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Jurgen Klopp’s verdict on the “perfect midfielder” amid Jude Bellingham pursuit

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham, with reports claiming he could cost as much as £80m

Liverpool: Wijnaldum leaving ‘will be a blow’

When Georginio Wijanldum officially left Liverpool at the end of last season, most anticipated Jurgen Klopp would look to swiftly replace him.

Wijnaldum played a key role for Klopp as the Reds reached back-to-back Champions League finals, before winning the Premier League title in 2019/20.

The Netherlands international was a Liverpool regular right up until the end of his contract, with his departure leaving a major hole in the middle of the park.

However, Klopp opted to not instantly plug the gap, challenging reporters to name a player which could replace his vast qualities.



Jurgen Klopp detailed just how difficult it will be to replace Gini Wijnaldum
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Image:

Pool via REUTERS)




“He was the most consistently available player. I don’t think you have to hide the relationship I had with Gini and how much I love his way of play and how reliable he was. But he’s not here anymore,” Klopp said last month.

“So you tell me if you would sign a midfielder and tell me the name and I’ll think about it.

“I am really interested. We can count our midfielders and you can tell me if we need to replace Gini.

“Should he score more goals than Gini, should he defend better than Fab, should he be more creative than Naby [Keita], Curtis [Jones], Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain], Harvey [Elliott]? What do you want?”









Despite failing to sign a midfielder in this summer’s window, reports have linked the Reds with a potential move next summer.

Star Sport claim that Klopp has his eyes set on Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham and could raid his old club to land the England international.

Bellingham won’t come cheap however and any move would likely come close to eclipse the current club record, which stands at the £75million paid to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk.



Wijnaldum was described as “the perfect midfielder” by Klopp
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Image:

NurPhoto/PA Images)




It would be a huge shift from Klopp, who in recent windows has been more pragmatic than some of his title rivals.

Aged just 18, Bellingham is on the correct path to become one of the game’s great midfielders.

Klopp has high standards when it comes to midfield players and the man Bellingham could eventually replace, Wijnaldum, has set the bar very high.



Liverpool have been linked with an £80m move for Jude Bellingham
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Image:

Pool via REUTERS)




Speaking in 2019, Klopp said of the Dutchman: “It is just so obvious his importance. It is both directions, small spaces, big spaces, it is hard challenges, fine football, pretty much all of that.

“Is he the perfect midfielder? From the skillset 100 per cent. He has all the things you need.

“There was his header against Barcelona too. He is not the tallest, but he is good in the air. He is a good jumper with good timing, all that stuff. It all makes him a pretty good footballer.”

Bellingham has all the tools to become one of Europe’s best and he will need all of them if he is to replace Klopp’s “perfect midfielder”.




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