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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: James Milner of Liverpool is embraced by Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

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10 players Liverpool can sign in the summer transfer window

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Jurgen Klopp already spent 500 million dollars on new players. And now?

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 7, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 7, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Ever since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool in October 2015, the club has been on an upward trajectory. In addition to taking the club to Europa League and Champions League finals, Klopp has delivered top 4 finishes in all of his full seasons at the Merseyside.

While the German’s man-management deserves massive credit for this, what has also contributed to Liverpool’s change in fortunes, has been their hyperactivity in the transfer market. For, during Klopp’s tenure, Liverpool have spent north of $500 Million on new signings, with a significant chunk of it going to secure the services of goalkeeper Alisson Becker, midfielder Naby Keita, and defender Virgil Van Dijk.

Still, despite spending so much money in the transfer market, Liverpool still haven’t delivered a Premier League title, a trophy that every Liverpool fan craves. Their inability to produce a Premier League title makes it imperative for the club to once again go into the transfer market and come up with signings that could provide the Holy Grail.

(We provide detailed statistics about which player left the club and which player Liverpool bought for which amounts of money under the tenure of Jurgen Klopp and how cleverly Liverpool performed on transfer matters on the final page of the story.)

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Review of Liverpool’s playing system under Klopp

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 28: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool shows appreciation to the fans with James Milner of Liverpool after the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool at Parc des Princes on November 28, 2018 in Paris, France.
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 28: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool shows appreciation to the fans with James Milner of Liverpool after the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool at Parc des Princes on November 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

In contrast to the 2017/18 season where Liverpool had a similar style of play regardless of the opposition, 2018/19 season saw the Reds employing two formations. That change paid dividends for the Reds as it added stability to their defense while retaining the attacking flair which took them to the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2018.  

When facing teams which didn’t sit back, Klopp turned to the more conservative 4-3-3 formation. By fielding three central midfielders, Klopp tried to provide cover to the Liverpool defense which came under much scrutiny due to its failures last season.

However, when facing teams which sit back, defend deep and try to attack on the counter, Liverpool often adopted the more attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation. Salah was fielded at the tip of Liverpool’s attack whereas the likes of Shaqiri, Firmino, and Mane were right behind him.

Both these systems were hugely successful, as evident by Liverpool’s position in the Premier League table. Yet, there were areas in both these systems where Liverpool lacked. Strengthen in these areas and the club could challenge for the prizes with a renewed vigor next season.

FC Liverpool: 4-2-3-1 System
FC Liverpool: 4-2-3-1 System

Areas where Liverpool are well stocked

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool look on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool look on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Assuming that every Liverpool fan agrees that the arrival of Alisson Becker has resolved their long-standing goalkeeping problem, here are the other areas where Liverpool are well and truly stocked.

Center backs

A mere glance at both the abovementioned formations, and it is easy to see that Liverpool don’t need to do much when it comes to the heart of their defense.

The arrival of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton has added steel to their back four whereas Joe Gomez (before injury ruled him out for the season) also showed signs of a mature defender.

On the bench is Dejan Lovren who, despite having an underwhelming Liverpool career, enjoyed probably the best season of his Liverpool tenure. Matip wasn’t bad either as suggested by the performances he put in when both Lovren and Gomez were sidelined due to respective injuries.

Full backs

Klopp’s decision to allow Nathaniel Clyne to leave on loan in the middle of the season nearly backfired as the departure of the Englishman was followed by an untimely injury to Alexander Arnold. Liverpool felt the need for a regular right back as both Milner and Fabinho struggled when put in that position.

Still, assuming that Klopp won’t allow Clyne to make his loan move to Bournemouth permanent in the summer, there’s no reason for the Reds to go and buy a new right back. Doing that might put pressure on Alexander Arnold which, considering the form he has shown for Liverpool, would be unfair to the talented right back.

Likewise, Andrew Robertson once again showed why most Liverpool fans consider him the bargain of the 21st century for the club. Despite costing a paltry £8 million when he moved from Hull City in 2017, Robertson is putting in performances which are befitting ten-times the price Liverpool paid for his services.

Defensive midfield

Given the transfer fee Liverpool paid to secure his services, most Liverpool fans expected Fabinho to hit the road running following his €50 million move from AS Monaco in the summer. The Brazilian, however, was slow to take off and was also linked with a shock move away from Liverpool in January.

