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Liverpool right to tie down forgotten man Taiwo Awoniyi as he could be future star

Liverpool’s Nigerian talent will now head out on loan yet again.

Mathew Nash

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TeamTALK are reporting that Liverpool have secured the future of young striker Taiwo Awoniyi despite interest from rivals. The report claims the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City were all keen on the 20-year-old. Such interest in the Nigerian is certainly odd, considering he has never played a minute of first-team football at Liverpool.

Back in the summer of 2015, Liverpool decided to bring in the talented Nigerian attacker with a fee of £400,000 paid for his services, as reported by The Guardian. That fee was paid to Swedish side Kalmar, who had the right of first-option on the player if he was to leave the Imperial Academy in Nigeria, as reported by Pulse.

The teenager was however immediately sent out on loan. He could not receive a work permit and went to FSV Frankfurt before spending the next season at NEC Nijmegen. Both campaigns ended in relegation and many Liverpool fans have probably forgotten about the striker.

But Liverpool are right to be offering him a new deal.

(Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Last season he was much more productive. He spent the campaign with Royal Excelsior Mouscron. He found the net 10 times in 31 appearances, also bagging seven assists. His form toward the end of the season, in particular, was very impressive. He scored five goals in six games before a hamstring problem ended his campaign in April.

What Liverpool have is a raw talent and, despite his work permit issues, they must make sure he remains theirs.

The report from TeamTALK suggests a potential two-year loan at Monaco could be on the cards and that would be a perfect opportunity for him to show his talents.

If he could push on into the Nigerian senior set-up, then Liverpool will have a great chance of securing that elusive work permit for the player.

If in two years time he has thrived in France and Liverpool have a gem on their hands, they will look back on this summer with pride at their hard work keeping the Super Eagle talent signed to Anfield.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Liverpool

Does Allan have a future at Liverpool after nomadic loan spells?

Liverpool brought in the talented midfielder three years ago but he has yet to play for the club.

Mathew Nash

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In the summer of 2015, pictures emerged of an unknown footballer in training with Liverpool’s first-team. It soon emerged that the player in question was Allan Rodrigues de Souza. Liverpool had signed Allan from Internacional in a deal reported to be in the region of £500,000. He looked like a great signing for the future and went on to play exceptionally well during a loan spell at SJK, helping them to their first Finnish title.

But since then it has been something of a struggle for the midfielder. Subsequent loan spells at Sint-Truiden in Belgium, Hertha Berlin in Germany and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus have been less of a hit. His last spell ended when a shoulder injury needed surgery and he has struggled with his nomadic career path since.

(Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

One pressing issue is his need for a work permit. So far the 21-year-old has not yet managed to procure one and can therefore not play for the club.

Even if he did, it seems Allan would be some way away from the first-team picture at Liverpool.

When he first arrived and was sensational on loan in Finland it was excitement with trepidation considering the standard of football in the nation.

Now Liverpool fans will be wondering if the player will ever make it at Anfield. With his contract expiring next summer 2018-19 could be last-chance saloon.

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Liverpool

What will Xherdan Shaqiri bring to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side?

The Swiss international signed for a relatively small fee.

Martyn Cooke

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Photo: Getty Images

On Friday evening Liverpool confirmed the signing of Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri for £13.5 million after triggering his release clause.

The 26-year-old became available in the summer after The Potters were relegated from the Premier League following a decade-long stay in the top flight.

The Swiss international had a release clause built into his contract that allowed him to depart the Bet365 Stadium for a relatively small fee if the club ever dropped into the Championship, making him one of the potential bargains of the transfer window.

Shaqiri signed for Stoke in the summer of 2015 from Inter Milan for a then club record fee of £12 million and was seen as a major coup at the time for The Potters.

He became an integral part of the team over the following three seasons where his creativity on the ball and knack of scoring goals at vital moments in games helped the club to successive ninth-place finishes.

However, The Potters have fallen apart in the last twelve months and ultimately ended the previous campaign by being relegated to The Championship.

Despite this, Shaqiri was one of the few players that walked away from the season with any credit. He was forced to shoulder the responsibility of being Stoke’s only attacking threat and was directly responsible for almost half of the team’s goals in the Premier League – scoring eight and earning seven assists.

It should be noted that the 26-year-old was not unanimously appreciated or adored by all Stoke supporters. Detractors suggested that he could be lethargic, was prone to picking up niggling injuries and simply lacked the consistency that was expected from a player with such a high-profile reputation.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

What will he bring to Liverpool?

Jurgen Klopp has wasted little time in further strengthening his squad this summer and Xherdan Shaqiri becomes his third signing of the summer following the arrivals of Fabinho and Naby Keita.

The Swiss international moved to the top of Liverpool’s transfer wish list after a move for Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir broke down with the deal seemingly all but done. This has subsequently left Klopp needing to consider alternative targets and it is little surprise that he has turned his attention towards Stoke City’s one-time club record signing.

Shaqiri was available at a reduced fee of £13.5 million, a drop in the ocean when viewed in the context of modern transfers, due to a release clause that became active following Stoke’s relegation.

Considering Liverpool were within hours of reportedly spending £53 million on Fekir, Shaqiri’s arrival for a much lesser fee leaves Klopp with ‘extra’ cash which can be invested in strengthening other areas of the team.

Furthermore, the Swiss international’s versatility also made him an attractive prospect. He is equally adept playing as a winger, attacking midfielder or in the hole behind the striker, meaning that he can fit seamlessly into any of the forward positions used in Klopp’s dynamic Liverpool side.

It is not as if Shaqiri is an unknown quantity either. He already has a vast amount of experience playing for a host of top European clubs, including winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2013, whilst he has also been a central feature in the Swiss national team.

