A 0-2 win by Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against RB Leipzig saw some of the best once again from Jurgen Klopp’s side.
But, despite the loss, Leipzig had a few stand-out performers. With Liverpool having signed players previously from a few of the Red Bull owned football clubs, some of the stars from Tuesday’s match could be considered potential targets for Liverpool in the future.
Dani Olmo: The Creative Spark Liverpool are Lacking
Olmo was Leipzig’s most impressive performer on the night. He provided Leipzig’s best chance of the night early on in the match with a diving header that caught Alisson’s near-post and deflected wide across goal.
The catalyst in attack for Leipzig, though unable to provide to his front line, Olmo demonstrated his ability to find the right pass.
Olmo seems like a player well beyond his years with the way he see’s the game unfold in front of him. Switching play numerous times and finding diagonal runs from his forwards (ex. early second half finding Christopher Nkunku with an exquisite through-ball), Olmo seems a top young creator in Europe.
With Liverpool in need of a facilitator, Olmo certainly looks the part and would be an interesting player for Liverpool to consider in upcoming transfer windows.
Tyler Adams: Liverpool’s Gini Replacement?
Defensively, Tyler Adams has the chance to develop into one of Europe’s best midfielders. Against Liverpool, Adams showed early on in the night that he can take on the best players in the world 1-on-1 as he did with Sadio Mane.
Adams’ role was adjusted throughout the game as he started to move further up the pitch, mainly in the second half. The American played an incredible through-ball late in the match to Hwang Hee-Chan that put the forward 1-on-1 with Alisson Becker before the South Korean slid it past the far post.
Adams’ versatility would provide Liverpool with a player much like the one’s they have. Gini Wijnaldum for example has been entrusted by Jurgen Klopp in all levels of the midfield, whether venturing forward or sitting back in front of the defense.
Adams, similarly, can provide the same level of versatility that Liverpool covet with new signings in recent transfer windows.
Could Adams be a potential Wijnaldum replacement? Possibly.
Dayot Upamecano: The One That Got Away
The future Bayern Munich man, who was rumored to be considering Liverpool before agreeing to terms with the German giants, was superb on Tuesday evening.
Calm on the ball throughout the match and strong in duels and challenges with Liverpool’s front three, Upamecano had certain moments that warranted the amount of attention that big clubs became so enamored with over the past few years.
Upamecano had some immense recoveries in the second half as well to keep Liverpool at bay and possibly leave the door open in the tie. Solid showing at the back for the Frenchman.
Though he was exceptional defensively, his weaknesses showed at times. Inefficient while on the ball and being out of place positionally cost him from having a near flawless night.
With time, Upamecano can refine his game and Bayern could potentially have a star on their hands if he continues to develop in the manner he is.
Liverpool’s second leg with RB Leipzig takes place on March 10th with the Reds looking to punch their ticket to the round of eight.