Liverpool’s midfield options have been meticulously tuned in recent years to significantly put the team in a position of strength when challenging for the biggest honours in club football.
It’s fair to say the club’s transfer committee have done just that and some following on from Liverpool’s recent triumphs in both the Premier League and Champions League.
The midfield department has seen more alterations and arrivals over the past three seasons than any other position in the team.
Liverpool currently boasts the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Curtis Jones who are all regularly utilised by Jurgen Klopp.
However, even in such a position of strength structurally and financially, the transfer rumour mill cannot be contained nor does it stop a selection of supporters demanding new signings.
According to reports from Sky Sports, Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been touted with a move to the English, European and world champions.
The report claims that the 29-year-old has his heart set on a move to Anfield despite Liverpool’s intentions on a deal currently very much ambiguous to all.
Where does Thiago fit in?
What is perhaps most surprising when questioning the likelihood of Liverpool acting on their reported interest would be how Thiago would potentially fit into the team when looking at the club’s lack of funds as well as limited space in midfield.
Liverpool’s midfield options represent arguably the best value in a departmental aspect of the team when considering the age, the number of viable options and ability to cope with injuries.
Last season saw Liverpool lose the likes of Henderson, Fabinho Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain to sustained injury yet the depth of the squad was able to cope in both the league and in Europe showcasing the organisation that has gone into place to create a midfield base that is befitting of champions.
This makes the links to Thiago all the more confusing. While a world-class player of Thiago’s calibre would indeed be welcomed with open arms among supporters, Liverpool tend to only move in for players when addressing a particular area of concern.
Liverpool recently completed the transfer for Kostas Tsimikas on Monday. The deal enabled Jurgen Klopp to finally provide a natural replacement as well as sufficient cover for left-back Andy Robertson.
The English champions went the entirety of last season without efficient cover for the Scotsman and the year before that, too. While both campaigns were hugely successful, Liverpool were also indebted to a chunk of lady luck.
Tsimikas’ arrival represents the club acting shrewdly on an area of the squad which could be seen as a potential weakness ahead of Liverpool’s title defence next season.
Not lacking in options
Midfield wouldn’t typically be considered an area of concern when looking at potential improvements to avoid complacency.
The only logical explanation to the speculation surrounding Thiago could be the unresolved contract situation of Wijnaldum.
However, David Ornstein of The Athletic recently argued against this particular notion after it was claimed that despite negotiations currently at a standoff, Liverpool themselves are not looking to sell the multi-functional midfielder.
This would make the likelihood of Liverpool ploughing money into an area of the team that is adequately stocked all the more confusing.
Indeed, Klopp could be looking to utilise Liverpool’s current status as champions of everything to his advantage by bringing in world-class options for next season, yet there are still other areas of the team that would warrant a more urgent need of stocking up.
Fabinho, 26, Keita, 25 and Oxlade-Chamberlain, 26 were all signed for big-money fees and are all entering the peak years of their careers while simultaneously offering Liverpool’s midfield something different with each aforementioned player boasting a contrasting playing style.
While there is always room for improvement, Liverpool’s transfer committee have worked miracles to create a midfield base that perfectly complements the team’s playing style and key philosophies making the Thiago links not impossible but certainly confusing at this period of time.
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