Are Liverpool Set to Snag Europe’s Top Midfielder?

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Can Ederson be the Fabinho Replacement

It still irks me to consider how Chelsea was able to outmanoeuvre the former Liverpool Sporting Director, Jörg Schmadtke, not once but twice last summer. The 2023 chase to land that much-needed defensive midfielder eventually saw the Reds sign Wataru Endō in response to failed efforts to secure either Moisés Caicedo or Roméo Lavia. Despite Liverpool looking likely to have the last laugh (the Blues are facing inevitable sanctions for P&S failures), the historic six-time champions of Europe were still embarrassed by the free-spending Todd Boehly, who may have driven multiple nails into the coffin of the Stamford Bridge club.

At the close of the season, no single supporter can deny that the Anfield club failed to address the huge need to replace the departed Fabinho, whose legs and ability to dominate a pitch had regressed into a much-needed sale. A window of opportunity was presented. Though the Japan captain, Endō, made for a solid enough squad addition, he did not get close to reproducing the legendary Brazilian once brought.

Who Should be the Eventual Fabinho Replacement…?

With Michael Edwards’s appointment as Liverpool’s overlord and Sporting CEO, I suspect he will look to replicate the signing of the departed destroyer, Fabinho, who he once once signed from Monaco. Alongside his new Sporting Director, Richard Hughes, they must now address this problem area in these warmer months to gift the new Head Coach, Arne Slot, the best chance of success in his first season on Merseyside. The middle ground dominance was once crucial to all the silverware won, with the critical signings of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, and Fabinho, allowing a defensive resilience that saw the Reds rise to the summit of the footballing world.

My next batch of articles will focus on the ideal defensive midfield options for next season and the names most likely to be linked with a move to Anfield. The midfield needs a new ball-winning monster to see a concise list containing the following spectacular assets.

Club – Atalanta
Nationality – Brazilian
Age – 24-years-old DOB – 07/07/1999
Height – 6ft 0inch
Weight – 86kg
Playing Positions – CDM / CM
Appearances – 215 games
Goals & Assists – 15 goals / 6 assists
Contract Expiry – June 30 2027
Transfermarkt Value – €30m
Projected Cost of Deal – €40m
Brazil Under-20 Caps – 1

This has been a breakout season for the uncapped Brazil enforcer, one that ended with a superb display in the victorious Europa League final. That night saw Atalanta humble a previously undefeated Bayer Leverkusen, 3-0, after comfortably overcoming Liverpool (3-1 on aggregate) at the quarter-final stage. The ferocious defensive shield is the closest thing we have seen to the Reds former number two, which surely puts his name front and centre in the mind of Liverpool’s famed recruitment team. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, this outstanding player would allow a more consistent and destructive off-ball endeavour, with an ability to hunt the return of possession at will. The link within shows exceptional recoveries and defensive actions, which would combine beautifully with the controlling attributes of Alexis Mac Allister and Curtis Jones. A double pivot enterprise is fast incoming (under the new regime), and the data team within the halls of Liverpool’s recruitment department will be busy identifying those who fit the criteria of the new coach.

If Ederson were the man to land on Merseyside, he would be a worthy addition and perhaps the perfect replacement for his fellow Brazilian, the once outstanding and silverware-worthy Fabinho.

Steven Smith

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