The transfer window is almost upon us again, and while Jürgen Klopp’s team boast an impressive 34 points after 12 games and sit atop the Premier League, there are some still calling for January reinforcements.
The man tipped to make the switch to Anfield this past summer, Hakim Ziyech, still plies his trade at Ajax with the 26-year old now committed to the Dutch club until 2022 — the Moroccan’s alleged £26million release clause has been removed from the contract.
Ziyech fit the mould of the versatile left-sided player Klopp was supposedly after this past summer, but any meaningful Ziyech-to-Liverpool rumours have since cooled as the summer window closed.
Liverpool’s attacking options, outside of the front three, remain rather unattractive — although effective so far. With Liverpool still fighting for silverware in the five competitions, it’ll be tough to rely on the fitness of of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri as your attacking prowess off the bench, especially with the latter tipped to be looking to leave the club.
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Considering the jam-packed fixture list coming up in the festive period coupled with Klopp’s lack of depth in the attacking department, the German may be tempted to dip into the transfer market come January 1.
One man apparently on Klopp’s radar is Italian winger Lorenzo Insigne. Blessed with pace and an eye for goal, there’s no denying the Napoli captain’s quality with the ball at his feet. The only real question — and it is definitely a concern — is the size and stature of the Italian.
Standing at 5′ 4″ and weighing 130 pounds, Insigne would have to adapt quickly to the physicality of the Premier League upon arrival. Should the price be right, would it be worth taking a punt on one of Napoli’s main men despite his physical shortcomings?
Liverpool were linked with the 28-year-old this past summer where Klopp debunked the link, claiming: “We will not sign Lorenzo Insigne. He’s a very good player, but he has a long-term contract at Napoli and we will not even try it.”
The German ended the statement, however, by saying: “Our eyes are always open, we always look, but nothing to say in the moment.”
You’re never going to get too much out of the boss regarding transfer speculation, but it seems he’s certainly not ruled this one out entirely.
Adding fuel to the ‘Insigne to Liverpool’ fire, following Napoli’s 1-1 draw with FC Salzburg earlier this November, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis demanded the players convene for a training retreat to correct their poor form — the players refused, and De Laurentiis wisely threatened to sell the entire team and start from scratch.
Insigne, just this past summer, was apparently quoted at £55million — quite steep for a 28-year old, but not an unreal sum of money that Liverpool couldn’t afford especially for a team expecting an influx of cash in anticipation of a new kit deal with Nike.
The short answer is yes. Liverpool will most likely be looking elsewhere, but you never can be sure. The club will presumably stay true with their transfer philosophy of recent years — buying players aged 21-24 on the verge of their physical prime, yet still young enough to mould into the mentality-giant world-beaters we’re seeing in Liverpool’s team today.
Lorenzo Insigne would certainly bolster attacking depth significantly ahead of a busy winter period, but would Napoli be willing to part ways with their captain at the midway point of the season?
The search for a versatile attacking option is still very much on. Could Insigne be that man? If the price is right and Klopp is still keen on the player, who knows — crazier things have happened!