This is largely a rant, and not the most sophisticated piece of writing ever produced – but goes some way in explaining the senselessness of Liverpool in the transfer market.
Speculation broke this morning via Le Parisien that Chelsea have agreed a £29m fee for N’Golo Kante of Leicester City.
That specific French publication is hardly the most reliable, and we’re putting more trust in a report from the Telegraph which claims Kante has simply rejected Leicester’s £100k-per-week contract extension, with the Premier League champions likely to come back with improved terms.
They state though that Antonio Conte is confident he’ll get his man by the end of the month, providing Chelsea aren’t gazumped by an insane Chinese offer.
Whichever report has more weight, it’s clear that Kante, the best midfielder in the country last term, is attainable (if not openly available).
In short, he’s precisely, exactly what we need.
The 25-year-old’s unrivalled energy, pressing, defensive contribution and aggression in the middle of the park would suit Klopp’s style to a tee. Alongside Emre Can in Liverpool’s midfield double-pivot, Kante would provide an unbelievable base from which our exciting playmakers could perform. What’s more, he’s reportedly available for just £20m, with the Times stating that’s his release clause yesterday.
Chelsea have arguably less to offer Kante than Liverpool do. They’re not in Europe either, but in Conte – have a manager slightly less renowned than Jurgen Klopp (rightly or wrongly). They finished ten points behind us last term, yet are the favourites to sign Leicester’s brilliant, tenacious midfield warrior.
Klopp has already drawn up a list of targets the club is working meticulously to sign, but why are we focussing our attentions on Piotr Zielinski and Ben Chilwell when Kante’s there for the taking?
Manchester United have signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and could secure Paul Pogba this summer. Arsenal have Granit Xhaka, the superb anchorman, who equally would have done nicely at Anfield. Manchester City have snared Ilkay Gundogan.
Liverpool need a central midfielder of top quality as an absolute priority, so when our rivals are abundantly strengthening – failing to target a player such as Kante is frustrating.
Obviously, we should back Klopp in the transfer market this summer. It’s his first proper window to make changes, and he’s already brought in a new keeper, centre-back, midfielder and winger. He’s undeniably addressing problem areas, but it’s the injection of pure, unadulterated class rather than potential that would most obviously help the starting XI.
Next season is pivotal for Liverpool. We can have a real go domestically without the burden of Europa League football. Our transfer budget is large, padded by sales of undesirables and Klopp has a full summer on the training field with his players.
Kante for £29m, on whatever wage, is doable; and the fact we’re not seemingly in the running seems a mistake.