Scott Groom explains why Liverpool fans shouldn’t worry about Jürgen Klopp signing Xherdan Shaqiri and Moses Simon.
The transfer window and the incessant rumour mill that accompanies it are now both in full swing, and unsurprisingly Liverpool are at the very heart of it all.
While signings themselves only currently stand as Brazilian midfield enforcer Fabinho, the list of names being linked with a move to Merseyside grows longer with each passing day.
Goalkeepers are currently a very hot topic after Liverpool’s Champions League final heartache, as too are midfield options, with the arrival of Nabil Fékir imminent as the Reds have agreed on a fee with Lyon.
Yet two names have arisen as potential targets in recent days which have raised one or two eyebrows among Kopites and indeed football commentators around the world.
Those players are Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Gent’s Moses Simon. So many questions have been asked regarding these links and they all seem to be rather similar ones: Why is Klopp not after big, marquee signings and is instead chasing a total unknown in Moses Simon and a hit-and-miss winger from a relegated Premier League side?
As is always the case with transfers at Liverpool Football Club, unless you’re the biggest name in the game, your move will inevitably be shrouded in doubt. Is he good enough? Can he do it at a big club? Is he the player that’s going to take Liverpool to the next level?
The brutal reality of those questions is that no, not everyone will prove to be a success, and you can also never tell whether they will be or not. That’s just life.
However, without being given a chance, how will we ever know?
Let’s start with Moses Simon. From what we’ve been able to gather, he’s an exciting young prospect. Fast, strong, tricky and direct; all assets we know Klopp loves in wide attackers.
His end product, both in terms of finishing and crossing is hit and miss, but many have said that he can improve. Oh, and did I mention that his middle names are Daddy-Ajala?
It is thought that he would command a £10m fee, which if he goes on to fulfill his potential and become a commanding player, could prove to be a bargain in the current market.
And let’s face it, he’s not being brought in to immediately start ahead of Mané and Salah is he?
Klopp is trying to build a competitive squad, and judging from his options on the bench at times last season, a number of signings are needed. Daddy cool could be one of them, an exciting prospect for Klopp to tutor and use to his advantage.
Knowledge regarding Simon is limited, so let’s move onto those Shaqiri links. Believe it or not, the speedy Swiss international is still only 26-years-old even though it seems like he has been around since the dawn of time.
His time at Stoke has been one littered with inconsistency as common as the glittering moments of real quality that he’s provided during his time in The Potteries. This seems to sum up his entire career.
He was a bit-part player at Bayern Munich before seeking more first team football when he moved onto Inter in 2015 – but that didn’t work out so well so he found himself at Stoke.
There’s no denying that he has looked like a diamond in the rough with Stoke at times, but he has also looked like someone who has failed to reach his high potential. Maybe it’s because he’s playing at Stoke that these deficiencies have come to the fore though?
The fact is, once more, he’s a player with potential and physical attributes that will have caught Klopp’s eye. If Klopp could get the best out of him, wouldn’t he be a decent squad player to have when we need more attacking threat from the bench, or when we are in need of giving Salah or Mané a rest and can bring him in?
Not bad. And Liverpool fans shouldn’t write his chances off as soon as possible.
Look at other signings Klopp has made during his time at Anfield. Wijnaldum and Robertson, coming in from a below-par Newcastle and relegated Hull side respectively. Look at them now.
I scoffed at the £37m Liverpool paid for Sadio Mané as I thought he was a bright light in a dull Southampton team. Now I think that that’s a bargain.
And the king of all bargains, Mohamed Salah at only a few million more than Mané cost. Will anyone ever criticise the risk Klopp took on him?
The point being that, us football fans are fickle by nature. We are short-sighted and don’t like to give players much of a chance and are almost willing them to fail at times.
It’s true also that no manager has the Midas touch and that every signing they make is a brilliant one, but Klopp has a fantastic record and a way of working with players that they seem to respond to.
So let’s not speak too soon should Liverpool sign either Shaqiri or Simon, please?