Tag Archives: Liverpool

Premier League Top 6: Signings so far

The Transfer window shuts in less than 2 weeks time on Thursday 9th August.

This year, Premier League clubs have voted to shut the window for incoming players before the season starts, however players can still leave to Spain, France, Italy, Germany, etc.

With a little under 2 weeks to go, on a boring Saturday morning, shall we have a little look at the transfer dealings of the top 6:

Arsenal have done the most business, which should be expected considering they finished at the bottom of the pile last season.

Whilst Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City & Manchester United have all spent big on singular players, Arsenal have spread their spending across 5 players, bringing in a mixture of youth and experience.

The biggest spenders of the summer have been Liverpool with over £160million spent. It should kill off all the defending of Liverpool that they do not spend as much as those above them.

The majority of their cash has come from the sale of Coutinho in January. Keita and Fabinho coming in has to be offset by Oxlade-Chamberlain being out for 12 months and Emre Can leaving on a free.

For me, their best signing is Shaqiri. He is a brilliant back up player and game changing substitute. A steal at just £13m.

I do not really understand Manchester City‘s transfer dealings. It probably shows that they have more money than sense.

They already have Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Bernado Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Davild Silva who can play play in the 3 attacking positions behind Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus. Spending £60m on Riyad Mahrez just seems excessive.

I guess the thing with Manchester City is having won the league by 19 points, losing just two games, any big money signing could have been deemed “excessive.”

It feels a bit like Chelsea ~2007 when their squad was so strong that they ended up buying players just to stop rivals signing them.

Fred could turn out to be the player that Manchester United need to get the best out of Paul Pogba. Pairing him with Nemanja Matic and the Frenchman looks like a solid central midfield.

£19million for a left back who has played not much more first team football than me seems silly, but the proof will be in the pudding.

Chelsea‘s business could be about who leaves rather than who comes in. The money seems to have dried up for the club, and they seemed to wasted a lot of time and money on removing Antonio Conte and getting in Maurizio Sarri.

Taking into account that they finished 5th, just 7 points above Arsenal, you would expect them to have bought a lot more than a central midfielder. How much money have they wasted on central midfielders since signing N’Golo Kante and letting Matic leave (Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Barkley, Jorginho)?

With the futures of Eden Hazard, Willian and Thibaut Courtois in the air, it feels like they are waiting to see who leaves before bringing anyone in. It could be a deadline day dash for them.

As for Tottenham, they have bought no one. In this game, you stand still you actually go backwards. With Arsenal and Liverpool bringing in a lot of quality players, they could quickly find themselves struggling next season.

Clearly the £1bn stadium is impacting their transfer dealings. They have signed their key players to new contracts, but their over reliance on Harry Kane, Cristian Erickson and Dele Alli remains.

I would not be surprised if they do not actually sign anyone.


What I will find interesting next year is the progress of the 4 defensive midfielders Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool signed.

Keenos

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Singapore, Petr Cech / David Ospina & Liverpool

Singapore

On Monday Arsenal fly out to Singapore.

The majority of players who played against Boreham Wood are likely to be on the plane, alongside the senior professionals will be the likes of Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe.

Also on the plane will be Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny.

That will leave just Danny Welbeck, Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Nacho Morneal and new boy Lucas Torreira not yet back in training.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon contributor JW will be flying out to Singapore. You can keep up to date with his travels and how Arsenal are getting on through his Diaries.

Petr Cech / David Ospina

Newly bulked up Petr Cech has recently been linked with a move away to Chelsea. It is still my opinion that he will stay at Arsenal for one more season with David Ospina leaving.

Cech is at the advantage that he did not go to the World Cup. He has returned from his break looking like a new man. Literally.

Maybe Cech is looking to follow former German goal keeper Tim Wiese into the WWE?

With both Ospina and Cech’s contracts set to expire at the end of this year, we should cash in on the Colombian this summer.

Cech will then be back up for Bernd Leno before leaving next year – with either Emiliano Martinez or Matt Macey stepping up to number two.

