Liverpool’s Midfield Revolution
The summer of change saw some tremendous signings made by Liverpool, as the midfield area was almost completely regenerated. By signing Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Ryan Gravenberch, the energy and technical ability of the midfield has increased dramatically. Despite not recruiting an elite defensive midfielder, I think we can all be happy with the vast experience and tenacity of Japan captain, Wataru Endō, hoping that an elite destroyer will be targeted in the winter transfer window. What has been sadly overlooked, is the need for defensive reinforcements.
The Defensive Dilemma
The long off-season saw a multitude of defensive players linked; however, the season began with only academy graduate, Jarell Quansah, promoted to the first team squad. As the club reassembled after the international break, the stark reality saw Virgil van Dijk being suspended, Trent Alexander Arnold injured, whereas Ibrahima Konaté has only just returned from his moment on the sidelines. This is alongside knowing, that neither Joe Gomez or Joël Matip are the robust entities that will go through a campaign unscathed.
With this and the likelihood that more players will struggle as the fixture list ramps up, I imagine moves are already being made to target additional players in January. The expensive Micky van de Ven ended up at Spurs, Levi Colwill signed a new deal at Chelsea, whilst Piero Hincapié, Gonçalo Inácio, and Arthur Theate, were players that were seemingly too expensive for the reds. In the aftermath of that transformative window, one name has come to light, which is, in fact, a very intriguing one from the not-too-distant past.
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) September 7, 2023
Lloyd Kelly: A Closer Look
- Age: 24-years old (DOB 06/10/1998)
- Current Club: AFC Bournemouth
- Playing Positions: LCB / LB
- Height: 6ft 2inches
- Weight: 70kg
- Appearances: 167 games
- Career Goals & Assists: 4 / 9
- Total Minutes Played: 13,379
- International Caps & Goals: 0 games / 0 goal
- Contract Expiry: June 30 – 2024
- Transfermarkt Value: €18m
Before moving to the south coast in 2019, Liverpool were very heavily linked to the then-promising young defender. The slightly built novice was monitored, yet a move was simply too expensive for someone unproven, which saw his current club willing to pay a £13m fee to secure his services from the club where he started out, Bristol City.
A Sensible Move for Liverpool?
Despite 10-caps for the England under-21 side, the talented and cultured player has never fulfilled the promise many expected. Of course, there are absolute caveats to why Kelly has yet to reach his full potential. Andoni Iraola is the fifth manager to have overseen the homegrown man, with a very scattergun list of coaches being drafted in since the departure of Eddie Howe in 2020. Along the way, the Bournemouth number five has developed into an integral part of their setup, despite the continual changes of direction. As his contract nears an end, there is significant chatter linking the former Liverpool target with an eventual move to Merseyside. With a need to bring in a slightly more versatile left-sided defender, he possesses both the physicality and skillset to play either as a full back or centre half. With that magical homegrown status attached to his name, this could also free up options for other areas of need. This could also see another non-home-grown slot freed up, as the sale of Konstantinos Tsimikas would likely follow the acquisition of Kelly.
Bournemouth’s Star Performance
This last weekend saw Bournemouth able to hold Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at home, with rave reviews building from the rearguard performance of the Cherries star player. The aforementioned valuation shows how highly his stature is now regarded, therefore a January move for the future England international would be a very astute piece of business.