Liverpool head into Saturday’s clash with Brighton with fans and pundits frustrated by some of their recent performances. A poor defeat to Brentford was followed by a home draw against Wolves in the FA Cup. Many observers have said the Reds need to refresh their midfield in the January transfer window or face missing out on Champions League qualification at the end of the season.
Jürgen Klopp bristled against such suggestions in Friday’s pre-match press conference, saying, “It’s my job to use the boys we have.”
One of the possible midfield targets linked with a move to Anfield is Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners. The Dutchman admitted it was ‘nice to see’ the links, but insisted he was ‘so happy’ in Italy.
On the latest episode of our Journo Insight Show, we asked goal.com’s Neil Jones for his thoughts on Koopmeiners.
“I think he’s a name on a list. I think if you look, there are a few players that have been linked with Liverpool. If you look at what the players they’ve bought for the first team over the last five years, they’ve all been 21 to 25, 150/200 games, usually European experience, usually international experience. Usually from a club below Liverpool’s standard, maybe a Europa League club or an occasional Champions League club. They’ve all had a profile where you’d say they’ve got physicality as well as talent. Teun Koopmeiners, I’d say he probably fits that bill.
There are so many midfielders about that you’d say ‘yeah’. It’s just which one Liverpool picks the gamble on really. Nunes seems like one where it looks like there’s a bit more in it. I would say that Koopmeiners is maybe one that’s on a list, as opposed to Koopmeiners is ‘the one’.”
Jürgen is clearly happy to gamble a possible Champions League place and possibly weaken Liverpool’s position in the race to sign Jude Bellingham. Arthur Melo is rumoured to be returning from injury sooner rather than later, and Naby Keita has shown some positive signs since his return from injury. Could this be a gamble too far? The Reds threw away the Premier League lead in 2020/21, failing to address the defensive injury crisis that befell them in a stop/start season. Two players were brought in late in the window, with Ben Davies failing to make a first-team appearance, and Ozan Kabak relegated with Norwich City shortly afterwards. It took an unbeaten last ten games of the season and outrageous heroics from Alisson to secure Champions League qualification. Can lightning strike twice? At this point in time, it does not look likely.
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