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Transfer Ratings: Kalidou Koulibaly To Liverpool

Amuda Segun

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Kalidou Koulibaly

Premier League leaders Liverpool could spend some big money to boost their central defence ahead of next season. The club has been linked with a summer swoop for highly rated Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and he could form a potent centre back partnership with Virgil Van Dijk if the Reds are successful with his transfer from Italy.

Napoli have retained the services of the Senegalese international amidst the serious interest of bigger European clubs in the past and this summer could be the right time to let the player go. Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool and several other big European clubs are keen on the defender.

Liverpool are not new to spending big on a central defender after the signing of the aforementioned Van Dijk two years ago. The Dutchman made the move from Southampton to Liverpool for a then world-record fee for a defender.

The Reds paid £75m for the player but that record has been eclipsed by Harry Maguire, an £80m transfer from Leicester City to Manchester United last summer. The signing of Van Dijk has elevated the status of Liverpool to a trophy-winning club once again.

The signings of both Van Dijk and Brazilian shot stopper Alisson Becker has helped to elevate Liverpool to the best team in Europe following their Champions League win last season. The club is also on the verge of winning the Premier League though the party has been put on hold due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation in the world.

Liverpool need just two wins to confirm their first Premier League title and a first league title in three decades but that has not stopped manager Jurgen Klopp and the team from improving the team as highlighted by the interest in Kalidou Koulibaly. Other Liverpool targets include Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner and many more.

The battle to sign Koulibaly from Napoli is far from being a straightforward one with the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Juventus and Barcelona also interested.

Transfer Ratings for Kalidou Koulibaly to Liverpool: 4/10.

I am Segun Amuda , Journalist at Thewistle.com. You can also find my articles here on topics related to Football. Outside Blogging, I have a keen interest in watching English Premier League Games. For any queries or issues related to articles on our website, kindly get in touch.

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Football

Is Timo Werner Really Worth His €60m Price Tag?

Amuda Segun

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Timo Werner

One of the biggest news on the transfer scene in the last few hours is the potential collapse of the ‘Timo Werner to Liverpool’ transfer.  Several popular media outlets have reported that Premier League heavyweights Liverpool are not ready to pay the money quoted by his club for the transfer thus leading to the question if the petite forward is really worth the €60m release clause in his contract at German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Timo Werner has been performing well for RB Leipzig for some years and the German international is only 24 but the Reds are still not convinced about his price tag. The player is not short of suitors after his impressive displays in RB Leipzig colours this season with the likes of German champions Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Chelsea also interested in the player.

The interest from elsewhere has not stopped Timo Werner from his desire to play for Liverpool. According to reports, the player wants to stay and continue his development at RB Leipzig if a move to Liverpool is not possible.

His stats in front of goal suggest that the player is worth the €60m price tag leading to the summation that the Reds might not have issues with the money if the dreaded Coronavirus had not happened. European clubs have seen their income suffer seriously because of Coronavirus and the situation is likely to deteriorate especially if football takes a while before accommodating fans at match venues.

Liverpool have a formidable front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and the club splashing the cash on another forward that won’t easily displace one of the aforementioned trio amidst the negative financial effects from Coronavirus could be a wishful thinking. Apart from the task of displacing one of Salah, Mane or Firmino, Timo Werner has to also adapt to a new league. A deal is still a possibility especially if RB Leipzig lowers the release clause which expires in a matter of weeks.

Timo Werner has scored 30 goals in all competitions including a league treble during the win over hosts Mainz 05 at the weekend. He has 24 goals in the German Bundesliga this season.

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EPL

What Liverpool Need To Maintain Premier League Superiority

Amuda Segun

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Mohamed Salah

Liverpool were coasting home to the Premier League title for the first time in their history until Coronavirus happened in March. The Reds had not won any form of league title in the top flight for three decades until this season.

Until Premier League football was suspended two months ago at the end of week 29, Liverpool had the best record in the history of the competition at that point of the season. Liverpool won 27 games, drew one and lost just one from those 29 games thus amassing 85 points. They had a 25-point advantage over Manchester City in second position.

Liverpool won’t be denied their title for long as the Premier League is expected to resume next month and players have already returned to training ahead of the restart. Only two wins from the remaining nine games would be enough to hand Liverpool the title thus taking them to 19 league titles and just one behind leading club and rivals Manchester United who have won the league title 20 times.

