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Liverpool face losing three players on free transfers after club’s coronavirus decision

Liverpool are facing the prospect of losing Georginio Wijnaldum and Dejan Lovren on free transfers due to a policy the club has taken amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Reds are shelving all discussions on incomings and contract renewals, according to the Daily Mail.

The table-topping Reds are facing the prospect of missing out on their first domestic league title in 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League is currently suspended, with clubs scrambling to find a logistical way to end the campaign.

And the chaos caused by the virus could impact Liverpool’s summer plans, too.

The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool chiefs have suspended all discussions on new contracts, and won’t resume until normal life resumes.

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That could mean three players enter into the final year of their deals without any discussions on an extension.

Wijnaldum, Lovren and Adrian are all set to become free agents in the summer of 2021 if new deals aren’t tied up beforehand.

They will each be able to discuss terms with foreign clubs from January onwards, and could decide to walk away from Anfield.

The Reds are already set to lose Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Andy Lonergan this summer, as they will not extend their contracts.

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But they will presumably press hard to avoid losing Wijnaldum, who was a key part of last season’s Champions League-winning team.

The Dutch midfielder scored twice in the historic comeback against Barcelona, and has emerged as a pivotal figure in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI.

He has started in 28 of Liverpool’s games in this memorable season, finding the net three times.

But if his contract isn’t sorted out soon, he could be tempted to leave next summer if a lucrative bid comes in in January.

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In Lovren’s case, he was heavily expected to leave the club this summer, but now could be forced to stay.

The Croatian centre-back was tipped with a move to Serie A, while Arsenal and Tottenham were both interested.

Though now, Liverpool won’t enter into discussions on a new deal, and are unlikely to allow him to leave.

Adrian, too, is unlikely to sign a new deal considering his age, as the Spaniard turned 33 earlier this year.

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Liverpool have perfect sweetener for Kai Havertz transfer if Jurgen Klopp doubles down

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to match Bayer Leverkusen’s £90million valuation of Kai Havertz, but there are ways around that figure should he wish to navigate it. The German international looks set to leave in the near future and the Bundesliga club will face a fight to keep him this summer.

Yet Leverkusen believe they hold all the power and are refusing to budge on their asking price as they look to earn as much as possible for their wonderkid.

Liverpool have never spent that kind of money and would certainly not do so on a 20-year-old that would not make their current starting team.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Reds will not be interested in a deal.

Havertz is a playmaker with an enormous ceiling and he’s already demonstrated huge leadership credentials by captaining Leverkusen.

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Klopp will be in no doubt that in around five years time he will be amongst the top midfield players in the world.

So in perspective, that £90m looks more like an investment as opposed to a lump sum.

While it’s unclear who will arrive at Anfield this summer, it’s already becoming obvious who may depart.

Michael Edwards is renowned for turning water into wine when offloading the club’s deadwood and he will need to work his magic in several departments once again.

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Leverkusen may be more convinced in a package for Havertz that includes a player plus cash.

If Liverpool wish to bring Havertz to Anfield then they have the perfect sweetener.

Marko Grujic has been bossing the Bundesliga with Hertha for the past 18 months and his performances have really got tongues wagging.

When he was sent back to Berlin, Klopp told him that the idea was for him to be ready for the Liverpool first team next summer.

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Those hopes are dwindling now though after a slightly disappointing second spell in Germany and Klopp now has a huge decision to make on his future.

It’s a risk that could be reduced by the comfort of a buy-back clause.

Bundesliga clubs are more than aware of his quality and would jump at the chance of a permanent deal should Liverpool decide to sell.

He’s worth around £25m, which would knock off a large portion of the £90m being quoted for Havertz.

The Serbian is only 23 and is expected to explode in the next few years.

Grujic could indeed become a player who is worth mega-money like Havertz.

There is a fallback option for Liverpool too, in the form of Dejan Lovren.

The Croatian wants regular football and is struggling to earn that luxury with the European champions.

Leverkusen even asked about his availability last summer, so it’s a prospect that will certainly interest them.

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Xavi reveals how Barca would look if he returned to the Nou Camp

‘I would sign more wingers like Neymar – he would be a spectacular transfer ‘: Xavi gives glimpse into how Barcelona would line up if he took over at the Nou Camp with Jadon Sancho and Serge Gnabry also on his wishlist

  • Barcelona legend Xavi has revealed he’d love to return to the club as manager
  • The 40-year-old manages Al Sadd in Qatar but has been linked with a return
  • Xavi insists his former side need more wingers and he’d bring several of them in
  • The Spaniard says he would make Neymar’s return to the Nou Camp a reality
  • He reveals he would also target Bundesliga duo Jadon Sancho and Serge Gnabry 

Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez says the club needs to sign wingers and should be looking at the possibility of bringing England’s Jadon Sancho to the club.

