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8 homegrown players Liverpool could target to combat ongoing squad issue

Liverpool may need to dip into the homegrown market this summer if they are to meet Premier League requirements within their playing squad.

The departures of James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have left the Reds needing to tread somewhat carefully when it comes to summer recruitment, with the Reds close to their non-homegrown player limit.

Premier League rules state that clubs must have no more than 17 non-homegrown players in their 25-man squad, with players under the age of 21 not counting towards those figures for that season regardless of their origin.

A homegrown player does not necessarily have to have been born or raised on British shores, for instance, any individual who has played for an FA-affiliated club for three or more years before turning 21 can count towards a homegrown tally.

It means Jurgen Klopp may have his eye on a number of options who meet the homegrown criteria this summer, in order to meet requirements for 2023/24 and ease the burden for future years.

Here, we take a look at some of the players Liverpool could target in the transfer window.

 

Marc Guehi – Crystal Palace

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Crystal Palace's Marc Guéhi during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The midfield is the topic on everyone’s lips when it comes to summer reinforcements, but Liverpool also look increasingly likely to add a new defensive option for next season.

Marc Guehi appeared in all but one of Crystal Palace‘s Premier League fixtures in 2022/23 and was said last month to be wanted by a number of top clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Man United.

A reported £50 million price tag could deter Liverpool from making a concrete approach, but the premium placed on homegrown players will mean that the Reds may have to pull the trigger on a fee over the odds at some stage.

 

Eberechi Eze – Crystal Palace

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Staying at Selhurst Park for the time being, Eberechi Eze is a talented forward who has also caught the eye of some of the league’s best sides.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder was Palace’s top scorer last season with 10 goals and can present a real handful for defenders when on top form.

Liverpool have been linked with Eze on a number of occasions in the past, but the club’s need to bring in homegrown talent could place an emphasis on players with his profile.

 

Harvey Barnes – Leicester

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, December 30, 2022: Leicester City's Harvey Barnes during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having tasted relegation with Leicester last season, Harvey Barnes could be keen to make a swift return to the top flight this summer.

The 25-year-old plays predominantly on the left wing, a position in which Liverpool are currently well-stocked, but can also operate in the attacking midfield areas.

Barnes has been linked with a move to the Reds in the past and could be available for a cut-price deal given the Foxes’ current predicament.

 

Jacob Ramsey – Aston Villa

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 9, 2021: Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Manchester United FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool could do a lot worse than pursuing Jacob Ramsey to remedy some of the squad’s current midfield deficiencies.

A mainstay in a resurgent Aston Villa side last season, Ramsey has goals in his game which have been hard to come by from the Reds’ midfield in recent years.

At 22, he is at a very similar age to Liverpool’s other midfield targets like Khephren Thuram, Manu Kone and Ryan Gravenberch, but would crucially count towards the homegrown quota for next season.

It is not a name that has been linked with Anfield too often, but he is certainly not a player who it would be difficult to make a case for.

 

Moussa Dembele – Lyon

Celtic's Moussa Dembele during the UEFA Champions League, Group C match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 6, 2016. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A player some may not realise is classed as homegrown, Moussa Dembele fits the criteria due to starting his professional journey with Fulham.

The 26-year-old typically operates as a centre-forward, not necessarily a position Klopp will be concerned about this summer, demonstrating his eye for goal by netting 21 times in 30 Ligue 1 appearances in 2021/22.

Fitness issues made last season a campaign to forget for Dembele, but one positive could be stealing a march on our blue neighbours, with Everton said to be circling the player this summer!

 

Conor Gallagher – Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 4, 2023: Chelsea's Conor Gallagher during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One player who has found himself linked to Liverpool in recent months is Conor Gallagher, with reports in April suggesting that the midfielder is “high up” on the list of targets.

Gallagher’s Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount at one stage looked destined for Anfield this summer, but reports have since indicated that Old Trafford is a more likely destination.

Fans were torn on the prospect of signing Gallagher this summer when the links were reported but of the main midfield names currently on Liverpool’s shopping list very few would qualify as homegrown.

 

Levi Colwill – Chelsea

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Brighton & Hove Albion's Levi Colwill during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another Chelsea player who could be of interest to Klopp is Levi Colwill, with the Reds making no secret of their desire to strengthen the defence.

The centre-back has been linked with a move to Liverpool amid reports which suggest he doesn’t feel that Chelsea can fulfil his game-time needs.

Colwill would not come cheap if the Reds were to make a move, but at the age of 20 the player’s ceiling is immeasurable as some of the manager’s current defensive options continue to wrestle with fitness problems.

 

Ron-Robert Zieler – Hannover 96

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2017: Leicester City's goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler inspects the pitch before the FA Cup 3rd Round match against Everton at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Very few ex-Man United players have made a switch to Anfield in recent years and vice versa, but Ron-Robert Zieler is a potential signing that could make sense for all parties.

The 34-year-old would bring experience and trustworthiness to Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks and would likely command a very small fee in the process.

With Adrian confirming last month that he expects to extend his stay beyond the summer, it appears the Reds may have been perturbed by recent quotes from Zieler in Bild in which he admitted he is “assuming” he will remain at Hannover next season.

His Man United spell would qualify him for a homegrown slot in Liverpool’s squad, but those links have certainly lessened in recent weeks.