If only, in that fateful night in Kyiv, Jurgen Klopp had been able to call on someone other than Adam Lallana to replace Mohamed Salah after Sergio Ramos had had his wicked way with the Egyptian goal machine. I am not blaming Lallana at all, he is a fine player. He just isn’t a like-for-like swap for the Whippet. Imagine a world where Daniel Sturridge was trusted enough by Klopp to be part of the squad. Imagine a world where Sturridge came on to the pitch knowing his body could get him through the next 70 or so minutes. Imagine that world.
Well, that world might become reality because King Kloppo is giving serious consideration to taking Daniel Sturridge seriously this season. Still only 28, although playing with the body of a 38-year-old, Sturridge has impressed Jurgs in the US of A, meaning that he might not be ushered out the exit in return for a £20m cheque.
Sturridge has one year left on his Anfield deal so will probably be keen to take this chance but, realistically, he’ll be involved for the first five matches, get a calf strain that keeps him out for three months and end up on loan at Fulham in January.
Unai Emery is ready to put his arm around the shoulder of Mesut Ozil and give him some “normality” at Arsenal following the German’s decision to quit the national team, citing a lack of respect. Does Emery offering Ozil “normality” mean what I think it means? Surely the new Arsenal boss isn’t going to let Mesut just stroll about doing nothing and contribute some pretty passes that often lead to goal scoring opportunities? Come on, Unai. Arsene tried that. Play him at left-back or something, that would be fun.
I don’t like peddling complete rubbish in this column (honest I don’t) but I’ve just read something that suggests Newcastle United are about to part with some money in exchange for an actual footballer. This cannot be correct, no? Fabian Schar of no-longer-in-La-Liga Deportivo La Coruna is available for €3m because, it says here, that is his relegation release clause. Ah, a bargain then. Good work Newcastle, good work. Schar has 42 caps for Switzerland and hits a mean free-kick according to my specially-commissioned scouting report. (OK, I checked him on Football Manager 2018). That means Newcastle will have secured that ‘keeper they had on loan last season, Kenedy once again from Chelsea (on loan, naturally) and Ki from Swansea who I think, shockingly, might have been a free transfer. Sometimes I do wonder what Rafa’s problem is.
Other transfers were confirmed yesterday, oh yes. If you were one of the five people to read my rubbish yesterday you will recall me listing all the potential ins and outs at Stamford Bridge as Maurizio Sarri gets his feet under the table. One name that was, I know, sack my researcher, not on the list was Rob Green. Yes, Rob ‘don’t mention World Cup 2010’ Green. No, he has not retired though you could be forgiven for thinking so. He has signed for Chelsea. Chelsea! Is Willy Caballero that bad? Yes, yes he is!
I’ve also noticed that World Cup winner Andre Schurrle has gone on loan to Fulham from Borussia Dortmund. Has that actually happened or am I being led up a garden path? Schurrle and Ryan Sessegnon on the left-flank and Jean-Michael Seri in the middle of the park? Some of those bang average Premier League sides must be crapping themselves this season with the way Fulham and Benfica Wolves FC are going at it.
Brighton, who I would include in the bang average list I am afraid, have paid £17m for ‘the best player in the Eredivise,’ bringing in Alireza Jahanbakhsh from AZ Alkmaar. We have been here before, the best player in the Netherlands does not always mean a Premier League in. But hey, what a name.