Liverpool could land their ideal replacement for Philippe Coutinho this summer in Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt.
What’s the story?
According to German outlet Ruhr Nachrichten (via The Mirror), BVB are prepared to let the attacking midfielder depart over the upcoming transfer window after falling down the pecking order at the Signal Iduna Park.
Brandt was Jurgen Klopp’s top transfer target four years ago before he settled for Mohamed Salah instead, and now the highly successful tactician could finally be given the chance to land his man.
With Georginio Wijnaldum joining French giants Paris Saint-Germain, a new option in the centre of the park will be needed before the 2021/22 campaign gets underway, while competition and cover for the front three is also thought to be high up on Liverpool’s wish list.
In Brandt, director of football Michael Edwards would find the answer to both of those issues.
The German international is comfortable playing through the middle or on either flank and has contributed to 90 goals in 229 Bundesliga appearances throughout his career.
His impressive displays have earned many plaudits in his homeland and across the continent, with his former manager Peter Bosz highlighting Brandt’s talent a couple of years ago.
“He’s such a good player, and you’ve got to give good players the ball as much as possible. Today he was really exceptional. He barely lost the ball, he was choosing the right moments to complete the triangles. He’s a great player,” said Bosz.
However, after struggling for game time last season, reports have claimed a fee of just £17.5 million would be enough for Dortmund to part ways with the 6 ft forward.
A move for Brandt, therefore, would be a masterstroke from Edwards. The Anfield outfit arguably never replaced Coutinho following his departure to Barcelona back in January 2018.
The Reds coped just fine in the South American’s absence, winning the Premier League and Champions League, but the creativity that the samba star brought to Klopp’s charges has never been replicated.
Both Brandt and Coutinho are attacking forces comfortable in a variety of positions, who thrive finding space between the lines and look to slip in a teammate before taking a shot themselves.
Liverpool currently have nobody like that in their first-team squad and haven’t really had it since their Brazilian gem left, but the addition of Brandt would fill that sizeable gap and potentially help to fire the 19-time English champions back to the summit of English football.