Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urged to sign one player to replace Gini Wijnaldum


That’s the instruction of Steve Nicol, who thinks England under-21 international Maddison would represent an instant upgrade.

Jurgen Klopp has been quiet in the transfer window thus far but has the finances available to make any moves if he decides to add to his current options before the August 8 deadline.

One potential area of the squad Liverpool fans might like the German to bolster is attacking midfield, with Adam Lallana the club’s only natural No 10 and the England international having had his last two campaigns wrecked by injury.

A year ago Klopp was keen to land Lyon captain Nabil Fekir – who operates largely in the position – but a deal collapsed at the eleventh hour over the Reds’ concerns about an old knee injury the Frenchman suffered back in 2015.

Xherdan Shaqiri was therefore used as a makeshift option last term but only started two matches across all competitions in 2019 as he fell out of favour given the manager’s apparent concerns over the 4-2-3-1 formation Liverpool had to adopt to accommodate the Swiss winger.

The German reverted to his favoured 4-3-3 formation for the second half of the season with Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Gini Wijnaldum all used as the most advanced of the midfield three.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lallana are also options in that position this season, provided the pair steer clear of fitness problems.

But club legend Nicol believes the Merseyside outfit should target a deal for Leicester’s Maddison, who has been linked with Manchester United as a potential replacement for the Real Madrid-linked Paul Pogba.

Maddison was on Liverpool’s radar when the 22-year-old play-maker lit up the Championship for Norwich City and he enjoyed an excellent first season in the Premier League with Leicester, scoring seven goals and laying on seven assists in 36 games, after joining the Foxes for £22.5million.

And Nicol thinks Maddison would be a better option than Wijnaldum, although the versatile Dutchman was an important member of the squad as Liverpool won the Champions League last term and even scored a crucial brace in a semi-final win over Barcelona.

“Maybe a starter, for me [he would be] a starter, James Maddison,” Nicol told ESPN FC when asked about the players he would like to see his former club sign in the next three weeks.

“He’s a player who does in my opinion all the things that Klopp wants his middle three to do right now. 

“You put him in the middle. I’d suggest because Jordan Henderson’s the captain right now it’d have to be ahead of Gini Wijnaldum. 

“I think Wijnaldum starts right now because he has a goal or two in him but for me Maddison would take over that because he has a goal or two in him [as well]. 

“He’s a guy that gets around, does the hard work, can get from box to box and has an eye for a pass. 

“You’ve got a player coming in [in Maddison] who makes the starting eleven better already.”


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