Mertens’ versatility could work a treat for Liverpool

This year’s World Cup has certainly not disappointed, and on Sunday, Belgium were part of a thrilling encounter as they defeated Japan 3-2 to progress into the quarter-finals in Russia.

Dries Mertens was not the star of the show, but he played a role, which should have put Liverpool on alert.

Throughout the summer window, the Reds have been linked with attacking midfielders as they finally look to find a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left for Barcelona in January.

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One name who is not regularly among the list of rumoured targets is Mertens, but his World Cup performances suggest that he should be.

At Napoli, the 31-year-old, who is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, was switched from winger to false 9 and the transition was seamless.

For Belgium, Mertens has been playing in a wide role throughout the tournament, and in four appearances he has scored once and created a single assist.

Dries Mertens stats vs Japan

Against Japan in the last-16 stage, the attack-minded star, along with Eden Hazard, created the most key passes out of everyone in his team, despite the fact that he was substituted in the 64th minute.

As well as creating his own attempt at goal, Mertens turned provider by whipping crosses into the danger area.

The Belgian may be on the wrong side of 30, but he would give Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp options as he could be played on the right, behind the focal point or up front.