Liverpool have an interest in Jack Grealish, according to reports. It highlights the difficult balance they must work under, however.
The Mirror claim that Liverpool have interest in Jack Grealish. They’re not the only ones, however.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City also want the player, with Aston Villa wanting ‘at least’ £100m.
Now, we have our doubts about the finances with this one. But regardless of whether the report is correct or if Liverpool ever make a move, it’s an interesting idea.
It really highlights the delicate balance at Liverpool, under which they must find new players.
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The current crop are getting on a bit. At the same time, they’re all in their prime but virtually every star is pushing 30 and will hit that mark within two years.
Liverpool, then, must think about the players who come next. Easy, right? The Reds replace them all with new stars in their prime and off we go.
Like Grealish, for instance.
But it’s a lot more complicated than that. Firstly, that would cost a fortune. £100m would apparently get you Grealish but Liverpool got Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for under that – combined.
In fact, Liverpool’s first-choice back four cost under £100m. Their first-choice midfield cost under £100m. And their first-choice front-three cost under £100m.
It would be nice to have a team with a £100m player in every position but we can’t see Liverpool spending £1.1b on their next team when they clearly don’t have to.
So how do you build a great team without spending all of that? Youth players and risks on cheap players.
And that’s where the balance comes in. Grealish is great but if Liverpool signed him, he’d be in direct competition with Curtis Jones. Both are very similar players, with the former being the kind of the player the latter should develop into.
So if you sign Grealish, you risk hindering Jones as it’s unlikely both can play together in a successful Liverpool side.
Well, now you’ve cost yourself the most promising youngster at the club. That money could have been far better spent elsewhere, getting you a £100m player and a fully-developed Jones.
That’s the balance, here. Liverpool can’t just sign elite players – they’ve got to sign elite players who make the most sense for what they’ve got.
We’re seeing it right now in defence, too. Rhys Williams looks like he could be, at the very least, a solid fourth-choice centre-half. Signing someone in January, however, takes that chance away.
Suddenly, that money could have been spent better elsewhere.
Liverpool putting faith in young players will dramatically shrink the pool of stars they can sign. But if they get it right, it’s the best way to develop their next top side.
It’s not an easy task but it is one we believe they can pull off.