Here are your Liverpool evening headlines for Tuesday, January 12.
Xherdan Shaqiri creativity needed
Xherdan Shaqiri has proven his value for Liverpool from the bench throughout the season. The only issue is that he is rarely available for Jurgen Klopp.
As Ian Doyle writes for the ECHO, Shaqiri again showed his creative qualities in Friday’s FA Cup victory over Aston Villa. It was a weakened Villa team, yes, but Shaqiri provides an incision and ingenuity that few other players in the squad can replicate.
Shaqiri provided two assists on the night, to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah respectively. Shaqiri has produced other moments of magic, including a freekick against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup and a defence-splitting pass against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League. He then assisted Diogo Jota’s winning goal against West Ham United.
Now fit again, Liverpool and Klopp can lean on Shaqiri once more, including against Manchester United this weekend.
You can read the full analysis here.
Manchester United referee announced
Paul Tierney will be the referee for Liverpool’s title clash with United on Sunday afternoon.
The two clubs currently sit level on points, though United face Burnley on Monday night with the chance to move three points clear at the top.
Liverpool have led the Premier League and are looking to defend their title, while United have been excellent in recent weeks and have not lost in the league since November 1.
Tierney was the referee in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in July. He and Klopp clashed when he failed to spot a foul on Georginio Wijnaldum, Klopp raged at the referee. In response to Klopp’s tirade, Tierney said: “I missed it Jurgen. I’m like players, I’m going to make mistakes. I missed it. Get over it.”
Nike kit deal
Liverpool agreed a controversial new kit deal with Nike in the summer. They were taken to court by former supplier New Balance, who believed they had the right to match the deal. However, the court judged in Liverpool’s favour and, despite taking a £15million cut, there is great potential in the new structure.
Nike have included a 20% return on all royalties, as well as access to their vast marketing clients, including Liverpool minority shareholder, LeBron James. This is where the real value lies.
As you can see we’ve had our say debating the topic throughout the length of this piece, but now we’d like to pass over the conversation to you – the true experts on all things LFC.
At the bottom of the page – or close enough – you’ll find our comments section and we’d love it if you’d take part in the extended debate. Did we get it right? Were we totally off-base? Do you have your own thoughts? Share them with us, you’re more than welcome to join the conversation.
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“There’s no such thing as bad PR sometimes,” Dr Dan Plumley, a football finance expert and senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, explained to the ECHO.
“It is that stuff that it can generate, and it is very tough to measure that financially until you get figures from the accounts.
“It is the synergy between LeBron James, who has a stake in Liverpool, and lining that up with Nike and him and giving you access to these things, and the other superstars in their client list.
“The 20 per cent of all merchandise is what Liverpool based this deal on. The overall deal is less but look at what they can generate, they estimate that this will benchmark them against some of the biggest deals in English football, such as the one Manchester United have with Adidas. That deal is £75m per year and Liverpool reckon this deal will get them closer to that figure.
“The benchmark remains Manchester United at £75m, Manchester City’s with Puma is about £60m per year. That is where Liverpool look at and where they think they need to be. New Balance wasn’t going to get them there but this deal should put them close to that, or even possibly beyond that.”