The agent of Piotr Zielinski has confirmed the player will not make a decision on his future until after the summer’s UEFA European Championships, with Liverpool reported to be interested.
Dominic King of the Daily Mail stated earlier this week that the midfielder, on loan at Empoli from Udinese, was a summer target for manager Jurgen Klopp. However, the 21-year-old’s representative, Bartlomiej Bolek, told Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Marc Williams of the Daily Star) that there is no rush to sort out his future:
What I can say is that Piotr is fully focused on the season with Empoli.
We will see what will happen. It is important to do well at the European Championship, then we'll see.
Piotr has a two-year contract with Udinese. After the season, and after the European Championship, we will decide what to do.
He's very talented, is ready to do even better and just needs time to do it.
Zielinski has certainly impressed during his loan spell, offering a composed and creative presence at the heart of the Empoli midfield. Here’s a look at some of his best moments from the season so far:
The natural talent is undoubtedly there when it comes to the midfielder. Despite playing in a critical position in a very tactically demanding league, the Polish star has never looked out of place, showing off his technical attributes, dribbling skills and eye for a pass on a regular basis.
Still, as is the case with any young player, there are ares in which he can improve. As we can see here courtesy of OptaPaolo, while Zielinski is an undoubted talent, he could certainly do with showing a little more ruthlessness when chances to come his way:
4% - Piotr Zielinski's shot conversion rate (1 goal with 23 shots), the joint-lowest among goal scorers in this Serie A. Blurred.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 8, 2016
A blueprint for young, dynamic midfield players is a running trend when it comes to links with Liverpool at the moment, with Fichajes (h/t Mark Brus of Metro) having suggested Klopp wants to land Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, it seems as though they aren’t the only ones keen on the 22-year-old, with TransferMarketWeb.com suggesting West Ham are also monitoring the player.
Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones confirmed the Reds have been interested in the player for a while, but he thinks that a move abroad may be what the midfielder needs to get his career going again:
Another target who fits into the aforementioned blueprint is Anderlecht’s playmaker Dennis Praet, and according to Superdeporte (h/t talkSPORT) Liverpool aren’t the only team chasing the 21-year-old, with Sevilla and Valencia also linked.
As noted in the piece, Praet’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season, meaning he could well be available for a cut price this summer, with the Belgian giants said to be willing to sell. As an intricate and cerebral attacking player, he’s someone who would fit in in Spain and potentially the Premier League, too, although he isn’t footballer who relishes physical tussles.
Indeed, as noted by Kristoff Terreur of Het Laatse Nieuws, the midfielder was available on the cheap last summer, but no side decided to take the plunge:
Be aware of the half the Premier League want to sign Dennis Praet stories today: he was available for £9m last summer, no one signed him.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) February 18, 2016
Which of these three linked players would be the best signing for Liverpool?
While Oxlade-Chamberlain would fit in well at Liverpool, providing an incision and dynamism that they’ve lacked at times this season, it’s tough to see Arsenal selling to a positional rival. So at the moment, Zielinski, despite having some flaws in his make-up, looks like the player who would be best suited to Klopp’s Anfield project.
The Reds are especially well stocked in midfield, though, and while it’d be understandable for Klopp to seek to add a new face in that area, is does little to level out what is an imbalanced squad. Liverpool supporters will be hopeful of seeing other areas of this team addressed as a priority if the team is to move forward.