Liverpool pulled off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain transfer coup – but could they do it again this summer?

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In the reflections of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s season-ending injury, and the shame of how it has been halted prematurely, one aspect cannot be forgotten.

Even at £35million, the midfielder represented a coup. Though plenty scoffed at the fee, the profile he possessed still commanded a hefty price.

Young, English, a trophy-winner and part of a top four rival’s squad, Oxlade-Chamberlain should have cost even more.

But the Reds spotted an opportunity, with the England international’s contract expiring the following summer. With Arsenal keen to not lose him on a free in 2018, they accepted a lower offer than anticipated. It is a decision which has continued to haunt them.

The player will be missed in Liverpool’s final two games of the campaign, but there is comfort that he will return.

Comfort, too, that there are other similar deals which could be done if the Reds desired.

As summer approaches, a whole host of young, progressive stars have just one year on their contract remaining.

There are some big names who could walk from their current clubs for nothing in 2019, including no-nonsense Atletico Madrid man Diego Godin and German international Sami Khedira. From the Premier League, the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata and Mousa Dembele will come to the end of their current deals in just over 12 months time.

Those would not fit the profile of the sort of player Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp, would be attracted by.

But these players, all aged between 21 and 27, might be.

The Reds made capitalised upon Oxlade-Chamberlain’s situation – but could one of these be next?

Anthony Martial

Age: 22

Club: Manchester United

Verdict: The unlikeliest of all, but could Klopp be the man to unlock the Frenchman’s potential after a disappointing stint at Old Trafford? He has the option to sign for a further season, but his limited opportunities could see him seek pastures new.

Alessandro Florenzi

Age: 27

Club: Roma

Verdict: Liverpool know all about the Italian international, having faced off against him in the Champions League semi-final. Capable of playing both in defence or midfield, he has served as a rampaging right back for the Serie A side for most of this season. The Reds, however, are well-stocked in that position.

Adrien Rabiot shoots on goal during the UEFA Champions League football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich

Adrien Rabiot

Age: 23

Club: Paris St Germain

Verdict: A player very much on the radar of Europe’s top clubs, including Barcelona. His signature would be hugely aspirational, but he is a fantastic player who could fit into Liverpool’s style. Able to play both as a deeper midfielder and as a little further up, the French international provides a metronomic presence in the midfield.

Mattia Perin

Age: 25

Club: Genoa

Verdict: Considered one of the more exciting young goalkeepers in Europe – relatively young, at least, aged 25 – the Italian has shone since establishing himself at Genoa. He has kept 12 clean sheets, and conceded just 40 goals, in 36 league games this season; Liverpool could find themselves a bargain to compete with Loris Karius for the no.1 shirt.

Jordan Lukaku

Age: 23

Club: Lazio

Verdict: Younger brother of Romelu, Lukaku has operated on the left-hand side of Lazio’s midfield for most of the campaign, as the Rome club look to seal Champions League qualification. He would be no more than back-up to Andy Robertson as an attacking full-back.

Angel Correa

Age: 23

Club: Atletico Madrid

Verdict: The tricky Argentine was an ever-present for Atletico in La Liga this season before missing the last game, a defeat to Espanyol, through suspension. Smart in possession, hard-working and quick, he appears ready-made for Jurgen Klopp’s counter-attacking side. Would represent a similar coup to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Angel Correa wheels away after scoring for Atletico Madrid

Samuel Bastien

Age: 21

Club: Chievo

Verdict: Linked with Liverpool a while ago, with suggestions the Reds wanted him in 2016 when he was at Anderlecht, the Belgian midfielder has been tipped for stardom. But having stagnated in Italy, perhaps now would be the time to strike. He would underwhelm the support, however.

Jean Michael Seri

Age: 26

Club: Nice

Verdict: Another midfielder, and another who had been tentatively linked with Liverpool last summer. Seri was considered a driving force behind Nice’s qualification for the Champions League – although they would exit at the play-off stage – and the Ivorian is seen the sort of player who could thrive at Anfield. Reports suggest he has a release clause of £33million this summer.

Matija Nastasic

Age: 25

Club: Schalke

Verdict: Seen as a flop during his short-lived tenure at Manchester City, the Serbian centre-back has redeemed himself in the Bundesliga. Left-sided and strong in the air, Nastasic could be worthy of a second crack at the Premier League, much like Mohamed Salah before him.

Bayern Munich's Juan Bernat

Juan Bernat

Age: 25

Club: Bayern Munich

Verdict: The Spaniard has suffered an interrupted campaign at Bayern, mainly due to injury. The former Valencia man can play down the left-hand side, either in defence or in midfield, and would represent a decent alternative to Andy Robertson.

Nabil Fekir transfer stories

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates after the final whistle of the UEFA Champions League, Semi Final, Second Leg at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

Lyon's Nabil Fekir

Iker Muniain

Age: 25

Club: Athletic Bilbao

Verdict: Considered one of Spain’s most precocious talents during his teenage years – and is their youngest-ever debutant – Muniain has stagnated slightly at the Basque club. A serious cruciate injury earlier this season hasn’t helped him, either. But with the ability to play across the front three, a fully-fit Muniain could be a solid option for Jurgen Klopp to call upon.

Milos Veljkovic

Age: 22

Club: Werder Bremen

Verdict: Previously part of Tottenham’s youth set-up, Veljkovic left in 2016 in pursuit of first-team football. He has found that at Bremen, serving as their first-choice centre-back throughout the past two seasons. A commanding defender, the Serbian would be one to develop at Anfield.

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