Liverpool transfer spree can see Jurgen Klopp fill four iconic shirt numbers
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Jurgen Klopp is planning to overhaul his Liverpool midfield this summer after concerns from supporters and the media over their lack of quality and depth in the middle of the pitch. While several players are set to leave Anfield this summer including James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita on free transfers, a host of iconic shirt numbers are set to be available for the Reds’ summer targets. Here, Express Sport looks at four that could be filled by new signings.
Perhaps unconventionally, Milner has held the number seven shirt at Liverpool since arriving from Manchester City in 2015. However, with the 37-year-old on his way out of Liverpool to join Brighton ahead of next season, the iconic seven shirt is set to be available for potential incoming players.
The number has previously been held by the likes of Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Luis Suarez, seven at Anfield has proven to be iconic and it would surely be an enticing offer to any potential new signing this summer as Klopp will hope to bring further quality to the club.
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Keita is set to vacate the number eight, previously worn by Steven Gerrard and the shirt proved too heavy for the Guinean who failed to live up to expectations following his big-money move from RB Leipzig in 2018. Gerrard personally handed the kit to Keita upon his arrival in Merseyside, going on to admit that it provided added motivation for him.
Liverpool supporters would have hoped that the kit was reserved for Jude Bellingham as Gerrard’s eventual successor, but the Borussia Dortmund star looks set to move to Real Madrid instead.
However, with the Reds eyeing a number of midfielders this summer that likely grew up idolising Gerrard, the prospect of taking over his shirt number would be an attractive proposition.
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Firmino took over the number nine shirt at Liverpool in 2017, even though the Brazilian has rarely operated as a traditional number nine few would argue that he has not dispelled the myth surrounding Liverpool’s once-feared jersey. After Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, the number nine was donned by Andy Carroll, Iago Aspas, Rickie Lambert and Christian Benteke with limited success before Firmino took over the reigns.
However, with Firmino set to leave at the end of the season, any attacking signings will have their sights set on the number nine. There is a chance that those brought in over the last 12 months such as Darwin Nunez or Cody Gakpo could stake a claim to take over from Firmino, though.
Sadio Mane’s number 10 has remained vacant since he decided to leave for Bayern Munich nearly a year ago. Rumours had begun linking the Senegalese star with a return to Anfield after his bust-up with Leroy Sane, regardless of their credibility he would be pleased that if he does rejoin Liverpool then he could return to his former number.
However, recent reports have suggested that the number is reserved for Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister. The Argentine dons the same number at Brighton and he has been pinpointed as a key target for Klopp, though Roberto De Zerbi’s outfit are set to demand around £70m for his services.
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