Written by: James McHale @jamesmchale2607
With the January transfer window now well underway and Liverpool’s title challenge progressing smoothly, it’s time to look at who the club may be targeting and whether they would slot into Jurgen Klopp’s highflying Liverpool side.
- Timo Werner
Despite making a name for himself in Leipzig, the German forward broke through at Stuttgart in rather unprolific fashion – although he was only 17 when he made his competitive debut. Despite not becoming a recognised goal scorer until he made the move up north to the Red Bull Arena, Werner had done enough to convince Leipzig he had all the talent needed to become a genuine world-class player and they shelled out a then club record £9 million to secure the young German’s services. Since making the move to Saxony, Werner has become one of the most complete forwards in German football and his 56 goals in his 98 games across all competitions proves just that.
With Werner winning 3.4 duels per game in the Bundesliga, we can see that he is not only a brilliant finisher, but also a very complete and versatile forward – to put that into perspective Liverpool’s current middle man Roberto Firmino wins an average of 3.3 duels per Premier League game this season. With such talent, particularly when the player in question is so young, usually comes a hefty price tag but with Werner now entering the final 18 months of his contract he could be available for a snippet of his actual worth with the Metro are reporting that a fee of around £34 million could be enough to convince the German outfit to part with their prized asset – not bad for someone who already has 23 caps for the German national team.
- Thorgan Hazard
Staying in the Bundesliga with this next one, we have Borussia Monchengladbach winger Thorgan Hazard. Like his more well-known brother Eden, Thorgan also plays on the left-hand side of the attack with his ability to cut in and either look for a teammate or get himself into a shooting position causing chaos in the Bundesliga this term. In the league this season Thorgan has already recorded 9 goals in 17 games or a goal every 169 minutes – only marginally worse than his brother’s tally which is equally impressive at 159 minutes per goal in the league.
The Monchengladbach has more to his game than just goals though with him setting up 6 goals already and creating a further 10 big chances – imagine how many assists he could get if he was a part of this Liverpool side! With Thorgan now rightfully being recognised as a genuinely class talent and coming out of his brother’s shadow, Liverpool aren’t the only side that have been keeping tabs on the Belgian man with German titans Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund also reported interested.
It is thought that Hazard has a release clause of around £26 million and whilst this is an attractive fee for any potential suitor, he has spoken out in favour of perhaps one day returning to Stamford Bridge and it isn’t yet clear whether Chelsea have any kind of buy-back clause that’s still valid.
- Abdülkadir Ömür
With Liverpool being routinely linked with more recognised players in this transfer window, it came as quite a surprise to see news break on Twitter that Liverpool had been keeping a close eye on 19-year-old Trabzonspor wonderkid Abdulkadir Omur with several ‘reliable’ outlets going as far to claim that Liverpool had agreed a £27 million fee. In keeping with Liverpool transfer tradition, Liverpool Echo maestro James Pearce was quick to crush any rumours of Liverpool signing the diminutive yet talented Turkish midfield prodigy – though the fact remains that the potential transfer had been reported on by almost every major newspaper and there is rarely smoke without fire.
The wonder kid has recorded 2 goals and 3 assists in 16 Super Lig appearances so far this season and his playing style is akin to that of current Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, with Omur relying on his ball control and dribbling ability to glide past the opposition – he is averaging 1.3 successful dribbles per game and 5.8 duels won per game. Whilst the young midfielder is clearly talented and has all the traits to one day step up and become a real player in European football, he is incredibly raw and there are many aspects of his game that need to be refined and addressed before he is ready to play in England. That being said, there is a reason why Liverpool are reportedly battling fellow English giants Manchester City to secure his signature and he has all the makings of one day looking like a Jurgen Klopp-esque player.
- Adrien Rabiot
Up until December it looked like PSG star Adrien Rabiot was destined to join Liverpool’s midfield with the Frenchman not shying away from showing his admiration for Jurgen Klopp’s men on social media whilst it was common knowledge that the club had been keeping tabs on the French international, that was until Barcelona started to ramp up their interest in the player.
With Liverpool’s interest in Rabiot has seemingly declined whilst the Blaugrana have accelerated their courting of the midfielder, it looks likely well see the Frenchman in blue and red next season – but don’t place any bets on it yet. Rabiot is said to be asking for a hefty wage of around £170,000 per week and this could be a major stumbling block for Barcelona with their sky-high wage bill being the worst kept secret in football – largely down to their stellar reputation and preference to poach the most inform talent around Europe. Whilst the midfielder isn’t particularly flashy or flamboyant, he is incredibly well-rounded and his ability to both tackle and find a pass getting him deserved recognition.
This team in Ligue 1 Rabiot has 1.4 tackles won per game, 69 completed passes per game with a pass accuracy of 93%, and a respectable 1.1 dribbles completed per game. Whilst Rabiot would slot seamlessly into Liverpool’s midfield, he would cost an extortionate amount of money when it comes to his expected wage demands and signing-on fee – Liverpool would be wise to use this money on a player who would address the lacking creative influence coming from the midfield.
- Lloyd Kelly
Looking closer to home with this one brings us to Bristol defender Lloyd Kelly, a player Liverpool have been keeping a close eye on this season. The Bristol City left-back, who can also play centrally, has been a revelation for The Robins this season with his maturity and ability on the ball garnering the England youth international the attention he deserves. The colossal youngster who stands at an imposing 6ft3 is a real Rolls Royce of a player in defence and he is that incredibly well-rounded that he doesn’t look uncomfortable wherever Lee Johnson chooses to use his academy graduate.
His performances down south have seen Liverpool’s interest in the defender increase as the season has progressed and a £15 million move looked likely at the start of the transfer window, though all seems to have gone quite over the last week or so. The defender boasts an impressive 2.4 clearances per league game whilst he also makes an average of 1 tackle per game in the Championship, though he isn’t just limited to his defensive duties. Kelly makes 1.2 successful dribbles per league game whilst he is rarely dispossessed – losing the ball only 0.8 times per game.
The Bristolian isn’t yet the finished article though with his passing accuracy in the league, being only 69%, leaving much to be desired and whilst his 4 yellow cards so far in the league showing that the defender could do with improving his disciple too. That being said, Kelly has all the makings of a Premier league player and should Liverpool take a gamble on Kelly’s upward trajectory continuing in the top flight, they could have a very good player on their hands who still has the potential to improve further.
Article by James McHale @jamesmchale2607
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