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Liverpool signing this 25-year-old Bundesliga star for £18m would be an absolute bargain and a key move

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Liverpool Opinion: Philipp Max would be the ideal Robertson back-up

According to The Sun, Champions League winners Liverpool and La Liga champions Barcelona are set to go head to head in a transfer tug of war over Augsburg left-back Philipp Max.

The Sun understands that Liverpool are keen to provide first-choice left-back Andrew Robertson with more competition next term and they have identified Philipp Max as a replacement for Alberto Moreno, who was released upon the expiry of his contract earlier in the summer. 

Robertson has established himself as one of the mainstays of Jurgen Klopp’s setup over the past 18 months, proving himself to be a key creative outlet for the team down the left flank. However, the Reds are seemingly interested in giving him a harder run for a spot in the team, with Max now on their radar. 

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Meanwhile, Barcelona are also looking for a left-back to provide competition for Jordi Alba and have set their sights on the 25-year-old, who is valued at around £18million by Augsburg. (h/t Sun)

The German international contributed with 4 goals and 7 assists in 34 appearances in all competitions, as Augsburg barely beat the drop in the Bundesliga to ensure another season of top-flight football. Max, though, might be on his way to a bigger club this summer, with Liverpool and Barcelona believed to be hot on his trail.

Born in Viersen, Germany, Max played for 1860 Munich and Bayern Munich at the youth level before making his mark in professional football with Schalke.

The left-back made only two first-team appearances for Schalke and spent time with the reserve side before moving on to join second-tier outfit Karlsruher SC in 2014. 

Max made an immediate return to the top-flight with Augsburg in 2015 and managed to nail down a regular starting role at his new club.

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The 25-year-old hasn’t looked back since then and has carved out a massive reputation for himself as one of the most exciting attack-minded full-backs in German football, accumulating a total of 7 goals and 23 assists in 125 appearances for Augsburg. 

As a matter of fact, Max’s tally of 12 assists in the 2017-18 season in the Bundesliga was only bettered by Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, who had racked up 14 that season.

The 25-year-old didn’t reach the same heights last term, as Augsburg endured a lacklustre campaign in the German top-flight. Max represented Germany at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and was a key component of the side that bagged the silver medal in that competition. 

To put things into perspective, Liverpool are not in dire need of spending big this summer after heavy investment over the past 18 months but the Reds should be open to the idea of snapping up quality players for reasonable transfer fees. And taking the current market scenario into consideration, £18m would be a bargain.

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The Reds have enough firepower in their attacking ranks but they might as well need a specialist No.10 this summer, whilst a back-up for Robertson at left-back should be another priority for the club.

Going by what he has shown in the Bundesliga at a mid-table side over the past few seasons, Max has the right kind of balance in his game, both in terms of attack as well as defence, and few would argue against the fact that he is good enough to play for a top-quality club in Europe. 

An excellent crosser of the ball who also has a deadly eye for key passes in the final third, the 25-year-old not only excels with his ability to cut out the attacks at the back but he is more than capable of playing as an out-and-out winger further up the pitch. Moreover, the German is a proven set-piece specialist and has a knack for finding the net from direct free-kicks. 

In the 2017-18 campaign, Max averaged 2 tackles, 1 interception, 2.4 key passes, 3.2 crosses and 2.2 successful long balls per game, figures which are eye-watering, to say the least. 

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Liverpool already have a strong squad full of international stalwarts but that should not stop them from investing in quality players if and when the opportunity presents itself.

Keeping that in mind, Klopp could be in for a massive bargain if the Reds manage to strike a deal for the 25-year-old Bundesliga star this summer.