Opinion: Liverpool’s options this summer transfer window

Liverpool have had a strange season, but where do they need to strengthen going into the summer transfer window?

It’s one hell of a question and one that Jurgen Klopp needs to get right. In comparison to Manchester City and Chelsea, Liverpool’s squad depth is not on the same level.

However, given the ever-growing density of matches on the calendar, work needs to be done in the summer. Whether that’s on improving the starting XI or on the bench.

A centre-back

Leipzig’s French defender Ibrahima Konate (C) and Bremen’s German forward Niclas Fuellkrug vie for the ball during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) semi-final football match Werder Bremen v RB Leipzig in Bremen, northern Germany on April 30, 2021. (Photo by CATHRIN MUELLER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s hardly a shock, but a centre-back isn’t just desirable for Liverpool this summer, but a necessity. Selling Dejan Lovren and not bringing in a suitable replacement was a rare misstep by Liverpool’s recruitment department. Now that needs to be rectified in the transfer window.

Ozan Kabak and Ibrahima Konate are the names that look the most likely to come in. However, even with his larger price tag, Konate looks like the more attractive option. Despite Kabak’s promising performances for the club so far, Konate looks more suited to Jurgen Klopp’s system.

In Jurgen Klopp’s high line, you need two things, speed and aerial ability. While Kabak is excellent in the air, he doesn’t have the same type of recovery speed that Konate does.

This is where Gomez and van Dijk are so effective. Their ability to make up ground if an attacker is played in behind is vital to how Liverpool play. Kabak, unfortunately, doesn’t look like he can provide that to the same degree as Konate.

Replacing Gini Wijnaldum

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 21: Florian Neuhaus of Borussia Monchengladbach celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Augsburg at Borussia-Park on November 21, 2020 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The departure of the Dutch midfielder no matter what some detractors on social media say is a big blow. Even outside of his ability to beat the press, and supply the ball to his more attacking teammates, he’s a leader in the dressing room. So, what type of player do Liverpool need to bring in to replace the outgoing Dutchman?

With Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, Liverpool already have an experienced, top-class core. Therefore, we could see a younger midfielder come into the Reds engine room. One transfer target who stands out is Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder, Florian Neuhaus. The 24-year-old German international has been a shining light for the Foals under Marco Rose.

A more attacking option for the Reds midfield, he’s a ball-carrying midfielder, looking to break lines dribbling with the ball. His productivity isn’t bad either, boasting five goals and five assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances.

The long-elusive number nine

VERONA, ITALY – APRIL 20: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal from the penalty spot during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on April 20, 2021 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Liverpool, for what seems like forever, have been told they needed a striker. Now, it seems like they might, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane looking out of sorts. The question, however, is, does Jurgen Klopp look for someone similar to his current options? Someone with pace, looking to run behind the line, or go for a more traditional number nine?

For the former, Liverpool have been strongly linked with PSV striker Donyell Malen. The speedy Dutchman certainly has the goal return the Reds would be looking for in a striker, with 19 in the Eredivisie. Even more impressively, none of those goals were penalties. A further bonus is his ability to play on either wing.

If Liverpool are looking for a more traditional option, however, Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic is a stand-out. The young Serbian has 21 goals in just 36 appearances for La Viola.

Standing at over 6’2″ he’d also provide a more direct option for Liverpool to use if required. A player of his profile, being supplied by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson could be a terrifying prospect.

Whatever happens, Liverpool desperately need additions such as these in the summer transfer window. There may be questions over the finances that Liverpool have available, but FSG needs to make sure the right level of investment is made. If they fail to do so, there’s a real chance they could be left behind by City and Chelsea.

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