Tony Evans: Mbappé Mirage – ‘He’s deffo coming, Salah swap deal’

Join AI Pro

Navigating the Transition: Klopp’s Departure and Liverpool’s Future

This is a nervous time. When Jurgen Klopp announced that he was leaving, there was an outburst of emotion, a circling of the wagons and a real sense of togetherness.

That’s flaked a bit. There’s concern in the air. The loss to Arsenal didn’t help. But we will be in a philosophical no-man’s land for the next couple of months.

Injuries are an issue. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s latest absence is a blow. It will be important to get Dominik Szoboszlai playing as soon as possible. Both had a spell on the sidelines, came back and then suffered a recurrence. Is there a danger Klopp rushed them back because he doesn’t need to worry about their health next season? As for Thiago…

Managers have to balance the short-term and long-term interests of the team. Klopp need only look ahead to May. After that, he won’t be concerned about the future of the club beyond having a sentimental association with Anfield. Should this be a concern?

Photo: IMAGO

The Managerial Tightrope

Perhaps, but even managers with long contracts generally don’t look much beyond the end of their nose. Kenny Dalglish once said to me, “Any manager is only eight games away from the sack.” That was at a time when things were going really well in his second spell in charge.

The quip was a slight exaggeration but the principle behind it is true. Medical departments can advise but, ultimately, the boss has to make decisions with results in mind. The temptation to over-rule the doctors is strong.

Klopp has had his issues with the medical department and, like most managers, tends to err in favour of getting players back onto the pitch. Yet he can’t afford a scorched-earth approach to his final months on Merseyside. He’ll be trying to get the balance right.

Rushing players back too early is counterproductive. There are still potentially 26 matches between now and the end of the season. To get to where Liverpool want to be, Klopp will have to manage injuries and the squad to make sure the best players are available for as many games as possible.

Alexander-Arnold and Szoboszlai need to be primed and ready when they return to the team. It’s not worth risking losing them for another prolonged period if they’re not right.

Photo: IMAGO

The Succession Plan

Is Xabi Alonso this year’s Jude Bellingham? Let’s hope not.

The 42-year-old is clearly the outstanding candidate to replace Klopp. His achievement in putting Bayer Leverkusen in pole position in the Bundesliga is a remarkable one.

Even if he had no connection with Liverpool, he would fit Fenway Sports Group’s bill perfectly. There are a handful of other clubs who are thinking the same thing, though.

It would be great to see Xabi back at Anfield. He’s intelligent, thoughtful and sees the game as well from the dugout as he did when on the pitch. Let’s not get too emotionally invested in the Basque before he signs a contract, however. We’ve been burnt before.

Mbappé Mirage

Kylian Mbappé is leaving Paris Saint-Germain. Frankly, this story has run on so long I’ll only believe it when I see it.

Of course, he’s spoken to Liverpool before, when he was with Monaco. His mum, her bingo-partner and meré’s dog, Monsieur Shankly, are all Reds. He’s deffo coming to Anfield. The swap deal with Mo Salah is on!

Let’s go the whole hog. Make him player-manager. Because god help any boss who tries to control Mbappé.

There was never, at any point, the slightest possibility that the striker was coming to Liverpool. Anyone who thought there was needs treatment in a special hospital.

Photo: IMAGO

Preparing for Brentford

Brentford will be difficult tomorrow but at least there’s one thing we can’tcomplain too much about: the 12.30 kick off.

The team have had a week to prepare. There are no excuses.

The west London club’s form has been spotty this season but having Ivan Toney back makes a huge difference. He’s playing for a move – and a big pay rise – this summer.

Thomas Frank must have been considered by FSG to replace Klopp, too. He’s another who fits their bill, although he’d be relatively low on their wish list compared to Alonso.

Expect Brentford to get physical. This is a game where Virgil van Dijk and Alisson can’t afford another off day. Ibrahima Konate can’t let the ball bounce. It’s time to stand up strong on what could be a difficult early afternoon in west London.

Teams like this make you twitchy but, if the Reds play anywhere near their best, they’ll sweep Brentford aside.

Photo by IMAGO

FSG’s Decision-Making

I understand that FSG like to explore numerous options when they make decisions but there are times when you have to move quickly.

They’ve been way too slow in finding a sporting director. There hasn’t been one in place since Julian Ward – and he was pretty much a lame duck.

There are a lot of moving parts in trying to create a post-Klopp infrastructure, but it would be nice to see a bit of movement. Contracts need negotiating and the summer window is looming fast.

Still, at least Dan Ashworth isn’t on Fenway’s list. Small mercies.

Photo: IMAGO

The Future of Salah

It’ll be good to see Salah back. He hasn’t been missed quite as badly as some of us anticipated. Cherish every moment of him between now and the end of the season.

Instinct – and the way FSG operate – suggests to me there’s a bigger possibility of him leaving the club this summer than at any other time since he joined from Roma in 2017.

That’s not based on any solid information or conversations with those around the situation. It’s just a feeling.

I hope I’m wrong. But, as Jurgen has shown us, things don’t go on for ever.

Join AI Pro


  1. FSG have been involved in deals worth over 6billion in the last 3 years yet you don’t think they can afford 200m plus 70m a year wages .You do realise half of mbappe wages would be covered by Jersey sales …maybe its time you stopped reading anti Liverpool rag newspapers


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to AI Pro!

AI iPhone App!





betting sites in the uk


Betting sites


New bonuses at non Gamstop casinos lucrative casinos without Gamstop


Play at top casinos not on Gamstop on