Liverpool are ready to weigh up a £20 million move for Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie as they plan to increase squad depth.
According to The Sun, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie has been identified as a top target for Liverpool in this January transfer window. It is believed that the Reds are willing to lodge a £20 million for the US International as they aim to resolve the issues regarding their lack of squad depth.
McKennie is already regarded as one of Bundesliga’s most promising young footballers, having had two fruitful seasons with Schalke in the German top flight.
This season in particular, the 20-year-old has played a key role for the Royal Blues, making 13 league appearances. He has often provided some much-needed cover with Schalke lacking resources in several areas of the pitch, which, in turn, has been one of the prime reasons behind their demise this campaign.
Indeed, McKennie has featured in four different positions for Schalke this season, including the centre-back as well as the centre-forward role, which is indicative of the versatility of the US International, who is normally labelled as a central midfielder.
This could be beneficial for Liverpool, who have also lacked depth, especially in defence. And with key players like Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip struggling with frequent injuries coupled with the departure of Nathaniel Clyne, the addition of McKennie could be imperative.
The 20-year-old, as mentioned earlier, can feature in several different positions on the pitch. But most importantly, he is a hard worker, who can press the opposition relentlessly throughout the course of the match – a characteristic that is ideally suited to Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing style of play that focuses on gaining possession, after losing the ball, as soon as possible.
It also focuses on creating pressure on the opposition ball-carrier by using the leeway-oriented pressing scheme, which tunes in well with McKennie’s style of play – making him a tailor-made fit for Liverpool, especially from a tactical perspective.
However, with Schalke already losing way too many star players to big clubs in recent years, it is unlikely that they will be willing to let go of McKennie that easily, especially with the midfielder still having three and a half years remaining on his current contract.
Therefore, it is likely that the Reds may need to return with a better offer if they are to secure the services of this highly talented US international, who could prove to be an ideal fit for the club.