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Has the Midfield turned into a problem for Klopp and Liverpool ?

Liverpool used to be a club who’d be the bully in Transfer Market during the golden days. We’ve turned into more of a selling club in the last few years. The lack of success has really been the issue that has indeed led to the poor showings in the transfer market. However, we do have a Top 4 finish this year and one of the best managers in the world in our dugouts. Jurgen Klopp is a name that most players would want to hear. Having said that, our dealings in the transfer market so far is nowhere near okay. We got in a winger in Mohammed Salah and a Left back on Andrew Robertson. We’ve also wrapped up the signing of Dominic Solanke, who won the Golden Ball in the U-20 World Cup for England. While Salah and Robertson would provide proper cover for our problems in their respective areas, we still lack presence at the heart of the defence as well as the midfield.

However, our two main targets for those 2 roles, Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Keita has been marked as “Not for Sale” by their respective clubs. Although Van Dijk deal might happen, Keita will still be a Leipzig player next season. And with Barcelona selling Neymar and Iniesta ageing, Coutinho seems to be on the verge of departure as well even though Klopp has denied it.

Barcelona have a huge kitty now and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they use a major portion of that on Coutinho. The little magician would be a massive asset for Barca but also a huge loss for us. Losing Coutinho will be a big minus for our midfield. With Jurgen planning to unleash the Brazilian from the centre of the midfield, inorder to bolster the creativity and utilise the most out of him. Coutinho leaving would indeed be a disaster now having lost out on our main target, Naby Keita. We have Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Grujic and Ejaria for that 3 man midfield. With Lallana out injured we are left with very few options now. Considering that we will have games up thick and thin this season, the number won’t be enough and we’d fail miserably. One could argue that we could use the players wisely but if we are really going to mount a title challenge, we need more depth.

The 3-man Liverpool midfield will have one sitting deep just ahead of the 2 CBs and the other two playing a little high up the pitch. If you look at the current squad, Henderson,Can and Coutinho seems very likely to be the 3. While Lallana would challenge for Coutinho’s role and Wijnaldum and Grujic will push for the role that Can does. What happens if Henderson gets injured ? That would just add more problems. Klopp has used Wijnaldum in that role already in pre season and he did look okay. Can has also had experience playing that role in the 15-16 season. Our Wonderboy, Ben Woodburn has also been used in the midfield pretty much by Jurgen and he has also looked very good there.

The question is, “Is it enough ?”. We’d be playing 3 games in 7-8 days and although we have options, it isn’t what a top team would look like. We can’t obviously play the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona with Woodburn or Ejaria or Grujic in the midfield, atleast not now. Whilst many would argue that Grujic is ready, he hasn’t had proper gametime and has also had his fair share of struggles with injuries last year.

There is still time for Liverpool to do something in the transfer market. It’s hard to find better players in just one glance. It is said that Klopp wants only those players who are better than the current crop. If you do proper scouting, you’d still manage to get two or three really exciting names. Kovacic and Seri are two of those names who’d be a very valuable addition to our team. The need for a midfielder has become much more crucial than what it was a few weeks back. With just 25 days remaining in the transfer market and the season starting next week, we need to get the deals done quickly if we want to sign someone. As a result, a midfielder has become more of a priority signing rather than just a bonus.
Rithwik Rajendran

Liverpool fan from India and former writer for Mad About EPL. And an Engineer in the making. Co-runs the The Nutmeg Assist football blog with a couple of friends.