The £100million-rated winger is likely to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all interested but Xavi believes his former side, Barca, should not be left behind in the race for the 20-year-old’s signature.

Asked what he would do if he were in charge at Barcelona, he said: ‘I would sign wingers. Players like Neymar – I don’t know if he would fit because of the social aspect, in a football sense I have no doubts he would be a spectacular signing. 

Barcelona legend Xavi has revealed he would love to return to the club as manager someday

‘Barcelona have good players through the middle but they lack wingers like the ones Bayern have. They don’t need a lot of new players: Jadon Sancho, Serge Gnabry.’

The former Barca captain was speaking to La Vanguardia about the prospects of him taking over as first-team coach one day.

He was offered that job in January when Barcelona sacked Ernesto Valverde but he turned it down.

Hinting it would take a change of board to persuade him to take over he said: ‘I like working with people I have trust in; where there is loyalty. There cannot be anyone toxic anywhere near the dressing room.’ 

The Al Sadd boss says he would make Neymar’s sensational return to the Nou Camp a reality


Xavi also revealed he would also target Bundesliga duo Jadon Sancho (L) and Serge Gnabry (R)

Elaborating on who he would want to work with he said: ‘We are talking about people such as Carles Puyol who was captain, or Jordi Cruyff who is a good negotiator with lots of experience as a technical secretary.’

The 40-year-old who currently plays for Al-Sadd in Qatar talked up the current Barcelona squad, wingers aside.

He told La Vanguardia: ‘A major part of the squad is extraordinary. The goalkeeper is the best in the world. Jordi Alba is the best left-back in the world; Sergio Busquets is the best defensive midfielder in the world and Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. 

The 40-year-old maintains that former team-mate Lionel Messi is still the world’s best player

‘If you add to that [Luis] Suarez and Frenkie de Jong and Arthur [Melo] who seem to me like players who could succeed at Barcelona for 10 years, then the foundation is good.’

Asked about life in Qatar Xavi spoke frankly about the gains the country is making and where things still need to improve.

He said: ‘Increasingly they are realising that they need to get rid of certain things but they need time.

‘There are indefensible issues, such as freedom of the press or respect for homosexuality, but they have many positives.’ 

Xavi rose through the ranks at Barcelona having being developed in the club’s fabled youth academy, La Masia.

Xavi enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Barca where he won the Champions League four times

He would go on to make 769 appearances for the club and was a part of one of the best midfield trios the game has ever seen alongside Andres Iniesta and Busquets.

Xavi won LaLiga eight times in his 17-year stay at the Nou Camp, picking up four Champions League winners medals, three Copa del Rey titles and a host of personal accolades along the way before retiring as a player at Al Sadd.

He also won European Championship on two separate occasions while he is a World Cup winner with Spain.

As a player, Xavi will go down as one of the greatest to have ever played the game with many wondering if he can replicate that success as a manager. 




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Timo Werner would have shirt number preference if Liverpool transfer sealed

By the start of next season, Timo Werner could be a Liverpool player. The Reds appear to be at the front of the queue for his signature and there is optimism on Merseyside that a deal can be done.

The German international has been an open book regarding Liverpool’s interest and willingly talked up the prospect of working under Jurgen Klopp.

He reportedly has a release clause in the region of £50million which is due to expire at the end of April.

Yet if he was to move to Anfield he won’t be short of competition.

Liverpool’s holy trinity of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will take some budging, but Werner looks ready to compete for the shirt.

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If he was to seal a switch to Anfield, it looks like he will have his work cut out selecting a shirt number.

The prolific front three of Mane, Salah and Mane all occupy the number nine, 10 and 11 jerseys.

Around those numbers, there are not any vacancies.

Numbers 16, 17 and 19 are all available but would leave Werner pretty short of choice.

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But if history is anything to go by, there is one number Werner would definitely fancy.

Werner wore the No 19 shirt at Stuttgart, the club where he first burst onto the scene.

For that reason, it’s more than likely that he would happily wear it again. It has huge sentimental value to him already.

Werner currently wears the No 11 shirt at Leipzig, but that is taken by Salah.

