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Liverpool ‘interest’ in promising midfield prodigy would fit with Jurgen Klopp plan

Reports in Brazil have suggested that Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes could be on his way to Liverpool next summer.

Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes is a ‘target’ for Jurgen Klopp next summer as Liverpool start to line up potential additions for their midfield revamp, according to reports in Brazil.


Having completed the signing of Arthur Melo from Juventus on a season-long loan on deadline day, in a move that was sanctioned following Jordan Henderson’s hamstring injury vs Newcastle, Klopp’s options in midfield have been few and far between during the opening weeks of the new season.


INaby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have both suffered injuries, with the pair’s contract expiring next summer, Thiago Alcantara only made his second start of the season on Tuesday evening after spending time in the treatment room with Curtis Jones and the aforementioned Henderson.


Following the signing of the former Barcelona man Arthuer on a temporary basis, Juventus made it public knowledge that Anfield officials had an option of acquiring his signature on a full-time basis for a fee in the region of £32m next summer.


However, Brazilian journalist Julio Miguel is reporting that Liverpool are “interested” in Gomes. But what could the youngster bring to the Liverpool midfield, which has been under intense scrutiny in the weeks which have followed the Reds’ 2-2 draw with Fulham in August?


Aged just 21, the Brazilian has already racked over 100 senior appearances for Flamengo’s first team after successfully working his way through the club’s junior set-up. A central midfielder by trade, already during his rookie career Gomes has displayed the ability to aid in other areas of the field, both offensively and defensively.


According to Transfer market, the 20-year-old has played centre-back, defensive midfield, attacking midfield and even had a stint on the left flank for the seven-time Brazilian champions.


But with most of his appearances this season coming in the position Klopp would describe as the ‘number six’, it seems that Gomes could be brought to Anfield as a potential long-term successor to his compatriot Fabinho.


Since making the move to Liverpool from AS Monaco in the summer of 2018, Fabinho has, apart from his period of settling into the side in Autumn 2018, rarely been handed a rest by his manager because of how instrumental he is to his side’s success.


Having made 179 appearances in all competitions in the four years since, Liverpool boast an impressive 65% win ratio when the defensive stalwart has played. His importance has been greatly amplified since the signing of Thiago in 2020, with the pair having only lost two of the games they have both started in midfield.


But with the Reds looking short on defensive-minded midfielders in recent weeks, an additional calming presence would no doubt be a welcome addition to the Reds’ engine room.


Furthermore, it would also hand Klopp the chance to effectively use a 4-2-3-1, with the Liverpool manager frequently tweaking to such a formation during the late stages of games so far this term, but unable to sport the formation from the off due to the obvious imbalances in midfield.


That, however, has been changed by the return of Thiago earlier this week. With him and Fabinho looking solid during the closing stages of the win over Ajax in a two-man pivot, as the introduction of Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino signalled Liverpool’s shift to a 4-2-3-1 as they continued their hunt for a late winner.


But regularly starting on the left side of Flamengo’s 4-3-3, the same formation in use at Anfield, Gomes could seemingly also slot straight into the Reds’ current midfield arrangements.


Speaking earlier this year, his manager Paulo Sousa, told Globo: “He is a player that has a unique characteristic in our squad in the offensive and defensive ball disputes. He is very strong physically.”

But regardless of whatever system Klopp chooses to use during the remaining years of his Anfield contract, one thing that is for sure is that the summer of 2023 promises to be vital in terms of future-proofing the midfield. With Fabinho turning 29 next month, Liverpool will want to ensure he is fit and firing during his peak years at the club, having signed a new long-term contract last summer, and signing a promising prodigy like Gomes would ensure just that.

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