As deadline day arrives, The Times indicate that there could be one final twist in one of this summer’s ongoing transfer sagas in the future of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk. They believe that Liverpool could be prepared to spend as much as £70 million to bring the Dutch international to Anfield if the Saints reconsider their stance on the defender.
Only two weeks ago, Southampton chairman Ralph Kruger effectively ruled out a sale as he told the Daily Echo that despite submitting a transfer request, the club would not be forced to sell their star man:
“Virgil is not the only player that is involved in this he is part of the whole strategy of not selling. Nobody is for sale that we don’t want to sell and so he is not for sale in this window. We have said it more than once.”
However, the Belfast Telegraph believe that Van Dijk is still desperate to move to Anfield. He is reportedly particularly keen on a move to team up with Jurgen Klopp and work under the German. With Liverpool’s defence in a state of disarray at the best of times in 2016/17 and the start of 2017/18, he would rapidly become a key player for the club.
At £70 million, it is hard to see how the Saints could turn down such an offer. With Van Dijk currently training with the under 23s and not even involved in first team training, it is a tough stance to take as a matter of pride. However, it is one that Liverpool should know only too well given the situation with a key player of their own, Philippe Coutinho.
Yahoo Sport also claim that the situation has been made more difficult by the fact that the relationship between the two clubs is far from the best, having taken the likes of Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Ricky Lambert from the south coast to Merseyside in recent seasons. Some at Saint Mary’s are reportedly prepared to dig their heels in to avoid seeing yet another key player taken away by the Reds.
If common sense prevails, then Southampton would accept a bid of £70 million for a player currently rotting in the reserves having made it clear that he wants to leave the club. However, particularly on deadline day, there is a shortage of common sense in football and pride could come into play and prevent the Saints from selling before the 11pm deadline.
Fans criticise Jack Wilshere omission after Jordan Henderson’s ‘toothless’ England performance
Gareth Southgate’s bold decision is already being questioned.
England put an end to the World Cup opener curse after Harry Kane’s stoppage time winner ensured England started the tournament with a victory, with Tunisia looking more than likely to take their share of the points in Volgograd.
After a promising opening 20 minutes, England’s shortcomings in front of goal were punished as Tunisia were awarded a penalty – using VAR – and Ferjani Sassi equalised from the spot, heaping pressure on Gareth Southgate’s outfit to score a second.
But creativity was scarce from the Three Lions, in what was a stressful and frustrating half to watch for the nation.
And Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has come under fire for his performance in the heart of the midfield, with many believing that Arsenal‘s Jack Wilshere would have been more creative and imaginative in central midfield, if he wasn’t omitted from international duties this earlier this summer.
Henderson frequently opted for possession over creativity and was guilty of taking too many touches in the midfield yesterday, particularly in the second half and the speed of play was directly affected as a result.
Here’s the Twitter reaction:
Playing teams like Tunisia, you need a player like Jack Wilshere who can unlock defences. I’d rather a half fit Wilshere over Henderson in there.
— Scott Johnson (@KingSMJ23) June 18, 2018
Am I missing something with Henderson though? Pundits praising him to the hilt but he did nothing for me. Wilshere and Shelvey would have done a better job for me.
— J.Steel.WHU (@BecontreeHammer) June 18, 2018
Relying on Lingard and Jordan Henderson to be the creative sparks when you have Jack Wilshere at home ????
— MILTON † (@Andy_Milton) June 18, 2018
Thoughts at 90:
England are dreadful
Jack Wilshere would’ve made tonight so much easier
Alli should’ve been subbed off at half time
Henderson can’t make a forward pass
Tunisia did very well
— The Real Miloš Penn(g) (@paperclipknight) June 18, 2018
Imagine jack wilshere playing balls forward into that front four instead of Jordan Henderson
— Steven Waters (@stevenwaters16) June 18, 2018
Jack Wilshere would’ve added a lot in this toothless midfield led by Henderson & co.
— Awalla. (@TheIDDI___) June 18, 2018
Wilshere would walk into this team, Henderson is so poor forever going side to side or backwards
— Abas Nawaz (@Abas_182) June 18, 2018
I still don’t get how Wilshere didn’t make it onto the plane??Bit of creativity,Henderson is awful
— RD1 (@Rossa_010) June 18, 2018
Henderson not positive enough, we someone like… You a Jack Wilshere type of player…@TheOfficialFNG ?
