German International Could Be Final Star Liverpool Need

Liverpool are still very much in the picture to win a major trophy this season. They’re top of the Premier League (but Manchester City have a game in hand) and recently knocked out German giants Bayern Munich to reach the last eight of the Champions League.

Yet when I look at the Reds squad I still think they could do with more creativity. Boss Jurgen Klopp will probably sense that too.

Liverpool’s midfield have at times been too disciplined and more restricted rather than a creative force. That’s to be expected when you fall-back on the settled base of pragmatic stars like James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Brazilian Fabinho has come in but again he’s more of a defensive unit.

New boy Naby Keita hasn’t been the dynamic force that The Reds were hoping for. The Guinean is probably still settling in but will he be creative or will he be more of a box to box midfielder? It remains an unanswered question.

Fellow summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri has stepped up with six goals but the Swiss international hasn’t started regularly and he’s only made two assists in his twenty-one league appearances.

In truth Liverpool have never really replaced Philippe Coutinho, who was a midfield maestro that could bridge the midfield and attack with his fine passing ability and his great dribbling technique.

Now in 2018 the attacking fab three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were terrific. Salah was in such hot scoring form and between them the three forwards made the Reds tick.

This season has seen the supply coming from the wing-backs, with Andrew Robertson leading the assists chart with his eight league assists. Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has six assists to his name, while Milner is the best performing midfielder creating four assists. Between them Shaqiri, Keita, and Fabinho have created just five!

Adam Lallana, Wijnaldum and captain Henderson have yet to provide an assist for a teammate this season!

While Sadio Mane has stepped up to the plate in 2019, Firmino and Salah have struggled in front of goal. A big part of that will be that they are being denied decent service from the engine room.

The answer to Liverpool’s creative problems could come from Klopp’s homeland, in the form of Bayer Leverkusen star Julian Brandt.

The German internationalist is a direct force that always wants to attack. He possesses fantastic dribbling skills, links up well with the forwards, has an eye for a pass and is versatile performer who can play anywhere in the midfield.

He has played the majority of his football in the centre this term and has scored four goals and created nine assists for his Leverkusen teammates.

The twenty-two year old makes around 1.8 shots per Bundesliga game, 2.6 key passes and completes 1.3 dribbles. He also possesses a passing success rate that touches 82% (Stats from Whoscored).

Liverpool need more spark and versatility from midfield and Brandt could offer that. He certainly looks like a player that would seamlessly fit into a team coached by compatriot Jurgen Klopp.

Julian pipped Leroy Sane to a place in Germany’s World Cup squad last summer. Now the less said about that World Cup campaign the better but it shows you the talent Brandt has that World Cup winning coach Joachim Löw had more faith in him than the Manchester City starlet.

The German boss suggested that Brandt’s all round game and his commitment to the team cause helped with his selection (From

“It was a tight race between Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt. Both have big qualities, both are good in the one-on-one duels,” .

“Julian Brandt was at the Confederations Cup, had some strong games there, and put in good shifts in the training camp too.”

Those hardworking and dedicated qualities are also what Klopp likes to see from his players.

Liverpool have spent the past few transfer windows strengthening areas in their squad that really needed. I think they’ll do the same in the summer and that will see the recruitment team hunting for a creator that can star in the midfield.

German news outlet Bild claim that Julian Brandt will be available at a paltry sum of just €25m. That fee could prove too good to turn down for Liverpool, especially given Brandt’s attacking attributes.

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