After a long hard 2020/21 club season, over the summer eyes have been firmly fixated on the events of EURO 2020.
The quadrennial competition kicked off on June 11, concluding in a final between England and Italy with Liverpool’s very own Jordan Henderson participating in the game. In the end it would be heartbreak for the Reds skipper on the international stage, as Italy proved triumphant after a penalty shootout.
For us fans, the international stage can be a perfect opportunity to get a final look at those players currently on the transfer shortlist – with Divock Origi being a recent example of a player earning a move to the Reds after an impressive tournament. If we are to believe reports, it seems that Liverpool is currently in the market for a handful of positions, including a midfielder and forward.
With that being said here are five players who were selected for their respected nations for EURO 2020, and have been recently linked with a move to Anfield:
Renato SanchesEmbed from Getty Images
The 23-year-old – who burst onto the scene at the 2016 version– shone once again on the European stage. The midfielder played a crucial part in his national side’s fixtures throughout the tournament, garnering praise from many a journalist or pundit throughout his appearances. Despite his great showings, this only resulted in starts for his sides final two games of the competition.
The Lille midfielder’s first cameo appearance was nothing short of influential. While he was not involved in any of his side’s three goals against Hungary, his introduction gave the team some much needed impetus, with the former European champions looking void of energy and creativity before the introduction of the 23-year-old. The presence of the player was certainly noticeable as Portugal went on to win comfortably, running out 3-0 victors.
Despite his impact off the bench, Sanches would have to settle for another substitute appearance in Munich, coming on at half-time against Germany with the Portuguese ultimately losing 4-2 to the 2014 world champions. Despite the damning scoreline, many saw the former Bayern Munich man as the shining light in the performance.
With calls mounting for Sanches to start, the former Swansea midfielder finally received his first start of the tournament against France, where he showcased his full portfolio of talent with a performance that received further plaudits across the footballing world. He became his side’s midfield engine constantly driving them forward and was able to match up against world-class players opposite him in the shape of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté.
The player who is valued at £40 million was excellent yet again, as the knockout stages started. However, his efforts would be in vain, as the defending champions would succumb to Belgium thanks to a first-half thunderbolt from Thorgan Hazard.
Despite just the two starts, Renato Sanches was one of the better performers for Fernando Santos’ side. If the rumours of the Red’s interest are real – then based on this season for club and country – they would be picking up a magnificent midfielder. However, the injury record of the 2016 European golden boy winner may just be enough for the club to set its sights elsewhere, with suggestions the Reds are closing in on Atletico Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez in recent days.
Florian NeuhausEmbed from Getty Images
Back in June, several reports suggested that the young Neuhaus was amongst the names on Klopp’s transfer shortlist. The Reds were formerly linked to the German back in May, when news broke that the attacking midfielder had a £34 million release clause within his current contract. However, the initial excitement for fans was short lived when stories emerged that this clause had expired at the end of that same month.
The Borussia Mönchengladbach playmaker enjoyed a fruitful individual campaign in the Bundesliga, which was so eye catching that his performances correlated into a German National call-up and eventually a part within the Euro 2020 squad. His performances across the year have also led him to be linked with moves to other top clubs across Europe including Bayern Munich.
Unfortunately for Liverpool supporters, they could not take a better look at the midfielder with the 24-year-old failing to register a single appearance at the tournament, as Joachim Löw preferred other options.
Youri TielemansEmbed from Getty Images
Another midfielder who seems to be at the top of Klopp’s wishlist is Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
The 24-year-old has just finished a thoroughly successful domestic campaign, as he played an instrumental part in his club’s FA Cup success – with a winning goal in the final – but on the international stage, he will rue the opportunity that his ‘Belgian Golden Generation’ had, as his county exited Euro 2020 a lot sooner than planned.
Roberto Martinez’ led Red Devil’s were eliminated by eventual winners Italy 2-1, with Tielemans unusually struggling to cope with the intense pressing by the Azzuri. The No.8 was eventually substituted as his nation looked to diminish the relentless energy from Roberto Mancini’s team, with Dries Mertens coming on to add more firepower up top.
While this game didn’t define his tournament, the FA Cup winner shined in his previous four appearances at the competition. Just on this occasion, the 24-year-old – who is normally excellent in evading an opposition press – performed poorly, with the press from the Italians proving too much for the playmaker.
While the midfielder is in no doubt an exceptional one, there is a question mark hovering over whether he is the right fit at this moment? Do Liverpool need a player to link defence to attack in the way Tielemans can or do they need someone who can provide the midfield with a never tiring work ethic, like Wijnaldum used to do? We will find out in the coming month or so.
Donyell MalenEmbed from Getty Images
The Dutchman was selected for his national side after an impressive 33 goal contributions in 43 games for his club during a highly successful campaign. The links for the 22-year-old have been lingering for quite some time but only now have the rumours become more advanced.
In terms of Malen’s EURO 2020 campaign, the No.18 originally started off the tournament as second fiddle to Wout Weghorst and Memphis Depay – but after back-to-back assists as a substitute against Austria and North Macedonia – the Eredivisie star forced his way into Frank de Boer’s starting XI for the knockout rounds.
Unfortunately for the PSV No.9, his run as a starter for his country would end at the round of 16 stage, with his side falling to a surprise defeat against the Czech Republic. Overall, it was a dismal display by Oranje side, but Malen proved a bright spark with his runs proving to be difficult for the Czechs to handle.
The electric attacker showcased his speed in the 52nd minute, when he poked the ball past two opposing players before sprinting past both of them where he was then unable to round Tomáš Vaclík who collected the ball.
Donyell Malen looks to be an exciting prospect with plenty of promise. With his desire to charge forward and get in behind the opposition with his pace, it seems like he would excel within the Liverpool front three. However, it looks like the Red’s might miss out on the Dutchman, as in recent days it has been reported that he is on his way to Borussia Dortmund as Jadon Sancho’s replacement.
Kingsley ComanEmbed from Getty Images
Kingsley Coman’s is world-class. There is no doubting his quality considering his successful spells at PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich. Yet, the Reds interest in the winger might have cooled after his EURO 2020 ended in a similar fashion in which his season began, through injury.
The Bayern Munich forward managed just two appearances for Didier Deschamps side this summer, with his second appearance against Switzerland being cut short in extra time due to injury. The Frenchman only managed 90 minutes at the competition and was unable to make an impact in both of his appearances.
While the 25-year-old is an exciting player to watch, the only thing to take away from this competition is that he is still being plagued with injuries. The Bundesliga forward has missed 56 games since the 2017-2018 season with current Liverpool wingers Mohamed Salah missing just three games and Sadio Mané missing 20 in that same period.
The links to the club have reports suggesting the Red’s lodged a bid at the end of June for around £30 million to sign the winger. However, recently Bayern Munich have announced it would take around £90 million to pry him away from the German champions. With this figure, a move to Merseyside now looks unlikely.
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