Everton secure dramatic 2-2 Merseyside derby draw against Liverpool

With local pride at stake at Goodison Park neither side were in any mood to back down as the hosts twice came from behind to secure a vital point.

Jurgen Klopp’s side flew out of the traps against their neighbours as Sadio Mane raced in behind to fire them ahead after three minutes

The visitors were almost handed a golden opportunity for a second two minutes later, but referee Michael Oliver made the first of a string of bizarre decisions.

Blues keeper Jordan Pickford clattered into Virgil van Dijk from a corner and despite the Liverpool’s screams for a penalty, Oliver pulled it back for an offside against the Dutchman.

That call knocked Liverpool’s first half focus as Everton grabbed an equaliser on 20 minutes.

With van Dijk off injured, there was no one to marshall the defence at a corner, and Michael Keane got up highest to bullet home.

The hosts then picked up the pace after the break with James Rodriguez beginning to pull the strings and Richarlison firing against the post.

And with the Blues unable to edge in front the ever efficient champions ruthlessly punished them.

Yerry Mina’s clearance on the edge of the box was a poor one and Mo Salah powered home the loose ball.

But despite the balance tipping in Liverpool’s favour, Everton have proved themselves to be a different beast this season as man of the moment Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded them level.

However, with both sides going hammer and tongs in the final few minutes it was to be Oliver that decided the outcome.

He didn’t even blink before flashing a red card at Richarlison for scything down Thiago.

And with Klopp screaming on from the sidelines, skipper Jordan Henderson benefitted from another Pickford mistake to put the Reds in front.

But Oliver was determined to be the headline act as after long long VAR check he controversially ruled it out for a marginal offside.

FULL TIME AT A BREATHLESS GOODISON PARK IT’S EVERTON 2 LIVERPOOL 2

Premier League: Everton v Liverpool

Carlo Ancelotti’s league leaders will go into the game with an added air of confidence, despite the fact they haven’t beaten their cross-city rivals in ten years.

The form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal has been key to the Toffees hot start, with the young English striker currently the top scorer across Europe’s top five leagues.

Calvert Lewin’s 10 strikes in seven games for club and country includes two hattricks in Everton colours, and he’ll be hoping to add to his tally against a Liverpool side who shipped 7 goals last time out.

The Reds’ 7-2 humbling by Aston Villa has led many Evertonians to feel this is the best opportunity to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side in a decade.

However, Liverpool have made a habit of bouncing back from poor results in recent times, and they’ll love nothing more than to get back to winning ways at Goodison.

Everton’s summer addition of James Rodriguez has been inspired, whereas Liverpool fans are yet to see too much of their marquee summer signing Thiago Alcantara due to injury.

There are positives on both sides of Stanley Park on the injury front, as Liverpool’s Thiago and Everton counterpart Allan are expected to have recovered from their respective knocks in time for the game.

Sadio Mane will also return to the fold to increase Jurgen Klopp’s firepower, and Mo Salah is looking to become the 17th different Liverpool player to score 100 goals for the club – the Egyptian is currently perched on 99 strikes in 158 games – in line to be the third-fastest to achieve the feat.

Carlo Ancelotti is waiting to learn the severity of Lucas Digne’s injury though, after suffering with knee trouble in France’s game with Croatia on Wednesday.

Liverpool’s problems at the back against Aston Villa may prompt a change, with Joel Matip in contention for a start.

However, goalkeeper Allison remains out so the shaky Adrian will likely retain his place between the sticks.

The last time Everton won their opening 5 league games of the season was 51 seasons ago in 1969-70, a campaign where they would eventually go on to clinch the title.

Remarkably, the last time Everton won all 8 of their opening fixtures in a season was in 1894-95, so you could even argue the club are in the best winning form in their modern history.

Although, the last time Liverpool went in to a Merseyside Derby with Everton sitting top was in 1989, a year where they went on to secure the crown – incidentally, their most recent for 30 years before last season.

It’s all set up to be a cracker, with the game kicking off at 1230 on Saturday, 17th October.

