The Unreliable Rumours Thread

Nikola

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I’m not sure agree with that. In my opinion the best thing Liverpool can do now is to stay it’s hand. The virus has revealed what a tightrope clubs operate on, and LFC is no different.

The suggestion is that 20/21 is going to be behind closed doors, if played at all. That’s 100m in gate receipts and match day spending.

The last thing the club need is to have a 100m + summer, commit itself to a whole new bunch of contracts, and then find we’re in this position again. We could be looking at serious financial difficulties.

I’d be very worried if Liverpool had a big transfer window. The sensible thing to do is move a couple of lads out (Lovren and Lallana), promote cover from within, and go again with largely the same squad.
Also, according to this article on Football365, Liverpool have the seventh oldest PL squad, with Man United being the youngest. With Lallana, Clyne and hopefully Lovren being gone (maybe even Shaqiri as well - though I doubt that any side will be able to afford him this summer), that number will be reduced as all are over the calculated average age but Jones, Elliott and Williams should reduce that number further. Now, if there was a young left back added to the fold...
 

Zoran

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Depends how (and when) they calculate, which young players do they even count as first team members or not. That can play a part. According to transfermarkt, we are 7th (average of 27.7). Of the top 6; Arsenal are youngest (United are second youngest). Not long ago we were one of the youngest squads along with Spurs, but then we needed a few extra bits and more time together to finally start landing trophies.
 

Iluvatar

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Depends how (and when) they calculate, which young players do they even count as first team members or not. That can play a part. According to transfermarkt, we are 7th (average of 27.7). Of the top 6; Arsenal are youngest (United are second youngest). Not long ago we were one of the youngest squads along with Spurs, but then we needed a few extra bits and more time together to finally start landing trophies.
And we have Milner who is 40.
 

Limiescouse

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Also, according to this article on Football365, Liverpool have the seventh oldest PL squad, with Man United being the youngest. With Lallana, Clyne and hopefully Lovren being gone (maybe even Shaqiri as well - though I doubt that any side will be able to afford him this summer), that number will be reduced as all are over the calculated average age but Jones, Elliott and Williams should reduce that number further. Now, if there was a young left back added to the fold...
Regardless of any debate over how the figure is calculated, what is clear is that without some turn over in a season or two we will have a significant core all teetering on the edge age wise. There is the older, more fringe group like Clyne, Lallana, and Lovren whose loss either doesnt matter that much in terms of needing to replace their production, or can surly be replaced with relatively easily. But then we have that group of Bobby, Gini, Hendo, Matip, even Virgil, who right now are the right age, but individually are all approaching a tipping point. A team that attempts to to retain players of that age at its core for another couple of years runs the very real chance of a significant drop off. So the concern I have over not doing any transfer work this summer (or whenever the next time clubs do actually bring in new players) is more about the volume of moves it necessitates the following window.
 

Nikola

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Regardless of any debate over how the figure is calculated, what is clear is that without some turn over in a season or two we will have a significant core all teetering on the edge age wise. There is the older, more fringe group like Clyne, Lallana, and Lovren whose loss either doesnt matter that much in terms of needing to replace their production, or can surly be replaced with relatively easily. But then we have that group of Bobby, Gini, Hendo, Matip, even Virgil, who right now are the right age, but individually are all approaching a tipping point. A team that attempts to to retain players of that age at its core for another couple of years runs the very real chance of a significant drop off. So the concern I have over not doing any transfer work this summer (or whenever the next time clubs do actually bring in new players) is more about the volume of moves it necessitates the following window.
That's a valid concern and one that I share, especially now that COVID-10 outbreak might lead to a second successive summer window without first team signings. Looking at how the academy has been reshaped over the past few years, though, I think that it will likely mitigate the need for too many new players over the course of the next three years but there has to be a meticulously thought out plan for replacing Alisson, Van Dijk, Mane and Salah, who are world class players, at least in my opinion. You won't get that level from the academy, Alexander-Arnold is an all too welcome exception in that sense (but I wish to be proven utterly incorrect on this).

Still, in terms of squad depth, these aforementioned three plus Hoever should do no harm in the short term, I guess. Beyond them, there are maybe two academy players that I have high hopes for, at least in terms of providing squad depth to the first team but, even without Maddock's report from yesterday, I had been expecting Liverpool to make more transfers like those of Elliott and Van Den Berg. They had been doing that unsuccessfully for a while but it seemed to me like transfers of Larouci, Hoever and Koumetio might change that because these were very highly rated youngsters at academies that are great at producing young players. Hopefully a few of these low risk signings reap high rewards but the club can't rely solely on them, as we've seen with Tottenham to an extent. I'm sure they are aware of that, it's just a question of whether they'll be able to successfully navigate the circumstances over the next few years.
 

