The January transfer window is just a few weeks away from opening and with Liverpool in need of midfield reinforcements, who could Jürgen Klopp target this winter?
As the return of the Premier League approaches, so does the hustle and bustle of the transfer market. The winter window is scheduled to open in January and with Liverpool desperately in need of midfield reinforcements, Jürgen Klopp could be set to get involved.
Jude Bellingham is known to be his first-choice target but with the Borussia Dortmund skipper almost certainly unattainable until the summer, the Reds will have to consider other options if they are to address their weak point in the middle of the campaign. Indeed, the large majority of players are unavailable in the winter, which makes the window notoriously difficult to navigate.
Nevertheless, there are some players who could be signed for the right price. Upon inspection of the landscape, who could Liverpool realistically target to bolster their midfield department next month, before chasing Bellingham’s signature at the end of the season?
Morocco have been the surprise performers at this year’s World Cup, reaching the semi-finals after beating Spain and Portugal while also topping their group which featured Belgium and Croatia.
Sofyan Amrabat has been at the heart of their resilient and determined performances, emerging as one of the breakthrough stars of the tournament, having held the fort for Morocco since the opening round of fixtures. Aside from one own goal suffered against Canada, his men haven’t conceded a single goal.
The Fiorentina fulcrum is tenacious, aggressive and very capable at breaking up opposition attacks, while also playing in a composed manner when he’s got the ball at his feet. In fact, over the past year, he ranks in the 97th percentile of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes on a per-90 basis, averaging more than Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.As a bargain who could be picked up for a reasonable price from the 10th-placed team in Serie A, Amrabat could be a solid solution.
Moisés Caicedo (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Moisés Caicedo is a player who was impressing throughout the new Premier League campaign before the World Cup commenced, painting himself as an established starter at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Having recently turned 21 years old, the Ecuadorian international has room to grow under Klopp’s wing at Anfield, and his current level suggests he’s already one of the most effective midfielders on English shores. He is the ultimate ball-winner — placing fifth in the Premier League among midfielders for tackles and interceptions at present — and one who also has the composure and quality to play when in possession.
Caicedo has two-and-a-half years left on his contract which puts Brighton in a strong position to negotiate but crucially, he earns less than £4,000 per week according to Capology. As a consequence, a transfer for the South American starlet wouldn’t cost much once taking everything into account, and he could be attained for less than his true worth on the pitch.
The Seagulls will want to keep him, but perhaps Liverpool can convince them to cash in on their wonderkid sooner rather than later.
Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Youri Tielemans looks destined to leave Leicester City at the end of the campaign. The Belgian international has proved to be reluctant to sign a new contract at the King Power Stadium, which could allow Liverpool to pounce when his deal expires in just six months.
However, given the Foxes are toying with the prospect of losing him for free, perhaps they would entertain a winter bid for his services. Tielemans is a very technical and his contributions when in possession are elite for the most part. He demonstrates comfort on the ball and a well-rounded modern skill set.
He’s averaged roughly 32.6 starts in the Premier League over the past three campaigns, and having initially emerged on the European scene as a 16-year-old, he’s proved that his availability is almost unrivalled, and that has been a quality that Liverpool have been without in midfield since Gini Wijnaldum’s departure.
Now 25 years old and entering his supposed prime years of performance, he isn’t quite as energetic or intense as the customary Klopp workhorse but given he’s about to leave on a free transfer, he could be picked up on the cheap.
Kouadio Koné (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Kouadio Koné is just 21 years old, and he’s regarded as a growing prospect in the Bundesliga. The Frenchman is currently contracted to Borussia Mönchengladbach until 2025, but given the German side are currently ranked eighth in the table with no European football to worry about, perhaps he could be attainable in the market.
The Frenchman is a capable ball-winner for Gladbach and when in possession, he’s an avid dribbler. Koné places 10th in the German top-flight for successful dribbles this season, behind pacey forwards such as Leroy Sané and Marcus Thuram to name but a few. Only one midfielder places ahead of him, though: Bellingham.
His tricky and relatively unpredictable nature when in possession allows him to win fouls often, as only seven players in the Bundesliga have been fouled more than him this term. He’s a wildcard option but overall, Koné appears to have a high ceiling and crucially, he could probably be acquired in January.