3 positions Liverpool need to address in the summer | Premier League 2019-20
- We take a look at three positions the runaway Premier League leaders could address in the summer, as they look to bolster their ranks
In what has been a record-breaking season for Liverpool, as they currently find themselves within two wins of mathematically sealing the Premier League title, Jurgen Klopp's squad have had to tackle as many as six different competitions since August last year.
While the Reds have looked unstoppable on their way to a richly deserved league title after 30 years, they have somehow managed to fall short in other competitions, more specifically in the domestic cups, as the German manager has been unwilling to play full-strength squads in the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.
One glance of the Premier League table would indicate that there is a gulf of class between Liverpool's squad and the rest of the clubs in the country, but the fact of the matter is that the Reds do not possess a squad that is capable of competing on all fronts. Reigning champions Manchester City, on the other hand, have a far deeper squad despite what the league standings may suggest currently and Klopp might have to splash the cash in the summer to build a dynasty in the red half of Merseyside.
In recent seasons, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, in particular, have played more often than not when fit and truth be told, Liverpool have been extremely lucky when it comes to the fitness of the feared trio over the years.
The Reds' eventual coronation, whenever that may be, the TV money they will inturn incur at the end of the season coupled with a record-breaking kit deal with Nike indicates that Klopp will have a war chest waiting to be used in the summer, as reports have suggested that the German will not refrain from spending big if the right player were to arrive.
With several first-team players set to depart at the end of the season and Liverpool in need of new players -- with Takumi Minamino the only new addition to the squad since the summer of 2018 -- here are 3 positions the Reds could address in the summer, as they aim to add to their squad and get even stronger for the 2020-21 campaign.
#1 An attacker to deputize and provide competition for the front three
While Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have banged in the goals in recent seasons to bail Liverpool out of tricky situations time and again, there is a consensus that Roberto Firmino brings the best out of the African duo, as he sacrifices himself in that false #9 role, allowing his teammates to thrive off the freedom they get.
That said, signing another quality attacker could do a world of good for each of them, as it would ease the goalscoring burden on their shoulders. While Liverpool do have Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri to call upon, the Belgian international is not of the level required to lead the line for the Reds and the Swissman has been hampered by injuries and inconsistency in his time at the club so far.
RB Leipzig's Timo Werner has been heavily linked with the club, with the German international waxing lyrical about compatriot Jurgen Klopp and referring to the Reds as the best club in the world. The 23-year-old has a release clause believed to be in the region of £52 million and there is a growing belief that Liverpool will secure his signature between now and the end of the season.
If Werner were to sign, he would provide cover and competition to the current front three, allowing Klopp to rotate his attackers and keep them fresh for the entirety of the season. Additionally, the drop of in quality between the usual front three and Werner wouldn't be considerable, which is currently the case when Origi deputizes for the trio.
#2 Depth in central defence
With just over a year left on his contract, the forthcoming summer is the best chance for Liverpool to move Dejan Lovren on for a reasonable transfer fee, which looks increasingly likely to happen. While Virgil van Dijk is the best in the business when it comes to central defenders, the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, who are fantastic when fit, have struggled with injuries in recent seasons, indicating that Liverpool need another player in the heart of the backline.
A club operating at the level Liverpool are currently would require four reliable central defenders and the Reds are sure to be in the market to replace the Croatian, who was subject to a move to the Serie A last summer, with Roma and AC Milan battling it out for his signature at the time. While Italy remains Lovren's likely destination, the Reds have been linked with Brighton & Hove Albion's Ben White, who is currently on loan at Leeds United.
Klopp could intensify Liverpool's bid for the Englishman, who would add to the homegrown players in the squad. With Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana set to depart at the end of the season, Liverpool are expected to be be two players short in that category and will have to make up the numbers accordingly, due to which White becomes a more enticing prospect.
#3 Variety and numbers in central midfield
With James Milner in the twilight years of his career, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum approaching their 30s, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struggling with injuries and Adam Lallana seemingly set to depart on a free transfer at the end of the season, Liverpool's midfield is a spot of bother and Jurgen Klopp will definitely be weighing up his options to add his ranks in the centre of the park.
The Reds have lacked an out of out attacking midfielder since Philippe Coutinho's departure in January 2018 and while Nabil Fekir's potential transfer broke down in the following summer, the Merseyside giants have continued to be linked with Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz.
The German international, widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the Bundesliga, would add some much needs goals and dynamism from midfield and Klopp is reportedly a keen admirer of his compatriot, who is also being courted by Bayern Munich. Lallana's departure has been on the cards for some time now, meaning a midfielder will be high up on Klopp's shopping list in the summer.
Norwich City's Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia have also been linked with the club along with Havertz and while Liverpool will have money to spend in the summer, it remains to be seen if the heed to Leverkusen's demands for the German, who is expected to fetch a nine-figure sum.Published 16 Mar 2020, 10:00 IST