A view from from the opposition: Crystal Palace


Ahead of Monday’s visit to Selhurst Park for the game against Crystal Palace, we have spoken to Danny from @CPFC_Supporters to get his views on his team, our team and how the game will go.

1) How has your Summer been? Are you pleased with your transfer business?

I would say its been a successful Summer. We played six pre-season games, winning five and drawing one. It was a good chance for Roy [Hodgson] to test a few things out before the season started, as he didn’t have the luxury of preseason with us when he took over from Frank de Boer. We managed to get a couple players in this transfer window and only spent £10m (signing Vincente Guaita on a free from Getafe, Cheikhou Kouyate from West Ham for £10m, Max Meyer from FC Schalke 04 on a free and Jordan Ayew from Swansea City on loan till the end of the season). I’d say in today’s market, getting them players for just £10m is brilliant business. I’d say the best bit of this transfer window was keeping hold of [Wilfried] Zaha!

2) How do you think Palace will do this season?

I have a good feeling about this season, I feel we can compete for top ten or even seventh maybe. With the players we have and the manage we’ve got I believe we can be a handful! We’ve become pretty solid at the back under Roy and also very dangerous on the attack.

3) What do you think of Liverpool’s transfer business?

I’d say Liverpool have done some good business! Getting Shaqiri in for just under £15m is decent in today’s market! Also spending money as well on players I’m keen to see in the Premier League. I saw Keïta play on Sunday, and he looks like he’s fit right in the team.

4) How do you think Liverpool will do this season?

I was talking about this the other day, I believe this could actually be Liverpool’s year! With the players you have you look deadly! The attacking players you have in your team frighten the life out of me.

5) Which Liverpool player do you fear most and who is your danger man?

It’s hard to just pick one player I fear the most as there are a few. No doubt Salah is one of them. He’s an incredible talent and I’m also a big fan of his. Also Mane, he can be just as good as Salah! But I’d say your attacking front three players with Keïta as well will be one of the best in the Premier League.

With regards to our danger man, I think most people know who that is now…Wilfried Zaha! The man’s just brilliant. He’s got a lot more about his game now then he did a few seasons ago. He’s now scoring a lot more goals and creating a lot more chances as well. I’d also say [Andros] Townsend has also been brilliant. He’s an unsung hero in our team (along with a few others) but the amount of work he puts in during all the games he plays is incredible. I don’t think the bloke stops running. Last but not least Aaron Wan-Bissaka, he came through from out academy to the end of last season. We had a lot of injuries and was forced to bring Wan-Bissaka through. The kid is an incredible talent! He plays right-back after being moved from right-wing, he was thrown in at the deep end last season making his debut against Tottenham and then to play against Manchester United and Chelsea. He proved that he deserves to be in the first team by being a stand out player in nearly every game he played in. I’m looking forward to see him this season.

6) What’s your prediction for the game?

You can never predict how this game will go. It’s a entraining fixture to say the least. Us Palace fans will never forget the 3-3 draw at home and I’m sure the Liverpool fans wont either! Also Stevie G’s last game at Anfield! Palace came away 3-1 winners. But recently Liverpool have come away with the points at Selhurst Park. I’m hoping we will be solid on Monday, defend well and maybe break on the counter attack! But I will go with a draw and it will be a very entertaining game.

Thank you to Danny for taking the time to share his thoughts about his team, our team and the game with us. We wish him and Palace the best for the season…aside from when they play us of course.

Mignolet yet to find Napoli agreement


Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is in talks with Napoli.

Nico Vaessen, the Belgian’s agent, has confirmed that talks are underway over a move to Italy for the thirty year old – but nothing has been agreed as yet.

“We are talking with them but there is not an agreement yet.” he informed La Dernière Heure.

“It’s in the interest of the club to find a solution.

“Liverpool would keep him but he wants to—he must—play.

“He deserves to start for a big team.” he added.

Vaessen said that the former Sunderland stopper is the “best option” available to the Serie A side – but indicated that the financial side of the deal was a stumbling block.

“Simon remains the best option in terms of quality but there is the financial aspet.” he said.

Mignolet was not a part of the squad on Sunday as Liverpool began the new campaign with a 4-0 win over West Ham United at Anfield in the first Premier League fixture of the season.

