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Two Liverpool players ready to make an impact at the World Cup

Ruari Macneil

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With the season nearing an end there is still a tremendous amount on the line for Liverpool with a Champions League final on the cards. The club have won five European cups in their time and are one of the most successful teams in the history of the competition and, having not won a major trophy for quite some time, the prospect of lifting Europe’s most prestigious piece of silverware again is very exciting.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have enjoyed a terrific season since the January transfer and have found some remarkable consistency, especially in terms of their attacking prowess. With the World Cup just around the corner after the Champions League final, the Reds’ Russia 2018 representatives will be hoping to carry on the good work from their club campaign and help their countries to successful tournament runs.

The following duo may have the best chance of impacting the World Cup this summer for the better of their respective nations.

Mohamed Salah

With Egypt having qualified for the World Cup this summer, Mohamed Salah’s rise as arguably the world’s form footballer this season could not have come at a better time. Salah has been incredible since joining Liverpool from Roma last summer and blasted beyond the 40-goal mark for the season, having averaged a record of nearly a goal a game for the Anfield club.

In fairness, Salah has always enjoyed a terrific goal-scoring record for his country, with 33 strikes in 57 caps so far, and will be hoping to lead the team forward with his contingent of fellow English-based players. The 25-year-old looks ready to set the competition alight, and having grabbed the headlines from start to finish this season, the whole world will be watching on intently.

 

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane has been another star to play a huge role in the success at Liverpool this season, as a vital component of the magnificent front three constructed by Jurgen Klopp. The Senegalese forward has bagged nearly 20 goals so far this campaign, and still has the chance to reach that tally before the season is out, heading to Russia in red hot form.

Mane has a decent record with Senegal, scoring 14 goals in 49 caps so far, and will be hoping to get on the score sheet during his debut World Cup. With Colombia, Japan and Poland in their group, Mane’s Senegal actually have a decent chance to go through, especially with the talent at their disposal. As the country’s star player, Mane will be leading the likes of Oumar Niasse, Idrissa Gueye, Keita Balde and Mame Biram Diouf by example, as they look to make their mark in front of the rest of the world.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: £27 million striker move; Karius’ Turkish talks; Alisson preparations

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Photo: Getty Images.

A new suitor could poach Divock Origi from Liverpool

The Liverpool Echo say that a surprising new interested party has emerged as Liverpool look to sell Divock Origi this summer, with Borussia Dortmund the latest club to have registered an interest in the Belgian, who has two years left on his Anfield contract.

However, the Reds are refusing to budge on their £27 million asking price which could prove to be problematic for the Bundesliga outfit. With only 11 days left in the transfer window, talks may be ongoing over the coming week and a half.

Loris Karius is edging closer to a Besiktas move

After his Champions League nightmare and the signing of Alisson Becker, the Mirror say that Loris Karius is close to an exit from Merseyside too. Jurgen Klopp has reportedly given his approval, provided that any offers for third choice Simon Mignolet goalkeeper would be rejected should Karius’ exit be confirmed.

Talks are ongoing between Karius and Turkish side Besiktas ahead of a potential loan move with a view to a permanent switch, which could suit all parties if it does come off before the deadline.

Alisson has been training with rugby tackling bags

New summer signing Alisson Becker has been training with rugby tackling bags in order to prepare him for what lies ahead in the Premier League, particularly with one eye on Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.

“It is not really rugby, it is goalkeeper training. All the boys did it. When Loris (Karius) came he did it, all the goalkeepers do it, and Alisson is doing it as well, of course. It is normal goalkeeper training. It makes sense to do it because the six-yard area is rather a proposal than a safety box for a goalkeeper… It is not that the goalkeeper has to change completely now for this league, we have to help him too in situations.”

Klopp made the confession and explained the reasoning behind it.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the sessions have taken place in his early days on Merseyside, though the coach insisted that it is normal practice for his goalkeepers.

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Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: Offer for Robertson; new deal for Grujic; Firmino wants title

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Photo: Getty Images.

Liverpool are preparing a pay rise for Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson may only have joined the Reds last summer, but the Scottish defender is in line for a new contract which will doubles his wages, according to the Mirror. The club have been so impressed by his form since joining from Hull that they want to reward him with a pay rise.

The left-back became a regular for Jurgen Klopp after a slow start to life on Merseyside and more than justified his £10 million fee, which now looks a bargain.

Marko Grujic is set to sign a new deal and depart on loan

After rumours of an exit throughout the summer, Sky Sports say that young midfielder Marko Grujic will sign a new contract at Anfield until 2023 and then head out on loan to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

Grujic spent time with Cardiff as they won promotion from the Championship last season and was expected to return to Wales but a move never came to fruition and he will now go to Germany to continue his development.

Roberto Firmino has discussed his ambitions

Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has spoken exclusively to the Mirror to give an interview in which he made it clear that him and his team-mates are aiming for the Premier League title this season.

“I am optimistic and I believe ­Liverpool are capable of fighting for the greatest success this season. I also think we have a better team than last season and that the new ­players will improve the performance of the team. We have shown in the last campaign that our dreams can be fulfilled and that we can return to the path of winning titles. This year, we must not fail and that is the attitude of the ­players. I’m only interested in Liverpool and winning everything I can with them. We know what it would mean to be champions.”

Firmino discussed his future.

The former Hoffenheim man is a fan favourite at Anfield and clearly has no plans to depart the club in the near future with his sights set on success under Jurgen Klopp.

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Liverpool round-up: Klopp demands more; Klavan explains exit; loans for youngsters

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Photo: Getty Images.

Boss Jurgen Klopp has demanded more from Liverpool‘s fringe players

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that he will not tolerate any complaints from unhappy fringe players this season as he relies on them to make their point on the training ground.

“I cannot make people happy, I never could. Whatever happens on 31 August there will be a specific point where it is clear that is the squad for the next four months until January. Who cannot be happy in these four months being part of the squad at Liverpool I cannot help. Everyone who trains on his highest level – because the decision has already been made that they are good enough to play for Liverpool – has a big chance to be an important part of the team, to stay in the team and all these things.”

Klopp won’t pander to any demands from his players.

The German did not hide his feelings having been forced to leave out the likes of Alberto Moreno and Ragnar Klavan last weekend, whilst Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren remain sidelined. Klavan has since left the club, and as the transfer market enters the final stages in other countries it appears more exits could be on the way.

Ragnar Klavan has revealed that two Liverpool players encouraged him to leave

Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan completed a £2 million move to Serie A side Cagliari on Friday just before the transfer deadline arrived in Italy, and he has explained his decision to leave Merseyside.

“I had offers from several teams, including in other countries, but Cagliari really wanted me. Darijo Srna advised me to come here, as I talked to him via Dejan Lovren. Other Liverpool teammates like Alisson, Salah and Lucas Leiva all spoke highly of Serie A.”

Klavan revealed the thoughts behind making the move.

Some fans may have been surprised to see him depart but given that he was entering into the final year of his contract and was unlikely to feature regularly with the likes of Matip, Lovren, Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk ahead of him, it makes sense.

Under 23s set for loan deals

The Liverpool Echo report that the final two weeks of the loan transfer window could see several under 23s players depart the club on loan in search of regular game time, joining the likes of Harry Wilson, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria who have already headed out on loan.

Many of those to feature for the team against Manchester United under 23s on Friday evening spent time out on loan last season, including Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella who was heavily involved in pre-season and was linked with a move away.

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