The challenge for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his players would be to re-enact their insane Premier League form in this campaign as from the next season. The Reds are likely to break the most points recorded in Premier League history currently held by Manchester City (100 points during the 2017/18 season). Liverpool need just 16 points from the remaining nine games and 27 points.

After the league title win for this week has been sorted, the next target for Liverpool would likely be to usurp Manchester United at the top of the list of most Premier League title wins and they need to dominate the league for more seasons to achieve this starting from next season. Let’s examine what Liverpool need to continue their stay at the top of the Premier League:

1. Dynamic Striker – Liverpool have one of the best attacks in European football with the deadly trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane but they still need a better fourth option than Divock Origi who has always done well in that role. RB Leipzig star Timo Werner is the top target to fill this role ahead of the summer’s transfer market.

2. Left-sided Defender – The Reds need an able deputy for first choice left-back Andy Robertson who has been very consistent over the last two years.

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EPL

EPL: Virgil Van ‘Dyke’ – The wall preventing flooding in Anfield for 2 years

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Van Dijk

No one will ever forget his Maradona- Esque goal for the Scottish Champions, Celtic, leaving six opponents in his wake before beating the goalkeeper. He was part of the defence that went 1,215 minutes without conceding a goal – a record for Celtic. These incidents prove that Van Dijk was a legend in the making.

 He was deemed slow and small in his early days. This was followed by him being hospitalized due to a dangerous abdominal abscess he had. The scars still feature till date prominently on his lower stomach. And now, he is arguably the best defender in the world. At the age of 28, he is regarded as one of the best Liverpool players (debatable….of course) by many football pundits, which is an achievement in itself after just 2 years at the Merseyside club. 

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown labelled the Liverpool star “invincible” and considered him to be the best central defender the Premier League has ever seen. He has a win percentage and clean sheet percentage of 59.7 percent and 37.4 percent respectively and isn’t far behind Chelsea legend John Terry. He is the final piece of the jigsaw at Anfield and has seen his influence compared to that of the legendary Eric Cantona at Man Utd.

Van Dijk has played every minute of the Reds’ title charge this season and the Liverpool colossus will be aiming to join an exclusive club of players to have played every minute of a Premier League title-winning season. Gary Pallister, John Terry, Wes Morgan and Cesar Azpilicueta are the only four outfield players to have achieved this feat and the Dutch superstar is set to join this elite list of players. He has played all the 2610 minutes for the Reds and has conceded just 21 goals.  He was successful in winning the title of FIFA’s best male soccer player in 2019 and was close to winning his first Ballon d’Or. 

His dad split with his mother, Hellen, and his three children, including Virgil, found it hard to forgive him for that. And so he decided against wearing his father’s surname on his shirt. Virgil has done very well to be such a success considering the ups and downs that existed in his family. His father was not around for so many important years in his career and it is his mother who is the real hero for all his success and fame today.

Liverpool is set to make Virgil as the highest paid defender in the world as the club makes record profits from TV, commercials, and stadium income after winning the Champions League. The Dutchman will join Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah who have all penned improved deals. It has been claimed his weekly salary will be bumped up from £125,000 a week to £200,000 a week. And a deal of this nature with bonuses added on is likely to be worth more than £50m; it’s only fair that he steers ahead of his rivals on his way to the bank too, and he truly deserves this  pay surge.

Van Dijk has made nearly 150 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining for a club record £75m in 2018. He is by far the most composed player in his position in any league right now and is set to achieve many incredible laurels in his career. He now wants to become a Liverpool legend and believes there is nothing to stop him from achieving incredible things with the European champions. He has no desire of leaving the Reds and wants to go down as one of Liverpool’s greatest servants.

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EPL

Virgil Van ‘Dyke’ – The wall preventing flooding in Anfield for 2 years

Timothy Aiyeku

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Van Dijk

No one will ever forget his Maradona- esque goal for Celtic, dancing through six players before beating the goalkeeper.

He was part of a strong defensive line-up along with Efe Ambrose at the heart of the Hoops defence and they did not concede a goal for 1,215 minutes – a record for Celtic. These incidents prove that Van Dijk was a legend in the making.

 He was rejected in his early days for being slow and weak. He was even hospitalized due to a dangerous abdominal abscess. The scars still feature even today, prominently on his lower stomach. And now, he is arguably the best defender in the world.

