Liverpool have their attention firmly on the Champions League final later this month against Real Madrid, but there will be some planning for next season going on behind the scenes. It is well known that they will have money to spend following the exit of Philippe Coutinho in January and there are plenty of rumours doing the rounds that Lyon forward Nabil Fekir will be one of the players heading to Anfield this summer. There have been reports that the French international has already met personally with Jurgen Klopp, with the German trying to encourage him to make the move to the Reds.
The progress that Liverpool have made under Jurgen Klopp has been remarkable and they are now establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with both at home and in Europe. A huge reason for that has been the success of their recruitment. They scout players that are tailored to the needs of the team and their success rate in recent years has been remarkable. Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah have all been huge hits since joining the club. In their pursuit of Van Dijk, they showed that they wouldn’t be hasty and they are prepared to wait to land their top targets. That will bode them well this summer when at the negotiating table.
Although there have been plenty trying to play down the links with Fekir, there is too much talk for it to be pure speculation. There seems to be something to the rumours and it does make a lot of sense for Liverpool to try to sign him this summer. Their central midfield needs to be improved if they are to challenge for the Premier League title, which will be the main aim for the next season. Coutinho’s departure didn’t derail the season as many expected, but it did leave a hole that hasn’t been filled. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done a good job, but he isn’t the long-term solution.
Fekir is a forward player and some have suggested that he would struggle to break into the Liverpool first team, but his creativity and vision mean that he would be a very good advanced midfield player at Anfield. It is likely that Jurgen Klopp sees him in this role. This season, he has emerged as one of the most consistent and effective players in Ligue 1 with 17 goals and seven assists.
They may be in the Champions League final, but Liverpool haven’t managed to challenge for the Premier League title this season. Fekir would help address that. This season, he has averaged 3.32 shots and 2,19 chances created per ninety minutes, while his shot accuracy stands at an impressive 68%. The Reds already have a devastating front-line, but the Lyon forward would add another option and attacking threat from deep.
Klopp’s style demands every player to be aggressive and contribute when the team doesn’t have possession. Fekir is a hard-working player who has a vicious streak as shown by his eight yellow cards this season. He averages 1.47 ball recoveries per ninety minutes and this part of his game would improve considerably at Anfield. If he was given time, he would be a great fit for the team.
The upcoming summer will be crucial for every Premier League team, but Liverpool have an opportunity to make progress and emerge as a genuine title contender. This competition has alluded them and they will be keen to put an end to their poor run domestically. Their exploits in the Champions League show the quality already at the club. It is important they add to that and Fekir would be a great pick-up for them. He should be a priority this summer.