Jurgen Klopp

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Klopp not expecting big Liverpool transfer window

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Liverpool cruised past Tranmere Rovers 6-0 on Thursday, with “new signing” Rhian Brewster in on the scoring.

Of course the 19-year-old isn’t new, but Jurgen Klopp mentioned both the brace-bagging Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as playing the role of new additions to the team.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain missed most of last season, while Brewster is just breaking into the first team. And Klopp says they could well be a sign that Liverpool isn’t going to be wildly active in the summer transfer window. From Sky Sports:

“We brought them already. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, they didn’t play last year. All the young boys today, they’re all new players for us,” Klopp said. “We will see what we do, but I don’t think it will be the biggest transfer window of all time.”

There’s gamesmanship here, of course; Don’t forget that Klopp has been amending his stance on big spending, though there’s no guarantee that spending big will happen in every window.

As for Brewster specifically, Klopp thinks he’ll get some playing time. The teen is behind Roberto Firmino and re-signed Divock Origi.

“We will see. He has to play different positions as well – the centre, wing is possible I think, we will see how we line up, but there will be opportunities for him. I am sure.”

Divock Origi signs new long-term contract with Liverpool

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Once viewed as an afterthought consistently out on loan, Divock Origi has cemented himself as a member of the first-team squad at Liverpool, and on Wednesday committed his long-term future to the club by signing a fresh new contract.

The club confirmed the extension via an official release, but did not say how long the new deal is to last. Origi’s old contract was set to expire this summer and talks over a new deal had reportedly dragged on for months.

Origi, now 24 years old, signed in the summer of 2014 from Lille as a teenager and spent two seasons out on loan, first back at Lille the year after signing before spending the 2017/18 campaign at German side Wolfsburg. Origi’s development seemed to drag at times, scoring just six goals at Wolfsburg in 31 frontloaded appearances, raising doubts over his future at the club.

However, last season represented a remarkable turnaround that saw Origi play a critical role down the stretch, coming in to spell an injured Roberto Firmino as the club chased Premier League and Champions League glory. While the league chase proved too much as Manchester City never wavered, Origi was vital in the Champions League pursuit, scoring a double in the stunning comeback against Barcelona before coming off the bench in the final to seal the game against Spurs.

“I always felt comfortable here,” Origi told the official club website upon the announcement. “I made steps during my career, I say that I became a man here at this club, I signed when I was 19. When we had to make the decision I just wanted to speak with the club first and my entourage, but the feeling was always that I wanted to stay and extend my contract.”

“It was a challenging season but I always believed if I continued to do the right things and had fun on the pitch, it would come by itself,” Origi said of the most recent campaign, in which he made just 12 league appearances, scoring three goals. “In the end, I got the chance and I was happy to be able to contribute in the right way. It was a very special season.”

Origi’s role at the club remains uncertain, as Firmino impressed this summer at the Copa America with title-winners Brazil and remains the likely first-choice striker, but Origi could still find significant time if Jurgen Klopp were to implement a two-striker system or should Firmino again find himself in the recovery room.

“I really think it’s a win-win situation,” Klopp said upon the announcement, hashing up an old injury suffered three years ago in Premier League play as an example of the Belgian’s turnaround. “It’s a story really only football can write. I never forgot the situation in the Everton game [in 2016], to be honest, when there was that harsh tackle and a red card for Funes Mori. Divock was in the best shape of his life and everybody was so positive about his future, and then things like this happen in football. We always know something like this can happen but when you see it and see the influence it has on a career, it’s just a sad story because he struggled really long with the ankle and stuff like that [and when] he came back the team was flying pretty much.”

Report: Liverpool signs Dutch teen Sepp van den Berg

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According to a report by Matt Law of The Telegraph, Liverpool has secured the $2 million signing of 17-year-old center-back Sepp van den Berg from Dutch club PEC Zwolle.

The report states that van den Berg is set for a medical with the club on Wednesday and that the Reds beat Bayern Munich and Ajax to the deal. It also states that Sampdoria was unsuccessful with a larger bid of $2.9 million back in January, and Liverpool has pounced with van den Berg set to enter the final year of his contract.

