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Mbeumo, Ait-Nouri & more – Liverpool should target these 9 Premier League players

While Liverpool’s scouting network is vast – and is only set to expand further – there could be smart signings to make from the Premier League this summer.

With Arne Slot now at the helm and a new recruitment staff in place at boardroom level, it is an exciting summer for those at Liverpool.

There will undoubtedly be changes made to the squad Jurgen Klopp left behind, with departures possible and improvement the aim, and the net will be cast wide for targets.

But with the Premier League proving a useful catchment area in recent years, including the signings of Virgil van Dijk, Alexis Mac Allister and Diogo Jota, there could be business to be conducted closer to home.

With that in mind, here are 10 Premier League players Liverpool should target.

 

Mohammed Kudus (West Ham)

AL RAYYAN, QATAR - NOVEMBER 28: Mohammed Kudus of Ghana attends the post match press conference after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Ghana at Education City Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA)

Age: 23
Position: RW/LW
Nationality: Ghana


While at Ajax, Kudus was claimed to have been tracked closely by Liverpool scouts – but his move to the Premier League came with West Ham.

If there were concerns within the Reds recruitment staff over the step up to England’s top flight, those will have been allayed by an outstanding for the Ghanaian.

In 48 appearances across the Premier League, Europa League and the Carabao Cup, Kudus scored 14 goals and laid on six assists for West Ham.

He did so largely from the right wing, but his versatility allowed him to also operate on the left, as a No. 10 and up front – with his lung-busting running ability and work ethic seeing him cover most of the pitch.

With Mo Salah entering the final year of his contract and doubts over other wingers, Kudus would be the perfect addition to start the Slot era.

 

Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolves)

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 17, 2023: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Aït-Nouri during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 22
Position: LB
Nationality: Algeria


With succession planning required in a number of positions, this summer could see those move into gear when it comes to left-back.

Andy Robertson turned 30 in March and, while he still has years left in him, may need to be managed more carefully, while Kostas Tsimikas is 28 and not of the level required to start week in, week out.

An interesting option who has been regularly touted with a move to Merseyside is Ait-Nouri, who head into the summer on the back of his most consistent season yet at Wolves.

Turning 23 in June, the Algerian already has four campaigns of Premier League football under his belt and looks to possess the blend of athleticism, aggression and ability on the ball to eventually succeed Robertson.

 

Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 16, 2023: Crystal Palace's Michael Olise celebrates after scoring the second goal to level the score at 2-2 in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Crystal Palace FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 22
Position: RW
Nationality: England


Another, perhaps less likely, option to continue the regeneration of Liverpool’s attack would be Palace’s much-sought-after Olise.

The Reds’ recruitment staff are known to hold interest in the 22-year-old, who is still eligible for both England and France, having been linked with a deal as long as three years ago when he was at Reading.

It is easy to see why: Olise is a devastating presence at his best, which saw him score 10 goals and lay on six assists in his 19 games in the season just gone.

There are two red flags, however.

Firstly, in that persistent hamstring injuries limited him to just 19 appearances in 2023/24, and secondly, reports that his contract at Palace includes a release clause worth around £60 million.

If there is cause to believe that this was just a blip in his fitness record, of course, then such an outlay for a player of Olise’s talent and potential may not be as farfetched as it seems.

 

Levi Colwill (Chelsea)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Chelsea's Levi Colwill during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 21
Position: CB
Nationality: England


Just as Jarell Quansah appeared to have put the Colwill saga to bed for good, new claims of Liverpool’s interest in the Chelsea defender have emerged.

It comes after a season in which the 21-year-old only started 13 games in his natural centre-back role for Chelsea, with 14 more coming at left-back, while he lost his place entirely after injury.

With Chelsea needing to balance their books to avoid any further issues with the Premier League‘s spending rules, it makes sense that Colwill would be considered for sale – with any deal worth pure profit as an academy player.

