Liverpool are set to open talks for Lyon star man Nabil Fekir, after being heavily linked with a move for the playmaker in recent weeks as they look to bolster their squad over the summer.
Fekir appeared to say goodbye during Lyon’s final game of the season with the underline feeling that he won’t be returning after the World Cup this summer.
Liverpool are set to push forward with talks to sign Lyon captain Nabil Fekir in a £60 million deal after Saturday’s Champions League final.
The Reds have already lined up the signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig for July 1, with the Guinean joining for £52.75 million.
However, Fekir’s strengths suggest he is more than capable of becoming a good player for Liverpool. He is a strong dribbler, with a great deal of pace and has a powerful left foot.
He’s had what most would consider to be a great season, scoring 23 goals in 40 appearances and it’s that goal threat from an attacking midfield role which is believed to have whetted Klopp’s appetite.
Where will he fit into the Liverpool line-up?
There has been a lot of talk about his style of play and actually how good he is, which got me thinking; where will he fit into the Liverpool line-up.
All out attack
The attacking three of Mane, Firmino and Salah would have the energy and pace of Fekir and Keita sitting just behind them.
Suspected formation with Keita
4-2-2-2 was the formation that RB Leipzeg used and really utilised Keita’s style of play. When we signed him many Liverpool fans suspected that we would change to this formation next season.
Fekir could feature on the left in that, allowing for Mane to return to the right side where he excelled in 2016/17 meaning Mo Salah would join Roberto Firmino in attack. There were times on our travels that Klopp would adjust to this formation, most notably against Stoke and West Ham where we won 3-0 and 4-1 respectively.
Possession based games
For those times when Liverpool need to pack the middle of the park with possession based players then this would be the ideal formation.
Keita, Fekir and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all very comfortable on the ball, who can all be very direct when required. Add to this, Lallana when fully fit and we could really tire some midfields out. I would expect this away from home especially in Europe where the full-out attack isn’t suitable.
Roberto Firmino the focal point
For a non-target man, Firmino really held the line this season in his own unique way. For many people he set the tempo from the start of the game right to the end. Harassing, closing down, epitomising Klopp’s style of play.
Fekir would play behind Firmino, with Mane and Salah either side of him, effectively creating the new Fab Four. Holding the midfield together would have to be Keita and Wijnaldum, who at times was simply unplayable. His tight compact play with that tiller 30 yard pass, coupled with Keita’s energy they could given the opportunity form a formidable partnership.
After the Champions League Final
Firstly Liverpool need to deal with the challenge of facing Real Madrid. It’s a massive task ahead, with just under a week left I’m sure the last thing on Klopp’s mind is who he’s going to be signing in the summer – yes he has a wish list and I’m sure negotiations are going on in the background, we just have to wait and see.
It’s going to be an interesting summer, we are in the best position we’ve been in for years. I just hope we use this as a springboard and build on from it