The summer transfer window is just under four months away and it appears Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already identified a replacement for Emre Can, who is set to depart Liverpool on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The Times‘ journalist Paul Joyce, who is thought to have close links with the club, has outlined who Klopp is targeting this summer, with a new defensive midfielder to complement incoming RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita very much in the manager’s thinking.
Joyce states that Napoli’s Jorginho is Klopp’s prime target for the midfield, however admits competition for the Brazilian-born midfielder will be rife as “just about every elite side in Europe” will be interested in acquiring his signature.
The 26-year-old has been one of Napoli’s most important players this season, as his defensive prowess and quality on the ball have helped propel Maurizio Sarri’s team to the top of Serie A, and there are few more influential footballers in his position in Europe.
Stats from this season show Jorginho excels in his passing, compared to current Liverpool duo of Emre Can and Jordan Henderson – both who have occupied the no. 6 position for Klopp’s side this season.
Jorginho boasts a pass completion rate of 89% – higher than both Can and Henderson. The Napoli midfielder completes 68 forward passes per 90 minutes, compared to Can’s 37 and Henderson’s 54. Jorginho also completes the most key passes per 90 minutes, and conclusively has the most assists.
However, it’s his defensive abilities that have no doubt caught Klopp’s attention, and the midfielder also has the highest interception rate per 90 minutes, with 1.70 interceptions per game, compared to Can’s 1.43 and captain Henderson’s lowly 0.95 per 90 minutes.
Watch Jorginho’s highlights from the season so far below. Video courtesy of GAEBBA.