Premier League • England

Liverpool pundit names ‘perfect’ Klopp signing, but warns deal has double danger

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool September 2021

Peter Crouch thinks Liverpool could have an exciting summer transfer window and a new big-money signing in midfield, although he warned of two inherent dangers to a deal.

The Reds have been hailed for their low net spend compared to rivals Chelsea and Manchester City. However, Jurgen Klopp’s success at Anfield has highlighted that further.

While they have signed players for sizeable transfer fees, they have continued to balance the books through player sales.

Indeed, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk arrived in 2018 for over £100million in total, but Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona offset the costs.

The two 2018 transfer windows represent the last time Liverpool spent over £50million on a player.

Diogo Jota cost a reported £41million last September, but Wolves’ flexible payment terms means the Reds have paid in instalments. Ibrahima Konate, meanwhile, came in from RB Leipzig for £36million.

According to Crouch, though, Liverpool “are due a big one” and he admitted that he would love to see Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham move to Anfield. However, he warned that the deal must not impact on the game time given to Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones.

Comparing the low work rate of Paris Saint-Germin’s front three to Liverpool’s, he wrote in his Daily Mail column: “If you give nothing the other way, then you have to score two or three every game to make up for it.

“Klopp’s squad know that isn’t an option and the forwards set the tone. I’d love them to go and sign a frontline striker in the future, but maybe that sort of character would not fit.

“Next summer will be interesting, Liverpool feel like they are due a big one, and you’re possibly looking at something extra in midfield.

“Jude Bellingham would fit in perfectly, as long as it is not to the detriment of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, who have suffered cruel luck with injuries.

“It’s not been a settled midfield for a while and those places are up for grabs.”

Crouch ranks Liverpool midfielders

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson celebrating his goal against Brighton in 2021

Elliott, who is 18 like Bellingham and only a couple of months older, is an exciting prospect in equal measure. He came into Liverpool’s first team this term with an instant impact, only to pick up a nasty ankle injury.

Jones is another breakthrough star for Liverpool and at 20, he has already become a key part of the team.

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Klopp also has the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantara in his ranks.

“If there was a Champions League final tomorrow, Fabinho and Henderson would play,” Crouch added. “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed. He’s a little bit different — loves to carry the ball.

“Then there is Thiago Alcantara. Michael Owen described him as a footballer’s footballer and that is the perfect way of putting it.

“I did wonder whether he would fit into an industrious midfield, in a system that allows the full backs to create so much. He has controlled the last few games. That is what a good run of games does for you.

“Thiago makes you sit up — WOW! — and can do things others can’t. A beautiful, graceful man to watch.”

Liverpool return to action on Wednesday when facing Everton at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby, a fixture Klopp has admitted he is not the biggest fan of.