The Future of Liverpool's Midfield
Liverpool needs midfielders. There is absolutely no doubt in anybody's mind that a huge midfield revamp should be the priority for Liverpool’s summer transfer window. Even the most optimistic of Liverpool supporters, including myself, must admit that we got it completely wrong in the Summer. Similarly, to Jurgen Klopp, I believed that the current crop of midfielders could push for one more season, before strengthening with the signing of Jude Bellingham. After the same group of players competed for a quadruple heading into the final three games of last season, the drastic drop off that we have seen so far wasn’t to be expected. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we must address exactly what Liverpool need to do in the upcoming transfer window.
Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain & James Milner? Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's Liverpool careers seem to have come to an end, with a wide range of reliable journalists claiming that both midfielders will depart from the club upon the expiry of their contracts. This comes to no surprise to anybody as neither midfielder have been available, and when they have, they haven’t contributed enough to justify earning themselves a new deal. James Milner on the other hand, is reportedly in talks to secure another year at the club. Jurgen Klopp seems to want his vice-captain to stick around for another season to help Liverpool both on and off the pitch. I do agree that it would be good to have James Milner working behind the scenes to oversee Liverpool’s midfield rebuild, but Liverpool must make sure that they do enough business in the window to ensure that there isn’t a time during the season where they’re relying on James Milner to play.
Mason Mount Mason Mount to Liverpool is a transfer rumour that refuses to go away. The 24-year-old seems no closer to negotiating a new deal with Chelsea, which has triggered interest from a number of clubs. The two clubs that seem to be the most interested in securing the signature of the England international are Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Paul Joyce has confirmed that Liverpool hold strong interest in Mason Mount, whilst Neil Jones claims that Liverpool have already held productive talks over a possible move for the midfielder. A lot of Liverpool fans are unsure about this potential transfer, but it would appear that Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan and wants Mason Mount to be a key part in Liverpool’s midfield revamp. Mason Mount also signed with ROOF agency recently which would signal a change of club is close. It’s worth noting that Virgil Van Dijk, Harvey Elliott & Jordan Henderson are all clients of the same agency.
What can Mason Mount bring to Liverpool? If you speak to Liverpool fans on social media, plenty will tell you that they aren’t a fan of this potential signing. Chelsea fans will also tell you that they’ll be happy to see Mason Mount depart from their club. However, Jurgen Klopp will certainly look beyond the last 12 months when it comes to Mason Mount, instead of looking at a bit of bad form. The 24-year-old has been Chelsea's player of the season twice, whilst racking up a total of 47 goal contributions in that time. He offers versatility by being able to play as a midfielder, and even across a front three if needed. He is fantastic at linking the midfield to attack and offers both goals and assists from midfield, which is something that Liverpool have drastically lacked in Jurgen Klopp’s tenure so far. Is Mason Mount on the top of most Liverpool supporters wish list for the summer? No. But if Liverpool can get the 24-year-old for a reasonable price, as he is out of contract next summer, then I believe it could be a smart signing for Liverpool. Somewhere between £40m and £50m would be reasonable.
Jude Bellingham Liverpool was seemingly leading the race for Jude Bellingham this summer, with the English talent preferring a move to Liverpool over any other club. However, Liverpool have now pulled out of any deal to sign the 19-year-old unless circumstances change (as per Paul Joyce). Those circumstances are purely how much money the total package is likely to be. Liverpool believed that they could land Jude Bellingham with their transfer budget, but according to Florian Plettenberg, Real Madrid and Man City have drastically inflated the price of the transfer fee, wages plus agent fees, and now Liverpool are officially out of the race to land Jude Bellingham this summer. It comes with great disappointment to the Liverpool supporters, who were told that Liverpool would put multiple transfer windows on hold to secure the ‘right players’, alluding to Jude Bellingham. Pretty much every reliable Liverpool journalist confirmed that the club were working on a deal, to only be left with egg on their face. The question that Liverpool supporters now have for whoever is responsible, is simply, why? Why did you decide to sign no midfielder since the arrival of Thiago Alcantara? Why have you only just worked out that Jude Bellingham would cost a lot of money? Why has so much time been wasted to secure Jude Bellingham, when Liverpool could have secured their alternatives last summer? There are so many questions to be asked. This whole situation is a very strange one, and hopefully it will make sense in the end. The Liverpool owners need to make it up to the supporters in the summer transfer window with something big, or it could get even uglier than it already is.
Who is Liverpool linked with now? It didn’t take long after the Jude Bellingham reports were published for speculation to fly around about who Liverpool’s potential Jude Bellingham alternatives are. It seems like Liverpool have now been linked with almost every midfielder in Europe, but we are no closer to finding out what Liverpool’s plans are at this stage. Liverpool was instantly linked with the likes of Nicolo Barella, Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice by a few journalists straight after the Bellingham story came to light. But in my opinion, I would be surprised if Liverpool sign any of those three players. I personally believe that Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo would be way too much money for Liverpool, who have supposedly pulled out of the Jude Bellingham deal due to finances and Nicolo Barella would be very difficult to get out of Italy. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton is the latest midfielder to be linked with the reds, by Fabrizio Romano. He claims that Alexis Mac Allister is set to leave Brighton in the upcoming transfer window, and that Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have already spoken with the players representatives to discuss prospective projects. I certainly believe that there are some legs in this rumour, and that Liverpool would love to sign the Argentine World Cup winner, especially after his performances against Liverpool whilst he has been at Brighton. But the issue that Liverpool now finds themselves with is that every club in the world will know that they’re desperate for quality midfielders. So, Brighton would more than likely want to take advantage of that & ask for a big fee. If Liverpool could agree a fee of around £60m, then I believe that it is a realistic transfer. Of course the Mason Mount links continue, but there is speculation that the English midfielder isn’t completely against signing a new contract at Chelsea. Mount is supposedly one of Liverpool’s main transfer targets now, so where would Liverpool go from there if he did sign a new contract? Who then becomes the new main target? It’s a cycle that seems to never end, but hopefully we will have a clearer indication in the very near future.