The Hard Tackle takes a look at three potential cost-effective options for Liverpool to bolster their attacking department in the summer transfer window.
As we approach the climactic period of the 2020/21 season, clubs across Europe will start to put their plans for the summer transfer window into motion. One club that could be in transition ahead of the next campaign are Liverpool, who appear to be in desperate need of a mini overhaul of sorts.
The Reds, who were the reigning Premier League champions, have made a meal of defending their crown in the top-flight. Once seemingly a contender for the title, Liverpool are now scrambling to somehow finish inside the top four to retain their Champions League status.
Such a fall for grace usually begets a major restructuring of a team, and Liverpool might not be any different. While in midfield, they are expected to be forced into the market in search of a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, attack is a department that needs some refreshing.
While Mohamed Salah has once again been in among the goals, bar a period of lull, Sadio Mane has been extremely inconsistent this term. As for central striker Roberto Firmino, the Brazilian is enduring probably his worst campaign till date in Liverpool colours, meaning Diogo Jota has only been a breath of fresh air for brief periods.
Therefore, it is imperative that Liverpool dip their toes in the transfer market in order to bolster their strike options in the summer window, especially considering Firmino has even been linked with a possible summer exit. To that end, Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard had been mentioned as a possible target for the Merseyside giants heading into the summer transfer window.
However, a recent report from Anfield Central has suggested that Liverpool have withdrawn their interest in the Frenchman. As a result, it looks like the Reds might have to look for alternatives now in order to reinforce their attack.
But, it is unlikely that Liverpool will be able to afford the Haalands and Mbappes of European football, as they are believed to be working on a tight budget. With that being said, The Hard Tackle takes a look at three affordable options that Liverpool should target to bolster their strike options in the summer transfer window.
Elsewhere in the Eredivisie, PSV’s Donyell Malen (22) continues to establish himself as a dangerous scoring threat. pic.twitter.com/My6M7Ws1fF
— Pausa Fútbol (@PausaFutbol) April 1, 2021
The first name on our list is of a player who has been linked quite heavily with Liverpool of late. We are, of course, talking about talented 22-year-old Dutch forward Donyell Malen, who has previously spent a couple of years in the Arsenal academy. And, he is just the kind of player who could fit into Jurgen Klopp’s fluid tactical system.
A player who can play across the frontline, Malen has the versatility to instantly fit into Liverpool’s attack, seeing as his presence could enable Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah to produce seamless interchangeability in the final third, thereby having the potential to catch the opposition defences unaware.
At the same time, Malen also has the potential to adds goals by the bucketloads, having managed a fantastic return of 25 goals and 9 assists this season. Technically proficient and quick, he also has the ability to engineer chances on his own.
His spatial awareness and ability to make ghosting runs into the box also make Malen an ideal foil for the marauding full-backs – Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, even though at 5’10” he is not a proper target man. Nevertheless, his pacy outlet and link-up play would bring others around him into play, potentially making Liverpool a fearsome prospect in the final third again.
Recent reports have suggested that Liverpool are leading the race to sign Malen, with a price tag of around £25 million being mentioned. Such a valuation could be within reach for the Reds, thereby making Malen an attractive target, who could offer the best years of his career to them. Definitely an option worth considering.
This one could be a controversial signing, considering his previous spell at Manchester United. The player in question is Memphis Depay, who is reportedly a target for Liverpool, as he approaches the end of his time at Ligue 1 outfit Lyon.
A player who has been reformed since departing Manchester United in January 2017, Depay has become a complete forward who has the ability of leading the line while also being capable of being an outlet on the flanks, equally adeptly. This transformation essentially came about when he played under Ronald Koeman at Netherlands, for whom he is often the central striker.
Like Malen, Depay has the ability to play across the frontline while also possessing the quality of being excellent at hold-up play. The Dutchman also tends to time his runs perfectly inside the box, with his heading abilities also having improved a fair bit in recent years.
The 27-year-old should ideally be in a better position to take the Premier League by storm, having learned his lessons while at Manchester United and since becoming a much more well-rounded a player. Add to it the fact that he will not cost a penny in transfer fee and it is not hard to see why Liverpool should be interested in signing him. Getting one over on Manchester United might be an incentive too, perhaps?
Borussia Mönchengladbach have scored 16 goals in the #UCL so far this season. Alassane Pléa has been directly involved in half of them [5G 3A].
Scorer and provider. ?? pic.twitter.com/Wu9PhoEvRn
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 24, 2021
The final name on our list is not someone who has been linked with Liverpool much, if at all over the years. However, Alassane Plea is reported to be a target for Arsenal and Manchester United, while he will only cost £15 million in transfer fee, as he looks towards a new stage of his career by leaving Borussia Monchengladbach this summer.
In many respects, is quite like Donyell Malen and Memphis Depay, seeing as he is quite a complete forward, and has a style of play the most resembles that of Harry Kane. That would be conducive to the way that Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah like to play in the final third, seeing as he can not only interchange positions with Liverpool’s two star forwards but also create chances for them.
All that while playing through the middle, which is his favoured position and Jurgen Klopp could have a player who has the ability to replace an underperforming Roberto Firmino while also adding the goals that have been missing from the Brazilian’s boots this season, seeing as he can run in behind the opposition defences with ease.
While at 5’11” he might not be the tallest of strikers, he does have the strength and robustness to fit in seamlessly in the Premier League. And, as iterated earlier, a £15 million price tag is unlikely to burn a hole in Liverpool’s pockets either, thereby making him a darkhorse of an option for the Reds to consider this summer.