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Trent Alexander-Arnold named PFA Young Player of the Year

Trent Alexander-Arnold named PFA Young Player of the Year

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2019-20.

The right-back, who featured in every Premier League game as Liverpool were crowned champions last season, received the coveted individual honour after winning a vote of his fellow professionals across the country.

Alexander-Arnold is the first Reds player since Steven Gerrard (2000-01) to claim the accolade and only the fifth since it was introduced, with Ian Rush (1982-83), Robbie Fowler (1994-95 and 1995-96) and Michael Owen (1997-98) the others to have done so.

He emerged as the winner from a shortlist that also included Tammy Abraham, Mason Greenwood, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka.

“Being a part of the names that I’ve seen on here, and to be a part of such an amazing trophy and be able to receive it, is an unbelievable honour for me and my family. It’s something we’ll always be proud of,” said the 21-year-old upon being presented with the trophy.

“These types of awards, when it’s voted by people who have played against you and can maybe admire or respect the things you do on the pitch, is amazing.

“It’s a big thanks to all those that voted for me and have decided I deserve this trophy. It’s a big thanks to them. It’s huge for me to achieve this and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Alexander-Arnold scored four goals and provided 13 assists in the top flight as Liverpool surged to the championship with a club-record 99 points.

His tally of assists set a new benchmark for a defender during a single Premier League season, bettering his own record from the previous campaign by one.

The England international had already helped his boyhood club lift the UEFA Super Cup and then a first ever FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 before the domestic title was clinched in the summer.

Alexander-Arnold won the Premier League Young Player of the Season award last month, too, having also been nominated for the top flight’s Player of the Season and PFA Players’ Player of the Year honours.

He was also one of five Reds named in the 2019-20 PFA Premier League Team of the Year on Tuesday evening.

“Obviously first off I’ve got to say thanks to my friends and family, everyone who has helped me achieve this and to get to this point so far,” the Academy graduate added.

“Without them I wouldn’t be able to be here. They are the ones that see me after we get beat and they’re the ones that help me put those games behind me and keep focused and keep going. I’ve got to give thanks to them.

“Everyone at the Academy for the 10 to 12 years that I was down there, who taught me everything I know really and helped me along the way. I spent the majority of my career and my youth life at the Academy, day in and day out. It’s thanks to those people who moulded me into the person I am today.

“The staff and the manager and the people who have given me the opportunities to achieve things. Without those opportunities nobody can achieve anything, so I’ve got to give thanks to the staff and especially the manager for that.

“And obviously my teammates – without them none of this would be possible. The things we’ve achieved as a team are unbelievable. Hopefully there’ll be many more moments like this.”

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Neco Williams signs new long-term contract with Liverpool FC

Neco Williams signs new long-term contract with Liverpool FC

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Neco Williams has today signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool Football Club.

The 19-year-old put pen to paper on the new deal at the Reds’ pre-season training base in Austria on Monday to commit his future to the champions.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “It feels amazing. At the minute for me, I think there is no better place to learn and to become a better player than being here and working with the lads. I think we’ve got some of the best players in the world and we’re one of the best teams in the world.

“For me personally, especially learning off Trent and Robbo every day, getting their advice, seeing what they say, it’s only going to make me a better player and I feel it.

“I take it day by day and I am maturing in my game, I am developing as a player and, like I said, I don’t think there is a better place for me to work and keep going at it than here.”

Williams enjoyed a watershed campaign in 2019-20, earning himself a medal as Liverpool clinched the Premier League title.

The defender made his first-team debut for the Reds when he started the Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal at Anfield on October 30 before going on to make a further 10 appearances, six of which came in the top flight.

Williams, who joined Liverpool’s Academy at U9 level, also claimed a medal as part of the squad that clinched the FIFA Club World Cup in December.

He added: “Last season was my breakout season, but I think the more games I play now, the more I train, I feel I am becoming a better player.

“I feel I am developing a lot and, like I said before, learning off Trent and Robbo and getting their advice has helped me massively. In training I am learning from what they are doing, they are giving me advice on what to do attacking-wise and defensively.

“I am learning massively – there is no better place to be at the moment.”

