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Liverpool double transfer may hinge on two big decisions as Jürgen Klopp ‘wants’ $85m duo



Liverpool’s dual transfer could hingeon two big decisions as Jürgen Klopp ‘wants’ $85m duo

Liverpool are reportedly interested in an $85m double transfer for an Ajax duo. Jürgen Klopp may be justifiably enthusiastic, but there’s more to it.

While the midfield is Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp top priority in the summer transfer market, Jürgen Klopp may need to rethink other areas of the pitch at some point.

However, a lot will depend on the departure. In midfield, Jude Bellingham is a clear target and several stars will be gone at the end of their contracts meaning places are opening up in the squad. In other places, however, things are not yet settled.

Sky Deutschland report (translated by Voetbal Primeur) that Edson Álvarez and Jurriën Timber are on Liverpool’s summer shortlist. The Ajax duo are extremely highly rated and both have attracted interest in the past.

A $53m (£44m/€50m) bid for Álvarez was rejected at Chelsea in September and interest in him is set to grow further, especially as Ajax are a club which will sell for the right price.

Their reluctance to lose Álvarez last year was partly due to the delay in which Chelsea came to the table with an offer – so close to the transfer deadline when it would have been nearly impossible to replace him. Manchester United, meanwhile, loved Timber but didn’t want to leave the Netherlands too early in his career and made the wise decision to continue his development in the Netherlands.

25-year-old Álvarez is an excellent midfielder, with FBref interestingly placing their most similar player to ex-Liverpool player Marko Grujić.

The Mexican is in the 91st percentile for progressive passes with a very high success rate of 88%. He also ranks in the 99th percentile for aerial duels won.

Álvarez is primarily a defensive midfielder who can also play as a centre-back which could be useful for Liverpool, although he is still in the 91st percentile for throw-ins in the opposition box compared to other midfielders field of the “next eight” leagues (the eight divisions ranked just below the traditional Big Five). Wood, meanwhile, is also the one that dominates statistically. The number of blocks, clearances and aerial duels he wins are low, but that’s probably because he’s playing on a dominant team where he doesn’t have to do those things often.

He is clearly very good in attack. He is in the 99th percentile for progressive passing and progressive dribbling (again compared to players in his place in the ‘next eight’ leagues), both of which are crucial traits for Klopp.

With the rise of Stefan Bajčetić and Bellingham being the top midfield priority for Liverpool, there may be no need to sign another number six unless someone like Fabinho moves on. Likewise, there could be no room for another defender at Anfield until 2024 when the Cameroonian’s contract expires, unless Joel Matip is gone – a possibility but not a certainty – and others potential destinations could be more accessible.

It’s clear that Álvarez and Timber have qualities that should appeal to Liverpool. What is less clear, however, is whether signatures are required at their specific positions.