The Qatar World Cup is a major hindrance for Premier League outfits, though it does provide a great scouting opportunity for top sides ahead of the January transfer window. Liverpool have endured a shaky start to the season and will be hoping to be alert to any top talent they can recruit as soon as possible.
The Reds are currently sixth in the Premier League, 15 points behind table-toppers Arsenal. Jurgen Klopp’s side appear to have already sacrificed their status as title contenders, though their spot in the top four is no certainty either.
Klopp stressed last week that his scouting network will know about emerging talent all over the world, though they may have been gifted the opportunity to watch some top targets compete against one another.
So, who will Liverpool be watching at the World Cup? Express Sport takes a look…
Moises Caicedo (Ecuador)
Liverpool’s midfield has been a major issue so far this season and it is no secret that they are planning to invest in that department. One player that could be eyed as a worthwhile investment by the Reds is Brighton star Moises Caicedo.
The Ecuador international has shone since being thrown into the deep end last season and numerous top clubs are keeping tabs on the 21-year-old. Caicedo is proving on a weekly basis that he can cut it at the top level, though the World Cup could truly put his ability to the test in a young Ecuadorean side.
Declan Rice (England)
Many are predicting that Jude Bellingham will be England’s most impressive star in Qatar, and Liverpool will certainly be watching how he fares. The Anfield outfit will also be seeing how the Borussia Dortmund star gels with West Ham captain Declan Rice.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to Liverpool this season and if the club are serious about a major overhaul in the centre of the park, recruiting both of England’s central midfielders should not be out of the question despite their price tags.
Marcos Llorente (Spain)
Spain star Marcos Llorente has been tipped to make the move to the Premier League consistently over the past few seasons, and those stories are emerging once again with the Reds still interested. The Atletico Madrid midfielder would prove a versatile option for Jurgen Klopp to work with and reports are speculating that his price tag has decreased of late.
Llorente can play in the centre of the park and as a right-back, which could be the ideal acquisition in Merseyside given Trent Alexander-Arnold’s desire to constantly bomb forward and leave vacant space on the right. If the 27-year-old shines at the World Cup, it could be enough for Klopp to greenlight a move for the star.
Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)
Liverpool were reportedly weighing up a move for playmaker Enzo Fernandez over the summer before he made the move from River Plate to Benfica, and their interest does not appear to have fizzled out. The 21-year-old has been excellent in the Primeira Liga so far this season and his list of suitors is growing by the week.
Fernandez can play in numerous roles in midfield and at 21 years old, would be a long-term acquisition by the Reds if he can prove his worth in Group C. However, the two-time capped international would set Liverpool back a significant amount given that he has a £108m release clause in his contract.