The clouds of perturbance loom over Anfield. While the victory against Tottenham sure is pleasing, there were a few unmistakable errors that have been disturbing the reds throughout the season. All of Spurs’ three goals were a result of Liverpool mentally collapsing in defense. Curtis Jones’ impressive form has filled in a bit, but the cracks in the backline are crystal clear.
While Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have redeemed themselves with offensive contributions, the defense altogether left a lot to be desired. Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk are mere shadows of their formidable past, Ibrahima Konate’s still green around the edges and our backups don’t stand a chance against strong sides.
The gears in the system have broken down and Liverpool needs to invest in newer ones this summer. Let’s have a look at a priority list made from various Liverpool reports.
Alexis Mac Allister
Brighton has been making headlines this season, and all for good reasons. Their build-up is hailed as one of the best in Europe, this season.
"Pep Guardiola says: “The best team at making the build-up in the world is Brighton.“There is no team better that make the process to get the goalkeeper to bring the ball into to the last quarter.”"
Roberto De Zerbi has garnered praise for his style and much credit goes to the duo of Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo. The double pivot provides Brighton the base for orchestrating their attack while providing defensive solidity. Liverpool clearly need this type of midfield on their teamsheet. They have relied mostly on Arnold’s creativity and their high press for creating chances.
With a creator like TAA on their right side, Liverpool need someone to add balance on the left side. Given all his positives, Andy Robertson is not a creator, but rather an elite ball carrier. To supplement the side after Wijnaldum’s departure, Klopp brought in Thiago. Thiago was supposed to be the fulcrum of attack, who could create chances and progress the play on the left flank. The physical battle of Premier League paired with recurring injuries have never let the Spaniard hit his Bayern heights.
In Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool gets a premium playmaker who can contribute defensively and also has his best years ahead of him. Mac Allister commands a comparatively decent fee at a range of £50-60 million.
Ever since Jurgen Klopp had to admit that Liverpool cannot afford to dream this summer, the links aimed at Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham have cooled down. Jude Bellingham has a maturity beyond his age and can run the engine of any top European side. While a price tag on upside of £130 million has halted the move, the Reds have found their alternative.
Playing for Bundesliga giants, Bayern Munich, Ryan Gravenberch was at a point touted to be a stronger name in comparison to his Dortmund compatriot. Shining brightly at the centre of Johan Cruyff Arena under tutelage of Erik ten Hag, Gravenberch was supposed the lead the next generation of midfielders and it looked so when the Dutch joined Bavarian giants.
However contrary to the expectations, Gravenberch was left to rot on the bench. He has been limited to only four appearances so far this season. Gravenberch is identical to Bellingham in many ways. They both possess similar physical robustness and strong mental attributes to their game. They have maturity beyond their age and also encompass strong leadership traits.
While Jude Bellingham has experienced explosive growth this season playing for a top European side, Liverpool can afford to be patient with Gravenberch and develop into the star of tomorrow. His market value of £25 million would be an ideal investment for the Reds.
It has been a while since Renato Sanches has first dazzled the footballing universe with his impromptu magic. Raised by Benfica, Sanches attracted a lot of attention from the top clubs with his excellence in 2015-16 season. Bayern Munich won the battle for the Portuguese midfielder, and believed they got their hands on a promising starlet. But the fate had other plans.
Renato was often overlooked by his managers and he started to lose himself in the giant Bayern dressing room. After a lot of hustle, Renato got out of the Bavaria and headed to Lille. There he met with Christopher Galtier and the rest is a romance better than Twilight.
Renato is an excellent player on possession. His dynamism and explosiveness makes him a valuable asset at both ends of the pitch, making him an effective box-to-box man. However, his latent ability are his spurts of creative excellence. Renato sometimes whips up chances outta nowhere.
Liverpool can get their hands on him for just £20 million, as Paris Saint-Germain are eager to rebuild their current squad. He could prove to be a reliable option if given enough time and it would be a treat to watch him link up with TAA on the right hand side.
