The year 2016 ended on a high for Liverpool and although they dropped points against Sunderland in the first game of 2017, the fans will be hoping that Klopp can inspire his side to narrow down the gap on Chelsea so that they can end their long wait for the title. The team has played with a lot of passion and you get the feeling that under Klopp, things can only get better.
January will be a busy period for the Reds as games will come thick and fast considering they are in as many as three competitions. That coupled with Sadio Mane’s departure for the AFCON means Liverpool will be losing an influential player at the back and will have to either make do with what they have, which will leave them short, or go after some fresh faces in the transfer market.
Liverpool’s defence has been the only area of concern but they can’t afford to take any chances with their attack either. Although Philippe Coutinho will return and make up for Mane’s absence, they still do need some depth as their bench doesn’t have the same quality that Chelsea possess.
In a bid to add more firepower, they have been linked with Benfica attacker Raúl Jiménez. The Mexican has appeared in 10 Liga NOS games this season and has managed five goals. Most of his appearances have come off the bench, however.
Jürgen Klopp’s side have two strikers in Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge. Roberto Firmino has shown good ability to bench Sturridge and has become the first choice this season thanks to what he brings to the attack. Unlike Sturridge, Firmino has shown a lot of versatility which enable the front three to swap positions if needed.
Jiménez hasn’t been played in different positions but his ability on the ball is what’s attracting Liverpool. After a subdued spell with Atletico Madrid a few seasons ago, he’s starting to show why Benfica took the punt on him and even though he’s managed just 10 games in the league, the talent is there.
Jiménez’s strength is undoubtedly his finishing. In his first season with the club, he managed just eight starts and the game time was inconsistent as it was his debut season with Benfica. He has picked up his goals to games ratio this season. He has a good burst of pace and built could provide a plan B to Liverpool as he excels in aerials duels.
Benfica sure know how to inflate a player’s value as he’s being valued at 22 million pounds, a fee hardly justifiable for a player who isn’t a household name yet. But then again, it’s January and there’s a norm of overpaying for players midway through the season.