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Nunez in, now Bellingham - the next transfer box Liverpool need to tick

13:32 BST 07/07/2022
Jude Bellingham Liverpool
The Reds have reinforced their attacking unit, with it possible Jurgen Klopp will now turn his attention to the engine room

Liverpool always knew their front three were going to be broken up at some stage, with Sadio Mane out of the door while questions are asked of Roberto Firmino’s future, but Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz have been acquired to help plug gaps and deliver hope of an exciting new era.

Mohamed Salah has finally committed to a new contract, meaning he will be sticking around, while Diogo Jota has offered enough across two seasons to suggest he can become another superstar at Anfield

With the present and future looking rosy in the attacking department for the Reds, where will Jurgen Klopp and the money men on Merseyside turn to next? The midfield engine room would be a logical place to start with Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner all the wrong side of 30.

Where will Liverpool add next?

Business appears to have been brought to a close in the summer of 2022, with teenage winger Fabio Carvalho among those acquired, with plenty of time in which to draw up recruitment plans for upcoming windows.

Will Liverpool look to bolster their midfield ranks? Former Reds star Dietmar Hamann – speaking in association with Genting Casino – told GOAL: “They need goals from midfield. You look at Rodri, [Ilky] Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, they will get 20-25 goals between them.

“Fabinho got five [in the Premier League last season] and I think the next one was [Naby] Keita with three. They need somebody who gets goals from midfield.

“They were successful because they had probably the best front three in European football – one is gone, Firmino is on the decline. They managed to win trophies and be in contention without getting goals from midfield, but I think they need somebody there. That is the one area they have to address.

“I think they have said they are not going to buy anybody else this summer. Next year, there has been talk about Bellingham and I think he would be the perfect fit – he gets a goal, is a very good footballer, he is tremendous for his age. That’s the area they need to address.”

Will Liverpool look to sign Bellingham?

As pointed out by Hamann, there has already been plenty of speculation to suggest Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham will be identified as a top target for Liverpool in 2023.

The England international ticks plenty of boxes at 19 years of age, given his current ability and potential to get even better, but the Reds will not be his only suitors if a transfer scramble is to be sparked 12 months down the line.

Pressed on whether the Reds needing to be spending whatever it takes to get Bellingham onto their books, Hamann said: “Yes. There will be plenty of takers and interested parties and then you just have to sell it to him.

“I think the difference now is that players want to come to Liverpool. Before, when you are not that successful, you have to persuade players to come. I think there are players now that tell their agents 'I want to go to Liverpool'.

"This is a massive difference to a few years go. It gives you a huge chance to sign whoever you want because Bellingham, he is from Birmingham and might prefer one of the northern clubs. There are only two or three clubs – maybe Man Utd, depending on how they do this season – so you have a very good chance.

"The manager is a huge pull as well because all of the players that have come, he has improved and made better players.

"That would be a very logical move for him. It won’t be cheap for Liverpool, but I think they will get a player they can have a lot of fun with for the next few years."

What is Liverpool’s transfer plan?

By Neil Jones – Liverpool correspondent for GOAL

It's not easy to find weaknesses in this Liverpool squad, but if there is one then midfield would appear to be it. Not in terms of numbers - Klopp has eight senior options at present - but more in terms of the doubts which surround so many of them, be it fitness, form, age or just where they fit in tactically.

The word from the club is that next summer will certainly see a freshening up in the middle of the park.

James Milner will leave, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain too, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara will be well into their 30s and we will see whether Naby Keita, Curtis Jones or Harvey Elliott can develop into cast-iron starters.

Bellingham, most definitely, is admired, though he is by no means the only one.

Liverpool have shown that they will spend big for the right player, but how great will the competition be, and just how big will Bellingham's salary demands be?

Whatever happens, we can expect at least one new midfielder in 2023, as Klopp's second great team continues to evolve.

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