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‘Absolute joke’… Michail Antonio suggests everyone was totally wrong about £45m Liverpool player

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‘Absolute joke’… Michail Antonio suggests everyone was totally wrong about £45m Liverpool player

Liverpool’s summer transfer business from last summer has once again proven to be an overwhelming success.

The Reds have a brilliant recent record in the market and put that to the test with four more signings to begin the season. The pick of the bunch has arguably been Alexis Mac Allister, who was terrific last night against Luton Town.

Meanwhile, all of Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch and in particular Dominik Szoboszlai have shown their quality, too.

According to West Ham United forward Michail Antonio though, this should not be a surprise. Speaking about the injured Diogo Jota on The Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio praised the Reds’ recruitment of recent years, highlighting Jota as an example.

“He’s an absolute joke,” the 33-year-old said of Liverpool’s No.20. “And the craziest thing I like about Liverpool is they buy these players and people at the time are like what are they thinking? Why are they doing that?

“When they signed Mane they were like £30 million for Mane what are you doing? And then Van Dijk. And then Jota, everyone was like what? They all turn out to be absolute class. It’s a masterclass of buying players.”

Liverpool don’t miss in the market
Nowadays, people have simply become used to Liverpool’s relatively shrewd operating in the transfer market. As a result, few are surprised that Mac Allister has slotted in so nicely, for example.

But back in the early days of Jurgen Klopp’s reign, there were certainly some eyebrows raised over the business they were doing.

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Sadio Mane is perhaps the best example of this. As Antonio points out, his move from Southampton was seen as an expensive gamble at the time. Six years later Mane left having won just about everything with Liverpool and as one of their best players of the modern era.

Mohamed Salah’s transfer from Roma was another which was seen as a potential risk. But we all know how that turned out.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images
Come January 2018 and people should have known better by now. But the enormous £75m fee spent on Van Dijk still felt like a lot to pay on a good Premier League performer. Again, history has proven that to be incredibly misguided thinking.

After Van Dijk and a cheap little deal for Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri, the next Premier League signing for Liverpool was Jota.

Just like Mane and Salah before him, there were question marks over whether the then 23-year-old could make the step up from Wolves. But Klopp knew as soon as he saw Jota that he was something special. £45m was a bargain. And so it has turned out.

With so much of the personnel at the club changing this summer, we’ll see if Liverpool can keep this run of hits up. Don’t bet against them and as we’ve learned in the past four years, never bet against our Diogo.

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Jayden Danns’ touching message to Jurgen Klopp speaks volumes after dream Liverpool debut
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ensured that highly-rated teenage forward Jayden Danns had a night to remember as the Premier League leaders fought back to beat Luton Town and move four points clear at the top of the table

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards (left) and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speak to Jayden Danns
Jayden Danns enjoyed a night to remember in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Luton Town (Image: PA)
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ByDan MarshSenior Sports Reporter
09:16, 22 Feb 2024UPDATED12:11, 22 FEB 2024
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Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Luton Town probably isn’t significant enough for a notable spot in the history books, but for Jayden Danns, it’s a match he’ll never forget.

Danns, 18, is the son of former EFL stalwart Neil Danns, who had spells with the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Leicester City. The midfielder clocked up 676 appearances during his career- and he was in attendance at Anfield to see Danns Junior tot up senior match number one.

Liverpool’s significant injury list may have opened the door for Danns to make his Anfield bow, but the versatile young forward is highly thought of on Merseyside. And with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez all currently sidelined, there’s every chance we could see more of him in the coming weeks, albeit those appearances may take the form of cameos.

Like his father before him, Danns has been on the books at Liverpool since he was a schoolboy. Since signing on at eight-years-old, Danns has flourished and scored 10 goals for Liverpool’s Under-18s as a first-year scholar during the 2022/23 campaign.

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Arsene Wenger tells Liverpool to solve Jurgen Klopp problem by copying Arsenal
All that will pale in comparison to his experience on Wednesday night, though. With the points safe courtesy of a rousing second-half fightback and a famous Anfield atmosphere, Klopp turned to the teenager in the 89th minute and gave him the green light to put on the famous red shirt.

He made a beeline for the youngster post-match, too, embracing him with a big smile. Rob Edwards then chimed in to tell Klopp that he actually played with Danns’ father, an anecdote that the Liverpool chief seemed to very much enjoy.

Despite his brief game time, Danns caught the eye and made a key contribution to Liverpool’s fourth goal, sliding the ball through to Cody Gakpo before a defensive intervention opened the door for Harvey Elliott to strike.

Join the debate! Where do you think Klopp will end up next? Let us know here.

Liverpool forward Jayden Danns and James McConnell prepare to come on in the Premier League match with Luton Town
Danns’ made his senior bow late on in the win over Luton ( Image: Clive Brunskill)
Fittingly, Danns was one of seven players who featured for Liverpool Wednesday night’s match aged 21 or under. The future at Anfield is bright, even if the daunting prospect of moving forward without Klopp is now very much looming large.

He name-dropped Danns in his post-match press conference and outlined how grateful the youngster was to be given his big moment from the bench. He said post-match: “The [injury] situation is not great, absolutely not, we don’t have to make that now nicer than it is. I’m so happy that all the kids came on and played; Dannsy [Jayden Danns] said 50 times, ‘Thank you, boss!’.

“I’m so happy that I could give him that opportunity, the boys deserve it.

“But obviously for us there are now a lot of super-important games coming up, and we don’t know, we go day by day. I cannot say anything about it and I don’t know. But after Brentford I had no clue the situation would be like it was now.

“So, let’s see. There’s one phrase that stands: as long as we have 11, we will go for it. That’s all I can promise.”

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Liverpool’s EFL Cup Final Battle: Star Players Salah, Alisson, Szoboszlai, Nunez Sidelined – Can Reds Overcome the Odds?
adminFebruary 22, 2024

A number of notable players for Liverpool have been sidelined with injuries in recent weeks, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Núñez, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Dominik Szoboszlai, and starting goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who missed Wednesday night’s 4-1 victory over Luton Town.

Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic, and Thiago Alcantara are the long-term injury absentees in the meanwhile.

News from the Reds Team
It will be intriguing to observe the roster that manager Jurgen Klopp will have to deal with for Sunday’s EFL Cup Final. Regarding Alexander-Arnold and Szobo from yesterday, he stated the following:

The two slightly more distant players, Trent and Dom, are returning but haven’t yet participated in team practise, so it implies they aren’t accessible either.

He predicted earlier in the week that TAA wouldn’t return until following the cup match at the national stadium.

The previous weekend, Klopp stated of Nunez: “Darwin, we took off because he felt really a little, but that was obviously enough today to immediately push the brake, and that’s what we did, so we took him off.”

The only two who appear to have a chance of returning off the injury list on Sunday are Szoboszlai and Salah. Increasingly, the Egyptian celebrity

The German remarked, “It’s day by day with Mo too.”

He feels the exhaustion there in a comparable place. We must watch its development. We must observe, but it’s not crazy.

Tagged Alisson, Liverpool, Nunez, Salah, Szoboszlai
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