Liverpool supporters have been pretty quiet in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side throw away a two-goal lead to only end up drawing 2-2 with the Premier League’s bottom side West Brom on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the Baggies fresh from putting three past Bournemouth in their preceding league encounter, albeit very much focusing on Tuesday’s huge Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma. And while Klopp’s team selection did somewhat reflect that, his side held a two-goal advantage at the Hawthorns following strikes from Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah, although goals from Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon secured a point for Darren Moore’s men, thus leaving the Reds three points adrift of second place Manchester United having played a game more.
Consequently, there have been many frustrated Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom have already forgotten Saturday’s disappointment and are instead focusing purely on Tuesday’s home clash with Roma in the Champions League.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Reds supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that target Jan Oblak has a €100 million (£87.6 million) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.
And while the Slovenia international is clearly an outstanding goalkeeper, that is a lot of money to pay for the 25-year-old, which is why Liverpool must forget about Oblak and instead eye up a cheaper deal to lure another reported target Jack Butland to Anfield.
Ultimately, the 25-year-old has propelled himself into England contention this season following a string of impressive performances for Stoke City, even if the Potters do look destined for relegation.
The former Birmingham City shot-stopper may have only kept five clean sheets in 32 Premier League appearances for Paul Lambert’s side this term, but their goals against tally would likely be a lot higher if it weren’t for Butland’s efforts this season.
Be it a man-of-the-match display in helping Stoke to victory over Arsenal back in August, or indeed making several important saves to preserve a point at Southampton last month, it’s clear that, were it not for Butland’s heroics at times this term, the Potters could well be relegated already.
Yes, he has made some errors during the campaign, but there’s little doubt that he has proven his credentials as a Premier League goalkeeper, and could well don the number one jersey for England at this summer’s World Cup to underline his rise in the last two years or so.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for the 25-year-old in recent times as Klopp seeks to bolster his own goalkeeping ranks, and behind a defence which has been much-improved since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, the Englishman could well make the necessary strides to become a top quality goalkeeper at Anfield.
Obviously, Oblak is a better goalkeeper than Butland as of now, but at £87.6 million, it is a lot of money to spend on a shot-stopper, especially given that Klopp appears to have settled on Loris Karius as his number one, although his unconvincing display at the Hawthorns on Saturday may again put doubts in the Liverpool chief’s mind.
And with Butland likely to be command a significantly lower fee, especially if Stoke are indeed relegated to the Championship, the Reds should forget about a world-record bid for Oblak and instead focus on luring the the £16.2 million-rated England international (as per Transfermarkt) to Merseyside this summer.
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