Editor’s Column: Michael Edwards’ summer transfer hit-list

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Jurgen Klopp confirmed during his leaving speech that Arne Slot would be the man taking over for next season, and the club followed suit with an official announcement yesterday.

Slot has done wonders in the Netherlands with Feyenoord especially and was targeted by FSG’s football CEO Michael Edwards and the new sporting director Richard Hughes for a number of reasons.

Firstly, he plays attacking, pressing football based on intensity. Secondly, he has a record of improving young players and overachieving.

One of the reasons Edwards left the club in 2022 was because of Klopp’s increasing influence on transfers, but with Slot crucially being named ‘Head Coach’ and not ‘Manager,’ this will no longer be an issue.

Rest assured, Edwards, Hughes and the scouts will have the largest say regarding incoming players, with Slot simply an extra voice in the discussion rather than somebody driving the narrative.

But what do Liverpool need?

Defensive midfielder

First up, a holding midfielder is of maximum importance, just as it was last summer, when we bid £115m for Moises Caicedo and somehow missed out on him.

In 2023, we bought Wataru Endo and the Japanese enjoyed a good debut season, especially during February when he was genuinely superb.

He is 31-years-old though and not a long-term solution. And even if Slot likes him and gives him minutes, we still need an elite no.6 to provide support, given Thiago has departed and Stefan Bajcetic is still young and has basically missed 18 months of football.

The best defensive midfielder on the market last summer was Declan Rice and I wish Liverpool had battled Arsenal for his signature. He’ll now anchor their side for much of the next decade, so the £100m fee will eventually prove a bargain.

Manuel Ugarte is a player potentially on Liverpool’s shortlist. The Uruguayan is 23-years-old, physical and potentially available after falling out with Luis Enrique at PSG.

Obviously Edwards and Hughes also have the capability to pick a name we know little about. Either way, a new no.6 is a priority.


Virgil van Dijk, Ibou Konate and Jarrell Quansah are three strong options, but it’s a surprise we got through a whole campaign without them suffering more injuries, given Joel Matip missed the season.

The Cameroonian has departed, meaning there’s a spot for a new one.

With Quansah stepping up and actually taking Konate’s place at the end of the season, we can probably afford to sign a younger prospect rather than someone with experience.

The other option would be reintegrating Sepp van den Berg, who has impressed on loan at Mainz.


Mo Salah is staying and will likely leave on a free at the end of next season, but we need to bring in a fast, exciting winger to support him and perhaps take his place in 2025.

Journalist Sacha Tavolieri has confirmed Johan Bakoyoko is a target. The winger is 21-years-old, a full Belgian international and has been PSV’s best player in their Eredivisie title this season.

He’s fast, cuts in from the right onto his left and could learn from Salah by deputising for the Egyptian King for one season.

Backup keeper

Surely Caoimhín Kelleher will leave this summer? The Irishman is too good to be a no.2. It’s just not fair on him.

Adrian is also exiting on a free, so this is obviously a position that needs attention.

Again, Edwards and Hughes may look left-field for the right, ball-playing backup for Alisson.

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  1. I don’t think Adrain would leave. If he were to leave, there might have been an official send off together with Tiago and Matip.

  2. Honestly, I hope we either extend Salah’s contract or sell him this summer. Trading Salah for Bakoyoko would be a steal considering the ages of both players.

  3. On what planet does it make any sense for us to keep a clearly rapidly diminishing Salah one more year to lose him for free next year????
    He must be sold this summer, period. Even if we get only 50-60 mil for him it’s enough to get a quality young physical replacement! Don’t be fooled by his numbers this past season. Take away the PKs and the accidental goals and it’s a different picture. More importantly take a look at how teams are playing him! Everyone doubles up on Diaz and single marks Salah as he is incapable and even unwilling to try to take anyone on anymore. His strength is gone, speed is reduced and his shots are actually laughably tame. He has no power left in that left foot and he never had a right foot.
    Amazing player, incredible career numbers for us, nothing but respect but it is time to say thank you and good buy while we still can make money off of him. If I knew FSG as a generous investor who will spend what we need and also want to keep him another year for his experience, great, but that’s not the case.. we need money from his sale to invest in replacement plus a quality DM and CB.

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