With the transfer master Jurgen Klopp at the helm, the Reds look to fortify their ranks marching into next season. The current season is fast approaching a conclusion and the Bundesliga winner is keen to transform the Kops into a title winning force in the 2016-17 season.
Liverpool have already secured the signing of Joel Matip from FC Schalke and Marko Grujic from Red Star Belgrade, since the German has take charge at Anfield. There is a lot more to come as Klopp targets titles next season.
Between the sticks
Klopp may be looking for a new goalkeeper this summer, and if he is, Leno and Horn may be what he’s looking for. Bernd Leno, the Bayer Leverkusen’s number one, is a relatively young player who might be looking for a a move from Germany.
Whether Leno wants to or not, it is somewhat obvious the boss at Anfield has an eye on him. According to reports, at least. Leno is a good goalkeeper, mostly, and what he lacks in his long range passing he makes up for with his reflexes and short range shot stopping.
It seems that a lack of long range goalkeepers will follow Liverpool for a while, given how Mignolet was bad at it, and both Leno and Horn follow suit. However, with the reflexes and shot-stopping skills, both Leno and Horn look like good options to reinforce the back-line.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who is currently Barcelona’s second choice goalkeeper behind Chilean Claudio Bravo, was initially heavily linked with Liverpool. However, the rumours have died down, shifting towards a move for the German to the future Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City instead.
More German Defenders
Jonathan Tah: The Bayer Leverkusen defender has been yet another German who has been linked with Liverpool. The 20-year-old seems to have made quite an impact with the German club, earning himself a good 39 appearances over the season.
As a 194 cm tall player, it’s certainly expected that he be good aerially – and he definitely is. He has won 3.4 aerial duels per game in all competitions. In comparison to some defenders in Bundesliga:
Jerome Boateng: 1.6 aerial duels won per game
Mehdi Benatia: 2.7 aerial duels won per game
Mats Hummels: 3.6 aerial duels won per game
Neven Subotic: 2.5 aerial duels won per game
Certainly not a bad number. He’d make a good addition in defence. With Joel Matip already signed, a ‘Matip-Tah’ link-up might just work. However, it’s worth noting that Tah isn’t very high up Klopp’s list.
Jonas Hector, FC Koln left-back, is a name that’s popped up. The 25-year-old has increasingly picked up heat on a possible move to Liverpool in recent times. Him scoring in the game against Italy, alongside other target Gotze, seemed to have increased chances of him working under Klopp at Anfield.
As a left-back who can also play defensive and central midfield, Hector is a player capable of dribbling and crossing the ball well. His concentration is another key factor – Hector is the kind of player to keep his head down and work the full 90 minutes.
Speaking of aerial duels, here’s another player you’d want to look at. Hector has won 3 aerial duels every game in the Bundesliga, and you’ve got the numbers above to support that. Defensively he’s good too, although he has more to contribute going up, with his dribbling and his ability to hold the ball.
However, Hector is not a top target for Klopp and signing him would probably only mean that he will be a backup for Moreno.
A World Cup winning Goal-Scorer
Out of everything, the name Mario Gotze has been stated the most in recent times. Sure enough, his future at Bayern does look unstable. With just 12 appearances (starts and substitutes) this season, his future at Bayern hasn’t looked very bright. Even assuming he would have started every game during his 5-month long injury break (hamstring, it just has to be), it’s still about 29 games. When compared to Thomas Muller, who plays in nearly the same positions as Gotze, the former has had 38 appearances this season.
And Klopp is not wrong to scout Gotze. He is a player good at holding onto the ball, allowing him to play possession when necessary. His ability to look for and make the right passes is also a key element about him; however Klopp might want to look for a good finisher as well to end off the good passes. As a good dribbler who likes to cut in on counters, Gotze might be the right solution to Liverpool’s attacking woes.
Gotze coming in, however, does have its implications. There is a high possibility that he will replace an existing attacking midfielder in the club, or at least a midfielder. Aalthough not as proficient, Gotze can drop back to play as a box-to-box or a holding midfielder, as well as be pushed out to wider roles on the wings.