LaLiga pundit labels Liverpool target the ‘dream’ Wijnaldum replacement

Dan Burnham
Sergio Dest, Saul Niguez, Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Kevin Campbell believes Liverpool target Saul Niguez would be a perfect midfield signing this summer to replace the recently-departed Georginio Wijnaldum.

Wijnaldum left Merseyside to link up with Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain. For a long time it looked like Barcelona would be the Dutchman’s next home. However, the French side swooped in and secured his services on a three-year contract.

Now Jurgen Klopp is seeking a replacement to fill the void left by one of his favourite players from the last few seasons.

Wijnaldum was one of the first names on the teamsheet for Klopp. In total, he made 237 appearances in his five years at Anfield.

As such, it is clear the Reds have big boots to fill in their search for a new central midfielder. And Campbell, who was a weekly pundit for LaLiga TV last season, feels they would get exactly what they need with Saul.

The Atletico Madrid man has been linked with all top-four clubs, but it is the Reds who appear to be best positioned to make the move happen.

Speaking to Football Insider, former Arsenal striker Campbell said: “He is a very good player. I have had a close eye on him for a couple of seasons now and he is so impressive. Technically he is superb but he is also tough.

“He would slot into that Liverpool midfield like a dream.

“I think he would be a great replacement for Wijnaldum. I imagine he would cost a fair bit though.”

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With regards to the fee, reports suggest Atletico want at least £35m for the 26-year-old. It looks as though they are aiming to profit on the soon-to-be-signed Rodrigo De Paul, who is set to cost £30m from Udinese.

Saul signed a remarkable nine-year contract with the Spanish club back in 2017. Despite this still having five years to run, they are said to be willing to let him go to Liverpool.

The price tag seems reasonable for a player with an impressive CV. It includes two Europa League successes, a LaLiga title and 19 caps for Spain.

Liverpool announce pre-season camp squad

Meanwhile, long-term injured defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez plus new signing Ibrahima Konate will all kick-off pre-season at Liverpool’s training camp in Austria on Monday.

Van Dijk and Gomez have not played since October and November respectively after sustaining serious knee injuries. They will join up with a 34-man squad – missing players who were, or still are, involved in Euro 2020 and the Copa America – at their base in the state of Tyrol.

Konate will meet his new Reds team-mates for the first time following his £36million move from RB Leipzig.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who had to pull out of England’s Euro 2020 squad, will also be involved. 11 academy players have been included too.

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