Liverpool finally got their first Premier League win of the new year with a 2-0 victory over Everton at Anfield in the Merseyside Derby. Goals from Mohamed Salah and a first Liverpool goal for new signing Cody Gakpo were enough to secure a huge three points for Jürgen Klopp’s side, but the result will have done little to alleviate the fears of the home faithful. The Reds are now nine points adrift of the top four with a game in hand on their rivals. But oddschecker, which compares Premier League odds and free offers, still makes Liverpool rank outsiders to secure Champions League qualification.
And speaking of Europe’s premier football competition, the second half of the Reds’ continental campaign gets underway this month with a two-legged tie against reigning champions Real Madrid in a repeat of last year’s final. But with Liverpool on wretched form and with gaping holes in the centre of midfield, it’s very possible that the club will exit the competition earlier than they would like this season.
Liverpool’s Midfield Woes
Despite the Anfield club making a number of impressive signings this term, including the aforementioned Gakpo, there is still a massive gap to fill in the centre of the park. That has been evident for some time, however, it has truly come to the fore since the turn of the year in the crushing defeats at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brentford, and Brighton.
Naby Keïta looks more and more likely to leave the club at the end of the season, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arthur Melo constantly seem to be on the sidelines due to injuries. That leaves Thiago, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Harvey Elliot as the club’s only recognised central midfielders. So who has been linked with a move to Merseyside in the hopes of bolstering the club’s engine room?
The player that all Redmen want to see at Anfield next season is Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old Englishman has shown maturity beyond his years both for his club side Borussia Dortmund – where he has even worn the captain’s armband on occasion this term – and for England at the recent World Cup. But securing the former Birmingham City youngster’s signature is looking increasingly difficult and there is no doubt that he will cost an astronomical fee.
Bellingham, despite still being a teenager, has already racked up an incredible 161 appearances throughout his short career. Naturally, he has a number of potential suitors eyeing him up, including the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City. It remains to be seen whether Liverpool can fend off the rest of the competition and secure his signature.
Another player who has been linked with a move to Anfield in recent weeks is Brighton’s Moisés Caicedo. Throughout the January transfer window, the Ecuadorean midfielder was linked with a number of clubs, including Arsenal and Chelsea. Those two clubs decided to bring in Jorginho and Enzo Fernández, respectively, instead of the 21-year-old, primarily due to the fact that Brighton are thought to want a transfer fee worth up to as much as £80 million for their midfield dynamo.
That does seem like an incredibly high price tag for a player that has played just 18 months of Premier League football. However, there can be no denying that Caicedo has impressed throughout his short time in England, allowing the likes of teammate Alexis Mac Allister to shine. There can be no denying that he would provide some steel to Jürgen Klopp’s midfield.
Serie A stars
Another two players that have been linked with a move to Anfield in recent times are Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic and Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski. Brozovic has been one of the most consistent midfielders in Italy over the last few seasons, while Zielinski has been instrumental in firing Napoli to the brink of a first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona. Both would be astute purchases and cost far less than either Bellingham and Caicedo. However, fans could be somewhat underwhelmed with the potential acquisitions.