Liverpool are reportedly back in for Julian Brandt, having failed to sign him in 2017. He’s a very different player now, however.
BILD make the claim, saying that the Reds can sign the German for as little as £21.5m – his release clause.
As explained by the Echo, Liverpool first tried to sign Brandt in 2017. Bayer Leverkusen turned them away, however, leaving Liverpool to sign Mo Salah.
That did work out, admittedly (Salah is quite good), but now Liverpool are supposedly back in for Brandt.
This is a very different Brandt, though. There shouldn’t be any fears that Jurgen Klopp is lining up a replacement for any potential outgoings to Real Madrid, for instance.
The arrival of Peter Bosz at Leverkusen has seen Brandt change. Formerly a winger, he’s now a central midfielder – and a very good one.
“I’ve seen a lot of games involving Julian,” Bosz explained. “During my time with Dortmund when we played against Bayer, in Leverkusen. Back then he was playing on the wing, but I saw him as a midfielder.”
It’s a bold move, considering Brandt was an experienced German international playing from the wing. The new-and-improved player likes the change, though.
“I’ve got a more direct movement towards goal from the centre,” he said. “You don’t have to come inside to get into the game, you’re already in the middle of it all.”
But it will change Liverpool’s thinking. He’s no longer ‘just’ a winger. In fact, you’d have to revert him back from his new position – one he enjoys – if that’s the plan. It’s far from ideal to do that.
So is Brandt the attacking midfielder that Liverpool have been craving? Well, it’s not as clear cut as that, either. Kai Havertz is the more advanced of Leverkusen’s midfield, with Brandt supporting his goals.
And with Jordan Henderson now looking to play a more advanced role, it’s a stacked area. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will both expect games in that role, too.
Brandt may be the ideal squad addition, though. A highly-rated 22-year-old who has found success in both wide and central positions? That’s right up Klopp’s alley.
Brandt is a different player and that needs to be considered. The interest is not as clear-cut as it once was – but Liverpool can certainly make that work.