As Jurgen Klopp continues his Liverpool rebuild, more new faces are expected to roll through the doors of Melwood before the transfer window slams shut at the end of next month. One name who has been linked with a switch to the Reds several times over the past 12 months is Maximilian Arnold.
The 22 year old has developed into an important player for Wolfsburg having come through the youth ranks at the German club. He made 44 appearances for them last season including 8 starts in the Champions League.
Although they impressed in that competition, they struggled to repeat the heroics of their previous campaign in the Bundesliga and ultimately missed out on European qualification with an eighth place finish.
They’ve already lost André Schürrle to Dortmund and may have a hard time hanging on to a few of their other young stars so should Klopp decide to make a move for Arnold, it shouldn’t be a particularly difficult transfer to pull off despite the player extending his Wolfsburg contract as recently as February.
Versatile and talented, but not yet fully polished
Arnold is a versatile midfield player most comfortable in the middle of the park either in a holding role or slightly further up the pitch.
He possesses a good all-round game and although he was utilised as more of a defensive midfielder last season he does possess a real eye for a goal.
However, Arnold has not developed quite as quickly as might have been expected when he exploded onto the Bundesliga scene as a teenager in the 2013-14 campaign.
He soon made his German international debut and was attracting the interest of the likes of Juventus and Arsenal thanks to his creative play and goalscoring prowess from an attacking midfield position.
However, he’s not really improved since then and has failed to add to his single cap for Germany when many expected him to have already developed into an important player for both club and country on the basis of his early showings for Wolfsburg.
Therefore, if Liverpool are to make a move for the left-footed German they wouldn’t be getting the finished article and would need to help Arnold rediscover his best form.
Arguably, the 22 year old is better suited playing as an attacking central midfielder which he didn’t get the opportunity to do all that often last season.
Plethora of options already at hand
Right now, it would be optimistic of Liverpool to think that Arnold could come straight into the side as a number 10 and hit the ground running as the side’s chief playmaker.
The Reds have plenty of options further back and Arnold wouldn’t be a significant improvement on the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson or compatriot Emre Can, who is the same age as the Wolfsburg man but ahead of him in the thinking of Germany boss Joachim Löw.
Signed with an eye towards the future he’d be a decent acquisition as the midfielder clearly possesses bags of talent, but at this point in time surely there are other priorities for Jurgen Klopp than spending another significant amount of cash on someone who wouldn’t necessarily even get in the team.
With Liverpool not in Europe, Arnold would most probably see little game time and that isn’t what he needs right now as he looks to rediscover his best form.
Therefore, this isn’t a transfer that would make much sense for either party this summer.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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