Liverpool should consider transfers for three Euro 2024 stars who can light up knockout stages

Nico Williams warms up before Spain's Euro 2024 clash with Albania
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

The Euro 2024 knockout rounds are upon us after a fantastic group stage in Germany. Most of the big-hitters are through to the last 16 but besides Spain and hosts Germany, none look all that convincing.

England are among the sides yet to click into gear but could well have a favorable run to the latter stages, providing they can see off Slovakia on Sunday evening. With the transfer window now open, Liverpool boss Arne Slot will be among the managers casting an eye over the players in action this summer.

The Reds are yet to make any additions, as expected, but there does appear to be areas of the Liverpool squad that can be strengthened in the coming months.

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Liverpool will start pre-season at the start of July and that is when we can probably expect business to start being done, with incomings and outgoings likely ahead of Slot's first Premier League campaign.

With that in mind, here are three players who have caught columnist Jonathan Morley's eye in Germany this summer with the trio hoping to make even more of an impact as the competition reaches the knockout rounds.

Riccardo Calafiori

It was not a vintage group stage for Italy who scraped through in second place after a dramatic draw with Croatia. And while he may not have scored the last-gasp equaliser, Riccardo Calafiori was heavily involved with a fantastic assist.

The 22-year-old looked like John Stones with the way he stepped into midfield and teed up Mattia Zacagni, and he is rightly on the radar of a host of top clubs.

Liverpool is believed to have made inquiries to Bologna for the left-sided defender, who only arrived from Basel a year ago and played a big role in his side qualifying for the Champions League.

(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images for FIGC)
Riccardo Calafiori has impressed in defense for Italy at Euro 2024 -Credit:(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images for FIGC)

While he is a typical no-nonsense Italian defender, Calafiori has also impressed me with his feet and his ability to get on the front foot will no doubt appeal to Arne Slot – as will the fact he can play at left-back.

Despite Joel Matip’s exit, Slot already has four very impressive defenders at his disposal and I am not actually convinced that Liverpool does need another option right now. But as we saw last season injuries can play their part.

Slot may well decide he wants more competition for places in his backline and if that is the case there are few options as appealing as Calafiori for the price being mooted.

Arda Guler

Real Madrid pipped a number of teams to the signature of Arda Guler a year ago and while it was a quiet debut season for the Turkey international, his stats were still very impressive.

Guler managed six goals in 10 appearances in La Liga, with four of those coming in the final month of the season. And he has taken that form onto the international stage at Euro 2024.

His goal against Georgia was exceptional and he looks set for a very bright future at club and international level. I just wonder whether he will want more game time next season.

Arda Guler is happy to bide his time at Real Madrid
Arda Guler is happy to bide his time at Real Madrid -Credit:Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images

The 19-year-old’s opportunities had already been limited and Real is now throwing Kylian Mbappe and Endrick into the equation. Reports in Spain suggest Liverpool have made contact but the reality is it would take a significant fee to land him.

Guler signed a lengthy contract when he arrived at Real so I doubt the European champions will have no desires to lose him. It could be a situation worth keeping an eye on with a loan move potentially seen as the ideal next step for his development.

Nico Williams

Spain has probably been the best team of the European Championships so far and Nico Williams has been the leading light. At 21, the Athletic Bilbao winger has taken the tournament by storm and really caught my eye.

He was mightily impressive in the win over Italy and no full-back is going to look forward to facing him in the knockout stages. Williams’ release clause does make him more of an achievable target and Liverpool would not be breaking the bank to get him.

There remains plenty of speculation over the future of Luis Diaz at Anfield, with Barcelona in particular still sniffing around. I would be surprised to see Williams arrive unless the Colombian goes but while they are similar players, the Athletic ace would be something of an upgrade.

For all his quality, Diaz’s output and numbers hardly set the world alight but Williams has already proven himself in La Liga and is five years younger than Liverpool’s No.7. Slot is known to want his attackers to be good at taking opposition players on and that is one of the Spaniard’s biggest strengths.

But he has shown already in this tournament that he has the end product too and I could see him being a real hit in the Premier League. Williams is developing into a top talent and I reckon he could get even better at Anfield.