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Liverpool could land their own Barella with Teun Koopmeiners swoop

Liverpool have had a terrible start to their Premier League season by their standards, and Jurgen Klopp will be desperate for ways to improve the current form at Anfield which is hindering his team’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

The Reds are sixth in the Premier League after a string of inconsistent performances and are now 16 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and seven points shy of the top four following their first 17 games. That must drastically improve if they are to have any hope of climbing back up and claiming a top four position at the end of the season.

The January transfer window could present itself with a golden opportunity to resolve some of the issues for the Merseyside giants, as numerous injuries to key players have certainly contributed to the poor season Liverpool have endured so far.

Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk are three long-term absentees set to miss out on at least the next month of action for the Reds, although the signing of Cody Gakpo this month will certainly bolster the attacking threat going into the business end of the campaign.

Although Gakpo has been a major coup for Klopp, adding some quality in the middle of the park is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for Liverpool, with a number of the Reds’ midfielders either coming to the end of their contracts in 2023 or reaching the latter stages of their career.

One player who has recently been linked with a move to Merseyside is Teun Koopmeiners, a gifted midfielder who is currently playing in Serie A for Atalanta, thriving both at club level and on the international stage for his native Netherlands.

The 24-year-old – who was dubbed a “top talent” by Sam Tabuteau – ranks in the top 20% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for shots on goal, shot-creating actions, touches and progressive passes received.

Furthermore, Koopmeiners played a vital part in the Dutch team at the World Cup – registering one assist, completing 100% of his dribbles and winning 50% of his duels across five appearances for his national team during the tournament in Qatar.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Let's start easy - how many points did Liverpool collect in their 2021/22 Premier League campaign?

Klopp could even land his very own Nicolo Barella, as the Liverpool-linked Inter Milan midfielder is the most comparable player to Koopmeiners over the last 12 months according to FBref.

The midfield pair have shared a number of similar attributes in their output this season so far including goals scored (4 v 5), shot-creating actions per 90 minutes (3.70 v 3.60), tackles won (13 v 12), dribblers tackled percentage (60% v 55%) and dribbles completed (46.% v 45.2%).

With that in mind, signing Koopmeiners would be a great piece of business if Liverpool could secure his signature for his reported transfer valuation of €40m (£35m) this month, and it would certainly give Klopp more depth and quality in his squad in order to improve performances at Anfield.