Bellingham plus one: Liverpool's midfield next season could be close to perfection
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Bellingham plus one: Liverpool's midfield next season could be close to perfection

Liverpool’s midfield next season could be close to perfection if they get their signings right. And that means Jude Bellingham plus one.

Liverpool need to refresh their midfield and fortunately, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are all out of contract next summer, allowing the Reds to easily create space both in the squad and on the wage bill.

That’s space they’ll want to fill with players coming into their prime. That, after all, is what’s missing from the Reds’ midfield.

Jordan Henderson and Thiago are brilliant but both in decline. Fabinho, at 29, is arguably still in his prime but hasn’t looked as sharp this season.

At the other end of the scale, there’s Harvey Elliott. He’s only 19 and nowhere near his prime – and may not be for another four or five years. Fabio Carvalho and Curtis Jones can both play in midfield – but both are as inexperienced as Elliott.

Having both ends of the spectrum in the squad is great, as long as you also have players already consistently delivering at the top level consistently. Liverpool lack that and it’s something they must address next year. Do that correctly and their midfield suddenly looks close to perfection.

Liverpool’s midfield next season

The primary target must be Jude Bellingham. Yes, he’s still a teenager but he’s playing like one of Europe’s best midfielders right now. He’s literally what Liverpool need – an energetic, versatile midfielder who is comfortable moving with the ball. The dream is that he ends up being something of a cross between Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.

Just adding Bellingham – albeit for a fortune – would add world-class quality to Liverpool in an instant. They’d get a player who can play every single style, in multiple formations and someone who will only improve further.

But he’s not quite enough. Add one more player and Liverpool suddenly look perfect. They’ve been linked to some fantastic midfielders, too, with Moisés Caicedo on their list, per Ecuadorian outlet Studio Fútbol.

Caicedo would bring something similar to Bellingham. A young talent who is quickly looking like one of the best in his position, able to learn under Jurgen Klopp before moving into his best years.

Or maybe someone like Declan Rice? He’s expected to leave West Ham United in 2023, especially with their poor season. We wrote in 2021 that he could be a massive signing for Liverpool and stand by it.

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Rice is a brilliant player who can sit in front of a back four or push forward to influence things in the attacking third. Again, he’s wonderfully versatile and opens up so many options for Klopp – although like Bellingham, he’d cost a fortune.

Liverpool have options

Bellingham should remain priority one but beyond him, Liverpool have some exciting options out there. The right player would essentially give the Reds a perfect set of midfielders.

You’d have experience and youth, with enough players in between who are moving towards their best years. You’d have a creative midfield like Elliott and a defensive piece like Fabinho. There’s energy in Henderson, the technique of Thiago, and players like Bellingham and Caicedo to blend it all together.

Liverpool have special midfielders already but the right two signings bridge the gap between their exciting youngsters and their experienced veterans. And with that, the Reds would have it all.

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