Going in to what’s sure to be a busy summer for the club, Liverpool finally have the pulling power in the recruitment department that comes along with playing Champions League football, but top class European nights — and the pile of money that comes along with it — won’t be the only factor attracting players to Anfield.
“If I’m a top player around Europe and Jurgen picks the phone up and I get offered the chance to play for this club, which is moving forward in every single department and has a world-class manager leading it, I’d be jumping at that opportunity,” said Reds legend Steven Gerrard, speaking to the Liverpool ECHO. “I want to play for him and I am 37 next week! For me, it’s such an exciting project. Not just because we qualified for the Champions League but the whole project,” added the veteran midfielder. “I went out there to play in a friendly and I felt like it was the World Cup final. That’s what he gives players.”
Although defensive recruitments should be at the top of his list, the Reds are reportedly ready to pay up to £50mil to secure the services of highly rated RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita — a player the Bundesliga runners-up aren’t willing to consider letting leave the Red Bull Stadium this summer. An alternative, of course, could very well be Arsenal man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with the stories linking him with a move to Anfield gaining varying degrees of traction in the press. Primarily deployed as a winger by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, the 23-year old has made it known on more than one occasion that he’d prefer a more central role and after lifting the FA Cup on Saturday, he seemed to drop a massive hint about his future.
“I don’t know, really. Playing for a team like Arsenal, it ends up being more of a right-wing job. I get the ball from deeper and the plays into my hands more,” said the Arsenal midfielder, speaking to BT Sport. “At the end of the day, it’s given me minutes and I’m not one to complain,” added Oxlade-Chamberlain before tipping his hat to a certain Liverpool legend. “But, the centre mid role… I’ve always wanted to be Steven Gerrard, so I’ve still got a hope of that!”