After the November international break, Liverpool will resume play in the Premier League in second place. If they can pull off the unlikely victory over Manchester City this coming weekend at the Etihad Stadium, they will move up to the top spot under Jurgen Klopp.
Even if there is still a long way to go, Klopp will be happy with how his team has overcome the setbacks from the previous season and resumed their successful trajectory, especially with the midfield additions so far performing admirably.
The Reds’ management will be aware that the rebuild is not over, though, and outside of the park, Klopp may have found Jeremie Frimpong to be an intriguing new recruit for the right channel.
Transfer news for Liverpool: Jeremie Frimpong
Liverpool and Chelsea are expected to challenge Real Madrid for the signing of the exciting talent Frimpong after entering the bidding, according to reports originating in Spain.
The Premier League teams may be able to make a move because Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is reportedly unwilling to pay more than the €35 million (£31 million) he suggested for the Bayer Leverkusen star last season. While the right-back position at Anfield definitely doesn’t require immediate attention, Klopp’s team may be prompted to complete the transfer in order to keep Chelsea from strengthening in the process. This may be a wise investment.
The way that Jeremie Frimpong plays
Given that Trent Alexander-Arnold plays on Merseyside, some may doubt Liverpool’s stated interest in Frimpong. However, the vice captain of the team has been mentioned as a possible move to midfield in recent months, so it’s possible that he will eventually move permanently away from right-back.
Previously dubbed “dangerous” by Riga manager Mihails Koņevs, Frimpong is also not limited by position; in fact, he plays higher up the pitch with Bayer Leverkusen as a wing-back, showcasing his incredible offensive skills in 16 appearances across all competitions this season, posting five goals and seven assists.
This is nothing new, as the 22-year-old, who was previously referred to as a “speedster” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, registered 20 direct goal contributions from 48 games last season. He is undoubtedly becoming into a strong offensive force down the right wing.
If Liverpool manages to acquire him, Klopp may decide to reposition Frimpong higher up the pitch, following in the footsteps of the success he has had moving players like James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum (and, to a lesser extent, Roberto Firmino).
Liverpool would have a very potent weapon if this tactic worked, one that may lessen Mohamed Salah’s workload on the front line.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) November 28, 2021
Why Frimpong could be Salah’s replacement
Frimpong is in the top 3% of full-backs in Europe’s top five leagues for goals, the top 4% for assists, the top 7% for actions that result in shots, the top 1% for progressive carries, and the top 2% for successful take-ons per ninety. These statistics are based on data from FBref.
These data show how valuable it may be to use his ability in the final third, and although these rankings are outstanding, his ranking in the bottom 1% of players for progressive passes made per 90 is possibly the most significant.
This indicates that Frimpong is not playing deep enough to generate passes through the thirds. This is supported by the fact that he is in the top 1% of players for touches in the attacking box and progressive passes received per 90.
For Klopp, it would unlock a vast new world of possibilities. For instance, Alexander-Arnold is in the top 3% of positional peers for progressive passes made per 90, near the top 1% for assists and shot-creating actions, and in the bottom 36% for touches in the attacking box and progressive passes received per 90.
With a little effort, Salah’s replacement might be the Leverkusen threat, who would bring a unique flair and an incredible toolkit to help the Reds compete on four fronts this season while searching throughout Europe for silverware.
The £67k-per-week Dutchman would make a great foil even though he lacks Salah’s natural goal scoring talent. Since he scored, the Egyptian is, quite frankly, difficult to replace on the right wing of the front line.
Salah, who Alexander-Arnold has hailed for his “frightening” exploits, is ranked in the top 1% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top five leagues for goals, assists, and touches in the attacking box per ninety. These stats amply demonstrate Salah’s best attribute, which is his ability to be a focal point in the danger area.
After 17 games this year, the £350k-per-week machine has already amassed 12 goals and four assists, demonstrating once again that he is the lynchpin. He is in excellent shape and appears to be a key player for the remainder of the season, at the absolute least, despite the constant din of Saudi Arabian transfer attention.
With youthful phenom Ben Doak, who is incredibly gifted but inexperienced and still a few years away from pressing for a starting berth, he could need some cover.
Harvey Elliott, who is rarely used in Salah’s place but is more effective as a creative center-midfielder, can also play on the right.
Frimpong has the potential to be the ideal counterbalance for Salah. Although he lacks the cutting edge in goal, Frimpong’s skill set is exactly what Liverpool needs to compete on several fronts, so it’s unlikely that he would be viewed as Salah’s heir in Klopp’s system.
Considering that he could also play right-back, this is undoubtedly a transfer that would greatly increase Liverpool’s dynamism and guarantee them great success.