With the transfer window set to open in just under a week, we speak to GOAL’s Melissa Reddy about the forthcoming transfer window.
With Mohamed Salah commanding a record transfer fee, many are suggesting Liverpool will break that record again this summer. However, with the Van Dijk and Keita deals proving difficult to complete, what other players are out there that Liverpool could turn to that would demand a similar fee?
With Liverpool doing business in a much higher bracket this summer, there was always the expectation that deals would be harder to get over the line – something Jurgen Klopp himself referenced at the end of last season.
In terms of alternatives, what a player would cost is not as important as how the player would contribute to the manager’s vision. The Reds are operating in a very precise way and that is evident with all their targets, who are stylistic matches that will elevate the quality and competition in the squad.
The alternatives would either be in a similar mould to Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita, or players with contrasting strengths that Liverpool feel will also help them kick on.
The scramble for centre-backs this summer will make that position a tricky one to sort for many top clubs, but Kalidou Koulibaly would be a good option and has been tracked while a player like Leon Goretzka could be a fallback in midfield.
Do you see Liverpool signing another attacking midfielder player/wide option despite the signing of Salah?
As it stands, I can see such a player only being added as a bonus to supplement the main business if a good deal can be done. If Liverpool can’t get one of their priorities over the line, however, there may be a tweaking of their thinking.
Many are calling for a high-profile left back to be signed this summer, but do you think Klopp would be doing the right thing by keeping faith in James Milner in that position for another season?
Personally, I would like Liverpool to recruit a quality left-back to continue the trend of increasing competition and fortifying the squad.
At the very least, they should bring in a player who will be trusted to cover for James Milner that can provide a mix of solidity and attacking ambition.
The 31-year-old did well last term despite being limited in the role, with Klopp highlighting his intelligence in reading situations and commending his professionalism.
Do you think keeping all three of Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius and Danny Ward at the club next season could actually work?
In terms of depth, it is a very strong position for Liverpool to be in as the manager would be comfortable if any of the three had to go in goal for a game.
The signing of Loris Karius pushed Simon Mignolet last season and the return of Danny Ward would definitely enhance the competition in the department.
However, I would like to see the latter go back to Huddersfield on loan and continue his advancement by starting in the Premier League every week.
Do you think Liverpool and Emre Can will eventually sort out a new contract for the German? If they don’t, is entering the final year of his current deal likely to end in him leaving the club next season?
There is a desire from both sides to come to a resolution with the player happy at Liverpool and Klopp often talking him up quite highly. However, the midfielder wants guarantees over his role and status at the club.
If the Reds sign Keita, the fight for places in the centre of the pitch will only escalate as Philippe Coutinho is also set to drop deeper, so it would be hard to assure him he’d regularly be nailed on for the first XI.
Yes, it is a possibility that he could depart as a free next summer, but that would be dependent on how involved and influential he is in 2017-18.
What do you think the future holds for Divock Origi? This time last year, many were hugely excited about his Liverpool future after an impressive finish to the 2015/16 season, but at times he seemed to struggle last season.
He likes to exploit space and run at his markers so largely faltered against deep defences, while Klopp put much of the Belgian’s inconsistency down to a lack of rhythm.
With Liverpool sharpening their attack, Origi will have to rewind to the player who proved nightmarish for Borussia Dortmund and Everton to deal with if he has designs on featuring regularly.
The 22-year-old has made 36 starts in total for the club across two seasons and has bagged 21 goals as a Red, which is impressive, but ultimately needs to raise and then maintain high performance levels.
Many are unimpressed with the fact that the club don’t seem to be on the look-out for a high profile striker, but would you say people still underestimate the brilliant work that Roberto Firmino does in that role?
Undoubtedly! He is an all-action focal point that gets goals, assists, engages in quality chance creation, revels in the counter-press, makes intelligent runs for his team-mates to benefit from and is as excellent off the ball as he is in possession.
What do you think Klopp has in mind for Mohamed Salah’s main position at Liverpool?
I suspect he will play him on the right, with Sadio Mane on the left and also demand fluidity. Liverpool can vary their attacks if the duo switch in-game, allowing them to have greater inside and outside creation.
How many more players do you think Liverpool will sign, with deals for Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah already completed?
I predict there will be five or six in total as things stand.
Can you see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn playing a more regular part in the first team next season? Klopp has mentioned that the next step for them is to really compete for a spot in the first XI.
There will be more games and thus more opportunities, especially for the former who is further along in his development.
Trent Alexander-Arnold told me in an interview that he is not content at just being in and around the first team, he knows he has to push to be a genuine option for the manager and intends to better himself and do just that.
How many centre back options do you think Klopp would like to have at the club next season? We know Lucas could leave, but are the likes of Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez likely be at the club next season?
Four would be the minimum, so I expect Ragnar Klavan to remain, while a good loan offer would be considered for Joe Gomez.
Do you think many underestimate the importance of Jordan Henderson in the number 6 role for Liverpool? It’s easy to forget how well he performed in the first half of the season.
The club’s backroom staff and several players have already emphasised how big a miss Liverpool’s “motor” was. Jordan Henderson was the controller in possession and organiser when the ball was lost – he dictated the team’s tempo and was the base of their assertive approach.
In terms of outgoings, Liverpool will obviously be looking to raise a significant figure this summer, similarly to last year, with interest in Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno for example, will the club be looking to maximise profits on those players?
The Reds took a hardline stance in terms of exits last summer and I expect that to continue, especially given the bloated state of the market.
Would Klopp be happy to keep Daniel Sturridge at the club next season?
The England international is an elite finisher and I think any manager would like to count his decisiveness in the final third among their options.
However, I cannot see Daniel Sturridge being in Klopp’s first-choice starting XI or being content with that, so the future of the forward will ultimately be decided by the kind of offers that come in for him.
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