Despite securing seven new faces over the summer transfer window, most of whom look bound to improve the first eleven, any success in the transfer window was dampened somewhat by Liverpool’s failure to secure the signing of a new left-back.
James Milner (a midfielder) and Alberto Moreno are currently the only options in that position, but it all could have been very different for the Reds, as Barcelona director Robert Fernandez has claimed that the Merseyside club were in for a deal to sign Lucas Digne over the summer.
Digne joined Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain over the summer in a deal of around £14 million, and Liverpool’s approach was not considered seriously by the French club as they were “too slow” in getting negotiations moving.
Although in a straight fight it would have been very difficult to oust Barcelona in transfer negotiations, it will still prove to be a great source of frustration for Liverpool fans that the club could have bought a high quality replacement to fill a gaping hole in their line-up, but failed thanks to the tardiness of the club’s negotiators.
23-year-old Digne is far from the finished package, but he has 14 caps for France, and if his performances on loan for Roma over the last season were enough to convince Barcelona he’s a good player for them, he would have been able to do a job for Liverpool too.
Away from transfer news and into the realm of international football, there was a scare for Reds fans after Sadio Mane limped off in Senegal’s victory over Namibia.
Due to a general lack of world media coverage at the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, it is hard to know the extent of Mane’s injury. There were reports on Twitter that the injury could be a fairly serious knock, but some fans from Senegal reported that he was walking normally and talking to fans at the end of the game. It will be impossible to assess the situation properly until Mane returns to Melwood.
One thing that is for certain, though, is that Mane will be missing for up to a month in January and February after helping his country qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. Joel Matip’s Cameroon also qualified, but he is currently in international exile that shows no sign of ending.
Losing Mane, even for a month, could be a massive blow for the Reds, as the Senegalese has shown himself to be a vital part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the upcoming season. His pace will be dearly missed, and Klopp will have to adapt the side to cater for his absence.
One player who may help to fill the void is Adam Lallana, who struck his first England goal on his 27th cap to ensure that Sam Allardyce’s reign as manager started with a narrow victory in Slovakia.
Jordan Henderson also started the game, with Daniel Sturridge emerging from the bench, but it was Lallana who shone for the Three Lions, and looked the most dangerous player on the pitch for much of the game. He struck the post with a fierce shot, worked tirelessly, and thoroughly deserved his slice of luck when his shot trickled through the goalkeeper in the 95th minute.
Reds fans will hope he can carry on this goalscoring at Anfield.
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