Initial analysis of Liverpool’s season so far would lead many to come to the same conclusions with regards to what positions must be strengthened in the summer.
Left-back, centre-back, centre-midfield and the wing. Fresh transfer rumours have emerged each day yet few have materialised into believable links.
A pool of names have, however, recently been identified as confirmed targets for Jurgen Klopp as he prepares to make the most of Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners handing him the largest transfer kitty in the club’s history.
- Virgil van Dijk
Centre-back Virgil van Dijk is a man in demand having so far been outstanding for Southampton this season. Defensive frailties have again been an issue for Liverpool at times over the last few months and the arrival of a partner for Joel Matip seems inevitable this summer. The Dutchman’s proven ability in the Premier League makes him an ideal candidate to sure things up at the back and help take the club closer to becoming serious title contenders once again. Reports suggesting Liverpool won’t be put off by his £50million price-tag also clearly present him as Klopp’s main defensive target.
- Ryan Sessegnon
The Fulham youngster was recently highlighted as a key target for Liverpool with Klopp keen to find a long-term solution at left-back. Sessegnon has attracted a number of Premier League clubs yet his current employers have been quick to express that they have no intentions of selling him in the summer transfer window. At just 16-years-old, he already looks a special talent and someone bound to make the move to England’s top flight at one point. He represents the kind of young talent Klopp would love to work with and help develop into a star but perhaps isn’t quite ready to step in and replace both James Milner and Alberto Moreno.
- Naby Keita
RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita has been the subject of strong interest from a number of top European clubs with comparisons between himself and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante sparking excitement surrounding the Bundesliga star. Jordan Henderson’s recurring injury problems have left Klopp short of midfield options which is why a move for Keita makes perfect sense. His work rate and athleticism bodes well for a career in the Premier League and would undoubtedly give Liverpool’s attacking stars more freedom and thereby the licence to create even more havoc for opposition defences. £26million is a fee the club are more than capable of meeting. Securing Champions League football is a must, though, and something that Liverpool can’t quite promise yet.
- Julian Brandt
It is perhaps less Julian Brandt himself but instead his position that stands out here. Recent reports that he had agreed a move to Bayern Munich, despite turning out to be false, posed as a warning sign that this was a deal becoming less likely by the day. Having said this, Liverpool tried and failed with an attempt to sign him in January and look certain to make another attempt when the window re-opens. What he does represent is Klopp turning a focus towards bringing in wingers having not only witnessed the impact Sadio Mane has had out wide but also having seen a slight lack of alternative options when key attacking players have been unavailable.