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Southampton v Liverpool: Five more players for Klopp to pinch

Holly Thackeray | December 1, 2015

Five further Saints stars for Klopp capture

As the Capital One Cup returns, Southampton host Liverpool in the headline midweek fixture, with added fire to the flames of this fray due to the Reds having recruited several Saints stars in recent transfer windows.

The Merseysiders’ previous plundering of St Mary’s saw Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and now former Reds forward Rickie Lambert all plucked from the south coast club. So, which current Saints stars might new coach Jurgen Klopp fancy to arrive at Anfield? Here are our five picks…

Sadio Mane

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Southampton - Anfield
It’s no secret that, despite the playmaking talents of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, real width is lacking from Liverpool’s roster.

Jordan Ibe is one for the future but, in the meantime, Mane’s raw pace down the flanks and box of magic tricks would give Liverpool a lethal edge. The Senegal star (7/4 to score anytime agaisnt Liverpool) is no slouch when it comes to scoring either, and could combine with Klopp’s current Samba stars to create a supporting midfield full of goal threat.

Add in the fact that this frightening forward is already a target for rivals Manchester United, and the Reds could really pull off a coup to make them a competitive club again.

Graziano Pelle

Poacher Pelle (5/1 to bag the opener in this Capital One Cup clash) is no Robert Lewandowski, but could be worth a punt as the missing piece to solve Liverpool’s problems up top. Six goals and three assists in 13 Premier League appearances is an important haul from the Italy hitman, though it is the striker’s terrific hold up play and ability to link with midfield that should appeal to Klopp.

An excellent all-rounder, Pelle’s significant talents could compensate as Christian Benteke adapts to Anfield and Danny Ings recovers from a long-term injury, with Daniel Stuuridge a consistent sick note as well.

Ryan Bertrand

Manchester City v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium
Liverpool’s leaky backline looks much improved under their new German tactician, but is still clearly an Achilles heel. In short, it needs an overhaul, and Bertrand has come on leaps and bounds since leaving Stamford Bridge for St Mary’s.

Klopp likes a fullback who can contribute to attack, and the at times underrated English defender can certainly do that.

Virgil van Dijk

Dutch defender Van Dijk would be another option to solidify the Reds rearguard, but the club may be cautious of snaffling centre backs from Southampton following Lovren’s struggles, though they missed a trick by allowing Toby Alderweireld to join Tottenham.

A much more dynamic presence, however, Van Dijk appears to have got over his initial wobbles to become a dominant force alongside Jose Fonte, who is admittedly the superior centre half, but perhaps a little too evergreen for an Anfield move.

James Ward-Prowse

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Fourth Round - Southampton v Aston Villa - St Mary's Stadium
The Merseyside men are well stocked in midfield with Emre Can and James Milner putting in impressive shifts. However, Milner and Lucas Leiva are no spring chickens, while Joe Allen has not provided the playmaking from deep that was expected.

Ward-Prowse’s quiet way of going about his business, pulling strings at St Mary’s with composure and aplomb, may really appeal, as the young Englishman could cost a fortune in years to come, with his ceiling arguably much higher than Jordan Henderson’s.

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