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Spain’s Isco shows what Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are missing

The midfielder scored a hat-trick as Spain romped to victory over Argentina.

Max Cohen



Photo: Getty Images

Spain 6-1 Argentina: the scoreline was simply mind-boggling, as even in an international friendly, it is exceedingly rare to see such a lopsided scoreline between two sides of the highest quality.

And Isco, the man at the heart of the ticking Spain machine last night, should be the target of the Premier League elite this summer.

At 25 years of age, the Real Madrid midfielder is in the midst of his peak as an attacking midfielder. He is prolific on the international level, scoring 10 goals in 26 caps.

But, frustratingly, Zinedine Zidane seems to have a distrust of the Spanish magician’s qualities.

In 25 total appearances this season, Isco has completed the full 90 minutes just eight times – a startlingly low number for a player of his quality.

He has fallen down the Madrid pecking order, as Zidane has preferred the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos over the Spaniard.

Isco seems to have little option but to seek pastures new this summer.

A player in the peak of his powers needs to be the star of a side, rather than an option deemed fit only for sparing substitute appearances.

(Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

And luckily for the creative midfielder, there will be a multitude of Premier League sides vying for his signature, including Liverpool, who have held shown a long-standing interest.

For Jurgen Klopp’s side, Isco’s arrival could finally provide a long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho and possibly facilitate a genuine title challenge next season.

The Reds have been long-term admirers of the Spanish midfielder, with Don Balon reporting Jurgen Klopp’s interest last summer, when Philippe Coutinho’s future at the club began to look uncertain.

Therefore, reports by Spanish journalist Josep Pedrerol, that suggest Zinedine Zidane is ready to sell Isco if he is still the manager at the Bernabeu next season, will be music to the ears of the Anfield faithful.

The Frenchman has made his distaste for the 26-year-old’s performances known, through his constant utilisation as a substitute and it speaks volumes that he hasn’t played a full 90 minutes since the 0-0 Madrid derby in mid-November.

Combined with a world-class attack consisting of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane, the Reds truly could stake a claim for the most dynamic frontline in England with the Spaniard among their ranks.

However, the Merseyside outfit will likely have competition for Isco’s signature, should he leave Madrid this summer.

Jose Mourinho would also be keen on a top-class central midfielder after his opinions appear to have soured on United’s record signing Paul Pogba.

Meanwhile, Manchester City would welcome a player who would fit perfectly into Pep Guardiola’s slick possessions style, and add a dose of flair in the centre of midfield.

Isco has the potential to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, right up there with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Andres Iniesta, and Luka Modric.

However, he needs to be the star of the show to trust flourish at the upper levels of world football. A move to England would be the perfect way to fulfill his sky-high potential. 

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.


Liverpool should use Alberto Moreno in Jamaal Lascelles pursuit

The Spaniard is struggling for first-team football at Liverpool.

Mathew Coull



Liverpool have had an excellent season, making it to the Champions League final and finishing in the Premier League top four. But the building for next season is also set to get underway soon and Liverpool still want to further improve their backline. A new centre-back is set to be targeted and The Independent believe that Jamaal Lascelles could be the man Liverpool turn to, with James Tarkowski of Burnley also mentioned.

Lascelles would obviously be a top option. The Newcastle captain has been an inspiration for the club this campaign and many were surprised he did not make it into Gareth Southgate’s plans for the World Cup.

(during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on April 15, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

But he will not come cheap and after Liverpool spent big on Virgil Van Dijk in January the Tyneside club will be pushing the price up.

However, could Liverpool have a secret weapon in the form of Alberto Moreno?

Back in 2015 Rafa Benitez very nearly signed Moreno. The deal with Liverpool was done but, with Alvaro Arbeloa sticking around, Benitez decided Moreno was no longer needed and the deal was pulled off the table.

That was whilst manager at Real Madrid. Moreno would be an excellent option to further improve Newcastle and provide some competition to Paul Dummett in the left-back position.

(during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield on March 6, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Liverpool paid Sevilla around £12 million, as reported by The Telegraph, to sign Moreno back in 2014 but he has struggled for consistency since his arrival at Anfield. This season he has been replaced by Andrew Robertson, after spending most of last season behind James Milner in the pecking order.

