Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool managed to put in a solid performance in the pre-season at the Allianz Arena this week as they managed to put three past the home team in Bavaria. The Reds are, however, still active in the transfer market, searching for players to improve particular positions in the squad but are unable to tie top transfer targets to the club this summer.
One player now constantly linked with a move to Anfield is Bayern star, Renato Sanches.
The Portuguese international had a stellar time in the EURO16 last summer, which earned him a move to Bayern but he failed to impress Carlo Ancelotti last season and made just 17 league appearances, most of which came from the bench. So Ancelotti is now ready to let him leave, but only on a loan and the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are all interested in his signature.
Renato Sanches and his attributes
The 19-year old Amadora born midfielder is a product of the famed Benfica academy in his home country where he came through the ranks and made his first team debut in 2015. After just a year in the first team with Benfica, he was brought by the German giants, who failed to give him enough chances to shine at the Allianz last season.
Known for his versatility in the midfield, Sanches is a confident player with the ball at his feet. The game against Liverpool recently showed that he still needs to work on his passing but he is a smart player, who often finds space in the middle of the park and picks up positions that can hurt the opposition during a game.
He is still a liability when acting as a defensive line but when played in a more aggressive role, against teams that sit back and defend, he is right up there with the best. He has great vision and even better technique that allows him to create chances while his key pass ratio is also up with the best. He also has to work on his body strength but at just 19, is a potential star for the future.
Chances at Liverpool
Reports claim that Klopp is looking at him as a potential long term replacement for Barcelona linked Philippe Coutinho but if the recent game against the Reds is anything to go by, he is far from a player who can replace the Brazil magician.
He has what it takes to turn into one though and Klopp, with all his management skills, may yet be able to turn the teenager into a world beater in years to come. However, if Coutinho stays, Sanches becomes a far more valuable player as he can slot in the midfield as a replacement for any of the first team stars next season.
Jordan Henderson and Emre Can are expected to play as the deepest of the midfielders while Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum will play as a part of the central midfield. Sanches, in theory, can play in any of those roles and though he may not be the first choice, could be a great contingency plan, that will help Liverpool compete in the all four competitions next season. But is he the right man for Liverpool?