To his credit, Jurgen Klopp kept faith in his signing, a wise move considering the performances of Fabinho in the 2nd half of the 2018/19 season. The Brazilian not only silenced his critics but also became an integral part of the Liverpool team as it challenged for the title. With him in such fine form, it would be foolhardy for the Reds to sign a 2nd defensive midfielder in the upcoming summer transfer window.

FC Liverpool: 4-3-3 System
FC Liverpool: 4-3-3 System

Areas where Liverpool need new signings

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: James Milner of Liverpool is embraced by Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: James Milner of Liverpool is embraced by Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Now that we’ve identified the areas where Liverpool have the best player for the position, let’s look at those areas where the club could strengthen in the summer transfer window.

Attacking Midfield

With the breakdown of Nabil Fekir's transfer in the summer and the injury to Chamberlain in the early stages of the 2018/19 season, Liverpool were on their bare bones when it comes to their attacking midfield department.

True, Georginio Wijnaldum did his level best to fill that role but the Dutch midfielder isn’t a natural goal-scoring midfielder. Similar could be said about Adam Lallana whose troubles with injuries have robbed Liverpool of a potentially fantastic goal-scoring midfielder.

Under such circumstances – and when Chamberlain having a history of injuries – Liverpool could ill-afford to go into the 2019/20 season with the same set of attacking midfielders. That means that the club needs to splash the cash to strengthen in this particular position.

Wingers

Go through the list of Liverpool players that suffered injuries during the 2018/19 season, and you’d notice that the club wasn’t too lucky in this department. Still, two Liverpool players who managed to get through the season relatively unscathed were Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah.

That was a huge blessing for Liverpool as the duo chipped in to score more than 33% of all Liverpool goals during the time period. That stat indicates how much Liverpool depended on their African duo for their goal-scoring exploits.

However, with both the players involved in the African Cup of Nations in the 2019’s summer, Liverpool shouldn’t expect them to be at their best at the start of the next season. As a result, the club should make signings to relieve the burden of their attacking duo.

Striker

The 2018/19 season was a curious one for Roberto Firmino. While his energy levels and pressing of the opposition were at their terrific best yet again, the Brazilian forward wasn’t at his flying best when it came to goals scored.

However, with Origi and Sturridge on the bench – none of whom can match the high-pressing work ethic of Firmino – Klopp didn’t have many options to choose from.

Therefore, the summer transfer window gives Klopp a chance to bring in a new striker who, even if he isn’t world class, should match the Brazilian’s work rate and give Liverpool another attacking outlet.

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10 players who can leave Liverpool

#1: Adam Lallana - Why he might leave: Absence of form + injuries

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Adam Lallana of Liverpool reacts after appearing to pick up an injury during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool FC at John Smith's Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom.
HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Adam Lallana of Liverpool reacts after appearing to pick up an injury during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool FC at John Smith's Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

After the departure of Luis Suarez for Barcelona in 2014, Liverpool’s coffers were flush with cash generated from the Uruguayan’s transfer. The club then went on a major spending spree and one of the players which arrived at Liverpool, as a result, was the English midfielder Adam Lallana.

While his arrival at Liverpool was preceded by great expectations – since he had fared brilliantly for Southampton – Lallana’s Liverpool career has been a major disappointment. During his 5-year stay at the club, the now 30-year-old has managed only 17 goals in 108 appearances.

The arrival of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain from Arsenal last season and Naby Keita from Germany this season has further diminished Lallana’s position at Liverpool, since he now finds himself way down the club’s pecking order.

Add to this Lallana’s well-documented troubles with injuries – as the Englishman has had 11 spells on the sidelines since joining Liverpool – and nobody should be surprised should Liverpool decide to show Lallana the door in the summer transfer window of 2019.

#2: Daniel Sturridge - Why he might leave: End of contract

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Unlike Lallana, whose arrival at Liverpool was preceded by great expectations, Daniel Sturridge wasn’t on the wish list of most Liverpool fans upon his arrival at the club £12m move from Chelsea in January 2013. Sturridge’s Chelsea career was punctuated by loans to low lying Premier League clubs, hence the reason why most Liverpool fans had doubts about the player’s caliber.

Therefore, even before he had kicked a ball for Liverpool, Sturridge faced an uphill battle to prove his worth. Fortunately for Liverpool, the striker did that with poise as, after scoring 22 goals in his first two seasons for Liverpool, Sturridge managed a career-best 21 goals in the 2013/14 season to take Liverpool to a 2nd placed finish.

Unfortunately, from then on, Sturridge’s career has gone downhill. Rocked by repeated injuries, the Englishman has spent more than a year on the sidelines during his 5-year stay at the club. His injury troubles have grown so much of late that even Divock Origi now ranks above Sturridge in the Liverpool pecking order.