Throwing Moreno into any deal would have to see Newcastle decrease the fee they might ask for to let their captain go this summer. Newcastle would be getting their hands on a 25-year-old Spanish international and a handsome sum of money, whilst Liverpool would get their defensive target.

It would be a fine piece of business for both clubs.

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Virgil van Dijk proving to be worth his price-tag, but must keep Cristiano Ronaldo quiet

Liverpool’s January recruit has been in fine form since his arrival at the club.

Mathew Coull



Liverpool take on Real Madrid this weekend in the Champions League final in a highly anticipated game in Kiev. The fixture will see Jurgen Klopp’s side hope to capture an impressive title after an enthralling run to the final in which they have played some expansive attacking football.

But to beat Real Madrid they will also have to keep Los Merengues at bay. With one of the greatest to ever play the game in Cristiano Ronaldo among their attacking options, that is no easy feat.

For Liverpool, the key man could, therefore, be the one who has proven to be a massive improvement for the side since his January arrival.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Reds paid Southampton a whopping fee of £75 million, as reported by the BBC. It was a price-tag called into question by many pundits and fans alike. However, the Dutchman has been in fine form since his arrival and added a genuine aura to the Liverpool back-line.

His aerial presence, speed and intelligence have all been demonstrated on a number of occasions as Liverpool’s defensive fragilities have been transformed since his arrival.

The impact he has had on Dejan Lovren cannot be understated. The Croatian looks to be back to something near his best since pairing with Van Dijk. His cool style on the ball and brilliant reading of the game has allowed Lovren to relax into his role and the pair make a good partnership.

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Against Ronaldo, all of Van Dijk’s best attributes will be tested.

The Portuguese attacker is still lightning quick, a monster in the air and his footballing brain is often unrivalled.

If Liverpool are to keep him quiet, it will rest largely on the shoulders of their £75 million winter investment.

It is these challenges that forced Van Dijk into pushing for his Southampton departure and he must ensure he is up to it this Saturday.

If he can keep Ronaldo quiet and Liverpool win the Champions League, then that £75 million fee will no longer seem so astronomical.

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Liverpool target Besiktas’ Anderson Talisca would add superb attacking depth

The Brazilian has recorded 28 goal contributions in Turkey this season.

Max Cohen



Anderson Talisca
Photo: Getty Images

After Besiktas’ 5-1 home win over Sivasspor on Saturday, manager Senol Gunes strongly hinted that star attacker Anderson Talisca would be joining Liverpool this summer.

The possible signing of the Brazilian midfielder would be a superb acquisition for Liverpool, adding depth and quality to the club’s star-studded attack.

According to FourFourTwo, the Besiktas manager confirmed Talisca would be leaving the Turkish club for the Premier League after two years on loan from Benfica.

And Gunes dropped a massive hint that put Liverpool as the possible frontrunners in attaining his signature ahead of Manchester United.

“He might be rivals with Cenk Tosun,” Gunes replied when asked about Talisca’s English destination.

Of course, former Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun plays for Everton– leading many to jump to the conclusion that Talisca is headed to Anfield instead of Old Trafford.

(Photo by Ozan Kose/Getty Images)

The signing would represent a strong statement of intent from the Reds, as Talisca has enjoyed a stunning two seasons at Besiktas and is a burgeoning attacking talent.

In 47 appearances this season, the 24-year-old was involved in an impressive 28 goals, scoring 20 and assisting eight.

And the Brazilian’s past form shows this fantastic season is not a one-off. In 2016/17, Talisca bagged 17 goals and six assists, despite only featuring 33 times in all competitions.

While some might argue that the Turkish Super Lig has a poorer defensive standard than the Premier League, Talisca has proven his worth in European competition as well. In his time at Besiktas, he has notched five Champions League goals, as well as two goals and four assists in the Europa League.

The Brazilian youth international would add impressive offensive depth for Liverpool, as the Reds look to seriously challenge for the Premier League next season.

The purchase of the prolific attacking midfielder would be an ideal first step in assembling a squad that could bring Anfield its first league trophy in over two decades.

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