Liverpool could have looked different with Aurélien Tchouaméni this season. The Reds tried to sign the Frenchman.
It wasn’t exactly a secret that Liverpool wanted Aurélien Tchouaméni in the summer. There was plenty of talk across the first half of the year – the Reds just weren’t quite able to get it done.
But Liverpool definitely tried to get him. Tchouaméni admitted as much this week in an interview with Le Parisien.
“The first team to show interest was Liverpool,” Tchouameni claimed. “There were discussions, but as soon as Real Madrid entered, my mind was made up.
“I didn’t hesitate for a second. I told my agent: bring me to Real Madrid”.
So what could have been? We think Tchouaméni would have fixed a couple of problems for Liverpool this season.
Liverpool with Aurélien Tchouaméni
One immediate advantage of having Tchouaméni would have been as a replacement for Fabinho. The Brazilian is the only out-and-out holding midfielder in the squad and hasn’t been in good form this season.
Jurgen Klopp has had to rely on Fabinho regardless of that form, however. Having Tchouméni in there, then, would have given the boss an option he doesn’t have. It’s something we imagine Liverpool will try and fix, even without the Frenchman.
But Tchouaméni is also brilliant in a sitting midfield two – something Klopp has turned to this season. He could have played alongside Fabinho as a defensive pairing. You can easily see how he’d fit as a counterpart to Thiago, too. Jordan Henderson and Tchouaméni would be a nightmare to play against.
Above all, he’d have been a young midfielder who could have developed an understanding with Liverpool’s long-term pieces. Harvey Elliott, for one, would be able to learn a partnership with Tchouaméni and stick with it for a long time. The same can be said of Ibrahima Konaté – for both club and country.
It’s easy to see why Liverpool wanted Tchouaméni, then. They’d have significantly boosted their midfield with the signing and locked down another long-term piece of their side. We can only imagine they’ll have alternatives in mind who can deliver something similar as losing out here was a real blow.