What’s more, Sturridge’s current contract at Liverpool – which he signed during his heyday at the club in 2014 – also runs out in the summer. That means it is only a matter of time before Sturridge waves goodbye to his Liverpool teammates.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

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#3: Simon Mignolet - Why he might leave: Lack of playing time

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Simon Mignolet of Liverpool during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 7, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Simon Mignolet of Liverpool during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 7, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Despite having a dream start to his Liverpool career – as he saved a penalty on his debut to win Liverpool the game – Mignolet has never been a fan favorite among the club faithful. The former Sunderland player is too prone to making mistakes and his presence in the goal never fills Liverpool fans with confidence.

Jurgen Klopp was aware of the limitations of his goalkeeper, hence the reason why he signed Lloris Karius on a free transfer. Still, the real replacement for Mignolet came in summer 2018 as Liverpool signed Alisson Becker for a world record fee from Roma.

Alisson has been in superb form for Liverpool this season and is leading the Premier League when it comes to clean sheets. His form has restricted Mignolet to making appearances only in cup competitions this season.

It seems likely, then, that in search for more game time, the Belgian shot-stopper would switch clubs in the coming transfer window.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#4: Alberto Moreno - Why he might leave: Poor form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Alberto Moreno of Liverpool runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield on March 6, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Alberto Moreno of Liverpool runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield on March 6, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Even before the meteoric rise of Andrew Robertson for Liverpool – who has exceeded expectations since coming from the relegated Hull side in 2017 – Alberto Moreno was never in the good books of Liverpool fans.

The Spanish full-back, though great when going forward, is always a calamity waiting to happen when on his back foot. It is the indifferent form of Moreno which forced Jurgen Klopp to experiment with his options at the left full-back department.

In addition to fielding the likes of James Milner, Klopp has gone for Alexander Arnold and Joe Gomez in the same position on the few occasions when Robertson isn’t available for selection.

Add to this the contractual situation of Moreno – with his current contract with Liverpool expiring in the summer – and the Spaniard might be the first player off Liverpool’s pay list once the transfer window officially opens.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#5: James Milner - Why he might leave: End of contract

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: James Milner of Liverpool takes off his shirt after their victory during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on December 21, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: James Milner of Liverpool takes off his shirt after their victory during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on December 21, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Known as Mr. Dependable among Liverpool fans, James Milner has been a loyal servant for the club ever since moving to the Merseyside in 2015. The two-time Premier League winner has featured in various positions for Liverpool and has come across as a utility player for the manager.

Still, despite all his usefulness for the club, the 2018/19 season has been an underwhelming one for Milner. While his performances make easy to forget that he is 33, Milner’s presence in the Liverpool squad slows down the pace of the whole team.

Also, during the few times that he has featured in the right-back department for Liverpool, Milner has simply been unable to make that darting runs which are required of any full back these days.

And with his contract running up in the summer – and Liverpool showing no signs of renewing it – Milner might also be bidding farewell to his teammates.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

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10 players who can leave Liverpool - continued

#6: Nathaniel Clyne - Why he might leave: Lack of playing time

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nathaniel Clyne of AFC Bournemouth passes the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nathaniel Clyne of AFC Bournemouth passes the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Nathaniel Clyne was a first choice full back for Klopp upon the latter’s arrival at Liverpool in October 2015. With no replacement on the bench and Alexander Arnold still plying his trade for the Liverpool youth teams, Clyne was under no pressure whatsoever for his place in the Liverpool squad.

All that changed with the back injury Clyne sustained during the pre-season of the 2017/18 season. Ruled out for action for a mammoth 257 days, the absence of Clyne forced Liverpool to experiment with Alexander Arnold who hasn’t looked back ever since.

As a result of the meteoric rise of Arnold, Clyne, who made 37 Premier League appearances in Klopp’s first full season at Liverpool, has made only 7 in the next 2 seasons combined.

His desire for more game time allowed Liverpool to loan him out to Bournemouth and if things go as planned, the deal gives Liverpool the option to make the move permanent in the summer.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#7: Dejan Lovren - Why he might leave: Competition for places

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool celebrates during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield on December 29, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool celebrates during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield on December 29, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

When Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool, most fans thought that the first thing the German would do was to show Lovren the door. So uninspiring the form of the Croatian was back then that it was a commonly held belief that Lovren couldn’t succeed in the high-press playing style of Klopp.

Yet, while Lovren has survived three seasons under Klopp, it seems as if his time at Liverpool might come to an end in the summer. Ironically, it isn’t the form of Lovren which might pave the way for his exit.

