While Liverpool became Premier League champions this season, it was also a memorable year for Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth and Watford – but for all the wrong reasons.
For us Kopites, eyes will be firmly set on retaining the title. But with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United set to dip into the transfer market with money to spend it will likely become a much more competitive season than the one just gone.
Jürgen Klopp has been rather candid when it comes to incomings at Liverpool and has admitted the Anfield club do not have the same funds as their top four counterparts when it comes to transfers.
With it looking likely that the Reds will not splash mega money on players, they could turn to the three aforementioned relegated clubs for cheaper alternative players to add to their squad as they look to defend their Premier League crown.
It’s a transfer market tactic which has been used by the Reds in the recent past – Georginio Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri and Andy Robertson were all signed from clubs who had dropped into the second tier.
Nathan Aké is one of those who the Reds would have looked at with a view to potentially signing in the aftermath of Dejan Lovren’s departure, but numerous outlets are now reporting the the Dutch defender is on his way to Manchester City in a deal worth £41m.
Here are four players Liverpool could look at in the upcoming window from AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City or Watford:
Jamal Lewis – Norwich CityEmbed from Getty Images
One of the most exciting things about Daniel Farke’s Norwich is the full-back pairing of Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis. Despite their side’s problems across the season, both have shown that they have the talent to play in England’s top flight.
With Liverpool only having Andy Robertson as a real left-back option, a back-up to the No.26 seems like the most logical step. James Milner and Neco Williams have deputised when needed but neither are natural fits on the left side of the Red’s defence.
Jamal Lewis is only 22-years old and would be an excellent addition to Klopp’s squad adding some much needed depth. His attacking qualites have earned him praise throughout the season despite his low numbers in terms of goal contributions.
The left-back is a decent crosser of the ball and his defensive game could do with some improvement but who better to learn from than one of the best in the league in Robertson?
His performances this season have already sparked rumours of Liverpool interest so there’s could be a chance we see the Northern Irishman in a Liverpool shirt next season.
Ismaïla Sarr – WatfordEmbed from Getty Images
Ismaïla Sarr is a name many Liverpool fans will remember from the shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford back in February. The Senegalese winger was the main threat for the Hornets as they stung the Reds’ hopes of an invincible season.
He ended the game with two goals and an assist, with his second showcasing his speed and composure to chip the onrushing Alisson Becker. Across the season he has shown a desire to run at defenders, much like his Senegalese teammate Sadio Mané.
Sarr ended the season with five goals and four assists making him Watford’s second most influential player in attack. Nine goal contributions in a side fighting relegation is a solid return and his output would most likely increase in a more attacking side like Klopp’s Liverpool.
The Watford No.23 could become the perfect understudy to Mané as well as adding a much needed boost to the champions attacking options off the bench.
Emiliano Buendía – Norwich CityEmbed from Getty Images
What brings my eyes towards the Canaries’ Argentine winger is his attacking graph from this season when compared with Xherdan Shaqiri’s in 2017/18, when he was also a part of a side who got relegated.
The only aspect of Buendía’s game in which the former Stoke City man outperforms him in is goals, although when it comes to chance creation the Norwich man exceeds the numbers of the Liverpool player.
Shaqiri has been a valuable asset for his side, particularly in the 2018/19 season. However, the Swiss international has rarely featured for Liverpool across this season due to injury problems and rumours have been circling around the future of the No.23. If he does end up leaving, Emi Buendía could be the perfect solution and replacement.
The most impressive stat is that Buendía averages more key passes per 90 (3.03) than Mané (1.92), Firmino (1.54) and Salah (1.86). The Norwich winger finished the season with seven assists but that figure could easily have been much greater with more clinical attackers ahead of him.
With Norwich going down, the No.17 could arrive cheaper than the potential sale of Shaqiri, which would be extremely shrewd business from the Anfield side.
David Brooks – AFC BournemouthEmbed from Getty Images
2019/20 was not the season David Brooks would of hoped for. He only played nine games for Eddie Howe this season due to injury. Brooks is a very talented player and in his debut Premier League season in 2018/19 he scored eight and assisted five.
Brooks is an excellent passer of the ball and is able to drag players out of position with his quick feet and thinking. He has the ability to play in a central position as well as out wide making his versatility a valuable asset.
However, despite the 23-year-old’s clear ability, out of all the players mentioned he would be the least desired right now due to the rise of Curtis Jones.
The Reds have been linked with the Welshman in the past and if he is available for a relatively low figure he would be a welcomed addition at Anfield.
Never miss a thing
Get all of our content sent straight to your inbox — free of charge.