Jose Enrique Exclusive

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Was the final the best final of all time and better than Istanbul? 

It is definitely up there with the best, there is no doubt about that. However, they are different scenarios. The World Cup is the best trophy you can win as a player and there is nothing like it. However, it is so different from Istanbul. For 60 minutes, it was all Argentina then the ending was unbelievable, particularly for a fan. I’m not sure if it was the best ever, but it is definitely up there. 

Emi Martinez impressed at the World Cup. Where does he rank amongst other Premier League goalkeepers?

For me, he was the Player of the Tournament. Without him, there is no chance Argentina would have won the World Cup. He saved them in two penalty shootouts, and he also made that save in the last minute of the final.It might be strange to some people as often it is the outfield players who win the prize, however he won them the tournament.

While he was probably the best goalkeeper in the tournament though, Allison and Ederson have been doing it for such a long time at a high level. You therefore cannot compare Martinez to them. 

Is the GOAT debate over for now?

The debate was created by people who do not know much about football. We did not have the chance to watch too much of Maradona. I was only one when he won the World Cup. We also did not get to watch too much of Pele, so people just seem to compare Messi and Ronaldo. 

Obviously Ronaldo has been incredible and the numbers don’t lie. However, Messi just brings something that we’ve never seen before. What he brings all round and what he does with the ball is unbelievable. He has everything and he is the perfect player. Him and Ronaldo were so difficult to play against in my career. I reckon though that 98% of people would say that Messi is the greatest of all time. 

Alexis Macallister had a great tournament. Could he be a target for Premier League clubs? 

For me, he could play for any top 6 club in the Premier League. He could go abroad and play but due to the money in the Premier League, I don’t think that will happen. 

Liverpool could target him but the transfer fee will be huge. It will be a huge amount of money, particularly if he moves between clubs in the Premier League. After Bellingham, he should be Liverpool’s top target. 

He’s only 23 and he’s not just been incredible for Argentina, but also Brighton as well. He will keep on growing and he will become even more confident after the World Cup win. I’d love Liverpool to sign him but I don’t think it will happen. 

How good of a signing would Juranovic be for Tottenham or Barcelona? 

He’s a fantastic player who has also been a standout in the World Cup. Barcelona needs a right-back, even though they are struggling financially. 

He would also be a good fit for Tottenham, as people are not too happy with Emerson. However, I do not know if Tottenham will want to spend that money in the middle of the season. 

How crucial would Jude Bellingham be for Liverpool?

For me, he is one of the best midfielders in the world already. He is box to box and tries to score goals as well. He presses and defends well too. He is only 19, so anyone who has doubts about him should see how he was England’s best player at the World Cup. He will be a great signing for Liverpool and I believe that they will sign him. It will be the best possible signing for them. 

Sofyan Abrabaat has also been linked with Liverpool. Thoughts on this?

He’s a great player who I like a lot. He had a great World Cup and has done really well for Fiorentina as well. As he only has a year left on his deal and he is not signing a new deal, the transfer fee is not going to be massive. He is cheaper than Bellingham and I believe Liverpool needs both. 

He is also a player who can give Fabinho competition, which is something that Fabinho needs. 

Are there any other players who stood out at the World Cup who Liverpool should be targeting? 

It probably won’t happen, but I love Saka. I believe that Liverpool should try to sign him. While Salah just signed a new deal, he could do with some competition from Saka. 

Bruno Guimarães is also a player who could do well at Liverpool. Even though he did not play much at the World Cup, he would be a great signing for them. The same for Youri Tielemans, who would be really good for Liverpool. They would both fit the system really well. 

Cody Gakpo as well would be good. He will play for a top team, however I don’t believe he is someone that Liverpool currently need. Liverpool need to focus more on the midfield, so Guimaraes or Tielemans would be better. 

It is unrealistic to assume that Liverpool can sign Mbappe, so the reality is they should go for players like Amrabaat and Tielemans. 

I also think they should sign Kudus. He can play on the right, in midfield and upfront. He won’t be that expensive either. 

Would Enzo Fernandez be a good signing?

This won’t happen. I think he is world class at only 21. Playing for Argentina is one of the most difficult things in football due to the pressure of winning because of Messi. To do so well at a young age with that pressure is unbelievable. He will cost more than 100M so I don’t think Liverpool will sign him. 

What do Liverpool need to do to make it into the top 4 this season? 

They need to wake up and play at a similar intensity to what they have in previous seasons. It is the identity of the team and without it, they are left with gaps in the team and many teams can beat them. 

When they have that intensity, they can beat anybody and win every trophy as well. They also need to sign players. If they do not sign a good midfielder and cover for Diaz and Jota, they won’t make the top 4. 

Andy Robertson has played a lot less this season. Do you think he is still good enough or will Tsmikas take over from him? 

You cannot compare the two. Robertson is on another level, even though I really like Tsimikas. He is a fantastic back-up when Robertson is not doing so well. Robertson has only had four, five or six bad games over his time at Liverpool, so you can’t say that he’s finished. He is an unbelievable player, so if he’s fit he has to play. I believe that Klopp will feel the same too.

