By 90Min
May 22, 2019

All signs suggest a quiet summer for Liverpool in 2019. 

Jurgen Klopp himself has dismissed any notion that the Reds are destined for another year of making it rain, while the BBC's transfer oracle David Ornstein claimed that the deals Liverpool do complete will be in the Xherdan Shaqiri price range (or cheaper). 

That's fine though. With the squad stable and well-stocked with quality, Klopp and board's focus will be on finding inexpensive competition in a few select areas.

The areas in question are likely to be: backup goalkeeper, backup left back and backup forward.

So, ignore the spurious click-bating links to Paulo Dybala, Matthijs de Ligt and (give me strength) Nabil Fekir and instead feast your eyes on six left backs Liverpool could aim for this summer...Ok, it's not as glam but it is more realistic.

Jamal Lewis (Norwich City)

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One of Liverpool's first choices this summer was thought to be Lloyd Kelly, before Bournemouth instead announced a £13m deal for the 20-year-old from Bristol City.

It's been reported that the Reds weren't willing to match the Cherries' valuation for a player who would spend a lot of the season on the bench. However, if young and homegrown is Liverpool's prerogative then looking deeper at the options in the Championship is not a bad idea, or specifically looking at Norwich.

While Canaries defenders Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey have both been touted for moves this summer, Jamal Lewis is perhaps the ideal candidate for Liverpool. The 21-year-old Luton-born Northern Ireland international played 42 times as Daniel Farke's side won promotion in 2018/19 and was named left back in the Team of the Season.

Lewis - who was a national champion 800-1500m runner in his youth - is an exciting, modern full back in the Andy Robertson mould.

Would joining Liverpool's bench trump being a starter for the club you joined as a pre-teen in the Premier League? Possibly not. Contracted at Carrow Road until 2023, Lewis would be as expensive as Kelly too. However, His price tag will likely only grow exponentially in the years to come and would be a shrewd investment for Liverpool.

Ruben Vinagre (Wolves)

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One of the raft of Portuguese talents at Molineux, 20-year-old Vinagre started just seven games in the Premier League last season during Wolves' impressive campaign and largely played understudy to first-choice wing back Jonny.

As recently as last month, Liverpool were reported to be monitoring Vinagre, with a Portuguese report even claiming that Jurgen Klopp had already sounded the youngster out about a move.

From a strategy point of view, Vinagre makes sense for Liverpool. He is young, attack-minded, unlikely to recoil at playing second fiddle to Robertson and already accustomed to the various rigours and idiosyncrasies of English football.

However, he only signed a permanent deal last summer and Wolves may flat out refuse to entertain all but the most excessive offers for one of their brightest young prospects at an equally bright time for the club.

Bernardo (Brighton & Hove Albion)

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Another option already familiar with Premier League life is Brighton's Brazilian star Bernardo.

The Seagulls did not have much fun in the 2018/19 league season, with many of last year's signings failing to live up to their price tags, ultimately costing Chris Hughton his job. However, Bernardo quietly impressed at full back in his first season in England.

The 24-year-old, who came to the Premier League via the Red Bull Salzburg-RB Leipzig route, Bernardo played alongside Liverpool's Naby Keita in Germany and Austria.

In his favour, Bernardo can play on both the left and right of defence, which would also help compensate for the expected departure of Nathaniel Clyne this summer and ease fears of another defensive crisis like the one experienced during the long winter months. He is also another dynamic option who can provide the required drive going forward.

Signed for £9m last summer, Brighton would surely want to make a profit on the player but their somewhat precarious position means Liverpool might have less chance of being held to ransom.

Benedikt Howedes (Lokomotiv Moscow)

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For a totally different type of player altogether, Liverpool could look at 31-year-old World Cup winner Benedikt Howedes, who is currently playing his football out in Moscow.

Capable of filling in any position along the back four, Howedes was the starting left back for Germany in 2014 - playing every minute as they lifted the World Cup in Brazil. 

A Schalke 04 stalwart who joined the club as a youth, he left for Juventus on an initial loan in 2017 but played just three games all season after suffering a series of injuries. Last summer he joined Lokomotiv Moscow, where he has apparently put those fitness concerns behind him to play 17 times in the Russian Premier League as Lokomotiv finished second. 

Howedes' versatility and vast experience would make him an intriguing option for Liverpool as someone who could fill the 'Klavan' role for a season or two. Three more years on his contract in Moscow means he wouldn't be a freebie though, and his medical may be concerning for Liverpool's physios.

Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)

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Another elder statesman option and one who would be free (at least in terms of a transfer fee) is Filipe Luis.

The 33-year-old Brazilian's contract at Atletico Madrid expires this summer. Reports on whether he will yet sign an extension vary from source to source, but the former Chelsea man is likely considering his options with several of Atleti's biggest stars already confirmed as leaving.

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked and Luis' contract demands and signing-on bonus are likely to be very high in lieu of a transfer fee.

However, he does have experience in England and is more decorated than all but a very select few in his position, having won La Liga, the Premier League, two Europa Leagues and twice played in the Champions League final.

A tireless full back, accustomed to the sky-high standards of Diego Simeone, giving Luis a one-year deal with an option to extend could also be beneficial for blooding through academy youngsters like the highly rated Adam Lewis.

Angeliño (PSV)

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The final suggestion is a return to a younger star in PSV's 22-year-old Spaniard Jose Angel Esmoris Tasende, or Angeliño.

A product of Deportivo La Coruña's youth academy, the left back technically spent four years at Manchester City but never made a Premier League appearance. He did, however, make one appearance each in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League, in between being loaned out to New York City FC, Girona, Mallorca and NAC Breda.

Since joining PSV on a permanent deal last summer Angeliño has come to the fore bagging nine assists as his side ran Ajax close for the title.

Again, he has the requisite experience of life in England and has learnt in a world-class environment at City. However, whether he would want to return to fighting for minutes on the pitch after establishing himself as a first-choice star in the Netherlands is another matter.

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