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17th Feb 2023

Shay Given believes that only two Liverpool players would make Newcastle team

Lee Costello

Shay Given

“It’s mad what’s happening with Liverpool.” 

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given believes that only two Liverpool players would make this current Newcastle team.

The Donegal native made 463 appearances for the Mapgies between 1997 and 2009 before leaving to join Manchester City when they ironically had their big money takeover.

Now it’s his old club who are rolling in the cash, and with Liverpool in dire straits, the roles of fortune seem to have been reversed.

Shay Given

“Only two Liverpool players would get into my combined XI – Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.” Given told LeoVegas.

“It’s mad what’s happening with Liverpool – last season we were talking about them doing the quadruple and suggesting that they were one of the best teams ever. You wonder how they’ve fallen off a cliff so much, they’re a mid-table side now.

“Alisson is a brilliant keeper, but Nick Pope gets the nod for all his clean sheets this season. I’d have [Kieran] Trippier at right-back, who’s having a great season. Virgil van Dijk and Sven Botman would be my centre-backs, with Dan Burn, on current form, at left-back.

Shay Given

“Their midfielders are all struggling currently, so I’d have Joelinton, Joe Willock, and Bruno Guimarães. At the other end of the pitch, I’d go with Mohamed Salah on the right side, Callum Wilson up top, and Anthony Gordon on the left.”

“I know 90% of the team is Newcastle players, but on current form, I think it’s correct!

“If Newcastle finished in the top four at the end of the campaign, they could definitely attract players over Liverpool”, he said. “I know whenever people say this that Liverpool fans start getting tribal, but at the same time, I think the trajectory of Newcastle is only going one way.

Shay GivenLiverpool beat Newcastle 2-1 earlier in the season

“You can see Jurgen Klopp getting agitated by some of the questions he’s being asked and frustrated to be giving answers that directors should be giving. At the end of the day the performances haven’t been good enough – they were better against Everton, but the other week against Wolves they were shambolic.”

“I can’t speak higher of Eddie Howe and his staff and their recruitment. If they can add to that in the summer, I think a lot of players would want to join them. It’s a hugely exciting place to be right now.

“If they can offer Champions League, and Liverpool can’t, then I think they will hold bigger pull over players than them.”

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