Zoran

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This is partly why I'm confident looking at the short term ahead, while this is going on and the effects are going on. It will force clubs to be more creative inside, it will test their whole organization, all levels. And we're really one of the best clubs in doing that over the last few years. Whole club pulling in the same direction, just started to taste winning again and hungry for more. I just hope the Gini situation sorts itself out the best possible for both sides.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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That's a valid concern and one that I share, especially now that COVID-10 outbreak might lead to a second successive summer window without first team signings. Looking at how the academy has been reshaped over the past few years, though, I think that it will likely mitigate the need for too many new players over the course of the next three years but there has to be a meticulously thought out plan for replacing Alisson, Van Dijk, Mane and Salah, who are world class players, at least in my opinion. You won't get that level from the academy, Alexander-Arnold is an all too welcome exception in that sense (but I wish to be proven utterly incorrect on this).

Still, in terms of squad depth, these aforementioned three plus Hoever should do no harm in the short term, I guess. Beyond them, there are maybe two academy players that I have high hopes for, at least in terms of providing squad depth to the first team but, even without Maddock's report from yesterday, I had been expecting Liverpool to make more transfers like those of Elliott and Van Den Berg. They had been doing that unsuccessfully for a while but it seemed to me like transfers of Larouci, Hoever and Koumetio might change that because these were very highly rated youngsters at academies that are great at producing young players. Hopefully a few of these low risk signings reap high rewards but the club can't rely solely on them, as we've seen with Tottenham to an extent. I'm sure they are aware of that, it's just a question of whether they'll be able to successfully navigate the circumstances over the next few years.
There's also a big piece in the Echo today with Lijnders heaping praise on Leighton Clarkson, sounds like beyond those already mentioned he's another one we could start seeing break out over the coming seasons.

I think the club will have high hopes that the Academy is going to produce players ready to step up as current first-teamers are moved on due to age. There will probably still be a need to pay top whack for a couple of whoever are the stellar talents at that point to be the new Mo, Virg etc, but in terms of the squad we could see a lot of gaps filled by the current generation of youngsters.
 

Limiescouse

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It's a great aspiration, but it's an incredibly dangerous strategy.

Carragher talks about his willingness to play FB for Houllier due to his understanding that he simply wasn't good enough to play in the positions he came up playing. So, even one of the great academy success stories of any prem club over the past years had to simply fill in until he was in his mid twenties. If you think it is probably even harder to break into a top Prem side now than it was then, it speaks to the difficulties of looking to our academy to replace the likes Gini and Hendo, let alone areas up front that might otherwise attract 100 m quid signings.
 

Nikola

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This is partly why I'm confident looking at the short term ahead, while this is going on and the effects are going on. It will force clubs to be more creative inside, it will test their whole organization, all levels. And we're really one of the best clubs in doing that over the last few years. Whole club pulling in the same direction, just started to taste winning again and hungry for more. I just hope the Gini situation sorts itself out the best possible for both sides.
Yeah, I'm also concerned about his contract situation, minutes alone suggest that he's one of Klopp's most trusted players. Good points about club infrastructures being tested, I'd only add that it will really be interesting to see some English clubs with a lot of youngsters coming through (Chelsea are frontrunners in that aspect but Man United aren't far behind). I still kind of think that Chelsea would simply throw them away and buy a bunch of established players if they could but their selection of U23 talent is insane at this moment.

There's also a big piece in the Echo today with Lijnders heaping praise on Leighton Clarkson, sounds like beyond those already mentioned he's another one we could start seeing break out over the coming seasons.

I think the club will have high hopes that the Academy is going to produce players ready to step up as current first-teamers are moved on due to age. There will probably still be a need to pay top whack for a couple of whoever are the stellar talents at that point to be the new Mo, Virg etc, but in terms of the squad we could see a lot of gaps filled by the current generation of youngsters.
Yeah, I read it this morning but, as always, I'm wary of youngsters who don't have any notable physical qualities. I like Clarkson, don't get me wrong, and I'm again in my broken record mode but modern football nurtures strong and fast players. For all of his qualities, Clarkson isn't the athletic type, unfortunately, which will significantly hinder his progress. Then again, neither is Billy Gilmour (though he has a bit more pace and is obviously more developed in terms of decision making), so there is hope for our lad. I actually wish Koumetio/Rhys Williams and Larouci could make the step-up but the more time passes, the less I'm convinced on Larouci.

It's a great aspiration, but it's an incredibly dangerous strategy.

