Could Cheick Doucouré be the Perfect Midfield Engine?

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Liverpool’s Midfield Overhaul: The Rumour Mill in Overdrive

It has been a busy few days of gossip since the staggering news that Liverpool first team duo, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, were primed to leave Anfield. With each respective departure edging closer by the hour, the Liverpool rumour mill and connected ‘in the know’ accounts have been busily filling our timelines with the following names. Some make every bit of sense and some do not, yet they are all players that have either been heavily or tentatively linked.

Potential Replacements: The Names in the Mix

  • Moisés Caicedo
  • Aurélien Tchouaméni
  • Federico Valverde
  • Manu Koné
  • Florentino Luís
  • Roméo Lavia
  • João Palhinha
  • Khéphren Thuram
  • André Trindade
  • Joshua Kimmich
  • Emre Can
  • Teun Koopmeiners
  • Kalvin Phillips
  • Ryan Gravenberch
  • Matheus Nunes
  • Gabri Veiga

The Ideal Targets: Klopp’s Wishlist

There are five or six names on that list that I would love to see Jörg Schmadtke target, yet in all honestly, we need two from the above targets. A specialist holding midfielder is an absolute must, whereas a more versatile midfielder that can operate as a defensive and box-to-box engine would also be required. The needs of the squad are not vast and there are plenty of players that fit the immediate needs of our German manager, Jürgen Klopp. If the Monday reports are anything to go by, it does indeed look like both our captain and Brazilian midfielders will be playing their football in Saudi Arabia next season. This unexpected scenario means these next few days must be about getting our business all but agreed, so that we are not left as the last team standing without a chair. These types of situations take time to navigate with so many moving parts to the transfer merry-go-round it creates. In order to ensure we are adding the required quality, certain conversations must be undertaken (with other clubs) before any incoming offers can be accepted. The frustration within the fanbase is clear, however, there is little else to do but wait and continue speculating.

A New Name Emerges: Cheick Doucouré

On Monday afternoon there was one name (not listed above) which dropped discreetly into the LFC sphere, one that has probably intrigued me the most. The top half of those above are the names I admire the most, whereas the bottom half represent those that have probably been handed out to create some market confusion. The subject of this piece is Cheick Doucouré, who has had a more low-key emergence into the listed players of interest. The Crystal Palace man could represent a shrewd piece of business alongside that of say Roméo Lavia, as the slightly more experienced midfielder that could become a day one starter, despite having just one year in England.

Player Profile: Cheick Doucouré

Here is the lowdown on the former Lens man.

  • Cheick Doucouré
  • Age – 23-years old (DOB 08/01/2000)
  • Current club – Crystal Palace
  • Nationality – Mali 🇲🇱
  • Contract Expiry – June-30-2027
  • Height – 5ft 11inches
  • Weight – 73kg
  • Appearances – 171 games
  • Goals & Assists – 8 goals / 10 assists
  • Total minutes played – 13,649 minutes
  • International caps & goals – 12 games / 0 goals
  • Transfermarkt value – €35m

Doucouré: The Perfect Fit for Liverpool?

In every footballing sense, Doucouré would be an immediate upgrade on what Fabinho now offers, whilst being a player that can be moulded and built into what can best service the team. Ultimately, this squad requires two players that can rotate and immerse into that holding midfield position, with the need for one of those players to be someone that can start straight away. The thought process will surely be that with superior attacking weapons, overwhelming patterns of play, and strong organizational skills from our captain in waiting, Virgil, that we can afford to lose the two men that have been the common deep lying middlemen. I will be honest, I am all for throwing caution to the wind and creating some havoc and unpredictability in our squad, after such a stuttering campaign of despair. To have this physically impactful player in the middle of such brilliantly technical players is something I would love to see, as it could act as a challenge to the likes of Trent, Alexis, and Darwin to help reinvigorate the team.

The Next Phase: Leadership and Development Projects

From this period will emerge the next phase of leadership and development projects. What our new Sporting Director must manage is the project load he puts on his manager, therefore, to recruit someone who shone in most of his 34 Premier League games would represent smart business. Whether or not there are actual legs in this deal remains to be seen, especially with huge uncertainty in what he may cost. If we were to be able to snatch this man away from the capital for £40m, it would also allow us to pivot to the South Coast and takes Southampton’s prize asset. This duo would make all the sense in the world and is something that could become reality.

Time to watch this space, again.

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