Article by Adam Brown – @ScouseAdamMV
After a transfer saga which could only happen to Liverpool took place last week, it’s time to consider some potential alternatives to Nabil Fekir.
While it’s not certain whether the Reds have officially ended their interest, it seems that unless a lower fee is able to be negotiated between Liverpool and Lyon, Jurgen Klopp won’t be re-igniting the deal. This will probably mean that Fekir will win the Golden Boot at the World Cup and end up agreeing to terms with Barcelona.
Of course, it would have been exciting to get the deal done and take an interest in France’s games in Russia, but, fans must trust Jurgen Klopp; his record in the transfer market is unrivalled.
Fekir’s addition was a luxury, not a necessity. Liverpool have already secured the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho; acquiring the French international would only further limit the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum and others in midfield who performed strongly last season.
Crucially, there are other ways for Liverpool to create a plethora of options on the bench and it starts with ensuring there is valuable depth in the Reds attack.
Let’s take a look at some of the Fekir alternatives.
- James Rodriguez – (27 starts: 8 goals, 13 assists)
When considering the options available, as well as Liverpool’s transfer policy, Rodriguez is likely to be the most realistic and most exciting alternative to Nabil Fekir. While there are players of the calibre of Dimitri Payet, to Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens, age is a factor which means that it’s unlikely the Reds will make any sort of move.At just 26, as well as being at a club where he isn’t guaranteed to play, the Colombian should be Liverpool’s main target. An ideal replacement for Coutinho and a huge compliment to the Reds attack
- Leon Bailey – (34 appearances: 12 goals, 6 assists)
The young Leverkusen winger who is eligible to play for England would be an ideal acquisition for Liverpool’s depth. The Jamaican possesses the pace and attacking flair which Jurgen Klopp looks for and he’s capable of playing on either side – which will be vital when needing to rest the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
If the Reds are going to compete and win trophies as consistently as a Manchester City, players in Bailey’s mould are who we are going to need.
3. Goncalo Guedes – (27 starts: 5 goals, 9 assists)
Valencia’s star winger has found form in time for the World Cup with a brace for Portugal against Algeria. Guedes possesses the pace necessary for a Liverpool style counter-attack and, under the coaching of Jurgen Klopp, could quickly establish himself as an upcoming star in the Premier League.
Similar to Leon Bailey, Guedes is the type of player Liverpool must target to instil strength in depth.
4. Timo Werner – (43 appearances: 20 goals, 9 assists)
While this is a signing which wouldn’t make Liverpool very popular with Leipzig fans, it would provide the Reds with a dominant striker.
Interestingly, this would mean that Liverpool could employ a 4-2-3-1 system (like vs Brighton on the last day of the season) and play Roberto Firmino behind the striker. A front four of Salah, Firmino, Mane and Werner is one that could force teams to forfeit the game before kick-off.
5. Alireza Jahanbakhsh – (33 starts: 21 goals, 12 assists)
Iran’s star man. Of course, there is always some element of risk in signing players from the Eredivisie, but the Alkmaar winger has displayed multiple talents which would benefit the Liverpool team – such as chance creation, scoring and intelligent dribbling which makes him hard to dispossess. He’s one to watch at the World Cup before finalising any deal.
While a gamble, Jahanbakhsh would at least provide some solid depth to our options on the wing – something which was evident Liverpool missed once Salah was injured Kiev. In any case, he’s probably worth signing just for the shirt sales revenue.
Notably, not all of these players are direct alternatives to Nabil Fekir in terms of position played, but the Reds aren’t exactly short in central midfield – we’ve already signed two players of starting calibre.
Reassuringly, it’s clear that there’s plenty of options available to add the necessary depth to the Liverpool side, which will be vital in helping Jurgen Klopp challenge for multiple trophies next season – including the Premier League title.
Article by Adam Brown – @ScouseAdamMV
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