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Premier League trophy visits Liverpool hospitals

Premier League trophy visits Liverpool hospitals

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool FC is giving local NHS staff the chance to get their picture taken with the Premier League trophy this week, in appreciation of their hard work and sacrifice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Wednesday to Friday, the Premier League trophy will make its way to Aintree University Hospital, Walton Neuro Centre, Broadgreen Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Liverpool Dental Hospital and Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Hospital staff will also receive an exclusive ‘We Are Liverpool. You Are Our Champions’ lanyard as a small token of the club’s appreciation and a keepsake of its historic Premier League win.

Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours manager, said: “We are really looking forward to taking the Premier League trophy on a mini-tour into our local hospitals to share our success with all the hard-working NHS staff, who are our heroes.

“We are so grateful for all the key workers who have shown such strength, determination and courage throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that our visits will add a little fun to their day and demonstrate our sincere thanks.”

Steve Warburton, chief executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Aintree, Broadgreen, Liverpool Dental and Royal Liverpool Hospitals, said: “The last few months have been particularly challenging for the NHS but this thoughtful gesture from the club is really appreciated by our staff.

“I’d like to congratulate the team on their historic win, which is not only a massive achievement for the club after 30 years but a real boost for the city as a whole.”

During the visits, both LFC and NHS staff will adhere to the current government guidelines to ensure the safety of the hospitals’ patients, visitors and staff.

The Premier League trophy will be making more community visits in the near future with LFC’s Red Neighbours team and LFC Foundation.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | ‘We want more trophies after unforgettable season’

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | ‘We want more trophies after unforgettable season’

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will never forget the season he became a Premier League champion – but Liverpool’s No.15 has already set his sights on winning more trophies with the club.

The Reds ended a 30-year wait for domestic supremacy by adding the top-flight title to the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup trophies claimed in 2019.

But, while acknowledging the significance of their latest feat, Oxlade-Chamberlain has stated that Jürgen Klopp’s squad are now focused on continuing their winning habit in the years to come.

“It will be one [season] you would always remember because of how strange it is and having that big break, and obviously what we’ve managed to achieve for the first time in 30 years,” he says, in our exclusive Champions interview series.

“That makes it really special for everyone involved with the club so we will definitely always remember it. It will probably always be talked about as ‘the strange season’ and at the same time the season that we managed to win the league. 

“But I don’t think I really think about that too much now. I think we’ve all had a talk and spoke about it, that this is amazing and we need to take this moment in and realise what we’ve achieved, but at the same time we’ve still got time left so why can’t we do this again and win more and more? Then in 20 years hopefully we’ll have a few seasons to talk about. So I think that’s what we are more focused on doing now. 

“We won the Champions League, then you go away on holiday, you come back and it’s happened, but you don’t think about that now. It’s gone and you think about those things in years to come, but whilst we are here and we are still playing, and whilst we are still responsible to perform for this football club, we can only think about: ‘What’s the next thing we can go and win?’

“So I don’t know what I’ll think about it, what people think about this season [in the future]. The only thing in my head and the rest of the boys’ heads is what can we do next season? 

“That’s the only thing we can think about now and if we have that mindset every year, we give ourselves more hope and more chance of having more nice conversations in 20 years’ time about multiple seasons and hopefully multiple trophies.

“That’s what we’ve got to focus on. That would make everyone happy involved with this club – and that’s what we look forward to trying to do.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Liverpool career to date has, it’s fair to say, been eventful.

So, how would he sum up his first three years at Anfield?

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, I guess, for all of us,” he states.

“I think obviously the team has taken massive, massive steps forward in those three years, from being a fairly inexperienced team at winning things to, in my first season, making it to the Champions League final then having the disappointment of not winning that final. For me, getting that injury [in his first season] was obviously devastating, then to see the boys go on last season and achieve what they did was another unbelievable step forward for the club and for the team.

“But, again, then to miss out by a point to Manchester City in the league – that can obviously take the stuffing out of a lot of people, a lot of teams, but we followed that up with going and winning the Champions League that year. 

“Again, that’s history and something that we all dream of doing and something that is new for all of us in the team. That was sort of the first experience of winning a trophy like that for anyone and obviously as a collective, for us as a team. Then to follow that up with this season winning the Premier League, you couldn’t have asked for it to have gone any better for us as a group, for the club, over the last three years.

“Moving from one club to another, you hope that these things are possible but obviously a lot of the time it doesn’t always pan out as well as it has done. So, it’s a credit to the team, the manager and the club in general what we’ve achieved so far but hopefully this is just the start of something special that we can all create together.”

