The delight surrounding Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge of Liverpool has been somewhat flattened over the course of the past 24 hours or so. The Reds boss first lost impressive young defender Joe Gomez for the rest of the season to a nasty ACL injury, and now Danny Ings is also set miss six months with the same problem. Ouch.
The England striker is, arguably, the bigger loss of the two, with the ex-Burnley man having found his goalscoring form in the red shirt of late with three efforts to his name, while his industrious approach was sure to have been valued by Klopp as he looks to get his team firing.
January is still some way off, but the Merseysiders are sure to be looking at additions up front now, with Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke both players that cannot be relied upon to stay 100% fit for an entire season. With this in mind, here are FIVE options for Klopp this winter…
A standout candidate for a move since Klopp’s arrival has been Aubameyang. The Gabon international – dubbed the ‘African Neymar’ worked under the German at Dortmund, who helped to eek out his potential following a big move from Saint Etienne. 29 Bundesliga goals under Klopp show that the pair work well together, while the 26-year-old’s 10 efforts in nine league matches this season suggests that he’s currently in the form of his life.
Although the Anfield chief has talked down signing any of his ex-BVB players, a mysterious source has said: “An offer of joining Liverpool now Jurgen is there would be an attractive proposition.” A possibility, then!
Okay, Sturridge and Benteke’s injury records don’t offer much encouragement, but Liverpool may not actually need to delve into the transfer market as they have Origi at their disposal. Although he’s raw, to put it rather kindly, the Belgian boasts power and pace, and under the right guidance he could press on to fulfil the potential he obviously has.
A return of only eight goals for Lille in Ligue 1 last term suggests that his finishing needs some work, but the 20-year-old has time on his hands, while at Anfield he can expect a much greater quality of service from behind him.
Klopp seems keen on him too, and has backed Origi to step in with Ings out: “We have Origi – do you know him? “Two strikers, I don’t need more. When you start if you have more it’s perfect. But you have to think how you can react. When Christian is fit then he is an option, for sure but at this moment he isn’t.”
Klopp also suggested that Roberto Firmino is in his thoughts: “Firmino could play in the striker position but we have to see if he should. In this moment – for the next game – we have Daniel for the position and we have Origi.”
No need to panic just yet, Reds fans.
— PSG en Vine (@PSG_en_Vine) September 8, 2015
A cost-effective January option? Lavezzi appears to fit the bill. The level of links between Liverpool and the Argentine forward are approaching joke territory, with the Reds having been ‘on the verge’ of signing him at least 10 times between 2013 and now. Alas, this January could be the optimal time to make a move, with the 30-year-old’s contract set to expire next summer and his Paris Saint-Germain future as uncertain as ever.
Lavezzi has been granted just 206 minutes of league action this term following the arrival of Angel di Maria and the ensuing first-team shift, so it’s feasible that PSG will look to cash in – even the Qatari-backed Parisians cannot turn down cash for a player who’ll be a free agent soon. Even though the South American has little sell-on potential, his hard working, industrious nature is sure to fit with Klopp’s ‘gugenpressing’ system, while, although not a deadly finisher, he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. Lavezzi can function as a centre-forward, but is also comfortable from out wide, so he would still be of use when Ings and Benteke both return from injury. His salary, however, is likely to be an issue.
Klopp knows the Bundesliga, so he’s sure to know that Volland is a top talent. The Germany international has shone at Hoffenheim alongside now Reds star Roberto Firmino for the past couple of years scoring 19 goals across 2013/14 and 2014/15 for a midtable outfit, while he’s notched five in eight BuLi games already this term –proving that he’s not reliant on his Brazilian partner in crime.
Volland can function both from out wide and up top, which could grant Klopp the sort of tactical versatility he’ll need to balance European and domestic responsibilities, while his pace and direct running are characteristics the German tactician covets. Hoffenheim are also known to be a side that will sell for the right price.
31 goals in two seasons with Sassuolo… not a bad return. Berardi has already been linked with Liverpool since Klopp’s arrival, with the German understood to have wanted him while in charge of Dortmund. The Italy U-21 international officially joined the Serie A minnows after a deal with Juventus, who owned 50% of his rights, was reached over the summer, however, the Old Lady possess a buy-back clause, which could be an issue should Liverpool step up their interest.
However, if Klopp does push for the 21-year-old, he could expect a pacey, dynamic forward with intelligent movement and a clinical edge. He’s spent much of his recent game time on the right flank, but Berardi can operate at centre-forward, or free up Daniel Sturridge to occupy the role.