Liverpool's 2021: Anfield woes, sensational Salah and an Old Trafford rout
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Liverpool’s superb season shows no sign of slowing down, with the Reds having won all of their Champions League and cup games alongside remaining firmly in the Premier League title race. Yet with more firepower needed due to a lack of squad depth, former defender Jose Enrique has given his verdict on one player who he thinks could become key to their success.
Enrique played 99 games for Liverpool from 2011 to 2015, becoming the club’s first-choice left-back in his first two seasons at the club.
The former Newcastle star has been hugely impressed by his old team but believes Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak is someone the Reds should sign to give them much needed backup across their front three.
“Hopefully Liverpool can buy one player in January who can play across the front three, but I don’t think they will,” Enrique told talkSPORT.com, via Be My Bet.
“One player I’ve mentioned is Alexander Isak, the Real Sociedad striker. I love him.
“He’s one of the best projects in Spain at the moment and he’s someone who could play in Liverpool‘s front three, either on the left or down the middle.
“He’s a strong player who maybe they could buy for £50-60million. Liverpool tend not to pay £100m for players unless they get that money from selling a player.”
One other player who has been linked with a move to Anfield is Leeds winger Raphinha, who has blossomed in the Premier League this season with eight goals from the wing in just 16 games.
With the Reds having sold Xherdan Shaqiri and Harry Wilson in the summer, there is little depth on the flanks when you take into account the fact that Diogo Jota now plays as a striker.
But Enrique has his doubts that Leeds will sell to Liverpool at such a critical stage of the season.
“Raphinha’s a great player, I’d definitely have him at Liverpool. He would adapt to the style of Liverpool very well,” he continued.
“He’s doing very well at Leeds and I think he can get better at Liverpool. It’s easier at a bigger team because you have better players around you.
“But the problem with English clubs is they don’t sell cheap and taking one of Leeds’ best players during the season is going to be difficult.”
With Leeds currently embroiled in a relegation scrap, there is little reason to think that they would sell their star man when they need him the most.
And with Isak having the advantage of three years on Raphinha, it could represent a much more astute signing for the Merseyside outfit.
Despite calls to sign another forward, with Liverpool set to lose Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for a crucial period in the New Year due to their participation in AFCON, Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is unlikely to dip into the market next month to buy cover for them.
“We knew three would be qualified and be there and we knew that at least two of them will go pretty far in the tournament,” he said last week.
“Can you be prepared for something like that, properly, perfectly? Like a one-for-one replacement for Sadio, a replacement for Mo, one replacement for Naby?
“That’s tricky in each situation but I am happy with the squad and we have options to play and still to play football.
“We are quite confident we will find solutions.”
Klopp’s men currently sit just three points off the top of the Premier League, with last season’s champions Manchester City leading the pack.
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