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David Alaba can be Liverpool's unorthodox replacement for £25m star

David Alaba can be Liverpool’s replacement for Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman looks likely to leave Anfield at the end of the season.

Liverpool reportedly want David Alaba and we think he may be a replacement for a certain star. This comes from the Guardian, who believe the Reds will challenge Real Madrid for the Austrian.

It would be a big signing. Not just because of Alaba’s stardom but his reported wage demands – Goal believe they’re as high as £12m-a-year after tax.

But why would Liverpool want to spend that money on a defender after this season? Alaba couldn’t play left-back as Andy Robertson is there. He’d struggle to get games at centre-half over the returning Virgil van Dijk.

Well, perhaps Liverpool don’t want him as a defender at all.

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Replacement

It looks like Gini Wijnaldum will leave at the end of the season. We say that simply because he’s yet to sign a new deal but can now talk to other clubs.

If Liverpool and Wijnaldum haven’t come to terms on a new deal by now, it probably isn’t coming.

Thus the Reds will have to replace their £25m star. Wijnaldum has long been a key part of the team and losing him would be a blow.

But Alaba could be an ideal replacement.

The 28-year-old is certainly highly experienced, having won everything at club level multiple times. He’s an elite player, too, and – importantly – a highly versatile one.

Alaba started out in midfield, after all, and plays there from time to time. Liverpool could see his future there full-time.

Wijnaldum typically plays on the left of a midfield three. Alaba, as a left-back, knows the space well. But the way Liverpool use their midfielders could suit Alaba.

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They ask them to drift very wide, covering the runs from their full-backs. That would see Alaba take up his natural position, but with freedom to move inside.

He also has the energy and all-around game to play a box-to-box role in Liverpool’s midfield. Alaba can defend, he can attack, he’s intelligent off the ball – he can do it all.

This certainly wouldn’t be a long-term solution – Alaba would be 29 by the time he arrived. But if Liverpool want to challenge at the very top again next season, this might be the best way to nullify Wijnaldum’s exit.

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