Jurgen Klopp is being backed to bring the best out of Renato Sanches amid claims Liverpool are ready to push ahead with a deal to sign the former Premier League struggler.
The Reds fell disappointingly short of their recent high standards during the 2020/21 season. Amid a plethora of injuries, the defending champions still rallied late to finish third. However, that papered over the cracks of a somewhat difficult campaign and they fell a five a long way short of eventual winners Manchester City.
As such, Klopp is reportedly looking to freshen up his squad ahead of a fresh trophy assault in 2021/22.
Liverpool have already boosted their defence with the addition of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig. The French defender cost £36m – and it seems they have now finished shopping yet.
Next on their summer shopping list is a new midfielder to replace Georginio Wijnaldum.
A number of big names have been linked, with Youri Tielemans, Yves Bissouma and Florian Neuhaus among those linked.
However, it seems Sanches is the name at the very top of their shopping list. And the Lille star looks the most obtainable target for the Reds to land this summer.
The 23-year-old Sanches is on a deal in France until 2023. Furthermore, Lille appear ready to sell to help balance their books.
In addition, trusted transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano told his YouTube channel this week: “He wants to go. I also know that Lille are prepared to sell Renato.”
And with Lille apparently seeking a €30m fee (£25m) for the midfielder, that’s a fee not seen as prohibitive to Liverpool.
Indeed, a report earlier this week claimed Klopp and Michael Edwards were ready to make first contact over his signing.
Anyone who has seen Sanches in action of late will know that Liverpool could be landing a highly-talented star. He now seems at the top of his game if his Euro 2020 displays are anything to go by. It’s certainly a long stretch from the player who struggled during a spell on loan with Swansea back in 2017/18.
As such, Paul Robinson believes Sanches will excel at Anfield under Klopp.
And speaking to Football Insider, he reckons the player will dazzle in the Premier League if given a second chance.
“Sanches struggled the first time he came to England but players mature and he is certainly an example of that,” Robinson said.
“Look at Memphis Depay when he came to Manchester United, it was too soon. Now he has moved to Barcelona and is one of the best forwards in the world. Manchester United would take him back tomorrow.
“Players can develop and just because Sanches struggled last time does not mean he cannot succeed this time.
“I am sure Sanches would be a success if he moved to Liverpool. I fully expect him to prove his doubters wrong if Liverpool do get him.”
Robinson reckons Wijnaldum should have stayed
Robinson, however, reckons the Reds made a mistake in allowing Wijnaldum to leave on a free.
Speaking at the weekend, he commented: “We’ve seen the injury problems that Liverpool have had this year and he [Wijnaldum] has really been one of their mainstays.
“You see his performances and the goals he’s got in the Euros. He’s going to be a real miss for Liverpool.
“I think Sanches can do that job. He’s a top-class player. But you look at Liverpool and you worry that they don’t have the finances to invest.
“I personally think they have missed a real trick by not signing Wijnaldum to a new deal.
“The length of the contract was the reason that’s been speculated that they didn’t re-sign him. But at his age and his fitness, there was no reason not to give him that length of contract.
“He’s a player that you’ll need to spend a fair amount of money to replace. So it would have been a better business decision and financial decision. You’re not going to get a better player.”