It has been a difficult week for Liverpool. The Reds not only lost ground in the Premier League race to Manchester City following a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates, but failed to live up to a presumed status as one of Europe’s elite with a catastrophic display against Red Star Belgrade to put their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the Champions League in real jeopardy.
If results not going their way wasn’t bad enough, it seems bad news comes in pairs with the rumour generator in full swing that Chelsea are one of the major interested parties in for one of their missed-out summer transfer targets.
On a night when Liverpool displayed old wounds at the Stadion Rajko Mitic in the Serbian capital, respected French publication L’Equipe reports that Nabil Fekir is now the prime player Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri would ideally like to recruit for the West London club.
This has certainly not been taken well with fans already fuming with their night of European failure losing 2-0 to Red Star and particularly seeing as their midfield - wherein Fekir can play - was a considerable source of fans’ ire. Adam Lallana, James Milner, and Georginio Wijnaldum were all subject to a scathing amount of criticism, the Liverpool Echo refusing to provide any one of them more of a ‘5’ in their match ratings out of 10.
And fans were also in voice on social media. @AnfieldRd96 exploded,
‘I would rather Nabil Fekir with one leg than any of those in our midfield right now’,
whilst @kloppmeisterpj commented,
Performances like this seem to be the norm nowadays. Seems like there is a Nabil Fekir-sized hole in our squad.. you know.. to replace Coutinho.’
@danm_1988 seemed to concur
‘We’ve been underwhelming all season. Results better than the performances so far. That was utter sh*te. Zero creativity. Nabil Fekir anyone.......’
while @FalseFirmino referenced the prolonged transfer saga that dominated the red half of Merseyside this summer:
‘Nabil Fekir’s knee didn’t die for this.'
Fekir has had an inconsistent start to this season at Olympique Lyonnais, the club he has so far played out his whole senior career. Whilst still certainly Les Gones’ talisman, performances have been sporadic having been constantly interrupted by niggling injury - represented by just seven out of a possible 12 Ligue 1 appearances, including damage to his ankle that donated his place in the France squad to Olympique de Marseille’s Dimitri Payet.
Whilst injury concerns were said to be a main reason for Liverpool backing out of a deal for Fekir in the off-season, that hasn’t managed to stop the 25-year-old from producing a steady tally of three goals and four assists in nine appearances so far this season
There may be some consolation for Liverpool, however with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich still remaining the main name in the frame to acquire the Frenchman’s talents. Fekir’s contract currently expires with Lyon at the end of the 2019/20 season.
Lyon confirm he will remain at the club next season as they pull out of the deal
Liverpool had pictures of him in the kit and did an announcement video...