Have Liverpool Gone TOO FAR With Their Midfield Recruitment?

Published on 7 July 2023 at 13:00

For much of the last few years, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been a truly feared side, even by elite European sides like Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. 1 Champions League, 1 Premier League, and multiple finals reached is certainly a feat few clubs across the continent can match. 


But if anyone could pinpoint one great chink in the seemingly impenetrable armour of Klopp’s Reds, it would be within their midfield.


When not decimated by injury or fatigue, a combination of Fabinho, Thiago and rising talent like Bajcetic sounds formidable: but football is played on grass and not on paper, and Klopp has found himself all too often forced to rely upon the likes of an ageing James Milner and fast-declining Jordan Henderson to anchor the midfield to even a serviceable standard.


The results are clear to see: in Liverpool’s biggest games this past season, such as against Real Madrid and the aforementioned Man City, the midfield (no matter who started the fixture) was easily overrun and each individual was themselves a shadow of how they once were under Klopp’s famous ‘Gegenpressen’ system.


So it must be a welcome sight for many Liverpool fans to see FSG finally splash the cash on some talented midfielders, such as World Cup winner Alexis MacAllister and the highly-rated Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig. This is in addition to Klopp finally moving Trent into a more central, direct role within the midfield rather than at the RB position where he was facing increased scrutiny. 


The midfield looks to be somewhat covered, pending the arrival of Kheprhen Thuram, Romeo Lavia or someone of that calibre, but have Liverpool now gone too overboard with improving their midfield? Are the defence and attack both at risk of being majorly exposed too?


Time and age are fighting against this current Liverpool squad: gone are the days of the exhilarating young talent mixing with players producing perfection in their prime. Mo Salah turned 31 last month. Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip each turn 32 this Summer. Andy Robertson turns 30 next April, whilst the likes of Henderson and Thiago edge closer to the retirement home with every passing performance than they do to the FIFPRO XI. 


And yet there is no reliable Salah replacement, in spite of what some fans would have you believe concerning the quality of Gakpo, Nunez and Diaz. 


Van Dijk may be a shadow of the defender he was back in 2019 and pre-Pickford challenge, but the dominant Dutchman will leave such a gargantuan hole in the defence with his eventual departure that it could take years to find an adequate replacement for him. 


And as maligned as Andy Robertson may be by many, few can deny just how influential he can be to the success of this Liverpool team. 


Liverpool could be sleepwalking into a catastrophe: focusing too much on their midfield has allowed their rivals to focus on defensive and attacking signings that Liverpool should really have capitalised on. 


Harvey Barnes outscored every Liverpool bar Salah last season in the Premier League, and yet he’s the target of Newcastle United and Aston Villa. Tottenham seem to be the frontrunners in the race for the promising Micky Van de Ven, whose pace and defensive capabilities would have been more than welcome for Liverpool. 


And even in the discussion over which Premier League club eventually picks the Southampton carcass for impressive defenders like Kyle Walker-Peters and Armel Bella-Kotchap, LIverpool are nowhere in the conversation, which should be sounding all sorts of alarm bells in the Scouse faithful. 


Jurgen Klopp has always been praised as a miracle maker, even when gifted with record breaking signings like Alisson and Van Dijk, but managing to keep Liverpool from crashing on this course they’re destined to be on, one where Liverpool have finally mended their midfield woes at the expense of letting their attack and defence falter without financial backing, could be one miracle even the German cannot perform. 


Do you think Liverpool should have spread out their Summer signings so far across more than the midfield? Or do you think they’ve nailed their recruitment? Let us know your thoughts today!


Image Credit: Liverpool FC

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