Liverpool FC

Five alternative Liverpool transfer targets amid Jude Bellingham and Konrad Laimer updates

Liverpool FC

With so many transfer rumours doing the rounds, it’s always difficult to know which links are genuine. Liverpool are inevitably being connected with numerous midfielders, as it’s clear that the centre of the team is in need of a rebuild.

It’s a task that only looks likely to grow with Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all out of contract next summer, and it would not be a shock if the trio departed.

As such, it’s disappointing when a plausible target is taken off the table. Any player at one of the Red Bull clubs on a short contract immediately feels like someone in whom the Reds could be interested, and Konrad Laimer has been rumoured to be on their shopping list.

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However, it has been reported by BILD that the 25-year-old has decided to move to Bayern Munich next summer when his current deal expires. It’s a well-worn path from other Bundesliga clubs to the Allianz Arena, and Laimer looks set to tread it ahead of 2023/24.

Another reason he seemed a realistic option for Liverpool is that he is statistically similar to Jude Bellingham (per FBRef). Whether the Reds are able to sign the England international remains to be seen but having a back up option is a sensible standpoint considering the huge finances involved.

If that was to be Laimer, Liverpool need to re-focus their search. With that in mind, here are some more midfielders who look alike in the numbers and could make realistic transfer targets.

Adrien Thomasson, Strasbourg

As he turns 29 next month, Adrien Thomasson does not necessarily represent a long-term option, but as he is out of contract in 2024 and is in the top three similar midfield players for both Bellingham and Laimer, it would be foolish to dismiss him entirely.

Thomasson is in the top one per cent of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for tackles in the final third, blocking passes and touches in the penalty area. If that isn’t enough to make him suitable for the Reds, his top 16 metrics also include shots, shots on target and expected assists.

Mahmoud Dahoud, Borussia Dortmund

Mahmoud Dahoud was linked with Liverpool as far back as 2016, before he’d even joined Dortmund. As the 26-year-old is only contracted to them until the end of this season, perhaps he will become an option once again.

A fine dribbler – he was second best in the Bundesliga two seasons ago – Dahoud is strong at winning the ball high up the pitch, much like Thomasson. Where he has an edge on the Strasbourg man is in the art of through balls, the defence-slitting passes upon which Darwin Nunez feasts.

Thomas Lemar, Atletico Madrid

While we’re discussing previously linked midfielders who are in the final year of their deal, how about Thomas Lemar of Atletico Madrid?

The French international is another decent dribbler, and he was sixth in La Liga last season for goal creating actions per 90 minutes. It’s encouraging to see he has maintained that rate in 2022/23 too.

His injury record shows Lemar to be a risk but having turned 27 this month he should be approaching his peak years. Mark him down as a smart, if not earth-shattering, potential squad addition.

Brais Mendez, Real Sociedad

Our next option is not realistic any time soon, as he only joined Real Sociedad last summer. Brais Mendez is currently the leading data match for Bellingham, though, and is in Laimer’s top three for good measure. At the very least he should be one to watch.

A mixture of silk and steel, the four-cap Spain international was in La Liga’s top 10 for through balls last season and is so for tackles won in this campaign….

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