Liverpool fans should hope they are true
With the season drawing to an end, frantic transfer rumours will come back to the fore as surely as night follows day. One of the reoccurring rumours to attach itself to Liverpool FC in recent years is Klopp’s supposed interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic. Recent reports have suggested the club is ready to sanction a bid in the region of £55 million for the American youngster, recently named US Soccer player of the year at just 19.
Klopp has history with the player, having briefly worked with him at Dortmund and allegedly having a couple of approaches turned down since moving to Liverpool. In January 2017 he signed a new deal with the Bundesliga outfit, but this hasn’t deterred Klopp’s approach. It now seems likely that there will be some interest again this summer and fans should be hopeful we can get a deal done.
What can he add?
A quick footed winger with a low centre of gravity, Pulisic is capable of driving dribbles at speed on either flank. One of his trademarks is his ability to charge at deep sitting backlines with the ball at feet. Recent stalemates against Stoke and Everton highlight the need for more recruits with this ability. We cannot go in to another season with only Mane and Salah capable of unsettling teams with dynamic runs and pace. The demand of Klopp’s game makes it highly likely that there will be tired legs and bodies on the treatment table throughout the campaign; it’s something we must accept in return for the football we’ve been treated to thus far. The prospect of another recruit who could unlock stubborn, deep sitting backlines, as well as allowing others players a much needed breather, is most welcome.
Pulisic also draws a lot of fouls from slow footed opposition defenders, and his habit of getting in behind and charging deep in to the penalty area would cause chaos in Premier League defences. In short, he causes panic and creates space with clever running, things that make him very suitable for our ranks. He has also operated in a number 10 role for club and country, so there is true versatility on offer, again, another requirement for our all inclusive football.
Though not yet prolific, he has already notched in twenty-one senior goals for club and country and you’d feel he’d get plenty of chances to score in our team. In recent weeks, not many others have stepped up as match winners outside of the stellar front three, something which must be addressed in the next window. Origi, Sturridge and Ings shouldn’t really be allowed to stay in a team hoping to make a title push; more genuine goal scorers will be needed regardless.
Pulisic’s overall game is to attack, so it would be important for him to adapt to the high pressing format that we’ve seen over past two and a half seasons. We really can’t afford passengers in the team so the young American winger will need to show this side of his game a lot more if a move comes to fruition.
In recent years, Liverpool have be drawn into far too many transfer tussles for their main transfer targets. Had we not dawdled in 2014, Mo Salah would have been a Red much sooner. We missed out on highly rated Mohamed Dahoud last year, allowing Dortmund to move in and offer him first team football. Man City and Chelsea’s interest in Van Dijk no doubt added at least ten million to his transfer sum, so it is important to move quickly for Pulisic if Klopp feel he is the right fit. Manchester United and Spurs have also shown interest in the talented teenager, so if he is to prized away from the Westfalenstadion this summer, is must be to Anfield.
Thus far the German hasn’t brought in too many duds so you’d have confidence in his judgement on the American teenager, especially as he’s worked with him and no doubt scouted the teenager quite heavily. We should all still be pinching ourselves that Klopp is our manager, especially given this week’s achievement, so it’s important that the owners back him and allow him first dibs on his transfer targets. A catalogue of missed players in Benitez’s era arguably cost us the title in 2009, the same thing cannot be allowed to happen again.