Jurgen Klopp sends letter to anxious 11-year old Liverpool fan

Lewis Balfe wrote to the Liverpool manager in August about the stress and anxiety he was feeling over starting a new school in September, with Klopp taking time out to send him some advice.

“He’s been a Liverpool fan since he got into football and being their manager he’s always really liked him, so I suppose that’s how it came about,” Milena Balfe told the PA news agency.

“He’s really excited and I was completely blown away, because I thought you might get a standard response from the club or you might get some acknowledgement, but I didn’t think you’d get a letter so personal.

“He was completely blown away by it. The first thing he did when he got it, he wanted me to take him to the shops so he could buy a frame for it, so it’s now in a frame so it can’t get damaged.”

Lewis sent the letter after speaking to a family friend, who advised him to write to Klopp to find out if he also got nervous, and Milena believes Klopp’s response could help her son.

“I think so. It’s difficult to know, he’s only had the letter a week,” she said.

“But he’s read it and he keeps it in his room and he goes back to it and re-reads it and I’d like to think in time he will go back to it and reflect back on it and it will help.”

When asked about the family’s reaction, she said: “I think his brother and sister have been really proud of him and can’t believe the response that we’ve been getting over the weekend and today, so they’re amazed and I think they’re a little bit jealous as well that he’s got such a reply.”

In his letter, Klopp wrote: “Can I start by telling you a secret? I get nervous.

“To be totally honest, I would be worried if I did not get nervous because when it happens it gives me the chance to turn that energy into something positive.

“I know it might be strange for a boy of your age to think that the Liverpool manager can feel the way that you do but I do.

“From your letter it is clear that you are very thoughtful and also very caring and when you have these qualities it is very hard to avoid getting nervous.

“You asked me what I do when my players feel this way and the answer is simple – I remind them of how important they are to me and how much I believe in them and I have no doubt that it will be exactly the same for your family with you.

“You do not need to worry about bad things happening. As you know, I lost more than a few finals and this isn’t a good feeling but with the help of my family and friends I kept going and in the end we were able to enjoy some really good times.

“If I had dwelled on the bad moments I know that this would not have been possible so please be positive about yourself and look forward to the brilliant time that I know you will have growing up.

“And don’t forget that you are part of the Liverpool family and this means that you have millions and millions of people just like you who want you to be happy as you can be.

“Your support means a lot to me and to everyone at LFC so I hope that this letter shows that we support you too.”

Harry Wilson set for Liverpool loan exit

The Welsh international is unlikely to form part of Jurgen Klopp’s first team plans this season and the defending Premier League champions are open to letting him leave.

Klopp has dropped his biggest hint of his future by omitting him from their Champions League squad and a loan deal could wrapped up in the next 48 hours.

Wilson has previously spent time at Derby County, Hull City and Bournemouth and Philippe Cocu’s side are reportedly leading the charge to resign him this week

Shaqiri contracts Covid-19

The 28-year-old had travelled to Switzerland for a friendly against Croatia, and Nations League games against Spain and Germany, but will now not be involved as he is self-isolating, the Swiss Football Association has announced.

Last Tuesday the Reds’ new signing Thiago Alcantara tested positive for Covid-19 and on Friday forward Sadio Mane also went into self-isolation after his positive test.

“Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for Covid-19. In consultation with the health authorities, he is in isolation,” said a statement from the Switzerland Football Association.

“The strict protective measures and requirements of UEFA for national teams in accordance with the ‘UEFA return to play protocol’ have been strictly adhered to since the move began.

“Based on this, clarifications are currently under way with the local health authorities about how to proceed.”

Liverpool had hoped to offload Shaqiri, who has been limited to just 82 minutes of action since January 11 – 75 minutes of which came in the Carabao Cup at Lincoln – because of injury, in the recent transfer window but interest from a couple of Italian clubs failed to materialise into an acceptable bid.

Ranking Every Premier League Club’s Summer Transfer Business

The transfer window has slammed shut for another summer (it never closes gently, does it?), and squads have started to take shape even though we’re already four games into the new Premier League season.