Ramos responds to Klopp criticism


Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hit back at the criticism he received from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Spain international was accused of being overly-physical in the Champions League final, which the La Liga side won 3-1, played in Kiev back in May.

Many onlookers felt that Ramos went too far in the way he tackled Mohamed Salah, who went off injured in the first-half following a challenge with the defender, and Klopp recently spoke out about the incident.

“We are opening that bottle again?” he said last month.

“It is action-reaction-action-reaction and I don’t like that but, if you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid, then you think it is ruthless and brutal.

“I saw the ref taking charge of big games at the World Cup and nobody really thinks about that later. But in a situation like that somebody needs to judge it better.

“If VAR is coming then it is a situation where you have to look again. Not to give a red card but to look again and say: ‘What is that?’ It was ruthless.

“I’m not sure it is an experience we will have again – go there and put an elbow to the goalkeeper, put their goalscorer down like a wrestler in midfield and then you win the game. That was the story of the game.

“Ramos said a lot of things afterwards that I didn’t like. As a person I didn’t like the reactions of him. He was like: ‘Whatever, what do they want? It’s normal.’ No, it is not normal.

“If you put all of the situations of Ramos together then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos. The year before against Juve he was responsible for the red card for Cuadrado. Nobody talks about that afterwards.

“It is like we, the world out there, accepts that you use each weapon to win the game. People probably expect that I am the same. I am not.”

“We are aggressive but I always use the word ‘legal as well’. Usually if you try something you will get punished. Someone will see it and ban you for four or five weeks.

“But in this example, no one. This ref should have had the courage to decide that game. In this situation we didn’t get it and, if you write this, people will say I am weak or a bad loser or a whiner. I am not. I accept it. It’s not like I wake up in the morning and think: ‘Ramos!’

“In a final you need to have a bit of luck and we didn’t have it. They had luck in different situations and we didn’t. They scored a bicycle kick, come on! We all know Bale can do that but he probably put more balls from that situation in the stands than in the goal.

“If that’s not luck then I don’t know what is. Then the situation around Loris.” he finished.

And now the Real Madrid defender has decided to respond with an accusation that Klopp is a serial loser who is blaming him for being beaten in the final.

“I will not talk more about it.” he said as he prepared to face domestic rivals Atletico Madrid.

“It was part of the game. I didn’t mean to hurt Salah.

“Klopp wants to justify himself for losing. It’s not the first time he’s lost.

“Some of us have been operating at a very high level for many years, not sure he can say the same.

“Let Klopp worry about his own players.

“But I voted for him as one of the best coaches this year.” he finished.

It will come as little consolation to the German as he looks back on his second Champions League final defeat after his Borussia Dortmund side were beaten by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in 2013.

Van Dijk encouraged by developing partnerships


Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has spoken about the partnerships he started developing against West Ham United on Sunday.

The Holland international was part of the defence which kept a clean sheet as Jurgen Klopp’s men got off to a 4-0 winning start in the Premier League in the opening round of fixtures.

Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker was making his competitive debut for the club after completing a £67m move from Italian side AS Roma – and Van Dijk feels the signs are encouraging.

“We speak a lot. He’s very vocal and that helps. It helps me and everyone in the backline. I think his presence is very good as well.” he told Liverpoolfc.com

“He has a lot of qualities on the ball that help us playing. We’ve worked the whole pre-season and we’ll keep practising. There’s still a lot to do.

“It’s just one game. We had a good pre-season with good results and games where we’ve played very well.

“But we can do a lot better and it’s just the start. I think the key is we need to be very consistent and do it every game.” he added.

The twenty-seven year old was partnered at the heart of the defence by England international Joe Gomez, who spent much of last season playing at right-back, and he backed the youngster following his performance.

“I was not really worried, to be fair.” he said.

“I’ve played a couple of games in pre-season with Joe at centre-back and I have a very good relationship with him, a very good understanding outside of the pitch as well.

“We need everyone in the squad.” he finished.

The trio are all likely to start the next game of the season as Klopp takes his squad to Selhurst Park to play against former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Monday evening.

It is the first away day of the campaign for the Reds and Palace will be in good form after their 2-0 win against top flight new boys Fulham.

