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Former Premier League star profer solution on how Liverpool can get better summer signings



Former West Ham United forward Frank McAvennie has said the return of Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota from their respective injuries would help Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez.

Van Dijk, Jota, Firmino

The 23-year-old Nunez recently made headlines for his inconsistent finish in front of the Merseyside shirt. Since joining Benfica last summer for an initial £64m fee, he has scored 10 goals and three assists in 26 appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday (10 February) that Van Dijk, Firmino, Jota and summer loanee Arthur Melo were back in first-team training. However, none of the four players are expected to qualify for the Merseyside derby on Monday 13 February. During an interaction with Football Insider, McAvennie was asked what he thought of the return of Van Dijk, Jota and Firmino. He replied:

“Although it would be nice to have just one of them back. A 50% Van Dijk is better than the others. [Joel] Matip looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights [against Wolverhampton Wanderers]. Van Dijk won’t let the players get past him and that He’s a good central defender.”

McAvennie claimed that Jota would share the burden of Nunez to take the lead and that Firmino would complement the Uruguayan. He said:

“Jota scores for fun. Just having Firmino’s movement and touch would be good for Nunez. They miss [Sadio] Mane because it was a big loss. But Firmino will help the players around him. I don’t think they are far away, but you can see Jürgen is not happy.”

The Reds currently sit 10th in the 2022-23 Premier League table with just 29 points from 20 games.

Paul Merson offers a prediction for the upcoming PL clash between Liverpool and Everton

In his column for Sportskeeda, Arsenal great Paul Merson predicted a 2-0 win for an undersized Liverpool side in their Premier League clash with rivals Everton at Anfield. He has written:

“This is a good match for Liverpool to bounce back. It’s the Merseyside derby and the fans will be ready. Everton will sit up and absorb the pressure. They will work to score a goal from a set piece.” They will have 10 men behind the ball and only one in front.”

Merson, who won seven trophies with the Gunners, continued:

“Liverpool’s defense has been everywhere this season, but it won’t be of much use to Everton. Jurgen Klopp’s team will have to defend their set pieces because that’s what Everton will live on. I’d be shocked if they didn’t I won’t win this game on Monday.”

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp talks to his players

Liverpool made three changes to their 24-man Champions League squad in the second half of the season, including Cody Gakpo, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Reds have made full use of their three allocated changes, including their January signing and midfield duo, who were both ruled out in the first half of the season through injury.

Luis Diaz is also included as he continues to recover from knee surgery. The Colombian is expected to return in March so he’s unlikely to face Real Madrid in the round of 16.

With Gakpo, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain all included, Liverpool have sidelined Calvin Ramsay and Arthur Melo, while Stefan Bajcetic drops to the B-list after two years as a Reds player. Rhys Williams and Kaide Gordon also join the B-list, while Luke Chambers is removed after joining Kilmarnock on loan.

In total, this means that there have been five additions to the combined picklists (Gakpo/Keita/Oxlade-Chamberlain/Williams/Gordon), with two players retiring (Ramsay/Melo) and one moving on (Chambers ).

Ramsay made his Liverpool debut in the Champions League against Napoli in November, but has been limited to just two appearances through injury since he completed his summer move from Aberdeen. With James Milner and Joe Gomez able to play at right-back, Klopp made the decision to drop the 19-year-old.

Meanwhile, Arthur made his only Liverpool appearance to date against Napoli in September, coming off the bench in the last 13 minutes as the Reds were defeated 4-1. The Brazilian will undergo thigh surgery in October and will return to training in the coming weeks, but as Klopp has 10 other major midfielders, the decision has been made to leave the Juventus mercenary out.

Liverpool’s Champions League squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Adrian, Caoimhin Kelleher (coached by the club).

Defenders: Joe Gomez (club training), Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Nat Phillips (club training), Trent Alexander-Arnold (club training).

Midfielders: Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner (trained in federation), Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson (trained in federation), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (trained in federation), Fabio Carvalho (trained in federation). Players: Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez.

List spellers B: Harvey Davies, Rhys Williams, Isaac Wood, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominic Corness, Kaide Gordon, Melkam Frauendorf.