Liverpool have proven they are masters of the dark arts when it comes to finding hidden gems in the transfer market.
Rather than splurge out outrageous sums of cash for some of the continents hottest prospects, Liverpool have developed key principles that have meticulously enabled the club to identify hidden talent that has culminated in the club’s return to the pinnacle of European football.
It, therefore, makes sense that FSG and Liverpool’s transfer team will already be drawing out plans for the upcoming summer window and there are a few interesting free agents that could be considered.
There are a few interesting names the Reds could look at, here are three who may add some firepower Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions-elect next season…
Bournemouth forward Ryan Fraser could be an ideal replacement should Xherdan Shaqiri depart in the summer.
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Respected journalist James Pearce recently reported that the club had rejected loan offers from Sevilla and Roma but the club could listen to offers in the region of £25m in the summer window.
The 25-year-old’s form this season has not been so impressive as the last following standoffs with contract talks. Fraser has just goal and three assists for Eddie Howe’s team this campaign.
However, Fraser’s return last season showcases a player who could thrive when surrounded by the necessary talent to thrive after scoring seven goals and providing 14 assists a year ago.
On a free transfer and still a relatively young age, Fraser could be the perfect like-for-like replacement should Shaqiri choose to pursue a move away from Anfield.
Napoli talisman Dires Mertens is another player who will be a free agent come the summer and is someone who attracted serious interest from Premier League clubs in the January window according to reports from The Times.
However, Jurgen Klopp has shown a reluctance to prioritise players in the latter stages of their career and at 32, Mertens could be considered a player potentially on the decline.
Despite this, the talented Belgian has showcased his worth on numerous appearances against the European champions over the past two seasons. He has scored 10 goals already this season – two of them against the Reds – and last year struck 16 times and provided 13 assists.
Operating as a front-man as well as out-wide, Mertens could prove to be a cheaper and more viable option than the reported target and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner who will likely command a gargantuan fee to lure to Anfield.
Providing wage demands are reasonable, adding Mertens on a free transfer could prove to be a shrewd addition for the imminent English champions.
Perhaps the most unlikely addition, however, Mario Gotze is a player that Klopp will know better than most.
At just 27, the World Cup-winning playmaker is still in the peak years of his career and is still yet to replicate the devestating form that took the globe by storm under his former Borussia Dortmund manager.
In this scenario, the Reds hold all the cards. The Reds know that Gotze would be fortunate to earn a move to a calibre of a club such as Liverpool following a season that has been riddled by injury.
Despite this, he has scored three goals in 11 Bundesliga games this season, with his opportunities limited.
Gotze is still yet to leave the Bundesliga and the prospect of a challenge abroad to reignite his career could be the definitive factor that finally ends his long-lasting love affair with Dortmund.