By Connor Varnish – @cvarn4
Chris Bascombe, Merseyside reporter for The Telegraph, reported this past weekend that Jurgen Klopp is still keen on bringing in a versatile, left-sided forward for the first team.
The journalist elaborates that this player will be of first-team quality, but must be mindful of the fact that he likely won’t be a regular starter. The lack of signings thus far coupled with a few poor results – albeit in pre-season – have been underwhelming given we’re still just nine weeks on from lifting the Champions League trophy for the sixth time.
Let’s be honest, pre-season has been rough. The US tour had the Reds training in sweltering heat on pitches designed for baseball and American football, and the recent trip to Edinburgh saw Klopp’s men practically swept aside by a superior Napoli side.
Of course, we’re missing our front three and a few other faces, but it’s still quite worrying to lose three out of four pre-season games, regardless of who Liverpool field.
Klopp has since promised his side will be a “different animal” when it comes to actual competitive fixtures, but early days of the 2019/20 season have supporters skeptical of our chances considering we’ll be fighting for silverware in seven competitions this year.
The aforementioned front three are soon to return to the team from their holidays. Despite the valiant efforts of both Brewster and Origi particularly this pre-season, the attacking line evidently lacks that cutting edge we’ve become accustomed to.
Liverpool have been heavily linked with the Ivorian wide-man Nicolas Pépé, but those dreams have been dashed – he’s apparently destined for Arsenal and will fetch an €80m price tag.
The Lille forward would have been an ideal signing to cover the front three as he was the perfect mould for Liverpool’s recent transfer policy – young, but old enough (24 years of age) to push on and find that next level in a world-class team. As an added bonus, the Ivorian would have been handy in the event of one of Bobby, Mo, or Mane picking up a knock. Alas, the search continues.
Liverpool have ample money to spend on a versatile forward this summer. That’s not the problem – Jurgen just wants to make sure everything’s right before he pulls the trigger on new, costly talent.
With rivals splashing the cash improving their respective squads, though, it would be negligent to stand still. A new forward must join Liverpool before the deadline.
With interest having gone cold on Memphis Depay over the last several weeks, it appears that there may be a window for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech to make the switch to Liverpool. The Moroccan reportedly turned down a move to Sevilla recently, stating: “The right club didn’t make an offer yet, so for now I just stick with Ajax.”
Could the Reds be that ‘right club’? He’s certainly a versatile attacking option given his ability to play both centrally and out wide. He also fits the transfer philosophy – 25 years old with time to improve at a bigger club surrounded by the likes of Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah, and Sadio Mané to highlight his class.
Although not certain, the attacker reportedly has a release clause at or below €30million. It seems too good to be true given the glaring quality of the Ajax man, so we’ll have to see how the future of Ajax’s No.10 unfolds.