Liverpool could end up with just Takumi Minamino as a backup forward this summer, according to reports. The Reds may have to take a chance.
This comes from the Athletic. They ran a piece on Wednesday that outlines what Liverpool still need in the transfer window. Their conclusion? A new forward.
That’s because both Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi could leave this month. Both are available for the right price, with Liverpool open to sales.
But in doing so, Takumi Minamino could end up being the sole backup forward at the club. Harvey Elliott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, two players who can play across the front line, are apparently seen as midfielders right now.
That means that should one of the first-choice four get injured, Minamino would be the only player in position to step into Liverpool’s lineup.
Is Minamino the only backup?
Now, Elliott and Oxlade-Chamberlain could both move into the forward positions. It sounds as though Liverpool don’t really want to have to do that, however.
And neither player is a genuine goal-threat at this level, either. That leaves Liverpool quite light.
One injury to either Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino or Diogo Jota wouldn’t be too bad. Two would create problems, though, as then Minamino would need to step in.
Although, it won’t just be an injury or two that causes that. AFCON 2021 happens from January through early February. There are only two Premier League fixtures then but Liverpool must cover Salah and Mane, who will be at the tournament.
So Liverpool are running a risk if they sell both Origi and Shaqiri. Even a small injury crisis could leave them quite dependent on Minamino.
That’s not to say the 26-year-old couldn’t possibly play well but he’s still an unknown quantity, despite arriving for £7.25m over 18 months ago. You’d rather have more options just in case he can’t click into the team.
So should Liverpool hold off on selling forwards until they have another? That seems like the smart move, though neither Origi nor Shaqiri will be worth much in a year.
Selling now would make the most money, even if it would leave the Reds light going forward. The next two weeks should tell us where their priorities lie with that.