Speaking exclusively to Betting Sites, former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has made some bold statements on Liverpool’s summer transfer targets. Cisse also believes 6th place Liverpool will make the Champions League places.
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- Liverpool should buy Kolo Muani for €100m
- Liverpool should AVOID buying Josko Gvardiol
- I’m waiting to see Sunderland & QPR in the Premier League again
- World Cup is to blame for Van Dijk’s poor season
- Liverpool will get top 4
- Chamberlain should leave Liverpool in the summer
(Question): Liverpool scored 7 vs Man Utd but then blanked vs Bournemouth and Real Madrid. What do you put their inconsistent scoring ability down to?
Djibril Cisse (DC): “For sure the Derby, the United game, is a special match for us and the fans, and you know you have to win that one. Players always had to mentally prepare for that game but to score 7 was big. I thought after that win it would be a way to wake the team up and boost them.
You expect more from the team after a win like that, but even though I won’t want to say I’m disappointed, I still expected more. Maybe the players are mentally tired and with the new players coming in, it takes time to get consistency.
This season they need to do as well as they can before the end of the season and maybe grab top 4, have a good summer transfer window and start from scratch next season.
While losing Mane could be another reason for Liverpool’s scoring inconsistencies – a player who can score and assist. His partnership with Salah was so dangerous for the other teams – so might be one of the reasons it’s been a difficult season for them.”
(Q): Will Klopp walk away if Liverpool don’t qualify for the Champions League?
(DC): “I don’t think he’s the kind of guy that will just give up. The club might decide to change the manager, but I don’t think so. I see him as a guy that will want to fight and put the club back to where the club belongs. And I don’t see him leaving after a season like this.
I think it’s important for him – that if he wants to leave – to leave well and to exit with the team in a strong position.”
(Q): Who should replace him as manager if he does?
(DC): “In my world, I would love to see Steven Gerrard take over next at Liverpool. I don’t know if it’s the right time, or he’s ready for it – but I’d like to see it. He knows the city, he knows the club inside out and could be a good solution for Liverpool if Klopp goes.”
(Q): Darwin Nunez, playing more out on the wing these days for Liverpool, didn’t have any impact in the Real Madrid game last week, was he the striker Liverpool really needed?
(DC): “He’s a striker and he’s often been playing out of position, so it’s difficult to give his best. He’s a centre forward really, but I know that situation as I was playing right wing for Lazio – you do your best and try and help the team but it’s hard playing out of position.
Overall, I think he’s doing well but once getting back up front with Mo Salah it should be a nice partnership.”
(Q): Liverpool have only scored 1 more goal than Brighton this season. Will a lack of goals be the reason Liverpool don’t make the top 4?
(DC): “I think the problem is more than just not scoring goals. We are not used to seeing the Liverpool defence conceding that many goals, so there is a problem here too.
And up front I don’t think they’ve been good enough this season – it’s a simple thing, if you concede goals and you don’t score enough goals then you don’t win games, and this is exactly what’s happening at the moment.”
(Q): Jamie Carragher said Liverpool need to buy a right back to replace or compete with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Do you agree?
(DC): “Yeah, I think you need to double the positions anyway. Trent is a little under his level at the moment – he’s still young enough and can still improve his games. Sometimes you just have off games or seasons, and this happens to big players too.”
(Q): Klopp has put a lot of faith in Harvey Elliott this season in fact he’s made the most appearances in the squad. Has he proven worthy of his manager’s faith?
(DC): “Yes, we are not with the team every day, but if Klopp is playing him and giving him the chance to show the quality that he’s been showing in training, then this means the kid is good.
From what I’ve seen now, he’s going to have a bright future in front of him and I expect him to be a key player for Liverpool.”
(Q): If he stays, should Klopp rebuild his midfield around Stefan Bajcetic, a player who looks like a future star?
(DC): “Depends who they can buy in the transfer window. The quality is in the squad at the moment, but it could just be a cycle and some of the players might want something new coming into the team.
The new players need time to adapt – the squad is strong, but a few more players will help. But to build around players – or young players – that have just arrived I don’t think it will be the case.
Building around Salah, Nunez, Gakpo for sure.”
(Q): Do fans need to accept that Virgil van Dijk will never be the same player after his injury?
(DC): “This season was a special season, with the World Cup in the middle and it’s hard for players to be focused.
Before the World Cup you were maybe worried or scared to get injured, then after the World Cup you are tired. So it’s been a special season – I don’t want to blame the players.
I’ve never played in a World Cup in the middle of a season – and it’s new to all players too – but I do know how focused you can be in a big competition like this playing for your country.
I don’t think it was a good idea to have the World Cup in December and in the middle of the season like this.”
(Q): Klopp keeps giving Fábio Carvalho literally 1 or 2 minutes at the end of games that are already either won or lost. Wouldn’t that just frustrate and annoy you as a player?
(DC): “As a player you have to know your position in the squad – he’s still young with big players in front of him so he needs to be patient. If Klopp is doing it this way, maybe he’s preparing him for next season and doesn’t want to throw him into the cage too quickly.
I think the guy has potential and I like what I’ve seen till now. Maybe he needs more time and experience, while you have to go slowly with a player like this and not burn them.”
(Q): Should Jude Bellingham be Liverpool’s transfer priority this summer and how much should they be prepared to spend on him?
(DC): “To be honest the money side of football is something I’m not that into – as I don’t understand how you can spend that much on players.
