A 2016 rejuvenation has seen Stuttgart winger Filip Kostic evolve from goal maker to goalscorer and this transition has caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The German coach has been forever associated with Bundesliga raids since he took the reigns at Anfield and it isn’t the first time he has been linked with this player as he looks to augment the Reds’ attacking threat for 2016/17.
Kostic has netted five and assisted four in 23 Stuttgart starts this campaign, with four of his strikes falling in his last eight league games.
It’s a haul comparable to Liverpool favourite Philippe Coutinho, who has notched six and set up five in England’s top-tier.
The Brazilian is one of three Reds players to have registered more league goals than Kostic this season, one of which is Christian Benteke, who is widely tipped to leave the club this summer.
With no player surpassing ten divisional strikes so far, it’s imperative Klopp improves the firepower during pre-season and a winger like Kostic, who can score and create, rates as one of the more sensible potential acquisitions the rumourologists have linked with a move to Merseyside in recent months.
In addition to his net-bulging threat, the Serbian’s average of 2.7 key passes per match towers over the best anyone in the current Reds ranks can muster, with James Milner’s two leading the way at Anfield.
No one on Klopp’s roster can match Kostic’s mean of 2.3 dribbles per match either.
The six-cap Serbia international possesses many of the traits attributed to a traditional winger in the sense that running at defenders, trickery and crossing are among his strongest assets.
His reliance on these skills is reflected in his poor pass completion rate – just 63.1% of his attempts to find a teammate have been successful – but with all bar two of Liverpool’s regular outfielders completing over 75% of their passes this season, Kostic’s deficiencies in this department are unlikely to have a negative impact on the Reds’ style of play.
Instead, the passing figures of his prospective future teammates suggest he’ll be furnished with the ball more frequently, enabling him to utilise his own talents to devastating effect.
He’s arguably the perfect signing for Liverpool in what will be a very important summer.