Aug 7, 2017
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Could Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech be Philippe Coutinho’s replacement at Liverpool?

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Liverpool need to have a strong finish to the transfer window with a minimum of three signings required if they are going to seriously challenge for the title. They have made only three first-team additions and with the added games that European football will bring, their squad needs more depth if they are to cope. Philippe Coutinho continues to be linked with Barcelona, but the Reds can’t afford to lose him until they identify and sign a replacement.

Lions De l’Atlas report that the Reds want to sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and see him as the right profile of player to replace their influential Brazilian. The report states that the club have sent representatives to Amsterdam and their interest has intensified as a result of the Dutch club being knocked out of the Champions League. Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the Moroccan international and is pressing his board to make a move happen.

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What would he bring to Anfield?

As a like-for-like replacement, there are few better and more attainable players than Ziyech across European football. He is the best player in the Eredivisie and ready to make the step up to a bigger league. Last season, he was one of the key players as Ajax got to the Europa League final and he showed enough class throughout the competition to suggest he can transition easily to a bigger European league.

Ziyech is a typical number ten and he possesses the ability to glide past challenges with ease, as he showed on numerous occasions last season. When he is on the ball, he is always looking to make things happen and he is intelligent when he has the opportunity to influence proceedings. His vision allows him to operate a second quicker than the opposition defenders. The 23-year-old has a good range of passing and he isn’t averse to attempting risky passes to create an opening for his team, which come off more often than not.

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One issue with his game is his fondness of shooting from range. Although he possesses the technique to put the ball in the top corner from outside the area, he attempts to do it far too often. If he decreased his amount of long shots, he would become a more effective player.

How likely is a move?

The source is questionable as it is a Moroccan news site and their reliability isn’t known, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Liverpool haven’t considered Ziyech as a possible replacement for Coutinho. Klopp will know that it is a possibility that the Brazilian is sold to Barcelona and as a result, he needs to make sure he has a replacement in mind. The Ajax midfielder is similar to Coutinho in several ways and given he plays in the Eredivisie, a deal would be possible.

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Hakim Ziyech to Liverpool
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Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
Despite their size, Ajax don’t possess the finances that other top European clubs have. Liverpool would be able to give them an offer that they couldn’t turn down and force a deal through late in the window if required. Given the source, this should be approached with caution, but it could be one that develops alongside the Coutinho deal.
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Liverpool · Transfers
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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