Sky Sports broke the news yesterday morning that Liverpool had submitted an offer of around £55 million for the services of Monaco forward Thomas Lemar. It remains to be seen whether this fee will be enough to secure the signing of the Frenchman, with Monaco adamant that the 21-year-old is not for sale.
However, the Reds seem very keen on the forward, and reports in the Liverpool Echo suggest that the deal is not linked to the transfer saga surrounding Philippe Coutinho.
The news comes on the back of a fantastic 4-0 victory over rivals Arsenal, with the Gunners being dealt a double-blow by Liverpool over the Bank Holiday weekend. Firstly, an absolute thrashing at the hands of the Merseysiders, and now Jurgen Klopp’s side look favourites to sign the London outfit’s summer target.
The French International will certainly bring a lot to Liverpool’s side. Alongside his goals and assists – he scored nine and assisted ten playing for Monaco last season – he is a very attack-minded player, who possesses bags of energy, which is perfect for a Jurgen Klopp side.
Furthermore, Lemar’s flexibility will bode well for Liverpool’s season ahead, with the Monaco man able to play on both wings, behind the striker and, if needed, slightly deeper. His arrival would offer plenty of tactical variety, but how would the Reds line up with the 21-year-old in their side?
As a winger
The majority of Lemar’s playing time at Monaco has come from the left-side of midfield, as a winger. However, the Frenchman can occupy either flank, possessing the ability to beat a man before providing fantastic service for his teammates.
Whether he is able to displace an inform wide pair of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane from the starting XI remains to be seen. However, the forward certainly offers strength in depth – vital if the Reds are wanting to compete for titles this season, both domestically and in Europe.
As a striker
This may seem odd, with Klopp seemingly intent on starting Roberto Firmino as often as he can. The Brazilian has been fabulous for the Reds so far this season. This is not to say, however, that Thomas Lemar won’t feature up-top, in a role he has played for Monaco.
The Frenchman provides a real option, but offers something slightly different to the aforementioned Brazilian, as well as back-up strikers Dominic Solanke, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.
Behind the frontman
With little experience leading the line, Klopp may be more inclined to play Lemar as a number 10. By using the Frenchman in this role, the Reds may surrender their 4-3-3 for a 4-2-3-1, with the Monaco providing them with real spark in behind the lone striker.
Utilising Lemar here would allow Liverpool to add a play maker, while also maintaining their blistering pace out wide.