Jurgen Klopp is personally a big fan of reported Liverpool transfer target Joao Palhinha.
Palhinha has emerged as a potential option for Liverpool, as they look to stabilise their midfield this summer. And according to TalkSPORT, the Reds push to sign the Fulham man could all be down to Klopp.
They claim that the Liverpool manager is an ‘admirer’ of Palhinha and is ‘expected’ to add him to the Reds summer shortlist. The move comes as Liverpool reportedly draw up a list of alternatives to Jude Bellingham.
Palhinha not the right fit for Liverpool
Palhinha would – unfortunately – not be a particularly popular addition for Klopp to make. That isn’t any slight on the players abilities. On his showings for Fulham this season he has plenty of the attributes Liverpool’s midfield is currently missing. Gary Neville has even claimed Palhinha has been ‘fantastic.’
Rather then, the former Sporting midfielder is just a little on the old side.
That might sound strange to say about a player who’s yet to turn twenty-eight. Palhinha will reach that milestone in July this year, but he’s hardly an old man. In football terms the Portuguese is only just reaching his peak. His best years should be on the cusp of being realised.
From a Liverpool point of view though, that makes him barely two years younger than Fabinho. As we’ve seen this season, players who are asked to hold their team’s midfield together can see their legs go quicker than deemed normal. Fabinho has proven that beyond all doubt.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean the same is due to happen to Palhinha. Anyone who’s watched him for Fulham this season will tell you how energetic and dynamic he has largely been. But Liverpool can’t take the risk. They need young blood.
That’s why, no matter how much Klopp admires him, the Reds have better options in their list. Fabinho probably does need replacing this summer and Liverpool need to make sure that whoever does that job leaves them set for the next four or five years. With the best will in the world, that can’t be Palhinha.