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Liverpool

Arsenal players must consider Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain success as warning sign

The former Arsenal man has excelled in recent weeks at Anfield.

Mathew Nash

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Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool picked up a routine win against Newcastle United at the weekend. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane saw the Reds claim a comfortable win at Anfield.

One player who continues to impress at Liverpool is midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined the club for a fee reported by the Telegraph to be in the region of £35 million.

When he first made his move to Liverpool from Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer it was a tough transition. Oxlade-Chamberlain spent much of his early Liverpool career on the bench or struggling when he did, in fact, get an opportunity in the first-team.

But in recent weeks he has been superb. Jurgen Klopp has the 24-year-old finally playing a more disciplined and nurtured game from the heart of midfield. Exiting Arsenal for Liverpool has clearly been a massive boost to the England international, who looks likely to be on the plane to Russia this summer.

It is in sharp contrast to the fortunes at his former club. Arsenal are currently in a state of freefall. From their close call against Swedish minnows Ostersunds in the Europa League, to their recent horror-show performances versus Manchester City. At the weekend the Gunners’ misery was compounded by defeat at Brighton.

Liverpool, meanwhile, could finish as best of the rest in the Premier League.

It must leave some Arsenal players wondering if the grass is indeed greener. Jack Wilshere has just months remaining on his deal at the Emirates. Aaron Ramsey’s contract expires next summer.

Both players must surely be considering their future. Wilshere’s immediacy regarding his contract issues should make him a Liverpool target. Emre Can could exit Anfield this summer and Wilshere would be a brilliant replacement.

(Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Ramsey would also fit in well at Liverpool. The Welshman could be considered a replacement for Adam Lallana, whose injury-ravaged season has seen his stock fall.

There is currently no indication Liverpool are chasing either Arsenal player. But the question both Wilshere and Ramsey must be asking is whether their careers are suffering at the Emirates.

Just look at how Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has improved their former team-mate. The German looks to be creating a success like Arsene Wenger once did at the Emirates. That time has past and if a chance to head to Anfield came up for either Wilshere or Ramsey, they would be mad not to take it.

Fulham

On this day: Leeds cash in on Wood, Coutinho told he’s staying and Seri’s Barca links

What were the big stories in football a year ago today? Including Leeds United, Liverpool and Fulham.

Mathew Nash

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Chopping Wood

One year ago today and Leeds United lost their talismanic striker Chris Wood to Burnley. After a tumultuous summer of rumours and conjecture, the club’s leading scorer left in a club record £15 million deal.

In his two seasons at Leeds the New Zealand international scored an impressive 44 goals in 88 games for the Whites.

Leeds were desperate not to lose the player and ended up paying for his absence. They failed to replace him, with nearest replica Pierre-Michel Lasogga falling short of expectations.

Wood has since gone on to establish himself at Burnley, scoring 11 goals in 26 games during his first season at Turf Moor.

Leeds now have Kemar Roofe firing and also signed Patrick Bamford this summer.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Chris Wood of Burnley celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor on September 19, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

No-go Coutinho

A year ago today and Liverpool had managed to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian had been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona throughout last summer.

However, as reported by Sky Sports a year ago, Liverpool made it clear Coutinho was going nowhere.

In the end, it proved to just be a stall. Coutinho completed the inevitable switch to Barcelona in January for a fee of £146 million.

However, many Liverpool fans would perhaps argue the club are now performing better than they ever did when Coutinho was at Anfield.

Seri-ous money

Signed by Fulham this summer, a year ago today it seemed Jean-Michael Seri was on his way to Barcelona.

Marca suggested that Barcelona had met the apparent £36.6 million release clause in his contract at Nice. Unfortunately, that clause had expired.

With Barcelona not willing to pay more, they moved on.

Seri joined Fulham this summer for a club record fee.

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Crystal Palace

One winner, one loser as Crystal Palace suffer defeat to Liverpool

Max Cohen

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Palace
Photo: Getty Images

On Monday night Crystal Palace produced a spirited display against Liverpool but ultimately fell to a 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles gave the Reds a run for their money all night, yet James Milner’s penalty and Sadio Mane’s breakaway finish handed Liverpool all three points.

Here is one winner and one loser from the final match of the Premier League week, as the performance spelled good news for Palace’s season but will be a blow for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Winner: Crystal Palace’s top-half ambitions

Just a week earlier, Liverpool had dealt West Ham a harsh footballing lesson by thrashing the east Londoners 4-0 at Anfield. The Reds’ front three was unplayable and the new-look squad appeared to have genuine title ambitions.

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

But when the Merseyside club made the trip to SE25, they found a far more difficult opponent in Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side made life uncomfortable all match for Liverpool, playing an aggressive style that denied Liverpool time on the ball and resulted in numerous chances for Palace to take the lead.

In the end, Liverpool only made a breakthrough by way of a penalty, after Andros Townsend had rattled the bar earlier. And although Palace went down to ten men and let in a second goal, the Eagles nonetheless continued to attack and pile on pressure.

Although Crystal Palace took no points from the match, their encouraging performance against one of the league’s top sides is reason to believe they can crack the upper half of the table this campaign.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Loser: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 20-year-old right back continued right where he had left off against Fulham, turning in a brilliant display in the opening half against Liverpool. His superb pace held Mane in check and his adventurous attacking play was a lethal combination with Townsend on the right wing.

Yet unfortunately for the youngster, his night ended prematurely when he took down Mohamed Salah as the Egyptian was through on goal late in the match. A three-match ban will follow, cruelly denying Wan-Bissaka a run in the team just as he was hitting outstanding form.

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Liverpool

Three selection headaches for Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Brighton

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Photo: Getty Images.

After labouring to a convincing win over Crystal Palace, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has decisions to make ahead of returning to Merseyside and facing Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday in the late kick-off.

The Reds have remained unchanged in their two Premier League games to date, but the German could make changes to his side in the third league fixture of the campaign despite two consecutive defeats without conceding.

Here are some of the toughest calls that he may have to make…

Should Georgino Wijnaldum continue in midfield?

Few expected Georgino Wijnaldum to be starting both of Liverpool’s first two Premier League fixtures after the signings made this summer, and with Jordan Henderson having built up fitness after returning to training late after the World Cup and with Fabinho itching to make his debut, the Dutchman is under pressure.

It would be harsh to say that the former Newcastle man has put a foot wrong in his two appearances to date, in fact he was one of the stand out performers at Selhurst Park, but he knows that retaining his place won’t be easy.

Could Dejan Lovren return?

Dejan Lovren’s call up for the Croatia squad has led to speculation that a Liverpool return may be imminent after a spell on the sidelines with a stomach problem. Joe Gomez was impressive against West Ham and again against Crystal Palace, but knows that Lovren may surpass him upon his return.

With Joel Matip also returning to the bench on Monday night, Klopp has a decision to make in central defence alongside Virgil Van Dijk, even if it is too soon for Lovren to come into the team.

An opportunity to rest?

It may still be early on in the campaign, but Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield should, on paper, be one of the easier fixtures on Liverpool’s calendar. Providing a rest to the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have come straight from a World Cup campaign, may be an investment for the long term.

With the likes of Jordan Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge all on the bench and itching to get on, Klopp could consider making some changes to a team which he is yet to alter in the Premier League.

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