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Tottenham has made a Harry Kane transfer mistake that Liverpool avoided with Sadio Mané



Tottenham has made a Harry Kane transfer mistake that Liverpool avoided with Sadio Mané

Tottenham, fresh from being beaten late on by Liverpool at Anfield at the weekend, faces an uncertain future. Even having battled from three goals down on Sunday, Ryan Mason’s side still capitulated — somehow finding a way of taking the limelight off Richarlison.

Heading into the summer, while both teams have struggled for large parts of the current campaign and have not performed as they would have been hoping, Liverpool and Spurs are in different positions.

The Reds should have invested more into the midfield last summer but opted not to. This time around, spending big is a necessity rather than a choice, with Jürgen Klopp already having admitted that a big summer lies ahead, with meetings over possible transfers already having taken place.

READ MORE: Liverpool could sign $37m star ‘like Pedri’ to help Jürgen Klopp complete midfield rebuild

READ MORE: Jurriën Timber could point Liverpool to bargain $9m solution for Trent Alexander-Arnold problem

At Spurs, though, while most of the team could do with an upgrade, the one piece of the side that has performed at a peak level this season is Harry Kane, who will only have a year left on his contract.

Bayern Munich and Manchester United are among the teams keen to take him away from North London, and while it is possible that Kane could sign a contract extension, Spurs have been backed into something of a corner.

Gary Neville has urged them to keep him regardless of whether he will agree to a new, extended deal, but that would mean losing him for nothing potentially the following summer.

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Losing him now would bring in some cash, but nowhere near enough to replace him — let alone to fund the rebuild around the rest of the team once it has been decided who will take over as manager.

It is a transfer situation that could have been avoided had Tottenham been more proactive and decisive, with Liverpool providing the right way of transitioning from one attack to the next with its move to succeed first Sadio Mané and now Roberto Firmino.

Mané, of course, left for Bayern Munich with a year left on his contract, in a similar situation to Kane. But Liverpool had already brought in Luis Díaz and then signed Darwin Núñez to replace him and ultimately upgrade.

Now, Cody Gakpo has become Firmino 2.0 ahead of the Brazilian departing on a free transfer. Six months ahead of Firmino leaving, the man to replace him was already being settled in ahead of time.

Harry Kane and Harvey Elliott during Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham.

(Image: Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Liverpool should, it goes without saying, have begun the midfield edition of its revamp before now, and it could have been as ruthless with Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as it was with getting replacements in for Mané and Firmino.

But in terms of the attack, it should be noted that Liverpool has got it right: selling Mané, losing Firmino for free, and rewarding Mohamed Salah with a bumper new contract.

At Spurs, Kane could leave in one of the next two summers and the rebuild will only begin then. Even if he stays, there is a considerable amount of work for the new manager to undertake.

Liverpool has not got everything right in the transfer market over the past few seasons, but certainly with regards to the forward line, Julian Ward and co have pulled off the transition.

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Liverpool manager charged with improper conduct after hamstring-injuring celebration

The English Football Association has charged Jurgen Klopp with “improper conduct” for his post-match comments about the refereeing in Liverpool’s dramatic 4-3 win over Tottenham.

Key points:Jurgen Klopp said he made comments about the referee “out of anger”Klopp said he expected to receive a punishment for his commentsKlopp injured his hamstring while celebrating Liverpool’s win over Tottenham

The Liverpool manager received a yellow card from referee Paul Tierney after racing along the sideline to celebrate Diogo Jota’s stoppage-time winner on Sunday in front of fourth official John Brooks.

The enthusiastic celebration somewhat backfired when Klopp appeared to injure his hamstring as he approached Brooks, before limping back to his dugout.

Klopp has been given until Friday to file an official response before the FA considers disciplinary action such as a suspension.

“It is alleged that the manager’s comments regarding the match official during post-match media interviews constitute improper conduct in that they imply bias, and/or question the integrity of the referee, and/or are personal/offensive, and/or bring the game into disrepute,” the FA said in a statement.

Klopp said after the game he did not know what Tierney “has with us”, and also raised concerns about comments the referee made toward him.

On Tusday, Klopp tried to explain his behaviour.

“The whole situation shouldn’t have happened at all. It was out of emotion, out of anger in that moment,” Klopp said.

Jurgen Klopp had a number of run-ins with the refereeing team.(Getty Images: Liverpool FC/Andrew Powell)

“That’s why I celebrated the way I celebrated.

“After the game, I tried to calm down and didn’t properly. I said [in TV interviews], ‘What he (Tierney) said to me was not OK.’

“I opened the box which I didn’t want to open. The rest was things I said about how I felt in that moment and Paul Tierney doing our games.

“I’m not a resentful person but these things which happen in the past happen, not intentionally but they are there.”

