Liverpool further away than ever from solving problem position
While Jurgen Klopp prepares his rapidly-evolving Liverpool squad for a glitzy trans-Atlantic showdown with Chelsea, the German must also donate some of his week to signing a left-back.
Simultaneous developments at the start of the Reds’ pre-season tour of the USA, suddenly place the Reds in danger of beginning the new campaign with only one specialist left-back in the senior squad.
Given that player is the defensively suspect Alberto Moreno, this is not in any way a healthy scenario for the wannabe-Premier League title contenders.
When news broke on Monday that left-sided Brad Smith was set to follow Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe to Bournemouth for £6m it was viewed quite favourably by fans against the backdrop of the Australian’s likely replacement the seemingly shrewd inclusion of a buy-back clause for the 22-year-old.
It has now become apparent, however, that Ben Chilwell will not be arriving on Merseyside from Leicester this summer. Many believed Klopp would be able to get a deal for the young Foxes defender over the line, despite the Premier League champions rebuffing a speculative £7m bid last month.
Such a theory has now been rubbished by widespread reports that 19-year-old Chilwell is instead on the cusp of penning a new five-year contract to keep him at the King Power Stadium.
Thanks to Chilwell’s snub and Smith’s departure, Liverpool have no choice but to dip their already wet toes back into the transfer pool.
An early contender is Holland’s youngest ever cap winner at a European Championship, aka PSV left-back Jetro Willems, now 22.
Another man whose name has popped into the frame regularly is Jonas Hector of Cologne and Germany, though that particular trail has run quite cold of late.
With attacking midfielders coming out of their ears, it’s curious that left-back remains a continuous problem position for the Anfield giants.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.