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One or the other? Why Liverpool would benefit with both Wijnaldum and Thiago next season

With Liverpool, transfers are never made to be easy. It seems that the only route for Thiago Alcantara to join the Reds is if one of Jurgen Klopp’s current midfield options were to leave the club.

But does it really have to be that difficult?

While Liverpool’s midfield base is unquestionably the most highly contested area of the team, a lot of success in such position has been from having an array of options in the case of injury.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum battles for possession with West Ham United’s Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on January 29, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephanie Meek – CameraSport via Getty Images)

With that said, why can’t Liverpool keep Georginio Wijnaldum, whose contract has gone into it’s final year and sign Thiago as well?

Melissa Reddy of the Independent recently reported that the determining factors behind a potential deal were not financially impacted but that Liverpool are not prepared to invest in a position that is currently heavily occupied at the club unless a high-profile player were to leave.

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Again, does it really need to be that complicated?

A team as well constructed as Liverpool can never really have too many world-class options and it could indeed be argued that the Reds would benefit from having both Thiago and Wijnaldum on board next season.

NAPLES, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 17: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Fabinho and Jordan Henderson of Liverpool showing their appreciation to the fans at the end of the UEFA Champions League group E match between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio San Paolo on September 17, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Making a case for further options

For one, the midfield base is the most heavily rotated area of the squad which would argue that the more options available the more unpredictable Liverpool can be against alternate opponents during their upcoming title defence.

Injuries as well will likely play its course throughout next season and Klopp will hope he has enough options to compete on all fronts once again.

Last campaign, a number of Liverpool’s midfielders spent a sustained period of the season out with injury and it was because the squad was so stacked with options that the team were able to maintain their relentless standards even in the absence of key players.

Fabinho was in the form of his life prior to a ligament injury that kept the Brazilian sidelined for three months. The setback threatened to derail Liverpool’s season yet the team were able to adapt and find alternate solutions.

Jordan Henderson sacrificed his more attacking role to play in the midfield hole while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita rotated in-between the No.8 position.

Liverpool’s ability to step up in the face of adversity was unparalleled last season and was why Klopp’s ‘mentality monsters’ were able to leave the chasing pack in their dust.

A lot of sceptics like to play down that Liverpool were lucky with injuries yet the likes of Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita missed a combined 30 league matches due to injury last time out.

With that said, the reality is that Liverpool’s midfield is the most physically demanding area of the team and reinforcements wouldn’t go a miss.

Given that the 2020/21 season is expected to be the most highly congested and gruelling campaign to date following the effects of the pandemic, Liverpool would be wise to make sure they are sufficiently stocked to take whatever setback is thrown their way.

Thiago is a world-class player and when global superstars such as the Spaniard are available and desperate to join the cause then it is difficult to think of reasons against the signing altogether.

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