With no certainty whether Liverpool will eventually get a deal to sign first target Judd Bellingham next summer, there are some interesting alternatives.
In less than a year, my complexion became Jürgen KloppThe midfield can be a lot different.
while, thiagoAnd the Jordan Henderson And the Fabinho They will all be over a year old, while the question marks persist Curtis Jones‘Put side by side Harvey ElliottAnd the Fabio Carvalho And the Stefan Bagcitic In the future.
Extensive and frequent reports have stated that Bellingham is Liverpool’s number one target for 2023, which is certainly understandable given his age, quality, experience and potential.
But with every major European club potentially in contact with Dortmund over a deal that could exceed £100m, it would be wise to draw up a list of alternatives.
Although not exhaustive, Liverpool recruiters will rely on statistics to identify and reduce their targets – this is where, for those without access to the most complex databases, FBref Enter.
According to their numbers, the following 10 players are the most similar to Bellingham in terms of their production – including the current Liverpool player and two known goalscorers:
- 1 – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Inter Milan) – 33 cm / am
- 2 – Konrad Leimer (Leipzig) – 25 cm
- 3 – Bryce Mendes (Royal Society) – 25 cm / LM / RW
- 4. Naby Keita (Liverpool) – 27 cm
- 5 – Sergey Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) – 27 cm
- 6 – Adrien Thomason (Strasbourg) – 28 cm / am
- 7 – Teon Cupminiers (Atalanta) – 24, dm/cm
- 8 – Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Moenchengladbach) – 25 cm / am
- 9 – Ibrahima Sissoko (Strasbourg) – 24, DM/CM/CB
- 10 – Pedro (Barcelona) – 19 cm
The list is interesting, not least because of the inclusion of Keita – a player already in the Liverpool books – and both Konrad Laimer and Florian Neuhaus.
Before the deadline to sign Arthur On loan from Juventus, the Reds have considered a potential move for the RB Leipzig midfielder, although the sense is that the Austrian will see the final months of his contract before joining Bayern Munich.
Newhouse emerged as a target for Liverpool in the lead-up to this Jenny WijnaldumHe switched to PSG, only for a move that didn’t pay off.
Elsewhere, it makes sense for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedri to lose credibility, especially given the latter’s standing at Barcelona and the €1 billion release clause in his contract.
Like the 33-year-old Mkhitaryan, Strasbourg midfielder Adrien Tomasson can be considered a very old man at 28, which could also be the case with Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who turns 28 in February.
There are two more interesting candidates, Real Sociedad’s Brais Mendez and Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners, especially considering their target threat from midfield.
It remains to be seen if Liverpool will consider any of the 10 names on the list, but there is always value in a statistical comparison when exploring potential alternatives.