Transfer Special: Land of the Rising Son
Now that the season is finally over for the Reds, culminating in the most spectacular of ways, it’s time to talk about transfers. This is a very testing window for Klopp and his men. They have so far taken Liverpool from remarkably average to European Champions in less than 4 years, but as the team gets better, the more difficult it is to improve. How can you improve on 97 points? What players could upgrade the European Champions? Klopp must find answers to these questions if Saturday’s victory is to be just the beginning, as we all hope. Luckily, I’ve found the boys who will help us lift number 7 in Istanbul next May.
Heung Min Son – £100 million
Boom. This is the next phase in the project, a defiant return to big boy status in the transfer market. United did it with van Persie and City did it to us with Sterling. Taking a star player off a rival is a huge signal of power and a proven method of staying ahead. Apart from this, Son is an extraordinary player that is finally getting the recognition he deserves after being vastly underrated until very recently.
Son can help us in so many ways. He has the intelligence, energy and goalscoring prowess to be the Firmino replacement we’ve been longing for, should he be injured, tired etc. Son can also play out wide and fill in for Salah or Mane or play alongside either in a front 2. He has the pace and versatility to be a handful in any offensive position as he has been at Tottenham for the past 3 seasons, averaging a goal every 2.5 games in all competitions in this period.
His time at Spurs has also shown that he can work tirelessly to support another star man while also thriving in situations where he himself is responsible for providing the goals or match-defining moments in vital games, similar to Sadio Mane in this aspect. He is also the captain of his national side, South Korea and shows the same responsibility and handling of expectation as many of the Liverpool squad which is a prime reason for our success.
Son is the perfect marquee signing for the Reds this summer and would be a suitable fit for Klopp’s system in terms of quality, mentality and work-ethic. He also seems like a true professional – a very down to earth lad with no ego but huge ambition. He would have his name sung in the Kop in no time.
Hakim Ziyech – £22 million
This one’s a no brainer for me. The staggeringly low cost is due to a release clause of €25 million that will surely be paid by a top club for his services in this window. Ziyech plays on the right side of a front three for Ajax and has shone in that role throughout their stunning Champions League campaign, where he scored 5 goals. One of the main reasons for Ajax’s success was the free roaming nature of their false nine Dusan Tadic who frequently dropped deep allowing space through the middle for Ziyech to exploit, cutting in on his favoured left-foot. This success could be repeated at Anfield through a similar partnership with Bobby Firmino.
Ziyech is also very versatile as he played on both the left and right side of a 4-2-3-1 for his country Morocco in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His crossing ability from either side is just as lethal as his finishing as Ziyech has had the most assists in the Dutch Eredivisie in each of the last 4 seasons. His stats for last season are remarkable also as Ziyech recorded 16 goals and 13 assists in just 29 matches in the Eredivisie.
Ziyech is 26 years old and is ready to make the leap to one of Europe’s elite clubs. For his country, Ziyech has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances, another immense tally. For such a low fee, he is the perfect addition to add creativity and strength in depth in the forward line.
Patrick van Aanholt – £30 million
With the departure of Alberto Moreno being confirmed by the club, we need more cover for Robertson at left back. PVA has been one of the best left backs in the Premier League since forming a stunning partnership with Wilfred Zaha on Crystal Palace’s left side. At the age of 28, van Aanholt would relish the opportunity to be involved in a squad challenging for the greatest honours in the game since his Palace side, despite having very talented individuals have failed to fulfil their potential.
The allure of working under Jurgen Klopp and alongside the best players in the world would surely be too much to turn down. While his consistent performances for Palace over the last 3 seasons should warrant the club allowing him to leave on good terms.
With both Robertson and van Aanholt, Liverpool should be well stocked at left back, with the option of using James Milner on the rare occasion. Top quality cover at full back is very hard to come by in the modern game with most clubs in the league looking to improve on their current first choice.
PVA has managed to fly under the radar of the league’s top clubs for the past few seasons, but he has developed a reputation amongst Palace fans as a very important player, starting 36 of their 38 league games last season. He was involved in 5 goals in the league last season whilst he scored 5 and assisted 1 the season before.
His threat going forward is supplemented by his pace and direct running in behind which allows him to get into dangerous areas frequently. His pace helps him excel defensively also as he’s rarely caught out of position. He has made 0 errors leading to goals since joining Palace in the premier league and has also never been sent off. Van Aanholt collected just 3 yellow cards last season while the only penalty he has conceded for the Eagles was in his first season in the 16/17 campaign. Palace kept 12 clean sheets last season which was the 6th best tally in the division, just one less than Tottenham.
This acquisition would be very astute business for the Reds as the Dutch international has showed his reliability and consistency over a number of seasons and is used to playing in the Premier League.
This spending should be well within Liverpool’s means, especially considering the income that could be received from the selling of fringe players such as Marko Grujic and Nathaniel Clyne. Hopefully Mignolet stays put and decides to be involved in more title-winning seasons rather than move elsewhere. His attitude last season was second to none and exactly what we need in the dressing room. He is also a relatively strong second choice when compared to that of our rivals both domestically and abroad.
Whatever Klopp decides to do in the market he’ll be backed to the hilt and it will be very interesting to see who is next to join this wonderful club. Suitors will be lining up to join the champions of Europe and it’s up to Jurgen to pick the elite.
Another huge window awaits.
By the end of it, we may be unstoppable.