Why the free agent market could be Liverpool’s transfer salvation

It’s looking like another quiet transfer window for Liverpool, with transfer funds looking in short supply due to COVID-19.

However, it’s clear that at least some reinforcements will be needed, even if the Reds need to get a bit creative.

The quality of free agents on the market this season is high and there are two Premier League players running out of contract who may be perfect short term solutions: Willian and Jan Vertonghen.

These players don’t necessarily fit in with the FSG plan but would be perfect in the short term.

Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during Tottenham Hotspur – Ajax NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM, LUXEMBURG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY BSR/SOCCRATES.

Of course, Liverpool do have history with moving for older players on a free contract. Kolo Toure and James Milner have served the club for multiple seasons as veterans. Willian may be an older player but his quality is beyond doubt.

With 11 goals and 8 assists in all competitions, he has more than proven his potency in attack.

This is not a one-off season either. The Brazilian has nog had a premier league season with fewer than 10 goal contributions since 2014/15.

His mobility also fits Klopp’s system perfectly. He has pace to burn and is also versatile, having lined up on both wings and in attacking midfield this season.

Willian and Tammy Abraham.
Willian might be in the twilight of his career but the financial side of this deal makes perfect sense. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

His requirement of a three-year contract may be longer than the Reds would like, but he’d be an able stopgap. He’d also be content with a rotational role in the side, as he has with Chelsea. It’s this sort of versatility that also makes Jan Vertonghen an attractive option in defence.

Like Willian, the big Belgian is versatile, capable in a back three and four as well as at left-back. He’d be a significant upgrade on the possibly departing Dejan Lovren. Despite his claims of being world-class, he’s rarely shown it.

Vertonghen, on the other hand, does have that sort of pedigree.

Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur controls a long ball beautifully. Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund, UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, 1st leg, Football, Wembley Stadium, London, UK – 13 Feb 2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ANDREW FOSKER/BPI/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK.

Given his age (33 years old) he’s not coming into be a starter, but as a rotational option, he’ll fit in well.

He brings experience and technical ability out of the backline. His ability to play on the left side of defence also means he could be a rotational option for Andrew Robertson.

He doesn’t have the pace or dynamism of the Scot but showed in last season’s champions league meeting with Borussia Dortmund, he’s very capable going forward.

Vertonghen
Vertonghen crossed for Son Heung-min to break the deadlock in the 46th minute, before volleying in a goal of his own to double the hosts’ lead. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY CATHERINE IVILL/GETTY IMAGES.

Neither of these men would have been options for the Reds usually. However, given these circumstances, they could well fill some of the gaps in the squad that certainly need filling.

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