Carragher talks about his willingness to play FB for Houllier due to his understanding that he simply wasn't good enough to play in the positions he came up playing. So, even one of the great academy success stories of any prem club over the past years had to simply fill in until he was in his mid twenties. If you think it is probably even harder to break into a top Prem side now than it was then, it speaks to the difficulties of looking to our academy to replace the likes Gini and Hendo, let alone areas up front that might otherwise attract 100 m quid signings.
Overall, it probably is more difficult to break through because of large amounts of money but I was thinking the other day, what was the last time top clubs in Premier League had so many highly rated youngsters breaking through? I hope Jones, Elliott and Williams follow in Alexander-Arnold's footsteps at Liverpool, Chelsea have at least six of them, with maybe four being regulars for them this season, Man United have Rashford and three more academy products breaking through, Arsenal have also started giving regular chances to their youth players, slowly but surely... Tottenham are still riding on the crest of Kane/Alli wave but always have someone like Sessegnon, Winks and Tanganga around them, even if not all of these spent time with their academy. Man City will blood Foden, maybe one or two others (though I wouldn't be counting on it if I was their youth player).

Regardless of Man City, it's no wonder England's team selection looks better and I'd even say more balanced than at any point in past twenty years.
 

Mascot88

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but there has to be a meticulously thought out plan for replacing Alisson, Van Dijk, Mane and Salah, who are world class players, at least in my opinion. You won't get that level from the academy, Alexander-Arnold is an all too welcome exception in that sense (but I wish to be proven utterly incorrect on this).
Surely these players came from somebodies academy? Why not ours?
 

Zinedine Biscan

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Surely these players came from somebodies academy? Why not ours?
I think the biggest barrier, as Limie says, is opportunities. All those players listed came through, or moved to a level, where they'd get regular games, every few years moving onto a bigger stage as they developed until they landed here. It's going to be a lot tougher for the kids already here to break through.

However, in their favour we have a manager who derives immense satisfaction from developing players, particularly younger ones, and there aren't too many other elite level clubs out there as willing as us to give kids a chance. In fact, I've no doubt Klopp would get more satisfaction from seeing the likes of Jones or Elliott cement a regular place than blowing north of £100m on someone like Sancho.

It will be tough, but I hold out hope that the top academy talents will be given an opportunity to shine here, what they do with that opportunity is up to them.
 

Limiescouse

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I think the biggest barrier, as Limie says, is opportunities. All those players listed came through, or moved to a level, where they'd get regular games, every few years moving onto a bigger stage as they developed until they landed here. It's going to be a lot tougher for the kids already here to break through.
Yeah, very few players leave the youth/reserve system at a point where they are ready to contribute to the level that Owen and Gerrard did. Without that readiness they need games to develop it. If they're already at a club like ours, where do they get that experience and playing time? Even players as a good as Zidane needed a couple of steps before he was ready for Juve.
 

ILLOK

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Carragher got his chance in a period when 5 or 6 other academy graduates got theirs. 4 of them went on to be world class footballers and Carragher never had a half bad career either.

As Nikola points out, there hasn't been a better time for academy players amongst the top 5 or 6 clubs for some time. I don't think Liverpool are any different, we now have the best players and the best coaches we've had at the academy for 20 years. Trent has become the stand out player in his position in world football and Jones, Elliot and Williams have already proven they don't look out of place in the senior game, I see no reason why they wouldn't go on to get even more chances, particularly with the uncertainty caused by covid-19.

As for Leighton Clarkson, he is a great little player but there are obvious question marks about his suitability to step up to the next level. If he was to play as a '6' in the future we would probably need a Gattuso/Kante like player as an '8'. Hopefully he will develop physically in the next couple of years. I'm looking forward to seeing the return of Glatzel, too, and I'm still not ready to write Woodburn off completely.
 

Nikola

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Surely these players came from somebodies academy? Why not ours?
I can't believe I'm writing this regarding Liverpool (and I'm a royal jinx, I know) but how many players came through the academies of CL winners and, hopefully, PL winners while they were in the middle of trophy hunts? Maybe my memory is a bit hazy but Man United and Barcelona, two stand-out teams in terms of creating and promoting a "generation" of players, have arguably done that prior to winning their biggest trophies. Still, Man United's best three players over the past fifteen to twenty years, in my opinion, have come from academies of West Ham, Everton and Sporting Lisbon - and they paid through the nose to get them at the time.