A blockbuster transfer could solidify Liverpool’s defence for a decade, with Colwill the left-sided foil to Quansah, but there are understandable doubts over whether it could happen.

 

Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 9, 2022: Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Brentford FC at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 24
Position: RW/ST
Nationality: Cameroon


Another possibility for the forward line, Liverpool are said to have expressed interest in Mbeumo ahead of the transfer window.

It stands to reason, with the Cameroonian proving himself adept at Premier League level since the Bees’ promotion to the top flight in 2021, with 22 goals and 21 assists in his 98 games in the top flight.

Those numbers may not be Liverpool standard, but they could be seen as scaleable at a club with a more proven outlets for their forwards.

Mbeumo’s pace and intelligent runs make him a dangerous asset in the final third, while he showed his physicality as he shunted Ibrahima Konate off the ball for his goal in Brentford‘s 3-1 win over Liverpool in 2023.

Able to play on the right and up front, he could be a smart acquisition if available for the right price.

 

Milos Kerkez (Bournemouth)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) gets past Bournemouth's Milos Kerkez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 20
Position: LB
Nationality: Hungary


Richard Hughes‘ appointment as sporting director could present an avenue to another left-back target in Bournemouth youngster Kerkez.

Even before the Hungarian made the switch to Dean Court there were suggestions of interest from Liverpool, along with both Benfica and Lazio, which highlights the impressive work of the Cherries’ then-technical director.

Kerkez then produced an eye-catching campaign for Bournemouth that will have only extended his line of suitors – and perhaps garnered more attention from Anfield.

Far from the finished product and with considerably more required going forward, Kerkez is unlikely to be ready to step into the first-choice role at Liverpool, but he could be an exciting long-term project.

 

Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Aston Villa's Boubacar Kamara celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Everton FC at Villa Park. Villa won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 24
Position: DM
Nationality: France


Despite the relative success of both Mac Allister and Wataru Endo in the role, for various reasons Liverpool should go into the transfer window still in search of a No. 6.

Villa midfielder Kamara was among the options reported to be under consideration last summer, before failed bids for both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

The Frenchman then went into the season as an immovable starter in Unai Emery’s midfield, with only suspension breaking an ever-present run in the Premier League that brought 13 wins from 20.

Kamara is central to the way Emery’s Villa play, his press-resistence and positioning allowing him to progress play while holding firm when dropping alongside the two centre-backs, and that would certainly translate to Liverpool.

But any move for Kamara will be seen as a gamble, with the midfielder currently undergoing rehabilitation for an ACL injury suffered in February.

 

Jan Paul van Hecke (Brighton)

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Brighton & Hove Albion's Jan Paul van Hecke during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 23
Position: CB
Nationality: Netherlands


Exploring the data when it comes to potential centre-back targets, Brighton defender Van Hecke stands out as a surprisingly suitable candidate.

The Dutchman is extremely comfortable in possession – in the 97th percentile among centre-backs for passes attempted, 93rd for pass completion, 96th for progressive passes and 82nd for progressive carries – having settled into Roberto de Zerbi’s bold system.

He is also a solid, front-footed defender; strong, perceptive and reasonable in the air – though not proven at the level of Van Dijk, Konate or Quansah.

As he took in a long adjustment period at Brighton there was even interest from Slot’s Feyenoord, and having been identified by Tony Bloom’s enviable database of worldwide talent, Van Hecke may be capable of taking another step at Liverpool.

 

Alex McCarthy (Southampton)

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 28, 2023: Southampton's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. The game ended in a 4-4 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 34
Position: GK
Nationality: England


Lastly, an option that seems to have been on Liverpool’s radar for years.

McCarthy will technically head into the summer without a Premier League club, available on a free transfer after his contract with promoted Southampton expires.

With it yet to be determined whether Adrian stays or leaves, and with Liverpool needing to fill their homegrown quota, the one-time England international could be a shrewd addition as third-choice goalkeeper.