As the 11pm deadline passed on Monday night, clubs were scrambling to get late business completed before locking their 25-man squads in, and it was a busy day.

But who were the ‘winners’ of the transfer window? And who must do better? We’ve ranked all 20 Premier League clubs’ deals, and we’ll start with the top of the pile.

1. Aston Villa

Signings: Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ross Barkley (loan), Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore.

Let’s be honest, Villa needed a strong transfer window this summer. They barely scraped survival last season thanks to someone forgetting to turn on goal line technology against Sheffield United, and they’ve done just that.

They needed a goalkeeper, so spent £20m bringing in Martinez from Arsenal, which almost instantly proved good business as he saved a penalty on his debut. They also needed goals, so have brought in Ollie Watkins, who helped himself to a perfect first-half hat-trick against the reigning Premier League champions. Not a bad way to start paying off a transfer fee (£28m) that many baulked at.

Ross Barkley also brings added creativity to a side that was far too reliant on Jack Grealish last season, and Bertrand Traore and Matty Cash also bring depth to positions Villa were struggling in last season. Traore has looked bright in League Cup action, while Cash has instantly made the right-back place his own.

Their start to the season has reflected their transfer business, and it could be a great season for the Villans. They’ve ‘won the transfer window’ for us.

2. Everton

Signings: James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan, Robin Olsen (loan), Niels Nkounkou, Ben Godfrey.

Usually, Everton are perennial winners of the transfer window before flattering to deceive when the season starts. Every year they seem like they’ve done great business, only to be struggling to crack the top seven halfway through the season.

Maybe the problem was the manager? This season, under Carlo Ancelotti, the Toffees have been able to attract a calibre of player fans could only dream of in recent years, with James Rodriguez on a FREE transfer the pick of the bunch.

Rodriguez’s creativity and threat, combined with Allan’s destructive nature in holding midfield and Doucoure’s energy has transformed Everton into a good-looking side, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagging goals for fun up front. The loan signing of Robin Olsen should put enough pressure on Jordan Pickford to make him start catching crosses and loose balls in the box, while Niels Nkounkou has looked excellent at left-back in the League Cup, and a handy backup to Lucas Digne.

Ben Godfrey is also one of England’s most promising defenders and provides top quality backup and competition for the likes of Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate.

3. Tottenham Hotspur

Signings: Giovanni Lo Celso, Matt Doherty, Sergio Reguilon, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Joe Hart, Gareth Bale (loan), Carlos Vinicius.

As we move into Jose Mourinho’s first full season at Spurs, he’s starting to assemble a squad with his hallmarks all over it.

Lo Celso’s permanent transfer looks good business, while Hojbjerg is showing signs of giving Spurs’ midfield some muscle as well as guile. His pass for Serge Aurier’s goal against Man United was proof of his underrated playmaking ability.

Doherty is a clear upgrade at right-back, despite his issues with giving away penalties for handball, and Sergio Reguilon on the other flank should be a long-term solution to their left-back issues, with Danny Rose heading for the exit.

Gareth Bale has something of a point to prove when he gets fit, and if he can produce the kind of form he last showed in the Premier League, Spurs could easily challenge at the top end of the table.

Carlos Vinicius scored goals for fun in Portugal last season and comes in as a backup to Harry Kane, which is much needed as Kane can’t play every game in three competitions and be expected to score the majority of the goals.

4. Chelsea

Signings: Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, Malang Sarr

It’s safe to say Frank Lampard has made up for lost time after Chelsea’s transfer ban. £222m spent and more arrivals than Heathrow has brought huge expectations at Stamford Bridge.

If Lampard can get them to gel, the sky’s the limit for Chelsea, with Havertz, Werner and Ziyech potentially forming a potent trident for the Blues.

Last season there was weaknesses at left-back and goalkeeper, so Lampard has brought in Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy, who have both looked good so far.

Thiago Silva brings experience to defence, while Malang Sarr will head out on loan after arriving on a free.