Neville admits he was wrong about Van Dijk


Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has admitted that he was wrong to question the price Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk.

The Holland international moved to Anfield from Premier League side Southampton at the start of the year for a world record fee of £75m – which raised a few eyebrows outside of the club.

But the twenty-seven year old has silenced his critics with some superb performances in Jurgen Klopp’s side and it has seen the outspoken Sky Sports pundit have to eat his words.

“I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75million.” he said on his podcast.

“And I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had.

“He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam. It looks like he just throws people out of the way.” he added.

Neville has praised Klopp for adding depth to his midfield options after seeing them stretched last season as he battled domestically and on the continent.

“You look at that midfield with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.” he continued.

“Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out?

“Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.” he said.

It seems that most people are expecting Liverpool to be the number one challengers as Manchester City look to retain the Premier League title they won in record fashion last season – and Neville feels Klopp’s side have “got the measure” of them.

“I think Liverpool are the side, they will feel threatened by directly.” he continued.

“Certainly in terms of the style of play, Liverpool have certainly got the measure of Manchester City. You can see that.

“City like to push up the pitch, the centre-backs play high and even push in when they’re attacking. The likes of Mane, Salah, Firmino, if you leave space in-behind, they just cut right through you.

“I think directly there is a threat, and I think indirectly in terms of the bigger picture in the league, certainly with the signings they have made, the good feeling of getting into a Champions League final and finishing in the top four consecutive seasons is something where City will feel a threat.

“People are not feeling that way about Manchester United or Tottenham or Chelsea at this moment in time, because of what has happened in pre-season.

“So those teams will have to work their way into City’s thoughts.” he finished.

Liverpool fans are waiting for Neville to backtrack over his negative comments about Xherdan Shaqiri during the World Cup.

Clubs interested in signing Grujic on loan


Leeds United and CSKA Moscow are keen to sign Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic on loan.

Evening Standard writer David Lynch is reporting that the Russian club are eager to add him to their squad as they prepare for life in the Champions League this season.

While The Hull Daily Mail are claiming that Marcelo Bielsa is keen to do a deal to sign Grujic on loan for the rest of the season as he looks to improve his options in Yorkshire.

The Championship club are reported to have made the Serbian international second choice as they seek to secure a temporary move for Mo Besic of Everton this month.

They may struggle to convince the former Red Star Belgrade man that he would be best served spending the season at Elland Road, however, after it was revealed that he had turned down other offers.

Premier League newboys Cardiff City were hoping to take him on loan again after he spent the second half of last season with them as they secured promotion from the Championship.

Another second tier club were also keen to do a deal to sign Grujic for the season, but he turned down the opportunity to become a part of Tony Pulis’ squad at Middlesbrough.

It is claimed that a move to Russia is the one Liverpool would prefer as it would give Grujic the chance to play in the Champions League at a side competing at the top end of their domestic division.

Fabinho ready to fight for place


Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has accepted that he will need to fight for a place in the side.

The Brazilian joined the club from AS Monaco before the season kicked off and was seen by many as the defensive midfielder that had been missing at times last season.

But he was an unused substitute in the first Premier League fixture of the season as Jurgen Klopp’s side beat West Ham United 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

And the twenty-four year old has accepted that he will need to take his chance when he is given game time thanks to the amount of competition in the squad for a spot in the side.

“When I came to Liverpool I knew this competition would exist in midfield and I think it’s really good for the team.” he told Premier League Productions.

“If anything happens to a player, there’s adequate cover.

“During pre-season I played alongside a variety of different players and we blended really well.

“So, overall, I think it’s a good thing for the team.” he finished.

Despite being seen as a midfield option by most, Fabinho is also capable of playing on both the right and in the centre of defence, so his versatility is likely to see him afforded opportunities in different positions.

Wijnaldum dismisses exit talk


Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has said that he “laughs about” speculation linking him with a move away from Anfield.

The Holland international was reported to be a target for Turkish club Fenerbahce this Summer with former Dutch coach Philip Cocu reported to be keen on signing him.

But the former Newcastle United man has dismissed the idea of making a move away from the club as he seeks to hold down a regular spot in Jurgen Klopp’s side this season.

