Arne Slot needs to upgrade on Liverpool pair - five transfer targets stand out

Arne Slot watches on during a Feyenoord game in the Eredivisie.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Marcel van Dorst/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It is a big summer for Arne Slot and the Liverpool recruitment team but I am not sure there will be wholesale changes to the playing staff at Anfield.

There is a feeling that a new central defender will be needed with Joel Matip going but I don’t buy into that idea. There are still four very good options available to Slot and that would allow for other positions to be strengthened.

If Kostas Tsimikas decides to stay, the full-back positions are well stocked too and despite what happened last summer, there could potentially still be a need for additions in midfield.

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Wataru Endo has been a good signing and for the money Liverpool paid, it was a no-brainer to bring him in. But with his age and the amount of goals Liverpool conceded especially towards the end of the season, it may be a position Liverpool will look to upgrade.

Ederson (Atalanta)

The midfielder wasn’t exactly a standout as our European dream came to a shuddering halt. But having watched him in the Europa League final, he could be an excellent addition.

It is important to have versatile members in the squad and Ederson can play deeper or further forward. That said, I actually think he would be suited to playing as a No.6 for Liverpool.

Just like Rodri and Declan Rice, he is a master of breaking up play and winning interceptions. He is in the top percentile in these areas in comparison to other holding midfielders in Serie A. Endo ticks many of the same boxes but does not have the same tremendous engine as Ederson.

He is 24 the same age as Fabinho when he signed from Monaco — and there is no reason why he couldn’t emulate his fellow Brazilian. Liverpool likely wouldn’t need to break the bank to bring him to Anfield either.

Joao Palhinha (Fulham)

As holding midfielders go, few are as impressive or as effective as Joao Palhinha right now. He didn’t get his dream move to Bayern but you would expect a top side to lure him away from Fulham, sooner rather than later.

His physicality has made him a big hit in the Premier League and I do believe Liverpool has sometimes lacked a bit of that bite in its midfield. Palhinha is proven at Premier League and international level and at 28, Liverpool could get four or five years out of him.

It would probably require a big fee to sign him but we all know the quality he would bring. There is no doubt he would be a fans favorite.

Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

With Villa getting the Champions League, a massive fee would be needed to sign Douglas Luiz with reports saying he is valued at $98m (£77m/€90m). But he is the calibre of player that Liverpool should be targeting this summer.

He is probably a different kind of player to Ederson and Palhinha and while he isn’t afraid of doing the dirty work, his strengths are actually on the ball.

Luiz’s set-piece delivery is among the very best in the Premier League and he chips in with plenty of goals too. Liverpool needs more from its midfielders in that sense because we can’t just keep relying on Mohamed Salah to find the net.

Attacking targets

Arne Slot is known to place huge importance on his wingers and Liverpool will reportedly look to add another wide man this summer. There is a lot of talk about Luis Diaz leaving and while I do like him, his attributes are somewhat outdated for a winger.

Yes he is a good player and has the pace to beat players but his output is a problem. He has scored just 16 Premier League goals since joining Liverpool in 2022. Realistically is that going to win Liverpool titles?

If you look at the very best players in that position in the Premier League - take Son, Bowen or Trossard for example – they score goals. And that must be an area Liverpool looks to improve.

Mohamed Kudus (West Ham)

If Liverpool is seeking a replacement for Diaz then it should be all over Kudus. When West Ham is at its best, he is central to everything and he has so much potential that could well be unlocked in a better team.

There are reports of a release clause in his contract but he would not come cheap. That said, you get what you pay for and he would be an excellent addition to the ranks.

Kudus has had just one season at West Ham but 14 goals and six assists is a decent return. You'd fancy him to better that tally at Anfield, too.

Crysencio Summerville (Leeds)

Leeds’ failure to get promoted could work in Liverpool’s favour and it does appear that Crysencio Summerville will be back in the Premier League next season.

He was the Player of the Year in the Championship and while he hardly set the top flight on fire previously for Leeds in the Premier League, he appears to have added some consistency to his game.

For me, Liverpool’s Dutch players Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch will kick on under Arne Slot and Summerville’s development would be aided by joining the contingent.

Leeds will not be able to demand top dollar for him anymore and at just 22, you would expect Summerville to get even better.