“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!
Very quickly, I wanted to take a chance to provide a public service for my fellow Liverpool fans living in America. This does not only apply to Liverpool fans but all Premier League fans living in the United States. Norwich is pronounced Norich. The W is silent. I do not care how excited you are about Josh Seargent, please stop calling it Norwitch. Thanks in advance.
It has been a quiet few weeks as far as transfer rumors go. I think the news outlets are finally realizing the majority of fans are giving up hope we will sign someone in addition to Konate. Or they have conceded that to realistically sign anyone we need to see some departures first. Anyways here are the latest stories making their rounds online.
Who needs Nat?
According to the Athletic, four Premier League clubs are currently considered to be in the race to sign Nat Phillips. Phillips was vital in helping Liverpool secure a Champions League place last season. His performances have resulted in interest from other Premier League clubs including Newcastle United, Burnley, Brighton, and Southampton.
Brighton and Southampton recently jumped to the front of the line after both selling important center backs from their starting eleven. Brighton sold Ben White to Arsenal for a fee of around $64 million. While Southampton parted ways with Jannik Vestergaard for $20 million.
Both teams have the cash to pay Liverpool’s rumored asking price believed to be between $15-20 million. As of today nothing yet has materialized as far as a concrete offer from either side.
Phillips has been omitted from Liverpool’s opening day squad as well as their most recent pre-season friendlies with Klopp admitting there was interest in the English center back. He was, however, included in their photo roll call a few days prior to their match against Norwich.
The Shaqiri Shakedown
Xherdan Shaqiri is supposedly close to a move away from Anfield this summer. French side Lyon is the club currently rumored to be most interested. Lyon lost Memphis Depay to Barcelona this summer on a free transfer and are without a budget large enough to properly replace him. Shaqiri is viewed as a possible low-priced replacement.
Although the interest in Shaqiri seems legit Liverpool have yet to receive any bids matching their valuation of Shaqiri from any clubs. It is rumored that if there is an offer, it does not meet Liverpool’s price tag.
There were rumors that Shaqiri had asked the club to accept Lyon’s offer despite failing to meet Liverpool’s expectations. Stories are still circulating that Liverpool were considering accepting $8 million to free up a none homegrown place among their squad. At the moment it appears the Reds are determined to recoup the $16 million they originally paid Stoke City for Shaqiri three years ago.
Last month, supposedly, Italian side Lazio wanted Shaqiri and also made a bid that did not meet Liverpool’s asking price. It seems we may be stuck with Shaq after all.
According to The Athletic there is still hope. Premier League side Burnley have made an offer in the region of $18 million for Lyon left-back Maxwel Cornet. Lyon have even granted Burnley permission to speak to the player as they have made the highest bid for the 24-year-old this summer.
It is believed Sean Dyche’s side will hold discussions with Cornet this weekend as they look to agree to personal terms ahead of a potential move. His departure could free up funds for Lyon to make an improved offer for Shaqiri in the coming weeks.
Sadly, I fear, as we get closer to the transfer deadline Liverpool may become more desperate to free up space in the squad. Other clubs know this and will wait and attempt to take advantage while signing our fringe players. We will most likely accept less than we originally wanted for Shaqiri.
Ben Davies Disappears
Ben Davies looks set to join Sheffield United on loan this season. He has yet to feature for Liverpool aside from a brief cameo during pre-season. He has become something between a Mystery and a joke for Liverpool fans. Some calling for an explanation just why we signed him in the first place.
Davies is set to join up with the Blades’ squad next week as they will pay around $ 1 million to loan the former Preston North End Center back.
Celtic were rumored to be interested in signing Davies after attempting to sign him ahead of the reds in January. As we know Davies opted for a move to Merseyside instead but it was believed that Celtic would make another move for him after losing their first choice center back Kristoffer Ajer to Brentford.
Liverpool would prefer a loan move and are impressed with what Sheffield has to offer.
(Editorial update: as of Monday of this week the loan move to Sheffield United was completed. Liverpool received a £500k loan fee with an addition £500k being paid out if promotion is secured.)
Renato Ruled Out
Renato Sanches is a player Liverpool have been heavily linked with for years. I already wrote this summer about the links as a potential replacement for the departed Georginio Wijnaldum.
Fans and reporters around Europe began to speculate on Saturday when Sanches was omitted from Lille’s squad that was defeated 4-0 by Nice. Many fans were left wondering if a move somewhere was imminent.
The latest reports from France indicate that is not the case! The Portuguese international will not be on the move this summer as he will undergo an arthroscopy on his knee on Monday.
New Lille manager Jocelyn Gourvennec said: “He had this discomfort for a few days but he had restarted training well this week. But, this pain has become more severe. I can not say more. We have to wait for exams on Monday.”
Whether or not Liverpool were planning to make a move for the 23-year-old midfielder is still unknown, but it is believed he will be sidelined for several months ruling out any moves this month.
By now every football fan has heard of the legend that is Erling Haaland. He is one of the most wanted players in Europe at the moment. But did you know he has a cousin who looks even more promising than Erling, himself !?
Albert Braut Tjaaland is just 17 years old but he has already scored 64 goals in 37 games for Molde’s youth teams last season. He made his professional debut for Molde’s first team in July.
Tjaaland came on for his debut in the 82nd minute of Molde’s Norwegian Cup game against Spjelkavik. It only took him ten minutes to net his first goal for the club as he produced a neat finish when one-on-one with the goalkeeper in stoppage time.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Jwnr1wQfE[/embedyt]
A recent interview with Norwegian outlet TV2 has since surfaced, in which the player names a transfer to Liverpool as the “biggest goal.”
Tjaaland is rumored to be a player Liverpool will be keeping an eye on but at this moment, there are no credible stories linking us with a move for the promising striker.
All Quiet on the Western Front
The summer has been littered with Liverpool links and I have stayed busy in the transfer trenches fighting off the invading rumors. Aside from the purchase of Ibrahima Konate early on, Liverpool have remained quiet in the transfer window.
Some fans have attempted to explain this lack of signings on the club’s finances or the team’s owners being greedy. I am here to tell you that that is simply not the case.
The truth is, Liverpool currently have too many players in their squad. Including the players used in Liverpool’s preseason, and a few first-team slackers who returned a bit late, Liverpool’s first team has 32 players. Premier League rules stipulate that teams can name a 20 man matchday squad, with nine substitutes. 12 players alone were trimmed for the opening game.
Now some of these players are younger players who you expect to return to the Academy anyways. While players like Adrian, Harvey Elliott, and Neco Williams may be stuck watching football from the stands waiting for an opportunity.
The Premier League’s Homegrown quota is another factor affecting Liverpool signing new players. The Homegrown Player Rule is an initiative of the English Premier League to allow for more domestic players to be developed from an earlier age in the hope of nurturing more homegrown talent. It forms part of the League’s Elite Player Performance Plan. The Premier League proposed a maximum of 17 non-“homegrown” players in each club squad, and the squad size is a maximum of 25. This means that in a full squad of 25 players, there must be at least eight homegrown players.
Currently, to be classified as homegrown one must be either born in England/Wales or been on an English team for at least three years before the age of twenty-one.
Each season the Premier League lists the squads for each of its clubs for the season on September 1st (after the summer transfer window closes). Each club can list up to 17 senior players that do not qualify as homegrown, plus any number of homegrown players up to a maximum squad size of 25. They can also add an unlimited number of the Academy and under 21 players.
Liverpool fit the criteria for homegrown players but they have too many none homegrown players. To sign someone new they need to sell a few.
I am Jordan Gerrard and as always I thank you for reading.