Rating Liverpool’s Defensive Midfield Targets

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The Current State of Affairs

Once again, the rumblings of discontent are building within the Liverpool fanbase, as the reds continue to navigate their way through a summer of much needed recruitment. The projected sales of both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson appear to be nearly over the line, however, I suspect each will be confirmed only when Jörg Schmadtke has his ideal targets halfway through the door.

The key points when targeting any potential player, is to not look too desperate to the selling club. The slight lull in transfer dealings since the arrival of Dominik Szoboszlai, is due to the delicacy by which two high profile departures need to be managed. To sell Liverpool’s captain and a formerly brilliant destructive midfielder out of the blue, is something that must be carefully managed. The fees for each player must meet our expectations, whereas our recruitment team will be busily looking at how to accelerate our succession plan. It is logical to assume that two players will come into the first team squad, with a raft of players targeted in order to cover all our bases. I believe that it will eventually be Roméo Lavia and one other are signed, yet it is important that the selling clubs know we have other options and other avenues we can explore. To find middle ground in any deal takes time and patience, whilst knowing when to walk all away, if only for the theatrics. We are all bitterly aware as to how FSG operate and how careful they are with loosening the purse strings; however, it still needs time and patience to get all the things done that are needed.

Of the defensive midfield options that we are linked with, I am going to list their suitability, projected cost and likeliness of a deal getting done. There will also be some added stats for your viewing pleasure.

Moisés Caicedo

Age – 21-years-old (DOB – 02/11/2001)

Club – Brighton

Transfermarkt value – €75m

Likely cost of deal – €100m

Suitability – 10 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 5 out of 10

Verdict – If there is a chance, we must take a run at him. This is a world class and transformative footballer.

Aurélien Tchouaméni

Age – 23-years-old (DOB – 27/01/2000)

Club – Real Madrid

Transfermarkt value – €85m

Likely cost of deal – €90m

Suitability – 10 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 6 out of 10

Verdict – If there is a chance, we must take a run at him. This is a world class and transformative footballer.

Roméo Lavia

Age – 19-years-old (DOB – 06/01/2004)

Club – Southampton

Transfermarkt value – €32m

Likely cost of deal – €50m

Suitability – 9 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 8 out of 10

Verdict – If we cannot get one of the above, this must be one we target. Could become world class in time.

Cheick Doucouré

Age – 23-years-old (DOB – 08/01/2000)

Club – Crystal Palace

Transfermarkt value – €35m

Likely cost of deal – €50m

Suitability – 9 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 7 out of 10

Verdict – If we cannot get any of the above, this must be one we target. A ferocious ball winning engine of fire.

Florentino Luís

Age – 23-years-old (DOB – 19/08/1999)

Club – Benfica

Transfermarkt value – €20m

Likely cost of deal – €50m

Suitability – 9 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 6 out of 10

Verdict – Must be a target despite the buyout and upfront fee being an issue. An aggressive and powerful entity that would mould beautifully into our array of creative talents.

Manu Koné

Age – 22-years-old (DOB – 17/05/2001)

Club – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Transfermarkt value – €40m

Likely cost of deal – €40m

Suitability – 8 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 8 out of 10

Verdict – The injury he sustained at the Euro under 21 championships is irritating, though it would still be a great deal to get alongside one other. Plays the 6 and 8, whilst having a super high ceiling and immense energy.

Tyler Adams

Age – 24-years-old (DOB – 14/02/1999)

Club – Leeds

Transfermarkt value – €18m

Likely cost of deal – €30m

Suitability – 7 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 6 out of 10

Verdict – The outside chance and perhaps one that could be used to engineer a deal for better targets. Alongside one other from this list, the Leeds man would be a fine and versatile addition.

João Palhinha

Age – 28-years-old (DOB – 28/07/1995)

Club – Fulham

Transfermarkt value – €40m

Likely cost of deal – €60m

Suitability – 7 out of 10

Likelihood of deal – 5 out of 10

Verdict – The characteristics of his play are perfect; it is merely the age and cost of the deal which makes such a move hard to see. The same money can be spent on a player that could better and would be five years his junior.

I have tried to limit this list to those that I would love us to sign, with some tantalizing names submitted. The top two are the dream pairing, but could swallow up too much of our budget. With one of those added to a potential Lavia deal, it would make for the perfect midfield rebuild. What I do see as more likely is €100m being spread across the Southampton man and Cheick Doucouré, which would still be superb business. I just hope we get these deals done and quickly.

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