HomeTeams - PLCrystal PalacePalace Star Could Be Final Piece In Klopp's Midfield Rebuild

Palace Star Could Be Final Piece In Klopp’s Midfield Rebuild

The Engine Room Overhaul at Anfield

With Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai already in the door, and Jordan Henderson and Fabinho looking likely to join Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and James Milner in leaving the club, Liverpool are in the midst of a huge overhaul of their engine room.

The Coming and Going: Numbers in Play

With five leaving, they will want at least four in the door. One will likely be a depth player, joining Thiago and Curtis Jones in backing up the starters. Mac Allister and Szoboszlai will be starters, without question, but who joins them in Klopp’s starting three remains to be seen.

Romeo Lavia: Prospect or Depth Signing?

Romeo Lavia is a name who has been widely linked with a move to Anfield, but Liverpool seem hesitant to pull the trigger given his lack of experience and Southampton’s £50mil asking price. Reports suggest that he is viewed more as a depth signing at this point, one to develop for the future behind a more experienced starter. It remains to be seen if he arrives at Liverpool and more importantly, with Fabinho leaving, what his role would be.

The Speculated Targets: A Coordinated Leak?

Multiple journalists with links to the club reported the same short list of players as players to keep an eye on. Kalvin Phillips of Manchester City, Sofyan Amrabat of Fiorentina and Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich. These names coming out from so many journalists made it clear that these were likely smokescreen links, as it was clearly a coordinated leak.

There is merit in the idea of either Phillips or Amrabat, both experienced defensive midfielders with proven quality who could fit a two-timeline approach along with the addition of Lavia, but neither seems likely to be on Liverpool’s hit list.

Another name has been mentioned in reports who could be an ideal plug-and-play option for the Reds is Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure. The Mali international joined the Eagles from Lens last summer for £21mil and made a big impression in his first season at the club.

The Crystal Palace Factor: Stepping-Stone to Greater Heights

It was quite a surprise when Palace initially landed him, given his name had been linked with moves to Champions League clubs, and the South London club would likely prefer to ignore any and all bids for him.

The unfortunate reality for Palace, however, is that they are a stepping-stone club for top-level talents, and players like Doucoure will want to challenge themselves at a higher level. That level could well be Liverpool, where Doucoure would be an ideal replacement for Fabinho.

Doucoure excels in the defensive side of his role and is no slouch on the ball either. He possesses good short and medium-range passing and is comfortable under pressure. His press resistance allows him to escape pressure and get his team moving in the right direction. His ability to display his ball-carrying was restricted by the conservative role he was given at Palace, but in his time at Lens, it was one of his best attributes.

He excels off the ball though, ranking very highly in terms of his ball-winning and that is something that Liverpool will need to anchor their midfield. Doucoure has experience in both a three-man midfield and a double pivot, and with Trent Alexander-Arnold exploring a new hybrid role for Liverpool that sort of flexibility would be vital.

A Worthy Investment? Doucoure’s Potential Move to Anfield

Palace would want a significant return on their investment, and rightly so given the prices being banded about for players like Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo, but Liverpool might be well served to explore the possibility of bringing Doucoure to Anfield.

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