By James Miller – @JamesMillernews
Coming off the back of what has been a remarkable season, the Reds have shown that it won’t be cheap to improve the starting lineup.
A second-placed Premier League finish backed up with a Champions League final to come really does highlight the existing ability at Jürgen Klopp’s disposal. This Liverpool side already boasts a vast amount of quality and includes several world-class players.
In order to improve the starting XI, it would require arguably some of the best talent in Europe, which don’t tend to come cheap. However, looking more realistically there isn’t too much that the Reds require. Something that would be hugely beneficial though, is the addition of squad players to add that extra depth which is lacking.
One thing that has to be said about Klopp and his transfer business is that it’s often very strategical – he won’t be forced to buy players, nor will he look to waste money. It is highly likely that the German has had his targets set in motion for some time now and is just waiting to pounce.
This summer will see a substantial amount of high-calibre players become free agents and therefore be in search of a new club. It would make sense for Liverpool to look at some of the players available. I’ve chosen three players who will potentially be available on a free transfer that I feel would be great addition to the squad.
Yacine Brahimi (Porto)
The Algerian forward signed for Porto in the summer of 2014 from Spanish club Granada. His time in Portugal has very much been a successful one. He is a player that is no stranger to a link away from the club, though, and Liverpool have actually been mentioned in previous years. It’s easy to see why.
Although he is approaching his thirties, Brahimi still possesses a good level of pace and with his tight ball control he can certainly cause defenders problems in one-on-one situations. This season, Brahimi finished as Porto’s third top scorer in the league with 10 goals, he also added a further four assists in all competitions.
He is a player who would come with bags of experience in the Champions League, having featured in the competition for the past five seasons. It may not seem too important to some but it can really help, especially for a club with a European pedigree as famous as Liverpool’s.
I wouldn’t expect Brahimi to come and be a regular starter, not with the front three on show already, but it could well be a worthy addition to improve the quality coming off the bench. If you look at it logically too, there isn’t much that can go wrong either, he would be free and likely wouldn’t require a mega wage packet.
Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
It is no secret that Liverpool are in the market for a left back. With Alberto Moreno on his way out, cover for Andrew Robertson is required.
Luis is a player who has been considered in the past as one of the best in the game. He would join the Reds having already played Premier League football at Chelsea, a spell in which he won a Premier League title.
If he could be brought in on a free it would be ideal. He is a man with a whole host of experience in Europe, domestically and Internationally. Now 33, he is at a point in his career where he may accept playing a bit part role.
The Brazilian would also come with a knack for winning trophies, having already racked up eight in his career including two Europa League titles.
I would be delighted with this signing if it was to come into existence, Luis has shown his quality for numerous years and would be a great player to have in the squad.
Hatem Ben Arfa (Rennes)
This candidate is a more controversial choice. Throughout his career he has promised so much but always struggled with consistency. One game he seems unstoppable – the next, painfully average.
If I was manager, though, I would take a risk on the Frenchman, as his natural ability has never been in question. Klopp has the capabilities of getting the best out of players. One thing that is notable at the moment with Liverpool, is the distinct lack of creativity from midfield at times. I’m a firm believer that Nabil Fekir may well have been the player to help us squeeze past Manchester City, but it wasn’t to be.
Ben Arfa loves the ball at his feet and is brave in moving forward at pace. For me, he is the type of player we have been looking for. Looking back on his journeyman career, I believe that his best spell was in the Premier League with Newcastle.
Rennes do currently have an option to extend his deal by a further year but, if the deal is possible, Klopp should look into it.