Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool are flying high in the Premier League and are in with a genuine shot at the title if Chelsea slip up. The Reds have become one of the most exciting teams to watch with their ferocious attacking style, but will be all too aware of what happened last time they were playing such attractive football. The 2013-14 campaign failure still weighs heavily on fans’ hearts, and Klopp may be wise to bolster his squad in January to ensure they can go all the way this time.
Chelsea’s winning streak is bound to come to an end at some point, and when it does Liverpool need to be ready to pounce. So far they have coped with the loss of star midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but soon the influential Sadio Mane will be away at the African Cup of Nations. During the club record signing’s absence Liverpool have crunch ties against Manchester United and Chelsea, and these could turn out to be must-win games.
Mane is Liverpool’s top scorer this season with eight, and his storming raids down the flank have enabled other Liverpool players to reap the rewards when he pings the ball into the box. Although Coutinho is due back from injury in the New Year, Klopp may be wise to take advantage of a player that has become available and who could fit well into this new-look Reds squad.
In recent reports from The Sun, Liverpool are interested in signing Jese Rodriguez from Paris Saint-Germain. Jese only joined the French Champions in the summer, but has barely played for the club and the PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has admitted that signing the 23-year-old was a mistake.
During his time at Real Madrid Jese showed bristling potential (see video above), and back in 2014 The Mirror predicted that he would become the number one striker for Los Blancos. This never came to fruition, though, as the young star spent nine months on the sidelines in the following campaign with a serious injury. After his return he found it difficult to break into a Real squad that also included the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, and was mainly utilised by the club’s managers as an impact substitute.
PSG paid a relatively small sum for a player that has previously been compared to a young Ronaldo. The Ligue 1 giants reportedly paid around €25 million for the Spanish U21 on a five-year contract, and if Liverpool can swoop for him at a similar price he could represent a steal for the Anfield club.
Jese can play in any of the attacking midfield positions and also as a lone striker. This versatility would make him ideal for Klopp’s system in which Roberto Firmino often takes up the role of a “false 9”. When the Brazilian plays centrally Klopp’s attacking trident have a fluidity as players interchange between positions, unlike other teams that rely heavily on out-and-out centre-forwards.
The former Real forward could thrive in this system, but would he be willing to make the move if not guaranteed a first-team place? When available Klopp’s preferred front three will always be Coutinho, Firmino and Mane. And Jese was frustrated in Madrid when he couldn’t make the first team.
Other clubs such as AC Milan and Roma have also shown interest in the young star. Therefore Jese may seek a move to Italy with the knowledge of the more guaranteed game time. If Klopp wants the player he will have to convince him that he will be an integral part of this outstanding Liverpool project. It may be a wise move, as there is no doubt that Jese would improve Liverpool’s title hopes.