It’s the international break which means that while we all get to take a moment to breathe, the Content Gods still insist on their daily fill. So, that inevitably leads to weird stories regarding transfers even though we’re still a month and a half away from the winter window opening.
Today, in a weird turn of events, we have Liverpool denying rumors of interest in a few players. This is especially odd given that the reports are coming from trusted sources like The Atlantic’s James Pearce and from a write up in the Liverpool Echo.
In fact, I first caught wind of this via Pearce’s tweet on the matter:
Been told that the speculation about #LFC and Ryan Fraser is wide of the mark. Claims that they are in talks over a January move dismissed as 'nonsense'. Liverpool have also recently been linked with Denis Zakaria from Gladbach but Klopp happy with his midfield options.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) November 11, 2019
As you can see, the rumors are tied to links that Liverpool are in for AFC Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser. It’s not altogether a bad rumor, I suppose, given that behind Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool’s wing options are pretty dry. At the moment, Divock Origi has been spending his time out wide and with Xherdan Shaqiri still injured, that’s it in terms of depth.
We know, of course, that Liverpool’s tactical set up uses both of Mané and Salah as more wide forwards than out and out wingers - though, Salah often plays a more traditional style when given space, and thus provides a nice contrast for Mané’s more playmaker-y style. And because of that, Liverpool have players flexible enough to place out wide in a pinch.
For example, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keita could each presumably do a bit of work on the wing if called upon. Though, it appears that Klopp’s idea is to keep both in more advanced midfield roles with AOC making a cameo start in the Bobby role against Genk last week.
Which all brings us back to the undeniable fact that Liverpool are a bit thin on the wings. Fraser has been mentioned because he’s done a respectable job manning the wide positions for Eddie Howe’s Cherries. We also know that Bournemouth tend to play a style that, even for a club of their size, is respectable and would translate, I think, to their more talented players making moves to bigger clubs.
Still, this was all a bit of a strange scenario given that I’d heard very little chatter in the lead up to this news and then, suddenly, here’s James Pearce telling us that his sources in the club deny any interested in Ryan Fraser.
We’ll continue to trust Pearce, then, and wait until the winter window comes to start really meditating on things. Besides, we all know that this window is just a prelude to the big one: Mbappe 2020.