Article by Adam Brown – @ScouseAdamMV
The World Cup group stages have come to an end, which means it’s time to reflect on the first phase of the tournament and a chance to look at some potential prospects that Liverpool could sign from the best performers in Russia.
While it would have been nice to see the likes of Egypt and Senegal progress, at least now two of Liverpool’s biggest stars can look to recover for the start of the upcoming Premier League season.
Elsewhere, Nabil Fekir’s time has been limited with France. Whilst he has looked good in some spells, there’s been nothing to suggest he would be an upgrade on the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Wijnaldum.
The Reds have already welcomed Fabinho and Naby Keita, a notion that Liverpool are going to look to challenge for trophies this season; it’s now about adding more depth to a squad which is starting to look a lot more like a Liverpool side – a team which rivals are starting to fear.
Interestingly, there have been some standout performers who could fit into Jurgen Klopp’s team; the final pieces required for Liverpool to mount a title challenge.
James Rodriguez – Colombia
Despite some injury concerns, Rodriguez displayed his qualities during Colombia’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Poland. Given that Liverpool like to play balls over the top of the defence with direct runs in behind, Rodriguez is almost the perfect replacement for Coutinho.
He’s a player who would bring excitement to Anfield and, similarly to Virgil van Dijk, the Colombian maestro would be joining Liverpool as he comes into his prime.
Now is the time to make the move – Klopp has brought the club out of a period of uncertainty – securing back to back Champions League qualifications for the first time since 2008 and 2009. Additionally, Real Madrid would be much more in favour of selling to Liverpool than to Barcelona.
Julian Brandt – Germany
Coming off the bench for Germany, Brandt looked impressive in a German side which failed to deliver. There was speculation over whether Brandt should travel to Russia over Leroy Sane, but, it’s clear why the Leverkusen man was chosen.
Sane still should have been selected, but not at the expense of Julian Brandt. It’s been clear to see why Jurgen Klopp hasn’t moved for Julian Draxler, despite many fans wanting to see the PSG man in Liverpool colours.
The most positive aspect of acquiring the Leverkusen man would be the versatility that he provides. Brandt could easily come in and play when resting Salah or Mane or more positively, could play as an attacking midfielder behind Roberto Firmino in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal
It’s only a matter of time before Koulibaly moves to one of Europe’s giants. The giant Senegalese defender has shown his dominance in a Senegal team which has struggled to defend as a team at times.
Of course, Dejan Lovren has been equally as good at the World Cup so far, so this is by no means a necessity. That being said, there are a number of Liverpool fans who would like to see us add a central defender. Koulibaly’s quickness and physicality mean he would fit instantly in the Premier League.
Xherdan Shaqiri – Switzerland
Shaqiri has proven why he would be great value at £12million – it’s a chance worth taking for a side which needs depth in attack. Liverpool can’t keep relying on Solanke to produce and, aside from Salah and Mane, have no similar players to come off the bench.
After seeing Shaqiri against Serbia, it’s clear how he could fit in at Anfield, there’s also the chance that the Swiss star could flourish in a team with better players – Klopp is proving his mastery of the transfer market once again.
Heung Min Son – South Korea
While it could be a risk for the ridiculous military service rule in Korea, Son would be an ideal addition to Jurgen Klopp’s heavy-metal style of football. Both in the Premier League last season and in Russia, the versatile Korean has shown that he deserves to be playing at the highest level.
Of course, this one depends on whether Spurs will sell to a competitive rival – but Son could definitely be worth taking a chance on, if Michael Edwards can negotiate to sign Fabinho in one evening, he can negotiate with South Korea to excuse Heung Min Son from military service.
Article by Adam Brown – @ScouseAdamMV