With Liverpool starting the season strong, coming off the back of an impressive transfer window, spirits are high and there is genuine belief that the Reds’ will challenge for the Premier League title.
Manchester City, defending Champions, remain title favourites and for good reason – a deep squad, a plethora of attacking talent, all organised by the best manager in the world; Pep Guardiola. City are the team that need toppling, with pundits and rival fans alike seeing Liverpool as their closest challengers.
In this opinion piece, I’ll be giving my take on who I feel would be the perfect player for Liverpool to bring in to make them everyone’s predicted frontrunners. Having suffered the heavy loss of Philippe Coutinho in January, the reaction of the Liverpool squad was incredible as they romped on to a Champions League Final and hardly seemed to miss the creativity of the Brazilian.
However, I would pose that Liverpool HAVE lost a good deal of creativity and could benefit from the signing of an out-and-out playmaker. While Naby Keita could be drafted into this role, I feel that Marco Asensio would be the perfect fit for Liverpool.
The Spanish international is valued at £67.5m according to transfermarkt. However, Asensio will undoubtedly cost a lot more than this. But, that doesn’t mean he’s not there for the taking.
With new Galactico Mariano claiming the famed number 7 shirt at Real Madrid, vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo, Asensio’s current place in the side could come under threat shortly. He’s started all three La Liga games so far, managing five assists in a string of impressive performances. However, with Spanish media and fans being very involved and often intense, the calling to see new man Mariano may be hard for Julen Lopetegui to ignore.
Asensio is contracted to Real Madrid until 2020, with a humungous £442m release clause attached which is likely to deflect from Europe’s elite snapping him up instead of being a true representation of the Spaniard’s value.
While it’s difficult to pluck any player away from Real Madrid, the lure of Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s project need not be understated.
The 22-year-old would fit Liverpool like a glove, slotting into a midfield of Henderson and Keita, or Fabinho and Keita. His talents lie in his ability to pick a pass, both threading the needle and pinging a ball cross-field, he’s also adept at carrying the ball forward and shooting from range (as shown from his goal in the El Classico last year).
A player very much in the mould of Coutinho, Asensio would be the ideal replacement in my eyes, with such a bright future ahead of him, many tip him as a future Ballon D’Or winner. If Liverpool signed Asensio, they would undoubtedly be title favourites as it might be the missing piece in the Premier League title jigsaw.