Welcome to the first edition of The Big Five. This will be a regular weekly feature posted every Tuesday/Wednesday. The Big Five will roundup the weeks LFC news focusing on five major talking points. The Big five is written by Slaven, our new dedicated writer and fellow red. 

With a busy weekend behind us, we take a look at the most interesting news that marked it. Liverpool FC players checked into their first training session of the pre-season on July 1st.

Sadio Signs

After signing Marko Grujić. Joel Matip and Loris Karius in the early summer transfer window, Liverpool improved their team further by signing Sadio Mane from Southampton for a astonishing 30 million pounds fee. 24-year old Senegalese forward, who can play on each side of the attacking line, comes after lengthy speculation with the Saints. Mane managed to bag 11 league goals last season, including a brace in our 3-2 loss at St Mary’s stadium. Sadio Mane becomes fifth major signing Liverpool made from Southampton in the last two seasons, following transfers from Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Ricky Lambert.

Benteke Out?

With Sadio Mane’s arrival, it became clear that one (or more) strikers in club are heading to exit. Liverpool FC are desperate to off-load Italian misfit striker Mario Balotelli at any price, but the news came that Belgian Christian Benteke is the next in line. In a mixed season, where he scored ten goals in his first season. Crystal Palace are hoping to secure the deal for the striker, with an highly improved offer of 31m pounds supposedly arriving at Liverpool’s address. While nobody can question Benteke’s quality, it became clear very soon that he is not part of Klopp’s plans next season and will most likely change his destination

Canos Leaves

Liverpool’s starlet Sergi Canos is set to leave Anfield less than two months after making his initial debut for Liverpool’s first team against West Brom.  Norwich City reportedly made a 2.5 million pounds offer for the Spanish winger and he is very much likely to depart to Championship side.  While it looked very promising not so long ago, Sergi Canos’ request of 10k salary per week could not have been met and now he will most likely continue his development in the lower league. Sergi  Canos follows the footsteps of a fellow Liverpool departed young players, as Jerome Sinclair joined Watford earlier in the transfer window.

Skrtel Snipes

Martin Škrtel “boosted” his chances of leaving Liverpool FC in the coming transfer window, after posting an offensive Instagram comment on his profile. Škrtel argued that his friend initially managed his account at the time, but a series of conversation proves otherwise. Fenerbahce is already very close to sign the brave Slovakian defender, but this incident surely puts a bad mark on a great 8-year stint at Anfield.

More Youth Movement

Liverpool’s promising youngster Ryan Kent is set for another loan move, after impressing last season at  Coventry City. Kent was then recalled by Klopp for their tie in the FA Cup, but that turned out to be his last Liverpool first team appearance. Barnsley is considering the option to bring the 19-year old to Barnsley.  In other news regarding our younger players, goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux will depart Anfield after two years. Last season Vigouroux was loaned out to Swindon and the 22-year old made the move permanent this week. With Liverpool significantly boosting its goalkeeping options this transfer window, it was clear that Lawrence’s future lies behind Melwood doors.

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RedUncle
Member

Reading about the transfer and loaning of young players reminded me of something interesting Ryan Giggs said last week. He said the reason why the famous ‘Class of 92’ at United had such an instant impact when they joined the senior side was because they had come through the youth ranks together and already knew how each other played. With so few youth players actually making it into the senior squad at Liverpool, or any other PL team for that matter, I don’t think we’ll see that kind of group intuition again. In fact, with such a low proportion of academy players making it into the first team one has to question what their primary purpose is – potential first team players or income stream?

Jamie (admin)
Guest

That’s a very good point and sadly you’re right about the income stream part. That said it’ll be interesting to see how Klopp manages the youth team now. He’s already said he wants to stop loaning all the youngsters out so they can develop together in the style of the first team.

It’ll also be interesting to see what happens once we leave the EU, getting U18 players from Europe will be difficult so we may see an increase in (genuinely) home grown players.

Was hoping we’d see some development on the idea of bring back the reserve league but it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening anytime soon.

Jamie (admin)
Guest

@reduncle There has actually been some progress on the restructuring of reserve/U21 football – http://www.thisisanfield.com/2016/07/liverpool-confirmed-new-look-efl-trophy-201617-u23s-side-feature/

New format U21 league to be announced soon

RedUncle
Member

For a long time I’ve been moaning about youth policy at the top Premier League clubs because if the reason they all suddenly have academies is to supply their first teams then their return on investment is abysmal. Any other business would be branded a failure if the amount invested in it and the output (in first team players for that particular academy’s club) was similar to that of PL academies. The only logical conclusion is that they’re footballer factories, making players to be sold throughout the leagues. What’s interesting about Gigg’s comments is that he identifies the advantages of bringing through not only single players but collective units of players. If Klopp wants to gain in the same manner it means the club has to view the academy as a genuine team resource rather than a cash cow. I have my doubts as to whether that will happen.

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