What Liverpool’s starting XI could look like after a ‘perfect’ January transfer window
Liverpool have been linked with some hugely talented players this month - what would the Reds look like if they managed to sign those reported targets?
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Okay, so Liverpool don’t usually tend to sign players in the January transfer window and this campaign looks like it’ll follow a similar pattern.
Since Jurgen Klopp was appointed in October 2015, only eight players have been bought in the first month of the year: Marko Grujic, Kamil Grabara, Steven Caulker, Virgil van Dijk, Takumi Minamino, Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies and Kaide Gordon.
Only three of those players are part of Klopp’s current squad, with Davies and Kabak away on loan.
But with less than a week remaining until the current window shuts, we thought we would take a look at how Liverpool could line up if a dream end to the transfer window materialised.
Since Liverpool signed the Brazilian goalkeeper from Roma in 2018, memories of the Lorius Karius nightmare have vanished and the Reds now possess one of, if not the, best goalkeepers in the world.
Where do we begin with Trent? Arguably the best right-back in the world right now, Alexander-Arnold’s defensive game has drastically improved, complimenting well with his incredible ability going forward.
The Reds academy product has played 149 times in the Premier League, registering 43 assists, meaning he has the third most league assists across the continent since the 2018/19 campaign.
Who could replace him?
Virgil van Dijk
The man-mountain of a defender has proved his class this season after returning from injury. Capable of stopping counter-attacks and constructing attacks himself with long diagonal balls, the former Southampton defender is one of the first names of Klopp’s teamsheet.
On average, the Dutch international makes 89% accurate passes per game. Van Dijk’s power, strength and pace puts him head and shoulders above many other defenders across England and Europe and it would take a player of serious quality to challenge for his place.
The place alongside Van Dijk is one that could be strengthend with Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez battling for the spot.
According to Spanish outlet El Nacional, Liverpool are looking to trigger the £75m release clause of 23-year-old Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
The France international moved to the La Liga side from Bordeaux in 2019 and has played 114 times for Sevilla, winning the Europa League in 2019/20.
Ever since the Scotland international signed from Hull City following their relegation, Robertson has done nothing but improve .
His link-up with Sadio Mane down the left is one of the best partnerships in football and his 46 assists in all competitions in 201 appearances is some statistic.
Liverpool have been rumoured to be keen on the Borussia Monchengladbach star and a cut-price deal could be on the table for Denis Zakaria with his contract due to expire in the summer.
German outlet BILD Sport have recently claimed that Liverpool are one of the favourites to land the 25-year-old, whilst ESPN also reported that they were the front-runners to land Zakaria, alongside Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
It is hard to believe that the dynamic midfielder is still only 18-years-old. The England international has got even better at Dortmund since leaving his boyhood club Birmingham City in 2020.
In Germany, he’s scored eight times and assisted 14 in 74 appearances, becoming one of Marco Rose’s most important players this season. His heatmap this season covers every section of the pitch and his stats will give Klopp more reason to pay the £101m asking price slapped on him by Dortmund.
German Football Insider reported this month that the midfielder has agreed on personal terms and will join this summer.
A man who is capable of playing any role across Klopp’s midfield three, Fabinho importance to Liverpool has increased as his time at Anfield has gone on.
Starting 15 of the 16 games he has played this season, defensive pivot Fabinho has three goals this term with one assist. His passing ability per game is at 88% and with his long frame, the Brazilian has made 1.8 interceptions per game and won 1.4 tackles per game.
The Egyptian king has been a shining star since moving to Anfield and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to dwindle any time soon.
With this piece focusing on a dream transfer window for Klopp, the most important piece of business would be to get the 29-year-old to sign a new contract.
Salah has an astonishing 148 goals in 229 appearances for the Reds, leaving him 38 goals away from equalling Steven Gerrard’s tally.
The France superstar has entered the final six months of his deal at PSG and is now free to negotiate a free transfer to a club outside of France.
Mbappe, 23, has expressed his desire to leave the French champions and the Reds are set to battle with Real Madrid to land the attacker.
French journalist Andres Onrubia Ramos has stated previously that Liverpool or Madrid are set to move in to tempt Mbappe away from Paris.
The Express also reported before Christmas that Mbappe, alongside Bellingham, were ‘long-term’ transfer targets for Liverpool.
An even bigger boost for Liverpool fans came from reports in Spain last year when El Nacional claimed Mbappe is not convinced by Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti and would rather play under Klopp.
He appears to be living in Salah’s shadow for people looking in from the outside, but those who watch Liverpool weekly will disagree.
The Senegalese winger has been a revelation since signing from Southampton, scoring 107 times in 244 appearances for the Reds.
Despite ‘only’ scoring 10 goals in 26 appearances in all competitions this season, Mane’s incredible goalscoring tally in 2018/19 (26) and 2019/2 (20) were influential in their Champions League and Premier League winning seasons.
Not having an out-and-out striker ahead of him is something Mane is missing to flourish this term.