“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 last few week of the Premier League season is looking to be a real nail biter with the coveted last champions league place still within Liverpool’s grasp. Liverpool face a genuine challenge to book their ticket for next season’s top tier European competition but at the moment of writing this, anything is still possible.
As we discussed last month, being a football fan is all about believing in miracles, and if you are a Liverpool fan you live on this line of hope and disappointment so thin you eat miracles and disasters for breakfast. Brunch if you are on the East coast.
Last week many pundits expected Liverpool’s top four challenge to be put to bed by their oldest rivals Manchester United. After a shaky start to the match Liverpool started to look like their old selves as they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time during the Jurgen Klopp Era. If that game did not inspire your hope, Alisson Becker says “hold his beer” as he steps up for the corner.
Incase you were living under a rock on Sunday morning, our goal keeper Alisson Becker scored the winner in the very last seconds of our must win match against Angry Allardyce’s West Brom Albion. After a frustrating 90 minutes where it looked as if we would share the points with the Big Sam, up stepped our beloved Brazilian Keeper to head in our last corner attempt of the game. Do you believe in miracles in now?
Believe in the Reds… not the rumors.
This season demonstrated a dire need for some fresh reinforcements among the squad. After the European Super League Fiasco many fans are expecting Liverpool’s owners FSG to sanction an apology signing to appease the disillusioned supporters. With the recent investment into FSG by Lebron James and his partners, can Liverpool really afford a mega money signing? Probably not!
I am not writing this article to condemn FSG or John Henry. Overall they have made some mistakes, I do not agree with everything they do but I like the direction the club is heading in compared to the dreaded Gillet and Hicks days. I appreciate what our American owners have done for us in some respects. That being said, they have a certain business model. That model is part of what has attracted the recent investment and the overall increase in the club’s valuation over the last few years.
That model is being tight as fuck. They spend shrewdly and they are not going to change that model. Especially after substantial losses from the Pandemic. I would love to tell you we are about to drop $100 million on one player but that just would not be our style.
That being said, I expect this summer to be one of Michael Edward’s most impressive transfer windows. The club is going to be clever with every purchase. We need reinforcements and this will not be ignored. FSG will not risk going backwards on their progress with Liverpool by playing it completely safe. I would not expect any Mbappes, Sanchos or Haalands but we will make some signings.
Gonna buy Bissouma?
The newest reports are claiming Liverpool will go toe to toe with Arsenal in the race to sign Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma. Jurgen Klopp has even already taken it upon himself to research the Malian’s character. Bissouma, 24, is currently being watched by a number of leading Premier League clubs following his steady rise to prominence at the Amex. It is rumoured that any transfer fee will be in the region of $40 million.
Originally Arsenal appeared to be in the driver’s seat to secure Bissouma’s signature. Supposedly Bissouma supported Arsenal as a boy. He has even played with current Arsenal players Gabriel and Nicolas Pepe at Lille. Apparently Bissouma wants to play European football next season and with the Gunners now out of the Europa League, a move elsewhere is looking more likely.
Manchester City are also believed to have an interest in Bissouma, with the midfielder viewed as a long term replacement for Fernandinho. Tottenham were previously linked with a move before sacking Jose Mourinho but may still entertain an interest.
Bissouma is a strong dribbler with a low center of gravity. When on the ball he has great passing accuracy with a completion rate of 87%. The Mali international combines strong defensive work with quality on the ball, averaging 2.8 tackles per game which is impressive, considering he is playing for team towards the bottom of the table. Thiago is the only current Liverpool player coming close to that number with 2.4.
One big stumbling block with this transfer is he most likely will participate in the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January with Mali one of 24 nations to qualify.
The tournament starts on January 9, 2022, and concludes on February 6. The reds will already be without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita. Bissouma would only add to the list. Although one could argue that Liverpool are not lacking for midfield options and missing Bissouma for a little under a month would not be as big a loss as Salah or Mane.
I wrote about Bissouma several months back when he was initially linked as a possible replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum in the winter transfer window. In that article I explained how Bissouma was not exactly a like for like replacement for Wijnaldum and actually brings something new to our midfield as a player described as a dedicated ball winner. Wijnaldum’s stats seem to suggest he is a more offensive minded player compared to Bissouma. Liverpool’s interest in Bissouma could signal an evolution within their midfield.
The underwhelming nature and the price and profile of the player make this seem like a Liverpool style signing. I think this deal could happen. Personally I would prefer Liverpool target a midfielder that contributes more offensively. Maybe someone who can score goals?
Mino the Middle Man
According to some of the latest rumors, Liverpool have made several unofficial enquiries regarding Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.
Rodrigo De Paul is 26 years old and primarily operates as a central midfielder. So far this season he has amassed 9 goals and 8 assists in 33 Serie A appearances. Some of his notable player traits include his ability to run with the ball, and his shot power. He is excellent at long shots and passes. He has impressive curve on his shots. He is also a play maker. Something Liverpool have missed sorely since the days of Coutinho.
According to FC Inter News, Liverpool and Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan have all repeatedly been in touch with the Rodrigo De Paul’s agent to discuss a possible move.
