Liverpool youngster Elliott 'highly rated' by England U21 boss
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The summer transfer window has long since shut but that hasn’t stopped Liverpool being linked with new players. Liverpool were quiet during the window, with the addition of Ibrahima Konate their only major new signing, yet the future is already looking bright.
The Reds chose to stick rather than twist this summer, in stark contrast to the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, who splashed the cash on new players.
Konate cost £36million from RB Leipzig to bolster Jurgen Klopp’s defence, yet his arrival was partly funded by the sales of fringe players.
Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic, Taiwo Awoniyi and Xherdan Shaqiri were all removed from the books in exchange for decent transfer fees.
Once new arrivals were basically ruled out, Liverpool concentrated on keeping hold of their most important players.
While Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are still only tied down until June 2023, the mission can certainly be deemed a partial success, with six players signing new deals recently.
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Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Andy Robertson all renewed their terms over August.
With the transfer window gone and most players settled, Liverpool and their owners Fenway Sports Group can now begin to concentrate on long-term planning.
A new contract for Salah remains a priority, as does finding a new midfielder.
The Reds decided not to replace Gini Wijnaldum following his departure to Paris Saint-Germain, but they are likely to need a new face in 2022.
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James Milner will be 36 and out of contract by June 2022, while, although talented, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both yet to put together the type of consistent run of form Wijnaldum so often did in a red shirt.
Harvey Elliott is a promising talent yet his future may well lie on the flanks, as his successful loan spell at Blackburn showed.
With Henderson and Fabinho at their best sitting deeper to win possession and dictate play, Liverpool could do with a more dynamic, box-to-box presence in their midfield.
It is therefore understandable that both Jude Bellingham and Pedri have been linked with a move to Anfield recently.
Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham is Klopp’s priority target for the summer of 2022, according to the Daily Star, who report the Reds might have to break their £80m transfer record to get him.
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Meanwhile, reports in Spain have suggested Barcelona sensation Pedri is also a possibility in the future for Liverpool.
Transfer journalist Eduardo Inda of OK Diario told El Chiringuito that Liverpool are encouraged by the fact Pedri’s current deal expires in June.
That is in spite of the fact that Barcelona reportedly have an automatic renewal clause which means his contract can be extended through to 2024 with a preventative £343m (€400m) buy-out inserted for good measure.
Both Bellingham and Pedri would obviously be difficult targets to acquire for Liverpool, but they do appear to fit in with FSG’s blueprint.
Bellingham is 18 and has a high ceiling in terms of potential: he has shown maturity, adaptability and bundles of talent already in his short career.
By the end of the 2021/22 season it is conceivable that he will be level in the hype rankings with his Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland.
Pedri holds a similar status at the age of 18. He possesses a quite ridiculous level of composure and ability on the ball which makes the Andres Iniesta comparisons quite understandable.
Run into the ground by both Barcelona and Spain last season, he never looked jaded and was one of the stand-out players at Euro 2020.
Liverpool might not be able to sign Bellingham and Pedri; club politics and financial considerations might stand in their way.
But in this early stage, it at least seems that FSG and Liverpool are on the right track.
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