Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Mo Salah replacement: The seven top-class stars Liverpool could sign as emotional exit talk gathers pace

Leroy Sane, Bukayo Saka, Jarrod Bowen

Leroy Sane, Bukayo Saka and Jarrod Bowen have all been linked with taking Mohamed Salah's Liverpool spot if he moves

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah is continually being linked with a move away from Anfield ahead of the summer transfer window.

It was reported that a mesmerising £150million bid from Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad was rejected last summer, and Salah has continued to perform for the Reds since then, adding 18 goals and nine assists to his tallies for the club, to bring them up to 204 and 88, respectively.

But news that Jurgen Klopp will leave the club in the summer has been followed by suggestions some big names could follow him out the door – TEAMtalk has mused over which players could go where.

Salah exit talk is being accelerated again, with a recent report stating a world-record bid of £200million is coming, again from Al-Ittihad.

If the Egyptian superstar is to walk out the door at Anfield, Liverpool will look to replace him with another explosive winger – here, TEAMtalk looks at seven players who could take Salah’s place.

Bukayo Saka

For years Saka has been linked with the Premier League’s biggest clubs, with the Reds featuring on that list. The move might soon fall into place, with part of a recent Paul Merson suggestion potentially coming true.

The pundit stated Liverpool could “sell him [Salah] for £200million” and get the “next in line,” which he feels is Saka, for £150million.

The Arsenal man was five goals shy of Salah’s Premier League tally last season and only one assist below him. That he’s 22 years old suggests those numbers will continue to rise in the coming seasons.

There’s no doubt Saka could carry the torch that Salah has lit, and whether or not the Gunners would want to get rid – knowing he could be a superstar for them for years – a £150million offer would surely be very tempting.

Leroy Sane

Sane is also frequently being linked with Liverpool at the moment, with the latest report suggesting they have already ‘made moves’ to try and lure him to the club in the summer, with only 18 months left on his Bayern Munich contract.

It’s believed that if he doesn’t pen a new deal by the summer, the Reds will be right at the head of the queue, and Sane would ‘not rule out’ a return to the Premier League.

In three full seasons for Manchester City he scored 39 goals and provided 46 assists. His best return in a Premier League season was 10 goals and 15 assists, not too far a level below some of Salah’s campaigns.

City won the title with 100 points that season (2017/18), so Liverpool could also benefit from his attacking prowess. While he mostly played out left for City, Sane has occupied the right-wing spot often for Bayern, and has nine goals and 12 assists this term.

Takefusa Kubo

Kubo has been linked with some top Premier League sides, with Manchester United rivalling Liverpool, though the Reds are said to have ‘shown the most interest’.

That saw them put the feelers out for a January deal, though nothing came of it. Their desire to snap him up before anybody else was able to comes after Kubo bagged six goals and four assists in the first half of the season for Real Sociedad.

The winger is following up a campaign in which he scored and assisted nine times each. He’s got the blessing of departing Liverpool boss Klopp, who is said to have picked him out as his final transfer wish.

After no deal was done in January, it would not be a surprise if the Reds moved for Kubo in the summer.

Jarrod Bowen

Liverpool have been linked with Bowen on multiple occasions over the past couple of seasons, and his form this term can have done his chances of making a big move to Anfield no harm.

Indeed, the Englishman has scored 11 goals – one shy of his Premier League best of 12 – and has two assists to his name.

He’s been referred to as the “claret and blue Salah,” which suggests there is no better man to replace the Egpytian with than Bowen.

He’s also got three green light from Klopp, with the manager stating before West Ham played Liverpool this season that the winger was his “favourite player” apart from his own.

It will reportedly take £100million to lure him away from the Hammers, a small price to pay if Salah leaves for £200million.

Raphinha

Unsurprisingly after he carried Leeds on his back in the 2021/22 season with 11 goals and three assists in the Premier League, and has continued to star for Barcelona, where he has been directly involved in 33 goals in a season and a half, Raphinha is wanted by some big names.

Tottenham and Manchester United are in the mix, and a recent report stated Spurs have opened talks, while it’s been suggested a £60million bid would be accepted.

Liverpool remain in the mix in any case, and while links are not as strong as with other targets, there remains a clear motive for them to get Raphinha – he’s a left-footed right-winger, the same as Salah.

That means the Reds would not have to change their tactics all too much if he was to join. That said, with a new manager coming in, things aren’t likely to stay the same.

Johan Bakayoko

Liverpool, or any other interested side, have seemingly been given the go-ahead to go after Bakayoko, with PSV Eindhoven’s sporting director stating “I don’t think Bakayoko will play at PSV next season.”

That followed reports the Reds were ‘showing strong interest’ along with the likes of Manchester City.

Bakayoko will likely be one of the cheaper options to replace Salah with, as it’s believed his base price could be £34million. But that’s as he does not have the experience of some of the other targets.

Indeed, the winger is 20 years old and has only played consistent senior football for the past two seasons. Within those, he’s scored 13 goals and provided 18 assists.

That shows him to be a level below Salah in terms of output, but given he’s so young, it would not be a surprise if he was able to progress towards where the Egyptian is at.

Federico Chiesa

Chiesa is getting back to his best after injuries curtailed his last couple of seasons and Liverpool are among the sides to have taken notice. In his first campaign at Juventus, the forward scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists.

But he missed at least half of the next two campaigns – he has also missed five Serie A games this season, but is mostly injury free, and has managed to score six goals and provide two assists.

Links to Liverpool were rife previously, but died down during Chiesa’s slow spell. Now back on form after getting fit, they’re said to be keeping an eye on him as he enters the final year of his contract in Turin.

The Reds are paying close attention amid contract discussions with Juventus, that are not going well, as the two parties do not see eye to eye on how much the forward should be paid. That said, a cut-price deal could be possible for the Reds.

While Chiesa has largely played down the middle this season, he’s played on the right wing more often than any other position in his career.

Liverpool’s is an attack containing a lot of versatile players, in any case, with Diogo Jota having played across the front line this season, so Chiesa might actually be favourable to some players who only occupy the right-wing spot.

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