Liverpool have been linked with a move for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
According to CaughtOffside, the Reds are interested in acquiring the 22-year-old’s signature over the summer after impressing in the last couple of campaigns.
The report also claims that fellow Premier League giants Manchester United are keen on Chukwueze, who has a £69 million release clause in his contract.
Jurgen Klopp’s charges recovered admirably to finish third in the top-flight table after a string of season-ending injuries to several key players decimated their title defence.
However, the German manager is expected to shake up his first-team squad over the coming months as the Anfield outfit shape up for another assault on the Premier League summit.
Much was expected of Shaqiri after his £13m move from Stoke City back in 2018, but injury issues have kept the former Bayern Munich and Inter ace sidelined for much of his Liverpool career.
Many of Liverpool’s problems throughout 2020/21 were caused by the absence of central defender Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, yet a huge drop-off in form from both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino was equally to blame for their struggles.
While Mohamed Salah has continued to put the ball in the back of the net with alarming regularity, his two strike partners have suffered a steady decline.
Without sufficient strength in depth, Klopp was rarely able to change personnel throughout the season in order to try and find a solution to Liverpool’s attacking conundrum but signing a player once lauded by Samuel Eto’o may just solve that particular problem.
“He is an incredible player who is growing in leaps and bounds,” said Eto’o, adding that improving his end product is Chukwueze’s next challenge.
“He is a quality player, and he needs to score more goals, but he has the quality and ability to be more than just a goal-scoring forward. Once he gets all of that he will be top.”
While the £18m-rated (as per Transfermarkt) forward’s goals and assists return may not be overly impressive – bagging just 17 goals and laying on a further 17 assists in 119 appearances for the Yellow Submarine – he’s clearly got bags of talent and potential.
Signing Chukwueze as Shaqiri’s replacement may be the perfect start to Klopp’s rebuild as he looks to restore Liverpool to their scintillating best.