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The transfer market dominates football discourse and analysis to the point that the shark has been jumped and football matches are, essentially, considered 90-minute exercises to see what a team needs to buy. It gives me pause for thought when I attribute so much weight to Arsenal’s pursuit of a new central midfielder.

However, I do consider this a glaring requirement for Arsenal before the window closes next month and I think the difference between Arteta’s side being a top six team and a top four team probably rests on whether they are able to recruit in … Read the rest

Upamecano breaks silence amid links with Man United

RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano has responded to rumours over his future amid links with Manchester United this summer.

The young Frenchman is among the world’s highest-rated prospects and it was understood that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen on his signature.

Upamecano was previously thought of as being unavailable but once news over a release clause surfaced, rumours quickly grew out of control.

The release clause is only in effect from the next summer but the thinking was that United could bid a bit higher than that release clause to secure him this summer instead.

However, nothing to that effect has happened yet and it was more wishful thinking from fans than anything real.

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MotM Curtis Jones says he’ll “show up” any time he’s called upon by Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool starlet Curtis Jones dropped a 10/10 performance for the Reds in the EFL Cup on Thursday night, bagging himself an impressive brace inside the first-half.

The midfielder was awarded the Man of the Match award after the full-time whistle for a great all around shift from the 19 year old.

Jones pledged that he will show up any time he’s called upon by manager Jurgen Klopp, in somewhat of an acceptance speech for the award!

I’ve always said, whenever I’m called upon I’ll give 100 per cent. I’m waiting for my turn, and any time I’m called upon I’ll show up, 100 per cent,he’s quoted as saying by Neil Jones.

MORE: (Video) Curtis Jones in insane form with first-half brace, which included Cruyff-turn and brilliant use of instep

We at Empire of the Kop love Jones and everything about him – from the way he … Read the rest

“Special talent” – Liverpool ace earns huge praise from these Reds fans after performance vs Lincoln

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones is earning big praise from fans as they react to his performance against Lincoln on Twitter.

The 19-year-old is yet to fully establish himself as a regular for the Liverpool first-team, but he announced himself with a memorable solo goal against Everton in the FA Cup last season.

MORE: Video: Jones’ sublime finishes take Liverpool clear at Lincoln

Since then, Jones has continued to impress when he’s managed to get on the pitch, and he had another eye-catching performance for Liverpool as they thrashed Lincoln City 7-2 in the Carabao Cup this evening.

The teenager scored twice, with both goals well-taken efforts to show once again why he’s such a big prospect and should have a very bright future at Anfield.

Carabao Cup rotation likely + Covid worries delay return of fans

Arsenal are in Carabao Cup action tonight, as we face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium later on.

With Liverpool coming up next in the Premier League, it’s an interesting one for Mikel Arteta. If the trip to Anfield were at the weekend, I suspect we’d see a side with no risks taken whatsoever. The fact that it’s Monday night means we have a couple of extra days to recover, so we might see some players involved who normally might sit this out – even if they’re on the bench.

There are players who could use this game to get some match fitness into their legs; there are players who haven’t featured at all this season, or indeed for some time, who will be looking at this game as some kind of signal regarding their own futures. If, for example, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil don’t feature in this … Read the rest

Man United prepared in case of negotiations breaking down for Telles

Manchester United have a third option to go for should their pursuit of FC Porto’s Alex Telles end in failure according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

The talented Brazilian has been heavily chased after the race for Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilon ended poorly.

Tottenham Hotspur ended up agreeing to Madrid’s demand to include a buy-back clause that United refused to cater to.

It was something supporters understood and so the disappointment wasn’t that great, though it’s safe to say it will be if a move for Telles fails.

After all, Porto aren’t asking for a large fee, Telles is believed to have agreed to personal terms and he only has a year left on his contract.

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Lijnders drops huge hint Koumetio could make senior debut this week

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has suggested youth defender Billy Koumetio could make his senior debut for the Reds this week.

The Premier League champions travel to the East Midlands to take on League One minnow Lincoln City in the EFL Cup.

On pre-match press conference duty, in the absence of Jurgen Klopp, Lijnders dropped a huge hint that Koumetio could feature in the match.

He has a check now. Hopefully he can play with the team. We’ll see. He’s a proper talent who needs time. We want to give him that time,he’s quoted as saying by James Pearce.

He is a tall centre-half and has real strength in the air. And he can put the ball where he wants to put it.

MORE: Liverpool predicted XI v. Lincoln – Reds duo set to be handed debuts in EFL Cup clash

We think the … Read the rest

“He’s a pressing monster” – Liverpool’s new signing earns big praise from Pep Lijnders

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has spoken about summer signing Diogo Jota and what role he can have in this squad after his move from Wolves.

The Portugal international has shone in his time in the Premier League and should be a useful purchase for the Reds, even if it’s not immediately clear that he’s likely to see much playing time.

MORE: Talks held: Liverpool discussing selling midfielder to Premier League club

There is huge competition for places in this Liverpool squad due to the quality in every area of the pitch, and Jota could have a hard time seeing as many starting opportunities as he’s used to.

Lijnders, however, has talked up his qualities and backed him to play a key role quite quickly, as he feels he’s already well suited to Liverpool’s style of play:

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Ice cold in Alex Runarsson

We made our third signing of the summer yesterday with the capture of Runar Alex Runarsson – now to be known as Alex Runarsson – from Dijon.

The signing of the £1.5 Icelandic international came just minutes before the man he’s replacing – Emi Martinez – saved a penalty on his debut for Aston Villa. I sense the ‘Look at what Emi did!’ thing is going run throughout this season, but how much attention you pay to that will be an individual thing. He wanted to go, we wanted £20m, sometimes that’s as much as there is to it.

Anyway, the arrival of Runarsson is interesting. First off, it absolutely and utterly cements Bernd Leno’s position as the number 1 keeper at the club. I know some people thought he was bad against West Ham, but I don’t really share that view. I loved Emi as much as the next … Read the rest

'Unbelievable feeling': Henderson reacts to Man United debut vs Luton Town

Manchester United star Dean Henderson couldn’t contain himself after making his debut vs Luton Town in the League Cup.

The young Englishman has huge expectations on his shoulders to be the man to replace David de Gea and he has dealt with that pressure well.

United eventually overcame Luton 3-0 and Henderson played a crucial role in keeping a clean-sheet, saving well from a close-range effort.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will likely have a goalkeeping headache all season long and dropping the academy product after that performance will be tough.

Henderson’s save came at a time when the Red Devils were only leading by 1-0, meaning he gave them the platform to go on and score twice.

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