Liverpool's youngsters are lucky to have Klopp, though. I love Rafa to bits but if there was one thing I could hold against him, it would be him opting, for example, to play Mascherano at right back instead of giving Darby the chance to step in for Johnson (if I remember correctly). Contrarily, Klopp casually gave 18-year old Alexander-Arnold his full league debut at packed Old Trafford when Clyne got injured. It was a time when Liverpool weren't exactly fighting for major honours but it was still a major achievement and a positive message to youngsters.

I hope we'll see a few more emerge but realistically, it's been twenty years between Alexander-Arnold and previous top class prospect who emerged from Liverpool's academy. Even Man United, who rightly pride themselves with their academy, had a barren spell, relatively speaking, between their golden generation of '90s and Rashford and Greenwood, two outstanding, potentially world class products. They had a lot of success in terms of producing medium-level, late bloomers, there are plenty of them playing PL football for other clubs but no more Giggses or Scholeses. That level is very difficult to achieve and I won't judge Liverpool's academy by Alexander-Arnold but by the number of its products who help Liverpool win trophies, even as squad players.
 

Nikola

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(...)

As for Leighton Clarkson, he is a great little player but there are obvious question marks about his suitability to step up to the next level. If he was to play as a '6' in the future we would probably need a Gattuso/Kante like player as an '8'. Hopefully he will develop physically in the next couple of years. I'm looking forward to seeing the return of Glatzel, too, and I'm still not ready to write Woodburn off completely.
Glatzel's biggest misfortune isn't that he's so prone injuries but that he's not playing in some previous era, like twenty or thirty years ago. Immense football intelligence and movement but a distinct lack of pace, Dirk Kuyt's level at best. That said, I hope he has a career at least as good and long as Kuyt's but I'm very worried about his long-term prospects, not just in Liverpool.

Zibby mentioned the article about Clarkson and I've remembered reading about James Balagizi, he and Layton Stewart seem to be the next highly rated attacking prospects from Liverpool's academy. As long as this hierarchy is in place, especially Klopp, Lijnders and Inglethorpe, I'll be hoping for more lads coming through. The level is getting stronger, judging at least by where players who don't make it at Liverpool end up.
 

GermanRed

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The departure of Milot Rashica from Werder Bremen is almost certain, but his £33M release clause (£13M if they get relegated) only applies until June 15th. Liverpool are a perspective buyer for the Kosovo star. [@BILD_Sport]

I wonder what our perspective is? Might it be that this probably agent-driven bollocks?
Bundesliga season now ends June 26th. Maybe 2 weeks longer if they end up on 16th and have to play the two relegation games.

Don't think they will know if they will get relegated by June 15th.

We're not interested anyway...
 

Walshy07

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Papers seem to be running with the Koulibaly story. Can't imagine us spending £95m on a defender who basically would occupy the same spot as Big Virg. Today has us saying we're offering Lovren as part of the deal.

So £95m for Koulibaly, or Lovren plus £150m.
Not gonna happen is it? We have Gomez who is 6 years younger and if he reaches potential could be be better than VVD. I think people forget how young Gomez is.
 

Nikola

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The departure of Milot Rashica from Werder Bremen is almost certain, but his £33M release clause (£13M if they get relegated) only applies until June 15th. Liverpool are a perspective buyer for the Kosovo star. [@BILD_Sport]

I wonder what our perspective is? Might it be that this probably agent-driven bollocks?
Actually, it's a direct quote from the president of Kosovo FA, he name-checked Liverpool and Leipzig as clubs interested in Rashica's signature.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Bundesliga season now ends June 26th. Maybe 2 weeks longer if they end up on 16th and have to play the two relegation games.

Don't think they will know if they will get relegated by June 15th.

We're not interested anyway...
Is there any reason why you say we aren't interested?
 

Mascot88

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I think the reality is for the vast majority of clubs transfer business is on hold. There is just too much uncertainty in the game to be committing vast sums of money on contracts and transfers.

I think it’s safe to say that any ‘Liverpool poised for swoop for....’ stories are utter bollocks.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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I think the reality is for the vast majority of clubs transfer business is on hold. There is just too much uncertainty in the game to be committing vast sums of money on contracts and transfers.

I think it’s safe to say that any ‘Liverpool poised for swoop for....’ stories are utter bollocks.
Not to mention;

1. Nobody knows when the window will actually be.
2. Nobody knows what prices will be like, there may be some clubs extremely desperate for cash having to cash in which drives the market down.
3. Clauses have never been as financially convenient as people seem to believe, its much better to strike a deal that includes performance bonuses and spreads the payments out over several years, even if its technically a bit more. Only time to go for a clause is if you really need that particular player and their owning club won't negotiate. We are being linked with a lot of players under assumption we will trigger clauses.