Liverpool will head into the 2021/22 Premier League season looking to bounce back from a challenging campaign last term, as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to challenge for the title once more.
It’s been a relatively quiet transfer window with clubs feeling the financial impact of the ongoing pandemic, though business is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks as Premier League sides bid to finalise their squads ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
We’ve decided to assess the state of play at the Premier League’s leading clubs, here is what Liverpool need before the closure of the transfer window on August 31
What’s happened during the summer so far?
It’s been minimal business on Merseyside so far this summer, aside from the capture of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in a £36m deal.
The move for Konate was concluded as early as May as the Reds looked to bolster their defensive options, having seen last season’s title defence ravaged by a succession of injuries at centre-back.
The 22-year-old has impressed during four seasons with the Bundesliga side and will add to a complement of options including Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, with each of that trio having worked their way back to fitness after injury lay-offs.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 1, 2021
Speculation continues to surround the signings of a new midfielder and multi-functional forward, with Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer having left a sizeable void in the engine room.
Funds have been raised from the sales of Harry Wilson (£12m), Marko Grujic (£10.5m) and Taiwo Awoniyi (£6.5m), whilst the club opted against turning Ozan Kabak’s loan move into a permanent one.
Much of the focus has been on securing new contracts for established stars with Alisson, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold amongst those to sign new deals.
Who could arrive before the transfer deadline?
Liverpool remain well-stocked in central midfield despite Wijnaldum’s departure, with more expected of Thiago Alcantara this season following an indifferent debut campaign last term.
Thiago will be expected to feature in Klopp’s first-choice midfield trio alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and James Milner providing depth.
Despite those options, the Reds have been linked with a number of potential midfield additions, with names such as Youri Tielemans, Renato Sanches and Saul Niguez amongst those linked.
A more pressing concern appears the arrival of a new forward however, but an inability to sell unwanted first-team players has left Liverpool without the funds required.
Diogo Jota arrived last season and enjoyed an impressive debut season, though there is a strong lack of depth beyond the regular front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
With a mid-season Africa Cup of Nations to come in the winter that will rob Liverpool of both Salah and Mane, the signing of an additional forward player could be vital to their chances of competing for the title once more.
Jarrod Bowen and Adama Traore are two Premier League names linked in recent weeks.
Who could leave?
Liverpool will hope to trim a bloated squad before the closure of the transfer window next month, though have so far struggled to attract suitable offers for those deemed surplus to requirements.
Xherdan Shaqiri has been linked with a host of European clubs and is available for around £12.75m, having started just seven league fixtures across the past two Premier League campaigns.
❌ Liverpool won’t allow Xherdan Shaqiri to leave the club for free this transfer window.
✍️ Sevilla, Villarreal and Napoli have all been linked with a move.
🔴 The Reds are adamant they want around €15M for the player who has two years left on his Anfield contract. pic.twitter.com/x6IiFAc24j
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 5, 2021
Another departure could be Divock Origi, who is keen to secure more regular first-team football and reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Wolves and West Ham.
Nathaniel Phillips’ role in the club’s Champions League qualification won the no-nonsense defender admirers last season and the return of Liverpool’s centre-back options – alongside Konate’s arrival from Leipzig – could lead to the popular defender moving onto pastures new.
Liverpool will demand around £15m for the defender with Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton and Southampton all credited with an interest.
Elsewhere Takumi Minamino has returned from a loan spell at Southampton and faces an uncertain future, whilst decisions will be made on youngsters including Neco Williams, Rhys Williams and Harvey Elliott – though the latter has been handed a chance to impress this summer after returning from a productive period on loan at Blackburn.
Ben Davies is expected to leave after failing to make an appearance since signing as emergency cover from Preston in January.
Dream signing – Dani Olmo
The sort of signing that would fit into the Liverpool side without upsetting established names, Dani Olmo’s versatility in attacking areas could make him the ideal signing for the Reds.
Olmo has featured in midfield and across the front three for the Bundesliga side, whilst he impressed during Spain’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 this summer.
Combining creativity with work-rare, Olmo provided 14 goal involvements (five goals, nine assists) in 26 starts in Germany’s top division last season, whilst his tenacity out of possession saw him rank second for possession won in the final third amongst Europe’s top five leagues.
With Roberto Firmino’s form having been indifferent of late, Olmo could be the ideal signing to bridge the transition from old to new in the coming campaigns.
Liverpool’s finances and potential sales may dictate whether a move is possible, with reports having suggested the 23-year-old’s contract contains a release clause of €75m.
Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman and Leicester’s Harvey Barnes shape as fine alternatives.