Liverpool seemingly left their squad short following the expiration of the summer transfer window. After losing Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, the Reds were in need of a new defensive midfielder.
Liverpool’s temporary defensive midfield solution
Wataru Endo eventually joined Jurgen Klopp’s side, but the Japanese national team captain is seemingly occupying a squad role with other makeshift options filling in the defensive midfield vacancy.
The 30-year-old has likely been signed as a stop-gap – he can provide a vital body in the midfield until the issue can be revisited in future transfer markets.
Endo can provide a short-term solution and ensure the Reds can gradually move forward this season, although he is certainly not title-winning quality. Liverpool are massive outsiders to win the Premier League this season. Klopp’s team are offered at 8/1 to lift their 20th league title at BetMGM. The leading odds for this season are sourced by The Game Day who compare a variety of sportsbooks and even offer a recommended bet of the day for all professional sports.
The Game Day offers a wide range of predictions on their site, in regards to the Premier League this season they are backing Manchester City to wrap up the title yet again. Liverpool could well surprise come the latter end of the season, but in leaving themselves short in a crucial area, a talented squad could be set to fall short of its league-winning ambitions.
Liverpool’s defensive midfield dilemma is not going to completely dissolve until it is properly addressed with a longer-term established option in the transfer market. But which players would be ideal to provide much-needed steel in the middle of the park for Klopp’s side?
Joao Palhinha is a player who was regularly linked with a move to Anfield throughout much of the summer window. On deadline day he looked set to join Bayern Munich, but the move eventually collapsed as Fulham could not find a replacement.
João Palhinha was in tears after his move to Bayern fell through on deadline day. Tuchel had a phone call with the player after that. However, Palhinha – who signed a new improved deal at Fulham – is uncertain whether the move to Bayern will be a hot topic again. Nevertheless,… pic.twitter.com/sN3QOicjlq
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 19, 2023
The Portuguese midfielder was one of the standout physical ball winners in his debut Premier League season in 2022/23. Perhaps his failed move to Munich is a sign that there is something bigger and better on the horizon for the Fulham man.
Palhinha is not the most ideal age profile at 28, but he could certainly offer four or five seasons of peak performances for the Reds. When considering long-term options that are proven in the league and would require a small adaptation period, few names are more tempting than the experienced Portugal international.
A move for Palhinha is one that is certainly foreseeable, the only stumbling block is the lucrative fee. Bruno Guimaraes on the other hand would be a much more ambitious signing, albeit he would be one that would transform the Reds into serious challengers on all fronts.
The Brazilian has been a vital part of Newcastle United’s midfield ever since he joined, but the early signs this season are that the club’s honeymoon period since the takeover might be coming to an end.
Despite spending heavily in the transfer market, Newcastle have had a poor start to the season and have some catching up to do if they are to finish in the top four again. Perhaps if Liverpool can finish in the UEFA Champions League spots and Newcastle continue to stagnate throughout the season, then Klopp’s project could tempt the Brazilian in 2024.
Newcastle are prepared to offer Bruno Guimarães new long term deal — been told discussions have already started, at early stages but ongoing. ⚪️⚫️ #NUFC
Barcelona and Liverpool are among top clubs tracking Bruno but they’re aware of Newcastle stance, where Bruno is key player. pic.twitter.com/2G8oEA9uLj
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 31, 2023
Both of these signings would demand huge fees, but in the case of the former, Fulham have at least shown in the past window that they are open to selling their key man.
Guimaraes on the other hand is a longshot option, but Liverpool will have to be ambitious in sourcing a long-term replacement for Fabinho Tavares. Either way, Klopp’s recruitment team will simply have to act on defensive midfield recruitments in future windows, and these two could be names that crop up. again.