Instead, it is the brilliant form of Joe Gomez which could allow Klopp to think that Liverpool would be alright even after Lovren’s departure.

Moreover, if rumors are to be believed, Liverpool are looking at the likes of Kalidou Koulibally from Napoli and Matthijs De Ligt from Ajax to strengthen their defense in the summer. Add to this the imperious form that Joel Matip has shown this season alongside Van Dijk, and Lovren’s long term future at the Merseyside looks in doubt.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#8: Lloris Karius - Why he might leave: Poor form

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 26: Loris Karius of Liverpool breaks down in tears after defeat in the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.
KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 26: Loris Karius of Liverpool breaks down in tears after defeat in the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Ask any Liverpool fan, and they’d agree that one player who is most likely to leave Liverpool in the coming months is the German shot-stopper Lloris Karius. Currently plying his trade in the Turkish league, Karius is yet to fully discover from that howler of a performance which he delivered against Real Madrid at the 2017/18 Champions League final.

True, while he wasn’t great before that game as well, Karius was starting to get more game time ahead of Mignolet in the build-up to that fixture. All that changed though as the German dropped two clangers in the final to arguably cost Liverpool the Champions League final.

Even after that performance, Klopp took a chance on Karius by including him in Liverpool’s pre-season squad that traveled to America in July 2018. Unfortunately, Karius’s confidence was so underwhelming that he made a mess of a couple of easy-looking saves. That, in turn, made the mind of Klopp who then agreed to sanction a move for the goalkeeper away from the club.

Karius’s departure proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Reds who went on to sign Alisson Becker from Roma. The arrival of the Brazilian has added steel to the Liverpool backline and it seems unthinkable for Klopp to try and unseat the Brazilian by bringing Karius back at the club.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Super Lig Season 2018/19

#9: Ben Woodburn - Why he might leave: Competition for places

WREXHAM, WALES - MARCH 20: Ben Woodburn of Wales looks on during the International Friendly match between Wales and Trinidad and Tobago at Racecourse Ground on March 20, 2019 in Wrexham, Wales.
WREXHAM, WALES - MARCH 20: Ben Woodburn of Wales looks on during the International Friendly match between Wales and Trinidad and Tobago at Racecourse Ground on March 20, 2019 in Wrexham, Wales. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When Ben Woodburn made his debut for Liverpool in November 2016 against Sunderland – and became the 3rd youngest Liverpool player in history – many fans compared the 16-year-old to a certain Michael Owen.

Just like the Ballon d'Or winner, Woodburn also signed his senior contract for Liverpool before age 17. Like Owen, he was also one of the youngest players to have made a debut for the Reds. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end.

For, two years since making a dream debut, the Liverpool prodigy has become a Sheffield United loanee, with Premier League dreams giving way to Championship reality. The arrival of Salah last season – who occupies the same position as Woodburn’s – hasn’t helped matters as well.

Furthermore, with the arrival of Xherdan Shaqiri from the relegated Stoke City side last summer, rise of Rhian Brewster from the academy ranks and the form of Harry Wilson at Derby, it looks only a matter of time that Woodburn is off Liverpool’s payroll.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#10: Conor Randall - Why he might leave: End of contract

ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Charly Musonda of Chelsea FC is tackled by Conor Randall of Liverpool during the Premier League International Cup match between Chelsea U21 and Liverpool U21 on September 11, 2015 in Aldershot, England.
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Charly Musonda of Chelsea FC is tackled by Conor Randall of Liverpool during the Premier League International Cup match between Chelsea U21 and Liverpool U21 on September 11, 2015 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Unlike James Milner, Conor Randall doesn’t have a celebrated career on his back. Unlike Alberto Moreno, too, Randall hasn’t been given a lot of opportunities at Liverpool to prove his worth. Yet, there is one thing which is similar between Randall and both the other players: his current contract with Liverpool runs out in the summer.

Randall made his Liverpool debut in the 2015 season, which was 1 of the 3 appearances that he has made for the club till date. Since then, he has been shipped out at loan to lower league sides Shrewsbury Town, Heart of Midlothian and Rochdale.

As suggested by these stats, Randall was never in the good books of Jurgen Klopp, even before the rise of Alexander Arnold from the academy.

Add to the mix the return of Joe Gomez from injury and Clyne from his loan, and it seems highly likely that Liverpool won’t extend the player’s contract come July.

