All the news, views and transfer rumours from Anfield this weekend…
Liverpool ended their season with a 1-0 home win over QPR, courtesy of a 25-yard strike from Philippe Coutinho. Having excelled since his January move from Inter Milan, it was fitting that the 20-year-old scored the Reds’ final goal of the season.
In a disappointing season for Brendan Rodgers’ side, the Brazilian playmaker’s form has suggested better things are to come. And he will feel aggrieved that he only has one goal to show for his efforts this afternoon, after an earlier attempt was wrongly ruled out for not crossing the line.
The match was the final appearance for defender Jamie Carragher, who captained the team and almost scored a fairy-tale finish only for his effort to rebound off the post.
At the final whistle, Rodgers paid tribute to the Liverpool legend, claiming that the 35-year-old could play on if he wished to.
But after 16 years at Anfield, it is clear the player wants to bow out at the top.
“He nearly scored a fantastic goal,” Rodgers said, “just his all-round game, he’s going out as a top, top player. He could still play another year.
“But he has been absolutely phenomenal for me in my time here. You see today his organisational skills, his quality, his leadership was first class.”
They are traits that could easily propel Carragher into the world of football management. He has both the footballing nous, and the straight-talking confidence, to be just as successful on the touchline as he was on the pitch.
On a day when one person played their last game for Liverpool, another played their first – 17-year-old winger Jordon Ibe. It was he who set up Coutinho’s winner, and signalled the arrival of another exciting young player of whom more is likely to be seen next season.
In transfer news, Ajax midfielder and reported Liverpool target Christian Eriksen is said to be ready to turn his back on a move to Anfield should a suitable offer not arrive by the end of the month.
It is being reported that Eriksen is growing impatient over a lack of move from Rodgers, who is a known admirer of the 21-year-old. With apparent interest also coming from Borussia Dortmund, the Danish international is said to prefer a move to the Reds. But with no offer forthcoming, he may now commit his long-term future to his current club.
In truth, it is an ultimatum that suggests club pressure rather than player intent. With the transfer window not yet open, if the reports are true it seems Ajax are keen to force through a deal that would see them collect £15million as soon as possible.
Rodgers is also said to be considering a move for Tottenham left-back Danny Rose. This comes a week after another left-back was linked with Anfield – 19-year-old Lille defender Lucas Digne.
Either way, it seems Jose Enrique’s time at the club may be coming to an end.
image: © martini_dk