Timo Werner joining Frank Lampard in his Chelsea project was a blow to Jurgen Klopp’s ambitions of defending his Premier League title in the 2020/21 season. Liverpool, in fact, were heavy favourites to land the former Leipzig striker, but failing to match the asking price gave Chelsea a chance to swoop in between and lure in the striker to London.
The Reds, as of now, have made a solitary signing, roping in left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos for a fee reported to be around £11.75 million. The club’s hierarchy has always been cautious in term of spending the capital in the market, but losing Werner to their Premier League rivals is expected to force them to look somewhere else in order to add depth in their already attractive attacking line-up.
That said, here are five players who fit the billing for Jurgen Klopp as he looks to get over the ghost of the past.
Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez made significant headway in the 2019/20 season, scoring 21 goals and four assists while forming a formidable partnership with Romelu Lukaku up front. Now, given the state of the market and how the global pandemic has affected its financial aspect, it won’t be easy for Liverpool to lure in the Argentine to England, but a prospect of working under Jurgen Klopp, who has led Liverpool to UEFA Champions League and Premier League glory in two seasons, might turn out to be a difficult proposition to reject.
Martinez has the pace to burn, he likes to link up with his teammates, and most importantly, he works tirelessly in winning the ball high up the field, making him a perfect match for Jurgen Klopp’s blueprint.
As far as Inter are concerned, they are looking to hold on to their 23-year-old attacker, but reports doing the rounds say the Italians will consider parting ways if a respectable offer is put on the table.
A former Arsenal prodigy, Donyell Malen has been tipped for greatness by many. Blessed with a natural ability of finishing the ball, the 21-year-old PSV forward was an absolute revelation in the 2019/20 Eredivisie season, having scored 11 goals and two assists in 14 league games.
His nippy feet and lightning-quick dribbling skills have garnered comparisons with former Barcelona and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. Malen’s game is pretty direct, he loves to take on defenders, while his contribution off the ball is applauding too. In a way, he is quite similar to the likes of Mohamed Salah and even Sadio Mane, which means the opponents usually have no idea what the youngster might do in his second move.
His defensive contribution, on the other hand, remains a thing to worry, but in Malen, Liverpool will have a solid player who can both score and create for teammates. With age at his side, there’s a lot of time for Klopp to do the polishing anyway.
Wolverhampton forward Diogo Jota has time and again been overlooked due to the goalscoring brilliance of his attacking better half Raul Jimenez but the fact remains that he has been equally essential to Nuno Espirito Santo’s work at the club.
Jota notched 16 goals in all competitions in the 2019/20 season but the gravity of his presence goes way beyond that. Like Klopp, Nuno Espirito Santo wants his attackers to barge in and press high up the field in order to retrieve the lost ball, and thus, getting acclimatised to Klopp’s philosophy will take no time for Jota at Liverpool. Add to it the versatility he brings is an added bonus, being capable of working anywhere across the forward line.
There sure remains a question over his consistency as was viable during the post-pandemic tenure, but a player of Jota’s character and ability is synonymous with diligence. And take note that the fight for a place in the first team is only going to lift him up.
The son of FIFA World Cup winner Lillian Thuram, 23-year-old striker Marcus Thuram is scripting his own story in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, having scored 14 goals in all competitions while also notching eight assists on the way. A versatile striker, who was utilised across every possible attacking position, Thuram showed what he can deliver with his rugged approach.
Being bulkier means he is well and truly capable of brushing off one-on-one duels. And like many other players of his generation, he is quick and direct in his approach, while also being capable of distorting the opposition backline with clever off-the-ball movement and utilising the pockets of space in the box proficiently.
Meanwhile, his love for dribbling usually stretches the game out wide, which forces the opposition to leave gaps in the middle. It is safe to say the youngster is worth taking a gamble on.
“Messi’s future will have an influence on Suarez’s because they are best friends, they get along on and off the pitch,” Luis Suarez’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi was recently quoted as saying.
Barcelona are set for a massive overhaul, to say the least, and in the midst of Messi’s desire of leaving his boyhood club, the future of striker Luis Suarez has also been thrown in the air. The Catalan radio station Rac1 has quoted that the striker has already been told by the new Barca coach, Ronald Koeman, that he is not in his plans for next season.
That leaves Suarez's chances bleak in the transfer market. His former club Ajax were recently credited with an interest but sporting director Marc Overmars brushed off the rumours, saying that the chances of him joining the club are "quite small". Then there’s an interest from the Major Soccer League as well. Offers are aplenty, and so, Liverpool can benefit from the situation by offering him a way out.
So, why not?
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Rafael Marchante,