Fabinho has been a fantastic servant to the Reds, safeguarding their defenses for uncountable times while they conquered England and Europe. However, it can’t be ignored that Fabinho has lost his abilities somehow this season. Liverpool’s anchor-in-chief doesn’t look the same anymore. His game-reading, defensive and passing abilities have come under the naked eye.
Everyone can see that he isn’t the same anymore, and nobody knows what the problem is. It appears that at times, everything he does turns out to be a mistake. It would be a tom-foolery if Liverpool bank on him for another season without a proper backup. While Europe is experiencing a scarcity of sustainable holding midfielders, Liverpool can make do with an exciting option from Sporting CP.
Meet Manuel Ugarte, the 21-year-old midfielder brimming with exciting potential. Born and brought up in the resilient backdrop of Uruguay, Ugarte has been instrumental in Sporting’s campaign so far. Ugarte has got it all. He is a proper technician who can recycle possession comfortably and move into the spaces when he needs to. This makes him a reliable ball carrier and his press resistance comes as a bonus.
Coming to defense, his stocks rise up rapidly. Ugarte is a tenacious tackler who wouldn’t leave the receiver alone. He isn’t scared to get stuck in and would aggressively chase the ball in a Kante-esque manner. Ah, Klopp would love him! His unending stamina gives him an engine which can trouble several top-tier midfields.
A secure ball progressor with decent pace, and a haunting ball-winner off possession, Ugarte seems to be a perfect replacement for Fabinho. Liverpool could persuade Sporting with a price of £45-50 million. He would be worth every single penny!
Mason Mount would’ve been at the top of this list, but his positive contacts with Todd Boehly have stalled the Merseyside interest on him. While the operation is looking complex at this stage, there is always a hope…
Mount is not a stranger to Premier League. He has been a key player for Frank Lampard in his first term, and the stats do add up to his favor. He was the primary creator in a side which equipped top-notch creators like Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. While much of the credit goes to serious underperformance from the latters, Mount deserves his share of praise.
Mount isn’t afraid of pressing high and is a workhorse at that. While he mayn’t have many standout capabilities, Mount is great at understanding the positional dynamics of the game, and adjusts himself to the variables rather quickly. To summarize it cleanly, Mason Mount is a player similar to Bayern legend Thomas Muller. A midfielder who relishes on positional gaps and uses it to create chances. A Raumdeuter, English version.
It’s not daily that you find a Croatian talent labelled as the ‘Next Luka Modric’. with a price tag of £40 million. No offense Luka, you remain the legend, but future is fast approaching. Maturing tremendously at Stade Rennes, Lovro Majer looks to set his foot on the next pedestal. A move to Premier League can help him flourish and bring out his best version.
The 25-year-old Croatian lad has sizeable experience under his belt. While Majer is still an unchartered territory at the top flight, the potential is appealing. He is among the best creators on this list. With a great vision, Majer can launch that killer-pass through any gap and cause endless chaos.
Better described as playmaker, Lovro Majer is infamous for his mixing up his line-breakers with pseudo passes and also has an competitive command over long-ranged ones. While Majer is a competent dribbler and an excellent layoff man, passing is his core strength. His first touch, composure and decision-making are top-class and befit of legendary European clubs.
He ranks second in terms of xA and Assist per 90 mins in Ligue 1, only behind the magical and mercurial Lionel Messi. His elegance is reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane’s class. Lovro Majer still needs work off the possession, but for the services he provide on the possession he is definitely someone to consider.
Who doesn’t know Alex Scott? Football Manager 2023’s favorite wonderkid. Alex Scott has it all. A mouth-watering potential to look out for, A low price tag from Bristol City and also an English passport. Rumored to be the next David Beckham a few years ago, Scott took the different route. While he is still good at wings, it is at centre where he rules the pitch.
A well-rounded profile, Alex Scott is a buy for future. He can act as perfect hybrid of No. 6,8 and 10. He can hold the ball and recycle possession, can dictate the tempo and can also create chances. It depends on who uses him and how.
A price tag under £20 million for such a promising prospect seems a bargain, but Liverpool must be cautious to give him enough playing time. Given enough room to grow, Alex Scott can emerge as a world class playmaker in just a few seasons.
That’s all for today folks!