In effect, Shaqiri represents a gamble for Liverpool that is cost effective and has the potential to turn into the bargain of the summer.

At worst, the 26-year-old will be a useful squad player that can provide cover for numerous forward positions and has only required limited investment. At best, if Klopp can help Shaqiri find greater consistency in his game, then Liverpool could have a real gem on their hands.

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The potential 2018/19 Liverpool XI that could win the league title

Liverpool have spent big in the transfer window so far this summer.

Liam Thomas

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Liverpool
Photo: Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side look to be on the cusp of greatness and they’ve never had a side more capable of bringing home their first ever Premier League title.

Whether or not Liverpool will finally defy the critics and win the Premier League remains to be seen, however, after last seasons heroic Champions League run, optimism is sky high for the Reds.

The transfer window is far from shut and Liverpool are still likely to sign a few more key players, with this being said, we’ve put together a potential 2018/19 Liverpool XI that could finally bring a Premier League title to Merseyside.

GK: Alisson (AS Roma)

Liverpool have been linked with the Roma and Brazilian international all summer long and with Loris Karius failing to prove himself worthy of being the Reds man between the sticks in pre-season so far it’s looking ever more likely that Jurgen Klopp will have to invest in a tried and tested goalkeeper.

It had been suggested earlier in the transfer window that Liverpool had been priced out of a move for Alisson with his current side Roma wanting a fee in excess of 70m euros. However, after an unsuccessful World Cup outing with Brazil, it is very likely the Italian team will be willing to renegotiate a deal to suit both parties.

The goalkeeper position has been a problem for the Reds ever since Pepe Reina left the side and, if they are going to capture Premier League glory, it is certainly an area they need to drastically improve.

Alisson could be the missing piece of the puzzle that Liverpool fans have been craving.

(Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/Getty Images)

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold

The product of Liverpool’s academy came of age last season and proved he was more than worthy of a position in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI. Expect to be seeing a lot more of the talented teenager next season.

CB: Virgil Van Dijk

Liverpool’s record £75 million centre back settled into life under the enigmatic Jurgen Klopp with ease last season when he joined the Reds in January and showed why he is the man to lead the Reds’ defence onto bigger and better things in years to come.

It will be interesting to see what the Reds can achieve with Van Dijk at the heart of their defence for a full season after the Dutch international made such a difference when he was recruited mid season.

CB: Dejan Lovren

Many were calling for Jurgen Klopp to go into the market for a new centre back partner for Virgil Van Dijk but after Lovren’s World Cup heroics and performances in the second half of last season, does he need to?

Lovren and Van Dijk started to form a formidable partnership at the back for the Reds, and if Lovren can wipe out the little cracks in his game, they could be onto something great.

LB: Andrew Robertson

Robertson is the ideal full-back for Jurgen Klopp’s system and showed last season why the German boss was right in recruiting him to be part of the Reds set up.

The Scot became an instant fan favourite at Anfield for his direct play and never ending work rate, and if he can reproduce the form that saw him solidify his place as Liverpool’s starting left back next season, the Reds have got an exceptional talent on their hands.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images,)

CDM: Fabinho

One of Jurgen Klopp’s newest recruits was signed from AS Monaco this summer for £39 million. Fabinho brings a winning mentality to Merseyside having won Ligue 1 with Monaco a few seasons ago, and the 24-year-olds talent is undeniable.

It will be interesting to see whether Klopp opts for Fabinho or Jordan Henderson to anchor his midfield. However, in this side we’ve given the Brazilian newbie the benefit of the doubt; Expect big things from this man.

CM: Naby Keita

Arguably Liverpool’s most exciting signing of the summer, Naby Keita brings with him a reputation for being a fantastic midfielder and gained many accolades during his time at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

Keita will stroll into the Liverpool line up next season and is one of the most exciting talents in European football. His game and style of play seem perfectly equipped to deal with the pace and physicality of the Premier League, and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares as the season progresses.

CM: Nabil Fekir (Lyon)

Will he? Won’t he? Nabil Fekir came agonisingly close to joining Liverpool at the start of the transfer window only to be denied by a last minute hiccup.

One thing that is for sure is Fekir’s desire to join Jurgen Klopp’s set up, and Liverpool are still in pole position to require the French internationals signature.

Fekir would bring the creativity and flare this Liverpool midfield has lacked since their Brazilian starlet Phillippe Coutinho left for Barcelona in January and, no doubt, would be a key player for them on their way to capturing their first ever Premier League title.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

RW: Mohamed Salah

Salah will be the focal point of Jurgen Klopp’s attacking front three after his outstanding first season with the Reds.

The Egyptian international will be looking to prove that he isn’t just a one season wonder and pick up where he left off season.

Liverpool will need Salah to be at his very best if they want any chance of winning the Premier League and the PFA Player of the Year will be expected to be banging in the goals.

Another golden boot and player of the season award for Salah in the 2018/19 season? Why not.

LW: Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane often got overlooked last season with Mohamed Salah putting in out of his skin performances. However, the Senegalese international is a vital component of Klopp’s front three.

Mane compliments Salah and Firmino perfectly up top for the Reds and Liverpool will need him to be entirely fit all season if they are to challenge the Premier Leagues best.

ST: Roberto Firmino

The last cog in the Klopp front three; Roberto Firmino proved last season why he is one of Europe’s best strikers. Despite not scoring a heap of goals, Firmino’s work off the ball for Liverpool is what makes the team tick.

The Brazilian international has gone from strength to strength since joining Liverpool from Hoffenheim in 2015 and is proving himself to be the player Jurgen Klopp promised the Anfield faithful way back then.

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