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Thread: The Midfield Conundrum

  1. #1
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    The Midfield Conundrum

    Jurgen is right, we do have enough midfield bodies in the squad.

    However, what he appears to be out of kilter with the majority of the fan base is, in his belief we have enough quality in there.

    What cannot be denied though, is that we do not have enough genuine quality on a regular basis because at least three of them spend enough time on the treatment table to make Darren Anderton blush. Then there is our aging skipper who will no doubt be ready to have a lay down on that comfy little bed in the room at the end of the corridor after a couple of games.

    And age is another issue, both Thiago and Henderson only have a couple of seasons left in them at best. We appear to be leaving too much change to be made at once in one department here. By next summer we are going to need two maybe even three new midfield recruits, diluting our budget, reducing the quality of the individual recruits while also weakening the midfield still further while the new guys bed in.

    Big mistake by Jurgen and FSG not to bring at least one midfield player in this summer, for numerous reasons. Jurgen either has a worrying blind spot or is covering for a board reluctant to invest in the playing staff to any level above what they bring in on player sales.

    Whoís out there that we could bring in by the end of this window who would improve what we have..? Any ideas??
    "I am the Normal One."

  2. #2
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    Going to be plenty of this sort of noise til the window ďslams shut.Ē Have to say, Iíve never heard of the fella

    The Reds have been linked with a move for AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer.

    According to CMW, Liverpool are Ďreadyí to submit a bid for the midfielder, despite Klopp regularly saying he wonít address the area this summer.

    The question is, whether Klopp will feel the same after a couple of weeks of the season, and if he is not happy, itís rumoured Bennacer could be an option.
    Bennacer has a release clause of £42million, while itís claimed Liverpool could look for a deal worth around £34million.

    This may be one Liverpool keep an eye on over the coming weeks as Klopp assesses his midfield in the early weeks of the campaign.

  3. #3
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    Anyone know the contract situation of all our midfielders?

    Any of them out of contract in the summer?

  4. #4
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    Is Keitaís contact running out next summer? He hasnít got long left that I do know.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFC-DPG View Post
    Anyone know the contract situation of all our midfielders?

    Any of them out of contract in the summer?
    Keita.
    Ox.
    Milner.

    Keita is linked with renewing/extending his deal. Ox will almost certainly be let go. Milner I would think the same.

    Thiago's contract expires at the end of 23/24 I believe.

    Henderson's contract expires at the end of 24/25.
    Curtis Jones the same - 24/25.

    Harvey Elliott's expires at the end of 25/26.
    Fabinho the same - 25/26.
    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
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  6. #6
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    The bodies are there, numerically. That has never been an issue.

    Robustness is most certainly an issue - Keita, Ox and Thiago all prone to injury in particular, though Henderson gets them too - Jones gets the odd injury as well but I'm reluctant to look at him and Elliott through the same lens as I'd like a bigger sample size.

    Our approximate pecking order looks like this -

    First choice three -

    Henderson
    Thiago
    Fabinho

    If everyone is playing to their strengths, that's the pick. People can dispute the merits of individuals and express their preferences, but the above is what you'd place money on the gaffer to pick if all are fit and firing.

    Depth -

    Milner
    Keita

    Keita's injury record lets him down - but for that I think he would very much be seen as the first option should an injury occur with the first-choice three, but at the moment Milner seems to be the go-to.

    Pushing for spots -

    Elliott
    Jones

    Elliott is definitely further along in his development relative to his age - still just 19. He should have a long career here. Jones still has time, but he'll be 22 in January - so he needs to keep improving. If this rough list is to be believed though, he is our 7th-choice midfielder, which is why I tend to find some of the criticism he gets a touch harsh. Is he good enough right now to be in the first-choice three? Absolutely not - but he doesn't have to be. He does need a chance to prove himself/develop which may be smaller factor as to why we haven't brought someone else in. Time will tell.

    Sadly lagging -

    Oxlade-Chamberlian

    It's a shame to say this as, on a human level, I have a lot of time for Ox. Very articulate, well-liked around the squad and a good role model. Sadly, when thinking with the "cogs of the machine" hat he is just too injury-prone and at 28 has probably peaked in terms of ability.

    The question mark

    Fabio Carvalho.

