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Liverpool told to complete exciting transfer of huge talent who is 'like Philippe Coutinho'

Florian Wirtz in action for Bayer Leverkusen during the Europa League final in Dublin.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Chris Brunskill/Fantasista)


Who Liverpool's first signing under Arne Slot will be is unclear at this stage. The Dutchman doesn't officially succeed Jürgen Klopp until June 1, but the 45-year-old will no doubt be in contact with new sporting director Richard Hughes and the returning pair of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward over potential signings this summer.

Slot will be tasked with continuing the outstanding work that Klopp started in the season just past, reinventing Liverpool after the horrors of 2022-23. But the club needs to have a strong transfer window if it is to push Manchester City once again next season.

It remains to be seen how much of a say Slot will have in dictating transfers, but one former Liverpool midfielder believes he knows who the club should target this summer. Vladimir Šmicer has advised his old club to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz this summer, with the 21-year-old exceptional this season in securing Leverkusen's first-ever Bundesliga title.

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"If I could urge Liverpool to sign anyone this summer it would be Florian Wirtz, who is a player that reminds me of Phillipe Coutinho," he told OLBG. "Liverpool fans love that type of player. Bobby Firmino was another player who was very popular, so I’d go with Wirtz.

"I met Arne Slot when Slavia Prague played Feyenoord twice so I saw his work. His system and his mentality is all about being calm. He’s really good. His team knows exactly how he wants to play and I hope he can bring that to Liverpool.

"Of course, it won't be easy for anybody to replace Jürgen, but that's football. Steven Gerrard left Liverpool and now Jürgen is leaving Liverpool. That's football. We need to overcome these things as a club and I think Arne Slot could be the right man."

Wirtz has a long list of suitors who would be willing to make a move for him this summer. However, Leverkusen chief Simon Rolfes is convinced that he will remain in the Bundesliga for some time yet.

"He will stay," Rolfes told Sky Sports this week. "His father and agent said it before. He has a contract here and he's really happy. This is the right place for him to develop as a player and person. His future is bright that's for sure.

"He is such a good player and shows a great will to win and to work. It's not normally the attributes of a number 10 but he combines talent with the work rate of a six or a defensive player along with producing special magic moments."

Wirtz has scored 18 goals and provided 20 assists for Leverkusen this season, as it looks to win the German domestic double. Leverkusen faces Kaiserslautern in the final of the DFB-Pokal later today.

Liverpool.com says: Wirtz is a tremendous player and has huge ability, but it remains to be seen if his style would fit at Liverpool, especially if Slot intends to continue with Klopp's 4-3-3 system. Wirtz plays best behind a striker, and this isn't a system Liverpool particularly uses. However, if Slot plays more of a 4-2-3-1, then signing Wirtz could be a shrewd move.