However, the guy (Bellingham) is really good and hopefully he can be the future of Liverpool and English football. And, yes, he’s a perfect fit as Bellingham can do everything. He’s really talented – offensively he’s really effective, really strong and technically very gifted, scores some goals and is hard defensively too. The guy is the perfect player for ANY team.”
(Q): Liverpool have been linked with Mason Mount with Chelsea set to demand £60m to £70m for him. Should Liverpool pursue him at that price if they can‘t get Bellingham?
(DC): “I think they should go for both to be honest. They are two players that can play together. If you can’t do Bellingham, you can do Mount, but in my opinion you should go for both. They’ve played together for England too, which would help.
It’s a lot of money but it’s two young really good players so go for both and see who is willing to come. But the ‘top four’ position is something that will make players agree or not. As these sorts of players are the ones that need to be playing Champions League football and that’s a big problem in attracting these sorts of players for Liverpool if they don’t make the top 4.”
(Q): Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is another player to have been linked with an Anfield move, would he be a more suitable option – Or are there any other players out there you’d like to see at Anfield?
(DC): “Well, the best player in the world at the moment – Kylian Mbappe – I’d love to see him at Liverpool.
I think Mbappe is made for English football. I know he loves Real Madrid and has been linked with them and I think he wants to go.
But to see him at Anfield – he would cause a lot of damage in the Premier League.
And I think Mbappe’s mum loves Liverpool – as a good boy you have to listen to your mum!”
(Q): Liverpool and Man Utd have been linked with Frankfurt attacker Randal Kolo Muani. Do you rate him and which club would suit him better?
(DC): “I’ve followed him in France, and I’ve been impressed as it’s all happened very quickly for him.
In one/two seasons he’s shot up and now being talked about as being in the starting 11.
Mentally that’s hard to deal with, but he’s doing well, scoring goals almost every game and being called up again for the national team.
He’s the sort of player I’d love to see at Liverpool or if not just in the Premier League.”
(Q): RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol is reportedly close to a Liverpool move, is he the man to fix their leaky defence?
(DC): “He looks promising, but I’m not sure if Liverpool need more experienced players or more younger ones. I’m not sure defensively what Liverpool really need, but from what I saw he’s a very good defender.”
(Q): Liverpool need to clear out some deadwood this summer. Who would you get rid of?
(DC): “For sure I think Firmino is going to leave – he’s already announced it. Chamberlain maybe – he needs to play regular football.”
(Q): Rumours of Juventus canceling Paul Pogba’s contract after another injury, has he lived up to his potential?
(DC): “He’s a really beautiful player to see when he’s on the top of his form. He had a crazy season with personal problems and his injury but he’s a really talented player when he’s on 100%. I still think he’s got a lot on him – but I don’t think as a Man Utd ex-player he will join Liverpool to be honest.”
(Q): How much longer will Mbappe be prepared to stay at PSG when they can’t even reach the Champions League quarter-finals?
(DC): “He said himself he wants to win titles and big trophies but that he means the Champions League. He’s not going to lie to anyone – he wants to lift that trophy.
I know his heart is in PSG and wants to lift it with them, but in recent years they’ve struggled.
He’s a player who deserves to play big nights and Champions League football – but, even though PSG will be playing in the competition for many years, I don’t think the current side is strong enough to win it.”
(Q): Who should be the France captain now Hugo Lloris has retired? Mbappe?
(DC): “If Deschamps decides to give to Kylian then he should accept.”
(Q): What’s your opinion on the beef between Karim Benzema and Didier Deschamps? Who is in the wrong?
(DC): “To be honest I don’t really follow this sort of stuff. I love football too much to not pay attention to this kind of thing.
I think Benzema is bigger than that though – he’s Ballon D’Or and one of the best players in the world, so shouldn’t lower himself to small stories like this. Just forget, play his football, and score goals.”
(Q): Zidane has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid in 2021. Should he be the next manager of France?
(DC): “To be honest Deschamps is going well – why change it?
At the same time, I’d love to see Zidane taking charge of France. Personally, I’d say yes, but you can’t take Deschamps off based on his results. If he decides to go then fine, but as the president of the federation you can’t fire him as he’s still doing well.”
(Q): Steven Gerrard is the early favorite to replace Patrick Vieira as Crystal Palace boss. What do you think of his managerial career so far?
(DC): “He’s still learning – he’s still young when it comes to managing. It’s not easy to manage a team, if you are a great player, it doesn’t mean you’ll be a great manager as it’s a totally different job.
To be honest he did well at Rangers but despite some good moments in the Premier League ended up getting sacked by Villa. But I still think he’s got it in him and he’s going to be a really good manager. He’s a great leader and it will be great to see him back leading a tea.”
(Q): Do you still follow the Sunderland and QPR results – two of your older clubs?
(DC): “Yes, of course. I follow Sunderland more – why, I don’t know. But I still love QPR too. I had some good times at both clubs and would love to see them both in the Premier League again.”
(Q): Who’s your pick to win the Champions League?
(DC): “One team has impressed me a lot – Napoli. Really good team and strong everywhere from goalie to attack. They score goals for fun and are well clear of Serie A.
And Man City, of course, I love Haaland – I’m a big fan. The kid is something special. Napoli or City, but more City for me to win the Champions League.”
(Q): And how do you see each of the four Champions League Quarter-finals playing out?
“AC Milan vs Napoli – Napoli
Benfica vs Inter – Inter
Man City vs B Munich – Man City
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Real Madrid”