With Ajax in town and ready to do battle under the famous Anfield lights, a lot of speculation and attention has been drawn in recent weeks to one player in particular, Perr Schuurs.
Schuurs, 20, has persistently been linked with a move to Liverpool in the January transfer window with Corriere Dello Sport reporting a bid of £27 million has been offered by the Reds to seal a move.
The need to bring in further central defensive reinforcements is increased massively due to the long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
It should be noted that this is an Italian publication claiming that an English side are in the works to sign a Dutch player, not exactly the strongest source of information.
Still, Schuurs does fit the profile in many regards for a typical potential target. He’s young, moderately cheap and Liverpool will have had more than one opportunity to get a first-hand look at the player.
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Liverpool did something similar with Takumi Minamino last season and it handed Jurgen Klopp and the Reds a major advantage in landing the Japanese international for just £7.25 million.
Like Minamino at RB Salzburg last term, Liverpool have been able to see Schuurs up close.
He faced Liverpool in Amsterdam last month, and will likely face-up against the champions of England at Anfield tonight.
Before 2019 was done, Liverpool had got into advanced talks to strike a deal with Salzburg for Minamino. They did so, according to The Guardian, as a result of the impression he made when faced up against Klopp and the coaches in those two games.
For Schuur, however, he is playing the Reds at exactly the worse time given Liverpool’s recent form.
Liverpool have failed to win any of their previous two fixtures and have just one win in their last four matches. Klopp and his players need a response and Ajax are the team next in their path.
Had Liverpool beaten Atalanta last week, qualification into the last-16 would have been confirmed. This would have enabled Klopp and his coaching staff to experiment with his team and watch Schuurs in action more observantly.
Instead, the onus is entirely on Liverpool getting a result and putting their recent woes behind them. Schuurs will be the last thing on the team or indeed Klopp’s mind this evening.
Facing a wounded Liverpool is a frightening proposition for any player. To do so when there is a greater emphasis on your own performance is the ultimate test.
Whether or not Schuur will sink or swim when thrown in at the deep end at Anfield this evening remains to be seen. Only time will tell.
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