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Trent Alexander-Arnold | ‘This title belongs to everyone connected to LFC’

Trent Alexander-Arnold | ‘This title belongs to everyone connected to LFC’

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

A proud Trent Alexander-Arnold has dedicated Liverpool’s Premier League title to everyone connected to the club.

The boyhood Red and ‘Scouser in our team’, still aged just 21, has fulfilled his dreams over the last 14 months by being a crucial cog in Jürgen Klopp’s trophy-winning machine.

Born and raised in the city, Alexander-Arnold knows exactly what it means for the club to be English champions once again – but he does not feel he merits special recognition for his significant role in ending a 30-year wait.

“It’s a proud moment. It’s not just me who has done it, it’s the whole team. I can’t sit here and say that I feel like I’ve done more than others, because I haven’t,” the right-back states, during his interview for our exclusive Champions series.

“It’s the full squad, staff and everyone’s effort: the whole club has pulled together to be able to achieve these things with the fans, the staff, the players, the coaches, the manager – everyone has pulled together, everyone wants to achieve this. We’ve waited so long and we’ve been able to do it. 

“Like I said, that’s down to the whole club, the way it’s run and the way we believe our beliefs. I think it’s what we deserve and it’s something we set out to achieve probably last season but we weren’t able to do it. 

“We showed that a knockback like not winning it last season would just motivate us to go again this season and be able to achieve amazing things, like we have done.

“We’re really proud as a team and I’m proud to be able to see everyone in the city so happy – well, all the Liverpool fans obviously! It’s a proud moment for the club.”

Alexander-Arnold’s strong sense of civic pride and responsibility was again evident during the UK’s lockdown period as Merseyside battled against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Everyone in this city didn’t expect it but weren’t surprised by it,” he notes of the region’s response to the crisis.

“When I was seeing it, I wasn’t surprised because I know the type of people that are in the city and whether or not you know people in the NHS or people who are struggling through the pandemic – we all just wanted to help. 

“I knew that everyone in this city just felt an urgent need to help because whether you know someone directly struggling with it, you know that there are people out there struggling and that the NHS workers need the PPE and people are suffering from hunger. 

“At that time of year, it would have been so difficult because you can’t be in contact, things weren’t normal – and they still aren’t now – but especially when things were at their hardest, those sorts of things were amazing to see. 

“Seeing others help, it makes you want to help. You want to do as much as you can, just to make it a little bit easier for people; whether that be raising money for a cause, PPE, foodbanks, making sure people are getting the right nutrition, making sure they’re staying healthy, fit and active, staying at home and making sure that we’re protecting the NHS was important. 

“It was vital to get those messages out and to support those sorts of things.”

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Jürgen Klopp wins LMA Manager of the Year award

Jürgen Klopp wins LMA Manager of the Year award

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Jürgen Klopp has won the League Managers Association’s Manager of the Year award.

Liverpool’s Premier League-winning boss was announced as the 2019-20 recipient of the prestigious accolade on Monday, having guided his team to a club-record 99 points in the top flight this season. 

“I am absolutely delighted to get this wonderful trophy. It’s really wonderful and I had already the opportunity to have a look who won it before and there are obviously a lot of big, big Liverpool names involved,” Klopp said.

“Not only Liverpool names but big, big Liverpool names as well. Bill Shankly, I think, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny [Dalglish] – it looks like he’s all over the trophy everywhere! Brendan [Rodgers] won it, well deserved. 

“And Sir Alex Ferguson – and I know it’s not 100 per cent appropriate as a Liverpool manager – but I admire him. He was the first British manager I met and we had breakfast together. It was long ago and I’m not sure if he remembers it still, but I remember it forever because it was for me in this moment like meeting the Pope if you want! 

“It was absolutely great and from the first second we really clicked and I wouldn’t have thought in that moment that one day I would hold the trophy in my hands, which is named after him. But, I have to say ‘thank you’ to a lot of people. It’s easy to say and sometimes I think it sounds like we have to say it but it’s easy to say in my case: I am here on behalf of my coaches.

“I said it a lot of times, that I’m OK as a manager, but they make me, they make us, a really special bunch of football brains and I love to work with them together. To work together with Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, John Achterberg, Vitor Matos and Jack Robinson – it’s a pleasure. 

“I could carry on with the list forever because we have so many great people here who made it happen that this year we won the title, and I only got this trophy because of that, I know. My players, all the people that I work together with, I take this and I love it for all of us together and I’m happy to show you a few pictures and maybe we can make a few pictures together. Then we will all remember it forever.

