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Old 10-01-2019, 11:16 PM   #181
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Alisson Decision

Alisson says Liverpool’s impressive history was the reason he snubbed Chelsea for the Reds during the summer.

The goalkeeper - signed from Roma in July - was also pursued by the Londoners, who were searching for a replacement for the outgoing Thibaut Courtois.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Alisson revealed: “I chose Liverpool for the same reasons I went to Roma when I first left Brazil – I thought this would be the best move for my career.

“Chelsea were changing their manager and not playing in the Champions League. I’ve also always admired Liverpool’s history.

“This is a club with five European Cups in their trophy cabinet. I really wanted to be part of that history.

“I came very close to winning the competition with Roma and I’m working hard to make it happen now with Liverpool.

“What’s life if not fighting for your dreams? I dream of winning the Champions League.”

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Old 11-01-2019, 12:32 AM   #182
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James Milner given special commemorative boots after his 500th PL game by Nike! Nice touch

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Old 11-01-2019, 12:47 AM   #183
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Default Liverpool's £90,000 gem: The story behind the remarkable rise of Ki-Jana Hoever



Liverpool pulled out all the stops to convince Ki-Jana Hoever that his future lay at Anfield.

Chief scout Barry Hunter had been watching the talented young Dutch defender for around a year before the Reds made their move once his contract expired at Ajax last June.

Liverpool knew there was serious competition for the 16-year-old's signature with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City among the host of top European clubs who were keen to secure his services.

Hoever and his family were invited to Merseyside where they met Hunter, Academy director Alex Inglethorpe and other key members of staff before being shown around the club's Kirkby base.

They were also given a tour of Anfield and the trophy room in the museum to whet Hoever's appetite.

The Dutch contingent were blown away by the facilities and the reception they received, but what really clinched the deal for the Reds was the talk about Jurgen Klopp's willingness to put his faith in youth.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was held up as the perfect example of the pathway that exists at Liverpool with Klopp at the helm.

The Academy graduate had made the leap from under-18s football to the first team set-up in a matter of months back in 2016. He reached a half century of senior appearances and played in a Champions League final and a World Cup all before the end of his teenage years.

Hoever and his parents returned home convinced that Liverpool was the best place for his development.

Financially, it was a no-brainer for the Reds. They only had to pay Ajax around 100,000 Euros (£90,000) for the Netherlands Under-17s international.

With Hoever too young to have signed a professional contract in his homeland, under FIFA rules there is a set compensation fee for cross-border deals based on how long a club has developed a player. Hoever had been with the Amsterdam outfit since the age of 12 having previously been on the books at AZ Alkmaar.

If Liverpool had been trying to sign a youngster of Hoever's calibre from a rival Premier League club then a tribunal, which looks at a player's potential, would in all likelihood have set a fee in excess of £1million.

Hoever was able to start showcasing his talent for the Reds once international clearance was granted in mid-September.

He started off with Barry Lewtas' under-18s but quickly made the step up to the under-19s in the UEFA Youth League.



Hoever lived up to the hype that accompanied his arrival at Kirkby. He caught the eye both at right-back and centre-back with his ability to read the game, his aerial prowess, his speed, his composure in possession and eye for a pass.

By late November he was deemed ready for his full Premier 2 debut as Liverpool Under-23s faced Everton at Goodison. He played the full 90 minutes at right wing-back as the Reds triumphed 1-0.

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Old 11-01-2019, 12:48 AM   #184
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“Unbelievable. Sixteen. Wow,” was the verdict of coach Neil Critchley.

“His calmness and assurance, his decision-making, his intelligence without the ball, it was terrific.”

That was the day when he suddenly started being spoken about as potentially a first-team option this season.

All young players need some luck along the way and Hoever's arrived last month with the injuries to Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

A week before Christmas, with Klopp short on numbers, the teenager was summoned to train at Melwood for the first time.

He found himself marking Mohamed Salah in a training game and senior professionals were blown away by how well he handled the Egyptian attacker. He's been with the first-team squad since.

As well as his obvious talent, Klopp has been impressed by the character and attitude of Hoever. There is no hint of arrogance. He's humble and grounded.

When Nathaniel Clyne declared that he wanted to leave on loan, Hoever's rise was one of the reasons why Klopp granted him his wish.

Jordan Henderson was initially set to start Monday's FA Cup tie at Wolves at centre-back alongside Fabinho in a depleted backline.

However, after the captain picked up a knock, Dejan Lovren was drafted into the side with Academy midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies promoted on to the bench.



Having been given the No 51 shirt and named among the subs, Hoever was dreaming of a short cameo but when Lovren pulled up lame, he was thrust into action after just six minutes.

Playing a 16-year-old at centre-back was an incredible show of trust from Klopp and his faith was rewarded. Hoever, who became the third youngster player in the club's history, provided one of the few positives on a bleak night.

A scholar earning £145 per week

Hoever will pen his first professional contract with Liverpool after he turns 17 on January 18, but for the time being he's still a scholar earning £145 per week. They don't get appearance bonuses.

He lives with a family in Liverpool with his parents travelling over from Amsterdam to spend time with him each weekend.

His English is improving fast and he is continuing with his studies at the Academy on Wednesday afternoons.

His Instagram following has shot up to over 112,000 over the past week after his message that read: “A disappointing result last night but happy and proud to have made my debut for Liverpool.”

But don't be fooled by the Twitter account in his name, that's a fake and he's not on that platform.

History is full of cautionary tales about the dangers of getting carried away with young starlets.

Jerome Sinclair, the youngest player in Liverpool's history, is currently struggling to get a game on loan at Sunderland in League One.

Hoever will go back to playing for the Reds' under-23s over the coming weeks. Physically, he's not yet ready for the Premier League but Monday night was another giant leap forward for him.

Liverpool's recruitment staff bagged a gem with Hoever. And when Hunter pursues more young elite European talent this summer, Hoever's remarkable rise will strengthen his hand when it comes to arguing that Anfield should be their destination of choice.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:12 AM   #185
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Congratulations to the boss and VVD:

Manager of the Month & Player of the Month for December.


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Old 12-01-2019, 01:18 AM   #186
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WWWWWWW

Jurgen Klopp is the @BarclaysFooty Manager of the Month after a flawless December


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Old 12-01-2019, 08:50 PM   #187
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:04 PM   #188
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Liverpool's Standard Chartered Player of the Month for December.

Eight games
Seven goals


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Old 12-01-2019, 11:07 PM   #189
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:07 PM   #190
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