Players Liverpool Should be Linked With – Part 2: Ruben Vinagre

Dann I.
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By: Dann I. (@DannLFCTR)

The summer transfer window is just around the corner and it promises to be exciting as ever, regardless of how likely (or indeed unlikely) Liverpool are to foray into the market.

But as our German boss said a few weeks back: “To strengthen the squad you need money and these are uncertain times. Obviously, uncertain times means for some clubs we cannot do what we would do in non-uncertain times…

That is how the club has been led since before I was here. If we have money, we will spend. If we do not know if we will have money, we probably will not spend that much. That is how it is”. 

So any realist would likely assume that recent links with Houssem Aouar from Lyon, Thiago Alcantara, and reports positing the idea of a possible return to Anfield for Philippe Coutinho, are unfounded.

So it’s important – especially at times like this – to be exactly that, a realist.

According to a report by David Maddock at the end of May, Liverpool were unwilling to splurge anything above £30million on RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, despite Klopp’s long-term admiration for, and interest in, the player.

It leaves Liverpool transfer enthusiasts (like us) wondering if Liverpool will do any business at all this summer. But, as has always the case for us at LFCTR, we love to speculate.

So who’s (1) available, (2) available for a cut-price-fee, and (3) able to improve the current crop.

Dann’s Choice: Ruben Vinagre 

It’s no secret that Liverpool are in need of cover at fullback; Nathaniel Clyne left the club in July after his contract expired, young left-back Adam Lewis is eyeing a loan move next season, and Yasser Larouci – another young starlet – sees his future elsewhere. The fact of the matter is Andy Robbo is the only senior left-back at the club. And that’s been the case since Alberto Moreno departed last summer.

Yes, the ever-reliable James Milner can cover both flanks, but he’s just turned 34 and offers only a fraction of what the flying Scotsman has to offer in terms of sheer speed and crossing ability, among other things.

Neco Williams also deserves a mention. But the youngster (19-years-old) is, by trade, a right back. He is surely capable of deputising at left-back, but only on occasion.

In my last piece, I mentioned Raphael Guerreiro – the versatile Dortmund left-back – and he’s arguably a good fit. Then again, he’s already established himself on the world stage and, taking Maddock’s report into account, thereby out of Liverpool’s price range. So what about Wolves defender Ruben Vinagre?

The 21-year-old has fitted seamlessly into Nuno’s 3-4-3 formation, and despite not being a regular starter, has still played twenty-four times this season; fifteen in the Premier League and six in the Europa League.

He’s fleet-footed and comfortable operating as a winger, as a wide midfielder, or as a full-back. He’s lightning-quick (that’s obvious) as his 21.87MPH sprint in Wolves’ 2-0 win over Cardiff last season proved; the fastest recorded running speed of any Premier League player in 18/19.

The Portuguese’s price-tag is unclear, however. He joined from Monaco after impressing on a season-long-loan with Wolves for just £2million, and just last year signed a new five-year deal.

So if Wolves are willing to sell, they are likely to make a substantial profit, considering he is regarded as one of the best value-for-money transfers in Europe.

Most importantly, he’s a young prodigy still learning his trade. And Klopp loves a project.

Whether FSG would be willing to sanction a move for the promising youngster it is yet to be seen but could Divock Origi act as a deal sweetener? Indeed, Wolves are said to be long-time admirers. The Belgian is a popular figure at Anfield having cemented his name into Anfield folklore, but is, in many fan’s eyes, now surplus to requirements.

Liverpool reportedly value the Belgian at around £20-25million which could see Klopp opt to pursue a direct exchange deal (which is understandable considering Vinagre’s age and undoubted potential).

Edited By: Sam Patterson

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