Liverpool’s midfield has been identified as a problem area but they may have an even more glaring issue to deal with.

Liverpool’s need for midfield reinforcements is well-publicised by now but manager Jurgen Klopp is battling another issue, in that he could be left short of homegrown players for next season. At least eight out of every 25-man Premier League squad have to meet ‘homegrown’ criteria and although the Reds would just about meet the threshold for next season as things stand, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain approaching the end of their respective contracts could leave Klopp in a sticky situation. Express Sport looks at four players Liverpool could turn to, to put things right…

Jude Bellingham

Fortunately for Klopp, a player that counts as homegrown just so happens to be his top transfer target. Although Bellingham has earned his living with German giants Borussia Dortmund since 2020, he qualifies for the quota having risen through the ranks with Birmingham City.

Klopp has already made his admiration for the 19-year-old public and Reds supporters will naturally have taken the positive signs out of his close relationship with Jordan Henderson while on England duty, but Liverpool will likely have to cough up more than £100million to get the deal done and fend off competition from the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Another player that could help Liverpool fill their homegrown quota and simultaneously bolster their midfield options, Dewsbury-Hall has been one of Leicester City’s standout performers during a tricky campaign for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The 24-year-old signed a new contract last year that will keep him tied to the King Power Stadium until 2027, but the Foxes will surely have their price, and the Reds could do worse than to cast their eye over a player who has appeared in all-bar-one of the Leicester’s Premier League games this season, notching two goals and two assists in the process.

Jarrod Bowen

Liverpool have only just bolstered their attacking ranks by splashing out £37m on Netherlands star Cody Gakpo, but Klopp could need more reinforcements in the summer if Roberto Firmino decides to jump ship. The Brazilian is into the final six months of his contract and would be a big miss at Anfield if he decides to run it down and leave on a free transfer.

Bowen has been linked with the Reds in the past and while West Ham flirt with relegation danger, they may have no choice but to let him go at the end of the season. To maintain interest from top clubs, however, Bowen will have to rediscover his scoring touch with just two goals in 18 Premier League games this campaign.

Jack Butland

A crafty way for Premier League sides to fill their homegrown quota is to do so by bringing in a back-up goalkeeper. Butland recently signed for Manchester United on a short-term loan deal that expires at the end of the season, at which point he will also be out of contract with Crystal Palace.

As such, he could be an intriguing option for Liverpool as a player who picked up nine England caps earlier in his career. That being said, a move for Butland would surely depend on current No 2 Caoimhin Kelleher seeking a new first-team challenge elsewhere, having unanimously impressed as Alisson Becker’s deputy.


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