In summer 2013, our failure to capture Henrikh Mkhitaryan set the tone for many high profile transfer failings ever since.
Brendan Rodgers made the Armenian, then at Shakhtar, his priority target; but the attacking midfielder chose to sign for Borussia Dortmund instead – while we ended up up with Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Victor Moses on loan.
In the years that’ve followed, we’ve publicly courted Diego Costa, Willian, Mohamed Salah, Alexis Sanchez, Memphis Depay and Alex Teixeira to name but a few – but not managed to get deals across the line. Most recently, we put our eggs in Mario Gotze’s basket, only to be embarrassed when the German decided to stay and fight for a club who don’t even want him.
As of yet, the ‘Jurgen Klopp factor’ has not been massively evident in the transfer market, although the window has only just swung open.
We can change that by pursuing Mkhitaryan once again and making the kind of world-class acquisition fans have been crying out for. This isn’t blind ambition – the player’s available and fits our needs.
The attacker, who excelled for Dortmund last term as part of a three-pronged attack with Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has rejected a contract extension – and with only 12 months left on his deal – BVB will be forced to sell.
Arsenal are frontrunners and are ready to pay the £25m required release clause according to the Independent, but they also recognise Liverpool, as well as our Europa League conquerors Sevilla, as interested.
Dortmund have already sold Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan this summer, while Aubamyeang is in discussions with Manchester City. You have to feel sorry for Thomas Tuchel’s side and their brilliant supporters, but the opportunity to secure a player of Mkhitaryan’s ability cannot be missed again.
Last term, he scored 21 goals and registered 20 assists in all competitions. That’s simply spellbinding, and the fact he starts from the right (a problem area for us), reinforces how smart a move this would be for Liverpool.
The Independent claim he wants a Premier League switch, and while Arsenal have the carrot of Champions League football, we have Jurgen Klopp. Our manager gave Mkhitaryan his break, and despite the 27-year-old describing Klopp a ‘football madman’, they enjoyed a good relationship during their mutual time at the Westfalenstadion.
Arsenal are favourites, but if it’s a proven, experienced attacker with top pedigree and a reasonable price-tag we’re after, Mkhitaryan ticks all the boxes.