It used to be worn by Roberto Firmino until the Egyptian moved to Anfield from Roma.

The Brazilian kindly accepted the chance to vacate it for his new team-mate.

The No 19 at Liverpool has been free since Sadio Mane left it at the start of last season.

Mane took Philippe Coutinho’s No 10 shirt shortly after he left for Barcelona.

Liverpool are optimistic that Werner will just provide added firepower to their frontline, as opposed to being a replacement.

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Liverpool chief Michael Edwards backed to complete Kai Havertz transfer for Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool look to be the favourites to land Kai Havertz this summer and former striker Emile Heskey has backed them to bring the German to Anfield. The 20-year-old is hot property and has a host of top clubs fighting for his signature.

Those include Real Madrid and Bayern Munich with Bayer Leverkusen valuing Havertz at around £90million.

He still has over two years left on his deal, meaning the Bundesliga club do not have to sell yet if they do not wish to.

Havertz plays predominately as a No 10, but can also play as a No 8.

The problem is, Liverpool are not short of options in midfield and there is already huge competition for the starting places in the side.

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Emile Heskey believes it’s a deal worth pursuing if it is going to keep everybody on their toes.

“Kai Havertz is a young, dynamic player,” Heskey told GentingBet.

“So, adding that to the current Liverpool side is always good. You always need options.

“When you have a young, hungry lad come in, it puts pressure on the more senior players to go out there and perform. This is what you need at the top clubs.

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“You need three players per position that are putting pressure on all the others to perform.

“If you haven’t got that, that is when people get complacent.

“When a player knows they have someone behind them ready to take their position, it keeps everyone on their toes.”

One ongoing issue which could impact the deal is the future of Gini Wijnaldum.

The Dutchman is yet to sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2021.

All parties remain relaxed and are confident all the formalities will be sorted in the coming months.

Wijnaldum has been a regular in the side for each of his four seasons on Merseyside, but he is now more important than ever to Klopp.

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Jadon Sancho has one underlying doubt about Liverpool transfer as Jurgen Klopp eyes deal

Liverpool are just one of several clubs looking to win the race for Jadon Sancho this summer. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly ready to do business should their £120million valuation be met and Signal Iduna Park chiefs are optimistic that they can spark a bidding war for the England international.

Manchester United appear to be frontrunners for Sancho, while Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also remain in the picture.

Sancho himself has previously expressed his desire to return to England, but also left the door open on a move to Spain.

Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer of the Dortmund forward, but is unlikely to fork out the staggering £120m fee that is being quoted.

That’s because for all of Sancho’s quality, he would still not be a guaranteed starter upon his arrival due to the brilliance of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

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According to The Mirror, that is a factor that Sancho is considering when it comes to the prospect of moving to Anfield.

Now Sancho has had a taste of regular football at senior level, he does not want to go back to being on the bench.

It’s something Lucien Favre used against him earlier in the season to punish him for ill-discipline and it did not sit well with Sancho.

There’s no doubt that in the long-term, Sancho would be the perfect fit for Liverpool.

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Klopp has a track record for improving wide players and always favours the 4-3-3 system, something that would benefit the 20-year-old.

But unless one of Mane or Salah moves on at the end of the season, it’s unlikely that Michael Edwards will make his move for Sancho.

Timo Werner is firmly on the agenda though after firing in 21 Bundesliga goals this season.

He has a release clause of £50m which is due to expire at the end of April, meaning Liverpool will have to move fast.

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann, who won the Champions League with the Reds in 2005, believes Liverpool are ready to make their move for Sancho.

“What I hear is that Liverpool have great interest,” Hamann told Sky Germany.

“I would imagine that next summer they could become one of the biggest interested parties.

“He’s from Manchester City and I do not know if he would come back again, and it’s a thing for Manchester United, too, if they’ve ever been to the rivals.

“There are currently few players that could reinforce [Liverpool’s] offensive [line-up].

“I don’t know if Sancho’s such a player, but maybe if there’s one going away from those three, then Sancho would be predestined for this offensive alliance.”

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Liverpool have three months to make Kylian Mbappe transfer decision to beat Real Madrid

While the coronavirus has put football on hold, the world’s biggest clubs will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure they are well equipped for success in this summer’s transfer window. There is huge uncertainty in the sport as to what will happen to the remainder of the season and that could have a huge knock-on effect on the market too.

For example in the case of Paris Saint-Germain, their project remains centred on winning the Champions League.

Should that be achieved, there is every chance their best players could seek an exit amid frustration surrounding the competitiveness of Ligue 1.

