Liverpool's squad does not need too much strengthening in the summer transfer window - but there are three players who have been relegated from the
Liverpool’s squad does not need too much strengthening in the summer transfer window – but there are three players who have been relegated from the Premier League whom Jurgen Klopp could sign to repeat a clever transfer trick of his. The Reds have had great success signing players whose teams dropped to the Championship previously in Gini Wijnaldum, Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri.
The trio were signed in successive summers in 2016, 2017 and 2018 with Wijnaldum and Robertson huge contributors to Liverpool’s success under Klopp after joining from Newcastle and Hull. Shaqiri was not as regular a starter but the cut-price addition from Stoke performed his role as a rotational attacker excellently. And there are players who have gone down with Burnley and Watford this season who could be of interest to Liverpool in the upcoming transfer market.
Firstly, Watford’s Ismaila Sarr. Sadio Mane’s Senegal team-mate was an option before Diogo Jota was signed from Wolves instead. Sarr, 24, was a club-record signing for the Hornets and has since produced 24 goals and 18 assists in 92 games for them although 23 of those goal contributions came in the Championship.
Liverpool opted to sign Jota over Sarr, who can play on either side, because Watford wanted more money upfront than the Merseyside club were willing to offer post-Covid. Wolves by contrast were willing to accept a smaller initial fee for Jota, which was key. Sarr’s value has dropped since and he is now into the final two years of his Vicarage Road contract and surely unlikely to want to play in the Championship again.
With Divock Origi moving on and Takumi Minamino’s future uncertain, Sarr could be an interesting option for Liverpool. He is still young and could be a long-term successor to a Mohamed Salah or Mane, though they might have to pay around £30m for him.
A significantly cheaper attacking back-up would be Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet, who has a release clause in his contract. The Ivory Coast international has a £17.5m release clause in his deal and has sparked interest from Tottenham as a result. Cornet is older than Sarr at 25 years old but may be willing to accept a squad role in order to play in the Champions League again, similarly to Shaqiri’s move to Anfield.
Cornet would not command a massive wage and impressed in his only season in the Premier League despite the Clarets’ relegation with nine goals. He can operate in multiple roles and could therefore see plenty of action even though he would not be as high-profile a player as he is at Turf Moor.
Yet a likelier addition were Liverpool to recruit from Burnley might be his team-mate Dwight McNeil, though he may not be a glamorous signing to the club’s fanbase. The England under-21 international only managed one goal contribution last term but has long been tipped for a step up and has shown his potential. McNeil can play on either wing and that he would come in as a homegrown player would be of huge benefit given Liverpool could lose several such players in the coming years.
At 22 he could be a long-term asset, though one still experienced enough to step in regularly out wide. Whether he contributes enough direct goals is a question mark though his odds would be improved at Anfield. But Burnley, with the player contracted until 2025, have the power over the player. McNeil is not of the same calibre as Cornet, at least right now, to be able to demand a move with a season of Championship football beckoning.
There is no suggestion currently that Liverpool will actually move for Sarr, Cornet or McNeil but there would be plenty of sense in them doing so should they deem another new forward a necessity. It’s worked for them before, and it could certainly work for them again.