Liverpool: English duo targeted by Celtic's Rodgers; Mexican midfielder and Argentine striker linked
Following Brendan Rodgers’ appointment as manager of Celtic, there was always the possibility that he would look to bring some of his former charges north of the border with him. The draw of Scottish football is not even close to that of the Premier League, so the star names would not be tempted, but some of Liverpool’s squad players who enjoyed their time under the Northern Irishman may see the benefit. The two names which have been most strongly spoken about in this regard are Joe Gomez and Andre Wisdom.
Brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers during last summer’s transfer window, Joe Gomez was highly impressive during pre-season and as a result, kept his place in the side at left-back for the opening few matches of the campaign. Displaying a staggeringly high maturity and in-game intelligence; along with not an insignificant of natural talent, Gomez kept Moreno out of the team before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
This must have been gut-wrenching for the player, especially after having made such a bright start to his Merseyside career, but Jurgen Klopp does not seem to have been discouraged by the period on the side-lines, instead being impressed by his durability. There have been reports that Brendan Rodgers has expressed his desire to take the former Charlton defender on-loan to Scottish giants Celtic, but this has been rebuffed by Klopp.
Gomez has already exhibited his outstanding potential, versatility across the back-line, and magnificent desire to improve himself – all traits that Klopp values highly. The English youngster; who should be back in first team contention by the time that the 2016/17 campaign kicks off, would be a good addition to have to Liverpool’s back-line, adding cover at all three positions in the back four. With it seeming ever more likely that he will enjoy at least another season in a red shirt, it will be exciting to see whether he can continue the initial momentum built up at the start of last term.
The scenario might be slightly different for Andre Wisdom however, as the now 23-year-old defender has been away on several loan moves in his time at Anfield, never managing to establish himself in the side during any of them. Having spent time at both Carrow Road and The Hawthorns in recent times, unreliability in defence and a lack of experience kept him predominantly out of the first team picture, despite his underlying value to a manager as he too is wonderfully versatile.
Wisdom earned his debut for the Anfield club under Brendan Rodgers too – a game in which he scored in – but this would arguably be classed as the highlight of his career in red so far. The manner in which his performance levels have plateaued; and arguably dropped off, in recent years, will not have imbued Jurgen Klopp with a great deal of confidence, and it may be the return to full fitness of Joe Gomez which actually spells the end of Wisdom’s Liverpool career.
Their former Northern Irish manager reportedly wishes to be reunited with Wisdom at Celtic, and the rumoured £3 million fee may well be just about right for both parties. It will be a shame to see Wisdom leave Anfield without making too much of an impact, as he has often been classed as one of the club’s more promising prospects, but a fresh start is probably the best outcome for the English defender.
Jurgen Klopp’s particular brand of high-intensity football requires energetic midfielders, and while the club can already boast Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, and James Milner in this category, there is certainly room for at least one more. Seemingly from out of left field a little, Liverpool are apparently close to stealing a march on Napoli and acquiring the services of Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera.
Scorer of nine league goals during 2015/16, the 26-year-old is likely to play a key role for his country in this summer’s Copa America. A stereotypical box-to-box midfielder, Herrera would seem to possess everything that Jurgen Klopp desires from his midfielders, and with the rumour also surfacing at a time where the acquisition of Piotr Zielinski is now far from certain, there may well be something meaningful behind the story.
In what seemed to be something of a ‘pie in the sky’ rumour when it first appeared in the news, the potential for star Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain to come to Anfield is now seemingly gaining more realism by the day. In a recent clash between the striker’s nation and Chile in California, Jurgen Klopp was spotted sitting next to Higuain’s agent throughout the game, interestingly until shortly after the player had been withdrawn from the action.
Gonzalo Higuain has been perennially linked with the likes of Arsenal in years gone by, but could Liverpool really be the club in pole position to secure his signature this summer? Of course, Klopp’s presence at the match and his choice of seat could simply be a coincidence, but a player of Higuain’s quality would certainly be welcome.
With Daniel Sturridge having proven his utility to Klopp in the final few weeks of last season, and Divock Origi and Danny Ings also impressing during their first campaign at Anfield, the striking area of the squad is not necessarily where the greatest demand for recruits should lie.
Higuain has proved his class over many years now and at the age of 28, is in the prime of his career, therefore surely commanding a fairly hefty transfer fee. It would be a statement of intent were Liverpool able to bring him to the club, but currently still seems relatively unlikely in my opinion, given FSG’s history of their recruitment policy.
Let us know your thoughts on the above rumours in the comments section below, and feel free to suggest any alternatives that you feel could be a superior option.
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