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We should get the biggest clues yet as to what direction Jurgen Klopp wants to take this Liverpool side in the coming years when he dips into the transfer market this summer and most likely shows the door to one or two of his current players.
One man linked with a move to Anfield is Empoli midfielder Piotr Zieliński.
The Pole has suggested that the English club have already made contact with him and has fairly openly stated to the Polish media that he’d be interested in a move to Liverpool so he’s certainly a player the Reds could easily attract even if they miss out on qualifying for Europe next season.
Poland has had a knack of producing talented midfielders in recent years with Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak and Dortmund’s Jakub Błaszczykowski the pick of the bunch. At 21, Zielinski is the latest off the production line and is already well established in the national set-up having made his debut in 2013 and picked up 13 caps and three international goals since.
Zielinski is almost certain to feature at Euro 2016 and Klopp may opt to wait and see how he performs on the big stage, something he hasn’t really been called upon to do yet plying his trade for mid-table Empoli in Serie A.
He is an attack-minded central midfielder capable of playing in the hole behind the striker which may make him a suitable back-up to Philippe Coutinho, while he has also featured on either wing and as a central player in a more traditional 4-4-2 formation.
His versatility would make him an attractive proposition for Liverpool as would his high passing accuracy and ability to run with the ball at times.
Not the finished product
However, realistically, Zielinski hasn’t shown enough yet to suggest he’s capable of stepping straight into the Liverpool first team and making a big impression in the Premier League.
This season has been his best so far at club level but he still only has four goals to his name in 84 senior appearances for Empoli and Udinese, who remain his parent club.
They have all come this season though, where he has also created five goals, but it’s still not a breathtaking return for an attack minded midfielder and he would really have to step up his game to get a regular place in this Liverpool side.
Improving, but not there yet
On a more positive note, Zielinski does seem to be improving and is likely to continue to do so given his tender age and his relatively low price tag would make him a low-risk signing.
His impressive work-rate would make him a good fit for Jurgen Klopp’s pressing style too and signed as a squad player with an eye on the future, he might be a decent capture but the Pole isn’t at the level yet where he would really improve this Liverpool side going into next season.
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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