As we approach the tail end of the season, there is still one question on everyone's lips; will Georginio Wijnaldum be a Liverpool player come September?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer. He himself has publicly stated that he would be "devastated" to leave Merseyside, yet various reports suggest a move is still on the cards. Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSG have been identified as possible destinations.
So, if the Dutchman were to part ways with the Reds when his contract expires this summer, who would they sign as his replacement?
According to David Meyler, Leicester's Youri Tielemans would be a suitable target.
Speaking on the OTB Football podcast, the former Hull City player was not shy to praise the Belgian midfielder.
“I think he’s a wonderful talent as a player. And like I said, he’s only 23 years of age, he’s only going to get better and better."
"Leicester are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but to go on to that next level, I’d love to see how he’d do there [Liverpool]. And I definitely think he’s a phenomenal player.”
The Foxes signed Tielemans for an estimated £35 million in 2019, following a brief loan spell the previous season. In all competitions, he has made 79 appearances for Brendan Rodger's side and has racked up 12 goals and 13 assists.
Meyler then hinted at a potential move to Anfield, in case Liverpool's reliable Dutchman were to depart this summer.
"[Wijnaldum has] been a phenomenal servant for the last few years. Obviously, the success they had in the Champions League and the Premier League, he was pivotal to all that. I think the way I was always looking at it – he will be his replacement.”
All in all, Tielemans would be a positive addition to Liverpool's squad. According to FBref.com, he has recorded the seventh most goal-creating actions (13) and the ninth most progressive passes (149) in this season's Premier League. Therefore, he could provide the attacking edge so sorely missed in recent months.
Moreover, he has played the 10th most minutes out of any player in the league and has not recorded a notable injury since 2018. Considering the Reds' injury woes this season, a player of his durability would be valuable for their long and congested seasons.
Liverpool's current squad is also the fifth oldest in the club's history, with an average age of 29. Bringing in youthful players like him is surely a must if Klopp has any hopes for long-term success on Merseyside.
However, priced at £45 million, would it be wiser for the Reds to look elsewhere in the transfer market? With plans to bolster their squad in more areas than one, Tielemans may be too expensive for Liverpool's current plans.