5. Arsenal

Signings: Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Willian, Runar Alex Runarsson, Cedric Soares, Thomas Partey

Since Mikel Arteta took over at the Emirates, things have started to look positive for Arsenal.

They’ve won an FA Cup, beating Chelsea and Manchester City en route, and they’ve done some fine looking business in the transfer window this summer to back the Spaniard.

It’s no secret their defence needed sorting out, so Gabriel signing from Lille was a good start to the window, and with William Saliba returning from a loan spell and Pablo Mari signing permanently, Arteta now has options at the back.

Reports about Runarsson haven’t been glowing, but the backup Icelandic goalkeeper won’t play much and is there to provide cover for Bernd Leno.

The deadline day signing of Thomas Partey is a fantastic piece of business though, and should give the Gunners the energy and bite in midfield they’ve lacked for some years.

6. Leeds United

Signings: Robin Koch, Rodrigo, Raphinha, Diego Llorente, Helder Costa, Illan Meslier, Jack Harrison (loan), Joe Gelhardt

Despite their style and tactics under Marcelo Bielsa, it was always going to be the case that Leeds needed to add quality to their squad this season, and that’s what they’ve done in the transfer market.

Splashing £30m on Rodrigo was a signal of intent, with another raid on Spain for Diego Llorente also likely to add further quality at the back. Robin Koch has had a mixed start to life in England but looks capable, while the loan extension of Jack Harrison from Manchester City for a third year looks like great business.

Illan Meslier, despite looking like a 12-year-old that’s lost his mother in a supermarket, has impressed so far since making his move from Lorient permanent, and Helder Costa has started brightly, scoring twice already.

Raphinha must adapt quickly to pay off his £20m fee, but with Bielsa-ball in full swing, that’s entirely possible as Leeds continue their bright start.

7. Manchester City

Signings: Ferran Torres, Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias

After finishing way off the pace last season, City needed a summer of investment to bridge the gap.

Defensive reinforcements were paramount, and Ake and Dias signing for a combined fee of just over £100m should do the trick. Ake can also cover left-back as Pep Guardiola continues to search for a long-term solution for that position.

Despite possibly needing one, a striker never arrived at the Etihad and an injury to Gabriel Jesus is a problem with Sergio Aguero still sidelined. However, signing a striker isn’t easy when those two are lurking in the background, hence Guardiola’s decision to stick with what he’s got and promote Liam Delap to the first team squad.

Ferran Torres replaces the outgoing Leroy Sane and should be a valuable addition once he properly settles. Overall, it’s a decent window for the former back-to-back Premier League winners.

8. Liverpool

Signings: Diogo Jota, Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara

It looked for a long time like Liverpool were at an impasse in their summer spending, with Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards struggling to find players to join a successful squad without paying huge sums.

Then all of a sudden their window exploded, with Diogo Jota and Thiago signing within the space of a weekend. Negotiations with Thiago dragged on forever, before the Premier League champions finally agreed a price and signed the midfielder from Bayern, which looks like fine business.

His signature could go down as the moment they became clear favourites for the title once again, and even though Jota seems overpriced at £40m, there is now more quality to Liverpool’s attacking depth. Tsimikas is little more than a squad player, but still provides cover at left-back for Andy Robertson.

9. Leicester City

Signings: Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, Cengiz Under (loan)

It hasn’t been a busy transfer window for the Foxes, but they’ve brought in quality. Castagne already looks like a top signing after scoring and assisting in his first four games, and with the sale of Ben Chilwell, Leicester’s transfer business comes in at under £10m net spend.

That includes the £30m signing of Fofana from St. Etienne, as the highly rated teenager comes with a big reputation. He could be part of a Leicester back three going forward, or a replacement for Caglar Soyuncu if he is sold in the next 12 months.

Cengiz Under is a smart signing on a temporary basis, bringing more firepower to an attack that features an evergreen Jamie Vardy and new England international Harvey Barnes.

10. Newcastle United

Signings: Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick, Jamal Lewis, Mark Gillespie

Newcastle are never the most logical in the transfer market, but this summer it seems like they’ve made some sensible signings.

