With Nabil Fekir reportedly available for transfer, should Liverpool go back in for him?

Second time lucky for the Reds?

When you think back to the summer transfer window of 2018, one of the transfer sagas that immediately comes to mind is that of Nabil Fekir.

The World Cup winner was linked with a big money move to Liverpool all summer and for large parts it looked it was a formality, especially after Jurgen Klopp's men agreed a £50m+ fee with Lyon.

But for whatever reason, the move fell through at a very advanced stage. Some have said Lyon tried to change the deal, some say he failed a medical. But the only thing that definitely came from it was that he remained at the Ligue 1 club.

Such was the stage of the deal, he was even pictured in a Liverpool shirt and did interviews for the clubs official television channel LFCTV, which of course never were aired.

Since that move fell through Liverpool have gone on to lift the Champions League and accumulate a club record points total of 97 in the Premier League - so it's pretty fair to say that Fekir won't be the happiest of guys when he sees what could've potentially happened for him.

But now twelve months later and fresh from another productive campaign in France, Fekir is expected to be on the move. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has hinted that his captain could leave this summer and that the Reds could re-kindle their interest, so will we actually see it get over the line?

Coutinho's long-term replacement?

Liverpool's interest in Nabil Fekir has been long standing and ever since the club record sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last January he's been earmarked as the man to come in and replace him.

The Reds lost one of the Premier League's most creative midfielders when they sold him to the La Liga giants and despite enjoying the fantastic success they have this season, they're still in need of some extra technical ability in the middle.

That no.10 position has been occupied by Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri (along with a few others) throughout the season but Jurgen Klopp is believed to be keen to bring in a specialist in this area.

Their midfield is full of grafters and hard workers, the likes of Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Jordan Henderson all work tirelessly for the team and have been magnificent this year. But they don't possess the ability to come up with moments of magic or the unexpected quite like their former teammate Coutinho, or Fekir for that matter.

Coutinho Klopp
The loss of Coutinho to Barcelona was a huge blow and despite the success they've enjoyed since, Klopp remains keen to replace the creativity they lost

The France international has contributed a hugely impressive 54 league goals (36G 18A) over the last three seasons in Ligue 1 and whilst the Premier League is regarded as a much tougher division, those stats cannot be ignored. But his game doesn't just revolve around flair and technical ability, his work rate and determination will certainly appeal to Jurgen Klopp.

The German's side are one of the hardest working in European football and he demands a certain level from you when you step out on that pitch. He asks a lot of players, but they certainly reap the rewards both on a personal and team level, just look how every player at Anfield has improved since his arrival and of course, that CL victory over Tottenham.

Worth the risk?

As previously mentioned, there's been a few theories as to why the previous deal through, but it's believed that the Reds didn't want to gamble on him following his medical. With issues in one of his knees cited as the reason for this.

30 appearances in Ligue 1 last term coupled with 16 goal involvements (9G 7A) show that he's capable of producing consistency, but will it tempt Jurgen Klopp to go back in for him?

The comments made by Lyon's president indicate that they're ready to let him move on this summer and he could be available at a slightly reduced price, which could encourage Liverpool to take a chance on him.

Klopp has stated since their Champions League win that this summer won't see an overhaul in terms of players, with perhaps just one or two coming in strengthen key areas. Recruiting Fekir wouldn't add just one of the best attacking midfielders but it would add a real specialist in a position where the Reds currently don't have a natural fit.

He plays as a no.10 for Lyon but is extremely versatile which makes him very appealing, comfortable playing out on either flank or through the middle as a false 9, meaning he could also provide back-up to Roberto Firmino. Something important with Daniel Sturridge departing.

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp is a big admirer of Fekir and if he could pull this signing off, it could prove to be one of the moves of the window

If the concerns surrounding Fekir's knees are indeed true then this does represent something of a gamble for LFC. With them competing in 7 competitions next year they need a big squad and everyone fit, so shelling out on Fekir only to get injured will represent very bad business.

But his minutes on the pitch for Lyon this season prove that he can both play and produce at a high level, so if he's available below the £50m Liverpool agreed last summer, we believe he's well worth the gamble.

The Reds enjoyed great success last year and like Klopp has stated, an overhaul isn't required. Just a couple of very good players would see them carry through their momentum into the new campaign and Fekir would fit the bill.

He's a classy elegant footballer, capable of scoring from distance like a certain Mr Coutinho and his delivery from set pieces is also a massive threat, which will be music to the ears of Virgil van Dijk. Are we on course for another transfer saga involving this guy? Only time will tell...


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