Liverpool opting to not sign Timo Werner has shown the club are not prepared to spend huge amounts on just one player this summer and with the true financial impact from the global coronavirus pandemic still unknown, summer transfer plans may well be revised.
The club is no stranger to a bargain deal or even a free transfer, having pulled off several in recent windows that have proved extremely fruitful and speculation continues to swirl over who Liverpool could target, with last week’s gossip column linking them with Wolves winger Adama Traore.
But what about Willian?
The Brazilian will be a free agent this summer with his Chelsea contract up and in terms of a transfer fee, could be a bargain basement option. In fact, he would give Klopp some added depth at a time when most needed.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are untouchable as Liverpool’s first choice attacking line, but with the future of Xherdan Shaqiri uncertain and Takumi Minamino needing time to adjust, Willian could be a proven backup.
He would also be a cheap signing at a time it appears the Reds are counting the pennies and could arrive to deputise for Klopp’s favourites just as Origi and Shaqiri have in previous seasons.
Of course, Liverpool should be wary of offering Willian a long-term contract if they are to make a move.
The Brazilian winger will turn 32 this August and his signing would represent a momentary departure from the transfer strategy that has seen the Anfield club target some of the game’s brightest and best young talent.
Indeed, his contract and signing on free could also prove to be problematic, but with should the Reds manage to offload other high earners, it might just be doable.
After all, these are exceptional times and Liverpool may have to stray from their previously intended path to protect themselves.
The signing of Willian would bridge the gap for the Anfield club between this challenging situation and a time when they can target the sort of players who will offer long-term solutions.
Liverpool are smarter than most in the transfer market. Their success rate with regards to signings made over the last few years has been remarkable, with almost every player brought in through the door contributing as planned.
This has been achieved through good scouting and strong execution in the marketplace itself.
The Reds might not be able to operate in the transfer market in the same way this summer, certainly not with the same level of ambition.
They must adopt a pragmatism and the signing of Willian would be pragmatic. That should be seen as a positive. There are a number of reasons to believe the Brazilian would bring something valuable to the table at Anfield.