Callum Wilson guarantees goals, and even though he doesn’t fit the usual Newcastle policy of being under 26 with sell-on value, he’s well worth the £20m outlay, as four goals in four games has proven.

Fraser and Hendrick on free transfers is typical bargain hunting by Mike Ashley and his board, but Jamal Lewis is a smart investment at left-back. The Northern Ireland international was Liverpool’s first choice defensive target before a move broke down over doubts about game time. He’s already looking promising linking with Allan Saint-Maximin on Steve Bruce’s left wing.

11. Wolves

Signings: Fabio Silva, Nelson Semedo, Marcal, Vitinha (loan), Rayan Ait-Nouri (loan), Ki-Jana Hoever, Matija Serkic.

It’s been a busy window from Nuno Santo and co, with half of Portugal arriving at Molineux.

Selling Matt Doherty and signing Barcelona’s right-back sounds like great business, even though many believe Semedo was never good enough to make it at the Camp Nou.

Fabio Silva arrives with a huge price tag and lots of hype to live up to, while the rest of Wolves’ arrivals are all unproven in the Premier League, hence why they’re in mid-table on this list. Vitinha, Ait-Nouri and Hoever could all go on to be top players, but right now there’s no guarantees. Losing Jota could also affect them if no one steps up, but Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto look more than capable.

12. Manchester United

Signings: Donny Van de Beek, Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles

If we’d wrote this list yesterday before 5pm, Man United would have been in the bottom three. At the last minute, they finally completed a deal for Alex Telles that has been sat on the table for a month, and then announced Edinson Cavani who they could have signed six weeks ago.

It all screams panic for United, but the players they have signed this summer are undoubtedly quality players, hence their position on this list. They needed more for sure, but the ones they’ve got should be good enough to plug some of the gaps in their squad.

Telles should easily displace Luke Shaw, while Cavani’s experience could be a valuable asset for a young attack, if they can get him fit after seven months without a game.

Van de Beek should be fuming after not making the starting XI for a league game since his arrival, especially as we’re seeing the worst of Paul Pogba, rather than his best.

Some of the deadwood at Old Trafford has been cleared as Andreas Pereira and Chris Smalling left for opposite halves of Rome with Lazio and Roma, but there’s more to be done if United are to move forwards properly.

Sergio Romero wanted a move and didn’t get one, while Phil Jones and Brandon Williams may get temporary domestic moves before the England-only window shuts.

Overall, it could and should have been a lot better for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ed Woodward and the board are the ones to blame.

13. Sheffield United

Signings: Rhian Brewster, Aaron Ramsdale, Max Lowe, Jaden Bogle, Oli Burke, Ethan Ampadu (loan), Wes Foderingham, Ismaila Coulibaly

The problem Sheffield United had last season was scoring goals, and they’ve addressed that by signing Liverpool’s highly-rated Rhian Brewster for over £20m. It’s a gamble that needs to pay off for Chris Wilder after four straight defeats at the start of the season.

The rest of his signings are as you’d expect – young, British and relatively cheap (with the exception of Aaron Ramsdale, who was almost £20m). The problem is none are really first team starters except Ramsdale, who is decent enough but nowhere near Dean Henderson’s level.

Lowe and Bogle will mostly be backups for Sam Baldock and Enda Stevens, while Ethan Ampadu sits on the bench unless Chris Basham, John Egan or Jack O’Connell get injured or suspended. Coulibaly simply won’t play many league minutes, while Foderingham is a backup goalkeeper. Burke has started quite brightly, but has never shown Premier League quality during his career yet.

Wilder needs to capture the spirit and quality of last season if the Blades are to consolidate this year.

14. Fulham

Signings: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (loan), Ola Aina (loan), Alphonse Areola (loan), Joachim Andersen (loan), Ademola Lookman (loan), Mario Lemina (loan), Tosin Adarabioyo, Harrison Reed, Anthony Knockaert, Kenny Tete, Antonee Robinson

Christ, more loans than Blockbuster. And Fulham could be out of business soon, too.

