Liverpool are reportedly planning a £38million double swoop for a Premier League midfielder and one attacker.
The players in question are Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater and Southampton forward Shane Long. Both players have endured successful seasons in the Premier League, with the former winning the title. We take a look at how they would fit into Liverpool’s style of play and how reputable the sources are that have made the initial links.
Firstly the ‘Long’ story. Reported by the Independents Miguel Delaney, Klopp is said to want to rival Leicester City to the signing of Long, who he feels would add strength and energy to the Liverpool attack. The source for the story is fairly reputable, but do Liverpool need another striker?
Long’s industrious style and work ethic no doubt make him ideally suited to Klopp’s pressing system that he wants to deploy and having him as a squad player would certainly be useful. But signing Long may increase speculation linking Daniel Sturridge away from the club, considering Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino are already striking options for Jurgen Klopp. Should Sturridge leave, then a deal for Long becomes more probable, but at the £24million fee mentioned, it would be a waste of money should Sturridge, Origi and Ings remain with the club. Liverpool’s highest league goalscorer this season was Firmino (10), Long has the same amount, despite starting just 23 league games.
Drinkwater is also being linked with a move to Liverpool, this time for £14million. It would be odd for Drinkwater to abandon Champions League football with the title winners to join Liverpool, who will be without any European football next season. However according to Steve Bates of The Mirror, the 26-year-old is eyeing a move to a big club despite the success he played a big part in at Leicester this season. With N’Golo Kante’s likely departure this summer though, Claudio Ranieri will be desperate to keep hold of Drinkwater to help keep at least some of the core players from last season. Leicester don’t really need money so if Liverpool were to complete this deal, they’d need Drinkwater to push for the move – will he do that this summer? I doubt it.
Drinkwater plays in a deep-lying midfield role for Leicester and has looked very comfortable on the ball this season, whilst also offering a lot of energy, like the rest of the Leicester squad. He would likely play the deepest lying midfield role in Klopp’s system, should he join.
All in all these links don’t appear to have too much substance, but it is worth keeping an eye on them, especially on the Long situation who may be likely to arrive should Sturridge or another forward leave this summer.