Could Newcastle sign Enzo Fernandez and how big of a signing would he be? 

Newcastle certainly have the money to sign him. His price tag will be a lot and I’m not sure if Newcastle will go and spend 100M in the January window. He can certainly be a target though in the summer. 

Since Eddie Howe has joined Newcastle, they have been very clever in the transfer window. I believe that this window,  they need two players who can play in the starting eleven, as it makes the team stronger and the squad stronger. If they continue like this, they will fight for a top 4 space. I believe that compared to Liverpool, Newcastle are more likely to sign Fernandez because they will spend the money. 

What do Newcastle need to do to secure a Champions League place? 

They have an advantage as they do not play in a European competition. I love the way they play also, which is at a really high intensity which is great to watch. They have more rest than other teams between games too. 

They need to sign someone and be sensible in January in order to strengthen the squad. If they do and if they play like they have one, they will get into the top 4. My doubt is that if they get unlucky with injuries or if they do not start as they finished off before the break, they could struggle. Other than that, I believe that they can do it. 

Where do the Newcastle fans rank in terms of the best you played in front of? 

Them and Liverpool were the best. In Liverpool and in Newcastle, they are cities where they just love football. To play at home for these clubs was just a different level to everyone else. 

Newcastle fans are amazing. I’m so happy for them now as it was tough for them under Mike Ashley- I saw it myself. They have gone through good moments and bad moments but they have always been there for the team. They deserve this. For away teams, it is probably the toughest place to go at the moment. 

How big of a statement would it be if Newcastle could sign Messi? 

I don’t think Eddie Howe will want Messi. He does not suit the high intensity style of play as he walks around the pitch too much. Eddie would not even consider having him. 

He is also close to breaking Dani Alves’ record to win the most trophies ever. I therefore think he may want to stay at PSG to try and break the record. There is no need for him to go to another country to win a trophy because he does not need to. I will be surprised if it happens. 

Christian Pulisic has been linked with Newcastle, would it be a good move? 

Pulisic is a good player, however he has had injury problems. He’s also been linked with Liverpool, and both teams should try to sign him on loan. He can play at Newcastle in place of Saint-Maximin who is injured a lot and also injury prone. For Liverpool, he also could play on the left for them while Diaz is injured. 

Is Ryan Fraser’s time at Newcastle over?

It depends on who comes in and if Saint-Maximin stays fit. It will be difficult for him to have any gametime if it is the case. I really like him, however if Newcastle keep growing and get Europe, they will want to sign bigger players. He is good though, however his future is probably away from Newcastle. 

What do Arsenal need to do to stay at the top of the Premier League?

They need to find a replacement for Jesus. This will be really tough and their problem is how much they want to spend. They’ve already missed out on Matheus Cunha who has gone to Wolves. There is talk of Vlahovic from Juventus, who is a great player however Juventus paid 70M for him so he will be expensive. 

There are strikers out there, so it depends on if Arsenal want to spend the money. If they do not bring a world class striker in, they will definitely not win the Premier League. Manchester City will catch them. 

If they had Jesus in the team, I would be confident that they would win the league. They should maybe look at getting someone in at least until the end of the season who fits the system. It’s just a huge blow and one of the worst injuries that Arsenal could have. 

Should Chelsea sign Cristiano Ronaldo?

People forget that Ronaldo is one of the best ever, however he is past his best now. He did not start for Portugal or Man United in the summer even. They signed Nkunku for next season who is young and a top player. However, they need someone for now. 

Ronaldo would be the wrong call though as he lacks intensity, does not fit the system and no longer suits the Premier League. The only good thing about the deal is he is able to bring in a lot of money in shirt sales and sponsors as he is the most known person in the world. Football wise though, it would not be a good move. 

Chelsea have also been linked with Moisis Caicedo. Would this be a good signing?

Caicedo is a fantastic player. Brighton are a really clever team with the way they got Cucarella, Mac Alliser and Caicedo. They got them for cheap and will sell them for a lot more. 

He is a good player but there are other options out there. Bennacer from Milan and Ambrabat would also be good signings and they will need them to replace Kante who is leaving on a free. Caicedo may also be able to do it too. Any of them would be an amazing signing. 

How much do you think Declan Rice is worth and where do you see him going? 

He is a player I like a lot, however because he is English, the price will be higher. This is because he will fill one of the English places in the squad. He is a top, tpp player though. He is strong, tall and good on the ball as well. He is good in both boxes for corners as well, both defensively and going forward. He is the best holding midfielder in the Premier League as well. 

West Ham could ask for 100M for him. I’m not sure which club will pay that though, so it will be tough for him. He certainly has the quality, however the problem is the price tag. 

How do you think Beale will do at Rangers? 

I knew him as a player and he was a top guy. He could do really well at Rangers and he knows the club well from when he was with Gerrard. 

He will have to make the team work well according to how he wants and he can certainly do that. I love him. It will be a tough task but I am sure the player will love him.

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