It’s clear from the first four games that Fulham desperately needed quality quickly, so transfer deadline day was busy for them. They finally confirmed Loftus-Cheek past midnight, and they need him to produce for them ASAP.

Despite all their business, none of them are guaranteed quality that you need to stay in the Premier League. Last time they came up from the Championship, they spent £100m and went back down, this time they’ve spent barely a third of that, but the same fate will likely await.

The problem with too many loans is do they care enough to roll up their sleeves and fight for you? Andersen might well go back to Lyon and forget he ever played for Fulham, Loftus-Cheek’s long-term future is still at Chelsea, Lookman will use Craven Cottage as a platform to get a permanent move back to England, and Areola is at the club purely to ensure he goes to Euro 2021 with France.

The players they’ve brought in aren’t bad at all, but you still worry about creating enough for Aleksandar Mitrovic up front and building a brand new defence that can gel and keep the goals out.

15. Crystal Palace

Signings: Eberechi Eze, Nathan Ferguson, Michy Batshuayi (loan)

Palace’s problem is that despite their business being shrewd, there’s just not that much of it.

Eze looks bright but you don’t get the feeling Roy Hodgson is enough of an attacking coach to start them both regularly.

Ferguson is promising but injured, while Batshuayi hasn’t yet started a game since joining on loan for the season from Chelsea.

The biggest own goal was letting Alexander Sorloth go though, as the Eagles allowed him to join Trabzonspor last summer on a two-year loan with no recall option, before watching him smack 30+ goals and move to RB Leipzig this summer.

The £18m they got for the Norwegian had already been spent on Eze, meaning Palace ended the window with a profit from their business. That essentially means they’ve spent nothing this summer, which isn’t cause for high hopes despite their decent start to the season.

16. Brighton

Signings: Adam Lallana, Joel Veltman, Jan Paul van Hecke, Michal Karbownik, Andi Zeqiri, Jakub Moder

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of four of those signings, because we haven’t either.

Moder, Karbownik and van Hecke have all gone back on loan to their previous clubs and are seen as future prospects, which doesn’t help the Seagulls this season.

Brighton’s summer business started well with Adam Lallana joining for free, but then you remember he gets injured a lot and the fact he hasn’t made it through 90 minutes in the league yet backs that up.

Veltman for under £1m is also good business but he’s not a first-choice defender, with the trio of Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk and Ben White picking themselves when fit.

Still, Brighton should have more than enough to enjoy a comfortable season, but their summer business can’t be regarded as a massive success.

17. Southampton

Signings: Mohamed Salisu, Kyle Walker-Peters, Ibrahima Diallo, Theo Walcott (loan)

Quite a quiet one for Saints this summer, but still over £30m spent. They’ve ranked low on this list purely because Salisu and Diallo are completely unproven and haven’t came from massive clubs (Real Valladolid and Stade Brest), so their quality is hard to measure.

Walker-Peters looks a solid enough signing, but you feel Southampton could have done more to build on a good end to last season. Theo Walcott is a risk-free loan that could provide some valuable experience.

Overall, losing Hojbjerg could be massive, and it’s down to Saints to prove they can thrive without him.

18. West Bromwich Albion

Signings: Branislav Ivanovic, Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Cedric Kipre, David Button, Callum Robinson, Conor Gallagher (loan), Filip Krovinovic (loan)

Other than making last season’s loans permanent, the Baggies have been pretty quiet in the market. Signing a 36-year-old Ivanovic doesn’t send out the message that you’re not worrying about shipping goals either.

Diangana and Pereira are good players no doubt, but their consistency at Premier League level is unproven, despite some signs of promise early on.

Their defence still looks weak and a lack of goals up front is a concern, and it could be a long season for Slaven Bilic and co.

19. West Ham United

Signings: Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal

It’s been a disaster this summer for the Hammers, as they made more money from sales than they spent on arrivals.

Grady Diangana joining West Brom annoyed everyone, and prompted an angry tweet from Mark Noble, and no one was brought in to replace him.

Other than making Soucek a permanent singing at the end of last season, only Coufal arrived late in the window from Slavia Prague.

