Liverpool have struggled to maintain their high standards over the season so far and Jurgen Klopp will surely already be looking at ways to improve his squad this summer.
The Reds confirmed they would go without a trophy this season after getting knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid this week, and it would take a miracle of epic proportions to catch league leaders Arsenal as they are currently 26 points behind in sixth.
There is no doubt that injuries have played a huge part in the downfall at Anfield over the campaign so far with many key players out of action on multiple occasions which has ultimately led to the club currently having the worst injury record in the entire Premier League.
However, the lacklustre and inconsistent performances on the pitch have equally contributed to surprise defeats to many relegation-battling sides including Leeds United, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest.
As a result, a positive transformation is due on the red side of Merseyside this summer and FSG will be expected to provide the investment desperately needed to refresh and revive the squad.
Whilst Liverpool have been linked with several top talents across Europe including Jude Bellingham, Josko Gvardiol and Mason Mount, the Anfield faithful will be under no illusion that the American owners will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United’s rate of spending in the transfer window.
With that in mind, Klopp could repeat his Stefan Bajcetic masterclass by unleashing academy graduate Leighton Clarkson who is currently thriving on loan with Aberdeen.
After joining the youth set-up at just six years old, Clarkson has risen through the ranks at Liverpool and ultimately earned three senior-level appearances under Klopp before heading out on loan in Scotland last summer.
Over 24 Scottish Premiership appearances, the 21-year-old midfielder has scored four goals, registered four assists and created four big chances, as well as averaging 1.2 key passes, 1.6 tackles, 43.7 touches and 2.5 duels won per game, proving that he is a massive presence in the centre of the pitch.
Clarkson has earned high praise from the Liverpool manager who even compared the youngster to legendary German midfielder Philipp Lahm:
“Leighton is one of the biggest talents in our club, he’s been there for ages. He’s a midfielder, a number six type, can play eight as well,”
“He’s a very talented, good football-playing boy. In Germany there’s a famous player who played similarly to him, you might have to go back a little bit longer, I don’t want to put pressure on the boy.”
“But he reminds me a lot of him. He’s just a good footballer, a smart footballer, fast, physically strong.”
When Clarkson returns to Merseyside in the summer, Klopp could reward his positive progress out on loan with a golden opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Bajcetic who has become a regular feature in the matchday squad this season, the latter gem having been hailed as a "joy to work with" by his manager after making 19 appearances across all fronts this term, prior to being cruelly struck down by injury.
Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all set to be out of contract in the summer whilst Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are in the latter stages of their careers at this point, so it provides an ample setting for Clarkson to become part of the future in midfield.
With all considered, if Clarkson can continue to thrive over the remainder of his time in Scotland it will be hard for the Liverpool boss to ignore his talents and what the player can potentially offer in the heart of the team.2023-03-18T20:22:43Z dg43tfdfdgfd