Aaron Curry thinks Liverpool need to continue strengthening ahead of next season and here is why:
The transfer window officially opens today, and there is arguably still some work to be done to improve the squad to its fullest. In terms of this summer window alone, Liverpool have already captured the signatures of Loris Karius, Jöel Matip and Marko Grujić and, no sooner than Tuesday, Sadio Mané.
Most people with an association to the club believe that areas such as central-midfield, left-back and centre-back still need to be reinforced. Current positions which are filled by skipper Jordan Henderson, and infamous Spanish defender Alberto Moreno respectively. Performances don’t tend to reach a standard which could see us push for the title – and considering there will be no European football at Anfield next season, this is essential.
Rumours had emerged from various sources awhile back, that we were expected to submit a bid for the highly rated German, Mahmoud Dahoud. He currently plays for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach. Last season he made 38 appearances – 6 of these coming in the Champions League.
According to Squawka, last season, the 20-year-old contributed with 8 eight assists and 5 goals. This means he was directly involved in 13 of his teams goals. He created a further 31 chances, and completed 1059 passes with a respectable 84% of these being successful.
When compared to Jordan Henderson, Dahoud has contributed to 8 more goals, albeit in 12 more appearances than the Englishman. So by only scratching the surface, we can statistically see it could potentially be an upgrade worth investing in.
Of course there will be aspects where Henderson prevails – such as his mesmerising stamina that allows him to seemingly run for 90 minutes, without taking a breath. On the contrary, the simple fact that Dahoud is German seems to lend itself to an instant relationship with Jürgen Klopp. It would be the kind of relationship that has also seen Emre Can flourish.
Ironically, Dahoud and Can would no doubt partner each other if rumours were true. A central-midfield partnership of two, promising young Germans (nourished by Klopp’s man management skills) would certainly ensure we’re set for seasons to come.
Another position which needs major attention comes in the form of left full-back. Since his overtly abysmal performance in the Europa League final, Alberto Moreno has found himself under the cusp of harsh criticism from the fans. More so than usual. His inability to adapt and learn from his mistakes has left him out of favour with the majority of fans.
In 32 appearances in the Premier League last season, he scored 1 goal (against Stoke City) and contributed with 4 assists. These sort of statistics only feed the hypothesis that he should be trailed as more of an attacking player. Space can always be found in behind him, after attempting his inevitable runs forward.
All in all, the general consensus is that Moreno just doesn’t make the cut. This meant someone new needed to take his place. Names that have been in circulation in recent times are Raphaël Guerreiro, Ben Chilwell and Liverpool’s very own “Scouse Cafu”, Jon Flanagan.
Despite this I personally feel as though one person has been unfairly overlooked, and that player is 19-year-old Joe Gomez. He was signed by Brendan Rodgers from Charlton in the previous summer transfer window. For a fee of £3.5 million, it seemed to be the clichéd signing that we had come to expect; people were sceptical. This wasn’t the case.
He instantly settled into the side and to the surprise of probably everyone but Rodgers himself, he made his debut in the first game of the season – against Stoke, dropping Moreno to the bench. This would have been a sign of things to come, but unfortunately he picked up an injury.
In the worst possible scenario, just 7 games into his Anfield career, he injured his ACL on duty with the England Under-21’s, which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
Although he was signed for the soul purpose of being a centre-back, in an unusual switch by the former Northern-Irish manager he deployed him as a left-back. It worked. He adapted to the situation, and left very little to be criticised of him – unlike Moreno.
I would certainly be in favour of saving money for a potentially marquee signing, by starting the Englishman in the full-back position next season.
Although not as big an issue as the other positions, I still believe that since the departure of veteran Kolo Touré, we could do with another centre-back in order to solidify. By bringing in one more player, it would not only deepen the squad’s depth, but it would also cover us in case we become freakishly unlucky with injuries – which is actually likely if last season is any indication
One name on everybody’s lips is Borussia Dortmund’s, Neven Subotić. He publicly stated on his Facebook page that he had intentions of moving onto another club for next season. Much like our current manager, he played for Mainz before making the switch to Dortmund in 2008. This means a summer switch to Anfield should not be overshadowed.
He would certainly be a positive addition to the roster, with the 27-year-old bringing a healthy relationship with Klopp, along with bags of much needed experience to an inexperienced squad. He has been through many successes, such as winning consecutive Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12 after they completed the double in the latter season.
The Serbian international is a signing that few people could see negatives with. It boasts friendly competition within this position, alongside new recruit Jöel Matip, a reborn Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho (whose future is still unclear).
Making the right transfers in these positions would undoubtedly see them improve on last season’s bitter sweet, eight place finish. Without any European football, it lends itself to focusing on the Premier League and securing at least a top 4 finish, if not better.