Ligalive Infographics: Team Profile Liverpool Season 2018/19

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#5: Jadon Sancho – From Borussia Dortmund: Chances of move happening: 3/10

STUTTGART, GERMANY - OCTOBER 20: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund at Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 20, 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany.
STUTTGART, GERMANY - OCTOBER 20: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund at Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 20, 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Given his sensational debut season at Borussia Dortmund – one in which he is breaking records in terms of both goals scored and assists provided, it seems only plausible that Liverpool fans would want the club to sign a player which Manchester City allowed to get away.

Still only 18-year-old, Sancho has already become one of the hottest properties in European football this season. His performances are a major reason why Borussia Dortmund are challenging the hegemony of Bayern Munich over German football this season.

Yet, despite his English roots, it would be extremely difficult for Liverpool to bring the player to Merseyside. Dortmund, as they showed with the transfer of Dembele to Barcelona, know how to milk big teams who want to secure the services of their star players.

And with Sancho on the right side of 20, it would take a mammoth bid – one which Liverpool might not be too fond to make – to prise the youngster away from Signal Iduna Park.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

5 players that Liverpool can sign

Until now, we were concerned with players who are on the wish list of most Liverpool fans.

From here on, we’d concern ourselves with players whom Liverpool can sign in the summer.

#1: Julian Brandt – From Bayer Leverkusen: Chances of move happening: 5/10

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 20: Julian Brandt of Germany is seen during the International Friendly match between Germany and Serbia at Volkswagen Arena on March 20, 2019 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 20: Julian Brandt of Germany is seen during the International Friendly match between Germany and Serbia at Volkswagen Arena on March 20, 2019 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Position he’d occupy: Attacking midfielder

Though many Liverpool fans aren’t aware of the episode, it is a fact that the club came close to signing Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2017. It was only after Brandt decided to stay put in Germany and fight for his place in Germany’s World Cup squad that Liverpool turned their sights to a certain Mohamed Salah.

His decision turned out to be brilliant for both sides as for where Brandt was able to get a place in the German World Cup squad, Liverpool ended up signing Mohamed Salah from AS Roma. However, now that Brandt has cemented his reputation, Liverpool could go back to try and secure his services.

What differentiates Brandt from other wingers his age is not only his pace but also his versatility which makes him capable of filling multiple roles in midfield and attack. That said, it isn’t only the versatility but also the price tag of the player which makes him a low-risk option for the Reds.

Instead, as reports in Germany have claimed, the winger would be available for a cut-price of £22m in the summer transfer window. Therefore, should Liverpool want to acquire a low-risk backup to the likes of Firmino, Salah, and Mané, the name of the German should be atop their transfer list.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#2: Adrien Rabiot – Paris Saint Germain: Probability of happening: 8/10

BELGRADE, SERBIA - DECEMBER 11: Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia.
BELGRADE, SERBIA - DECEMBER 11: Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Position he’d occupy: Midfielder

Ask any French football fan, and they’d tell you that 2018 wasn’t a kind year for Adrien Rabiot. Due to his lackluster form for PSG last season, Didier Deschamps dropped the PSG midfielder from the 23-man French squad that went on to lift the FIFA World Cup in front of their home crowd.

The situation deteriorated further in the 2nd half of 2018 as new PSG manager Thomas Tuchel refused to give much game time to the 23-year-old. That decision, in turn, infuriated the player who refused to sign a contract extension with the club, which means he’d be free as things stand in June.

Provided that happens, Liverpool could rekindle their efforts to lure Rabiot to Anfield. Despite his lanky frame, Rabiot adds steel to the central midfield department and has that composure on the ball which differentiates him from other ball playing midfielders.

Consistency is another aspect which is noteworthy about Rabiot as he has managed a pass completion rate of 88% in each of the past four seasons. Add to the mix his ability to recycle the ball in a progressive manner – a trait not many Liverpool midfielders can boast of – and it seems only logical for the Reds to go back for the Frenchman come June.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#3: Nabil Fekir – Olympique Lyon: Probability of happening: 6/10

LYON, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 07: Nabil Fekir of Lyon reacts during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Olympique Lyonnais and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Groupama Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Lyon, France.
LYON, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 07: Nabil Fekir of Lyon reacts during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Olympique Lyonnais and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Groupama Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Position he’d occupy: Attacking midfielder

As reported by Liverpool based media outlet Liverpool Echo last year, Fekir had agreed to join Liverpool – and even had a medical – in a move that was to cost £48.4million to the Reds. Yet, the move never materialized as Liverpool showed concerns about the fitness of the French playmaker.

