A Joel Matip injury is less than ideal for Liverpool, it has to be said.
According to recent reports in The Telegraph, the former Schalke center-back skipped training at Kirkby this afternoon in preparation for the Reds’ Monday night match against Crystal Palace.
Matip appears to be the eighth Liverpool player who might not play against the Eagles right now.
Ibrahima Konate, another of Jurgen Klopp’s central defenders, is one of the remaining eight.
And in light of this, it is highly likely that a certain Nat Phillips will be called back to the team.
Phillips hasn’t made a Premier League squad since December, with the Bolton-born powerhouse failing to kick a ball in this competition last season.
That’s because Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Matip and Konate represented ridiculous depth for this position, much to the detriment of the Englishman’s playing time under Klopp.
However, the Liverpool manager now only has Van Dijk and Gomez available at central defence against Patrick Vieira’s side, meaning that Phillips – who wants out of Merseyside – is almost certainly going to make the bench at a bare minimum.
Not to jinx anything but the way that the cards are falling for the Reds right now, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if Van Dijk or Gomez were to pick up a knock, allowing Phillips to make a long-awaited Premier League return.
Remember, this is a player who helped Klopp’s side qualify for the Champions League in 2021, a competition they very nearly won a few months ago.
The German manager labelled him ‘absolutely insane‘ toward the end of the 2020-21 campaign and even if this injury crisis leads to him playing competitive games again, Liverpool are in safe hands.
Liverpool in talks over new £10m deal as Anfield Road update given
Liverpool and Expedia are in discussions to extend their sleeve sponsorship deal, which is now worth £10 million annually.
According to CEO Billy Hogan, the Reds have worn the Expedia emblem on their uniforms since 2020 and are now in talks with the online travel agency about a potential extension.
Expedia reportedly has first dibs on extending their contract at Anfield, and because the present conditions are slated to expire at the conclusion of the current season, negotiations have already begun.
According to Hogan, “Our cooperation with Expedia is going brilliantly,” FC Business magazine’s August issue. “The procedure will be the same as for the primary partner. The process of speaking with businesses is ongoing.”
Liverpool has the potential to make even more money than the £10 million per year they currently receive from Expedia given their continued success on the field, which includes winning the FA and Carabao Cups last season, earning 92 points in the Premier League, and making it all the way to the Champions League final.
Liverpool recently signed extended terms with Standard Chartered and announced the deal during their pre-season tour of Thailand and Singapore. The renewed partnership with the banking firm is worth a record-setting £50m per year, which would understandably lead to confidence that a more lucrative sleeve deal could also be struck next year.
“Standard Chartered is our most significant partnership and renewing shows the strength of our relationship and how well it is working for both organisations,” he added. “We have many shared values including concern about community and a sense of being here for good. We are proud that our partnership will be 17 years old at the conclusion of the new deal. Relationships are the key to success over the long-term.”
With Liverpool now two years into an agreement with Nike, Hogan believes the club are starting to feel the benefits of being in-league with the biggest sports manufacturers on the planet and their pre-season tour of the Far East coincided with three new stores opening across Thailand and Singapore.
Liverpool’s deal with Nike sees them earn a base sum of £30m, annually, which is far below the figures earned by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League. The top-flight rivals earn between £40-45m under their own respective agreements.
Under the terms of the Nike agreement, however, substantial add-ons that include 20% on all royalties across the world, mean the Reds could bank as much as £80m per year from their first-ever contract with the American giants.
Hogan adds: “We have enjoyed a positive start to our relationship with Nike in what has been a challenging environment. But I think year three will really see us firing on all cylinders.”
Further revenue will flow into the club from next year following completion of the Anfield Road development project. The addition of 7,000 seats – a venture undertaken by construction firm the Buckingham Group – will cost Liverpool £80m, but is reported to bring in about £10m per season.