Liverpool

After my blog about Arsenal getting the last laugh by flogging injury prone and inconsistent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, I got a lot of fake-Scouse fans in my mentions informing me how great Liverpool were, and how jealous I was.

It perhaps shows how far they have fallen that fans were informing me how finishing 4th was a massive success to them.

This is a club who had once won more league titles than any other side, who have a history of real success, now celebrating finishing 4th.  It is now 27 years since their last league titles.

I had others telling me how great they ere doing considering their net spend. So do they now have the Net Spend trophy to go alongside their Top 4 Trophy.

They are now 6 years without a trophy. Celebrating Top 4 and net spend. Add in a defeat in the Champions League Final and a League Cup Final loss, they have become Arsenal 2006-2013.

You have to wonder how much longer Jurgen Klopp can keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the British media and fans. Making a joke after a loss to deflect how poor Liverpool are can only last so long.

This will be Klopp’s 4th season at Liverpool. In that time he has spent £380m on new players. In his first season he finished 8th with Liverpool. The next two seasons 4th. Last year they were 25 points behind Manchester City.

For all their claims under progression, it was only in 2014 that they finished 2nd under Brendan Rodgers. They really should have won the league title that year.

The last time they won a trophy was in 2012 – the League Cup; just the one trophy since 2006.

Next season Klopp’s Liverpool will have the most expensive goal keeper in the world in Alisson Becker, the most expensive centre back in the world in Virgil van Dijk, two £50m central midfielders and last seasons Premier League top scorer and best player in Mo Salah.

If they do not win a trophy, surely questions have to be asked of Klopp?

Of course, Liverpool did outperform Arsenal last season. They finished 4th, Arsenal 6th. But that is why we have made changed to our manager and back room staff. We know we are not in a brilliant position at the moment.

The delusion of Liverpool fans is that they see being 4th as a success. As brilliant. It really is not.

For years Arsenal were hammered, both by the media and our own fans, for finishing 4th, not winning a trophy, and pretending it was some sort of success.

Now Liverpool fans are celebrating similar, and the press are praising them for it.

With the money he has spent, and players he has at his disposal, Jurgen Klopp needs to start winning trophies.

Keenos

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Liverpool & Rwanda Partnership

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Brilliant interview on the clubs official site about why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chose to play for Gabon.

He was born in France to a Gabonese father and Spanish mother, meaning he had his pick of international teams. He was also previously invited to play for Italy U19s, and actually played for France at U21 level.

At the age of 19, Aubameyang was selected for the Gabon national team, and has gone on to win 56 caps, scoring 23 goals.

“I was very young when I decided [to play for Gabon],” Aubameyang told Arsenal Player. “Players often take their time to consider their options and make the right choice.

“For me, the choice was clear. I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. He was captain of the national side in the past.

“I could well have chosen to play for Spain or France. I played for the French under-21 team, but I realised very quickly that in my heart I wanted to emulate my father.

“I do think that I’m a footballer now because [my father] played the game. I remember I loved it when I first went to see him play at the stadium. The fact he was capped so many times for Gabon, of course it made me want to represent the country’s colours.

“There are some similarities in the way we play. My dad was an attacker at the start of his career – he was very fast. Then, when he went to Laval, he changed position, moving further back.

“My father was very strong physically – I’d say I’m less so. I don’t think I’ve been capped as many times for Gabon. So for now he’s still the best, in my eyes at least.”

In the current era where you get players like Diego Costa playing for Spain, it is refreshing to see someone play for the country that he has at heart, rather than the one that could lead to greatest success or international exposure.

Hey Big Spenders

Liverpool have gone at it hard, hard as a mother f***er.

They had already agreed a deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzeg after they triggered his £48m release clause last summer. Due to the German outfits qualification for the Europa League, the deal is actually going to cost them £62 million in total.

Also joining the club is Monaco utility man Fabinho. A £39m deal for the Brazilian was completed almost as quickly as interest in him was announced on Monday.

