Jürgen Klopp should continue Liverpool’s rebuilding process with a former transfer target who is reaching new heights and might replace Roberto Firmino.
Roberto Firmino is on one of his best goalscoring runs at Liverpool, but the clock is ticking on his future at Anfield.
Firmino will be 32 years old next year, and with Liverpool seeking to rebuild the squad with a focus on youth and the future, the Brazilian just does not fit the bill.
With his contract expiring in 2023, it seems only natural that one of Jürgen Klopp’s longest-serving members moves onto pastures new at the end of the season, and while it will certainly herald the end of an era, it will also be an opportunity to start anew for Julian Ward and begin a new generation at Anfield.
That will involve bringing in a player to replace Firmino, with the Reds’ attack already depleted in terms of options, emphasized by the club’s current injury crisis in the offensive line.
Who Liverpool should target will be the million-pound question that will be up to the masterminds of the club’s recruitment team and down to the wit of Ward. But one player who may be on the radar is Amine Gouiri, considering he is in excellent form — and the fact that he has been linked with Liverpool in the past.
The French international is definitely the right kind of profile to replace Firmino in the squad. He is just 22 years old, meaning he is almost a decade younger, and he has the same high-intensity work rate that has made the Brazilian such a key cog in Klopp’s machine.
Not only that, Gouiri is versatile, capable of slotting in as a wide man but also playing centrally as a forward. That could give Klopp plenty of options in terms of how to best utilize him.
His output is also impressive. Last season he made 22 goal contributions for Nice, the season before that it was 24, and this season he has made 12 already in just 16 games, which means he is on course for his most productive season in front of goal.
Excellent technically, with the acceleration and speed to cause any defender problems, Gouiri also likes to drop back in typical Firmino fashion and involve himself in his team’s build-up play. His first touch too at times can be mesmerizing, and he has the showboating skills that would make him real eye-candy for the supporters at Anfield.
Next summer he will have spent an entire year at Rennes, who bought him for £25.2m over the summer. He is already being valued at just under £32m on Transfermarkt, and that value will undoubtedly rise as the season goes on. But with the French side always open to selling their best assets, Klopp and his transfer team can definitely find a way to convince them to sell for the right price next summer