Liverpool may have found their perfect signing as they reportedly seek a £33m hat-trick - RTK view


Liverpool may have found their perfect signing as they reportedly seek a £33m hat-trick - RTK view

Liverpool may have found their ideal midfield signing in Matheus Nunes. The Reds will reportedly try to sign the player from Sporting.

There’s really only one glaring need in the Liverpool squad right now. The defence is sorted, after all, as the Reds boast two solid choices in every position. Attack looks good, too, as there are several world-class players and Jurgen Klopp will struggle just to keep them all happy.

But midfield has several question marks over it. Fabinho is perfect – no worries there – but everyone else is a bit of a doubt in one way or another.

Jordan Henderson and Thiago, for instance, are now in their 30s and have difficult injury histories. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner all only have a year left on their contracts. Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are massive talents but still relatively inexperienced at the top level.

Thus Liverpool will almost certainly need to sign someone. Maybe that’s this summer, maybe it’s in 2023. Either way, midfield is the priority in the transfer market.

The dream signing is unquestionably Jude Bellingham. We’ve written time and time again how perfect he’d be – but with one enormous drawback.

Bild claim that Borussia Dortmund would want over £100m for Bellingham and Liverpool have never signed someone in that bracket. While the Englishman could be their first, it’s still a massive risk.

Which is why they might fancy something different.

Liverpool signing Matheus Nunes

Jornal de Notícias claimed this week that Liverpool are now in the running for Matheus Nunes of Sporting. The 23-year-old would cost upwards of £33m and has a release clause of around £50m.

It’s easy to see why Nunes would appeal to Liverpool. The Reds are a side that has thrived on all-action midfielders – the kind who can do a bit of everything, depending on what the team needs.

Henderson is a magnificent example of this, as is Gini Wijnaldum. They’re players who can sit deep and defend diligently. They can also play on the counter-attack from that, too, and have the athleticism to press relentlessly.

But you also trust them to play a possession game and push high up the pitch. Whatever style Jurgen Klopp asks for, they can shift to do it.

And Nunes is a similar kind of player. A look at his statistical averages shows a fairly dull player – one tackle per 90, one interception, one key pass – but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

The midfielder reaches those averages through a mix of consistency and switching up his game. Many matches see him finish with one tackle or interception but several see him explode into a certain role.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

For instance, Nunes had a game against FC Porto last season where he won three tackles. He had another against the eventual champions with two tackles and four interceptions. There was a meeting with Pacos de Ferreria where Nunes managed five inteceptions.

It’s a similar story with passing. Nunes typically doesn’t create much but was able to thrive in certain games – there was a two-game spell that saw him create seven chances.

And on top of it all, the player can dribble exceptionally well. Nunes averages 2.5 dribbles per 90 but there were games last season where he was beating five or six players. It’s exceptional stuff and at only 23, it’s the kind of skill that will only improve to a higher level.

This move would complete a hat-trick of sorts, of course, with Liverpool already signing Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez from Liga Portugal in 2022. And from what we can see, it would be well worth doing – Nunes is the kind of midfielder Liverpool love.

All stats from Whoscored.

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