Dietmar Hamann has namechecked one player from a positional rival that he feels Liverpool should consider in the summer transfer window.
The former Reds midfielder was speaking to the i Paper when he singled out Newcastle United’s Joelinton as a player he’d like to see at Anfield.
The German stated: “I’d like a player like Joelinton from Newcastle, who’s got a physical presence. The players Liverpool have got are all very similar, and if you look at the size of the Newcastle team – size isn’t everything, but when you stand in the tunnel and see these guys you think, ‘Wow’, because they’re not just big, they can play as well.
“I would like a player of Joelinton’s stature, who can make a goal, has got a physical presence, is good on the ball, is just an all-round player, and hasn’t got too many defensive responsibilities with one player behind him. A player with a physical presence would suit Liverpool very well.”
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Signed for £40m in 2019 (BBC Sport), Joelinton started off as a striker at Newcastle but has since been successfully redeployed in a midfield role by Eddie Howe.
He’s been one of their best-performing players in seeing off Liverpool for a Champions League qualification berth, posting the Magpies’ second-highest WhoScored rating of the season and starting 30 Premier League games in his side’s successful pursuit of a top-four finish.
Hamann’s point about the 6 foot 2 Brazilian’s physicality is backed up by statistics from FBref, with the 26-year-old particularly strong in the air. He’s won 2.23 aerial duels per game over the past 12 months, placing him among the top 6% of midfielders in Europe’s five main leagues for that metric.
There have been times over the past few months where Liverpool’s midfield looked worryingly lightweight, so adding a ‘physical presence’ such as Joelinton may help in that regard, while his tally of eight goals this term (Transfermarkt) also suggests he could chip in with a potent attacking threat.
There probably wouldn’t have been too many of a red persuasion talking him up as a possible target during his difficult first two years at Newcastle, but Hamann’s recommendation for Jurgen Klopp to consider the rejuvenated midfield man certainly has merit.
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