The Udinese star was strongly linked with Leeds last summer as they prepared for their return to the Premier League. His asking price of $40 million was too high for Leeds and an official bid never materialised. However, they continue to be linked and he reportedly remains a player of interest to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Liverpool will also be rivaled by Inter Milan over a summer deal. The newly-crowned Italian champions are planning for next season and boss Antonio Conte is an admirer of the Argentina international.
However, many reports indicate Udinese are reluctant to sell and will demand more then $50 million for the in demand midfielder. The owners of Udinese are the Pozzo family. They also own the English club Watford. In the past the Pozzos and Liverpool have not exactly been best friends. After Liverpool complained and made sure Watford was forced to pay a premium on the free signing of Jermain Sinclair, the Pozzos have had a grudge against Liverpool. Anytime Liverpool has attempted to sign a player from Watford or even Udinese, Liverpool have been met with outrageous prices and payment plans.
If you believe the rumors, the Reds have already established contact with De Paul’s agent. Well sort of. The Udinese star is represented by Augustin Jimenez. However, it’s claimed Liverpool have turned to super agent and money lover Mino Raiola to help broker the deal. Raiola is apparently good friends with Udinese’s owner, Giampaolo Pozzo.
In the past I know Liverpool have been reluctant to work with Raiola and his ego which makes me a little reluctant to believe that rumor. I would love for Liverpool to sign Rodrigo De Paul but I think the Pozzo family will make this a difficult transfer. It is rumored that last summer the Pozzos played extreme hard ball over a transfer for Watford winger Sarr leading Liverpool to lose interest.
Ox on the Outs?
Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is believed to be frustrated with his role as a squad player and may be open to a move away from Anfield this summer. Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are reportedly interested in signing Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to Fichajes, via Anfield Watch , the Dortmund are interested in signing Oxlade-Chamberlain as the England international has ‘seemingly’ grown tired of his lack of minutes at Liverpool. It is believed Liverpool will demand a fee in the region $24 million.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured a total of just 14 times this season for Liverpool, a huge fall from the 43 total appearances that he made last season under Jurgen Klopp. At 27 years old Oxlade-Chamberlain may see Borussia Dortmund and the Bundesliga as a way to get his career back on track and may seek a move away from the Merseyside giants this summer.
Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested in Liverpool striker Divock Origi. I do not actually have a ton of info on this rumor just yet but let’s just fantasize briefly about a scenario where we give Dortmund Origi and Ox plus $35 million for Jadon Sancho. A red can dream. In all seriousness if Oxlade-Chamberlain leaves I will be a bit disappointed. I have always had a sort spot for him ever since he said he wanted to be Steven Gerrard.
Falling for Malen
According to Voetbal International, Liverpool are leading the race to sign Donyell Malen. The 22 year old Dutch forward plays for PSV Eindhoven.
Malen is a genuine finisher, he has scored 18 goals and provided seven assists in 31 appearances this season.
Voetbal International has claimed that the Reds could sign the forward for as little as $35 million. Liverpool are reportedly leading Barcelona and Juventus in the race to sign the highly regarded striker.
Malen spent time at Arsenal as a youngster, but moved to Holland in 2017. Initially Malen played for Jong PSV, the PSV youth side, where he scored 13 goals in 22 appearances. Over the last few seasons Malen has enjoyed a steady rise in stock, joining the first team and scoring more then 10 goals in 3 consecutive seasons. Overall he has 59 goals in 131 first team appearances for PSV.
PSV face an extremely difficult financial situation as a result of the ongoing pandemic, unfortunately sales at the end of the season may be a necessity.
If you play FIFA Ultimate Team then you know Malen and you know why he is a great player for Liverpool to be linked with. He is pacey with an eye for goal. I would love for Liverpool to sign Malen as a back up Striker. The one thing that puts doubt in my mind over this move is the price tag. Last summer PSV supposedly wanted around 70 million for Malen. The latest rumors claim they will settle for $35 million which is what I find hard to believe.
The Pandemic has really affected the finances of teams across Europe. Although I do not expect too many major movements, there will be deals to be had. Some teams will have to sell to stay a float.
The only teams that really have money to spend are the teams with very wealthy owners who are able to dump money into their clubs. Teams like Manchester City, PSG, and Chelsea. Despite reports claiming they are massively in debt both Real Madrid and Barcelona always seem to come up with money as well. I think the transfer window could be like a domino effect based on one or more of these super rich clubs spending money. If one of them spends big it could trigger spending through out Europe.
For example, with Aguero leaving, Manchester City will buy a striker this summer. Whoever they buy, the team they purchase their new striker from will have money to spend. Manchester City will not buy some cheap player either. For argument sake let’s say they buy Erling Haaland. They pay Borussia Dortmund $170 million for Haaland. Then Dortmund spends money on replacements. Then the teams Dortmund get replacements from have money to buy players.
Opposite of their free spending rivals, Liverpool will be looking for smart deals with a lower budget to spend but based on Michael Edwards’ past work I am not worried.
I am Jordan Gerrard and as always I thank you for reading!