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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool overhaul has a different feel than past years

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Liverpool has arguably seen more turnover than any other top Premier League side the past seven years.

Looking to return to its former glory, the Reds have tried, tried, and tried again to push themselves back into the upper echelon of Premier League giants. They haven’t truly fallen from grace, but their constant turnover also hasn’t given the club any sense of staying power.

That may change.

With Jurgen Klopp – the Reds’ fourth manager in the last six years – preparing for his first full season at the helm, the multitude of Liverpool transfers this summer have a different feel about them.

In the recent past the Reds have shelled out money for overachieving one-hit-wonders who fail to produce for their new club, this group seems to be collected with the goal of building squad strength.

The most expensive signing this season, Saido Mane, has been a consistent presence in the Premier League for the last two seasons at Southampton, and while consistency is still a concern for the Senegalese winger, his explosiveness and final-third production is a known quantity.

With Newcastle falling to the Championship, Liverpool plucked Georginio Wijnaldum as a safety net for the oft-injured Philippe Coutinho, and the Dutchman could even find himself in the starting lineup should Klopp find room.

Outside of those two big-money buys, Klopp then raided the Bundesliga for undervalued diamonds in the rough. He found young yet experienced defender Joel Matip on a free and 23-year-old goalkeeper Loris Karius – providing much-needed competition for Simon Mignolet – for $8 million.

It is more than fathomable that, at some point this season, all four of those purchases could find themselves in the starting lineup.

In addition, Klopp appears to have flipped the script, selling overachieving players at what seems to be the peak of their value. He bagged $18 million for Joe Allen after the midfielder rose to prominence following Wales’ run through Euro 2016. He sent Jordan Ibe to Bournemouth for nearly $20 million, taking advantage of the heightened value on young English talent. Klopp is also still looking to offload some of the excess weight from previous tenures, such as Mario Balotelli, Christian Benteke, and others.

Until the Reds make it back to that top tier of Premier League monsters, they will have to continue to look for these value buys. If there’s anyone to lead that sometimes underwhelming charge, it’s Klopp. This season will provide a deeper look into the German’s mind as he continues to make this squad his own, and it will be a joy to watch him work.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.


“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.


“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”

Bayern Munich kicking the tires on big Zaha bid

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A sensational report is linking Wilfried Zaha not just with a move away from Crystal Palace, but a move clear of the Premier League altogether. says that Bayern Munich has turned to Zaha, having been rebuffed in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.

Palace wants $100 million for Zaha, but so far has only received a $50 million offer from Arsenal for his services. Reports Monday said Arsenal is upping its bid, and offering a loan of Reiss Nelson as a make-good. Palace has had good Fortune with loans from the big boys of the PL, in particular with Ruben Loftus-Cheek two seasons ago.

A lot of this makes sense for all parties, apart from Sane, and it will be interesting to see if the report brings a bigger bid from the Gunners.

Zaha is a sensational player, and has created chances year-after-year for the Eagles. He wants to taste the Champions League, but Palace is not willing to let him go for (much) less than its asking price given its sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.

Bayern will spend less on Zaha than it would on Gareth Bale or Sane, and get a determined player who is very much in his prime. Zaha would also get the chance to showcase himself with actual breathing room on the pitch, thanks to Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and others.

And Palace, of course, will end up with between $80-100 million and the knowledge that it won’t need to mark Zaha on a Premier League pitch. More importantly, the money raised from Zaha and Wan-Bissaka will allow them to strengthen at nearly every position (above what they have now, not above AWB and Zaha).