“That was the speculation of the media. I laugh about it!” he told reporters.

“I also read that I asked the club if I could leave. I never had a conversation with the club.

“People from the outside just see Liverpool are buying players, so players who are already here are going to leave.

“Liverpool will always buy good players, even if they already have good players. That’s normal. I think it has to be normal for a club like Liverpool because that means you’re a big club.

“But that was something from the media that I was going to Turkey. Maybe because Phillip Cocu is manager and I worked with him for two years. I don’t know who put it in the media, but it wasn’t me!” he added.

Wijnaldum has seen extra competition for places in the Liverpool midfield added thanks to the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho this Summer, but he has said that he does not think that it makes much difference to him.

“To be fair, I don’t think like this. I always try to perform and not because you have players on the bench or on the pitch that can play in your position.” he responded.

“I think it’s quite normal. It has to be normal at a club like Liverpool – a club that will always buy players, even if they already have good players.

“I always want to play. I think that kind of competition, you have to get it in a team like Liverpool. I think Manchester City and Chelsea, with the new signings that they’ve made, have it also.

“I think in each position there is competition and it’s good at Liverpool. Back in the day it was not different. If you see that there’s a player and you play for a big team, you just have to do your best for the manager.” he continued.

He went on to speak about the prospect of challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title, with many pundits tipping the Reds to be the main threat to Pep Guardiola and his side’s aspirations of defending their crown.

“We will see. I think we have the quality to compete with them but I also thought we had the quality last season.” he said.

“If City’s going to play like they did last season then it will be really hard because they only lost two games and had a few draws.

“If you want to compete with them you can barely drop points. That’s really difficult but something we look forward to because you want to compete with the others and City is one of the best. So we will go for it.

“We feel that we can do something special. We felt it last year also. But feeling is one thing, doing it is the second one. We will work hard to achieve great things in the season.

“That’s what we’re going to try.” he finished.

He certainly did his prospects no harm with his performance in the 4-0 win over West Ham United at Anfield on Sunday following a positive run of outings in preseason friendlies.

Fekir not expected to leave Lyon this month


Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that he does not expect Nabil Fekir to move on this Summer.

The French World Cup winner was on the verge of joining Liverpool before the tournament in Russia kicked off and looks set to stay in his role as skipper of the Ligue 1 club.

“All players want to join big clubs and we will have the same attitude with Nabil as with his former team-mates.” Aulas told OLTV.

“We will have to wait until the end of the transfer window. But he will stay at 95%.

“We’ve seen the love of the fans for him. Lyon is a great city of football.” he finished.

Several reports have claimed that Liverpool will go back in with another bid to sign the twenty-five year old in January and Fekir remaining at Lyon would obviously be key to that happening.

But that theory does not explain why manager Jurgen Klopp did not go back in with a fresh offer following Fekir’s return to domestic football after his involvement in the World Cup was over.

Perhaps the club are waiting to see how his suspect knee holds up over the course of the first half of the campaign before considering a renewed move to sign him.

But Fekir is likely to be cup tied in the Champions League as Lyon return to the competition, so a January bid seems unlikely with that in mind.

Shaqiri rejected United to join Liverpool


Manchester United were keen to sign Xherdan Shaqiri this Summer.

That is the claim being made in a report by Swiss newspaper Blick, who are saying that the twenty-six year old was not interested in moving to Old Trafford and preferred the opportunity to join Liverpool.

The Switzerland international was available for a knockdown £13m transfer fee after being a part of the Stoke City side which was relegated from the Premier League last season.

He was said to be determined to remain in the Premier League and attracted interest from Manchester United, Southampton and Liverpool as he plotted his next move.

United boss Jose Mourinho has had a frustrating Summer in the transfer market and losing out to rival Jurgen Klopp in the race to sign the former Basel, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan midfielder is not likely to have gone down well with the Portuguese manager.

Shaqiri made his debut for Liverpool in a preseason friendly against none other than United – and rubbed salt into the wounds by scoring a delightful scissor kick as his new side won 4-1. He also laid on an assist for striker Daniel Sturridge after coming off the bench in the preseason tour match.

He made his competitive debut as a second half substitute in Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham United at Anfield as Liverpool kicked off their Premier League campaign.