    I mention him because he has been brought in apparently as a 6th-choice forward, essentially replacing Minamino. However it has been mentioned in a couple of articles that we see him as a midfielder long-term. Perhaps he is a forward for now but will be groomed into an attacking mid role and someone like Gordon will take his "forward" place.

    Two to develop

    Tyler Morton (currently on loan)
    Stefan Bajcetic

    I look at these two and hope at least one of them can make it. I don't expect them to reach first-choice midfield status, but much like Jones I see no harm in one of them eventually becoming 7th/8th choice midfielder - we're never going to have eight lads that all cost £40m+ so I don't mind youth making up the numbers in time, provided they're robust and have enough talent to not wilt. They are not for factoring in this season mind and probably not next.


    How could it look in the near-future?

    I think we're "all-in" on Bellingham and do think he'll sign. He'll force his way into the first-choice three.

    Milner and Ox I think will leave - Ox as his body won't let him contribute and Milner because he'll have done his bit.

    I think a new pecking order will look roughly like -

    Bellingham
    Fabinho
    Henderson/Thiago (rotated / take your pick - Henderson will gradually "become the Milner" I think)

    Henderson/Thiago as first sub.

    Keita (if he stays) to provide depth OR potentially Carvalho is he is indeed dropped further back.
    Elliott
    Jones
    Morton

    - and if Keita does leave we might invest in that second mid.

    I'll be pleasantly surprised if we sign a midfielder this Summer, but would not be shocked if we have something organised with Dortmund for a January transfer of Bellingham (or alternatively use that market if he isn't coming yet) due to the consistency of the "noise" around him and us, combined with his notoriously sensible father - Bellingham could theoretically gives us 5 good years of football and still only be 25/26 years old with options of Real Madrid or whatever else he might want - he certainly doesn't need to rush anything and my gut (I know...) says he isn't off to Man City.
    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
    Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay

  7. #7
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    Thatís the point though.. because three of them are always injured we donít have enough bodies

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller0863 View Post
    Thatís the point though.. because three of them are always injured we donít have enough bodies
    I don't dispute that miller - they were almost enough collectively to contribute to getting a Quad done so I can understand Klopp and Lijnders backing them to be fair.

    With that said, if even one of the injury-prone lads was replaced by a younger and robust player it makes a big difference. I'd probably rather have Morton than Ox at this stage for example - Ox obviously a better player when playing well but how many minutes a season will he do that for now? Whereas Morton (as an example) could develop.

    With the age side (Milner, then Henderson, then Thiago) I think the acquisition of Bellingham solves a big problem. You'd be looking at 37, 32 and 30 (descending age) becoming 33, 31 and 20 (Hendo, Thiago and Jude's ages a year from now) which is a big improvement for future-proofing and with luck the spread of minutes.

    I think a young lad being trusted to take Ox's minutes (Morton?) with Bellingham joining and trusting Elliott and Carvalho to develop should be okay.

    I don't think we see a situation where we buy Bellingham AND another £40m+ midfielder next Summer - but could see us getting Bellingham next Summer then another relatively "big" midfield transfer the following Summer.

    As for THIS window.....unless there is a midfield equivalent of a Ben Davies situation, I would be surprised. Although with the merry-go-round that will occur with Barcelona trying to shift De Jong or them possibly having to sacrifice a player in their attempt for Bernardo Silva, we might be able to nick a surprise target from the cash-strapped Catalans (incredibly cheeky Gavi bid) or pick on a club that needs to make sales to afford a specific target - something relatively opportunistic like the Thiago situation or something maybe - but I definitely don't see a £60m+ sort of midfielder coming now AND Bellingham next Summer.

  9. #9
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    Morton is going to have a good career but I very much doubt it will be with us, not sure he will have the physicality for a top level midfielder. Not got the required pace or athleticism I donít think

  10. #10
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    Its simply about money.. we have bodies in there and thats it.. we paid for Oxlade all that moneyyyyy and he has to stay.. if someone came in for him and offered what we wanted and what wages he wants. he'd be gone.
    Until then the owners will leave us short in midfield.. its the same with Keita we are trying to get him to sign on longer. so saves on the club having to fork out 40/50+ million+wages on a new midfielder..Same with Milner hes on lessar wages.so he stays.The owners were keen on giving him all what he was earning.. But Milner decided to lower his wages and yes he could stay..

    Its laughable a club that makes so much money cant afford to spend money.. 1 big player a season+ sales on others=s good business
    Leader of all..master of none..

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