At the age of 28, he is regarded as one of the best Liverpool players (debatable….of course) by many football pundits, which is an achievement in itself after just 2 years at the Merseyside club. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown labelled the Liverpool star “invincible” and considered him to be the best central defender the Premier League has ever seen.

He has a win percentage and clean sheet percentage of 59.7 percent and 37.4 percent and isn’t far behind Chelsea legend John Terry. He is the final piece of the jigsaw at Anfield and has seen his influence compared to that of the legendary Eric Cantona at Man Utd.

Van Dijk has played every minute for the Reds this season and the Liverpool ace will be aiming to join an exclusive club of players to have played every minute of a Premier League title-winning season.

Gary Pallister (1992-93 season, Manchester United), John Terry (2014-15 season, Chelsea), Wes Morgan (2015-16 season, Leicester City), and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17 season, Chelsea) are the only four players to have achieved this feat and the Dutch superstar is set to join this elite list of players. He has appeared in all the 29 matches for the Reds, playing for 2610 minutes and has conceded just 21 goals. 

He was successful in winning the title of FIFA’s best male soccer player in 2019 and was close to winning his first Ballon d’Or. 

His dad split with his mother, Hellen, and Virgil found it hard to forgive him for that. And so he decided against wearing his father’s surname on his shirt.

His father was not around for so many important years in his career and it is his mother who is the real hero of all his success and fame today.

Liverpool is set to make Virgil as the highest paid defender in the world as club makes record profits from TV commercials and stadium income after winning the Champions League. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have all been given significant pay rises in recent years, and Van Dijk truly deserves a pay surge. 

It has been claimed his weekly salary will be bumped up from £125,000 a week to £200,000 a week. And a deal of this nature with bonuses added on is likely to be worth more than £50m; it’s only fair that he steers ahead of his rivals on his way to the bank too. 

Van Dijk has made 148 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining them for a club record £75m in 2018.

He is by far the most composed player in his position in any league right now and is set to achieve many incredible laurels in his career. He now wants to become a Liverpool legend and believes there is nothing to stop him from achieving incredible things with the European champions. He has no desire of leaving the Reds and wants to go down as one of Liverpool’s greatest servants.

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barcelona

Top Three Clubs For Barcelona Outcast Coutinho This Summer

Amuda Segun

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Philippe Coutinho

Five-time European champions Barcelona are expected to get rid of deadwoods or the non-performing players in their squad and Philippe Coutinho is expected to be on that list.

Few would have predicted this in January 2018 when Brazilian international Coutinho became the third most expensive player in the world after compatriot Neymar and his PSG colleague Kylian Mbappe. Philippe Coutinho was a key player for Liverpool at that time and was having the best moment of his career before he forced a move to the Nou Camp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reluctantly sanctioned the £142m transfer to Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho and that decision to leave Anfield for Spain has been the biggest stumbling block in his career. Coutinho has not been able to recover his sparkling Liverpool form since he left.

The former Inter Milan playmaker was a shadow of himself during his 18 months at Barcelona before the club decided that it was time to send him on loan. He was loaned out to German champions Bayern Munich for this season but has failed to find that form though it must be pointed out that his performances in Germany has improved in comparison to the ones at the Nou Camp.

Despite his improved form, Bayern Munich won’t take up the option of signing him meaning that Barcelona will have to cut their losses and sell him permanently this summer. Barcelona will have a hard time offloading the player since there are only a handful of clubs capable of paying his transfer fee plus huge weekly wages.

Let’s take a look at the top three clubs for him ahead of next season:

1. Chelsea – The West London giants could be a perfect place for Coutinho to rekindle his form. Chelsea have been linked with the player and he could be the man to replace Eden Hazard.

2. PSG – Coutinho has a very good relationship/understanding with Brazilian national team colleague Neymar and they could re-enact the same for French giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG) who are keen to sign star player Neymar to a new deal.

3. Liverpool – A return to former hunting ground Anfield would appeal to a lot of football romantics. Coutinho has been constantly linked with a return to Liverpool since failing to find top form at Barcelona.

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Chelsea

Top Five Liverpool Transfer Targets Ahead Of 2020/21 Season

Amuda Segun

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Timo Werner

Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool players showed ruthless form this season especially in the Premier League where they won all but two league games before the Coronavirus forced the suspension of matches at the end of week 29. Liverpool have not won the league for three decades until this season and it looks like that drought will end in this campaign as long as the league resumes.

