Liverpool are reportedly seeking moves for Eupen striker Henry Onyekuru and Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt, who is also a target for Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Daily Mail are claiming that Liverpool are interested in two of Europe’s young attacking prospects, namely Henry Onyekuru and Julian Brandt. The Eupen striker is a new name to prop up but Julian Brandt has been eyed by Liverpool along with their English rivals Arsenal and Manchester United in the recent past.
Julian Brandt is already a full-fledged German international, with 4 caps for the senior side. At club level, the player is an established key member of Bayer Leverkusen’s first-team setup and has recorded a more than decent return of 2 goals and 6 assists in the Bundesliga in the current campaign.
The player has been linked to a move to Anfield previously as well, with reports of Klopp having taken a liking to the 20-year-old. Also, the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United have also been credited with interest in the winger. Perhaps, all three of them could still be interested in the player.
Liverpool need to beef up their attack, especially with widespread interest in their current squad members Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Sadio Mane. Also, the Reds’ recent struggles have hinted at an over-reliance on Mane, something Klopp would not like and is likely to want to correct.
— Sky Football ⚽️ (@SkyFootball) January 26, 2017
Arsenal are in the midst of a contract standoff with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. The Gunners have been linked with a move for Marco Reus as one of the options but the German’s injury record could put off Wenger and Brandt could serve as an alternative to his compatriot.
Manchester United have sold Memphis Depay and appear to be having troubles, with Anthony Martial miffed with Mourinho’s preference to play others over him. Goncalo Guedes has already evaded United’s clutches and joined PSG, and Mourinho could also re-join Brandt’s pursuit, if the Martial situation doesn’t improve.
The other player named is Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru, who has been turning heads with his displays for Belgian side Eupen. Having joined the Belgian side from Senegal on a free transfer, the player has been on absolute fire this season, with 10 goals and 6 assists to his name in the Jupiler Pro League so far.
Celtic target Henry Onyekuru has been left out of Eupen’s squad for tonight’s game. Here’s 5 of his 12 goals this season pic.twitter.com/HXNO5bwGfL
— Read Celtic (@ReadCeltic) January 26, 2017
The player’s ability to play across all three forward positions along with his ability to play with either foot with equal aplomb makes Onyekuru a viable option for Klopp and the 19-year-old is unlikely to cost a fortune either.
Brandt, too, has the ability to play across the various forward positions, which generally looks like the profile of the players that are on the radar for Liverpool. Brandt, though, is a much bigger name in European football than Onyekuru at the present moment and there is set to be competition for the German.
Brandt reportedly has a €20 million release clause in his current deal, which has kicked Bayer Leverkusen into action with the hierarchy wanting to offer a new deal to the winger, to either remove or increase the release clause.
Kicker: Leverkusen are planning to give a new contract to Julian Brandt, who has a €20m release clause which can be activated in 2018. #B04
— Bundesliga Spotlight (@BundesligaSpot) January 16, 2017
With Bayer Leverkusen currently seventh on the Bundesliga table, manager Roger Schmidt would not want to part with a player of Brandt’s calibre in the middle of the season, as his side chases European qualification places. The aforementioned makes a January move highly unlikely.
Onyekuru, on the other hand, could be availably in January itself, if Liverpool do decide to move for the 19-year-old. But there might be some paperwork issues for the Nigerian, with the current campaign being just his second season in Europe, which could affect the chances of him securing an English work-permit.
Liverpool are on a bad run at the moment. A jittering January has resulted in Liverpool bowing out of the EFL Cup to Southampton while falling to fourth and 10 points behind league-leaders Chelsea. The chances of securing a deal for either of the aforementioned targets look unlikely but Liverpool do need something to boost their players’ morale.