James Milner and Joel Matip stand as recent examples of Liverpool’s triumphs in securing success stories through free transfers. As the club spent approximately £150 million on a midfield overhaul last summer, the allure of the free transfer market remains a potent avenue for unearthing gems.
Throughout the years, Liverpool have adeptly identified talent without breaking the bank, making strategic moves in the free transfer market. As the transfer windows open, clubs have the opportunity to delve into their financial resources. However, the allure of securing players without any transfer fee remains an attractive prospect.
As the contracts of numerous players across Europe approach their conclusion, the upcoming summer presents an opportune moment for clubs, including Liverpool, to capitalize on potential signings without incurring substantial costs. Beyond the borders of England, the possibility to finalize pre-contracts as early as January exists, expanding the scope of available talent.
Considering the current squad dynamics, it’s prudent for Liverpool to explore realistic options in the free transfer market for 2024. Evaluating the utility of potential signings within the existing team framework becomes crucial in identifying players who can contribute effectively to the Reds’ success.
Lloyd Kelly – Bournemouth
Liverpool have been actively seeking a left-sided defender for the past year, and Lloyd Kelly emerges as a cost-effective option for Jurgen Klopp. The Bournemouth defender’s association with Liverpool dates back to 2018, and 2024 might finally witness the realization of this speculated move.
Throughout the current season, Kelly has only initiated eight Premier League matches, grappling with injuries that disrupted his playing rhythm. Operating primarily as a left centre-back, the 25-year-old also possesses the versatility to fulfill the left-back role, a quality that could be enticing for the Reds.
Given the likelihood of Matip leaving on a free transfer this summer, Virgil van Dijk aging at 33, and persistent injury concerns in the defensive lineup, Liverpool appears poised for multiple defensive acquisitions in the upcoming transfer windows.
However, a potential obstacle lies in overcoming issues with the player’s entourage. In 2020, The Athletic reported former sporting director Michael Edwards expressing displeasure with how the player’s agency conducted itself, adding a layer of complexity to Liverpool’s pursuit of Lloyd Kelly.
Tosin Adarabioyo – Fulham
Embracing a defensive focus, Tosin Adarabioyo stands out as a potential center-back addition, offering Liverpool a valuable defensive alternative.
Similar to Kelly, the 26-year-old would significantly contribute to bolstering the squad’s homegrown contingent, a factor that has been under consideration in the market for several years.
Adarabioyo earned high regard during his time at Man City, showcasing his talent in England’s youth teams, progressing up to the under-19 level.
While not guaranteed a starting position, Liverpool could benefit from incorporating him as an extra option without straining the transfer budget.
Federico Redondo – Argentinos Juniors
A name less known to Liverpool enthusiasts, Federico Redondo might prove to be a promising prospect based on his profile. At the age of 20, the Argentine primarily plays in the No. 6 role, a position where Wataru Endo is the sole senior specialist in the squad.
Redondo boasts four caps in an impressive Argentina U23s team, yet he is presently sidelined due to a torn muscle bundle injury, hampering his participation for Alexis Mac Allister’s previous club.
Leandro Barreiro – Mainz
Jurgen Klopp’s ties to his former club might prove advantageous if Liverpool decide to pursue Mainz midfielder Leandro Barreiro. Typically deployed as a holding midfielder, the 24-year-old has earned an impressive 52 caps for Luxembourg.
Barreiro’s journey has seen him develop through Mainz’s youth academy, contributing to the team’s consecutive top-flight finishes in 2021/22 and 2022/23. Currently sharing the pitch with Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg, both players could potentially make their way to Anfield this summer, pending the club’s decision.
Rumors suggest that Barreiro is poised to depart the Bundesliga side, with Benfica emerging as the most likely destination according to recent links.
Sebastian Caceres – Club America
Frequently confused with the former Reds defender Sebastian Coates, another Uruguayan center-back, Sebastian Caceres, may draw attention as his current contract nears its end.
Representing Club America in Mexico City, Caceres contributed to a defensive unit that secured a second-place finish in the Liga MX during the previous season.
With nine senior caps for his national team, he notably played every minute of Uruguay’s World Cup qualifying matches.
If he decides to make the switch, it won’t be the first time Caceres plays for a club sharing our name. He initially broke through at Liverpool FC in Montevideo, Uruguay, before making the move to Mexico.