Liverpool missed perfect transfer opportunity and could have closed gap to Man City

Liverpool pleased with draw at Stamford Bridge

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Liverpool are currently sitting in third place in the Premier League, 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City – though they do have two games in hand over the Etihad Stadium outfit. There was an expectation that this season we would see the tightest title race in years, and that could have been the case had the Reds been bolder in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have been impressive at times this season, but they have slipped up one too many times recently.

Their frontline of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota/Roberto Firmino has been somewhat faultless this season, running defences ragged and each proving they are one of the best attackers in the league.

However, it is the midfield that has caused Klopp the most issues.

When the Anfield outfit have been successful in previous years, they have dominated games in the centre of the park and kept the defence safe and sound for the majority of fixtures, but that is no longer the case.

JUST IN: Chelsea boss Tuchel told he made big mistake in Lukaku treatment

The obvious divide between midfield and attack is an obvious concern for Reds supporters and the unwillingness to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, who left for free to PSG, is costing the Merseyside club.

However, it has been revealed that Liverpool shied away from purchasing a like for like midfielder in the shape of Lille’s Renato Sanches, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, which could have solved the issues that Klopp’s men are now experiencing.

Speaking to Anfield Watch, Romano said: “Renato Sanches has always been on the list of Liverpool, he’s a player that they’ve been scouting, they appreciate.

“It’s not true that it was a done deal in the summer. They were interested but they never made an official proposal to Lille because they were not happy with the value of £45m for him.

Man Utd and Tottenham have Rudiger chance as Real Madrid finalise plan (TRANSFERS)
Chelsea ace changes agent as contract talks ‘take turn’ in Tuchel blow (NEWS)
Chelsea boss Tuchel details ‘most important thing’ in Lukaku talks (INSIGHT)

“Then he was injured so the deal collapsed it but they always had this name in their list so Renato Sanches has always been appreciated by Liverpool and same for Arsenal, so there are many clubs keeping an eye on him also AC Milan in Italy.

“We will see if they will decide to jump into it, at the moment it’s still quiet but he’s a player that has always been on Liverpool list.”

Had Liverpool signed Sanches as the box to box player that they need in their midfield three, there may not have been a noticeable difference between their team last season and this one.

The Portugal international has made 11 appearances so far this season for Lille, and he is beginning to show why he was tipped as one of the most exciting young talents in the world when he burst onto the footballing scene in 2015.

The 24-year-old has scored once and assisted once in the Ligue 1, which is the same as what his potential predecessor Wijnaldum has registered in Paris.

Obviously, £45million is an investment for any club and Liverpool may not have been able to afford the sum, but they are being linked with several pricey wingers of late which would suggest that the budget is available.

In the summer it was made clear that the Reds were prioritising getting some of their very best players to sign long-term contract extensions, with no true desire to dip their toe into the market itself.

Instead, they spent £34m on defender Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig and left their business for the window at just one signing.

Of course, Klopp’s midfielders have suffered with several injuries in this campaign, but the German has been vocal in how stretched squads can become, so one would expect the former Borussia Dortmund boss to have been more prepared for some of the worst-case scenarios.

If Liverpool did acquire the services of Sanches in the summer, there is every chance that the gap between themselves and City would not exist.

Source: Read Full Article