Relatively fresh appointment Jurgen Klopp has already sought to downplay notions of him looking to overhaul Liverpool’s squad in the January transfer window.
But if the Anfield gaffer does target a new recruit to bolster the Reds’ ranks for the second half of the season, the chances are that it’ll be a winger.
As Liverpool legend turned Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher claimed last month, Klopp’s current squad is imbalanced in a few departments – most particularly out wide.
With Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino all predominantly No.10s, the only genuine wide-man in the Liverpool squad is inexperienced youngster Jordan Ibe.
So with the transfer window now less than two months away from officially reopening in January, Football Fancast have listed FIVE wingers Liverpool should target in the new year.
Which of these FIVE wingers would you prefer to see turn up on Merseyside in January, Liverpool fans? Let us know by commenting below!
There are few wingers enjoying better form throughout European football right now, let alone the Premier League, than Leicester City’s prodigious Riyad Mahrez.
His potent counter-attacking partnership with England star Jamie Vardy has been one of the stories of the season so far, the Algeria international bagging seven strikes and five set-ups to help fire the Foxes to third in the Premier League table.
He’s second in both the goals and assist charts, whilst the 5 foot 10 attacker’s 3.5 successful dribbles per match is a division highest.
Mahrez’s blend of firepower, creativity and superlative close control suggests he could ply his trade at a much higher level and aged just 24, the potential is certainly there for further improvement.
Arsenal, Manchester United and even European champions Barcelona have been linked with the former Le Harve man this season, however, and such widespread interest will only increase Leicester City’s valuation.
Liverpool reportedly launched a €15million bid for Leroy Sane during the summer, so they’ll undoubtedly be taking an interest in the Schalke winger’s recent form ahead of the January window.
The 19 year-old has exploded to life with eight goals for club and country since the start of the season, including four strikes in the Bundesliga, a vital equaliser against Sparta Prague in the Europa League and three goals in three appearances for Germany’s U21 string.
Sensationally quick, boasting the fourth-best dribbling return in the German top flight (three per match) and a somewhat stocky 6 foot frame, the Essen-born attacker seems like a good fit for Premier League football – which is probably why Tottenham have also been circling in recent weeks.
He certainly fits the profile of signing Liverpool’s transfer committee usually approve of, as a talented youngster on the cusp of elite European football, but Schalke showed their resolve in the summer and remain reluctant to sell after tying Mane down to a four-year contract in July.
Linking Ezequiel Lavezzi with a move to Anfield has almost become a running joke amongst the tabloids. But if the Argentina international is ever going to make the much-speculated switch to Merseyside, logic suggests it will be within the next to transfer windows .
Indeed, the veteran winger’s PSG contract is winding down, meaning he’ll either leave Parc de Princes for a pittance in January or on a free transfer at the end of the season. And although you can already imagine a few disapproving frowns from certain members of Liverpool’s transfer committee, the 30 year-old still has a lot to offer Liverpool.
He boasts enormous experience as a former World Cup finalist and Champions League regular, whilst his renowned tenacity and pace are particularly befitting of Jurgen Klopp’s ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy.
Add a knack for the occasional sublime – his superb volley against Chelsea last season being amongst the more memorable examples – and Liverpool’s attack could find a new source of goals from the left-hand side.
Admittedly, however, few players choose the Premier League as their final stand in European football. Something tells me a return to Serie A or South America is the likeliest scenario for the former Napoli star.
A suggestion laden with monumental risk but equal reward; Benfica’s Goncalo Guedes has been compared to three-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo but his contract includes a seismic £40million release clause.
No doubt, however, the 18 year-old is an incredibly exciting prospect. Earning comparisons with the Real Madrid star after just 23 senior appearances is an achievement within itself, but Guedes also became the youngest Portuguese goalscorer in Champions League history earlier this season with a winning strike against Atletico Madrid.
The winger was voted the Breakthrough Player of the Year in the Portuguese second tier last term after amassing eight goals and 14 assists for Benfica’s B string, and he’s already upped his game to first team standard.
That suggests great promise even if the Ronaldo comparisons seem rather hyperbolic. But Benfica are unlikely to settle for much less than Guedes’ aforementioned £40million release clause.
A pipedream or a plausible scenario, Liverpool fans will argue anything is possible with Jurgen Klopp at the Anfield helm.
Marco Reus was one of Klopp’s biggest success stories as Dortmund boss, quickly developing the winger towards the realms of world-class after acquiring him from Borussia Monchengladbach in summer 2012.
No question, the German international has been amongst the most potent attackers in Europe during the intermittent period, bagging 44 goals and 28 assists in his last 91 appearances for the Black-Yellows.
Blessed with incredible speed, technique and intelligence, Reus has proved himself equally adept in the roles of scorer and provider during his four campaigns at Westfalenstadion, generating output as a winger, a No.10 and as an out-and-out striker.
His familiarity with Klopp and the ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy is yet another benefit of Liverpool launching a swoop for the 26 year-old in January. But the 27-cap international could easily command a fee in excess of £40million and if the Reds show an interest, Europe’s top clubs are almost certain to follow suit.