What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop . . .
Luk who’s top scorer!
Ask most Everton fans, and they’ll say they have been frustrated with Romelu Lukaku this term. The 22-year-old summer signing hasn’t really lived up to his £28million price tag after a fantastic loan spell. But this week Lukaku was confirmed as top scorer in the Europa League, along with Salzburg’s Alan, on eight goals. That makes him Everton’s leading European scorer of all time! It’s easy to forget those magical moments in Europe as it’s been an up-and-down season, but hopefully we see more of the Belgian striker’s brilliance in the Premier League.
Gerrard’s final humiliation
No one saw Stoke’s 6-1 thrashing of Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium coming. Departing captain Steven Gerrard scored the consolation goal in a final game he’ll never forget – but for all the wrong reasons. Disgruntled fans are awaiting the outcome of Brendan Rodgers’ meeting with the club’s owners next week. I’ve not heard many say they want him to stay; and after spending over £200m on players during his time at Anfield with practically nothing to show for it, you can understand why.
Oshoala’s best in the world
The men’s team may be struggling but Liverpool Ladies’ Asisat Oshoala has just been named the first ever BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. The Nigerian took home the prize after fans across the world voted from a shortlist including Brazilian Marta and Spain’s Veronica Boquete. I interviewed Oshoala recently after she scored her first goal for the club and she was a humble young woman, with a great attitude towards the game. I’m sure she’ll fly the flag for both Nigeria and Liverpool Ladies at the Women’s World Cup.
Andy is our King
Former Everton midfielder Andy King sadly passed away this week after suffering a heart attack. Tributes have flown in for the 58-year-old after his shock death. King was a fans’ favourite – especially after his winner in the derby against Liverpool on October 28, 1978. A great man and a true Evertonian. RIP Andy!
Who’s in, who’s out?
The main transfer news could be a managerial one. Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp are being linked with the club if Rodgers is sacked, but with no Champions League football next season, can Liverpool tempt them? On the field, I hear it’s already a done deal for Burnley striker Danny Ings, while Divock Origi is another striker looking forward to finally getting started at Anfield. After signing last summer, he was loaned straight back out to his former side Lille – but then voted in Ligue 1’s worst team of the year! Hopefully the Premier League is more suited to him . . .
Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz have both left after their contracts were not renewed, while young left-back Luke Garbutt looks likely to follow after Brendan Galloway was picked ahead of him in the final two games of the season. Kevin Mirallas – who was linked with Spurs in January – and out-of-favour Steven Naismith could also leave this summer. After spending £28m on Lukaku last season, fans aren’t too hopeful of a big signing but they could join EPL clubs in the race for Charlie Austin from relegated QPR.
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