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Which Dortmund Stars should Jurgen Klopp bring to Liverpool?

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Liverpool fans will no doubt be over the moon with the appointment of Jurgen Klopp as the successor to Brendan Rodgers. The big German put pen to paper after speculation surrounding the deal arose following the departure of Rodgers, who failed to deliver a major trophy during his tenure on Merseyside. The deal for this eccentric, extremely likeable character came as little surprise; with his name on the lips of nearly every Liverpool fan almost as soon as Rodgers had left the building.

With a proven track record in the Bundesliga and a solid showing in the Champions League, the former Borussia Dortmund manager looks to be a fine match for Liverpool; who are looking for a total revamp in the midst of a pretty barren time over on Anfield Road. Anyway, now that Kopites worldwide finally have their man, whispers and murmurs of possible transfer targets are beginning to leak out from every corner of the media. Klopp’s reputation is one that could see a number of high profile players make a possible move to Anfield in the coming January transfer window – with one or two possessing the power to turn a good side into a great one.

Marco Reus

Right then, let’s kick things off with the one player that nearly every Liverpool fan would love to see pull on the famous red – that man Marco Reus. With Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski leaving for Bayern Munich following Klopp’s success with his former club, many had tipped Dortmund to slip away in the German hierarchy. Still, with players like Marco Reus – who is without doubt one of the most exciting players in the German league – Borussia Dortmund still possessed some of that spark and edge that had once guided them to Bundesliga glory. The attacking midfielder is still only 26-year old, yet he has managed to establish himself not only in his Dortmund side but in the International set up too.

Despite not featuring in Germany’s World Cup winning side in Brazil through injury, had Reus been fit, it could’ve perhaps been even easier for Deutschland to lift the trophy in Rio. It goes without saying that Reus could fit into most Premier League sides, though with the exit of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City and constant injuries doubts surrounding Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge, Reus could be the player to give Liverpool that familiar buzz once more. Rumour of this possible move for Reus has lingered for some time now, and with Klopp’s deal now solidified, it could be that the newly appointed Liverpool manager’s charm and know-how could persuade Dortmund’s star-man to follow suit.

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Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic

Elsewhere, it would seem that Liverpool’s defensive issues are, shall we say, no laughing matter. The 2013/14 Premier League title should have settled on Merseyside with weeks left to play, had it not been for some cataclysmic errors at the back.

Scoring goals was not the problem, thanks to the brilliance of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Former captain Steven Gerrard even wept after the victory over Manchester City at Anfield, bringing them within touching distance of the one trophy that had eluded Gerrard throughout his career. However, thanks to a lack of defensive stability, the title was lost. This is one area that Klopp with undoubtedly look to address in the primary months of his new job – and two names spring to mind when considering possible defensive reinforcements.

Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic would both be fantastic editions to Liverpool’s defensive outfit, pushing the likes of Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho straight on to the Anfield bench. Despite spending a whopping £38million on Lovren and Sakho, the pairing didn’t exactly exude safety and reassurance at the back under Rodgers. Hummels has been linked with a move to Manchester United in previous transfer windows; however this lack of movement thus far could prove noteworthy to Liverpool fans now that Klopp has come to England.

Neven Subotic is a real favourite of the new Liverpool boss, who brought the central defender with him from Mainz when he arrived in Dortmund back in 2008. The Serbian International was a rock at the back for Dortmund under Klopp, though his role in the starting line up has been sporadic since the departure of his former boss. This alone could increase the possibility of the move and I’m sure many Liverpool fans would welcome a defender who has not only worked with Klopp, but who can guarantee a fortification on their side’s defensive performances.

Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Another name to be mentioned in the midst of the Klopp saga is midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. Now, admittedly, Liverpool are not short of midfielders having just recruited James Milner to sit alongside their captain Jordan Henderson, or even Lucas Leiva.

Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana are also two other current Liverpool names you would assume Klopp will want to keep hold of, in light of their recent performances and pedigree.

Nevertheless, transfers and alterations are inevitable in light of staff changes. This could mean perhaps exits for some Anfield favourites, or some time on the bench for those who do not impress Mr. Klopp from the off.

Players such as Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are just two of the big names mentioned that could be set to follow Klopp – as well as maybe a whisper of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (or this may just be wishful thinking).

Of course, this is all speculation at the moment, but anything is possible when concerning Premier League clubs and their ever-growing cheque books.

It of course goes without saying that Jurgen Klopp has an excellent track record in establishing new names and bringing in players in all types of positions (on a previously pretty low budget may I add).

During his time as Dortmund manager Klopp brought through the likes of Goetze and Lewandowski, as well as Hummels, Gundogan, Reus and Shinji Kagawa, to name but a few.

