With several midfielders leaving Anfield this summer, it is clear that Jürgen Klopp has a big rebuild job on his hands at Liverpool in the next transfer window. One Bundesliga star could well prove an astute alternative to a long-rumored Reds target.
Of course, with long-serving stars James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta departing Merseyside at the end of the season, it is clear that the Reds’ squad requires investment in the middle of the park. A number of potential solutions have been mentioned in recent months, especially with Liverpool having backed away from a potential deal to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.
One thing that is certain is that the Merseysiders simply cannot afford to make the same mistakes as last summer, where they were made to eventually rue not drawing up alternatives to Aurélien Tchouaméni, who opted to sign for Real Madrid instead. A case can definitely be made that a fair amount of the club’s woes from this season can be traced back to this costly error.
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An alternative to Bellingham who has routinely been mooted in recent times is Chelsea’s Mason Mount, with the England international currently stalling over a new contract in West London. For a while, it seemed likely that the 24-year-old would end up in a red shirt next season. But it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will decide to move on to other targets, given reports this week that the Stamford Bridge club may demand up to $99m (£80m/€92m) for his services, as per Football Insider.
With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising to see the Reds being linked with a move for a cheaper alternative to the Blues midfielder, with RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo having emerged as a potential ‘target’ for Liverpool this week. According to 90min, scouts from Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle United were in attendance to watch him in action as his side beat Bayern Munich 3-1 at the weekend.
It is clear that the Spanish international has had admirers within the top echelons of the European game for quite some time, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola having tipped him for stardom back in 2020. Speaking after a match against Olmo’s former side Dinamo Zagreb, he said: “[Olmo] is a top player — he has a bright future, of course.
“His performance today shows it. He is an incredible player and I am pretty sure he is able to play in the strong leagues in Europe.”
The former Barcelona youth star has gone on to prove Guardiola right in the intervening years, with a move to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig having beckoned later on in 2020. Since then, the versatile attacking midfielder has made 127 appearances in all competitions, registering an impressive 48 goal involvements — 21 goals and 27 assists — in the process.
What may be of particular interest to Liverpool is that Olmo has proven his worth in a variety of different roles, something which would be an attractive proposition when one considers the amount of gaps Klopp is having to fill in his squad this summer. During this season alone, he has played centrally on nine occasions, while also playing out wide 14 times. Not only would the Leipzig star be useful as a central option, he would also be able to serve as cover on both wings.
With a valuation of $50m (£35m/€40m), according to Transfermarkt it is clear that the Catalonia-born ace would probably be one of the most cost-effective options on the market this summer. Like Mount, Olmo is currently embroiled in a contract stand-off with his club and could be available for a knockdown fee in the coming months, with his current deal set to expire in 2024.
On top of this, one could certainly envisage a situation where Liverpool switches its attention to Olmo in the wake of the impending arrival of Jörg Schmadtke at Anfield. The former Wolfsburg sporting director’s area of expertise is largely the Bundesliga, with the 59-year-old having been employed by a variety of clubs in Germany over the last two decades.
In short, with the Reds needing to strengthen in a number of areas in the next transfer window, a deal for Olmo would provide value for money. The versatile midfielder, who comes recommended by Guardiola, would tick a lot of boxes for Liverpool and could well prove to be a shrewd purchase.