Liverpool need just two wins from the last nine games to wrap up the title. Despite their dominance, the club still wants to strengthen their squad with the Klopp project interesting players both in and out of the Premier League.

The Reds have been eyeing some players ahead of the 2020/21 season and we will take a look at the top five targets from the list of players under their radar.

1. Timo Werner – Left for German international Timo Werner, he would be a Liverpool player by now as the RB Leipzig forward has been impressed with the Jurgen Klopp project at the club as per the various media outlets in the United Kingdom. Timo Werner is a key player for his German Bundesliga outfit but it would be difficult for the club to hang on to his services after this campaign.

2. Jadon Sancho – The Borussia Dortmund player is a wanted man amongst the big Premier League teams. Apart from Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are also on his trail though the Red Devils are ahead of the other two teams as per media reports.

3. Jamaal Lewis – The Norwich City left-back has been one of the bright spots for the Canaries who are at the bottom of the Premier League table and are facing relegation at the end of this season. He is a target for Liverpool who need a deputy for first choice left-back Andy Robertson.

4. Kai Havertz – The Bayer Leverkusen playmaker is a target for Liverpool this summer though his price tag believed to be around €100m could be a big issue.

5. Declan Rice – The West Ham United is a long-term target for the Reds. He has also been linked with rivals Manchester United.

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barcelona

Top Five In-demand Players Ahead Of Summer Transfer Window

Amuda Segun

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Jadon Sancho

For a lot of football fans, the transfer market period is the most interesting period of the calendar year. There are primarily two transfer markets in a year namely the summer transfer market and the winter market.

The summer transfer market is the busiest of the two aforementioned markets, and it is usually an interesting period for football fans who wait with bated breath for new signings. The 2020 summer transfer market won’t be any different though it will definitely feel the effect of the dreaded Coronavirus financially.

Coronavirus has stopped football in its track for the past two months but that has not stopped transfer reports involving several of the best players in the world. Here are five most in-demand players ahead of the transfer market this summer:

1. Jadon Sancho – The Borussia Dortmund star is a man in demand especially amongst the Premier League clubs. The favourite for his signature is Manchester United but Liverpool and Chelsea are not far behind.

2. Kylian Mbappe – The French international is widely regarded as the best young player in world football. His club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), wants to offer him a new lucrative deal to ward off the serious interest of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

3. Timo Werner – RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner has been in sensational form for his German club this season and he has set his sights on a summer move to Liverpool though other big teams like Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

4. Lautaro Martinez – The Inter Milan striker has a release clause of €110m in his contract with the San Siro outfit amidst the interest from Spanish champions Barcelona. The Argentine international is seen as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez who’s in the twilight of his career.

5. Neymar – Spanish La Liga side Barcelona want Neymar to return to the club this summer and whether they will be able to pull it off is a different question.

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Chelsea

Top 3 Potential Summer Signings At Chelsea

Amuda Segun

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Jadon Sancho

Premier League giants Chelsea have not been able to add to their existing squad for over one year but that is set to change in the summer with the Blues expected to splash to improve some areas in the team including centre back and the forward positions.

Chelsea were able to sign a new player to the first-team squad in the summer of 2019 and they have not been able to add further signings since then mainly due to the ban on transfers as imposed on them by world’s governing body for football, FIFA, last summer. The ban was for two windows before they were spared the second transfer market thanks to their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Despite being free to sign players in the January 2020 window, Chelsea failed to add to their first team and that led to a little backlash from the impatient Blues Faithfuls. The club quickly moved to calm them down with the acquisition of Ajax Amsterdam playmaker Hakim Ziyech who won’t join until this summer.

Chelsea fans would be hoping that the signing of Hakim Ziyech is a sign of more quality players to walk through the Stamford Bridge door starting from this summer as the West London giants plot their way back to the top of English football under the guidance of club legend and manager Frank Lampard. Let’s examine the top three potential transfers at the club in the summer:

1. Jadon Sancho – The Borussia Dortmund winger is one of the most in-demand players ahead of the summer especially amongst the Premier League big boys. Borussia Dortmund also want to increase his weekly wages for him to stay for at least one more season.

2. Nathan Ake – The Dutch international was at Chelsea before his transfer to Bournemouth in 2017 after a successful loan spell with the Cherries and he has been linked with a return to the club.

3. Timo Werner – Chelsea want to sign a new striker and the RB Leipzig man could be the player to do the job but they face stiff opposition from rivals Liverpool.

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