PSG clearly feel as though this is a great chance for them to finally end their hoodoo after overturning their last 16 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in front of an empty Parc des Princes.

Yet should the competition be scrapped, it would be a huge setback for the likes of Kylian Mbappe.

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Marca report that Real Madrid are preparing to step up their pursuit of the Frenchman after the break, and they will look to prise him away from the French capital.

Mbappe already has connections in Madrid in the form of Zinedine Zidane.

He was also shown around the club’s training ground as a teenager before snubbing a move to Madrid.

Liverpool have been discussed as a club who could potentially rival Real Madrid for his signature and if there is genuine interest from the Anfield boardroom, now is the time to declare it.

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Los Blancos remain hellbent on signing Mbappe, he is a player that could have the kind of impact Cristiano Ronaldo did at the Bernabeu.

He has not signed a new PSG deal and has a frosty relationship with Thomas Tuchel. There is a feeling his time at the club is about to run its cause.

When a player of Mbappe’s value is involved, they are not going to bounce from club to club.

This is more than likely a future world-record deal that could surpass Neymar’s £198m move to Paris.

Not only that, but the World Cup winner is just 21 and this could be an investment for the next ten years.

Should Liverpool have ambitions to sign Mbappe, Jurgen Klopp must strike while the iron is hot.

If he moves to La Liga, he will be worshipped as their new Galactico. He will not be available for the foreseeable future, potentially forever.

For Liverpool, this is also a signing that would allow them to assert dominance on the Premier League while allowing them to launch an assault on the Champions League too.

The problem is, whether Liverpool are able to fund a deal of such magnitude while keeping their current stars happy.

It’s a risk with huge reward, but still one Michael Edwards is unlikely to take.

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Rio Ferdinand urges Premier League to make controversial Liverpool decision

Rio Ferdinand has urged the Premier League to declare the current campaign null and void because of the coronavirus outbreak, in a move which would deny Liverpool the league title.

The Manchester United legend made the comments on an Instagram live Q&A session, claiming he doesn't see how the season can be completed "where health isn't compromised".

“I just think the Premier League should just be voided," Ferdinand said. "Just void it. I know there are going to be a lot of Liverpool fans going 'Oh Rio, it's just because you support Manchester United and it's Liverpool'.

"It's not that, it's just that I don't see a way that it can be done, where health isn't compromised. Simple as that. All this behind closed doors business, you're still going to have the players there. What, are the players not classed as part of society?

"There are players who are going to go down lame from the illness, who might not have recovered or who will catch it from someone. Then it spreads to other players, so it won't be fair, it's not a level playing field, I just don't feel it's right.

"And there's going to have to be people in that stadium to man the stadium – security, etcetera, as well in there, which puts everyone at risk.

"At this time, all this 'we're gonna win this or so and so might not go down or so and so might not get promoted', you've got to put those type of things to one side.

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"This is about life and death situations, about society and the wider grand scheme of things. So, football, it ain't that serious in that sense.

"Listen, we all love it. I love football, we all love it. But it ain't life or death. When it comes to matters like these, you've got to put people's health before anything and I just think that's the way it should be.

"Start the season with a clean slate. Once this health situation is all ironed out, all sorted out, then we can start a new season, because I just don't see it happening in that time.

"Now if we wake up in the next month and it's all gone and the country can get back to normal immediately, then I think a conversation can then happen about that.

"But I don't see that happening, not from what we're being told."

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Barcelona 'have Aymeric Laporte on their radar for the summer'

Barcelona ‘have Aymeric Laporte on their radar for the summer’ as they look to take advantage of Manchester City’s Champions League ban to swoop for their centre back

  • Barcelona have reportedly identified Aymeric Laporte as a target this summer 
  • Manchester City defender is keen to continue playing in the Champions League 
  • Barcelona are said to have been keen on the French international since 2014 
  • And the club are eager to strengthen their defensive options at the end of term 

Barcelona have reportedly rekindled their interest in Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, and are hoping to take advantage of the Premier League giants’ Champions League ban to complete the deal.

The 25-year-old is believed to be keen to continue featuring in the prestigious European competition, and could be lured to the Nou Camp with Barcelona holding an advantage in their pursuit.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have long since identified Laporte as a potential target and are once again eager to sign the French international.

Barcelona have reportedly renewed their interest in Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte

Mundo Deportivo claim that the French centre back back is ‘on the radar’ of Barcelona

City are facing a two-year suspension from the Champions League, pending an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and may be at risk of losing a number of their key assets at the end of the campaign.

