Following his deadline day loan move to Sunderland, defender Sebastian Coates is looking forward to kicking off the season with his new club.
The Uruguayan missed a large portion of last season after a knee injury sidelined him and left him frantically trying to recover in time to represent his country at the World Cup. A loan back to his homeland in the later stages of the year with Club Nacional saw him win his fitness race in time to make it to Brazil, but the 23-year old always looked like he was going to be on the fringes of the Reds squad if he stuck around on Merseyside.
With Liverpool striker Fabio Borini declaring himself “very happy” with his decision to turn down a permanent move to Queens Park Rangers and fight for his place at Anfield, his agent Marco De Marchi has revealed that the club snubbed a number of loan offers from big European sides for the embattled Italian.
The story of his collapsed move to Sunderland and the fee agreed between the Black Cats and the Reds for his services is as old as it is boring at this point, but the 23-year old looked like he was going to add insult to injury by signing for QPR on deadline day for a fee that could have potentially risen to £13mil — as we know now, that never came to pass with his wage demands scuppering any chance of a switch to Loftus Road.
Liverpool’s demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday not only ended with three well deserved points for the men in red, but it also saw captain Steven Gerrard overtake living legend Jan Molby as the Anfied outfits all time leading scorer from the penalty spot.
He was once a nailed on starter, but following the Alberto Moreno’s move from Sevilla to Liverpool, fullback Jose Enrique knows that it’s going to take something special to dislodge his young compatriot from the starting eleven.
After being sidelined for much of last season through injury, finding both competition and cover for the 28-year old became a high priority at Anfield. Although it took almost the entire summer to do it, the Reds brought in Moreno to provide it and following his encouraging displays against both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, it’s looking far more like Enrique will be providing cover for the upstart defender rather than the other way around — something he has absolutely no problems with.
The last day of the transfer window always creates a news vortex, but we can assure you that players being loaned back and forth wasn’t the only thing that happened yesterday with Italy supremo Antonio Conte standing firmly behind his decision to leave new Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli on the sidelines of his first squad.
With a glittering playing career behind him, it’s safe to say that the newly installed Azzuri boss knows a thing or two about winning games — something he plans on doing with his squad, his way. “We have been monitoring every match. The call-ups are based on those we observed, with those we had footballing evidence on,” explained the Champions League winner. “I don’t have to send a message to anyone. Those who know me know very well how I operate, how I am, I do not present gifts to anyone.”