Liverpool are looking at Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, according to reports. Here are three ways the 25-year-old could shake up this champion team.
The report comes from the Mirror. They say Liverpool are watching carefully as Manchester City and Manchester United consider bids for Jack Grealish.
Aston Villa would want ‘at least £100m’ for the player, however. Although, that’s not our problem with it. We don’t see how Grealish could fit into the wage structure.
But let’s pretend he can and that Liverpool move for him. How would he fit into this team? We pick out three ways he can shake things up.
Up until now, Jurgen Klopp has relied on a very hard-working, pragmatic midfield. They’re all talented players, of course, but their strength comes in versatility.
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Every option can switch between attack and defence, with all of them comfortable playing as a midfield shield or a possession anchor.
Grealish would change that. If Liverpool used him in the middle, he’d be more of a link to the attack and less inclined to shield a defence.
He’s all about running with the ball and moving through tight spaces. Grealish also wants the ball often, operating as a playmaker.
That would change how Liverpool’s midfield operates and how it meshes with the forwards. Perhaps that’s what the Reds want? It would certainly bring a new dimension.
As we mentioned, Grealish excels at weaving in and out of defenders, creating space with little room to manoeuvre. That has a role in Liverpool’s forward line.
Grealish often operates from the left, after all. He could take up a spot there against packed defences and threaten teams who pack their box at Anfield.
Both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are good at that, too, of course. But with each, it’s more of an added skill that makes them wonderful, complete wingers. Their real threat comes from the ability they offer in behind.
Grealish lacks their pace, though. Instead, he relies on creating pockets of space and gliding past defenders – he’s arguably the best in the league at it.
That certainly has a place at Liverpool, should they want to build an attack that isn’t quite so reliant on pace.
At 25, Grealish would be in a good spot to play in the next great Liverpool team. So many of the current crop are pushing 30, meaning they only have a few years left at the top.
But Grealish would glide into his prime as the stars fade out – and that’s a great balance. The Villa man really could shake things up in the biggest way possible, then, by speeding up that change over.
What we think
Is all of this worth £100m and over £200k-a-week? No, we really don’t think so.
Grealish is a fantastic player but he would be a signing that changed things. That’s very different from signing a player who is a clear fit with what you have.
Liverpool’s most successful signings have been the latter. The Reds needed a dominant centre-half, so they spent big on Virgil van Dijk.
They wanted a physical defensive midfielder, so they paid for Fabinho. Liverpool wanted to balance their right-wing with their left, so they bought Salah.
When you spend a lot of money, you want to know that the player you’re bringing in will succeed with what you’ve got. You want them to have a place in the team and, importantly, for there to be no question.
A ‘shake-up’ is good when you’re not a good team but Liverpool are the best around. So when they’re spending big, they should get a player who fits with the others in a successful system.
And we just don’t think that’s Grealish.