Jurgen Klopp reviews Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Brighton
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Despite having a front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has set his sights on signing another attacking star in January. The former Borussia Dortmund boss has Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino for depth on the wings, but it appears he isn’t overly happy with both of those options.
The Reds drew 2-2 with Brighton on Saturday despite having a two-goal advantage after 24 minutes.
Captain Jordan Henderson scored the opening as he swept a sweet strike past Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sachez after a quick counterattack down the right-wing from Salah.
Mane then made it two just twenty minutes later as the winger nodded home an inch-perfect cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who replaced Naby Keita early in the first half.
The Seagulls hit back just before halftime when Enock Mwepu curled a looping strike over Alisson from 25 yards out before Leandro Trossard equalised in the 65th minute when showing composure to finish off a well-worked attack.
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The draw means that Klopp’s side are now three points behind Chelsea in second place in the Premier League, and the German manager is eager to sign versatile forward Pedro Goncalves in January to add further depth in the final third.
The Anfield outfit only brought in Ibrahima Konate over the summer and instead prioritised getting top talents on long term contracts, however, the reality of being short of reinforcements for January may be kicking in.
The African Cup of Nations means that Salah (Egypt) and Mane (Senegal) will both be unavailable for the start of 2022, which means Jota is the only proven forward at Klopp’s disposal.
The addition of Goncalves, who is seen to be one of the most exciting young prospects in football at the moment, would provide depth on either wing and can also play as a no.10 for when Klopp reverts to his 4-2-3-1 formation.
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The Portugal international scored 23 goals in 32 appearances for Sporting CP last season and has started the new campaign in the same flying form with three goals in six appearances.
This is not the first time that the 23-year-old has attracted the attention of the 23-year-old, however, their unwillingness to make a bid earlier may have cost them an additional £17.5million, according to Record, via Sport Witness.
Sporting previously valued the winger at £50m but a recently signed contract extension means he now has a £67.5m release clause, and the Primeira Liga club are not prepared to accept an offer short of that.
They feel that receiving that figure would enable them to replace Goncalves whilst also improving the squad so that the former Wolves player’s absence is not overly noticeable.
Liverpool’s attacking depth, or lack of, is clearly concerning Klopp as Goncalves is not the only forward the club is interested in signing in January.
According to Fichajes, Wolves’ Pedro Neto and Belgium international Jeremy Doku are also being considered as the Reds look to prevent their title charge from being derailed in January.
Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes is also reportedly an option, the Englishman is said to be highly thought of by Klopp and is high on the shortlist of potential incomings.
Barnes has only registered one assist in 587 minutes of Premier League football this season, but his nine goals and four assists in the previous campaign is still fresh in the thoughts of Liverpool.
The 23-year-old came through the academy at the Foxes and manager Brendan Rodgers has put plenty of faith in the forward, but with the World Cup on the horizon, playing for Liverpool could bolster the Englishman’s chances of being included in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
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