And the same report states that Laporte has been made aware of Barcelona’s interest, with the La Liga title hopefuls ready to swoop depending on the result of City’s appeal.

But Laporte is also believed to be ‘at ease’ at the Etihad, and is considered a key performer under Pep Guardiola. 

The City boss even admitted Laporte had been a big loss during his injury lay-off, with the Sky Blues struggling defensively in the defender’s lengthy absence. 

Laporte is a key performer under Pep Guardiola, who admitted the defender was a big loss

Barcelona were also previously interested in snapping up the Frenchman in 2014 and 2015

The former Athletic Bilbao star was first touted to make the switch to Catalonia in 2014, when Andoni Zubizarreta was Barcelona’s sporting director. 

Laporte, however, would have reportedly struggled for match action ahead of first-choice pairing Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano.

Barcelona later resumed their interest in the centre back a year later, but the player’s price tag had increased and the the club were unwilling to meet the valuation.

Despite Laporte having been lured to City through the combined efforts of director Txiki Begiristain and boss Guardiola, Barcelona are hopeful that their swoop will be successful, with the club remaining concerned about the long-term fitness of Samuel Umtiti.




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How Liverpool could line up with one player per nationality – Alonso left out, shock pick

In desperate times, you can always rely on Twitter to find new ways to rekindle your love for football. The latest trend involves picking a Premier League XI from your club using only one player per country. Express Sport has a crack at naming the best team the Reds can field.

GK: Alisson – Brazil

The brilliant Brazilian is already adored at Anfield and was a Champions League winner in his first season at the club.

There haven’t been too many standout Liverpool goalkeepers over the past three decades, but he is the pick of the bunch.

RB: Steve Finnan – Republic of Ireland

Simple yet effective. Questions maybe raised over his inclusion but he won the Champions League and FA Cup for the Reds and was a favourite under Rafael Benitez.

CB: Sami Hyypia – Finland

A player whose name is etched in Liverpool history. An iconic defender who proved a bargain buy, he would go on to captain the Reds.

Being Finnish also helps pick the rest of the side. Apologies to Jari Litmanen.

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CB: Virgil van Dijk – Holland

What a partnership this would be alongside Hyypia. The Dutchman is one of the greatest defenders to ever play for the club.

There is no way he could be left out of this side.

LB: Andy Robertson – Scotland

If this was an all-time XI, Robertson would have some stern competition notably from Kenny Dalglish.

But Robertson is without doubt on his way to legendary status at the club, supporters love his work ethic and desire to win.

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CM: Steven Gerrard (C) – England

Captain fantastic. Gerrard needs no explanation in this team but we will give you one anyway.

When Liverpool had their backs against the wall, he would pull them from the dirt. Olympiacos, Istanbul, West Ham in the FA Cup final.

He would love to play alongside Liverpool’s current stars.

CM: Javier Mascherano – Argentina

First of all Xabi Alonso is unlucky here. As for Mascherano, a tremendous player who went on to win countless trophies at Barcelona.

A great pick up from West Ham, but he was one of the key figures who helped Liverpool go close to the Premier League title in 2008/09.

LM: Sadio Mane – Senegal

A phenomenal player who has seen his stock rise by up to £100million since arriving from Southampton in 2016 for £37m.

Explosive, ruthless in front of goal and willing to help out defensively.

RM: Mohamed Salah – Egypt

The Egyptian’s numbers are simply ridiculous. Nobody has had a better output than Salah at Liverpool and his name is one of the first on the team sheet.

Like Mane, he cost just under £40m and his current value is thought to be at least triple that.

He has won the Premier League Golden Boot in both full seasons at Liverpool.

ST: Fernando Torres – Spain

There have been some superb Spaniards to represent Liverpool over the years but Torres tops the lot.

His contributions after arriving from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2007 were magnificent before he sold his soul to join Chelsea.

His link up with Gerrard was telepathic and he scored several meaningful goals in big games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

ST: Luis Suarez – Uruguay 

The Uruguayan will go down as one of the best strikers in the club’s history.

He may be remembered best for his crazy character but nobody could deny his class.

Suarez came close to firing Liverpool to the 2013/14 title, scoring 31 league goals despite missing the first six matches through suspension.

Liverpool XI (4-4-2)

Alisson, Finnan, Hyypia, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mane, Gerrard, Mascherano, Salah, Torres, Suarez.

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