Monday 21 August 2017

How Liverpool could line up next season as Jurgen Klopp identifies his primary summer transfer targets

Luke Brown

Liverpool have been linked with a number of new signings this summer, as Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his team ahead of a return to the Champions League.

The club drew more games than any of their top-four rivals last season and often struggled to kill off the so-called lesser teams despite impressing against the big boys – so some additional firepower is a must.

Predictably, the club have been linked with a number of players currently plying their trade in the Bundesliga as Klopp looks to make the most of his German contacts.

But they are also targeting players from their Premier League rivals, including Arsenal and Southampton.

Here, we analyse how Liverpool could line up at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet

Liverpool were linked with Joe Hart for much of last season, but in April Jurgen Klopp ruled out signing the England international by insisting he was happy with his current goalkeeping options. “There was never any doubt that Simon is a top keeper,” the German said of Mignolet recently.

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Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Photo: REUTERS

Left-back – Andrew Robertson

Fulham’s teenage prospect Ryan Sessegnon is also a potential new left-back, but Hull’s Robertson would be able to immediately slot into the current Liverpool first-team. Robertson has just 12 months remaining on his current deal and would likely be available at a cut-price fee.

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Scotland's Andrew Robertson

Centre-back – Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool will have a fight on their hands if they want to once again raid Southampton, this time for their classy central defender Van Dijk. Manchester City are also keen, but Klopp has been a long-term admirer of the ball-playing Dutch international. 

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Virgil van Dijk has been linked with a move away from Southampton

Centre-back – Joel Matip

Has been a success since signing from Schalke on a free transfer at the beginning of last season. With a season of Premier League football now under his belt, he’s guaranteed to get even better next season.

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Liverpool's Joel Matip. Photo: Dave Howarth/PA Wire

Right-back – Nathanial Clyne

A first-team regular for the last two seasons now. Could arguably do better when in advanced positions and when Liverpool are chasing a game, but Klopp is unlikely to sign another right-back considering there are other areas of the team that need strengthening first.

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Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne

Left-midfield – Adam Lallana

The 29-year-old signed a new £25m four-year contract in February, with Klopp telling journalists that Lallana was “a very important player for us – a player I trust in the dressing room.” He enjoyed a fine 2016/17 season and has developed into one of the club’s most important players.

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Adam Lallana of Liverpool

Centre-midfield – Naby Keita

Jordan Henderson is Liverpool’s club captain, but after two injury-plagued seasons, the rumour is that Klopp could look to replace him with RB Leipzig’s box to box midfielder Keita. The Guinea international has been a revelation in the Bundesliga this season and knows where the goal is despite playing as a defensive midfielder, having scored 8 league goals last term.

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Naby Keita

Right-midfield – Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian was not at his best last season, but is still one of the Premier League’s most talented players when he is in-form and injury free.

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Philippe Coutinho

Left-wing – Sadio Mane

One of the signings of the season last year, and Liverpool’s form nose-dived alarmingly when he picked up his season-ending injury against Everton. Scored 13 goals in the league for Liverpool and was named the Players’ Player and Fans Player at the end of season awards.

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Sadio Mane

Right-wing – Mohamed Salah

Liverpool would have some truly frightening pace at their disposal if they lined up with Mane on one flank and ex-Chelsea winger Salah on the other. The Egyptian wasn’t given a fair crack of things at Chelsea but is still only 24-years-old and was one of Roma’s best players last season, scoring 19 goals over the season.

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Mohamed Salah in action against Liverpool last summer

Striker – Timo Werner

The 21-year-old made his full German debut in the friendly against England in March and is regarded as one of Europe’s most exciting young strikers, having scored 21 goals in the Bundesliga for Leipzig last season. “If you were to play at Anfield and hear the fans sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ it would certainly be something special,” Werner told Sport Bild earlier this season.

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Timo Werner

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