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Liverpool transfer links lead to only two explanations for summer ‘targets’



Liverpool’s transfer links only lead to two explanations for summer ‘targets

Liverpool have drawn up a long list of potential midfield signings, but are still tied to players who don’t fit their traditional profile

While we may be on the cusp of April, the knock-on effects of a mid-season World Cup mean Liverpool still have 12 Premier League games left at this late stage of the campaign and as a result, are yet to know whether they will participate or less to next year’s Champions League.

The Reds, who have struggled late this season, are in sixth place ahead of their home return to Man City on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, they are six points behind to make up for the top four.

But even though they are two games down against Tottenham Hotspur, who currently occupy bottom place in the Champions League, and host the Lilywhites at Anfield next month, they are still five points behind fifth-placed Newcastle United, despite completing a league double. the Magpies and have played the same number of games played. Add to this the fact that Brighton & Hove Albion will overtake Liverpool if they win their outstanding game, and the race for the top four remains at the forefront with the Reds’ hopes firmly on the line. As a result, Liverpool’s transfer planning may not be as developed as one would normally expect at this time of year, as club bosses draw up a long list of potential targets at the moment. is approaching summer. After all, not only are the Reds unable to secure potential signings in Champions League football, they still have to rely on the riches of qualifying for Europe’s elite club competition.

A midfield overhaul is Liverpool’s top priority this summer after spending the last year revamping their attack. With Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Juventus loanee Arthur Melo uncontracted beyond the end of the season and Fabinho soon joining Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara on the wrong side of 30, several newcomers will be needed in the engine – Chamber.

Jude Bellingham is well documented as the Reds’ number one target, while interest in Wolves’ Matheus Nunes is real. Meanwhile, they continue to be linked to Mason Mount amid his contract deadlock with Chelsea, with Football.London reporting Liverpool are leading the hunt for his signature if he moves forward.

In an ideal world, the trio could form Jürgen Klopp’s ‘perfect’ transfer company for the summer. Together they would have cost nearly £200m, but the three midfielders the Reds have been linked with certainly tick all the boxes at Liverpool and fit their preferred player profile.

However, the uncertainty at Anfield means they are not alone, as the list of potential targets in midfield is expected to be higher than usual at this stage of the season as the Reds head towards an important summer. “Expect a lot of transfers in the coming weeks,” warned Paul Gorst, ECHO correspondent for Liverpool FC, earlier this month. This is certainly true if you start adding up all the midfielders the Reds are still linked with.

But while Bellingham, Nunes and Mount would all fit Liverpool’s desired profile of talented young players who will only improve and still have resale value, the Reds have also been linked with a number of players you wouldn’t normally expect. consider.

Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski, Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic and Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot have all been linked at one time or another in recent weeks. Together they have expiring contracts, face the looming threat of relegation or have previously interested Liverpool bosses, so could be cheap alternatives to a Bellingham as a result.

However, Rabiot is the youngest of the quintet and will celebrate his 28th birthday next week. Zielinksi, Kovacic and Ward-Prowse will turn 29 by the end of the year, Brozovic will turn 31 in November and Kante is about to celebrate his 32nd birthday. In other words, the only way is to underperform when they hit their peaks. The Reds already have enough midfielders in these waters.

Traditionally, Liverpool do not sign such players. Klopp has signed 32 players since the start of his first full season at Anfield, with Ragnar Klavan, Alex Manninger, Adrian and Andy Lonergan the only ones over 30 when they joined the club. AKA, a £4.2m reserve centre-back and three reserve goalkeepers, two of whom have never kicked a ball for the club.

Virgil van Dijk, Xherdan Shaqiri, Thiago Alcantara and Arthur are the only other signings aged over 25 when signed by the Reds and even then three of them were 26, with the Spaniard being the exception at 29 years old. Admittedly, he is a rare exception to Liverpool’s transfer policy as they signed a world-class player for an initial fee of £20million.

Meanwhile, Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Ben Davies are the only 25-year-olds to make the squad. In other words, the Others were far from their peak when they arrived at Anfield. When the Reds sign a player, it’s almost always with a long-term future in mind for the club.

Conversely, when other clubs have signed older players, Klopp has publicly commented that it is only a short-term deal.

“Obviously it’s not a team built for the next 20 years because the players they’ve signed are for now, but for now it’s really good,” he would say of Manchester United ahead of Liverpool’s 7-0 thrashing of the Red Devils at the start of this year. month.

Meanwhile, as United vied with Man City to sign a veteran Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2021, he warned: “It’s not for me to judge. It’s about whether other clubs can do things like that, it’s clearly not a deal for the future”.We will have the benefit of that in three or four years, it will be for now and immediately when that happens.

“That’s how some clubs work obviously and that’s fine, but there must be other ways. One year later and two years later there must be a team, for us anyway. And also three years later.

“You need success. We thought it was great to be able to win trophies, but even with the best team in the world, it’s not possible every year. If this is not possible, it is still necessary to make sure to develop as a team and as a club.

“We did it and we do it. Everything else is really out of our hands. We’re watching it like all of you and we’ll see what happens.”

So what can we learn from such comments? Are such reports therefore incorrect and can we arguably dismiss them as ‘agent talk’ with the well known fact that Liverpool will be signing several midfielders this summer?

Or is the uncertainty at Anfield forcing the Reds to be less demanding, aiming their net further as they weigh options they hadn’t previously considered? Looking for a short-term raise while seeking a quick end to this transitional period, perhaps that opportunity for a point of view is what you need.

However, your gut would suggest that Liverpool stick to their template and will be looking for the likes of Bellingham, Nunes and Mount. Their offensive review, the signing of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo in the span of 12 months suggests the same, but whether that is possible without the offers of Champions League football remains to be seen. But with those three attacking signings coming out of nowhere, perhaps we should expect the unexpected as Anfield speculation continues. The Reds’ transfer pattern may make the image on the front of the box relatively clear, but for now we’ll wait and see which pieces of the puzzle go where.

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