Liverpool summer transfer targets: Thiago, Lewis & the players on Klopp's wish list
What do you get for the team that has everything?
That, though, does notstop the rumour mill from working, nor does it stop fans demanding new signings. What is it they say - to stand still is to go backwards?
Klopp has already suggested that the summer transfer window will be a quiet one at Anfield. The impact of Covid-19 will be felt by clubs across the world, and Liverpool are no different. With incomes falling and uncertainty remaining, fansshould not expect a huge spend from the Reds.
That is not to say they will do nothing, of course. Klopp has also hinted that, later in the window particularly, opportunities may present themselves as the financial situation becomes clearer.
"It's not that we don't think we cannot improve, even on a transfer basis," he told reporters last week."We just do what is possible for us and what we are able to do.
"We cannot buy just because other teams buy, we cannot buy because everybody wants us to. We can buy if we have the money for it, if we have the need for it, all that stuff. Then, we will be there.
"If one of these things is not there, then we will not. We will go again and will not use it as an excuse."
Depth has been perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to Liverpool, although Klopp and his staff are adamant that their squad is much stronger than many believe.
Certainly, in attacking areas there is a worrying drop-off in quality once you get beyondthe regular front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Divock Origi has achieved cult-hero status through his goals in big games, but had a low-key 2019-20 season, while Xherdan Shaqiri has barely played. Takumi Minamino, signed in January, is yet to make a major impact.
Whether Rhian Brewster or Harry Wilson, returning from loans at Swansea and Bournemouth respectively, can be first-team options remains to be seen. Brewster looks far likelier, for what it's worth, while it is yet unknown whether 17-year-old Harvey Elliott can play a greater role next season.
Liverpool wanted to add an attacker, pre-Covid. Timo Werner was identified as an ideal signing in that he could play in multiple positions across the forward line, but the Reds withdrew from the race to sign the Germany forward, paving the way for Chelsea to seal the deal.
Could an alternative be sourced? Liverpool have watched the likes ofLeon Bailey atBayer Leverkusenand Samuel Chukwueze of Villarrealin the past, while there have been some links with Wolves flierAdama Traore,too. None, though, look an ideal fit - certainly not in the Werner mould.
It would be no surprise to see Liverpool persist with Origi, ask more of Minamino and thrust Brewster into the squad next season, though recent links with Leicester starHarvey Barnesare intriguing. The England under-21 certainly has fans in the Reds' recruitment team.
The Spaininternational would certainly add class to Klopp's midfield options, though with the likes of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and rising star Curtis Jones all vying for places, Liverpool's need does not appear great.
Certainly less so than in defence, where Andy Robertson remains the only specialist senior left-back and where Dejan Lovren's likely exit will leave a gap atcentre-back. Liverpool like the look of Norwich'sJamal Lewis and have watchedLloyd Kellyof Bournemouth in the past.
Olympiacos'Konstantinos Tsimikasis another who has been scouted, while the likes ofRyan Sessegnon(Tottenham), Emerson Palmieri(Chelsea) andRaphael Guerreiro(Borussia Dortmund) were considered in the past.
Of course we talk about the impact of Covid-19 in terms of incomings, but it may also affected Liverpool's ability to sell players too - an area they have been particularly strong in, as it happens.
Xherdan Shaqiri, who has featured just once since January, is another who would appear surplus to requirements, and would attract interest from clubs across Europe.
Forgotten man Loris Karius is on his way out, with Hertha Berlin and Montpellier both in the hunt. Liverpool may also look to offload returning loanees Harry WilsonandMarko Grujic, though their initial plans to ask for more than £20m($26m) for each player may need revising.
Nathaniel Clyne has left on a free, and will be followed byAdam Lallana , who is set to join Brighton. The likes ofBen Woodburn,Sheyi Ojo,Nat PhillipsandHerbie Kane, too, will be available - either for loans or permanent moves.Yasser Larouci, the young left-back, will almost certainly leave too.
It is unlikely that we will see major changes to Liverpool's first-choice XI, with the only real question surrounding the make-up of Klopp's midfield.
Joe Gomez is the long-term partner for Virgil van Dijk, though Joel Matip's return to fitness will provide competition, while both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are certainties in midfield.
Whether Gini Wijnaldum, who is yet to sign a contract extension having entered his final year, remains is another matter. Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jones are all pushing hard for starting berths.
The front three, of course, continues to pick itself, as do the goalkeeper and full-backs, although it has been encouraging to see Neco Williams' emergence as cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool would notmind another one of those on the opposite flank!
Source : goal.com
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