There are probably numerous places on the Internet where one can find “Potential Liverpool Targets” or players that Liverpool are generally linked with. But they’re usually unrealistic wish-list players assuming that Liverpool would spend £50m plus on a player like Marco Reus or a Pierre Emmerick Aubameyang. What I want to do in this piece is: Find our weak spots as a team and give a realistic example of a player that is in the Klopp mould or feasible to come in to an injury stricken Liverpool team. Some of the positions may seem odd but I’ll give reasoning as to why I have chosen that position or even the recommended player. No outgoing players. All incoming.
RB: For me, Clyne is Liverpool’s most underrated player. A consistent and versatile defender who doesn’t seem to be injured ever and has solidified his place within Klopp’s starting 11. Genuinely (all bias aside) one of the best RB’s in the country and has been for the last 2-3 years. The problem here is not Clyne. It is who is behind him, or rather, who isn’t. Clyne does not seem to have a potential replacement. He is the only reputable player that Liverpool has for that slot and yes, Henderson and Milner could both play RB. As could Emre Can, Joel Matip or even Dejan Lovren but that isn’t the point. Liverpool lack a 2nd RB. A valid competitor to help push and drive Clyne in training or rival him for the starting 11 spot. Trent Alexander-Arnold has been putting in solid performances during the Capital One Cup and FA Cup games but is he worth risking in the big games if Clyne was to be injured or suspended? It wouldn’t be the worst thing to do but one slip up could have costly repercussions, for both Liverpool and TAA’s career moving forward.
Recommendation: I would love to say Danilo from Real Madrid here but it just wouldn’t happen. Maybe the lure of Klopp and potentially Champions League football could bring the Brazilian to Anfield but Real Madrid are under a transfer embargo at the moment and would not want to lose a player that they could not replace. Especially one that set them back £30m last year. The player that I think would fit into Klopp’s mould would be Mario Gaspar of Villarreal. The 26-year-old Spanish RB has played nearly 200 games for Villarreal but is almost a jack-of-all-trades player. Reminds me of Azpilacueta from Chelsea. Not a player that constantly makes headlines for the right or wrong reasons, just comes in, does his job without complaining. A professional of the sport. At 26, he is going to be hitting his peak and that, for me, is the best time for Klopp to swoop in and take him under his wing. Teach him the ways while he is at his physical and mental peak. Would he demand a huge fee? Plausible that he won’t so, in my opinion, it would be worth gambling on an experienced versatile player who is quick, strong and has a good eye for both a shot and pass.
LB: Milner and Moreno. Those are the 2 choices Liverpool have at LB and it doesn’t fill a Liverpool fan with confidence. Milner, to be fair to him, is not a LB by trade but has made that position his own but could he be used further up the pitch to a better capacity? Yes , most certainly. Moreno has been in and out of the team since the Europa League horror show he had back in May but the occasional performance against Palace can fill one with optimism with regards to the young Spaniard. It can be argued that Liverpool have lacked a LB since Riise left the club and that stands true to this day.
Recommendation. Sead Kolasinac from Schalke 04. The Bosnian has been linked to Liverpool for while now and would become available on a free come the end of the season as his contract is on the verge of expiring. He would fit the type of player that Klopp would want at Liverpool with him being a strong powerful individual who bombs up and down the pitch, full of stamina. Only 23 as well so plenty of time for him to become an Anfield Legend if he joined and became a success. Joel Matip joined from Schalke so maybe Liverpool have some pulling power for him to join?
CDM: Lucas seems to be Liverpool’s only CDM at this current moment in time but captain Jordan Henderson and Emre Can can also play at CDM. The only problem here is…both are not CDM’s. Both powerful Box to Box players are restricted when playing the defensive role and can be exploited when they push forward which comes naturally to both players. As Lucas looks set to leave in the Summer and does not really feature much, Liverpool would lack a CDM.
Recommendation: Geoffery Kondogbia from Inter Milan. The young Frenchman has struggled to make himself part of the Inter Milan team since joining in 2015 and has been relegated to the bench in recent times. A strong deep-lying play maker and very sturdy in his tackles, he could be the missing piece of Klopp’s Liverpool defensive problems. Due to being a recent acquisition, the price could be high but Klopp has shown that he is willing to spend big if it gets him the player he needs.
LW: Liverpool’s attacking prowess is very well documented. The fluidity in which Mane, Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana and co combine is just mesmerising at times. The predicament falls when someone gets injured, as Liverpool found out the hard way. Coutinho’s injury has led to Liverpool stuttering somewhat up front and injuries to players who could come in to replace him such as Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings, have hindered Liverpool a great deal. When the attack is all fit and ready, it is unstoppable as the Premier League has discovered. But the guarantee of them being fit is not a given.
Recommendation: Mohamed Salah from Roma. Salah is a name that Liverpool fans are familiar with but never came to anything. Close to signing him a few seasons ago and then Chelsea signed from right under our noses. No impact at Chelsea and was sold to Roma where he has flourished a great deal. The “Egyptian Messi”has scored 23 goals in 48 games for the Italian team. Quick, agile and skillful. Something Liverpool only have one of in Sadio Mane but that will leave for a month when Sadio goes to represent his home nation of Senegal in the AFCON. Again, maybe a tad pricey but what a player that Liverpool would get.
ST: Liverpool have 3 Strikers at the moment and 2 of those are injured. Out of Origi, Sturridge and Ings, only Origi is fit. Liverpool have been utilising Firmino up top at the moment but it would be nice to have a back up of an actual striker, with Firmino being a natural CAM. This would probably come at the expense of one of the current strikers leaving but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Recommendation: Javier Hernandez of Bayer Leverkusen. The 26-year-old Mexican striker has been linked to Liverpool since his move to Bayer Leverkusen from Manchester United. 22 goals in 41 games is an impressive ratio for any striker in the top 5 European League’s but it is his movement and dedication to the ball that puts him top of my list. Yes, there are more obvious unrealistic targets like Dybala, Aubameyang and Higuain but Hernandez is such a versatile player and would be relatively cheap as well to acquire (£20m being cheap in this era of course).
The possibilities are endless. Do I think any of these signings will occur? Probably not but it’s always nice to dream, isn’t it? Klopp will most likely use youngsters which has always been a method of his but he is well aware of the money that Liverpool have and how far FSG are willing to back him.