Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their reported pursuit of Dutch midfielder Teun Koopmeiners with Atalanta chief Tony D’Amico issuing a brief update on the player’s situation. Reds fans are keen to see midfield upgrades brought in after a rocky start to the Premier League season, which has left them off the top-four pace.
The solidity of Virgil van Dijk may have protected Liverpool from defensive vulnerability in recent years. But with the elegant centre-back short of his best form this season, they have been left exposed at the back with some pointing to a lack of steel in midfield.
Targets such as Brighton star Moises Caicedo and Wolves ace Matheus Nunes would bring that in abundance, while Reds scouts have also been credited with interest in Koopmeiners. The 24-year-old rose through the ranks with AZ, where he scored at an impressive rate from midfield, before moving on to Atalanta in 2021.
After a tepid first campaign, the Dutchman has rediscovered his scoring touch this time around with seven goal contributions in 17 Serie A matches. He also played an important role for the Netherlands at the World Cup before they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Argentina.
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Koopmeiners himself has spoken out on links to Anfield, insisting that he is also flattered by the rumours but reassuring his current fans that any move may have to wait. “I saw the links and stories about Liverpool,” he said. “Nice to see that, but I’m 100 per cent focused on Atalanta. I’m so happy to play here.”
Liverpool hit the ground running after the Premier League restart with wins over Aston Villa and Leicester City, but the wheels have come off somewhat since the turn of the year with a damaging defeat away at Brentford and a home draw with Wolves in the FA Cup, which has added to Jurgen Klopp’s stress by bringing about a third-round replay.
“Whatever you play, high-line, deeper-line, ball-orientated, man-orientated – you have to win challenges,” the German told reporters. “There is no alternative to [that]. So, yeah. I mentioned already now in the dressing room and I will mention it again and the next team we face is Brighton, who are meanwhile famous for playing proper football.
“If you don’t defend properly there, then why should we go there? We look open in moments, but it is just open because we think we win the challenge and then we don’t win it and that’s then really tricky to deal with in the end.”