Liverpool are once again acting swiftly in the summer transfer window with Alexis Mac Allister set to be the club’s first signing. While the World Cup winner fits exactly what Liverpool are looking for this summer, the transfer still leaves a gaping hole in Jurgen Klopp’s squad that will need to be rectified in the next few months.
Revamping their midfield was always going to be the top priority for Liverpool heading into the transfer market with at least two signings expected. Mac Allister fills one of those reported slots, but Liverpool will also have one eye on their list of homegrown players this summer.
While the departures of Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino and Arthur open up a few non-homegrown slots, it’s the departures of James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that may end up hurting the Reds the most. Under Premier League rules, teams are required to submit a maximum 25-man squad list.
But that list is dramatically decreased if clubs are unable to use the allotted eight spots for homegrown players. Essentially, clubs are only allowed to register 17 non-homegrown players and Liverpool filled all those slots last season after Cody Gakpo signed in January.
Liverpool had Nathaniel Phillips, Caoimhin Kelleher, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain as their seven homegrown players. It’s been reported that both Kelleher and Phillips will be sold this summer, leaving just Gomez, Alexander-Arnold and Henderson from that group.
Curtis Jones, 22, will qualify as a homegrown player next season, which would take Liverpool’s tally up to four next season if Phillips and Kelleher are sold. But that still limits Klopp to naming just a maximum 21-man squad for the start of the Premier League season with four homegrown slots left to fill.
There is the option of using Sepp van den Berg and/or Rhys Williams to help bolster their squad, however both have also been linked with moves away this summer. It means Liverpool may need to be smart in the transfer market to avoid leaving Klopp short for his Premier League squad next season.
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Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi and Jacob Ramsey are just a number of young England talents to be linked with moves to Anfield. Liverpool have pulled out of the race to sign Bellingham due to the figures needed to make a move happen this summer while Mount reportedly favours a move to Manchester United.
It will be a test for new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke to try and solve in the coming months. Mac Allister’s signing will be welcomed by Klopp with the Argentine adding a new dimension to Liverpool’s midfield.
But in order to truly challenge in the Premier League once again, Klopp will need a full size squad to pick from with the focus now being on homegrown players.
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