Coming into the summer, the midfield was clearly going to be a focus for Liverpool Football Club. Long-term players were departing and new ones would need to be brought in. The youngsters showed flashes that gave promise to further growth.
However, those plans probably did not account for Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both jetting off to the Saudi Pro League.
While the Reds were hyper efficient early in the window as they secured the services of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai with little fuss, things have gone the other way since then.
Liverpool have been linked to a host of players around the world and yet, no 3rd arrival has come through the door. The club have been most closely tied to Romeo Lavia from Southampton who are being firm in negotiations.
As a result, we are inching ever closer to the end of the transfer window and the odds that Liverpool will be able to bring in multiple midfielders to replenish what they’re losing seems unlikely.
Because of this, the focus could very well shift to the youngsters in the midfield already at the club. This is names like Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajectic among others.
Even if Lavia does eventually join, the aforementioned players are going to play a vital role this coming season.
Jones is coming off a strong finish to last season that saw him finally able to secure a consistent role in the starting XI and he flourished as a result. He was able to carry this momentum into the U-21 European Championships where he had multiple Man of the Match performances and scored the winning goal in the Final.
I believe he will be relied upon a lot by Jurgen Klopp, particularly early in the season as the team transitions to its new environment.
Elliott made nearly 50 appearances for Liverpool last season as he was able to stay fit and healthy. This experience will be invaluable to the youngster, who showed incredible flashes of his ability, like this FA Cup goal against Wolves.
While his all-around abilities in the midfield still need cleaning up, he brings an attacking confidence that he drives forward with from the center of the park.
As for Bajcetic, he was forced into a starting role in the midst of Liverpool’s struggles. However, before an injury ended his season, he was one of the better and more consistent players for Klopp.
He filled the defensive void well enough for a player of his young age. He had an appetite for diving into cracking tackles that endeared him to fans and the staff alike.
His composure when receiving a ball under pressure was always a delight to watch as he would smoothly spin away from the defender on his hip and spray a progressive ball out wide.
With Fabinho looking like he is heading out, a potential defensive midfield pairing of Lavia and Bajcetic could be the best young duo the club has had for awhile. The ceiling in that pairing would be to the moon.
This is not to mention other players like Tyler Morton who has yet to have been given a chance to prove himself in Red, but he brings solid experience for his age after playing 40 times in the Championship for Blackburn last season.
The bottom line here is Liverpool are going to have a very different looking midfield for the 2023-24 season. If they get 1-2 more players in, the amount of fixtures to be played will still demand the youth at Anfield keep taking progressive steps.
The club winning some kind of silverware could very well depend on them. Strength in numbers will be the calling card. The kids should be ready to answer.