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Gerrard Not Captain but Still England’s Best

Stuart Pearce said Steven Gerrard is ‘as good as it gets’ in English football but not where the captaincy is concerned.

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Stuart Pearce said Steven Gerrard is ‘as good as it gets’ in English football but not where the captaincy is concerned.

Gerrard was expected to inherit the armband following his return to international football after over a year away from his country.

But Pearce, who has now favoured Scott Parker to lead England out at Wembley, was still full of admiration for the Liverpool skipper.

“I would fully expect Steven to play,” said Pearce.

“He has not been on an international football pitch for a long time. It would be folly for a player of his quality not to figure in a game of this magnitude.

“He is as good as it gets in this nation – both what he does on the pitch and how he is around the camp. We are pleased to have him back.”

“Captaining England was the proudest moment of my career,” said Pearce.

“If I feel that in my heart, I can’t take the decision lightly.

“I can only view it as I see it. When you play for your country that is the true pinnacle of anyone’s career. That is still the case.”

Gerrard’s understudy at Anfield, Jordan Henderson will be hoping to impress for the U21s as they meet Belgium in a crucial Euro 2013 qualifier.

“Obviously, everyone wants to play in the senior team,” said Henderson. “But this is a massive game for the U21s.

“I spoke to Stuart when the squad was announced a week ago and he just said, ‘Make sure the boys are okay and do it right.’

“He has been a very big influence on my career and helped me in many ways, so I cannot thank him enough.”

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“I know that the hard work is only starting” – Young forward excited as Liverpool set to complete signing on July 9

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Latest Liverpool transfer news: Liverpool to complete Conor Bradley signing on 9 July

The Mirror reports that Liverpool will sign 16-year-old attacker Conor Bradley on 9 July – his 16th birthday.

The Dungannon United youngster will be signed on a two-year scholarship by Liverpool, and the report adds that the Reds are his boyhood team.

The Northern Ireland youngster has played for the Reds in youth tournaments earlier, and the report claims that the 15-year-old impressed many members at Liverpool.

Conor Bradley
Conor Bradley in action

Speaking to the Ulster Herald (h/t Mirror), Bradley was pleased at earning the opportunity to sign for Liverpool, but knew there was a lot of work to be done:

“But I know that the hard work is only starting. I’ll be part of the U18 squad and the good thing is I know the coaches and I know most of the boys in the team.”

The youngster added that he would be staying in familiar surroundings and was not worried about settling in. Bradley added that this was a dream for him and could not wait to get started.

Liverpool’s youth team doing well

The Reds have a lot of quality youngsters and Bradley has to work hard if he wants to feature regularly for the U18s.

Rafa Camacho

Liverpool won the FA Youth Cup last season and saw starlets such as Rafa Camacho and Ki-Jana Hoever pick up first-team minutes under Jurgen Klopp.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

Bobby Duncan and Paul Glatzel are two strikers who were in great form last season, and it will be interesting to see how things develop with Bradley.

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Barcelona starlet packs his bag ahead of a move to England amidst Liverpool interest

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Liverpool interested in Barcelona starlet Alejandro Balde

Liverpool are interested in Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde, according to Sport (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The 16-year-old is primarily a left-back and is capable of playing as a winger too. The Spanish youngster recently moved up to the U-17 side of the Catalan giants.

The report claims that Chelsea are also interested in the 16-year-old, and Balde has packed his bags ahead of a move to England.

Liverpool are favourites to land the Spaniard ahead of Chelsea, given the Blues’ transfer ban (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The report adds that Barcelona are trying to keep hold of their star, however, the Spaniard seems set to leave the La Liga giants.

The Reds can also do with youngsters joining the academy and we have seen a couple of them break into the first-team under Jurgen Klopp.

Trent alexander Arnold Joe Gomez Liverpool
Joe Gomez (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are England internationals now, while the likes of Rhian Brewster and Ki-Jana Hoever are expected to be the next big stars for the Reds.

Liverpool have to decide on the futures of two youngsters too

Harry Wilson also came up through the system at Liverpool and was one of the stars in the Championship last season.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Marko Grujic has earned a lot of praise after his spell at Hertha Berlin, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for them.

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Transfer news: Liverpool face competition from Man United for £45m La Liga star

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Latest Liverpool transfer news: Manchester United enter race for Junior Firpo

Manchester United have entered the race to sign Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo, according to Marca (h/t Mirror).

The 22-year-old had a great season with Betis, racking up three goals and providing four assists in La Liga.

The Spanish defender is currently with the U-21 national-team for the Euros and played the entire game as they defeated the Belgians 2-1.

Junior Firpo
Junior Firpo

The report claims that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to overhaul his team after a tough season.

Betis are willing to sell the talented youngster if his £45million release clause is met, and Liverpool are also interested in the defender (h/t Mirror).

The report adds that United and Liverpool are not concerned with the release clause of the 22-year-old, and Jurgen Klopp sees him as a decent addition to the team.

The Reds need to sign some cover and competition for Andy Robertson in the summer window. Alberto Moreno left the Reds on a free, and we would only have Joe Gomez and James Milner who can replace the Robertson as our the left-back.

Firpo could provide cover for another position too

The report adds that the Spanish star can play as a left-winger or as a central defender, which would provide the Reds with enough cover should Dejan Lovren leave next season.

Liverpool did have problems with the centre-back spot last season as Fabinho had to be shoehorned into the role in a few games.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

The Reds could do with the versatility of Firpo as he provides cover for several players.

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