Liverpool’s disappointing Premier League season continued on Saturday when they were beaten by struggling Bournemouth in a bitter blow to their hopes of securing a top four finish.
Liverpool’s season seemed to have turned a corner… until it didn’t.
The 7-0 win over Manchester United made the Anfield crowd dream of a much better performance. However, they fell back to earth after suffering a 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
Results elsewhere also fell short of expectations, with Newcastle and Tottenham both victorious in the race for a top four spot. But as the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League continues, attention has now turned to this year’s competition.
The Reds face a daunting trip to Real Madrid in their last 16 second leg, trailing 5-2 from the first encounter. Here are the latest Liverpool headlines from Mirror Football.
Van Dijk slammed
Virgil van Dijk was heavily criticized for his performance during the defeat on the south coast when Philip Billing scored the only goal. And talkSPORT pundit Jason Cundy is tearing up the Dutchman by calling him “over the top” and suggesting he is not fit to wear the shoes of a Premier League legend.
“I think he overdid it, personally. I think there’s a lot of media that loves what Van Dijk has done. I have no doubt that Van Dijk is a brilliant centre-back, but he makes too many mistakes that go unnoticed.” ,” Cundy explained.
“I can’t explain it but as soon as he got away from him on the right he seemed to stop and misjudge the situation. People compare him to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand but he just couldn’t tie their boots.”
Liverpool are reportedly monitoring Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha as a potential alternative to Jude Bellingham. Jurgen Klopp has admitted he will upgrade his squad at the end of the season, with the need for a new midfield player clear.
Bellingham is a prime target, but is set to command a record-breaking fee, which will likely make him the most expensive English player of all time. Palhinha is a much cheaper option, despite a brilliant first season in the Premier League.
He could still cost around £60m, with Fulham looking to double their investment in the Portugal international.
Firmino can cost Chelsea
Klopp’s squad looks set to be very different at the start of next season, with definite comings and goings. Roberto Firmino is one of the players who will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Firmino has confirmed he will not be extending his current contract but remains fully focused on his final months on Merseyside. That doesn’t help Atletico Madrid who are one of the teams reportedly interested in landing him.
The Brazilian is seen as a potential replacement for Joao Felix, but his loyalty to Liverpool means he will not be accepting talks yet. That could complicate the plans of Felix Chelsea, who they want to sign at the end of his loan spell.