The transfer window is wide open now and rumours continue to fly regarding Liverpool’s plans for this summer. The Reds have been linked with Kheprham Thuram and James Ward-Prowse in recent weeks. In light of the rumours we caught up with ex Reds legend John Barnes to gather his thoughts on the latest news on the club’s hopes of recruiting in the midfield department ahead of the new season.
Konate endorsement doesn’t excite Barnes
Liverpool’s interest in French midfielder Thuram has been well documented and reported in the last few weeks as Jurgen Klopp seeks to revamp his midfield. The departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner means Liverpool will be needing to add reinforcements before the start of the new season.
Liverpool and France defender Ibrahima Konate recently admitted he would be “very happy” if Liverpool were to add Thuram to the side. Despite the endorsement from Konate, Barnes isn’t any more excited by the prospect of the French Under 21 midfielder joining the Reds. However, Barnes does believe Thuram would be a great signing for Liverpool were he to join the club.
‘Konate’s endorsement of Thuram doesn’t do anything for me.”
“Thuram is a very good player without the endorsement and would be a very good signing for Liverpool.”
“Individual players have players they like which is normal in football but that shouldn’t be why the club signs a player.”
“Without the endorsement everyone seems to know that Thuram is a player that’s been on Liverpool’s radar so it would be great to have him but not because of Konate endorsing him.”
Ward-Prowse isn’t the right midfielder for Liverpool
Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. According to the Daily Mail, Ward-Prowse is said to be on Liverpool’s radar for around £25m. However, John Barnes doesn’t believe that Ward-Prowse profile as a midfielder fits into the type of midfielders Jurgen Klopp requires for his style of football.
“James Ward-Prowse has the potential and quality to play for a club like Liverpool but he doesn’t fit the profile of a Liverpool midfield player under Jurgen Klopp.”
“I’m not saying he’s better or worse than what we have. I’m saying you have to look at the type of football Liverpool play and then make a decision from there.”
“Liverpool are a much more dynamic, hard working team in midfield compared to the way Ward-Prowse tends to play.”
“There are other clubs within the top 6 which play a style which would suit Ward-Prowse and he would suit them..”
“He certainly has the quality to play for one of the top six clubs.”
“Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United could be good destinations for him.”
Ramsey loan will give him learning opportunities
Meanwhile, Calvin Ramsey has agreed to join Preston North End on loan for the 2023/24 season. The Scottish full-back made two first-team appearances for Jürgen Klopp’s men last term, He made his debut coming as a substitute against Napoli in the Champions League tie at Anfield last season but had his season restricted by injuries. Barnes is happy to see the young Scotsman given another opportunity to develop on loan which should provide him with plenty of learning experiences before he returns to Anfield.
“Liverpool rate him highly but he wasn’t going to play regular football at the club next season.”
“He wants to be playing regularly so now it’s up to him to ensure he’s playing regularly.”
“Liverpool play completely different to Preston so that will provide him with some learning opportunities.”
“He will be able to show he can play at a competitive level, at a high standard and hopefully come back ready to compete in the Liverpool squad.”