Liverpool youngster Elliott 'highly rated' by England U21 boss
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Liverpool are reportedly considering breaking their club transfer record to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham. The 18-year-old England international has already established himself as one of the most exciting players in European football and the Reds could move for him next summer.
Jurgen Klopp opted not to replace Gini Wijnaldum in the summer transfer window, but the Daily Star reports he has already made Bellingham his priority target for 2022.
Bellingham only joined Dortmund from Birmingham City last summer for £25m but already looks destined for a big-money return to England.
Express Sport takes a look at the Liverpool XI Klopp could name if the young midfielder does rock up at Anfield next year.
Goalkeeper – Alisson
While they didn’t pull up many trees in this summer’s transfer window, Liverpool were still busy building for the future by tying down their key players to new contracts.
Alisson was one of those who signed a new deal, penning a new contract until June 2027 with the Merseyside club.
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That is a huge statement of intent and there is no doubt the Brazilian is worthy of the No 1 jersey in Klopp’s side.
Alisson has 61 clean sheets in 133 matches for Liverpool since his £65million move from Roma in 2018 and has the goalkeeper spot locked down.
Defence – Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson all signed new contracts in August and will provide the bedrock for future campaigns at Liverpool.
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The marauding full-backs are a huge part of how Klopp wants his side to play, providing creativity and energy on the flanks most rivals can’t match.
Having suffered a horrible injury in December 2020, Van Dijk is now back in the heart of the backline – and currently playing alongside Joel Matip.
Joe Gomez is also back and the signing of Ibrahima Konate gives Klopp four good options at centre-back. In a years’ time, it could well be that £36m man Konate is the chosen partner for Van Dijk, given Matip’s injury history.
Midfield – Fabinho, Henderson, Bellingham
Now, this is where it gets fun. The loss of Wijnaldum was a big one for Liverpool, and while they are yet to feel it in 2021/22, they might still do down the line.
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Fabinho and Jordan Henderson – you guessed it – signed new contracts in August and will provide a solid foundation stone in the centre of the pitch.
That looks like a perfect platform for Bellingham to play in front of, allowing the rangy, dynamic midfielder to push forward into a box-to-box role.
In his short career so far, Bellingham has already shown the maturity, tactical flexibility and engine to blossom into the type of player neither Naby Keita or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have yet.
Harvey Elliott is a fine prospect worth nurturing, but there is no doubt Bellingham has the attributes Liverpool crave.
Attack – Mane, Salah, Firmino
Liverpool’s front three has been settled for some time now, and while Diogo Jota is making a compelling case for Roberto Firmino’s place right now, this looks the most likely combination for a years’ time.
Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are all currently in the same contractual boat, with their deals set to expire at the end of June 2023.
Talk of a new deal for Salah has been rumbling on for some time amid constant rumours of a potential departure and the next 12 months will be crucial for the club’s future up front.
While every major European club would no doubt like to sign Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland over the next year, Liverpool should be happy with what they’ve already got.
Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Bellingham; Mane, Salah, Firmino
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