Whatever Liverpool’s concerns might be about the fitness of the player, the first half of 2018/19 season should have allayed all of them. Fekir played in all of Lyon’s first 18 games of the season, scoring 7 and assisting further four goals in the process.

That said, Fekir’s game is much more than simply assisting and scoring goals, as it is the work ethic of the 25-year-old – along with his dead ball specialty – which turned him into one of Europe’s deadliest midfielders last season. So brilliant were his performances that without Lyon winning any trophy, Fekir managed to get in WhoScored’s European Team of the 2017/18 season.

Ironically, though, it might not be the form of Fekir – but the failure of Naby Keita to prove his price tag – which could force Liverpool to reignite their interest in the French playmaker. Keita hasn’t been poor yet his form cannot be described as ideal as well. And with Chamberlain continuing to fight with his injury troubles, another Liverpool move for Fekir seems likely in the summer.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#4: Luka Jovic– Eintracht Frankfurt: Probability of happening: 4/10

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19: Luka Jovic of Eintracht Frankfurt (8) celebrates as he scores his team's seventh goal and his fifth during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Commerzbank-Arena on October 19, 2018 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19: Luka Jovic of Eintracht Frankfurt (8) celebrates as he scores his team's seventh goal and his fifth during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Commerzbank-Arena on October 19, 2018 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Position he’d occupy: Striker

At a time when the idea of a penalty-box striker seems to have gone out of fashion, Luka Jovic is rolling back the clock with his marvelous performances for Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt. The Serbian striker, despite being only 21, is already compared with the likes of Radamel Falcao due to his goal-scoring exploits.

What makes Jovic truly special is his natural ability in front of the goal. Comfortable with a strike partner or up front on his own, his finishing is unimpeachable, as suggested by the five goals he scored against Dusseldorf in October.

Also, like Roberto Firmino, Jovic gets rarely injured and is lightning fast in transition. Jovic also possesses very good speed and while he isn’t the tallest at 5’9’’, the 2.89 aerials duals he wins every game is a solid figure to indicate his dominance in the air.

Finally, as far as Liverpool are concerned, they’d be short of options following the departure of Daniel Sturridge after the expiry of his contract in the summer. Add to the equation the on-again, off-again form of Divock Origi, and Jovic would make a perfect backup for the in-form Roberto Firmino.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

#5: Hakim Ziyech – From Ajax: Chances of move happening: 7/10

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 25: Hakim Ziyech of Ajax in action during the Eredivisie match between Ajax and Emmen at Johan Cruyff Arena on August 25, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 25: Hakim Ziyech of Ajax in action during the Eredivisie match between Ajax and Emmen at Johan Cruyff Arena on August 25, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Position he’d occupy: Winger and attacking midfielder

If there’s one thing that was proved in Ajax’s surprise victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League this season, it was that the 25-year-old midfielder is ready to take the big European leagues by storm if a move materializes in future.

Having scored 9 goals and 14 assists in the Eredivisie in 2017/18 season, the Moroccan was considered as a plan B by most Liverpool fans after the club decided not to sign Nabil Fekir from Lyon last summer. The club, though, had other plans as it decided not to make any new signing.

Apart from his ability to play anywhere across the frontline, Ziyech also has a knack of creating chances for his teammates – as suggested by the fact that no player has provided more assists than the Moroccan in the Dutch League for the last two seasons.

What’s more, it isn’t only the Liverpool fans who have been pressing the club to make the move for the Moroccan. Instead, Ziyech’s agent also stated in January that his client would love to move to a club like Liverpool in the future.

Ligalive Infographics: Player Performance Premier League Season 2018/19

Why €250m won’t be enough?

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 19: Luis Garcia of Liverpool shows the referee Massimo Busacca a coin that was thrown on to the pitch during the UEFA Champions League, group G match between RSC Anderlecht and Liverpool at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on October 19, 2005 in Anderlecht, Belgium.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 19: Luis Garcia of Liverpool shows the referee Massimo Busacca a coin that was thrown on to the pitch during the UEFA Champions League, group G match between RSC Anderlecht and Liverpool at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on October 19, 2005 in Anderlecht, Belgium. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Liverpool, in the last few seasons, have showcased that they aren’t afraid to splash the cash on quality players. The club has spent more than €250million on acquiring the services of Virgil Van Dijk, Naby Keita, and Alisson Becker.

There is, however, one catch in the figure quoted above: most of it was financed by the sale of Phillipe Coutinho’s sale to FC Barcelona. That means that the net spend of Liverpool – a figure much derided by Liverpool fans – wasn’t more than €50m to €60m.

