The manner of Liverpool’s Champions League exit this week has hardened Jurgen Klopp’s position that the Reds must sign Jude Bellingham.
That’s according to journalist Christian Falk. Writing for CaughtOffside today, Falk reported that Klopp now sees signing Bellingham as an absolute necessity.
The Liverpool boss is said to be ready to push other targets down the pecking order until the 19-year-old is brought to Anfield. Other targets such as Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.
“I heard that because of Liverpool’s experience in the Champions League this term, Jurgen Klopp made his thoughts very clear: Bellingham is now the top, top target,” writes Falk. “He said that every other transfer should be pushed down the pecking order; names like Randal Kolo Muani aren’t as important at the moment – there’s just one name and this is Bellingham.
“Klopp needs him in the midfield. Though they can see the difficulty in completing such a deal because Real Madrid are moving as well. But there is some good news for Liverpool, as Madrid are also interested in Josko Gvardiol and it’s not realistic for them to pay for both as Gvardiol would be an over €100m [£87.5m] deal, as would Bellingham.”
Liverpool shown up on the big stage
If it wasn’t already absolutely clear to Liverpool, then Wednesday night should have hammered it home: The Reds midfield is currently holding them back.
There were plenty of issues with Liverpool’s 6-2 aggregate loss to Real Madrid, not all of them relevant to this fact. But the fact is that the Reds headed to the Santiago Bernabeu needing at least three goals with a midfield of Fabinho and James Milner.
That’s nothing against either of those players. Both have been magnificent servants for Liverpool. They’ll go down as fine, fine players in the club’s history. Perhaps even legends.
But when you look at what the opposition were packing, the difference really is stark. Luka Modric is the same age as Milner, but is in a different class to the former Leeds man. Toni Kroos is one of the finest midfielders of his generation too, and Eduardo Camavinga has the potential to be one of the finest of his.
The sight of former Liverpool target Aurelien Tchouameni consigned to the bench must have been a frustrating one for Klopp as well.
As a result, Liverpool were predictably overrun in the middle of the pitch. The Reds still have quality players in the squad at either end of the pitch, but their soft centre is undermining that a little. Bringing in the ‘world-class’ Bellingham would remedy that fairly quickly. No wonder Jurgen is desperate to sign him.
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