Recent links to Borussia Mönchengladbach winger Thorgan Hazard could be a sign of things to come this summer, writes @sam0007ster.
Last week, Gladbach’s sporting director Max Ebrel revealed that the 26-year-old has refused to renew his contract at the club.
“Thorgan has informed us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract and that he wants to leave the club in the summer to take the next step,” Ebrel said in an interview for Sky Germany.
“We’ll have to see where his path will continue. I don’t know whether it will be at Borussia Dortmund, who are constantly being mentioned, or at Atlético Madrid, Liverpool or another club.”
The Belgian international has scored nine goals and assisted 10 in the Bundesliga this season. He is valued at about €40million (£34.5million) by Transfermarkt.
Another German news outlet also reported Hazard has his heart set on a move to rivals BVB despite interest from the Reds.
Alternatives to the ‘front three’
Liverpool have not missed an awful lot this season. But they have missed a player who posits a challenge to the conviction that their front three are the best in the business.
Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah are always the favourites to lead the front-line throughout a 38-game league season.
By no means am I suggesting that Jürgen Klopp should go all-out to find an upgrade for one of the tried-and-tested trio. That is, as we all know, pretty much impossible.
Yet Liverpool’s closest rivals – Manchester City – have a plethora of attacking options who are rotated and refreshed week in week out.
Pep Guardiola can choose from the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sané. A mouth-watering collection of star names, all with plenty of pace, dynamism and clinical edge.
Premier League winner Riyad Mahrez joined the Citizens last summer for more than £60million and also serves sufficiently as an astute complement.
For Liverpool, Mané, Firmino and Salah are regularly the first names on the team sheet. Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge have chipped in with the odd (and admittedly hugely important) goal here and there but are usually called upon in the dying embers.
Hazard – an option for Klopp:
There is no hard evidence to suggest that Hazard would be as effective in England as he is in Germany. Gladbach signed the Belgian from Chelsea in 2015, with him having left little impression on the English game.
But I am sure Klopp will be on the lookout for a player of Hazard’s ilk – an out-and-out winger with plenty of speed, positional flexibility and a willingness to make incisive runs into the box. Someone who can be relied upon to communally break the lines and find pockets of space.
Perhaps someone with ample amounts of Premier League experience? Ryan Fraser has been tipped by the media to leave Bournemouth in the summer.
The likes of Julian Brandt and David Neres will also (assumedly) be linked to Liverpool in the months to come.
A sign of things to come? We will see…
Up the Reds.