— Tom (@Tom97HD) June 18, 2018
Every time Henderson dithers on the ball I think of Jack Wilshere and how he should be playing!
— stephen sneller (@steviesnells) June 18, 2018
By no means did the 28-year-old have an awful game, but his choice of pass was often safe and as a result England lacked impetus and drive in the second-half, until the additions of Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added a spark in the final third.
Gareth Southgate will often opt for control in central midfield against tougher opposition – with Belgium on the horizon – but against the likes of Tunisia and Panama, the side can afford to take more risks and be more inventive, and the decision to leave Wilshere at home is already being questioned after just one game.
Gary Neville warns against Liverpool landing Xherdan Shaqiri this summer
The ex-Manchester United man wasn’t impressed with the Swiss international.
Premier League pundit and Manchester United legend Gary Neville appears to have warned Liverpool – and other potential suitors – off signing Stoke City maestro Xherdan Shaqiri this summer, after his “lazy” performance against Brazil last night.
Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen on the £12 million man, after seeing a move for Lyon star Nabil Fekir fall through in advanced stages, and is likely to step up his interest once the World Cup concludes, according to reports from the Mirror.
The Reds have been courting the Swiss international since 2014, before Jurgen Klopp was manager, back when former club Bayern Munich were said to have blocked a move, and he later joined Inter Milan.
Now, having been relegated with Stoke City, it looks increasingly likely that the 26-year-old will leave the bet365 Stadium. But, Neville – who joined the ITV panel as a pundit yersterday – has suggested that the Champions League runners-up would be best advised to look elsewhere (the Express).
Speaking before the game, Neville revealed: “I’m not a fan of Shaqiri to be honest with you. I think that was made worse by the fact that he distanced himself from his teammates as Stoke. [Stoke] were unprofessional last season, there’s no doubt, and he epitomises it.
“He could score the goal of the tournament and could have the most amazing game. But he could also be there for three matches, do nothing and just amble and waddle around.”
Shaqiri, despite his limited work-rate, did provide a pivotal moment in the game, as his perfectly floated corner landed on the head of Steven Zuber in the second-half, with the defender equalling the score, and the Swiss taking their equal share of points on the night.
Prior to this, Neville slammed his work-rate during the half-time interval claiming: “Shaqiri is just lazy. There’s no other word for him. He will not run back.” And this was evident as captain Steven Lichtsteiner was forced to shackle Neymar, Marcelo and Philippe Coutinho on his own for large periods.
Given the high-pressing, high-energy philosophy that Klopp’s outfit employs, Neville could be making a crucial point. But time will tell to see if the Potter’s performance has influenced Liverpool’s decision in the near future.
Liverpool fans won’t be disheartened by lack of Timo Werner talks after World Cup display
The German has been heavily linked with Liverpool but is still not the finished article.
One man who has been consistently linked with a move to Liverpool in recent seasons is German striker Timo Werner. The Leipzig star was, therefore, being watched closely by Reds fans when Germany took on Mexico in the first game of Germany’s World Cup defence.
Werner, who has also been tipped as one of 10 players to watch at the World Cup by The Boot Room, did not have his best game.
The Leipzig striker struggled throughout the game to make any sort of impact against Mexico’s excellent defenders. In the end, he was hauled off, limping, after a poor display in Moscow, with El Tri winning the game 1-0.
Whilst Liverpool continues to be a rumoured destination for Werner, it is clear that the Reds are not apparently interested. It was reported by the Liverpool Echo that the club made it clear he was not a target as far back as March. Which was a surprise, considering he has scored 21 goals this season.
But based on this performance, Liverpool fans will not be too disappointed in the decision.
With Nabil Fekir no longer arriving, the Werner rumours had recently come back to the surface. But it would appear Rhian Brewster, handed a new deal by Liverpool this weekend, may now get a pathway to the first-team.
As for Werner, his ability is not in doubt. This summer he may make a move and wherever he goes he will surely be a success.
But Liverpool will not be overly concerned about their decision to let a transfer move slide.
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