4 Players Richard Hughes could sign for Liverpool from Bournemouth

Richard Hughes has now been confirmed as Liverpool's next sporting director, officially joining the Reds from Bournemouth at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old former Scotland international, who was on the youth team books at both Arsenal and Atalanta, will work under FSG's new CEO of football Michael Edwards leading sporting operations into a new era at Anfield.

Appointing Jurgen Klopp's successor is priority number one, of course, while there is also talk of contract negotiations with a number of the Reds' key players. Plans are already likely being drawn for summer transfer targets.

Hughes is described as multi-lingual and highly knowledgable, while he is also said to have an extensive contacts list in the world of football.

He is especially highly rated for his work at Bournemouth, where he oversaw some of the club's best ever business and helped build the Cherries' over-achieving squad.

While Liverpool can be expected to search far and wide for their next stars, it would be remiss of Hughes not to look at his old club for possible opportunities.

Here are four players worth considering...


Lloyd Kelly (Defender)

Bournemouth v Swansea City Emirates FA Cup Lloyd Kelly of Bournemouth celebrates scoring during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth Copyright: xJeremyxLandeyx FIL-19565-0117

Starting with the obvious, Liverpool are among the clubs regularly linked with Kelly, whose contract will expire this summer.

While not the most exciting of transfers on paper, the 25-year-old would carry a lot of plus points for the Reds.

The Bristol-born defender counts as homegrown, would not require a transfer fee, has valuable top flight experience and can cover more than one position — including the much-discussed left-side of defence.

As per Fbref, Kelly is in the 88th percentile for aerial duels won and 99th for clearances.

Along with Liverpool, he has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle and even Juventus.

Illya Zabarnyi (Defender)

Hughes and Bournemouth pulled off quite the coup when they signed Illya Zabarnyi from Dynamo Kyiv for around £20m in January of 2023.

The 6ft 2in centre back had long seen as one of the top talents in his age group and was being monitored by several bigger clubs before completing his move to the Vitality Stadium.

Already experienced in the Champions League and a 32-cap Ukraine star at the age of just 21, Zabarnyi has impressed on the south coast in his 28 Premier League appearances to date.

No Cherries defender has made more tackles, interception or clearances this season.

With Liverpool likely seeking more than one defensive addition this summer, he could be an option to consider, though he remains under contract until 2028 and would likely come with a price of at least double what Bournemouth paid a year ago.

Dominic Solanke (Forward)

Nottingham, England, 23rd December 2023. Dominic Solanke of Bournemouth celebrates scoring his three goals by keeping the match ball during the Premier League match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Picture credit should read: Andrew Yates / Sportimage 

When Solanke left Liverpool for Bournemouth for close to £20m in the summer of 2018, the chances of a return one day seemed unlikely and became more remote in the following seasons as the striker initially struggled to find his feet in the Premier League.

However, fast forward to 2024 and Solanke has as many league goals as Mo Salah so far this season (15), while Ollie Watkins is the only Englishman with more in the top flight.

Liverpool may not be in the market for out-and-out strikers this summer, but it is worth remembering that the Reds did include both sell-on and buyback clauses in Solanke's sale to Bournemouth all those years ago, meaning a return might be relatively easily facilitated if fancied.

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Alex Scott (Midfielder)

Once described as an 'unbelievable player' by Pep Guardiola while at Bristol City, Scott's £25m signing at Bournemouth received a lot of attention last summer, with the young midfielder highly coveted after winning the Championship's Young Player of the Year award.

The 20-year-old, who can play as a number eight or ten and has represented England at youth level, has struggled with injury issues in his first season in the Premier League, but has impressed in moments and is clearly full of potential.

From a financial perspective, the ideal time to sign Scott would've been before his move and he is another whose long contract means he is unlikely to be sold for cheap.

However, he might still be one for Hughes and co to maintain contact with as the Reds continue their recruitment drive for impressive young British talent.

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