Liverpool might not have an especially busy summer transfer window this year, but they should make a few key moves to fortify their squad after an up and down 2020-2021 campaign in both the Premier League and Champions League.
The Reds have already made one quality signing, activating the release clause of RB Leipzig center back Ibrahima Konate. Though some Kopites have eyes on Kylian Mbappe, who is not a completely impossible target, the reality is that Liverpool will likely have to aim for more modest upgrades in the attack and midfield.
Replacing Gini Wijnaldum should be one of the transfer priorities this summer, and there are a number of quality young midfielders who can help the team soften the blow of losing a player deemed by Jurgen Klopp as a club legend.
One such player is Brighton’s Yves Bissouma. The 2020-2021 breakout star will be targeted by several sides around Europe, and Liverpool have been among the elite teams linked to the 24-year-old Mali international.
Yves Bissouma could be a good signing for Liverpool at the right price
Bissouma won’t be cheap. He could cost 50 million euros, as Brighton know that his youth and proven Premier League credibility make him coveted to other sides in England. Brighton have a real asset in Bissouma, and they won’t part ways at a discount price.
That could cause the Reds to back off a little bit. And they should not feel compelled to overpay for a midfielder. They do have options. Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, and Fabinho are all great players, for example. Curtis Jones is a real up-and-comer whom Jurgen Klopp is high on.
At the same time, it is in Liverpool’s best interests to sign a proven midfield player with additional upside, and Bissouma fits the bill. He has the tools to help the Reds on and off the ball. Per WhoScored.com, the 24-year-old had a whopping 2.9 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game, making him one of the Premier League’s top ball-winners. And he was adept at carrying the ball with 1.5 dribbles completed per game. FBRef.com had him in the 86th percentile at his position in dribbles completed, as well as in the 58th percentile in progressive carries.
An accurate passer and a legitimately elite defender, Bissouma has the energy to immediately impact Liverpool’s midfield for the better. His offensive game is developing, though the need for development is one reason to be cautious about Brighton’s possible asking price.
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The Reds need to consider multiple targets. I’m not sure Bissouma should be at the top of their list. But I do know that with his youth, strong work in 2020-2021, and ability to fit the intensity required by Klopp, Bissouma needs to be one of the main protagonists on the transfer market for the 2019-2020 Premier League champions.