A few of Rousing the Kop‘s columnists decided to choose a few players who they think Liverpool should sign this summer.
Liverpool have struggled this season with consistency. Very few people can effectively argue that when Jürgen Klopp has his first choice side on the pitch, the Reds look a first rate side.
Up until November last year, Liverpool were the team to watch. Top attacking displays were expected and although the defensive showings weren’t that of a title-winning side, there weren’t any life-threating issues.
Liverpool entered the New Year second on the log with a tremendous win over Manchester City on New Year’s Eve. Spirits were high but then Philippe Coutinho injured his ankle and Sadio Mané departed for the African Cup of Nations.
The opening two months of 2017 not only saw Liverpool drop out of the Champions League places in the Premier League but also eliminated from the FA Cup and the EFL Cup. It was a disastrous way to start the year.
Klopp failed to address issues in the squad during January but he has the chance to bolster the ranks in the summer and a few of Rousing the Kop’s columnists have taken the time to highlight three players who could make a difference next season for Liverpool.
Who does Damon Savenelli think would be a hit for the Reds?
I have chosen Julian Brandt as my number one transfer target. For those of you who do not know, Brandt currently plys his trade at Bayer Leverkusen who bought the German from the VFL Wolfsburg youth academy back in 2014.
Currently 20, Brandt plays on the left wing and has been capped for the German national team five teams.
Brandt is a young, promising German. I know what you are thinking: the perfect player for Jürgen Klopp.
With five goals and six assists across all competitions this year, Brandt is having a pretty decent year. But how would he fit into our team?
Considering the fact that Coutinho already has the left wing pretty much locked down, Brandt would either come in to a) provide backup to Coutinho as well as learn from the Brazilian or b) start on the left wing in a different formation.
If Klopp plans on changing the formation and Coutinho ends up playing behind the striker for instance, then maybe Brandt will start on the left wing.
Standing at 6 feet tall, Brandt also provides some height to our attack. With an attack mostly made up of short, quick, attackers, Brandt would offer a different kind of attacking player.
Although we have been linked with the likes of Douglas Costa and Inaki Williams, I believe that Julian Brandt is the most realistic transfer target for the left wing.
A specific price has yet to be given for the German but I would be surprised if it exceeded £25 million.
Brandt joins a long list of young, promising German players. Brandt would be joining an already significant contingent of Germans at Liverpool with Can, Karuis, and obviously Klopp.
I think Brandt would be a very decent addition to our squad, and I only hope that he is sporting the red and white of Liverpool by the end of the summer.
Who does Michael Baddeley think Liverpool should invest in?
For a number of years now Virgil Van Dijk has been the heart of the defence for whichever team he has played for.
Before joining Southampton in 2015 he spent two seasons with Celtic. In those two seasons, they won back-to-back league titles and he was named in the SPL’s ‘Team of the season’ both times.
Since joining the Saints, he has marshalled their defence at a very high level which has ultimately led to a number of top clubs across Europe registering their interest in the big man.
The 6’4″ Dutchman possesses everything a modern-day centre-back wishes they had. He’s a leader, a top asset in both penalty areas, he reads the game exceptionally well, is comfortable on the ball and most importantly – he can defend when required to.
He might face a challenge adapting to Klopp’s style of play as he prefers to play the ball off the ground instead of on the floor. However, I can’t envisage that being too much of a problem for him.
Like Mané, many fans seem to want the player but are put off by the large fee being touted. But in my opinion, he is worth every penny of the £50 million Southampton want and he should be the one player that Liverpool throws everything at this summer.
Not only is he a ready-made, top-class centre-back with Premier League experience, but he is a leader amongst men and would be the perfect partner for Jöel Matip.
Who does Jack Hallows think would improve an inconsistent Liverpool?
He is 172cm and 141lbs of power and quality. The Guinean was a target for Liverpool – along with a host of other Premier League clubs – last summer but he opted for a move to RB Leipzig after being promised regular playing time and he’s flourished massively since.
Turning out 28 times this season for Leipzig, Keita has shown his versatility by playing across every single position of their central midfield with equal success, contributing 8 goals and assisting 7 while earning himself the tagline ‘the Kante of the Bundesliga.’
The Guinean international boasts an impressive 3.15 interceptions, 1.24 clearances, 1.43 key passes, 3.20 successful take ons and 1.72 tackles per game. Couple this with his 15 direct goal contributions and one can argue that he is the complete midfield package.
The Reds have lacked depth in their midfield at times this season, with injuries to practically the entirety of Klopp’s first choice three hindering the club’s progress at key parts of the season. Even if just for this reason alone, it makes sense to sign someone capable of providing depth and competition in each of the Reds midfield roles.
If Klopp were to secure the signature of Keita alongside a winger/forward, the club would boast at least two players capable of playing in each of the midfield three roles without sacrificing firepower up top – Henderson/Can, Wijnaldum/Keita, Lallana/Coutinho.
However, while capable of playing anywhere, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the midfielder slot into the ‘roaming 8’ position often filled by Wijnaldum. It’s here that his dynamism, creativity, reading of the game and composure on the ball would be best served for the Reds and help the player produce his best football. If the £26 million price tag being thrown around in the media is true, Klopp would be getting a bargain.