Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern are hugely looking forward to their team’s meeting with Manchester City in the last eight of the Champions League on Wednesday, what with the Reds going into the match having beaten Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with the relegation-threatened Eagles in the Premier League at the weekend in fine form having won four of their preceding five matches, yet they did go down 1-0 to Manchester United in their previous away clash. And things didn’t look good at Selhurst Park when Luka Milivojevic gave Roy Hodgson’s side a half time lead, only for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to strike in the second period to seal all three points for the Merseysiders, thus keeping them third in the table following United’s victory over Swansea City later on Saturday.
Nevertheless, there are many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Pep Guardiola’s City at Anfield, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their team can continue their fine form and get a result against Pep Guardiola’s men to take into the return leg next week.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Reds supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that Southampton are interested in a summer move for midfielder Andreas Samaris.
And with the Saints seemingly on the lookout for midfield reinforcements, Klopp’s Liverpool must be prompted to intensify their interest in £13.5 million-rated Southampton star Mario Lemina (as per Transfermarkt) as a result.
Ultimately, the Gabon international has been a shining light in a desperately disappointing campaign for the South Coast outfit this term, starting 18 of their 31 Premier League matches so far, and failing to make the matchday squad on just three occasions, all due to injury.
And given his ability to break up play off the ball as well as genuine capabilities with the ball at his feet, the 24-year-old has proven to be an extremely adept central midfielder at Premier League level following his summer move from Juventus, to the point that Liverpool have reportedly been linked with another raid on the Saints for Lemina.
Clearly, it is the defensive ranks which Klopp has to improve at Anfield to turn them into genuine Premier League title contenders, and he has begun to do just that by luring Virgil van Dijk away from St Mary’s during the winter window.
Yet further reinforcements are needed in the midfield department to offer the protection needed in front of the backline, and Lemina’s strength and industry, as well as composure on the ball, appears to be an ideal fit to help solidify Klopp’s midfield ranks.
And with Southampton reportedly eyeing a move for Samaris, another central midfielder, this summer, it could well mean that they are preparing for Lemina’s departure, which would surely become more likely were they to get relegated this season.
As such, these recent Saints reports simply must prompt Liverpool to intensify their interest in the 24-year-old ahead of the close season.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!