Welcome to the Liverpool ECHO’s Wednesday LIVE blog for all your very latest Liverpool FC news.
The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Anfield as well as keeping tabs on the transfer market around the world.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap. Meanwhile Denis Zakaria has revealed that the Reds were interested in him before his loan move to Chelsea.
Also, could Jurgen Klopp take another look at Konrad Laimer in the January transfer window?
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Former Liverpool defender tells Trent Alexander-Arnold critics to ‘back off’
Former England and Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson believes Trent Alexander-Arnold remains a world-class talent and criticism of his form this season is premature.
The 23-year-old, like a number of his Reds team-mates, has struggled for top form this term and that has led to a renewal of the scrutiny of the former academy graduate’s game.
Questions continue to be asked about his defensive capabilities and whether he can adjust his game from how he plays for Liverpool to a more disciplined approach with England.
Alexander-Arnold has been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Nations League matches against Italy and Germany over the next week but a starting role is far from guaranteed.
“I personally think people should back off,” Johnson, speaking at an LFC Foundation-SC Johnson Goals for Change partnership event at Anfield, told the PA news agency. “He set the bar so high in recent years that people are just too quick to jump on his back just because he is not at the level we are used to seeing him.”
To read more, click here.
UEFA ‘planning’ Super Cup revamp
UEFA are reportedly ‘planning’ a revamp of the UEFA Super Cup, which would see teams from America presented with the opportunity to face the winners of the Champions League.
The current format sees the Champions League and Europa League winners go head-to-head in a one-off game in Europe, but a new proposal being considered would see a mini tournament introduced which includes the side who claims the UEFA Conference League and one side from America.
That is according to the Telegraph, who state the United States is the ‘main destination under discussion’ to host the fixture between the two teams who reach the final of the above-mentioned tournament between winners of UEFA club competitions.
Joao Gomes competition
Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes, a player Liverpool have continued to be linked with in recent weeks.
It was announced last week Gomes has extended his stay with his current club until 2027, though this news is unlikely to detract clubs who are keen to recruit the 21-year-old.
Madrid, like Liverpool, are said to be keen on Gomes and one ESPN journalist has stated Los Blancos are ‘very close’ to a deal worth €30million (£26m).
PL clubs introduce stadium bans for anti-social activity
Premier League clubs have agreed to introduce minimum-length bans for supporters who take part in anti-social and criminal behaviours at top-flight grounds.
Those caught to be in possession of pyrotechnics or entering the pitch without permission will receieve an automatic club ban, based on a minimum term of one year.
‘The real multiverse of madness’ – Liverpool fans react to shock midfield comeback
On Tuesday evening, Liverpool under-21s played their second Papa John’s Trophy fixture of the season as they fell to a slender 1-0 defeat to League Two outfit Rochdale, writes Keifer MacDonald.
As is usually the case with the competition, the young Reds had a whole host of their stars fulfilling international commitments – like the first-team – as the likes of Ben Doak, Harvey Davies and Luke Chambers were called up to Scotland and England youth camps respectively.
However, one member of Barry Lewtas’ travelling entourage was on-loan Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo. The Brazilian, who has not featured for his country since 2019, made his first start for the club during Saturday’s under-21 victory over Leicester City, and lined up at the Crown Oil Arena alongside teenagers Stefan Bajcetic and Dominic Corness in midfield.
Read the full story here.
Liverpool £3m signing wanted by Man United can soon remind everyone why he was ‘worst kept secret’
Not for seven months has 17-year-old Liverpool prodigy Kaide Gordon kicked a ball in a competitive fixture, writes Keifer MacDonald.
It will have undoubtedly been one of the most frustrating periods of the Liverpool winger’s novice career to date, with his outing in a 3-0 defeat to Leeds United under-21s at Elland Road in February his last of what was a largely successful first full campaign on Merseyside.
Having made the move his senior debut for Derby County in December 2020, just weeks before completing his move to Liverpool, Gordon became the Rams’ fourth youngest-ever debutant as he was handed his Championship introduction by the club’s former boss Wayne Rooney; a man who knows all about being thrust into the limelight of the senior game while still such an adolescent figure.
Read the full story here.
Vote for the best Premier League transfer of all time
Dortmund ‘set’ Jude Bellingham fee
Dortmund believe midfielder Jude Bellingham is valued at around £131.6m, according to reports.
The Athletic have taken a closer look at the player’s situation amid rumours linking him with Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
It remains to be seen whether the England international pushes for a move next summer, as a number of top clubs battle for his signature, but it seems they’ll have to dig deep into their pockets with Dortmund set to demand a fee that will make him the most expensive British footballer in history.
His stock may only rise before the transfer window even re-opens if he’s to have a positive World Cup with England later this year.
Bournemouth players want ex-Liverpool man to be appointed full time
Bournemouth players want ex-Liverpool man Gary O’Neil to be appointed on a full-time basis, according to reports.
According to The Telegraph, the squad want the caretaker manager to be offered the permanent job after a positive run of games following Scott Parker’s sacking last month.
O’Neil joined Liverpool in 2020 as an assistant manager to Barry Lewtas for the under-23s before he joined Bournemouth’s coaching set-up in February 2021.
Chelsea ‘interested’ in Liverpool target
Chelsea are the latest club to show interest in rumoured Liverpool target Douglas Luiz.
The Aston Villa midfielder is out of contract in the summer and was the subject of interest from a number of clubs before the deadline.
The Reds were rumoured to be keen on the Brazilian, while Arsenal saw three bids rejected by Villa for the player.
Now, Birmingham Live say Chelsea are also interested in Luiz as new owner Todd Boehly looks to reconcrust their midfield following Graham Potter’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Leanne Kiernan out for ‘several months’
‘Heard from my agent’ – Denis Zakaria makes Liverpool transfer admission after Chelsea move
New Chelsea signing Denis Zakaria says he was ‘made aware’ of interest from Liverpool by his agent before he ultimately completed the move to Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder joined Juventus from Borussia Monchengladbach for a small fee in January as he was in the final year of his contract. However, it didn’t quite work out in Turin as he made just nine Serie A appearances in the second half of last season.
The Reds had no intention of dipping into the transfer market for a midfielder in the latter stages of the window but their hand was forced when captain Jordan Henderson became the latest player to pick up an injury. Liverpool subsequently signed another Juventus midfielder, Arthur Melo, on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Read the full story here.
Arthur Melo makes his mark as two new midfield options emerge for Jurgen Klopp
Ian Doyle was at the Crown Oil Arena to see Liverpool U21s lose 1-0 against Rochdale in their EFL Trophy group game and he’s identified some key talking points…
- Arthur shows signs
Read the full analysis here.
Armel Bella-Kotchap interest ‘no surprise’
Liverpool’s reported interest in Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap is ‘no surprise’, according to journalist Dean Jones.
Rumours over the last week suggest the Reds are ‘monitoring’ the 20-year-old after an impressive start to life in the Premier League.
He’s played in every league game for the South coast club so far this campaign and his impressive form has earned him a call-up to the Germany squad.
Jones told GiveMeSport:“I don’t think it’s a surprise they would be monitoring him at this stage because the way he has adapted to the Premier League has been so impressive. He’s only 20 and I think he will end up at a top club within two years.”
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Happy humpy day Reds
Good morning. Arthur Melo got an hour under his belt for Liverpool U21s last night. If that’s not good news I don’t know what is.
Stick with us today for all the latest news and views on Liverpool this Wednesday.