By Chris Rowland and Daniel Rhodes.
W/c Monday 8th February 2016.
Welcome to our weekly round-up, a diary of news and events on the site, matters relating to LFC and the world of football generally.
The Week in Football – Liverpool FC:
Daniel Sturridge expects Liverpool’s confidence to soar after the 6-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday. (LiverpoolFC.com)
“I’ve been watching from the sidelines and we have been unlucky in recent games. It was great to get the result today and to score so many goals. It gives us confidence for future games.”
James ‘Mystic’ Milner has revealed how he told Jordan Henderson he had a hunch Liverpool were on the brink of racking up a commanding victory during a conversation at Melwood early last week. (LiverpoolFC.com)
“I had a convo with Hendo the other day and said I think we’re due a game like this where things go in. I don’t think we started particularly well, but we found ourselves in front.
“We’ve played a lot better at times and not had the rewards we’ve deserved. It was pleasing, we had a lot of chances that hadn’t been going in for us, but did go in.
“Hopefully that can kick-start this final period of the season with some important games coming up, get the boys some confidence in front of goal and hopefully a lot more chances will go in.”
Divock Origi, 20, laughed about his close encounter with a fan after scoring in the 6-0 win over Aston Villa, saying ‘it must be Valentine’s Day!’
Liverpool confirmed the signing of Joel Matip this summer after securing a pre-contract agreement with the Schalke defender. (Liverpool Echo)
The Cameroon international, 24, will move to Anfield at the end of the season on a free transfer.
He can play as a central defender as well as in midfield.
Matip is set to arrive when his current contract with the Bundesliga side expires this summer, and reports have suggested he will be on a four-year deal at Anfield.
The German-born player, who has 27 Cameroon caps, came through Schalke’s youth set-up.
Jordan Henderson says Daniel Sturridge gives the Reds a “fear factor”. (BBC Sport)
“Any centre-half in the world would be worried coming up against him,” said Henderson. “They know how quick he is, how sharp he is with the ball.”
It has been reported that Sturridge, who has scored five goals in eight games in all competitions this term, wants to leave Anfield at the end of the season over criticism of his injury record.
“A lot gets said about him outside of our group,” said midfielder Henderson.
“I know it hurts him and I know it is hard for him to take. He is doing things to try and get back.
“I have been with him a lot while he has been out. He doesn’t want to be injured. He is more annoyed than anyone that he isn’t playing.
“But now he is back, he has got a smile on his face and he has been world class.”
AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has hinted that Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, 25, may have played his last match on loan for the Italian club. (Liverpool Echo)
Klopp reveals his reasons for signing Joel Matip on a free transfer:
“I am very happy. Everybody who knows him would have been interested. Maybe he’s not the most famous player in England, but he’s 24 and has played about 200 Bundesliga games for Schalke.
“He is a top-class centre-half, very young but experienced. You don’t have that too often. To be honest, when I had my break I thought for the next club, I should think about Joel, if there was a need.
“He never played for my team, he did the extreme opposite – he played for their biggest opponent! Maybe that says a lot about his quality. Even when he played for the team you cannot love as Dortmund manager, you see his quality. Then that’s real quality.
“The chance was there and Joel wanted to do something different. He is and was really close to his club; it’s normal, he played there since he was a youth player. I think there was no chance for another Bundesliga club in this moment, but Liverpool was the right name and the right club.
“Maybe it was a little advantage that I know him and he knows me. He’s still a young player and for a young player, it could help to make the decision when there’s a manager from your home country.
“It’s a good situation, hopefully a win-win. In this moment, it looks like this. Now he has to stay healthy and after the summer break we can start working together.”
“He’s a real centre-half. He is physically strong, a really tall boy – taller than me! It doesn’t happen too often that I have to [looks upwards].
“He’s quick, he’s flexible in his movements and good in technical things. He has played in different systems, with four or three defenders. He scores goals, four or five per season minimum. He is good in the one-on-one and quick. It’s a package.
“He has to learn, that’s normal, but he has learned a lot in the last few years and made big steps in his development. For us, it was a chance. You can’t always make transfers only to solve a problem.
“I know people are saying our defence isn’t that good. We have to defend better as a team, first of all. It’s not for solving a problem – it’s a transfer with a really good perspective for the future, a long-term thing. But he can help immediately and that’s really good for us.”
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