That Was The Week That Was
In the week when youngster Sheyi Ojo was sent out on a year long loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers; Emre Can admitted that Liverpool players “owe” their fans after a poor season last time out; and everyone remained poised and ready for the first match of the 2015-2016 Premier League season, Liverpool FC were linked with a whole host of new transfers. Don’t think that you need to go trawling through all of the tabloids to find out who we’ve been linked to, though, as we’ve been kind enough to do it for you! We now need to go for a wash, like, but we’ve saved you the bother and that’s the important thing.
The Rumours & News
Not a new signing, of course, but if we nip off in to cliché territory then we’ll find that he could be just like a new signing, and that could be great for a Liverpool squad that is devoid of striking options at the moment. After all there’s only Christian Benteke, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli for Brendan Rodgers to choose from.
Sturridge missed most of last season due to injury and is set to miss the start of this one because of it, too, with a long-term hip injury causing him all sorts of problems. He’s been off to America for some state of the art surgery, though, and news has emerged this week that he could be back sooner than originally thought. Most fans didn’t expect to see him until the end of October / start of November, but on Wednesday the striker posted a video on his Instagram account of himself practicing some finishing with the one word caption of ‘closer’.
That bit of news has led to rumours that the Liverpool front man is targeting a return in time to face Manchester United on September 12th, a return that would give the Reds the perfect boost in the middle of a tough set of fixtures. Sturridge was an instrumental part of Liverpool’s title challenge in 2013-2014 and was sorely missed last season when the team struggled to a 6th place finish and, even though Rodgers has strengthened his attacked options this summer, he’ll be welcomed back with open arms if he’s able to stay fit long-term this season.
We’ve decided to cover this one, even though it’s an absolutely nonsense story, purely because it gives us an excuse to point you in the direction of an excellent piece by Empire Of The Kop that discusses the anatomy of a made up transfer story.
Anyway, back to the rumour itself and it’s The Metro that have jumped on the bandwagon this week, claiming that both Liverpool and Manchester United are hoping to tempt Toni Kroos to leave Real Madrid. Kroos is one of the most talented midfielders around and there’s no sign whatsoever that Real are looking to get rid, yet papers like The Metro and The Express are taking advantage of the clickbait nature of transfer rumours by linking the German international with two of the biggest clubs in England.
Are Real Madrid likely to let one of their prized assets leave before their new manager Rafael Benitez has even had a chance to get to know him? No. Is Toni Kroos himself unhappy with his life in Madrid? No. Does £35 million even border on a realistic price for such a good player? No. Other than that, though, we think there’s plenty to believe about this story…
Sticking with The Metro and they’re still desperate for Liverpool to sign Lucas Digne, for some reason. It’s like they’re on commission if the player decides to move from Paris St. Germain to Anfield. This week the totally reliable and not at all desperate for website visitors newspaper is reporting that the 22 year old has declared himself “ready to quit” PSG in preparation for a move to Anfield.
It seems as though it’s his agent, Mikkel Beck, who is keen to keep the stories flowing, saying that his client is aware of the approaching European Championships and wants to get regular game time in order to ensure the best chance of a call up in to the France squad for the competition next summer. Most respected LFC journalists, such as The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce, are denying that Rodgers is even contemplating a move for the full back given how well Joe Gomez has settled in to the Liverpool squad. Expect The Metro to keep printing this one until the window shuts, though.
Another rumour that just won’t go away is that of Alexandre Lacazette’s possible move away from Lyon, with Liverpool, Arsenal and any other club the newspapers can think of being the places that he’s been linked with. The Express are claiming that a £21 million move is being prepared by the bosses at Anfield, despite the fact that the Reds have more strikers than supporters nowadays.
The French sensation scored 27 goals and won the Golden Boot in Ligue 1 last season, leading to such rife speculation about his future. Given that the two clubs that are most strongly linked with moving for him are Liverpool and Arsenal it seems strange that it’s the Merseysiders that The Express reckon will be bringing him to the Premier League. After all, Arsene Wenger has long loved a French contingent in his Arsneal squad and is looking decidedly weak in the attacking options department, whilst Rodgers can choose from about 350 forward players if he wants to. Another one that will rumble on until he either moves or he can’t because the window’s shut.
Now we don’t want to suggest for one second that The Metro just make up stories to do with Liverpool FC because they know they’ll get loads of people clicking on the links, but this is the third LFC story we’re crediting them with this week and the other two have been essentially completely fictional.
Regardless, they’re convinced that the Reds are on the verge of making a £14.9 million bid for Real Madrid’s talented Russian winger Denis Cheryshev. The Metro’s article on the move says, without a hint of irony, that “The Reds have been strongly linked with a deal for Cheryshev in recent weeks”, despite the fact that it’s them that have been doing most of the linking.
Rafa Benitez could yet decide to keep hold of the 24 year old after some impressive performances in pre-season, but Rodgers is apparently “determined” to bring him in. There are plenty of attacking options in the Liverpool squad, but the Northern Irishman may feel that he is lacking a wide player after the departure of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.
The Independent are a proper newspaper, none of this ‘get it free on the train’ nonsense with them. Really, then, they should know better than to go about linking Liverpool with yet another player from Real Madrid. That’s what they’ve done though, reporting that the Reds are close to agreeing a deal with the Spanish giants for their 25 year old midfielder Asier Illarramendi.
Apparently Rafa Benitez has told the Spaniard that he is surplus to requirements after Rafa’s Real Revolution, meaning that a £15 million deal could be agreed to take him from Madrid to Merseyside. We’re a bit sick of reading this one, to be honest, so we hope he either moves or stays before we get around to writing our transfer rumours round up next week.
We’re also not entirely sure where he’d fit in to a Liverpool midfield crammed full of talent; or crammed full of options, anyway. Brendan Rodgers can choose from James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can, Jordan Ibe, Lazar Markovic and Joao Carlos Teixeira in the middle of the park before he even needs to think about dipping into his youth team. Admittedly the likes of Ibe, Markovic, Firmino and Coutinho are more attacking players than the others and Illarramendi is more suited to the defensive part of the team, but even so Rodgers has never been known to embrace the more defensive part of the game. This one goes down as a bit of an ‘hmmm’ one for us; we’re not convinced.