Liverpool transfer news: How Reds may look on first day of next season with one signing | Football | Sport
Liverpool have enjoyed a perfect start to the Premier League season, winning eight consecutive matches to build an eight-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City.
Their scintillating start to the domestic campaign comes on the back of a stunning Champions League triumph in 2018/19, with Jurgen Klopp’s side now established as one of Europe’s strongest outfits.
However, the Reds arguably still rely too heavily on the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino with little support offered throughout the rest of the squad.
The lack of goalscoring alternatives has been exacerbated by Xherdan Shaqiri’s recent struggle for game time while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has failed to regain momentum following an extended injury lay-off.
Divock Origi chipped in with some vital goals during the 2018/19 campaign but Liverpool do not possess great depth of attacking options while midfield creativity is also in short supply.
Meanwhile, James Milner is continuing to prove his versatility by occasionally filling in for Andrew Robertson at left-back in the absence of a recognised deputy.
The 33-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down and Liverpool have reportedly opened talks over a new deal at Anfield, although the club will surely look to bring in specialist defensive cover for Robertson sooner or later.
The development of Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence has eased the necessity to sign a centre-back, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren further alternatives for Klopp, but who could realistically arrive to improve the squad further ahead of 2020/21?
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)
Liverpool have lacked a natural No 10 since Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona in 2018 and although Liverpool’s current style negates the need for such a player, Klopp will be keen to add another dimension to his attack.
The Liverpool Echo suggest Ziyech could fit the bill, with a big-money move on the horizon for the Moroccan after 21 goals and 24 assists in 49 games last season.
Ajax have taken a £25million release clause out of the playmaker’s contract in order to get value for money ahead of his seemingly inevitable move away, with a host of suitors around Europe are expected to court the 26-year-old.
Ziyech is a more physical presence than the Red’s previous high-profile target Nabil Fekir and is comfortable playing through the middle, on the right of a front three or in a deeper midfield role – potentially strengthening Liverpool’s squad further.
How Liverpool could look on the first day of the 2020/21 season
(4–2-3-1): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Ziyech, Mane; Firmino