These players alone would arguably (more like definitely) walk into Liverpool’s starting XI at the present time, proving that Klopp not only has a keen eye for a talent but has the supporting staff to assist him in these proven decisions.

This may be presumptuous, but after the extortionate spending of the Rodgers era (with little to no reward) a manager with strong ties to an elite list of players, may be the cherry on top of the proverbial ‘Klopp cake’ so to speak.

Signings are perhaps the key factor in the shaping of a managers time at any club and I think it’s safe to say that Klopp has made some biggies in his short time in the managerial world.

Roll on January.


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Three talking points as Tottenham secured top spot with a Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham ensured that they progressed to the Champions League knock-out stages as Group H winners after coming from behind to see off Borussia Dortmund in Germany on Tuesday night.

Dortmund – who were reliant on Real Madrid dropping points at Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia in the evening’s other fixture to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16 – took the early advantage when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished smartly from Andriy Yarmolenko’s clever flick.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side nearly crafted an equaliser before the break, only for both Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier to be denied in the space of a few minutes after superb work by ‘keeper Roman Burki.

But it didn’t take long for the visitors to draw level in the second-half, with Harry Kane afforded too much space on the edge of the box as he arrowed an effort into the corner with his first real chance.

Son Heung-min’s effort 15 minutes from time, a fine curling finish after tenacious work from Dele Alli, then sealed the turnaround and condemned the hosts to a shock early Champions League exit.

Tottenham bounce back after derby disappointment

After Saturday’s harrowing and disappointing defeat to old foes Arsenal, manager Mauricio Pochettino summed up Tuesday’s performance perfectly by labelling it as the ‘perfect reaction’.

It is hard to disagree with the Argentinian either, with his side displaying far more grit, determination and character at the Westfalenstadion to forget about their Premier League defeat and come from behind to beat a strong Borussia Dortmund outfit, securing their surprise status as Group H winners.

It seemed like they were suffering a North London derby hangover of sorts when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired the hosts in front on the half-hour mark, but Spurs dug deep and showed that they are aiming to do more than just make up the numbers in the Champions League this campaign.

All of a sudden they burst into life after the break, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli – who were both anonymous at the Gunners – getting involved more and causing problems for a tiring home defence.

It was the former who levelled things up when Kane’s neat low drive found the back of the net, signalling his sixth Champions League goal in five appearances this season, whilst Alli was influential in assisting both goals, seeing off two Dortmund defenders before laying off to Son Heung-min for his winner.

It wasn’t a match that needed to be won, considering Tottenham had already secured their safe passage into the knock-out stages, but the manner of victory will no doubt send out a message across Europe.

Dortmund’s decline ends in Champions League exit

Yet, whilst Tottenham will be buoyant and nervously await the draw for the last 16 next month, Borussia Dortmund will be reflecting on where things went wrong after a dismal European outing this season.

Despite having a number of world-class individuals in their ranks – Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa, the young Christian Pulisic, Mario Gotze and the injured Marco Reus are all part of the squad at the disposal of manager Peter Bosz – it’s been a stuttering season both in Europe and domestically too.

Their inability to beat Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia across two matches all-but put an end to any aspirations of knock-out football, and it seems that the Europa League will now be their next destination.

Add this to their woeful Bundesliga form of late, losing four of their last five matches and drawing the other one to leave them nine points adrift of the top of the table, and warning signs are now flashing.

It’s all a stark contrast to 2013, the year that the German side fell narrowly short in the Champions League final, and it’s clear for all to see that something is fundamentally not right just four years on.

The fact that Aubameyang – who was left out of the Dortmund squad for their Bundesliga defeat at Stuttgart last week after being sanctioned by Bosz – barely celebrated a sublime goal tells its own story of the club’s affairs, and it seems that the head coach could be walking on a very fine tightrope.

Pochettino’s conundrum after Aurier impresses

One thing that was clear from Pochettino’s team selection on Tuesday, other than the clear fact that he was looking for a quick response to the Arsenal defeat by selecting a strong side, was that summer signing Serge Aurier seems to be the preferred right-back option for the Champions League this season.

The £24 million man may have garnered a reputation for being a bit erratic but, contrary to some of his rash moments this season, he played with an element of maturity and care on Tuesday evening.

He certainly warranted his selection at Dortmund, always offering an outlet on the right-wing and constantly finding himself with a wealth of space to run into behind their captain Marcel Schmelzer.

Aurier’s delivery was generally accurate too, forcing the Dortmund defence into last-ditch blocks inside their own area with Kane lurking, whilst he kept things compact alongside Davinson Sanchez at the back.

It would no doubt have hurt the Ivorian to have been omitted from the side for the mightily impressive win over Real Madrid after playing in Tottenham’s opening three European matches, but on Tuesday’s showing he’s laid down a marker for rival Kieran Trippier ahead of the knock-out stages.