David Gold reportedly paid for the right-back out of his own money, coughing up £5.5m for a player Soucek undoubtedly told them about.

They’ve also took a hit by letting Jack Wilshere leave by mutual consent, while Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Sanchez were also released for free. Promising youngster Josh Cullen was allowed to go to Anderlecht, while not so promising Albian Ajeti joined Celtic.

Considering West Ham barely survived last season, it seems like they needed to spend more this summer to make this season more comfortable.

20. Burnley

Signings: Dale Stephens, Will Norris

Poor old Burnley. It’s almost like their style of football doesn’t attract many players.

Sean Dyche has welcomed barely anyone to Turf Moor this summer, and considering Burnley have lost all of their first three games this season, it seems like new arrivals are desperately needed.

I highly doubt many Clarets fans erupted with excitement when Dale Stephens signed from Brighton, and the fact Dyche described him as a “good, solid pro” kind of tells you everything about the midfielder. Third choice goalkeeper Will Norris didn’t provide much fanfare either.

James Tarkowski decided to stay, which could be massive, and Burnley don’t seem to have many youth prospects coming through to bridge the gap left by a lack of spending.

It feels like Dyche has ran his course at the club, and it would be no surprise to see them part ways during or after this season. Burnley’s owner Mike Garlick needed to back a manager that once got his club playing European football (for about two weeks, but still), but instead he’s given him pocket change, spending just £990k.

Agree with the list? Or should another team have topped the pile? Let us know in the comments!

Burnley’s Harry Wilson chase halted by Liverpool

There is still time for the Clarets to get the deal done beyond Monday’s deadline, however, with domestic transfers between Premier League clubs able to be completed up until October 16th.

Wilson scored 7 top flight goals last season whilst on loan at Bournemouth, albeit that couldn’t stop the Cherries from relegation to the Championship.

Burnley were said to be lining up a £15m move for the 23-year-old, who was thought to have been surplus to requirements at Liverpool – but talks appear to have broken down, meaning unless a loan move can be sanctioned, he won’t be heading to Turf Moor.

To make matters even more difficult for the Clarets, Scottish giants Celtic have made their interest known.

Sean Dyche will no doubt be growing frustrated at the lack of activity at Burnley this window, but the embers of any deal for Wilson remain warm whilst the powers that be at Anfield decide whether a loan switch to a Premier League side may be a better option than a permanent departure.

Aston Villa HAMMER Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park

Summer signings Ollie Watkins bagged a hat trick against the champions, and despite a weekend of ridiculous results, this is surely the biggest shock.

Watkins got the ball rolling inside the first five minutes after Jack Grealish pounced a clanger from Reds keeper Adrian.

But despite the expected Liverpool first half comeback, Villa stayed on top as Watkins bagged a spectacular second.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were shaken into life by the two-goal deficit, as Mo Salah got them back into it.

But as soon as Liverpool got their foot in the door, John McGinn volleyed home a third and Watkins sensationally completed a first half hat trick.

And there was to be no letting up after the break, as both sides took a break from bothering to defend, with Ross Barkey, Salah and Grealish all finding the net.

The game continued to see saw from end in the final half hour as Salah and Roberto Firmino missed chances to stage an outrageous comeback.

But in the end Grealish tore through the absent Reds defence to make it a magnificent seven for Villa.

FULL TIME AT RIDICULOUS VILLA PARK IT’S ASTON VILLA 7 LIVERPOOL 2

Premier League: Aston Villa v Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds head to Birmingham having won all three of their opening top flight fixtures so far, second only to Leicester City in the table on goal difference.

Aston Villa too can boast a perfect winning record having picked up six points from six available in their opening games, seeing them head in to the clash with Liverpool in the Premier League top 4.

The Champions will have to make do without new signing Thiago Alcantara at Villa Park, with the Spaniard currently self-isolating due to contracting coronavirus.

Fellow new boy Kostas Tsimikas also won’t feature until after the international break with a thigh injury.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Matip are definite absentees, but Captain Jordan Henderson could feature if he passes a late fitness test.

