Liverpool’s Plan After the £50m Romeo Lavia Deal
With every new transfer window comes anticipation, speculation, and its fair share of drama. Liverpool FC, the bastion of Merseyside football, have found themselves in the centre of these narratives, drawing fans and critics alike into the whirlwind of summer signings.
Romeo Lavia: The Imminent Arrival
Liverpool have edged closer to securing the services of Romeo Lavia from Southampton. The talented defensive midfielder has attracted the Reds with his performances, causing an initial £37 million offer to be tabled, although it was rebuffed. Undeterred, Liverpool are expected to return with a sweetened deal, aiming to make Lavia their third summer acquisition after Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister.
Yet, if the murmurings around Anfield are to be believed, the signings won’t stop there. We’ll look at where Liverpool could make further additions during this transfer window.
Midfield Conundrum: Another Spot Still Available?
With Lavia’s prospective transfer fee potentially touching £50m inclusive of add-ons, Liverpool’s total summer spending would be approaching a substantial £165m. Jurgen Klopp, the revered Liverpool gaffer, is dealing with an exodus of midfield talent, with stalwarts such as Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita expected to depart.
Liverpool would have recouped over £50m from sales and decreased their wage bill by close to £1m per week with all of the outgoings. There were funds available for a midfielder prior to Henderson and Fabinho being sold so there should be funds still available for Klopp and his recruitment team.
Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Stefan Bajcetic, and Harvey Elliott remain as midfield options for the 2023-24 season. Still, the potential for injuries leaves the door open for yet another midfield signing if the price is right.
Kephren Thuram had reportedly agreed to personal terms with Liverpool earlier in the summer before Liverpool announced they had walked away from the deal. If they were to go back for him now that there are a few squad spaces opening up, it would seemingly be an easier deal to push through as the season draws closer as the box to box midfielder, or an eight as the position is now widely known.
Defensive-Midfield Depth On The Horizon?
Romeo Lavia shouldn’t be the only deep-lying midfielder joining Liverpool FC this summer. With Fabinho on the cusp of leaving, the Reds have been linked to the likes of Doucoure, Amrabat and Manu Kone this summer and a few of them at the same time that Romeo Lavia was linked and favoured to join.
Reading between the lines Liverpool wanted to add a number six to the squad and had plans to keep Fabinho until they received an offer that they couldn’t refuse. It will be interesting to see whether they will add another defensive midfielder but there are signs pointing that way for sure.
A late deal for Manu Kone, once he’s recovered from injury, would be likely seeing as though his club need to sell and Kone had reportedly agreed on personal terms with Liverpool earlier in the summer too. You’d think this would be dependent on another Liverpool midfielder leaving and the only other one that could go is Thiago – it remains to be seen whether or not that could transpire as the window comes closer to closing.
It’s not just the midfield that could be getting additions though…
Strengthening the Rearguard: The Search for a Centre-Back
Joel Matip and Joe Gomez’s dip in form over the last year has emphasised the necessity for defensive reinforcements. With Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate tasked with holding the fort, a left-sided centre-back appears to be high on the priority list, evidenced by the club’s interest in Chelsea’s Levi Colwill.
Liverpool’s recent shift to a 3-2-2-3 formation has seen full-back Andy Robertson struggle to adapt to a central role, unlike his counterpart, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has thrived as a deep-lying midfielder. Additional defensive cover seems imperative, especially with the ageing Van Dijk now 32 and fresh off a disappointing campaign.
Although landing Colwill may be a tall order due to his high price tag and Chelsea’s reluctance to sell, there are viable alternatives. Sporting’s Goncalo Inaco, Lyon’s Castello Lukeba, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie are other potential targets who could be more affordable.
The Goalkeeper Dilemma: To Stay or Not to Stay?
Klopp has voiced his intent to keep Caoimhin Kelleher, the dependable Irish goalkeeper who has served as a valuable backup for the past four seasons. However, the temptation of an irresistible offer for Kelleher from the likes of Wolves could compel the club to reconsider its stance.
Should Kelleher depart, a new goalkeeper would be on the cards, with Ron-Robert Zieler of Bundesliga 2 side Hannover 96 touted as the prime candidate. The 34-year-old, qualifying as a homegrown player and bringing Premier League experience, could be snapped up for a modest fee.