Considering the question marks hanging over the head of boss Pochettino about whether Kyle Walker could be replaced it’s certainly not a bad dilemma to have, and a bit of healthy competition between two viable wide options could prove key for Tottenham as the season goes on.

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Analysing Tottenham striker Harry Kane’s two-goal heroics against Borussia Dortmund

Rob Meech

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Harry Kane

Much had been written about Harry Kane’s barren August, in which he failed to score. However, the drought is well and truly over now September has arrived. Since finding the net for England during the international break, the 24-year-old has rediscovered his scoring boots in spectacular fashion.

His brace against Borussia Dortmund in Tottenham Hotspur‘s opening Champions League Group H clash was as impressive as it was timely, providing his side with the perfect start to their European adventure and banishing the Wembley Stadium hoodoo.

It’s no secret that Tottenham are heavily reliant on Kane (perhaps overly so) to be their chief attacking threat, but he rarely lets them down. Manager Mauricio Pochettino will be relieved that his star man is back to his best.

The England striker had a hand in all three of their goals against Dortmund, setting up Son Heung-min for the first before netting either side of half-time to ensure Spurs sent home their supporters happy.

Both goals underlined Kane’s natural ability as a finisher, which has earned him the Premier League’s Golden Boot trophy in the previous two seasons. His first was a carbon copy of Son’s, cutting in from the left and unleashing a rasping drive that beat Roman Burki at his near post.

Perhaps the Dortmund keeper’s positioning was questionable, but such was the power and pinpoint accuracy of Kane’s strike that it would have taken some stopping wherever he had been stationed.

Although Dortmund looked vulnerable at the back, their attacking prowess had caused Spurs problems all night and a 2-1 lead seemed precarious. So Kane’s second of the night was mightily important because it effectively killed off the game.

After being put through by Cristian Eriksen, Kane still had work to do to create enough space to get his shot away. Once again, the accuracy was such that it left Burki with little chance of preventing it from nestling in the back of the net.

Kane could have completed his hat-trick before he was substituted to a rapturous reception from the Wembley faithful, but the damage had been done. Everyone knows Kane likes to shoot from all areas of the pitch, but opponents seem powerless to stop him.

His two goals from four efforts – as well as an assist – represented an excellent night’s work for a man who has grown in stature to become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. Kane will remain fundamental to Spurs’ hopes of honours this season, both domestically and in Europe.

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“The Wembley curse is over” – Three things learnt from Tottenham 3-1 Borussia Dortmund

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Harry Kane

Tottenham may face a tough Champions League group including Real Madrid and APOEL alongside Borussia Dortmund, but they could not have gotten off to a better start than with a 3-1 home victory over the Germans.

Son Heung-Min raced clear in the opening minutes to give Mauricio Pochettino‘s side the lead, but that lead was quickly pegged back after Andriy Yarmolenko looped an effort over Hugo Lloris and into the corner of the net.

That sparked Harry Kane to life, shrugging off two challenges before firing the ball into the back of the net for a third goal inside 15 minutes. After that the game calmed down as Kane’s second goal midway through the second half put the tie to bed.

A late sending off for Jan Vertonghen, who saw a second yellow for a flailing arm, marred things slightly but Spurs still got off to a dream start at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…

The Wembley curse is over

The tag of a Wembley curse has dogged Tottenham at the start of this season, not helped by defeat to Chelsea and a draw with Burnley, but there is no more emphatic way to put an end to such concerns than by wiping the floor with a difficult Champions League opponent.

Tottenham got off to a dream start through Son Heung-Min and even after conceding an equaliser they reacted well to rapidly re-take the lead. Such a win will give a huge confidence boost and Spurs fans will hope that it will remove any Wembley hoodoo too.

Dortmund continue to disappoint

Gone are the days when Borussia Dortmund were a force to be reckoned with in Europe under Jurgen Klopp, but their performances at Europe’s most elite level have been underwhelming for some time. At Wembley, they once again failed to deceive.

For all their possession and time on the ball in the Tottenham half, they failed to create many clear cut chances, with even their goal coming courtesy of an inspired strike from distance. Defensively they were poor too, with Tottenham scything the back four apart on the counter attack. Mauricio Pochettino will be confident of qualifying from a tough group on the back of that display.

Fernando Llorente offers an entirely different option

He may only have got a few minutes, but right from the off it was clear that the Spaniard’s introduction for Harry Kane would give Tottenham a different dimension in attack. Spurs immediately went for a more direct style with Llorente giving a real focal point in attack.

It’s likely that Llorente will have to wait until the Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley next week for his first start in Tottenham colours, but such aerial presence and power could come in handy against sides like his former team Swansea, who his new club face this weekend.

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