However, unless Liverpool decide to cash in on Mohamed Salah in the summer, they don’t have any other player who would bring in as much amount to their coffers. That means that the club would have to dig deep in its own finances to generate the amount.

Interestingly, even if Michael Edwards does that, the transfer kitty of €250million won’t still be enough to land Liverpool all of their targets mentioned in this post. In case you are reading this claim with skepticism, following are some of the reasons as to why it is true.

#1: Transfer market has gone crazy

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: The corner flag prior to kick off during the EFL Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2016 in Manchester, England.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: The corner flag prior to kick off during the EFL Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Unlike most other elements related to the transfer market like agent fees, player’s bonuses and pay-out clauses, it is easy to define the exact point which sent the transfer market ablaze. That point came when Neymar agreed to join French Champions PSG from European powerhouse FC Barcelona.

Before the departure of Neymar, Paul Pogba’s €100million transfer to Manchester United was the most expensive in history. That set a glass ceiling which most clubs were unwilling to break. However, with Neymar’s $263m move to Paris Saint-Germain, the sky has now become the limit as far as player transfer fees are concerned.

In such an environment, while clubs like Manchester City and PSG – both of whom are financed by oil money – could survive or perhaps even thrive, the likes of Liverpool have seen their hands tied behind the back.

Therefore, while in pre-Neymar scenario teams could assemble a whole team of good quality players with €250m, nowadays, only 3 to 4 good quality attackers cost that much.

10 most expensive football transfers of all time - as of 31st March 2019

RankPlayerFrom/ ToYearFee
1NeymarBarca/PSG2017€ 222m
2Kylian MbappéMonaco/PSG2017€ 180m
3Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool/Barca2018€ 120m
4Ousmane DembeléDortmund/Barca2017€ 105m
5Paul PogbaJuve/ManU2016€ 105m
6CR7Real Madrid/Juve2018€ 103m
7Gareth BaleTottenham/Real 2013€ 100m
8CR7ManU/Real Madrid2009€ 94m
9Gonzalo HiguainNapoli/Juve2016€ 90m
10NeymarFC Santos/Barca2013€ 90m

#2: Competition for players Liverpool want to sign

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Manchester City flag is seen during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Manchester City flag is seen during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Glance at the name of players which have been linked with Liverpool of late – a list which includes Ziyech, De Ligt, and Timo Werner – none of them would cost less than €70m to €80m, at the very least. That, however, poses a problem for Liverpool.

For, while they could only get 2 to 3 good quality players with €250m, the club needs signings on at least four different positions. These positions include a left-back to serve as back-up to Andrew Robertson, an attacking midfielder who can open teams up with quick and incisive passing and a winger who could take the burden off of the likes of Salah and Mane.

Also, with Daniel Sturridge leaving in the summer and Divock Origi unable to realize his true potential, Liverpool might also have to sign a backup for Roberto Firmino. That means that the club, at the very least, need four high-quality signings in the summer.

However, with a transfer kitty of €250m – all of which, it needs to be remembered, cannot be spent on signing fees alone as the wages of incoming players also need to be factored in – it is nearly impossible for the Reds to make four high-class signings.

#3: Premier League clubs are fair prey for foreign clubs

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: General view outside the stadium of a ball games prohibited sign ahead of the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on March 17, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: General view outside the stadium of a ball games prohibited sign ahead of the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on March 17, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Liverpool, like most Premier League clubs these days, is flush with cash due to TV money. It was a major – though not the only – reason why the club posted a record profit in 2019. Inherent in this seemingly good news is also bad news for Premier League clubs.

For, when Premier League clubs deal with foreign clubs, the latter know that they could simply demand a king’s ransom to give away their prized assets to the former. That’s because even a mid-table Premier League club is more valuable than Champions of minor European Leagues.

As a result, Premier League clubs pay inflated fees than, say, clubs from Bundesliga or LA Liga even when both of them go for the same player.

Add to this the player wages and agent fees, and even an otherwise decent amount of €250m could only get you 3,4 good quality players.

Addendum: Jurgen Klopp's LFC Transfers

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 03: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between SSC Napoli and Liverpool at Stadio San Paolo on October 3, 2018 in Naples, Italy.
NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 03: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between SSC Napoli and Liverpool at Stadio San Paolo on October 3, 2018 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp was appointed the LFC manager in October 2015 – replacing Brendan Rodgers after only eight games of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.

Klopp resisted the temptation of immediately signing new players in the winter 2015/16 transfer window. His strategy was to delay player transfers until he knew the strengths and weaknesses of the current squad well enough.

