Liverpool have two real options this summer as they addressed their squad. They could make signings or promote youth – but which is more exciting?
We know that Liverpool are looking for squad options, rather than first-team additions this summer. David Ornstein of the BBC said that the Reds only really want a left-back as cover, and a ‘versatile attacker’.
While recent reports from the Echo say it’s even less than that. The left-back is ‘unlikely to be on the agenda’, while that versatile forward is only ‘tentatively on the agenda’.
Now, fans love signings. That’s just a simple fact of football – bringing in new talents creates a wonderful sense of optimism. What if he has the same impact that Mohamed Salah had?
It’s worth remembering that any new signing almost certainly wouldn’t have that impact. They’d be a squad player at best, hoping to get more minutes than Xherdan Shaqiri ended up with. The Swiss arrived as cover but found his appearances limited over the second half of the season.
Still, ready-made players do feel like the best way to close the gap on Manchester City and their super-squad. As small as that gap is.
But the most exciting facet of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp is the development of players, be that signings or youth. Principle among those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, of course.
‘The Scouser in the team’ has developed into one of the best right-backs in the world over just two years. His rise has been, arguably, one of the greatest sights of this current team. The idea of Klopp doing that with others, be it Rhian Brewster up top, or potentially Harry Wilson, is certainly exciting.
But they’re still shrouded with doubt. Both may be talented, but they’re hardly 23-goal Nicolas Pepe, are they? Wilson has played Championship standard, while Brewster is yet to play senior football.
And so it’s something that requires an awful lot of faith in Klopp. Even more than that, it relies on the hope that things click and Liverpool do improve.
But surely, if it does, the development of this youth is a more exciting prospect that some squad signings? It allows us to see Klopp and Liverpool at their best.