Daily Archives: November 9, 2016

Liverpool completes new deals with young players

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Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have made a statement of intent by tying three of their younger players to new contracts.

Kevin Stewart and Trent Alexander-Arnold have agreed deals until 2021, with the reserve-team striker Ben Woodburn’s contract taking him up to 2019.

Klopp thinks it encourages academy youngsters with ambitions to break into the first team now they can see there is a route for them to make the step up.

The German has also invited many of the academy players to train with the first team at Melwood, particularly during the international breaks when the manager is low on numbers, and according to him it helps to ease the transition.

“The most important thing for us is the pathway to the first team,” he added. “I think we have shown that with the work Alex [Inglethorpe, the academy director] and his staff do we offer a clear pathway to first-team football if the players embrace what is on offer for them.”

“I cannot praise them [the academy] enough for the culture and environment they have there. It is perfect. The players know that it’s not just about ability: it’s application and a willingness to keep learning.”

Stewart, aged 23, has already made 17 appearances for the first team while Alexander-Arnold, 18, made his debut in last month’s EFL Cup victory against Tottenham Hotspur.Woodburn, 17, featured in a couple of pre-season friendlies and has continued to impress for the under-23s.

“This is really positive news of course, and it’s brilliant we have acted decisively to show our intent with our young players,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com. “With Kev it is maybe a little different. He is of course established with us now and making a contribution as an important member of our first-team squad.”

“Trent spends most of his time with the first team in this moment and is progressing each and every day. Ben is in those earlier stages and has a lot of developing to do still – but wow, what an exciting talent he is.”

“All three of these players are big talents and are at different stages of their development, but it is development that is key and they must continue to learn and improve to achieve their full potential. News like today makes it exciting for me and the first-team staff that their development will continue with us at LFC.”

Inter appoints Stefano Pioli as sixth coach in nine years

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Internazionale has appointed Stefano Pioli on Tuesday as their ninth coach in six years, his first managerial role with one of Italy’s top three clubs.

Pioli, 51, has coached 10 clubs in Italy’s top two divisions without winning a major trophy.

He replaces Dutchman Frank de Boer, who was dismissed last week after 85 days and 14 games in charge.

Inter, enduring their fifth consecutive season without Champions League football, confirmed the appointment in a statement.

“Internazionale is delighted to confirm that terms have been agreed with Stefano Pioli to become Inter’s new head coach until June 30, 2018,” the club said.

Pioli led Lazio to third place in the Serie A in the 2014-15 season, but was less successful last season and was sacked in April after an embarrassing 4-1 defeat by neighbours Roma.

Inter, along with Milan and defending champions Juventus, are considered to be Italy’s biggest three clubs, although neither Milan side won the Serie A since 2011.

Inter had won the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010 but have not been able to recapture that sort of form, often languishing in mid-table.

 

Alexis Sanchez limps out of Chile training with calf tear

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Alexis Sanchez could miss vital matches for Arsenal after suffering a calf tear while on international duty with Chile.

Sanchez, 27, had played the whole 90 minutes of Arsenal’s 1-1 home draw against Tottenham last weekend. However, he is set to miss Chile’s World Cup qualifier in Colombia on Thursday.

The forward, who has scored eight goals this season, will remain in Santiago while he is evaluated by medical staff.

However, the initial statement regarding his condition confirmed a muscle tear before Thursday’s World Cup qualifier in Barranquilla.

A statement from the ANFP, Chile’s national football association, read: “The medical team of the Chilean national team can confirm Alexis Sánchez has a low-grade muscle tear.”

“The player will stay in Santiago, under treatment and evaluation, ahead of Chile’s match against Uruguay.”

Chile, who are due to play Uruguay next Tuesday, are fifth in their World Cup qualifying section with 16 points from 10 games, five points behind leaders Brazil.

The news is a bitter blow for Arsenal, who will to travel to Old Trafford on 19 November for a Premier League clash with Manchester United.