His first signing as Liverpool manager was Marko Grujic but he continued to play for his club for the remainder of the season on loan.

Liverpool FC Bought 20 Players for £382,850,000 Since October 2015 (31st May 2019)

PlayerFromFeeDate
Marko GrujićRed Star Belgrade£5,100,0006th Jan, 2016
Shamal GeorgeLFC Youth System£06th Jan, 2016
Kamil GrabaraRuch Chorzow£300,00015th Jan, 2016
Sadio ManeSouthampton£30,000,00028th Jun, 2016
Loris KariusMainz 05£4,700,0001st Jul, 2016
Joel MatipSchalke 04£01st Jul, 2016
Ragnar KlavanFC Augsburg£4,200,00020th Jul, 2016
Alex ManningerFree Transfer£022nd Jul, 2016
Georginio WijnaldumNewcastle United£25,000,00022nd Jul, 2016
Nat PhillipsBolton£01st Aug, 2016
Mohammed SalahAS Rome£34,000,00022nd Jun, 2017
Andy RobertsonHull City£8,000,00021st Jul, 2017
Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainArsenal£35,000,00031st Aug, 2017
Virgil van DijkSouthampton£75,000,0001st Jan, 2018
FabinhoAS Monaco£39,300,00028th May, 2018
Naby KeïtaRB Leipzig£52,500,0001st Jun, 2018
Xherdan ShaqiriStoke City£13,500,00013th Jul, 2018
Alisson BeckerAS Rome£56,250,00019th Jul, 2018
Ki-Jana HoeverAjax£01st Aug, 2018

In the summer of 2016, Klopp started a massive clearout of many of Brendan Rodgers signings.

In January 2018, he sold Philippe Coutinho to FC Barcelona netting in  £142,000,000. Until 31st May 2019, he spent £382,850,000 on 20 new players.

He sold 26 players for £289,000,000. He released 10 more players for free. Jurgen Klopp's net spent since October 2015 is only £93,850,000.

Liverpool FC Sold 26 Players for £289,000,000 Since October 2015 (31st May 2019)

PlayerToFeeDate
Jordan RossiterGlasgow Rangers£250,00013th May, 2016
Joao TeixeiraFC Porto£030th Jun, 2016
Jerome SinclairWatford£01st Jul, 2016
Sergi CanosNorwich City£2,500,00010th Jul, 2016
Martin SkrtelFenerbahce£5,500,00013th Jul, 2016
Jordon IbeBournemouth£15,000,00013th Jul, 2016
Joe AllenStoke City£13,000,00025th Jul, 2016
Brad SmithAFC Bournemouth£3,000,00027th Jul, 2016
Christian BentekeCrystal PalaceCrystal Palace19th Aug, 2016
Luis AlbertoLazio£4,300,00031st Aug, 2016
Mario BalotelliNice£031st Aug, 2016
Joe MaguireFleetwood Town£013th Jan, 2017
Tiago IloriReading£2,500,00018th Jan, 2017
Andre WisdomDerby County£2,000,0001st Jul, 2017
Lucas LeivaLazio£5,000,00018th Jul, 2017
Kevin StewartHull City£7,000,00021st Jul, 2017
Mamadou SakhoCrystal Palace£26,000,00031st Aug, 2017
Philippe Coutinho Barcelona£142,000,0007th Jan, 2018
Cameron BrannaganOxford United£250,00011th Jan, 2018
Jordan WilliamsRochdale£014th Jul, 2018
Paulo AlvesWolves£019th Jul, 2018
Ragnar KlavanCagliari£2,000,00017th Aug, 2018
Dominic SolankeBournemouth£19,000,0004th Jan, 2019
Lazar MarkovicFulham£031st Jan, 2019

He released ten more players for free. Jurgen Klopp's net spent since October 2015 is only £93,850,000. The sale of Coutinho to Barca enabled him to sign Van Dijk, Alisson Becker, and Keita and still spend less than £100m net on new players.

Not bad!

Liverpool FC Let 10 More Players Go Since October 2015 (31st May 2019)

PlayerHowDate
Jose EnriqueReleased11th May, 2016
Dan ClearyReleased11th May, 2016
Ryan McLaughlinReleased1st Jun, 2016
Samed YesilReleased30th Jun, 2016
Kolo ToureReleased30th Jun, 2016
Adam PhillipsReleased1st Jun, 2017
Jack DunnReleased9th Jun, 2017
Alex ManningerRetired1st Jul, 2017
Jon FlanaganReleased to Rangers8th Jun, 2018
Emre CanReleased to Juventus8th Jun, 2018

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