How Liverpool Can Boost Squad for Next Season by Buying Cheap in the Bundesliga

Cristian Nyari@@cnyariContributor IApril 25, 2014

Liverpool' manager Brendan Rodgers gestures to his players during their English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the White Hart Lane stadium in London Sunday, Dec  15  2013. Liverpool won the match 5-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant

Whatever happens in the remainder of the season, one thing is for sure. Liverpool will be back in Europe next season. 

With competition on multiple fronts, Brendan Rodgers' side will face a new set of challenges. One that will test his demanding style of play at a new level and demand greater squad depth and rotation.

Liverpool's remarkable league run and success this season is in large parts down to a core group of players that have been able to stay fit and play alongside each other consistently. 

That consistency resulted in the great chemistry and performances that we have seen this season and could see Liverpool lift the league trophy for the first time in the modern Premier League era.

Competing in the league with the same set of players is one thing. Having to balance that, the Cup and potentially the Champions League is another altogether. 

As good as Liverpool have been this season, their squad has been stretched thin, and Rodgers has had to rely on key players either staying fit or coming back from injury quickly to sustain their run of form.

Luckily, Rodgers and the club can build on the great foundation already in place this summer, and they will no doubt look to expand their roster and add quality to be able to balance multiple competitions next season. 

All eyes will be on which players the club will ship out and who they will bring in to prepare the team for the next step. The Bundesliga has recently become a hotbed of young, cheap talent, and Liverpool can look to Germany to find the right players at the right price.

One can draw many parallels between what Rodgers has done at Liverpool and what Jurgen Klopp has and is still doing at Dortmund. Relatively speaking, both have trusted in young players and spent little compared to their competitors to build a competitive and ultimately dominant side in the league. 

It is in that financially responsible and prudent spirit that Liverpool can continue to build on their success. 

Defense, perhaps more than any other area, is where Liverpool will need to upgrade and add depth the most. Glen Johnson, while reliable and improved in the last few months, has not always been at his best and will turn 30 later this year.

Paulo Duarte

In Eintracht Frankfurt defender Sebastian Jung, Liverpool could lock down a long-term replacement for Johnson at right-back. Jung has been one of the most consistent performers in his position in the last couple of years.

At just 23 years of age, Jung's ceiling is very high, and he has already attracted interest from clubs abroad including AS Roma and Arsenal. With his contract expiring next year, Liverpool could reasonably attract him for under 10 million Euros.

Jung is quick, has great work-rate and the technical skills to fit into Rodgers' fast-paced passing side. In 2012, Jung became the first Frankfurt player to be called up to the national team in over a decade and moving to Liverpool would shed an ever greater spotlight on him.

A potentially cheaper option (valued by transfermarkt at 4.5 million Euros) would be Hamburg's Dennis Diekmeier. The 24-year-old right-back could face relegation with his club this season, and thus, be a perfect opportunity to lure him away. 

There is still a sense Diekmeier has yet to truly fulfill his potential, and a change of scenery coupled with Rodgers' playing style and team could be the perfect platform for the player to reach the next level.

With Daniel Agger's proneness to injury and Sebastian Coates potentially being offloaded, Liverpool could also use cover at center-back. There, they can look to Hoffenheim's Danish center-back Jannik Vestergaard.

The 21-year-old is very much in the Agger mold. He is left-footed, can play the ball well on the ground and is strong in the air. Vestergaard was picked out by coach Markus Gisdol as one of the leadership figures within the team and has even already worn the captains armband for the club.

Valued at just 3 million Euros by transfermarkt, Vestergaard would be a shrewd purchase and a sound long-term investment who would take to English football quickly considering his size and maturity at a young age.

Michael Probst

If Liverpool want to be really ambitious, they will join the race for highly rated and talented defender Matthias Ginter. Freiburg's 20-year-old jewel has been linked with clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Arsenal, but with Champions League football and the prospects of a bright future, Ginter could be lured.

Liverpool would most likely have to pay in and around 15 million Euros for Ginter, but there are few defenders in his age group with a higher ceiling and reputation. With that being said, it would be an investment that would be recuperated in the long run and in the short term were other players to be sold.

A more realistic option is Shkodran Mustafi. The 22-year-old center-back is currently playing for Sampdoria in Italy's Serie A but came through the club youth system in Germany and has been a part of all youth national team setups. 

Mustafi has been rumored with a move back to the Bundesliga recently and just entered the senior national team picture when Joachim Low called him up for a friendly against Chile earlier this year.

Like Vestergaard, Mustafi is good in the air and athletic. He is good building out of the back and can also slot in at right-back if needed. His value is currently hovering in the four million region, which would be a bargain considering his form and development in Italy.

Moving on to attacking positions. For cover across the entire attack, Liverpool would be amiss not to pursue Hamburg's talented attacker Hakan Calhanoglu. 

While Calhanoglu recently extended his contract at Hamburg until 2018 and the club dismissed any ideas of selling, German newspaper Bild reported he is still being scouted by several big European clubs, including Liverpool.

Rodgers had one of his chief scouts, Barry Hunter, watch Calhanoglu recently, and the prospects of Champions League football with a young budding team would surely be enticing to the 20-year-old.

Calhanoglu is an all-around attacker. He can play on either wing but also behind the striker. He has also been played up front on his own this season and excelled. He could help Rodgers' rotation policy greatly and add another dimension with his impressive set-piece abilities.

Hamburg's precarious situation in the league could also force the club to sell their most-prized asset to recuperate some of their losses. After having just come up to play in the top flight, it is highly unlikely he would want to go back down again, especially after the season he has been having.

There could still be a big buyout clause in his new contract that could deter the club, but either way, similar to Ginter, Calhanoglu is a prospect Liverpool simply cannot afford not to try and attract. 

Frank Augstein

There are no shortage of options as Liverpool will look to add depth to their squad. With the recent influx and success of Bundesliga players in the Premier League, the club could benefit from keeping an extra close eye on the league, and a lot of its players are almost readymade for Liverpool. 


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