A Summer of Uncertainty
This summer has witnessed an intriguing game of musical chairs in Liverpool’s midfield department. Early acquisitions of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, netting a cool £95m, painted a portrait of a recruitment team with both feet firmly on the ground. Yet, the unforeseen exits of stalwarts Jordan Henderson and Fabinho threw a spanner into what appeared a well-oiled machine.
However, just as the situation seemed dire, Liverpool’s gaze settled on Wataru Endo. Arriving from Stuttgart at £16m, the 30-year-old doesn’t fit the mould of a typical Klopp-signing. Could this move reflect a strategy in disarray, or is it an unforeseen masterstroke?
Boubacar Kamara: The Unpursued Gem?
Adding to the intrigue, the Athletic whispered about a potential Fabinho stand-in: Aston Villa’s Boubacar Kamara. Word around town is that the Reds’ data-savvy team shortlisted three names to plug the Fabinho-shaped void, and Kamara was a prime candidate.
While the buzz around Lavia and Caicedo reached near-deafening levels, the Kamara discussions remained in hushed tones. What, then, kept Liverpool from placing a bid on the Aston Villa sensation?
The Aston Villa Stance: A Rock and a Hard Place
There’s little debate about Kamara’s talent. Still fresh at 23 and with a stint in France’s national team, the midfielder presents an enticing package. However, he’s no fleeting affair for Villa, having signed just a year prior. Combine this with an xTV (expected transfer value) swinging between €30.2m – €50.4m, and you have a tricky puzzle. Given recent high-profile transfers in the position, it’s conceivable that Villa would demand an eye-watering fee, especially considering Kamara’s age and pedigree.
Moreover, Villa aren’t in the league of clubs hunting for their next sale, thereby strengthening their negotiating standpoint. Football’s grapevine suggests that Fulham and Crystal Palace’s towering valuations for Joao Palhinha and Doucoure may make Villa’s stance even steeper, considering Kamara’s bright prospects.
Liverpool’s Next Move: Diversifying the Play
Although Liverpool’s hefty pursuit of Caicedo shows they aren’t skimping on funds, the grapevine intimates a shift in strategy post-Endo’s signing. With Endo and Stefan Bajcetic anticipated to spar for the anchor role in the midfield, any subsequent additions might need to wear many hats, steering the spotlight perhaps towards talents like Gravenberch and Andre, and away from the Aston Villa prodigy.
As the transfer window inches to a close, a seismic change would be required for Liverpool to charm Kamara away. Given the limited time and evolving priorities, it seems Liverpool may be exploring avenues beyond the bright lights of the Villa midfielder, no matter the statistical allure Kamara may possess.