Whilst Liverpool enjoyed a stellar season during 2018/19, they still fell short of ending their 29-year wait for a Premier League title. This was largely due to the brilliance of Manchester City, of course, who won their final 14 games of the season to retain their EPL crown.
Despite this, and even though the Reds won their sixth Champions League crown in Madrid last season, there’s no doubt that Jurgen Klopp will be looking to strengthen his squad during the summer.
After all, there are definite areas of improvement in defence and attack, whilst something special will be required to stop City claiming a hat-trick of titles.
But which players should Liverpool target during the pre-season? Here are some that could really make the difference:
- Timo Werner, RB Leipzig
We start with the 22-year old German striker Timo Werner, who remains one of the Reds’ top targets and one who has plundered 61 goals in 114 appearances for RB Leipzig.
He also has 10 international goals to his name at a relatively tender age, whilst he’s currently the youngster player in Bundesliga history to score twice in a single game.
Werner also boasts an extremely versatile style of play, with his pace and movement making him capable of playing in all three forward positions.
This suits Klopp’s fluid forward line, which enables Liverpool’s forwards to spend most of their time roving within the width of the 18-yard box.
So, whilst the rumours persist that Werner is a target for Bayern Munich, Klopp may well target the German to replace the departing Daniel Sturridge.
- Steven Bergwijn, PSV Eindhoven
Conversely, Klopp may opt to replace Sturridge with PSV’s Dutch international Steven Bergwijn, who impressed in the Eredivisie last season and plays predominantly on the left-wing.
Although Bergwijn can also play centrally or from the right, he’s ostensibly a winger who’s adept and cutting in from wide areas and driving at defenders.
This means he would offer a similar threat to Mohammed Salah, although he could also provide an additional line of service to players like Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Bergwijn also struck nine goals and provided 12 assists in 22 Eredivisie appearances last season, so he definitely has the pedigree to make an impact in the Premier League.
Interestingly, the Reds may face competition from their bitter rivals Manchester United for Bergwijn’s signature, so this will be an interesting space to watch in the summer.
- Jonathan Tah, Bayer Leverkusen
Whilst Virgil Van Dijk was imperious in the Liverpool backline last season, the lack of a strong and reliable defensive partner for the Dutchman remains a potential issue.
In fact, if you look at most of Liverpool’s fixtures against the top teams last term you’ll find that most of them ended up with a both teams to score result- which is great if you’ve backed that on an accca but not so great if you’re Klopp and desperately want that clean sheet.
As we all know players like Dejan Lovren are prone to a relatively high volume of errors so Liverpool could be on the look-out for another stopper.
With this in mind, Bayer Leverkusen’s stylish centre back Jonathan Tah may represent the ideal summer signing for Klopp.
After all, the imposing 23-year old has matured considerably over the course of the last few years, whilst his game has come on leaps and bounds since he made his international debut at the age of 20 against England.
The German also averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 0.8 blocks per game on average last season, whilst he remains a model of consistency and a top target for several clubs.
Tah would certainly serve as an outstanding partner for the brilliant Van Dijk, with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip providing more than adequate back-up.