Jurgen Klopp doesn’t really have too many pressing needs to resolve this summer – why would he? A Champions League trophy and runners-up by just a point in the Premier League is some season by Liverpool’s standards. A new right-back? Again, why would he need that? Trent Alexander-Arnold had an outstanding year with 16 assists in 40 appearances – averaging a rating of 7.36 in the Premier League. The 20-year-old has only had two seasons as Klopp’s trusted right-back so to expect him to keep up on last season’s theatrics may be difficult. That is where a character like Dani Alves comes in.
Alves has won just about everything possible in his career barring a World Cup. This weekend’s Copa America victory made him the first player to ever reach 40 trophies which, simply put, is phenomenal. Even at the age of 36, he’s still churning out appearances at an elite level as well as for his national side in major tournaments. Barcelona to Juventus to Paris Saint-Germain is some career past your thirties, it’s just missing that spell in the Premier League – even though the weather is far worse off than any of those cities, the football played is up there, if not surpassing them completely – all four finalists in this year’s European competitions were English.
The Brazilian could become a fantastic mentor for Alexander-Arnold even if it is just for a period of 12 months. In fact, Alves is still performing to such a good level he could even push the 20-year-old to keep improving or risk losing his spot. Alves made 32 appearances as PSG won the Ligue 1 title for a sixth time in seven years – during which he scored three goals and assisted eight, averaging a rating of 7.02 in the league. Over the past two seasons alone, the right wing-back has made 73 appearances suggesting that his age should be no issue. He’s now a free agent following his release at PSG meaning clubs are free to pick him up without paying an extortionate fee for a player of his age. However, his contract in 2018 was reportedly €8.4m (£7.53m) per season which could put off a move to Anfield.
Alves has always wanted the chance to play in the Premier League with the player rejecting offers of a new deal from PSG in favour of a move to England or an offer longer than just a year. Two years ago, Manchester City had a deal agreed in principle with the veteran before he opted for France’s capital city instead. If Liverpool have room to offer Alves any sort of deal then it would make sense to do so – he’s won three Champions Leagues and nine domestic league titles – that’s the level of football Liverpool are now at, they need strength in depth of this sort of quality to ensure the squad can continue their upward trend going forward.