Liverpool’s Transfer Focus: Yukinari Sugawara
The close of the summer transfer window might be a distant memory, but the football world’s attention is already shifting towards January. With the winter window on the horizon, murmurs from Anfield suggest that defensive reinforcements are on the cards.
Midfield Revamp, Defensive Needs
Liverpool made quite the impression during the summer, with an enviable midfield recruitment spree. Bringing in talents like Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, and Ryan Gravenberch, the Merseyside giants fortified their midfield. However, the defence still appears to be a sector that needs bolstering.
This was evident in their encounter against Wolves. Youngster Jarrel Quansah was given the nod for his maiden Premier League start and, to his credit, rose to the occasion.
Eyes on Yukinari Sugawara
One name that has frequently popped up in Liverpool’s radar is that of Yukinari Sugawara, the Japanese international. The connection between Sugawara and Liverpool isn’t new, and there’s a growing sentiment that he could be the ideal competitor for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s spot, especially with Calvin Ramsay away at Preston North End on loan.
🇯🇵 Yukinari Sugawara has recently been linked with #LFC and he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.
So far this season he has created the most big chances in the Eredivisie (4) and the second most chances (16).
Not bad for a right-back. He’s quite solid defensively as… pic.twitter.com/6HCCZj6S4K
— Bence Bocsák (@BenBocsak) September 18, 2023
Last season, Sugawara showcased his prowess at AZ Alkmaar, clocking 47 appearances across all tournaments. He was pivotal in their journey to the UEFA Conference League semifinals, where they eventually bowed out to West Ham United.
Versatility at its Best
Sugawara’s recent performances have only intensified the buzz. Not just a traditional right-back, he’s shown he can slot into the centre if needed. This season, he’s been instrumental in creating opportunities, leading the Eredivisie in big chances created (4) and coming second in total chances created (16).
Such offensive flair is quintessential for a full-back in Jurgen Klopp’s setup. Moreover, his ability to adapt as a centre-back implies his defensive attributes are equally commendable. Most of this season has seen him dominate as an attacking right-back for AZ.
With an estimated valuation of around €20m, Yukinari Sugawara is undoubtedly a name Liverpool fans should keep an eye on as January approaches.