“Thank you very much, a very special season with a very special award in the end. Thank you, I am really honoured to get it.”

The annual Manager of the Year prize, which was inaugurated in its current guise in 1993, is voted for by professional managers and awarded to “the manager who, in their opinion, has made the greatest use of the resources available to them in the current season”.

It can be presented to any boss across all of English football’s top four divisions, the FA Women’s Super League or Women’s Championship.

Klopp – who was last year inducted into the LMA’s Hall of Fame and is the reigning Best FIFA Men’s Coach – follows 2018-19 Manager of the Year Chris Wilder, with Brendan Rodgers the Reds’ previous winner in 2013-14.

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Amalie Thestrup signs for Liverpool FC Women

Amalie Thestrup signs for Liverpool FC Women

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool FC Women have completed the signing of striker Amalie Thestrup.

The 25-year-old Denmark international joins the Reds from AS Roma in Italy.

She had previously finished as one of the top scorers in the Danish league in her two seasons with Ballerup-Skovlunde Fodbold, while also collecting two league titles in three years at Brondby.

Thestrup becomes the third signing of the summer window for Liverpool FC Women.

“Liverpool is a massive, iconic club which has a great history in European football and has done a lot for women’s football as well,” she said.

“So I’m extremely excited to be here and I can’t wait to get started.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to go to the UK to play as it’s a really exciting development going on with women’s football and when Liverpool became a possibility for me, there was no doubt in my mind this was where I wanted to go to take the next step in my career.”

Thestrup is targeting goals and assists as the Reds look to bounce back into the Women’s Super League this season and is also aware she’s following in the footsteps of other ‘Great Danes’ to wear the Liverpool shirt in Jan Molby and Daniel Agger.

She added: “It’s an honour to be following in their footsteps as a Dane in Liverpool and I’m going to do my best to live up to the impact they had in Liverpool.”

LFC Women manager Vicky Jepson is delighted to secure the services of a player who scored 32 goals in 48 games during her time in Denmark.

“Welcome to the Reds, our new No.9!” said the boss.

“Amalie has an impressive record as one of the top goalscorers in Denmark in 2018-19 and is joining us from Roma. She’s a Danish international with youth on her side, just turning 25 in March.

“I’m delighted to welcome Amalie to the squad, she’s already fit in well with the team and trained well, with outstanding results on the fitness tests.

“I’m sure Amalie will wear the No.9 shirt with pride and I’m looking forward to see her join the frontline on our quest to return to where we feel we belong.”

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Curtis Jones to wear No.17 for the Reds from next season

Curtis Jones to wear No.17 for the Reds from next season

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Curtis Jones will take the Liverpool No.17 jersey this summer ahead of the 2020-21 season.

The 19-year-old will switch from his current No.48 shirt to the new number for the champions’ next campaign.

Jones recently signed a new long-term contract with the Reds after a breakthrough term with the club he’s supported since childhood and been a part of since U9 level.

He followed that news up by grabbing his first Premier League goal in a 2-0 win against Aston Villa at Anfield, having been handed his debut in the competition as a substitute at Bournemouth back in December.

The Academy graduate also netted a long-range winner in an FA Cup tie with Everton at Anfield before going on to become Liverpool’s youngest ever captain in the following round when he led the side out in a replay with Shrewsbury Town at Anfield wearing the armband, aged 19 years and five days.

The No.17 jersey has previously been occupied by Steven Gerrard and Steve McManaman among others during the Premier League era, with Ragnar Klavan the most recent holder.

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Taylor Hinds joins Liverpool FC Women

Taylor Hinds joins Liverpool FC Women

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool FC Women have completed the signing of defender Taylor Hinds.

The 21-year-old full-back joins the Reds after two-and-a-half seasons with Everton in the Women’s Super League (WSL).

She had previously spent eight years with Arsenal, making her senior debut as an 18-year-old.

Hinds is an England youth international and was a member of the U20 team that won bronze at the World Cup in 2018. She also featured in the run to the quarter-finals of the U17 World Cup in 2016.

She joined up with her new teammates this week as the squad continue pre-season preparations in phased stages to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

Liverpool FC Women manager Vicky Jepson said: “Taylor is a great signing for our club, she’s an England youth international with many years of WSL experience.

