Football Features

Liverpool transfer targets: Will Slot’s sweeper-keeper or a Newcastle target be Alisson’s next understudy?

By Will Evans

Published: 14:00, 13 June 2024 | Updated: 17:36, 14 June 2024

Liverpool look set for a summer of change on the goalkeeper front.

Alisson Becker is reportedly the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia, while understudy Caoimhin Kelleher could depart in search of first-team football.

Third-choice keeper Adrian is also rumoured to be considering a switch to Real Betis despite being offered a new contract by the Reds.

One or more departures would force Liverpool to enter the transfer market, but who is on Arne Slot’s shopping list?

Justin Bijlow

Slot could return to his former club, Feyenoord, to sign stopper Justin Bijlow.

Despite enduring an injury-hit campaign in Rotterdam, the 26-year-old is believed to have been on Liverpool’s radar even before the Dutchman’s appointment.

He only featured in 17 Eredivisie matches after suffering significant calf and wrist injuries — and his longer-term fitness record will also be of concern to the Reds.

But Bijlow has impressed when on the pitch, primarily because of his front-footed approach to goalkeeping.

Only team-mate Timon Wellenreuther (1.02) made more keeper sweeper regains per 90 than his 0.74 in 2023/24, while he also claimed a notable 0.98 crosses per match.

Bento

Athletico Paranaense custodian Bento is another name linked with a move to Anfield.

The Brazil international, 25, has been a mainstay between the sticks for his club since 2022, having racked up 163 appearances across all competitions.

With Athletico only having played seven matches this season, the 2023 Serie A campaign better represents Bento’s abilities.

Like Bijlow, the Curitiba native is comfortable with coming off his line and commanding his box — making a notable 35 high claims, four diving catches and 11 keeper sweeper regains.

He is an ambitious passer, too, having attempted a high volume of passes into the final third (140).

And a record of two penalties saved from six faced will be a bonus for Liverpool if they choose to pay the reported £17million required to secure his signature.

James Trafford

Liverpool must move quickly if they want to sign Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford.

The 21-year-old is close to joining Newcastle United, but there have been suggestions that Slot’s side could make a late bid.

A 6ft 6in colossus, the Reds would need to pay around £20m for Trafford, who was called up to England’s pre-Euro 2024 training squad earlier this month.

There is no denying that the Clarets’ No1 struggled at times last term — but Liverpool would be investing in significant potential rather than the finished product.

Notably, he did rank inside the Premier League’s top five keepers for both passes attempted (48.86) and completed (30.32) per 90 while attempting the third-most passes into the final third per match (8.54).

Having featured regularly in Vincent Kompany’s possession-focused team in 2023/24, Trafford should adjust quickly to Slot’s tactical approach if he ends up on Merseyside.

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