For Villa, goalkeeper Tom Heaton remains out, as does defender Bjorn Engels and striker Wesley.

Jack Grealish is expected to feature after recovering from a dead leg, Kortney Hause meanwhile will be put through a late fitness test to determine his availability.

Aston Villa v Liverpool is a 19.15 kick off on Sunday October 4th.

Blades agree to Liverpool’s terms to secure Brewster.

The England U21 star is looking for a move away from Anfield to find first team football and continue his development and would be allowed to move for a relatively small fee with the Blades agreeing to the Mersysiders £40million buy-back clause.

Sheffiled United have kicked off thier Premier League campagin without scoring a single goal and Chris Wilde is desperate to add more firepower to his team ahead of the transfer window closing on Monday.

Crystal Palace are also said to be interested in the player but are unwilling to agree to Liverpool’s buy-back demands.

The Blades are also looking at Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca who they believe could be available for as little at £9million.

The 23-year-old has a £40million release clause in his contract but the Spanish club are looking to off-lo ad following their releation from La Liga last season. They will face competiton from Atheltico Madrid however who are favourites to land the player as a potential replacemnt for Thomas Partey who is currenlty linked with a move to team up with fellow countryman Mikael Arteta at Arsenal.

Liverpool see off unambitious Arsenal at Anfield.

Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota, on his home debut, all scored after Alexandre Lacazette had been gifted the opener after a Robertson error.

If the France international’s finish from Arsenal’s first shot on target in the 25th minute was not that convincing his performance in two second-half one-on-ones – one latterly flagged offside – with Alisson Becker was even less so and his misses will have left Mikael Arteta wondering what night have been on a wet Monday night in Anfield.

Liverpool dominated however and had 21 shots on goal compated to their opponents 4 and in truth looked very comfortable beofre Diogo Jota marked his debut with a late goal on the 88th minute.

Arsenal, with David Luiz restored to a back three and two holding midfielders in Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka, seemed in no mood to take the game to their hosts as Premier League newcomers Leeds had so thrillingly done on the opening weekend of the season.

Instead they sat back, rarely engaging as Liverpool played out from the defence, in the hope of hitting on the break.

There was a touch of fortune rather than thought about the Gunners opener with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s over-hit cross mis-controlled by Andy Roberson into the path of Lacazette.

The France international also mis-kicked his shot but he succeeded in bouncing it into the floor and agonisingly over the outstretched arm of Alisson.

However, if Arteta was hoping to hold on to that lead his plan was dashed after 147 seconds as Leno parried Mohamed Salah’s shot and Mane pounced for the equaliser.

Seven minutes later Liverpool were ahead as yet another Alexander-Arnold cross found its target in the penalty area, this time his opposite full-back Robertson making amends for his earlier error by controlling on his chest and poking home.

The final word was left to Liverpool’s new signing Jota, on as a late substitute, who finally put the match to bed two minutes from time when he seized a weak David Luiz header, controlling and firing low into the Kop net having earlier wasted a better chance with only Leno to beat.

Liverpool are now joint top of the League with Leicester and Everton with the final score at Anfield Liverpool 3 – Arsenal 1.

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Arsenal

The Reds have looked impressive as Jurgen Klopp’s side gear up for their title defence, with wins over Leeds and Chelsea in the opening two weeks.

Klopp’s main fitness concern is over skipper Jordan Henderson after he went off injured against Chelsea.
If he misses out, Thiago Alcantara will make his Anfield debut, with Fabinho set to fill in for Joe Gomez at centre back.

For Arsenal, Mikel Arteta will be pleased with back to back wins to start the season, but a trip to Liverpool will present a real test for his side.

With Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Kieran Tierney all still sidelined, Arteta will stick with Gabriel, Rob Holding and Saed Kolasinac in defence.

However, the Spaniard could be open to switching up his attack options, with the on-form Eddie Nketiah banging on the doo for a starting spot.

And it will be a late one for Klopp and Arteta on Monday night, with an 8pm kick at Anfield.