Five players who could add to the Anfield exodus

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Following the departure of Joe Allen to Stoke for £13 million, and Brad Smith to Bournemouth, Sam May takes a look at five players who are mostly likely to follow them through the Anfield exit door.

1. Mario Balotelli 

Many fans will still be wondering why the Reds problematic striker is still at the club. Klopp has told the 25-year-old that he has no future, having failed to secure a regular starting birth since his arrival in 2014 for £16 million. Both Sampdoria and Besiktas have shown an interest in the striker, and with unrest surrounding Besiktas’ Mario Gomez, this has prompted them to make a move for Balotelli. He scored just three goals on-loan with AC Milan last season, adding to the four in his only season with Liverpool in 2014/15.

 

2. Luis Alberto

Alberto has found life on Merseyside difficult since arriving from Sevilla in 2014 for £6.8 million. Signed by former manager Brendan Rodgers, the 23-year-old, who spent last season on-loan at Deportivo La Coruña impressed during his time back in his homeland. His former club Sevilla are interested in bringing him back to Andalusia, but a move seems to have cooled at present following the departure of Unai Emery to Paris St Germain. The Spaniard would be the perfect replacement for Grzegorz Krychowiak who followed former manager Emery to the French capital. The attacking midfielder has more to offer but a move a away from Anfield would suit both parties.

 

3. Andre Wisdom

Wisdom, 23, who spent last season on-loan at Norwich City has previously been linked with a re-union with former manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic. The Bhoys could make a move for the versatile Wisdom who can play at centre back and right back, following their defensive injuries and the out of favour Efe Ambrose. Leeds born Wisdom needs to be playing week in week out so a permanent move away would be best to get his career back on track. He doesn’t fit into Klopp’s pressing game and would be behind the likes of Lovren, Sakho and new signings Joël Matip and Ragnar Klavan in the pecking order.

 

4. Lazar Marković

The 22-year-old Serbian winger has suffered a tough time with the Reds since his £25 million move from Benfica in 2014. Spending last season on-loan at Fenerbahçe, he could be another player who could move on. Many fans would say he needs to be given one more season to show what he is capable of, but the fact is, he isn’t a Klopp player and not lived up to the expectation of what he shown at Benfica. Eyebrows were raised at his transfer fee when he joined the Reds and if moved, the club may only receive a cut-price fee for him.

 

 5. Jon Flanagan

Scouse heartbeat Flanagan, has been linked with a move to Burnley on-loan. A loan move would be ideal for a player who needs regular game time. Celtic and former Reds boss Rodgers has expressed an interest in the player who was regular under the Northern Irishman during his time at Anfield. Having been left out of Klopp’s squad that travelled to the USA the 23-year-old, England international, will look for a move away to get his career back on track. Being a fan favourite it would be sad to see such a devoted player leave the Reds.

 

Meanwhile…

Other departures could see Tiago llori follow close friend João Carlos Teixeira out of Anfield. Christian Benteke continues to be linked with a move to Crystal Palace in a £30 million deal, while Lucas also remains a target for Galatasaray.

Youngsters Cameron Branngan, Jack Dunn, Lloyd Jones and Jordan Williams could follow Ryan Kent who joined Barnsley, Brazilian midfielder Allan who joined Hertha Berlin and Taiwo Awoniyi who has linked up with NEC Nijmegen.

New signing: Who is Hertha Berlin’s Ondrej Duda

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After Hertha Berlin completed the signing of winger Ondrej Duda for €4.2 million, the Fanatic’s Sam May profiles the Slovakian international, who completed a move from Polish club Legia Warsaw to Germany’s capital on a five-year contract.

The 21-year-old is the centerpiece of Hertha Berlin’s summer transfers as the club has been quiet during the transfer window, with the club’s biggest move being the inking of last year’s loanee from Stuttgart, the effective striker Vedad Ibisevic, to a permanent contract.

So just who is Ondrej Duda?

The highly rated attacking midfielder was born in Snina, Slovakia. He scored Slovakia’s first goal in their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign with an equalising goal to make it 1–1 against Wales, before his side went on to lose the match and made three appearances in the competition overall. Duda now has twelve senior national team appearances for Slovakia.

Duda began his football career at his hometown club MFK Snina, before moving to MFK Košice in 2012, where he rose through the youth team ranks, making his first-team debut for the club at the age of 17.

