What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop…
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Howard’s on way out
Longstanding Everton goalie Tim Howard made the announcement this week that he will be saying farewell to Goodison Park after 10 years at the club. Despite falling out of favour recently and losing his No1 spot to Joel Robles, the American has served the Toffees fantastically over the last decade and fans are very grateful for the consistency he has offered the club. Howard still has a couple of months left on Merseyside and supporters are hoping he will get a farewell appearance at Goodison to thank him for his time as a Blue. Instinctively, many fans’ thoughts have already turned to next season and who will replace him. Will a new No1 keeper be brought in or an understudy to keep Joel Robles on his toes?
Klopp snubs Benteke
It seems the relationship between Christian Benteke and Jurgen Klopp has turned slightly sour. Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp said he “had a few words, nothing else” in reaction to a miss by the Belgian striker last weekend and has handed him just five starts in the last 16 games. The 25-year-old hitman responded this week. Speaking to Belgium’s Sport/Voetbalmagazine, he said: “When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand.” After signing for the Reds for £32.5million from Aston Villa last summer, Benteke arrived with high expectations from the fans at Anfield, but it seems he could already be looking for a way out of Merseyside. He admitted: “In January, I didn’t want to leave and it’s still my desire to succeed at Liverpool. We’ll see at the end of the season.”
Rom’s Champions League dream
Another Belgian striker may be interested in a move away from Merseyside this summer – Everton’s Romelu Lukaku. Speaking to The Guardian, Lukaku’s current frustrations were clear: “I’m 23 this summer. I have been playing [professionally] since I was 16 and have never had a taste of the Champions League. It is going to be seven years. You think about it.” With reported interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid for a rumoured £60m, it would be hard for the Toffees to keep a hold of Lukaku, especially as they currently sit in the bottom half of the league. The 22-year-old has provided so much for Everton this season that it’s worrying to think where the club would be without their star man.
Liverpool face exciting Euro date with Dortmund
Even before the Europa League quarter-final draw Liverpool fans were whispering about a possible match-up with their manager’s former side Borussia Dortmund. Despite Dortmund knocking Spurs out of the competition comfortably, Liverpudlians were instantly excited when the teams were drawn against each other. The Reds know it will be an emotional return for Klopp and that his connection to the German side gives this tie added spice. They are desperate to win the upcoming first leg at the Westfalenstadion on April 7 – it should make for an exciting match.