Why Liverpool Should Spend £200m This Summer And Sign These 6 Players
It is a summer of huge importance for Premier League giants Liverpool. The 18-time league winners finished the season placed 4th, carving out a place in the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League. It marks Liverpool’s return to Europe’s elite football competition two years after they crashed out of the competition at group stages in the 2014/15 season.
Jurgen Klopp has managed to turn things around at Anfield since taking over eighteen months ago from Brendan Rodgers. The way Liverpool started the season, they looked like genuine title contenders for the first half of the season. But injuries and unavailability of key personnel over a prolonged period of time since the turn of the year saw them fall out of the race. The lack of depth in the squad was clearly visible as the Reds struggled to recapture the form they showed in the earlier parts of the season.
With European football returning next season, Liverpool will be playing more number of games than they did this time around. And for them to put up a strong fight on all fronts, Klopp will need to strengthen his squad, both in terms of quality and quantity, if he wants to avoid a repeat of what happened in the latter parts of this season.
It was recently reported (Independent.ie) that the Reds will be given a £100million purse by owners FSG to spend in the transfer market. While that is a sizeable amount, it is certainly not enough investment for a club that wants to challenge for the Premier League title and compete strongly in Europe as well. In the current state of the inflated market, a budget of £100million would at most get one or two world class players and that is not enough for the Reds at this point to achieve their ambitions.
Liverpool, in the summer, need to bring in at least five to six quality additions who can hit the ground running and make an immediate impact at the club. And for that to happen, the Reds will need to spend at least £200million in the market to strengthen the ranks to be able to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
Here are six players who they should sign with that budget:
Virgil van Dijk
There are no doubts that Liverpool’s weakest link is their defence. And to plug that hole in the backline, they will need to bring in a top-class centre-half who has proven himself at this stage. Virgil van Dijk has been linked with a move to Anfield in the past and it makes total sense considering that he has been one of the best centre-backs in the top division over the past two years. With Chelsea also interested in signing the Dutchman, things may get a little complicated for Liverpool, but if they manage to partner him with Joel Matip next season, there will be very few teams that can get past the Liverpool defence.
The 22-year old defensive midfielder from RB Leipzig has been one of the most impressive players in Germany this season and has attracted interests from various quarters. Liverpool have found it tough to replace captain Jordan Henderson in the midfield when he has been out injured and with Lucas Leiva most likely to leave at the end of the season, a new addition in the middle of the park will be necessary. Keita has the quality to excel in England and he also chips in with goals and assists while also protecting his defence adeptly, making him an ideal addition to the Liverpool squad.
Another position of concern for the Reds is that of the left-back. James Milner has been impressive in his makeshift position but with more number of games next season, he might find it hard to go about at a similar level. Benjamin Mendy has been one of the best left-backs in the French Ligue1 this season and has been key for the success that AS Monaco have achieved. Just 22 years-old, he has gathered more than 200 club appearances, highlighting his potential. An attacking full-back with plenty of pace to burn and a strong defensive nous, the Frenchman will be a perfect fit in the Liverpool system.
With Liverpool back in Europe, it is of paramount importance that they sign a big name striker who can get them 20 plus goals on a consistent basis. The Reds’ primary striker target Alexandre Lacazette is close to signing for Atletico Madrid. So the Reds will have to turn their attention elsewhere and Mauro Icardi fits the bill. The 24-year old has been one of the most consistent performers for a struggling Inter Milan for three years now and has the ability to deliver more than 20 goals per season. Icardi might be the right kind of striker for Liverpool right now.
Another left-back who is on the radar of Liverpool, they should pursue their interests in the 17-year old Fulham defender. While he may lack the experience at the top level, it seems like Sessegnon has done enough for the Cottagers in the Championship last season to convince Klopp of his abilities. With Alberto Moreno likely to leave, the Reds will be stretched thin in the left-back department and a future prospect, who also has the ability to step into the first team immediately if needed, would be a shrewd purchase. And Sessegnon would be one such signing.
The 23-year old Englishman has had his best campaign for Arsenal this season but could leave the club in search of Champions League football, amidst interest from Liverpool. ‘The Ox’ is an extremely versatile player who can play on the flanks or in the central midfield and has recently excelled in a wing-back role too. It is no secret that Klopp is an admirer of such versatility. Oxlade-Chamberlain will also give Liverpool some added depth on the wings, in case Sadio Mane or Philippe Coutinho’s unavailability. In all ways, he would be an excellent addition for the Reds.