What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago today, Liverpool drew 1-1 with Stoke to close to within a point of sixth-placed Aston Villa in the Premier League, with Robert Huth’s late equaliser leaving Rafael Benítez huffing around the place amid a window where the only new arrivals were freebie signing Maxi Rodriguez along with youngsters Christopher Buchtmann and Vitor Flora.

This month, the Mill’s divining rod suggests Jürgen Klopp might have twisted the hierarchy’s arm to do violent things to the club’s transfer record, with well over £100m being fanned in an attempt to woo playmaker Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. The 20-year-old German, heavily and somewhat inevitably linked to Bayern Munich, has been dubbed “a special player” by his manager Peter Bosz, and was 86th in our recent Top 100 Male Footballer’s list, so lord only knows how much 74th-placed Jordan Henderson might be valued in today’s market.

The Great North London Defender Hunt continues apace, and with Huth now safely retired, the overnight dartboard throws have landed slap-bang in the middle of a Polaroid bearing the visage of Getafe’s Togolese international Djene Dakonam. Both Arsenal and Spurs are hopeful he can make central defensive areas aaaall better. Though the 28-year-old can also play full-back, Mikel Arteta has £6m and a cheeky smile for PSG’s Layvin Kurzawa if he’s willing to come and help fill the left-sided void left following Kieran Tierney’s shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, José Mourinho may have had designs on Porto’s Zé Luís doing short-term Harry Kane-like things, but those who hold the keys to the work-permit cupboard have given a subtle shake of the head to stop everybody wasting their time.

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Ross Barkley’s Chelsea resurgence appears to have gone the way of Daniel Sturridge’s at Liverpool last season, and his tally of seven league appearances under Frank Lampard has attracted the attention of West Ham, who would like to know about loan possibilities please. Stamford Bridge higher-uppers could certainly be persuaded if a rumoured £47m move for Real Madrid’s Isco comes to fruition. Elsewhere in Madrid, Atlético’s Marcos Llorente is Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s suggestion for a short-term way to thwart people people saying mean things about Manchester United’s midfield.

Finally, in an one-man attempt to cut football’s transfer-related carbon footprint, Internazionale sporting director Piero Ausilio has apparently taken one flight to the UK in an attempt to end three high-profile transfer sagas – those swirling around Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and United’s Ashley Young. The Mill wishes him every success in his sure-to-be-snag-free endeavours.

source: theguardian.com

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