While van den Berg was a member of the PEC Zwolle first team last season, making 15 Eredivisie appearances and racking up 901 league minutes, the report states that van den Berg will take a season to integrate himself to the new squad and surroundings before challenging for a first-team spot with Liverpool. However, according to a report by the BBC, there is “belief” that van den Berg could potentially earn himself a place on the Liverpool first team that currently sports Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Dejan Lovren at his position.

It will help van den Berg immensely that Liverpool already sports Dutch international defender van Dijk as part of the roster as well as another current Dutch international in Georginio Wijnaldum. The youngster is currently a starter on the Dutch U-19 squad that narrowly missed out on qualification for the U-19 Euros later this summer, finishing a point behind Spain for the Group 4 lead after a brutal 1-0 loss to Spain back in March on a 90th minute goal.

Van den Berg would constitute Liverpool’s first signing of the summer should he join, with the Reds at this point not expected to be major players for any significantly large deals this summer.

Liverpool’s Klopp reflects more on transfer fee explosion

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp can see now that he was wrong in saying he’d quit football when monster transfer fees become the norm.

He’s hinted the same in the past, and he didn’t quit when Liverpool spent as much money as anyone last year (it was clearly a hyperbolic statement anyway), but Klopp expounded on the new climate via Sky Sports.

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Klopp says that the transfer budget of Bayern Munich when he was manager of Borussia Dortmund felt massive, but that players like his Virgil Van Dijk are being purchased for the cost of that entire budget less than a decade later.

“Maybe things were lost in translation but my point was, if we reach a point where football is solely about money and not football, then I’m leaving; and I still feel the same way about it.

“Liverpool is an ambitious club and if we didn’t spend the same amount of money as others, we wouldn’t be able to compete. Everybody’s splashing the cash, so we have to do the same.”

The European champion is getting there, approaching the point where he admits that the Reds are able to spend as much as any team not called Real Madrid, Manchester City, or Paris Saint-Germain.

We look forward to that, because it’s one of the last unlikable notions held by one of the best managers in the game. He’s a big boy at one of the big boys, and pretending anything different is silly.

Would Man City, Liverpool accept role reversal?

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Pep Guardiola chases perfection. Jurgen Klopp is driven by passion and excitement. Neither would admit to wanting anything but triumph in every entered competition.

But if you asked supporters of their clubs, Manchester City and Liverpool, if they’d accept the following bargain, I bet they’d answer yes.

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Knowing that silverware is never guaranteed, even for two of the biggest spending clubs in the Premier League, would City and Liverpool be content with swapping their top accomplishments of this season come June 2020?

Why they’d take the deal

— Man City has gained a stupid 198 points the past two seasons under Pep Guardiola, an almost incomprehensible figure. It has never won the UEFA Champions League, and Guardiola has not past the semifinals since 2011, when he claimed his second European Cup with Barcelona. And if City finished a point behind Liverpool based on 1.1 millimeters of a ball? That’s football.

— Liverpool won the European Cup, its sixth all-time, and finished with 97 points in the league. That figure would have won the Premier League in every year of its existence until last season’s 100-point campaign by City. The Reds, however, won their then-record 18th English top flight title in 1990. Manchester United had seven at that point, and now has 20. Liverpool has not added to its total, with zero top flight trophies during the Premier League era. To be second-best, at best, for 30 years would be a tough pill to swallow.

Why they wouldn’t

— Guardiola came within two VAR decisions against Spurs and two subsequent rounds of an unprecedented quadruple, as City claimed Premier League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. “Impossible” or not, Guardiola will like his chances of making another run at the quadruple as much as anyone, and City is going to be reinforce center mid, left back, and striker this summer. And they may even improve right back.

— Liverpool prides itself on its European Cup prowess, and has a chance to become the second champion to defend its title since 1979. It also has the opportunity to reach three-straight finals, which only Real Madrid and Juventus have done since Bayern turned the trick in from 1974-76. Klopp was relieved to have beaten Spurs. He’ll want to sink his teeth into the experience of a second go-round.