Liverpool have no choice but to bolster their midfield ranks in the summer and Jurgen Klopp insists the club know “exactly” what is needed.
With three midfielders out of contract in the summer – James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – and the demand to inject fresh legs, we all know where investment is needed.
The emergence of Stefan Bajcetic this season and the continued growth of Harvey Elliott has bolstered options, but the club’s midfield transfer plans have not changed.
With “nothing” new on the status of Milner, Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain after Roberto Firmino‘s departure confirmation, Liverpool will currently go into the summer with six midfield players.
Bajcetic (18) and Elliott (19) join Curtis Jones, Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson as Klopp’s midfield options, but that list will be bolstered in the summer.
“No, we know exactly what we need. That didn’t change,” Klopp emphatically told reporters when asked if Elliott and Bajcetic change what Liverpool need in the summer.
“I wouldn’t say when we started our plans, [in] September, October, that Stefan was already involved in all of these talks, but, of course, he is now. It would be crazy if not.
“Harvey always was and always will be, he is a top player and he’s really happy.
“He had to improve slightly defensively but his offensive contribution is really interesting for each football team; he’s a really smart player, good vision, technique really good.
“We need players, we cannot go in with three midfielders in a season.
“We count on them, definitely. There’s a lot to come from both the boys, from others as well, we still have other young players here.
“We count on them, but that doesn’t mean we will not have a look in the summer.”
The worst-kept secret in football is that Jude Bellingham is Liverpool’s No. 1 transfer target, while Chelsea‘s Mason Mount and Wolves‘ Matheus Nunes have consistently been linked.
The club will need to be savvy with its transfer business and Klopp stressed the track record of “wise and responsible investment” under FSG’s ownership.
It’s clear, then, that Liverpool have a plan in place and targets identified which can only bode well, the job now is to get them over the line and kick-start the next era under Klopp.