Liverpool have been heavily linked with Franck Kessie in recent months and his display against AS Roma on Sunday evening showed why.
Former Red, Steve Nicol, has urged Liverpool to sign Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure to help them defensively.
He told ESPN: “The one problem Liverpool have right now is regardless who they’re playing against, they [the opponent] are getting at the back four. I’ll tell you what, I’d take Doucoure from Everton.”
Obviously, that’s never going to happen but with Franck Kessie yet to sign a new contract in Milan, and with Liverpool linked several times by sources in Italy over the last few months, I was excited when I watched him in action for the Italian side on Sunday.
A report from Spanish outlet El Nacional from October claimed the Merseysiders are ready to pay Kessie a signing on bonus of €30million (£25.4m) to convince him to run down his contract and move to Anfield.
Kessie is going to be world-class very soon
Stefano Pioli is a fantastic manager and his win over AS Roma is a very important one for AC Milan as they seek to win their first Scudetto for a decade.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the headlines with his ageless performance, but it was Kessie who caught my eye as the Ivorian scored a penalty and put in the hard yards, which every Liverpool midfielder must do to succeed under Jurgen Klopp.
The German requires his central midfielders to be selfless and do the bulk of the running to allow Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane the ability to focus on attacking.
When Theo Hernandez was sent off in the 66th minute, Pioli seemed to direct Kessie to play in a slightly wider role than he normally would.
Hopefully, Liverpool scouts were watching Kessie
In the final 15 minutes of the game, the former Atalanta midfielder was in a fierce mood as he wriggled away from challenges and helped AC Milan play out of danger to relieve pressure on their goal, as AS Roma bombed forward in search of a way back into the game.
The home side ultimately scored in the 93rd minute but it was too little too late and I think, if any Liverpool scouts were watching, they will have been very impressed with Kessie’s composure, stamina and ball-playing ability.
He reminded me a lot of former AC Milan great Clarence Seedorf with his similar build and the way he protected the ball, fighting tooth and nail to earn the Rossoneri a vital win.
If Liverpool can sign him for free next summer, he would be a terrific replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum even if it would be 12 months late.