Dream Liverpool Playing XI With Lemar And Virgil van Dijk In The Mix
Philippe Coutinho’s transfer request, lack of transfer activity and familiar defensive frailty in Liverpool’s season opener against Watford (that ended in a 3-3 draw) turned Anfield into a frenzy of rage. However, 4 consecutive victories along with a Champions League group stage berth, securing a win against bogey team Crystal Palace and a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal swung moods at the Merseyside this weekend.
Although Liverpool brought in Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke, and Andrew Robertson during this summer window, they had some unfinished business and their sudden upsurge late in the market surprised many. Naby Keita, Jurgen Klopp’s long-term transfer target, has been signed for a club-record fee but will only play for the club from next season.
Liverpool, however, are not done yet in the transfer market. They have broken their club-record fee within hours, for Monaco sensation Thomas Lemar who has been coveted by Arsenal throughout the window. Monaco, the Ligue1 champions, are holding out for a much bigger transfer fee, but the Reds are hopeful of striking a deal within next couple of days with a bid of £75m reportedly on the cards.
Virgil Van Dijk, another long-term Liverpool target, might be on his way within the next couple of days as reports have emerged claiming that Klopp is readying a £70m bid for the Dutchman. Southampton, though adamant to keep hold of him despite handing in a transfer request, might be forced to sell the Dutchman before the deadline. The fee is tipped to be another club-record deal and Liverpool won’t bother about Coutinho’s future (they are still confident of keeping hold of him this season against his willingness) if they recruit both Lemar and Van Dijk in this window.
Van Dijk will slot into Liverpool’s defence to partner Joel Matip, replacing Dejan Lovren. The 26-year-old Dutch international is rated as one of the best defenders in the English league and is hailed for his aerial ability, control, passing, and vision, alongside usual defensive traits like blocking, snatching, shielding, positioning, tackling and intercepting attributes. The Reds’ back-line has been scrutinised time and again, however, Van Dijk’s arrival might bring back consistency and discipline in the long run.
Lemar, the 21-year-old French international, is one of Europe’s brightest football talents. He is a left-footer who can play on both the wings as well as through the middle. Lemar, who netted 14 goals and assisted 17 times in 55 appearances for Monaco last season, can be termed as a replacement of want-away Philippe Coutinho who is desperate to join Barcelona despite signing in a new five-year-deal earlier this year.
Lemar has an imposing set-piece ability, loves to dribble past the opposition, and is hailed for his majestic passing and crossing skills. With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on the wings, Lemar might be explored behind Roberto Firmino in a ‘number 10’ role and would form a lethal attacking force by pulling the strings from behind the front three.
Here is how Liverpool could line up with the £145m duo of Lemar and Van Dijk in the team:
Also, the likes of Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Dejan Lovren etc. will keep knocking the door. Liverpool finally seem to have a great bench strength after years of non-success.