Jurgen Klopp Could Replace Curtis Jones in Liverpool Move for “Invaluable” Gem Likened to Jude Bellingham

Reports suggest that there could be increased interest from other teams in Liverpool’s talented player as claimed by sources familiar with the matter.

Jurgen Klopp has a track record of identifying promising talents from teams lower in the standings and transforming them into exceptional players during his time at Liverpool. There are indications that he might be looking to continue this trend in the upcoming weeks.

Sitting at the top of the Premier League table and actively competing for trophies on multiple fronts, Liverpool’s performance this season has been commendable. The successful revamp of their midfield during the last summer transfer window has significantly contributed to their renewed title-contending prowess.

The exact amount that Klopp and his team are prepared to spend during this transfer window remains uncertain. However, if they opt for a more strategic and economical approach, signing Sunderland’s midfielder, Dan Neil, could be an ideal move to strengthen their squad.

What’s the Latest Liverpool Transfer News Involving Dan Neil?

A recent report from Sunderland Nation revealed that Liverpool, along with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, have been closely monitoring Neil due to his impressive performances with the Black Cats over recent years.

Earlier in the season, Liverpool had considered making a last-minute transfer for Neil, given his promising talent. As he has further developed, it is not surprising that he continues to attract attention. His potential transfer fee is estimated to be around £10m, considered a reasonable price for his skill set.

At 22 years old, Neil is seen as a player with great potential to excel in the Premier League. If acquired, he could become a valuable addition to Liverpool’s roster, continuing the club’s tradition of making strategic signings under Klopp’s management.

Dan Neil Likened to Jude Bellingham

Neil has made 131 appearances for Sunderland, progressing from the youth ranks. He has recorded ten goals and 15 assists, becoming a crucial player for the team. Former Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has commended Neil’s enthusiastic and dedicated approach.

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Neil aims to shape his game based on Jude Bellingham’s style. While both players have distinct levels of performance (Bellingham, a 20-year-old England international, is considered among the world’s best), there are similarities in their playing styles.

Bellingham’s performance since joining Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for up to £115m has been exceptional. He has scored 17 goals and provided five assists in just 22 matches across various competitions.

Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett has labeled Bellingham as “world-class.” Liverpool showed interest in Bellingham before the summer but decided against pursuing him, realizing they needed to allocate funds elsewhere for their team restructuring.

Of the Los Blancos sensation, Neil said: “He’s somebody that goes onto the pitch and does a little bit of everything, and does it at a very high level as well. I think I see myself as that type of player.”

The Sunderland midfielder showcases a notable versatility while playing centrally. He has netted four goals and contributed three assists in 25 Championship matches. Additionally, he has a pass completion rate of 90%, delivers 1.2 key passes, executes 1.4 tackles, makes 5.2 ball recoveries per game, and succeeds in 57% of his dribbling attempts, as indicated by Sofascore.

Drawing comparisons with the former Birmingham City player, Bellingham’s stats are quite similar. Bellingham, who plays in La Liga, also has a pass completion rate of 90%, averages 1.6 key passes, 1.5 tackles, 4.3 recoveries per match, and completes 58% of his dribbles.

While Neil, standing at 5 foot 10, is two years older than Bellingham, it’s not claimed that he matches Bellingham’s performance. However, Neil possesses a wide range of skills that could mirror Bellingham’s playing style.

Considering Liverpool’s prior keen interest in Bellingham, Neil might possess attributes that could seamlessly fit into the Reds gameplay. Neil’s technical abilities stand out, with rankings in the top 15% for pass completion, top 13% for passes attempted, and top 14% for progressive passes among midfielders in similar leagues, as sourced from FBref.

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Given these observations, Klopp might see Neil as a versatile midfield option, potentially filling the void if Curtis Jones, an essential Liverpool player, were to depart. Recent reports suggest Arsenal has shown interest in Jones, with indications of possible future transfer discussions.

Curtis Jones: Key Characteristics
StrengthsWeaknesses
PassingAerial duels
Tackling
Through balls
*Sourced via WhoScored

Why Dan Neil Could Replace Curtis Jones

Jones, who grew up supporting the Gunners, has recently earned praise from analyst Raj Chohan for his exceptional ball retention and game intelligence. In addition, Jones has showcased an attacking flair, contributing three goals and three assists in 12 starts this season.

Remarkably, the 22-year-old Jones stands out in Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 2% for pass completion among midfielders, top 6% for goals, top 9% for assists, and top 19% for tackles per 90.

Despite being under contract with the club until 2027, Jones is among the lower earners, receiving £15k-per-week. Anfield officials are likely monitoring the situation, aware that a new contract might be necessary if other clubs show interest.

Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, values Jones’ versatility and would be disappointed to see him leave. However, Neil, highly regarded by his former boss Tony Mowbray as “invaluable”, could be seen as a suitable replacement.

Screenshot 20240104 225353

Neil, similar to Jones, is also under contract for the foreseeable future. However, if Sunderland doesn’t achieve promotion to the Premier League soon, he might consider a move to England’s top flight.

Liverpool appear open to such a scenario. While Klopp’s squad already boasts several versatile midfielders, the potential sale of Jones could pave the way for Neil to join and become a vital part of the team’s pursuit of trophies.

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