Liverpool will reportedly let duo Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave for free in the summer, but who could replace them?
The 3-0 defeat suffered at Brighton in the Premier League over the weekend was another poor performance with most fans, and pundits, pointing towards Liverpool’s midfield as the main issue.
We’ve seen the likes of Thiago, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson all fail to hit their usual high standards and the back-up forces of Curtis Jones, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho havestruggled to provide an answer.
Where once this Liverpool side would fight for every ball and pile on pressure at every opportunity, this season they look off the pace are too easily dominated.
Reports suggest Liverpool will allow Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita’s contracts to run down this season and they will be free to leave in the summer. Two players out means space for new arrivals, but who could they target?
1. Jude Bellingham
Ok, let’s get this one out of the way first. Bellingham is one of the hottest properties in world football. His all-round game and maturity on and off the pitch at just 19 years old is incredible and his performances for club and country have warranted all the praise he’s received. Liverpool face stiff competition from Real Madrid and Manchester City, but they’ve been in contact with his representatives since before the summer window, and if they can secure Champions League football, they could offer him a starring role where he can shine for years to come.
2. Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans has been one of Leicester City’s best players during the Brendan Rogers era and he possesses plenty of traits that could see him fit the bill at Liverpool. Plus, his contract expires at the end of the season, Still only 25, he has a huge wealth of experience for club and country and can create and score goals, as well as being positionally responsible and a strong tackler. Plus, when surrounded by better players, he could thrive and we all know Klopp can improve players through his coaching and with Tielemans, there’s a whole lot to work with.
3. Moises Caicedo
Another obvious one, Liverpool are among a few elite clubs eyeing up the Ecuadorian international, with Chelsea emerging as favourites at the current time. Caicedo has been a revelation at Brighton as a ball-winning midfielder and his energy, presence and midfield coverage is what Liverpool lack. Still only 21, his defensive attributes stand out, as he is closer to Fabinho than he is to Thiago for example, but his ability to play in a midfield two could allow Klopp to try different formations to allow him to incorporate all of their attacking talent, as he looks to re-imagine his side.
4. Alexis Mac Allister
As success stories go, they don’t get much better than Alexis Mac Allister – the Argentinian played a key role for his country in winning the World Cup, and he is realising his full potential on consistent basis. His midfield flexibility coupled with his technical qualities and work rate are representative of that of a modern midfielder, and he could certainly be tailored to the style of Liverpool, as he would help add goals and creativity from midfield, all while being positionally secure.