Despite playing down talk of a mid-season transfer spree with Liverpool, new manager Jurgen Klopp will have a host of targets in mind to strengthen the playing squad. The Reds have real potential in certain areas, but are lacking quality in the midfield which could be why they continue to fall short in the Premier League.
It’s common to see a new manager bring at least one of their former players when joining a new club, and it’s taken little time for rumours to arise about Klopp selecting standout stars from ex-club Borussia Dortmund in an attempt to put his early stamp on the Merseysiders. He’s expected to be given lucrative funds to lure players in, so next summer could see a wholesale changes.
But while BVB duo Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are being viewed as the solution to the Reds’ attacking woes, the real deficiency is in the middle of the park – something Klopp could rectify with Dortmund‘s Ilkay Gundogan, a player who has been on the radar of Liverpool’s for some time. His influence in the Dortmund side has been telling, and he could have a really positive influence in the Liverpool midfield if he can be convinced to make the switch.
The German international, 24, has transformed into one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga during his three years at the Westfalenstadion. A creative and composed box-to-box talent, Gundogan was perfectly engrained in Klopp’s high-pressing and fast counter-attacking philosophy at Dortmund, and he’ll want real aficionados of the style to help the existing Liverpool players.
Gundogan is highly industrious, and operates at the heart of the midfield. He could eventually be playing alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Emre Can in the future, and such a trio in the Liverpools midfield would look a lot more menacing to their opposition. Under Klopp, Gundogan showcased a good eye for goal, and an even better eye for a pass, so he’d surely take little time to adapt in England.
The 24-year-old’s attributes aren’t just limited to his proficiency going forward, however, with the former Nurnberg man providing adequate protection in the middle of the park, averaging a tackle or interception every 24 minutes. He shares a lot of similarities to Jordan Henderson in terms of his playing style, but the speed of his play and tactical awareness are unparalleled.
Klopp is sure to enquire about his services when the January transfer window nears, or at the end of his first season, as Gundogan is a player who could really turn Liverpool’s fortunes around.