The biggest concern for Liverpool going into the new season would be to reduce the gap in quality between their front three and the players sitting on the bench. While Firmino, Mane and Salah would walk into the best squads in the world, players like Origi and Shaqiri are what mid-table clubs are made of, unfortunately.
This is where the need to sign a world-class forward has arisen, and the club got themselves linked to Timo Werner. However, Marca now reports that the club has identified a replacement in Adama Traore with Klopp willing to go all out for the Wolverhampton Wanderers forward.
The need to sign a marquee forward
A section of the media may design the failure of roping in Werner as a ploy by the Merseyside club to avoid spending a ludicrous amount of money on a player who would be a benchwarmer at the club. However, there are innumerable others who believe that the Anfield side should have signed him at any cost.
Michael Owen, for one, certainly thinks that FSG would have had him in the team, if not for the COVID-19 crisis and the financial stringency. In a recent interview, the former Real Madrid and Liverpool striker has stated, “I’ve been following him closely since he came back and he’s scored goals again, he’s very quick, he can break easily and he measures his runs brilliantly. He’s also very direct, going straight for the goal like Fernando Torres used to do.”
“I’m sure Liverpool wanted Werner, but the financial implications of his transfer and the times we’re going through forced Liverpool out of the bidding – although I’m pretty sure they wanted him there.”
Roping in a replacement the Liverpool way
The fans of the club would hardly be able to remember a time when the management had brought in a player, who was already a superstar. The current crop, who have excelled themselves in the league as well as in Europe, have all been bought with relatively smaller expectations.
Very few could apprehend the kind of superhuman performances that stars like Mane, Salah, Firmino and Van Dijk have been churning out every week, would be a regular feature for the club. All have outshone themselves under the tutelage of Klopp, and the Reds have associated themselves with this brand of transfer policy for some time now.
Even in the last January window, the Kops brought Takumi Minamino for £7.25 million, which had been seen as a coup at the time. However, the Japanese had not been able to raise his game to the level of the Premier League, despite being accustomed to playing in a similar setup at Red Bull Salzburg. But then again, the rule of average must apply in football as well, and one cannot be expected to hit a bull’s eye with each low budget acquisition.
Is Traore the right man?
The former Barcelona man would again be roped in from a relatively smaller team, and a chance to play for the European champions may prove to be too lucrative for the 24-year-old to pass on. Even quality-wise, he could be up there with the very best as he has shown this season with his speed and agility.
Already accustomed with the Premier League, he should not have the initial jitters playing for Klopp, as has been the case with the Japan international. The Spaniard should also not be reluctant to sitting out on the bench (atleast for a season), unlike someone more high profile as Werner, and that could just reduce the selection headache for the German manager.
For now, the realistic approach for Klopp should be to have an able man on the substitute bench as a replacement of the prolific front three and Traore could be the right choice in that direction.