Three Players Without Champions League Football Who Liverpool Should Sign
Liverpool are on the verge of sealing qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. The Reds occupy the 3rd place in the Premier League right now, 3 points ahead of Manchester City, who sit 4th in the table with a game in hand.
Jurgen Klopp’s men started the season in a blistering form and were tipped as favourites for the title in the early parts of the season. However, things fizzled out since the turn of the year, knocking them out of the title race. But with Champions League football very much on the horizon, adding numbers to the squad will be of paramount importance in the summer transfer window.
To that end, we look at three players from Premier League clubs without European qualification, who can aid Liverpool in their bid to perform well on the continental stages next season:
Virgil van Dijk
One of the main reasons for Liverpool’s season falling apart since January has been their defensive frailty. Klopp hasn’t been able to field a settled centre-back pairing this season which has caused several problems for the Reds at the back. Joel Matip has been consistent but with Dejan Lovren’s continued injury problems and Ragnar Klavan’s lack of quality, Liverpool have struggled and have the worst defensive record among the top six teams.
Bringing in quality personnel like Van Dijk can ease their problems to a great extent. The Dutchman has easily been one of the most impressive defenders in England in the past two years and has emerged as a leader on the field – something that Liverpool have lacked this season. He could make a huge difference, especially in the European ties where having a strong presence on the pitch becomes very important.
Another defender who has been a subject of massive interest from Liverpool, Burnley’s Michael Keane is one of the most sought-after centre-halves by the top Premier League clubs with Manchester United also chasing their academy graduate.
Keane has excelled in the past two years at Turf Moor and has grown into one of the most promising defenders in England and recently broke into the England national set-up as well. The 24-year old was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award as well, based on his excellent displays this season.
With Liverpool’s defensive woes there for all to see, bringing in someone like Keane will go a long way in plugging the holes at the back, while also allowing Klopp the opportunity to rotate his squad with other options available.
After a stellar season last time around, leading Leicester City to the Premier League title, the 26-year old Algerian has dropped off a little this season, which has played a part in his team’s poor campaign.
Despite a below-par season, Mahrez has managed to score 9 goals and set 7 goals up from 44 games across all competitions. 4 of these goals have come in the Champions League where the Foxes did fare quite well, making it to the quarter-finals of the competition. This indicates his ability to perform on the biggest stage.
Liverpool struggled to get going in the absence of Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho in the early parts of this year. The lack of quality options on the right flank, apart from Mane, is something that they will need to address in the summer. In Mahrez they have someone who will fit in perfectly in the scheme of things. He would certainly add great quality to the side.