Three midfielders Liverpool could sign in January
Kieran Beckles examines three expert passers Liverpool could sign in January transfer window
Liverpool supporters are probably the most-nostalgic set of fans in the Premier League. So, Xabi Alonso would be welcomed with open arms if the Spain international were to return to Anfield. The Basque-born midfielder was part of Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool side that famously won the Champions League in 2005. Alonso complemented captain Steven Gerrard with his passing range and ability to dictate Liverpool’s tempo. The former Real Sociedad midfielder was never particularly mobile, and at 34, his movement can look a little cumbersome at times. But his experience and intelligence would be a vital asset to Jurgen Klopp’s squad, whilst the German has the likes of Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and James Milner to be Alonso’s legs in midfield. The former Liverpool midfielder is set to become a free agent in the summer with no sign of a contract extension at Bayern, meaning the World Cup winner could be available for a reasonable price in January.
Naturally, Klopp has been linked with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. The Germany international performed a U-turn in the summer after he initially confirmed that he would be leaving the Bundesliga club before he put pen to paper on a new contract. However, Liverpool are reported to be rivalling Juventus for the 25-year-old with the January transfer window on the horizon. He isn’t too dissimilar to Alonso in terms of mobility, and like the Liverpool legend, Gundogan is an expert passer of the ball but also has a steely side, which would help him adapt to the Premier League. The Dortmund midfielder has put his injury problems behind him this season after featuring in 13 of his side’s 14 Bundesliga games. However, Klopp’s former employers will want a premium price for the playmaker after he signed a new two-year contract extension in the summer.
Another touted Bundesliga target for Klopp is Granit Xhaka. The Switzerland international has been in impressive form for Borussia Monchengladbach this season. The 23-year-old has been instrumental in his side’s bid to retain their Champions League spot this season, scoring three goals in 12 Bundesliga games. Xhaka is a good passer of the ball, too. The Swiss playmaker has completed 86 per cent of his attempted passes in the Bundesliga this season. Xhaka also has European experience under his belt in the Champions League this term. He is similar in style to Gunodgan and could form an exciting, youthful partnership with Can. Xhaka has also shown great leadership skills despite his relative years, already taking over the Monchengladbach armband. Liverpool could face competition for the midfielder’s signature, though. Injury-ravaged Arsenal are believed to be lining up a £19.6m bid.