If the importance of a fresh face wasn’t painstakingly evident before Liverpool’s recent Premier League encounter at Brentford, it is now following a wayward, blundering 3-1 defeat to hamper their top-four aspirations.
Liverpool are no longer the fluid, formidable force that they once were, and reinforcements to the midfield are paramount if manager Jurgen Klopp wishes to maintain the club’s stature as one of the globe’s most eminent outfits since his arrival as head coach in 2015, from a footballing standpoint.
And according to i News, entertaining Italian outfit Atalanta might hold the missing piece of the puzzle to catapult the Reds back into title contention over the next several years, with marauding midfielder Teun Koopmeiners touted as a possible signing.
Although, according to Tuttomercatoweb, I Nerazzurri are reluctant to part with their coveted engine in the middle barring a bid that is too irresistible to turn down, and given the current state of the market and the Reds’ recent £35m purchase of Cody Gakpo, the cards might be dealt against Klopp in this instance.
The issue with Liverpool’s midfield is not the calibre of the players at Klopp’s disposal; Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho thread the bulk of the central department, but rather the reliability and fluidity within their manager’s system.
As per Sofascore, the £44m-rated Koopmeiners has recorded an average rating in the Italian Serie A of 7.13 – bettered only by Thiago in Liverpool’s squad – and would bring an air of ubiquity to Anfield, slotting into the triad of central options and unifying the collective spirit, capable of contributing toward devastating attacks and chipping in with defensive might when required – as evidenced by his 1.5 tackles and 1.4 clearances per match.
Also averaging 1.8 shots and 1.7 key passes per outing, he would offer a hardened layer to the attacking edge.
Gakpo recently netted three goals at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the Netherlands, carrying his emphatic club form to international endeavours; for PSV Eindhoven this season, before his transfer to Liverpool, Gakpo netted 13 goals and assisted 17 more from only 24 appearances.
With Koopmeiners’ offensive statistics, four goals and two assists from 15 starts, impressive for such an industrious midfield presence, he could certainly fortify the central ranks while concurrently providing firepower from the middle – something Liverpool have been lacking, with Harvey Elliott the only centre-midfielder to score more than one goal this season.
With Gakpo’s arrival leaving a tantalising lingering sense of optimism regarding the Kop faithful, the skill sets of the “orchestrator” Koopmeiners – as dubbed by talent scout Jacek Kulig – and his forward-thinking compatriot could entwine like vines, spreading their grip and opening the door for several shiny new dimensions, forging an “elite” partnership and spearheading the Liverpool charge towards prominence once again.