It’s unlikely to be a big summer for Liverpool transfers – but they could add depth out wide. This Is Anfield’s Jack Lusby looks at the options.
So who could Liverpool target to strengthen their wide ranks? Here are five possible options.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford)
Liverpool have previous when it comes to pursuing players who have caused them trouble in the past – Minamino and Sadio Mané are prime examples of this, both being greeted with a grin from Klopp after their excellent performances for Salzburg and Southampton respectively.
Sarr may not have enjoyed the trademark embrace of the Reds’ charismatic leader after his two-goal, one-assist display inflicted a first Premier League defeat of 2019/20 back in February, but his efforts will have caught the eye.
With Watford suffering relegation to the Championship, their record signing could be one of those put up for sale as big clubs circle.
The 22-year-old is still a work in progress, but five goals and six assists in 28 games for a side on their way down is an impressive haul in his first season in England, and he has the physical qualities that suggest he could thrive at Liverpool.
A natural right-winger, Sarr could provide much-needed cover for Mohamed Salah, while his ability to cover the opposite flank would ensure he gets plenty of game time when his countryman, Mané, needs a rest too.
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
Chukwueze’s steady rise at Villarreal over the past two seasons has piqued the interest of a number of clubs across Europe – including Liverpool, who are believed to have scouted the 21-year-old on a number of occasions.
Pacy, skilful and direct, the Nigerian winger would provide an exciting alternative to Mane on the left, but also due to his ability to cut in and shoot with his stronger left foot, he could suit the goal-hungry role of Salah on the right, too.
Chukwueze is yet to truly find the consistency that would be demanded of him at Liverpool, but given his age there would be patience when it comes to his development if he moved to Anfield – working with Mané and Salah would no doubt boost him in that respect.
The price tag may be high, with three years left on his deal at Estadio de la Ceramica, but perhaps it would be a worthwhile investment, strengthening Klopp’s attacking ranks for years to come.
Memphis Depay (Lyon)
The last player to represent both Liverpool and Manchester United was Michael Owen, whose free transfer to Old Trafford in 2009 has made him a pariah at Anfield to this day, but there is little to suggest the same would befall Depay, whose affiliation with United was brief and muted.
Depay’s time in Manchester was a speed-bump in an impressive career so far, spending just a year-and-a-half with the fading force before a revival at Lyon, where he has now scored 53 and assisted 43 in 135 games.
Half a season lost to an ACL injury has seen the Dutchman enter the final year of his contract with the Ligue 1 club, and that makes him a particularly attractive prospect in the summer market.
His ability to dominate the final third, scoring and creating in equal measure, from open play and set-pieces, would make Depay a great fit for Liverpool – and though it would require more rotation in attack, it would keep things fresh as the Reds challenge on a number of fronts.
Emi Buendia (Norwich)
At the heart of Norwich’s beautiful demise, a dismal but endearing Premier League return that saw them stick to their principles at the cost of relegation, was a season of phenomenal output from their No.17.
Buendia was a revelation upon swapping Getafe for East Anglia in 2018, and he duly picked up where he left off after the Canaries surged into the top flight, recording his first assist of the season in the first game – a 4-1 loss at the hands of Liverpool, no less.
In truth, his creative efforts should have resulted in more than seven assists from 36 league outings, with just three players – Trent Alexander-Arnold (87), Jack Grealish (91) and Kevin De Bruyne (136) – laying on more chances for their team-mates than the Argentinian (83).
He allayed that flourish in the final third with a tireless work ethic, and this is no doubt why Liverpool have already been credited with an interest.
As Norwich settle into life in the Championship, it could be that they aim to raise funds with the sale of Buendia, and while not comparable in style to the likes of Salah and Mane, he could serve as an alternative to Xherdan Shaqiri if the Swiss leaves as expected.
Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Standing at 6ft 3in and blessed with searing pace, Thuram has become a daunting prospect for Bundesliga defenders since his €12 million move to Gladbach from Guincamp in 2019, and14 goals and nine assists from 39 games in all competitions is proof of his quality.
As part of an impressive system under Marco Rose, Thuram is expected to harry defenders off the ball, spearhead lightning-fast attacks on the transition and finish off moves in combination with Alassane Plea.
It may sound familiar to the role of Mané at Liverpool, particularly when Klopp’s side are in full flow, overrunning their opponents, and Thuram’s output essentially casts him as a significant upgrade on Origi.
Like Origi, Thuram is able to play both up front and on the left, but his performances for Gladbach suggest he is capable of fulfilling the duty on a more consistent basis than the Belgian.
Gladbach are more often than not the launchpad for future stars, rather than their long-term home, and if Liverpool could capitalise on this and sign the son of a World Cup winner, their attack would become even more fearsome.