There is also talk of a £62m deal for Nabil Fekir being close.

That will take their summer spending to £163m and we are not even in June yet!

It has led to a lot of Arsenal fans asking how are they spending so big?” and “why are Arsenal not competing for those players?” Let’s break it down.

Firstly, Liverpool have not spent big this summer. Keita was agreed last summer and Fekir has not yet bit done. Fabinho is the only player they have signed.

Saying that, I imagine the Keita deal will drop into this years accounts, and if the Fekir deal is completed, that will be a huge chunk of cash spent. But it is money that they needed to spend.

Fabinho coming in replaces Emre Can who is set to leave on a free transfer. Fekir will be a replacement for Phillipe Coutinho who left in January. It means that Keita is the only real addition from where they were at the beginning of last season.

And Keita, whilst perhaps most exciting of the 3 midfielders, is perhaps the one they needed least. He is very similar in style to Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who they spent a combined £60m on.

Add in Jordan Henderson, Liverpool would have midfield options that have cost around £250m. And none of them are as good as Aaron Ramsey – highlighting how important it is that Arsenal secure the Welshman to a new contract.

So how have the afforded it?

It must be remembered in recent years they have only had 2 years in the Champions League. The money from this is not the main motivator for the big spending. Pretty much all of their new signings – from Virgil van Dijk, to Fabinho and Fekir – have been financed by the sale of Phillipe Coutinho.

Liverpool got £146m when they sold the Brazilian to Barcelona in January.

van Dijk, Fabinho and Fekir will cost ~£176m between them, which is pretty much all the Coutinho money plus a little bit more.

Liverpool spent over £150m last year. This years dealings will take them beyond £300m in 3 transfer windows. It will be interesting to see if the press stop pretending that they are not big spenders.

Rwanda

It has recently been announced to some controversy that Arsenal have a greed a £10m-a-year 3-year deal with The Rwanda Development Board to become Arsenal’s first ever sleeve sponsor.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide, which saw 800,000 Tutsi murdered, is still very much in people’s mind. With over a third of the country in poverty, the deal has led to questions as to whether the £30m can be used better elsewhere, and unfounded rumours that it has been paid for through financial aid.

There is also controversy surrounding President Paul Kagame being an Arsenal fan.

One of the key reasons behind the sponsorship deal was to raise awareness of Rwanda, to make people think of it as a tourist destination, rather than for the horrendous acts that happened 24 years ago.

In Rwanda, tourism is the number one export.

It is currently the second fastest growing economy in Africa with a booming tourism sector that has seen the number of visitors double in the last decade. The country’s national parks are attracting record number of tourists due to growing numbers of wildlife including black rhino, lions, zebra, chimpanzees and the famous mountain gorillas.

Rwanda is also attracting new hotels and lodges across the country, making it easier to experience longer, unique and memorable vacations.

They are currently attempting to double their revenue from tourism to $800m over the next 6 years, and the link up with Arsenal will be seen as an important partnership, with one expert estimating that the £30m investment could help to bring in £300m of new revenue.

It is a case of speculate to accumulate. If the initial outlay does drive additional tourism revenue to Rwanda, that will benefit the entire nation and her citizens.

An interesting little comparison (for me anyway) to make is Germany.

We have the Holocaust. The Genocide of millions of Jews. The World War ended in 1945. In 1954, just 9 years later, Germany were World Cup winners.

Also look at South Africa. Apartheid ended in the early 90s, with the first democratic election held in 1994. In 1995, they won the Rugby World Cup on home soil.

Football, and sport in general, can play a huge part for a countries rehabilitation.

Whether it be through promoting themselves as revolutionised, like it did with South Africa, or driving tourism to the country like Rwanda are doing, the benefits fair out way the cost.

If you have criticised the deal, let me ask you a question:

Since the deal was announced, have you Google Rwanda? Have you looked into it as a holiday destination?

If you have, even if you have just read about the country on Wikiepdia, it shows that it was £30m well spent.

Keenos