rock this mullet-mohawk hairstyle that would give Paul Pogba’s a run for worst cut in the Premier League.

ESPN claimed recently that an unnamed Championship club had a loan bid for MLS star Aaron Long rejected late on Saturday, meaning the U.S. defender could be holding out for another club to make a move.

With the MLS season due to start later in April this season, a short term loan deal could suit both Liverpool and the player. Virgil Van Dijk has been tipped to potentially return in April so the timing could be perfect.

As the American Gerrard, I would love to see Liverpool sign an American player. But I do not put my wish to see an American in red above making sensible transfer moves. I do not think this move is really going to happen nor do I think Liverpool have any credible interest in this player.

Aaron Long League Stats 2020 (MLS) *shortened due to Pandemic

Appearances: 13
Goals: 2
Assists: 0
Accurate Passes: 292 (70%)
Tackles Succeeded: 6 (60%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 0
Cleared off the line: 0
Clearances: 50
Headed Clearances: 23
Interceptions: 23
Errors leading to goal: 0

Car not on the Bus

According to the Daily mail, Liverpool have made a last-minute approach for Marseille center back Duje Caleta Car.

RMC Sport report that on Sunday the 24 year old Croatian international arrived at Mairgnane airport accompanied by his girlfriend to fly via private jet to Manchester ahead of completing a possible deadline day move to Premier League champions Liverpool.

However, he didn’t get on the flight – a source close to the player tells the outlet that whilst Marseille and Liverpool had come to an agreement over the price, the negotiations have been brought to a stop by the Marseille board who are worried about finding a replacement for the center back in time.

The Croatia international came close to joining West Ham United last summer for $30 million but turned them down in hopes of signing for a team playing Champions League football .

Car, who is comfortable on the ball and a left-sided defender, is a key member of Andre Villas-Boas’ squad – starting 24 times for the Marseille, who currently sit ninth on the table.

Reporter Loic Tanzi claims that a deal is now unlikely, but not entirely out of the question.

I could see this as being Liverpool’s original first choice, but with Marseille stalling over failing to find a replacement, Liverpool have pulled the trigger on a move for Ben Davies as an alternative.

I would be very surprised to see Liverpool sign two defenders on deadline day, but I am not ruling it out just yet.

Duje Caleta Car League Stats 2020-2021 (Ligue 1)

Appearances: 19
Goals: 2
Assists: 1
Accurate Passes: 882 (86%)
Tackles Succeeded: 10 (71%)
Last Man Tackle: 0
Blocked shots: 1
Cleared off the line: 0
Clearances: 78
Headed Clearances: 29
Interceptions: 30
Errors leading to goal: 0

My Personal Thoughts

Out of the four players I have discussed today, my personal favorite would have to be Issa Diop. He has Premier League experience. He is only 24. He is tall. He also sounds potentially cheap.

I will be sure to follow up with a more in-depth look at Ben Davies’ career and what he brings to Liverpool football club including his playing style. It is really hard to say if this is a desperation move or someone Liverpool scouts have watched for a while.  It is just too bad we already played Spurs and any good Ben Davies doppelganger memes will have to wait till next season.

I will also follow up on any other moves that Liverpool make during transfer deadline day.

I am Jordan Gerrard and as always I thank you for reading.