Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Creating a Liverpool transfer strategy without Thiago

Thiago Alcantara is the name that is dominating headlines each time the phrase ‘Liverpool transfer updates’ is put into a Google search engine.

The Bayern Munich superstar has made it public knowledge that he wants to leave the Allianz Arena and more importantly that Liverpool is his preferred destination.

However, Liverpool are yet to make their interest known with little concrete evidence available at present to justify that a transfer could progress in the coming weeks.

The Mail recently reported that Liverpool have made ‘first official contact’ with Bayern although developments are in the very early stages.

It’s a transfer saga that is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. Liverpool will not pay anywhere close to the £27 million Bayern are holding out for because the player only has now year left on his current contract and this can raise complications.

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Let’s say the Reds choose to avoid moving for the 29-year-old and decide to rethink their options for next season.

Liverpool then all of a sudden may need a total re-think on their transfer strategies, and this may not involve committing the biggest part of the transfer budget towards yet another midfielder.

 

According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Liverpool do not have any transfer alternatives to Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara should a deal fail to materialise this summer.

Instead, Liverpool have been linked with a couple of attacking options such as Watford’s Ismaila Sarr and Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze.

Players with the ideal blend in talent and personality in underperforming teams typically come out on top at Liverpool which suggests why players such as Sarr certainly represent realistic options.

Another option that was suggested by The Mail, is Liverpool target Houssem Aouar who could leave Lyon this summer and could be a more viable and long-term option to Thiago.

Liverpool have proven that plausibility and cost are the determining factors behind any deal as showcased in Monday’s transfer that saw Tsimikas join the club from Olympiakos.

WATFORD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Ismaila Sarr of Watford celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on February 29, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Make the right moves

In other words, if Liverpool are being linked with high-profile names such as Thiago the likelihood is that given Jurgen Klopp’s repeated transfer stance this summer they will not be signed by the Reds.

This could mean once again Liverpool look to shop near the bottom end of the pyramid and potentially seek out value in relegated stars such as Sarr, David Brooks or Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Alternatively, Liverpool could still look to add another central defensive option following the departure of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg.

Cover in that particular department has seen links with players such as Aissa Mandi of Real Betis as well as Diego Carlos of Sevilla.

Both player’s likelihood of joining Liverpool could rest on whether Klopp deems the regular availability of senior central defensive stars such as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip efficient enough to cope with the physical demands of both the league and Europe again next season.

Ben White of Leeds United
during English Sky Bet Championship between Millwall and Leeds United at The Den , London, England on 05 October 2019
(Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Future stars available

Another plan for Liverpool is to effectively plan for the future with the bulk of Klopp’s Premier league-winning squad currently entering the peak years of their respective careers.

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White could be an ideal fit following on from a stellar Championship-winning season with Leeds United.

Respected journalist James Pearce revealed that White indeed has been the subject of interest for Liverpool for some time now and that if the price is right, it could represent a deal Brighton could condone sanctioning.

Speaking on The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, he said: “A number of names have been branded around but nothing concrete at this early stage.”

“A couple of interesting ones, Ben White is certainly someone Liverpool have watched previously he’s had a good season with Leeds.

“I know he has gone back to Brighton who have since made it publically clear that they are very reluctant to sell him though of course, I’m sure there is a price that they would be willing to do business.”

Brazilian wonderkid Talles Magno has also been dubbed as a potential option this summer.

Liverpool seem keen on the progress of the 18-year-old who has been described as the ‘next Neymar’. As of yet, however, there hasn’t been an official offer from the English, European and world champions.

Another route is to look at hidden gems who potentially have value where other big clubs are yet to notice such as Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen.

Red Bull Salzburg duo Patson Daka (24 goals) and Dominik Szoboszlai (12 goals, 18 assists) would also fit the bill and considering Liverpool’s fruitful relationship with the Austrian champions both players could be viable options.

Harvey Barnes is another name that has previously been mentioned as a viable option considering his age and impressive individual statistics.

What is even more important and perhaps the key message is that the club do not squander millions on a player that doesn’t add long-term value to the squad.

Liverpool’s regular XI is difficult to improve considering last season’s record-breaking campaign, this is why players such as Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho and Adama Traore are unrealistic options certainly this summer anyway.

Ranking of players mentioned in terms of likelihood and viability: Ismaila Sarr, Ben White, Leon Bailey, Diego Carlos, Samuel Chukwueze, David Brooks, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Houssem Aouar, Dominik Szoboszlai, Patson Daka, Harvey Barnes, Adama Traore, Jadon Sancho, Talles Magno, Kai Havertz.

Potentially signing two-three of the aforementioned stars and suddenly Liverpool’s fortunes ahead of their Premier League title defence certainly look very promising.

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