Joining Legia Warsaw in 2014 on a four-and-a-half year deal, the six-footer shone in Ekstraklasa League competition and was compared to speedster Angel Di Maria of Paris St Germain.  Thus far, the youngster has over 130 senior squad club appearances in all competitions.

Last season, the youthful playmaker was a regular for the Polish champions, helping them to the title, making 27 appearances and scoring two goals. He appeared 11 times in last seasons UEFA Europa League campaign too, finding the net twice.

Duda was close to sealing a move to Inter Milan 12 months ago, but a move failed to materialise.

Arsenal, Tottenham, Stoke, Everton, Southampton, Newcastle, West Ham as well as Portuguese side Sporting Braga, were all keeping tabs on the highly rated player, but Duda opted for the Bundesliga and Germany’s capital club.

Why Wijnaldum is perfect for Liverpool

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After Liverpool completed the £23 million signing of Georginio Wijnaldum, Sam May takes a look at why he would be the perfect addition.

It will be interesting to see were the former Newcastle United midfielder fits into to Klopp’s set-up, however. There are many positions he could play, as the Kop boss favours a 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1 formation. The Dutch international, is a box-to-box midfielder and can operate in a three or in any of the three, behind the strikers in a 4-2-3-1.

So what made the German splash out on one of Newcastle’s few shining stars last season? The fact the high performing 25-year-old is versatile is something that Klopp likes. Former Reds manager Rafael Benitez was quoted saying: “He can play in a number of positions, he’s that good”.

Scoring 11 goals in a poor Magpies team last season, the former PSV captain scored four against a relegated Norwich City side and all of his goals came at St. James’s Park, so he clearly has an eye for goal. He scored more league goals last season than Dele Alli, Dmitri Payet, Mesut Özil, Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen. With this record he would have been Liverpool’s top scorer last season!

Goals have been something that Liverpool have needed to improve from midfield and there has been signs of a big improvement already, with young 20-year-old Serbian, Marco Grujić, netting twice this pre-season so far. He looks like an exciting prospect. Add Wijnaldum and Liverpool’s goal tally will certainly be boosted. Now include Mané, the Reds have more firepower already. If all adapt to Klopp’s style quickly – Premier League rivals beware.

Wijnaldum will be starting week in week out, but it will be interesting to see who he replaces. Adam Lallana, James Milner and Jordan Henderson, were favourites last season but now have a fight on their hands to stay in the team following the arrival of Liverpool’s new Dutch midfielder. Competition for places will be tougher next season.

Two centre backs Klopp must target

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Following the injuries to Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho, as well as the absence of Tiago llori, who will be representing Portugal at the Rio Olympics, Sam May believes these are two defenders Klopp should make a move for, even though the Reds have completed the capture of Ragnar Klavan from FC Augsburg.

1. Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 20-year-old, a 2015 signing from Hamburg has been a prominent figure at BayArena since his arrival.

Being one of Germany’s best young defensive talents, he would slot straight into Klopp’s set-up, rather than being a player for the future. As somebody once said, “if your good enough, your old enough” – and he’s good enough.

Liverpool have previously targeted a move for Tah and Chelsea were also keen, but their interest has since cooled.

The intelligent 6′ 3″ centre back was called up to the German national team for the European championships in France, following the injury to Antonio Rüdiger, but failed to make an appearance.

Klopp should make a move now for this Jérôme Boateng style player.
2. Niklas Süle (Hoffenheim)

Another solid centre back who would fit the bill at Anfield.

Süle, 20, was linked with a move to Anfield at the end of last season. A move failed to materialise. At 6′ 5″, he has the physical presence to withstand the rigours of Premier League football.

The youngster is strong, reads the game well and is an all round talent. Obviously good in the air, which clearly is what Liverpool need, having conceded far too many goals from set-pieces last campaign. Very composed, he would be the perfect Klopp addition.

Liverpool have previously raised Hoffenheim, signing Roberto Firmino for £29 million, could they go back to lure Süle to Anfield?

Firmino improved dramatically under the Kop boss last season, so if Süle does make the move, expect the same.

With both available, now is the time to take action.

Two players who could replace Jordan Ibe at Liverpool

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Following Jordan Ibe’s £15 million move to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, Sam May believes here are two players Klopp could sign as his replacement.

Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 20-year-old who can play on the right or left came through the ranks at SC Borgfield, before spending two years in the youth ranks of Wolfsburg. Signing for Leverkusen in 2013, he made his first team debut against Schalke a year later.

Between March and April 2016, he scored in six consecutive Bundesliga matches, becoming the youngest player since Gerd Müller to achieve this. The youngster was named in the preliminary Germany squad for Euro 2016 but wasn’t selected for the tournament.

Being a German international from Under 15 level, this outlines his pedigree. Being a physically imposing winger, he could easily fit the bill.

Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia)

Described as “deliciously talented” by Gary Lineker after Poland’s first opening victory at Euro 2016, the 19-year old is been targeted by Southampton, Leicester, Juventus and Dortmund. The fact is he could go as far as Robert Lewandowski. There is something special between Polish players and Jürgen Klopp though. Lukas Piszczek, Jakub Błaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski himself, have developed into great players under the guidance of the former Dortmund boss, so if brought in, why not Kapustka?

It will be interesting to see what sort of fee the teenager commands. The Cracovia winger recently signed up with agent Bartlomiej Bolek, who has reportedly been involved in negotiations with Liverpool over a potential move for Piotr Zieliński.

What can Vincent Janssen bring to Tottenham?

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After Vincent Janssen completed his €22 million move to White Hart Lane, Sam May takes a look at what Spurs can expect.

Mauricio Pochettino moved swiftly to secure the services of the “new Robin Van Persie” as he looks to strengthen his attack for the upcoming season. The move could also ease the burden on Harry Kane.

The deal signals the remarkable rise of the former AZ striker, from Almere City, AZ and now Spurs. Hitting 21 goals in 17 league games last campaign is why the Londoners have paid the price for this highly talented goal machine. He also scored a penalty on his International debut back in March against in England, so confidence is not an issue.

Last season he won the Johan Cruyff Trophy for the Eredivisie’s young player of the year, which has previously been won by Tottenham players Rafael van der Vaart and Christian Eriksen.

Janssen has it all. The Netherlands international has sharp movement, great awareness and deadly finishing, but won’t be used as a target man. He is more likely to play off Kane perhaps, but where does that leave Eriksen and Alli?

Having great finishing ability, he is being likened to both Van Persie and Ruud Van Nistelrooy. His step up to the Eredivise didn’t faze the 22-year-old. In fact he embraced it, and this has developed him into a fully-fledged international and, Premier League player.

Janssen comes to Spurs expecting to start. He is young and confident, can score goals and is a key player at international level – Tottenham will have to manage his expectations, and that won’t be easy if he is warming the bench.

One thing’s for sure, Pochettino will develop him further, but competition for places up front, coupled with his desire to be first pick, may cause a little unrest. If he starts, and continues where he left off last season, Spurs will have got themselves a new superstar.

Why Liverpool should sign Neven Subotić this summer

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Sam May takes a look at why Liverpool should go all out to sign the Borussia Dortmund centre back.

It was announced he is set to depart the Westfalenstadion via his Facebook account. Suffering an arm injury last season, he has fell down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel.

Subotić wrote: “Dear friends, last year I realised that my love of football in an active role on the pitch, it is too big to just be able to see it from the outside.”

He says he wants to play regular first-team football:

“I am now at the best age for a footballer and naturally want to use this time to bring me and my team forward every day and to have the feeling of being needed on the pitch.

“I don’t want to earn my money sat on the bench, but to be an active part of a story as I was until last year. I hope you can understand.

“BVB are the club of my heart and always will be.”

It proved a tough decision having spent eight years at the club and having been a regular under former Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool should push to sign him. It is clear Klopp, wants to add to his defence ahead of the new season.

Klopp’s Reds have already secured the services of Joel Matip on a free transfer from Schalke, but could go back into the market in pursuit of another centre back. The 27-year-old would offer that experience in the backline, having featured in the Champions League for Dortmund. With Martin Škrtel set to depart to Fenerbache next week, the Reds should look no further. Subotić  would be an upgrade due to his strong positional sense and aggression.

There is no question he would be keen on a re-union with his former boss, who brought him along as a footballer as he managed him at both Mainz and Dortmund. The chance to play in the Premier League would also be a factor. But the biggest pull of all is that of being wanted – and I am sure he will get this at Anfield.

Liverpool will face competition however from Arsenal and Sunderland for the defenders signature.