Tierney will not referee a game this weekend, but he is the fourth official for West Ham’s game against Manchester United on Sunday and is the VAR official for Nottingham Forest’s match against Southampton a day later.

Shortly after Liverpool’s win over Tottenham, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited responded to Klopp’s comments, saying it strongly refuted “any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper”.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s home match against Fulham, Klopp said: “With all the things I maybe expect a punishment.”

“Refs think I questioned their integrity, which if I am sitting here now calm, I don’t do,” he said.


Jurriën Timber could point Liverpool to bargain $9m solution for Trent Alexander-Arnold problem

Liverpool’s squad will likely look a lot different by the start of next season with a number of first-team stars set to depart and several signings expected to follow. Signing one highly-rated starlet as senior cover for a Jürgen Klopp mainstay could prove a shrewd move.

Although Anfield recruitment chiefs will be tasked with identifying reinforcements for key problem areas in midfield, defense and in goal in the upcoming transfer window, purchasing some back-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold could also be high on the agenda this summer.

The homegrown star has been central to Liverpool’s revival in recent weeks since moving into an adapted ‘inverted full-back’ role but the lack of cover for the 24-year-old could pose some issues next season.

If manager Klopp is to persist with the so-far successful experiment which has seen the academy graduate move into a more advanced role when in possession, concerns may abound that the Reds could lack an obvious insurance option to fill in for Alexander-Arnold next term. With James Milner set to depart this summer, Joe Gomez would probably be the most obvious understudy at right-back but it is difficult to see him being utilized as anything more than a ‘traditional’ full-back.

READ MORE: Thiago linked with transfer return as Feyenoord will ‘find it hard’ to stop Liverpool signing

READ MORE: Liverpool $92m transfer bargain becomes clear as Bayern Munich makes Sadio Mané decision

The likes of returning loan stars Conor Bradley and Sepp van den Berg — both of whom can play right-back — as well as youngster Calvin Ramsay, will also surely be given the chance to stake their respective claims for first-team action during pre-season. Out of the above names, however, it may well be a concern for Klopp that he may have to completely switch systems if Alexander-Arnold was ever unable to play for whatever reason next term, with none of those options looking like obvious candidates to play as an ‘inverted full-back’.

Of course, the other obvious option open to Klopp would, therefore, be to enter the transfer market for a player who has the potential to essentially do the role of Alexander-Arnold in his absence. Liverpool have been linked with Jurriën Timber ahead of the summer (via GOAL), and the 21-year-old could well point the Reds to his teammate Devyne Rensch, who has been one of the Eredivisie’s best passers this season, while also excelling from a defensive perspective.

According to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, the Reds could well face a fight for the signature of the one-time Netherlands international from fellow Premier League sides Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion this summer. The 20-year-old defender, who has played across the backline for the Amsterdam giants, could well be available for a relatively bargain price of $9m (£7m/€8m), based on this TransferMarkt valuation.

Jurrien Timber and Devyne Rensch have both been linked with Liverpool

(Image: Getty Images)

The Ajax academy product has made 32 appearances for his boyhood club so far this term and has already made 88 senior appearances in his fledgling career. The starlet has already played his part in two Eredivisie title wins, while also starring in the Champions League and for the Dutch national team since making his debut back in 2020 and is significantly further along in his development than all of Klopp’s options at right-back, Alexander-Arnold aside.

If one also looks at his numbers from this season, there is evidence to suggest that he could be exactly the kind of player Liverpool may look for if they do choose to seek an understudy for the Scouse star this summer. As per Footystats, Rensch has demonstrated a real eye for a pass from the full-back position this campaign, passing the ball roughly 60.37 times during a game, with a pass completion rate of 86.74 per cent — putting him in the top seven per cent of performers in the division — while also playing an average of 0.69 key passes each game.

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All in all, Rensch’s xA (Expected Assists) output stands at 0.18 per 90 minutes, putting him above 68 per cent of the players in the Eredivisie — pretty impressive numbers for a full-back. On top of this, the versatile youngster has also demonstrated his defensive capabilities this term with 2.60 tackles and 1.43 interceptions for every 90 minutes he was on the pitch — he is in the top 15 per cent of all players in the league on both counts.

Klopp has, of course, already tapped into the Eredivisie market before this year, with Cody Gakpo having joined from PSV Eindhoven in January. It would be fair to say that the Dutchman has made a major impression since joining the Reds, with many observers tipping him to be a long-term replacement for Roberto Firmino, and Liverpool will be impressed with how well he has adapted during his first half-season at Anfield.

Rensch has been excellent for Ajax this season and his aptitude in the areas of passing, chance creation and interceptions could make him suitable as a potential understudy for Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool. With a bargain price and genuine pedigree despite his tender years, the full-back could prove to be the club’s next shrewd purchase from the Eredivisie.

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