Imagine Liverpool could only sign one player this summer to boost their Premier League title defence preparations. Who should they prioritise?
That was the question posed on the latest Game of Opinions podcast, which tried to anticipate what a transfer window might look like for the so-called big six – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The one type of player Liverpool are missing is a midfielder who controls games, picks passes and unlocks defences. Next season, you’ll see a lot of teams sit even deeper against Liverpool to stop their press. Eventually that will frustrate Liverpool in certain games.
They need a player, not quite Kevin De Bruyne, more like David Silva, who can unlock these defences and that’s got to be Thiago from Bayern. He’s the obvious signing.
James Truscott – Marcus Thuram (Borussia M'gladbach)
I think Roberto Firmino could be the weak link. He plays his role nicely, but his finishing could be improved. Admittedly, that’s not the solitary reason he’s in the team – he does other things well, he gets away with not finishing as many chances as he should because they’ve got Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Timo Werner would have been good to challenge Firmino for that starting role, but I would go for someone like Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Is Kai Havertz the best option for Liverpool this summer?
Michael Hincks – Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
How do you transform a team that’s almost perfect? You’re probably looking for a goalscoring midfielder. I would be hesitant to bring back Philippe Coutinho, so that’s why I would go all out to try and poach Kai Havertz from Chelsea’s grasp. That’s the one option I would go for.
Ben Snowball – Adama Traore (Wolves)
There are signs that the front three – Salah, Mane, Firmino – have started to be figured out. So one option, someone a bit different who isn’t called Divock Origi, is Wolves’ Adama Traore. He can rip teams apart and is also used as an impact substitute by Wolves already, so we wouldn’t be fussed by coming and sitting on the bench.