The summer transfer window is nearly upon us and silly season has already began. No matter how ludicrous the rumour is some papers will print it to sell papers, sites link it to get hits and fans get caught up in the hype of it all because it’s a false sense of security that Liverpool can still compete with the best.
I can’t see Liverpool even going in for the likes of Mauro Icardi, Gonzalo Higuain and Arturo Vidal because, well, we have nothing to woo them. Teams have more money than us. Teams have Champions League football. Teams have a better manager and a better squad. So we should be realistic with who we want and target players that would not only play for us but more importanly improve upon what we already have.
There’s only one league we should raid this summer and it’s the Bundesliga. The abundance of talent in that league is there for the taking, as much as Bayern want to own everyone it’s physically impossible for them to do so. That means there are countless value for money players available.
If rumours are true and Liverpool have a limited budget there are a few players in the Bundesliga I’d like to think we’d be looking at and they’re listed below;
Seb Rudy – The 25 year old Hoffenheim player. A full German international who is primarily a right back but can fill in all over the pitch. On numerous occasions this season he’s played as a right defensive midfielder, which as you may know is similar to how Emre Can was deployed towards the end of the season. He’s also more than comfortable playing as a right wing back or as a defensive midfielder. A player that would be key in a Brendan Rodgers squad, not only for his versatility but also his quality. He averages 78% pass success rate in his games and finished the season with 4 goals and 3 assists.
I don’t like to say this but one of his strengths is his crossing and were a certain Belgian striker sign for us his output from the right may be influential in adjusting to the style needed.
Johannes Geis – A 21 year old midfielder that currently plays for Mainz. Tipped to be signing for BVB when Thomas Tuchel replaces Klopp, he’s been earmarked as a replacement for Ilkay Gundogan. However if the rumour of money plus a player offer from Bayern for Gundogan it may mean the German is up for grabs.
Deployed as a deep lying midfielder, he’d be similar to how Steven Gerrard played in 2013/2014. His passing range would add something to the Liverpool side that will be missing now the legend has left. He is also better defensively than Gerrard so the defence may also have better protection. Geis also offers set pieces, which he excels at, aswel as having a decent long range shot on him. As Liverpool statistically shoot from outside the box more than more top teams it may be worthwhile adding a player with that strength. He finished the 2014/15 season with 4 goals and 3 assists.
Karim Bellarabi – Not the perfect replacement if Sterling were to leave but he’s certainly one of the better ones. He’s direct, pacey, tricky and has a real eye for goal as highlighted by the fact he scored 12 and assisted 9 goals last season. Able to play as a RWB, RM, RF or even as a number 10, his versatility would be key for the Liverpool side in an attacking sense. Not only this it would allow Lazar Markovic to have a spell in his favoured role as a left forward. Bellarabi is influential in Leverkusen’s successfully deployed pressing system, someone that would be greatly appreciated if Liverpool went back to this style.
Hakan Calhanoglu – A long distance specialist. The man Leverkusen bought with the money they received from the Emre Can deal. He hit some impressive figures last season with 10 goals and 8 assists coming from the number 10 position. Much like Bellarabi, he will press defenders and the ball in the hope of starting a quick counter. Similarily to Geis he is an expert with dead balls and Liverpool certainly lack players that can take a freekick or a corner. At 21 years old he is nowhere near peaking yet is already attracting attention from big club like Barcelona and Bayern.
Antonio Rudiger – A 22 year old centre back who plays for Stuggart. He is able to play as a right centre back or a right back. At 6ft2 he isn’t short and physically he looks like he could mature into an athlete like Sakho. Similarly to Sakho, Rudiger only got booked twice last season. If both your centre backs can time a tackle, and not be suspended, it means you can form a basis of a good centre back pairing. It also highlights the fact they aren’t diving in and giving away needless fouls. He likes to bring the ball out from the back and has a 84% passing success rate. Again, a good base for a team to build from. It’s also believable to think he could play in a back three, in the Emre Can role.
There is plenty of talent in the Bundesliga and they’re all just waiting for their big chance. If Liverpool buy wisely they could set themselves up for the next 5 years and spend less than it’d be to sign two Premier League proven players.