Forget Bruno Fernandes and close that Philippe Coutinho tab – Jurgen Klopp should be going after Lyon’s Houssem Aouar this summer if he is to close the narrowing gap between Liverpool and Manchester City. The German guided Liverpool to a sixth European trophy after winning the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur – but yet again, they missed out on their first ever Premier League title by the small margin of one single point. Klopp is in need of an extra edge to pull The Reds over the line at long last.
Aouar has been linked with a move to Liverpool already this summer and it’s no surprise to see why. Once labelled as ‘incredible‘ by City boss Pep Guardiola, the 21-year-old has all the attributes required to thrive in Klopp’s system. He’s quite versatile in the sense he can play anywhere in midfield but it is his intelligence and control on the ball which is outstanding. During the tie against City in the Champions League, Aouar recorded 90.3% pass accuracy, the most tackles on the pitch, 75% successful dribbles and two interceptions.
Last season the playmaker appeared in 47 matches for Lyon in all competitions, recording seven goals and providing 11 assists. These sorts of figures are quite remarkable considering he only burst onto the scene in the 2017/18 campaign. Although Klopp has many options in midfield it was only really veteran James Milner who was most productive in terms of some sort of goal contribution. The 33-year-old scored seven and assisted four in 36 appearances. Georginio Wijnaldum featured more than Milner but his role isn’t that of a playmaker – though he still managed eight goals.
Rumours linking the club to the likes of Fernandes and Coutinho suggest that Klopp may well be after a midfielder who can help at the front of the pitch, I see no better option than to go for Aouar – he’s now a frequent starter in both the league and in Europe for Lyon suggesting he can cope with such demands if he were to make the move to Anfield. The Reds’ only defeat in the league was ultimately what cost them the title and that was to City. The only team that is stopping them from winning the title is City. It really will be City against Liverpool for the title again next season as both clubs are a million steps ahead of the rest in the Premier League – which is reinforced by the fact that Chelsea finished 3rd some 25 points behind Klopp’s side.
It would all nestle down to whether or not Liverpool can tempt Lyon into selling which is going to be a much harder task with Tanguy Ndombele leaving for Tottenham in a £55m deal. Liverpool’s nearly man Nabil Fekir is also linked with an exit from the club again this summer meaning head coach Sylvinho can’t afford to lose any more of his key stars after the French side finished third in the league – behind big-spending Paris Saint-Germain and Lille.