Jurgen Klopp’s message on summer additions in the upcoming transfer window has been consistent since the Premier League resumed and attention began to loom towards Liverpool’s Premier League title defence next season.
“This squad – just look at it. It is not a squad you have to change now and say: ‘OK, we need this position and this position.’ What we want is to create our transfers internally.”
That’s what Klopp told the Guardian at the end of June, committing to youth players graduating rather than scouting for fresh talent. His team selection on Saturday showed his belief in that strategy.
Against Burnley, Klopp was true to his word after gifting talented youngsters Neco Williams and Curtis Jones starts in what was vindication to his approach that if you are good enough you are indeed old enough.
However, even in the current climate following the impact of Covid-19, Liverpool will certainly not be keeping a blind eye on potential additions from outside the club.
The Reds are renowned for orchestrating shrewd deals and negotiating top transfers for cut-price fees and there is no reason why this still can’t be the case even this time around.
Liverpool hold all the cards
Both home-grown players are 22 and have bright futures ahead of them. Before the global pandemic and Norwich’s Premier League status, there was no reason that the club couldn’t command ambitious price tags for two of the countries upcoming talents.
With that said, following Norwich’s confirmed relegation from the Premier League prior to their 4-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday, this means if Liverpool were to accelerate their interest in the two mentioned players, they would hold all the cards.
In the full-back department, Lewis is at an age that means if he develops further, Liverpool could make a return on their investment further down the line and he would certainly serve as adequate cover at left-back for Andy Robertson.
Liverpool still do not have sufficient cover for the Scotsman and players who are not accustomed to that position such as James Milner and Neco Williams have had to cover if ever Robertson was unavailable.
Profile-wise, Lewis has been far less attacking than Robertson this season under Daniel Farke, who employs his full-backs in a more defensive manner compared with Liverpool.
He is comfortable carrying and dribbling the ball at a high volume but would seemingly need to adapt his game quite a lot to slot into how Klopp likes his team to play.
Cantwell meanwhile, could represent a like-for-like replacement for Adam Lallana who will depart the club at the end of the season. It could also help ease the pressure on Curtis Jones who has been deemed as the Lallana’s natural replacement.
While there is no concrete evidence of Liverpool showcasing an interest in the two players, history has shown that the club are accustomed to keeping an eye on the players of relegated clubs.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri and Robertson are just a few examples of how Liverpool have benefited on the misfortunes of other clubs and it will be interesting to see if lightning were to strike a fourth time.
Liverpool’s Premier League-winning XI typically picks itself, so the next step for the kings of England will be to bolster up their squad rotation options.
If a deal were to be done, Norwich will not be able to command the price tag as effectively as they could if they were still a Premier League team.
Also considering both players have proven they are far too talented to make the drop back to the Championship, it is likely that Norwich will take what they are offered and will not stand in the way of their player’s ambitions.
Instead, Liverpool could set a reasonable evaluation rather than go above it, and if this does not suit Klopp and the transfer committee then the club will simply look elsewhere.
The club’s recruitment team have already had extra time over the last few months to further analyse potential signings. There will be a long list of options.
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