Liverpool can kill two birds with one stone this summer by raiding Arsenal for promising youngsters Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka, who have a combined value of £72.9million.
The Reds need a new midfielder and a new forward this summer and while the headlines are all linking Jurgen Klopp with the likes of Youri Tielemans and Raphinha, the German could spend what he would on just one of those players to sign both Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock.
Arsenal threaten every summer to challenge for the top four again but last secured Champions League qualification when Leicester City won the Premier League in 2015/16 and it doesn’t look like they’re going to replicate that second-place finish any time soon.
With Liverpool one of the big dogs in the Premier League again after years of irrelevance, they need to use their status as a European heavyweight to strong-arm their league rivals into giving them what they want the way the likes of Bayern Munich do every year.
Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka might be Arsenal Academy graduates but given the chance to play in the Champions League and challenge for the Premier League alongside the likes of Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk, I’m confident they would have their heads turned.
Don’t get me wrong – Arsenal are a fantastic club and have one of the biggest fanbases in the world but with their current ownership, they aren’t going to challenge for top honours for several years to come.
For Liverpool, it represents a genuine opportunity to reinforce their squad in areas of the pitch that have need to be bolstered this summer.
Joe Willock showed the Reds this season why he is a good option to replace Wijnaldum, scoring a heartbreaking 95th-minute winner when Newcastle United left Anfield in April with a point after a classic smash and grab.
Bukayo Saka is a more obvious target for the Reds, with the incredible 19-year-old racking up 17 goal contributions for a very poor Arsenal side this season.
He’d be able to learn from Mohamed Salah but if Jurgen Klopp tweaked his tactics, he could start Saka on the right win while moving his Egyptian star to centre-forward where he had a lot of success during his debut season at the club.
That season, Salah scored 44 goals and also got 16 assists from splitting his playing time between right win and centre-forward. Saka would not just give Liverpool even more quality but he would also enable Klopp to change his tactics by moving Salah into a central position.
With the former AS Roma star approaching his 30s, Klopp could sign Saka and coach him to become Salah’s heir.