Liverpool have made a strong start to their summer transfer business, with Jurgen Klopp already adding quality into his squad.
The Reds have signed Fabio Carvalho from Fulham and youngster Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen, in addition to breaking their club-record transfer fee in securing a sensational £85m deal for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez.
The Merseysiders enjoyed a wonderful 2021/22 campaign, adding the Carabao Cup and FA Cup to their bulging trophy cabinet under Klopp, while agonisingly missing out on Premier League and Champions League glory.
With Klopp having spent big on the three new arrivals, it looked like there might not be any further deals done during the window.
There will surely be some outgoings in order to get rid of some deadwood and clear some of the higher earners off the wage bill, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being one of the midfielders that Klopp is seemingly looking to sell, with Manchester United reportedly interested.
The 28-year-old earns £125k-p/w at Anfield despite falling down the pecking order, starting only nine league games last term and ranking a lowly 23rd in the squad with an average match rating of 6.56 from WhoScored (lowest of anyone to start more than five). This suggests it’s time for both parties to move on.
Klopp could find the ideal replacement in a rumoured €90m (£77.2m) swoop for Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella, with Liverpool proposing a swap deal to bring the fee down, offering Naby Keita as part of the move, as per Calciomercato.
The German has praised the 25-year-old Italy international in the past, describing him as “top-class” before the Reds took on Inter Milan in the Champions League earlier this year.
Compared to positional peers in the big five European leagues in 2021/22, Barella ranks in the top 4% for touches in the attacking penalty area (3.17 per 90), top 9% for progressive carries (6.63), and in the top 2% for shot-creating actions (4.07 per match), as per FBRef. These figures suggest that he could offer Liverpool a positive attacking threat from the centre of the pitch.
With the likes of Thiago, Jordan Henderson, and James Milner all 30 or over, it’s clear to see Klopp is looking to add some youth to the midfield.
There might just be a fourth summer signing at Anfield in the coming weeks if everything goes to plan, especially if Oxlade-Chamberlain is moved on.