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Liverpool’has cut-price Mason Mount transfer alternative’as $50m star can take Cody Gakpo path



Liverpool’has cut-price Mason Mount transfer alternative’as $50m star can take Cody Gakpo path

As the transfer window fast approaches, Jürgen Klopp faces the task of revamping his squad following an inconsistent season. Signing one Eredivisie star could be the perfect alternative to one top target and prove shrewd business for Liverpool.

Anfield’s recruitment chiefs will be all too aware by now that the Reds probably require at least three fresh additions in midfield in the summer, especially given the impending departures of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta. A number of potential options have been mooted by observers in recent months, however supporters will be hoping the club avoids a repeat of last year, with indecision having cost Liverpool significantly last summer.

One may recall that the Reds failed to line up an alternative to Aurélien Tchouaméni in that instance, before eventually bringing in Arthur Melo on a season-long loan on deadline day after a poor and injury-hit start to the season forced their hand. Now, with Mason Mount having possibly decided to move elsewhere, it now feels more important than ever that the right calls are made this time around.

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In an interview with Sky Sports News, The Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed that the England midfielder has expressed a preference for a move to Manchester United this summer, with fellow suitors Liverpool and Bayern Munich both aware of his choice. With this in mind, therefore, it would seem remiss of the Merseysiders to not move swiftly on with business ahead of what could prove to be a pivotal few months.

According to Football Transfers, one alternative option that may be of interest to Klopp is Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus, with the 22-year-old having experienced something of a breakout year for Dutch giant this term. The eye-catching attacking midfielder has found his goal-scoring touch for the four-time European champion, scoring 18 times and notching six assists this season.

One imagines that his price tag of $50m (£40m/€46m), as per The Athletic, would not put a club of Liverpool’s standing off either, especially when considering that Chelsea will likely demand a fee of double this for Mount. Furthermore, with Cody Gakpo having excelled since moving to Anfield from PSV Eindhoven in January, Klopp will likely feel confident that Kudus could also successfully make the transition to life in the Premier League.

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Looking closer at the 23-time international’s statistics from the past year, it becomes clear that he is a player who is ready to make the step up to one of Europe’s big five leagues. As per FBref, Kudus has been one of the best midfield players across the world’s ‘next eight’ competitions — the leagues adjudged to be just below Europe’s big five leagues in terms of standard. Within this peer group, he ranks in the top one per cent of performers in his position for successful take-ons, non-penalty expected goals (xg) and pass completion.

On top of this, the former Nordsjælland trainee was in the top three per cent for touches in the opposition penalty area, by the same measure. Effectively, Kudus has been unplayable in the final third this season, while his output as an attacking midfielder has been as good as anyone’s outside of Europe’s big five leagues. Again, Gakpo is instructive in deciding to what extent output in the Eredivisie might be scalable.

Klopp and his staff have earned a reputation for making smart buys in the transfer market down the years and it is clear that this attacking midfielder could well prove to be a cost-effective Mount alternative. Missing out on the Chelsea star’s signature could be a blow at first but Kudus has shown enough talent this season to indicate that he may well have an equally bright future in the game.


“I’m totally devastated” – Mo Salah reacts on social media after Liverpool miss out on place in UEFA Champions League

Mohamed Salah has expressed his disappointment with Liverpool failing to make it into next season’s UEFA Champions League. The Reds are set to play in the UEFA Europa League after finishing fifth with a game to play in the Premier League following a disappointing campaign.

Manchester United defeated Chelsea 4-1 on Thursday (May 25) to seal their place in the top four. Newcastle United managed to secure Champions League football for next season as well with a draw against Leicester City earlier this week.

Seconds after the final whistle blew at Old Trafford, Salah sent a message to the Liverpool fans. He claimed that he was devastated and felt that the fans deserved better, writing:

“I’m totally devastated. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed.

“We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”

Salah has played in the Europa League with AS Roma and ACF Fiorentina, but never with the Reds. In 28 appearances in the competition, he has scored five goals and laid out seven assists.

Jurgen Klopp ready to make Europa League Liverpool’s competition

Earlier this month, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was quizzed about the possibility of playing in the Europa League next season. The German tactician didn’t seem as downcast as Mohamed Salah and indicated that he was looking forward to playing in the second tier European competition.

Klopp wants to make the Europa League Liverpool’s competition and is not planning to take it lightly even after spending several years in the Champions League. He stated:

“We will make it [the Europa League] our competition. I am not that spoilt. That we are already qualified for the Europa League is incredible with all these teams around us. That’s really difficult and we did it, that is good.

“For so long. we couldn’t even hear the sound of the Champions League, that’s how far away we were. The Europe League is absolutely fine. Let’s see what we can do.”

Klopp’s side played in the Champions League final last season and lost 1-0 to Real Madrid. Los Blancos defeated the Reds 5-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals this season to knock them out of the tournament.

The Reds last played in the Europa League in the 2015-16 season and made the final where they lost 3-1 to Sevilla.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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