Liverpool interested in Norwegian midfielder: Is it a good deal?
We all know how good a manager Jurgen Klopp is when it is about finding the lesser-known hidden gems in world football. He transformed Blackburn Rovers' reject Robert Lewandowski into one of the most feared strikers in the world. The German signed a player named Shinji Kagawa from Japan whom nobody knew about and won the Bundesliga with him as one of his key players. The list goes on and on and on.
Right now, Klopp is one of the best managers in the world, if not the best, with one of the most complete teams at his disposal. He took his time to build the squad and the jigsaw finally looks complete as the Reds look on course to dominate both England and Europe once again like they used to do in their golden era.
However, no matter how good a team is, there is always space for improvement and you always have to look at the bigger picture in the long run as well.
So, it is quite evident that Liverpool are always in the market for players who can improve their squad with quality and depth. Their scouting and data analytics team are one of the best in the game and almost every top talent in the world are in regular monitoring of the Reds.
A player, who has seemingly alerted the Liverpool scouts and even Jurgen Klopp, is Belgian Pro League midfielder Sander Berge. The 21-year-old is currently plying his trade at Genk and the Reds got a closer look on their target in the Champions League fixtures against the Belgian side.
The Belgian club lost both home and away to the European champions 1-4 and 2-1 respectively but Berge still managed to impress Klopp. And, he was so much impressed with the young midfielder that he even made his appreciation known to the media. “He’s a good player. A very good player. He is certainly interesting”, Klopp said during an interview after the game.
The player was also greeted jovially by Klopp after both games and the two had a chat as well. The midfielder, rated at £25million by his club, described it as a 'wonderful' moment. Liverpool have been regularly scouting the Norway international since the last season and with the kind of enthusiasm both Klopp and Berge have showed, a move could certainly materialize.
The 21-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade and is tailor-made for Jurgen Klopp's high-press game. With his huge frame of 6 feet 5 inches, the midfielder can intimidate even the strongest of footballers.
Despite that, he hardly relies on just his physical powers to impress in the number six role. He is a modern-day number six, the kind of player Klopp would love in his side as an alternative to Fabinho.
Berge is an intelligent player with excellent ability to intercept the ball. He reads the game really well and loves to close down his opponents which is an essential for Geggenpressing. The 21-year-old also boasts an excellent range of passing both long and short. Although he has so far played in much lesser leagues, he could be a great alternative to Fabinho who is irreplaceable in the Liverpool side.
Liverpool have plenty of options in the middle of the park but it is understandable as Klopp rotates his midfield the most.
Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are the first-choice midfield trio on most occasions. But, there is plenty of quality outside the three with the likes of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Adam Lallana all present at the disposal of Klopp.
Lallana, however, is 31 years now and stays more often than not on the treatment table. He is out of contract next summer and there are reports that he could be on his way to China or the USA on a free transfer. James Milner, with his immense experience and versatility, is a player Klopp rates very highly but he is 33 as well and cannot be considered a part of the long-term vision of the club.
Keita, on the other hand, despite costing the club a fortune, has struggled to make his mark at the club due to injury problems. However, it is unthinkable that Liverpool will give up on the gifted Guinean so early but it would mean no harm to have more options when you are competing on all fronts.
Marko Grujic has shone on loan at Hertha BSC and should be in the first team plans of Klopp by merit. Still, we would conclude that Berge would be a quality addition to the Liverpool side on a £25million deal which is nothing these days when the market is so much inflated.
Feature image credit- ESPN