“Taylor will certainly add many qualities to our backline, being able to play off both feet and her pace on the flanks going forward will certainly contribute to building and creating attacks.

“I’m excited to work with Taylor and push her to develop further. She’s already trained really well this week as a Red and has fitted in well with the squad. 

“I’m sure all Reds fans will join me welcoming Taylor to the LFC family.”

Hinds spoke of her desire to get started and her delight at joining the club.

She said: “I’m so happy to be here, I’m happy to be a Red and already it’s been overwhelming, everyone has been so welcoming.

“I just can’t wait for the season to get started. I love Liverpool as a place and I know the fans here are brilliant so I can’t wait to make myself proud, my family proud and the fans proud.”

A versatile player who can also play in midfield, Hinds is Liverpool’s second signing of the summer and is looking forward to working with manager Jepson.

She continued: “When I first got talking to Vicky I got a great vibe off her. She wants to get all my confidence out. It’s an important season for the team as well as myself. We want to be back in the WSL and I want to help get the team promoted.

“I’m excited to be a part of it. There’s a lot of talent here, there’s quite a few youngsters and we just need to thrive off that. Hopefully we do get promoted, that’s everyone’s aim, that’s what everyone wants so that should help the motivation of everyone in the team.”

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Meet Jacob: A Kicks player with a bright future

Meet Jacob: A Kicks player with a bright future

Courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Jacob Lawton is a talented 16-year-old footballer from Belle Vale, Liverpool, who has been attending LFC Foundation’s Premier League Kicks football sessions in Anfield for the past three years.

Premier League Kicks – delivered by LFC Foundation – is a flagship community programme, which works closely with young people and authorities in their local area to deliver free sports sessions and workshops. 

Jacob joins in on the action every Wednesday evening at Anfield Sports and Community Centre, training with the PL Kicks Representative team – a squad he made the leap to this season after impressing LFC Foundation coaches.  

For what started out as a socialising opportunity, Jacob’s participation has now become a steady constant, as he began to realise just how many opportunities can come from being involved in the LFC Foundation’s PL Kicks Programme.

“It made me focus on football in a different way,” says Jacob.

“I initially started attending the project for a bit of fun with friends but listening to the coaches and their inspiring career journeys, like going to work in North America, have been really inspirational.

“It’s made me think about my own career path and the possibilities of becoming a coach myself or even a physiotherapist.”

As well as providing a platform to socialise, the PL Kicks programme offers opportunities and support for young people to achieve their full potential, while creating stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.

Neil Walsh, LFC Foundation coach, said: “We’ve guided Jacob through the Kicks Representative Team, but in that time, he himself has become a real role model and one that his fellow teammates look up to. 

“Throughout the years, Jacob has improved his skills as a footballer, while maturing as a teenager and focusing on planning out his career aspirations, one that he envisages will be in sports.

“Looking at him playing, he’s enjoying himself, with a big smile on his face. That’s the key for me. That’s what Kicks is all about.”

Jacob has competed on a national level with LFC Foundation, representing Liverpool FC in numerous PL Kicks Regional League fixtures across the North West.

Last year, the Representative Team were edged out on penalties in the semi-finals of the PL Kicks Cup, a tournament which hosted hundreds of teams across the top English football leagues. 

Following his success in the PL Kicks programme, Jacob will now go on to make his mark in the Robbie Fowler Education and Football Academy (FEFA) this September– a football program with an outstanding academic curriculum designed to prepare youngsters for their next career step.

PL Kicks Manager, Tony Cosgrove, has also witnessed the progression that Jacob has made, both on and off the field.

He says: “He was a bit apprehensive at first. He didn’t know many of the participants at our sessions, and a lot of the boys were a little bit older and physically stronger than him. But he never showed any fear and quickly gained confidence through playing.

“He won’t mind me saying this, but he’s a bit of a ‘Jack the lad’ character. He’s very likeable and we knew straight from the start he had something special about him.”

Beyond the football, Tony also noted one of the challenges that youngsters looking to join up can face.

He said: “One of the biggest successes in this story was actually getting Jacob to the session in Anfield. He made the decision to leave his local area, at an age group where postcodes can often be a barrier. I think the future is really bright for Jacob.”

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, LFC Foundation made the decision to postpone its Kicks programme, as well as all other community and school sessions delivered, to adhere to government guidelines and social distancing rules. 

For more information relating to the LFC Foundation’s PL Kicks sessions, click here.