Liverpool fans: get excited; Mohamed Salah’s £34million move to the Reds is the start of what is expected to be an influx of players arriving at Anfield this summer.
The prospect of Salah linking up with what is a cocktail of attackers already is mouthwatering and his blistering pace, goal threat and industry can add an extra dimension to the side with devastating results for opponents.
However, he is set to be accompanied by some top talent in the coming weeks as the Reds bigwigs prepare to sign their names to virtually blank cheques as boss Jurgen Klopp prepares an assault on the Premier League.
So, just who are Liverpool actually looking at?
It is so easy to become mired in paper talk and believing sensationalist blogs and we’ve considered every possible angle here to bring you four credible names that carry weight, with ‘realism’ the optimum word here.
Reportedly, Klopp is looking to bring in a left-back, centre-back, centre-midfielder and another striker adding to the signing of Dominic Solanke, with the futures of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings uncertain.
Left-back: Faouzhi Ghoulam
The French-born Algerian is currently plying his trade at Napoli and is arguably one of the best in his position in Europe, with 10 assists for his club last term. At 26, he is the perfect age to step up to the next level and is more defensively reliable than Alberto Moreno, who Liverpool may use in any deal for the Italy-based player.
Potentially the most complete and attainable left-back at the minute and he can be considered a specialist in his position, not dissimilar from the likes of notable past left-backs, Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra who reached world-class status.
He would certainly be an upgrade to Hull City’s Andrew Robertson, who the Reds were linked with and should Moreno be included in the deal, it is likely the fee shouldn’t be more than £12million.
His intelligence and off-the-ball movement would see him form arguably one of the most frightening left-sided partnerships in European football, with Salah in front of him, ensuring endless overlapping opportunities and boundless energy.
Centre-back: Stefan de Vrij
Is anyone else bored of reading about Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool? Southampton simply won’t sell him to the Reds after it emerged that Klopp had reportedly tried tapping him up. At £60million as well, he simply does not justify his price tag.
Attention is likely to turn once again to Serie A and Lazio’s De Vrij who is one of the most underrated centre-backs in Europe and can become one of the best in the world.
The Dutchman is also the epitome of a modern day defender; first and foremost a ball-playing centre-back – a typical trait of being schooled by Ajax, which is crucial to the way Klopp likes to play, while his anticipation, pace and positioning underline his intelligence dovetailing nicely with his strength and tackling ability.
He can also help to get the best out of Joel Matip, who while showing glimpses of potential last term, needs to increase his work rate to really flourish.
At 25 he can be a key part of the Reds’ rearguard for years to come and has all the traits of a leader, who is likely to cost the club in the region of £30million.
Centre-midfielder: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Reports suggest that Arsene Wenger is willing to sell the England midfielder as he attempts to free up room in the wage bill to tie down Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to new deals and that is likely to be music to Klopp’s ears.
The German manager is a big admirer of the 23-year-old who could finally realise his potential at Anfield. At his dynamic best, the former Southampton man is unplayable and he will bring a nice equilibrium to the Reds’ midfield three, while also giving requisite depth to a squad that will be competing on four fronts next term.
His energy and pace make him ideal for Klopp’s ‘gegenpressing’ approach, while his eye for goal and ability to create space quickly with the ball will only add to Liverpool’s wealth of attacking talent. At £25million as well, he would be a steal.
Arguably the deadliest striker in Europe at the moment, Borussia Dortmund have reportedly relayed terms to Liverpool regarding the Gabon international with a £60million price-tag on his head.
With Klopp having brought him to the Bundesliga, both parties know each other well though at 28 the German may have reservations signing someone who may only another two years at the top of his game.
However, all signs so far point to a deal being brokered and there is no doubt that he can form the best (and fastest) front three in the Premier League next term, flanked by Sadio Mane and Salah. He will also offer a genuine goal threat, highlighted by the player winning Bundesliga’s top goalscorer award last term with 31 goals in 32 league matches.
Should he sign, Liverpool can expect to be one of the favourites to win the Premier League next season; a tag which would certainly be justified.