The year 2021 saw perhaps the most controversial departure yet, with Georginio Wijnaldum, a key contributor to the Premier League and Champions League winning sides — leaving for nothing and heading to PSG. Wijnaldum wanted to stay at Anfield in his eyes, but he did not receive the kind of contract offer that reflected his contribution (ECHO).
More amicable was the departure of Divock Origi last summer, with the Belgian cult hero always unlikely to pen fresh terms before he, join given his lack of minutes. Key sculptures from Liverpool and FSG posed with the striker on the Anfield pitch following the last home game of the season.
Liverpool, then, has let at least seven potentially lucrative assets go without receiving anything in return. Add up the player Transfermarkt values at the time of their departure you nearly reach nine figures (£95m). Even if those values are only estimates, it is clear that an awful lot of money has been lefts on the table.
Next summer, there could be three more additions to the list. Klopp says that the club is in talks with Roberto Firmino over a new deal (ECHO), but the future of the 31-year-old still feels uncertain. You can imagine there may be a reluctance to make a big financial commitment, particularly with the more youthful Darwin Núñez and Diogo Jota set to be ahead of him in the pecking order before long.
Right now, it’s hard to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keïta signing new contracts before their terms expire in June.
Despite enjoying a close relationship with those within the ownership group John W. Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon, and Billy Hogan, he is focused on matters on the pitch. Of course, it includes plans for the recruitment of players to bolster an injury-plagued squad, with the hope being that at least one signing made in January.
Whether speculation asked over the future club would see FSG limit their spending power in the transfer market, Klopp suggested that plans will go ahead.
It’s not about money whatever. It’s going on, that’s clear, he said.
He was very positive about the whole thing. Either way, it will be fine.
I have a close relationship with our owners, which means I always knew what we can do, what we can’t do, and all these kinds of things.
It’s not that he asks for something, they say no, then I stop asking. Before we speak to you there are plenty of discussions.
Now we have to see what we do. There’s nothing decided whatever, what we will do in the winter, yes or no.
We have to see. We have time until then, obviously, but we follow the market all the time, every day.
No player in the world scores a goal, we don’t know it. If somebody makes a save, we know it.
That’s the situation. That’s what will go on. That’s clear.
But for all the rest, we are not involved. That’s OK. We have to focus on football, that’s what we do.
It’s not easy being the son of a legendary footballer, but Marcus Thuram has managed to carve out a career in the game.
Son of former 25-year-old Parma and Juventus legend Lillian has spent most of his time in the Bundesliga playing after signing from French side Guingamp in the summer of 2019.
Unlike his father, who was brilliant at right-back or center-back, Thuram junior is a forward, chiefly playing down the center but also capable of playing on either wing.
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At Borussia Mönchengladbach, Thuram is now in the form of his career, scoring league goals in 15 Bundesliga games and producing three assists. He already matched his best-ever tally for the German side, which was 10 in 31 games in 2019/20.
Thuram’s contract expires next summer, with Mönchengladbach in eighth place in the Bundesliga and unlikely to play in the next season bar a storming second-half Champions League to the campaign, Thuram reportedly has no desire to remain with the club.
Now reaching the peak of his career, he likely wants a fresh challenge. A report from German outlet Fussball Transfers speculates that Liverpool is now keeping an eye on Thuram, especially as he’s a free agent at the end of the season.
It’s also thought that Arsenal is interested in bringing Thuram to England, with Mikel Arteta looking for a third forward to lessen the load on Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.
Liverpool, for their part, will also likely say goodbye to Roberto Firmino next summer. After FSG opted not to replace Divock Origi or Takumi Minamino last summer, the club will need an extra body in the forward line.
Thuram is a vastly different player to Firmino, more of a Sadio Manè-type than the cerebral Firmino, but on a free transfer, it would be a low-risk gamble. His speed and power are very much up Jürgen Klopp’s street when it comes to what the manager wants in a player, and considering he’s yet to hit his prime, bringing him to Anfield as a reserve option would make a lot of sense.
If it doesn’t work out, he could be sold further down the line — for a healthy profit, if his £26m Transfermarkt valuation is anything to go. In that respect, FSG bringing him through the door would be a perfect gift for potential new owners, who would get extra highly saleable, low-risk assets.
The midfield is the primary area of investment next summer, Liverpool needs to be smart when evolving the forward line, and the free-agent market is likely one where FSG will look to bring in another forward — especially if selling the club to new owners is in the back of their minds. Thuram is one of the better options around.
His form has seen him break into Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup, and if he keeps his first half of the season momentum going into the second, Liverpool may take a keener interest.