Thursday, September 7, 2023

PSV Eindhoven star could be ‘ideal solution’ for Liverpool but Reds face fight if they want Bayern Munich or Fiorentina stars

The addition of Wataru Endo is unlikely to be Liverpool’s last between now and next week’s transfer deadline with a host of midfielders still linked with a summer switch to Anfield.

Here, pick out five linked with the Reds and draw their conclusion on who would be the best fit for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Endo is already a starter for Liverpool following his summer transfer

Ryan Gravenberch – Bayern Munich

Having missed out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to rivals Chelsea, Liverpool will be hellbent on avoid further transfer window embarrassment.

The Reds, along with Manchester United, have been credited with an interest in Bayern Munich star Ryan Gravenberch. The Dutchman worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax, which perhaps puts United ahead of Liverpool in the race for the youngster.

Gravenberch’s playing time for Bayern has been limited to say the least, and as an unused sub in their 4-0 mauling of Werder Bremen perhaps gives an indication on his position in the pecking order for FC Hollywood.

However, as he showed with Ajax, he maximises his sense of anticipation to rob the opposition of possession before bringing the ball forward.

There is an argument to be made, though, that Liverpool don’t need this type of midfielder, and should be prioritising a long-term successor for Fabinho in the middle of the park. Gravenberch works better alongside a ball winner, which he did so well with Ajax having forged an excellent partnership with West Ham newboy Edson Alvarez.

If Liverpool are looking to bolster in the middle of the park, Gravenberch isn’t perhaps the right profile for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

United want to sign Gravenberch from Bayern this summer but could Liverpool swoop now?Getty

Andre – Fluminenese

Both Joao Gomes and Danilo have shown that young Brazilian central midfielders can easily transition from the Brasileirao to the Premier League, and Liverpool may be hoping that Andre could follow suit. The 22-year-old has emerged as a potential target for Liverpool and he fits the young profile that the club have seemingly been targeting.

In addition, Andre does also operate as the deepest lying midfielder for Fluminense, and he has the dogged determination to win the ball back from opponents. However, his greatest strength comes in his ability on the ball rather than off it. Andre ranks top for both passes per game (78.8) and pass success rate (94.1 per cent) in the Brasileirao this season.

In addition, the youngster also shows a willingness to drive the team forward to help open up angles in the final third. Using him primarily as one to win possession for his side would be a waste of his talent. That’s not to say he wouldn’t improve Liverpool’s midfield options, but that they’d still need to target a holder rather than rely solely on Andre anchoring the Merseyside outfit.

Klopp will be looking at potential transfer business this weekGetty

Sofyan Amrabat – Fiorentina

Another midfielder on Manchester United’s radar. If reports are to be believed, then Ten Hag’s side are closing in on Sofyan Amrabt. However, just as Chelsea did twice in the space of a week to Liverpool, the Reds could make a late swoop for the Moroccan to sign him from under United’s nose. The 27-year-old was an unused sub in Fiorentina’s opening weekend 4-1 win at Genoa last week, heightening speculation that he’ll be leaving sooner rather than later.

Amrabat is not afraid to get stuck in. Of those to start 20 or more league matches, the Morocco international committed more fouls per 90 (2.3) than any other player in Serie A and was booked 11 times despite starting just 24 of 38 league matches. In turn, though, 1.7 tackles per 90 and a dribble success rate of 75 per cent were both respectable returns.

Factor in that only Stanislav Lobotka (81.2 per cent) had a better long ball success rate than Amrabat (79.8 per cent) and the ability to pick out a teammate from range would benefit a Liverpool side that looks to break forward at speed. Imagine Amrabat wins the ball in the middle of the park and plays a pass into the path of Trent Alexander-Arnold or Mohamed Salah down the right, or Andrew Robertson or Luis Diaz down the left? He could prove a destructive addition to this Liverpool side.

Fiorentina star Amrabat is understood to be keen on a move to join United but could Liverpool beat them to himGetty

Cheick Doucoure – Crystal Palace

Having already lost Wilfried Zaha this summer, Crystal Palace will intend to avoid losing a second key player before the window closes. Liverpool, though, are believed to be monitoring Cheick Doucoure in the final knockings of the window, and for good reason. The 23-year-old proved an astute addition from Lens last summer, performing admirably for a Palace side that endured managerial upheavel in his debut campaign.

His 2.5 tackles and 1.8 interceptions were eye-catching numbers from Doucoure in the Premier League last season, but crucially; he has proven incredibly press resistant. Indeed, Doucoure has been dispossessed just 22 times in 36 league appearances for Palace, with opponents struggling to rid the Mali international of the ball.

This is a key attribute for any Liverpool midfielder in the holding role. They need to avoid being caught in possession in a crunch area of the pitch, especially if Jurgen Klopp commits to pushing Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield when his side are dominating. A sticking point would be an asking price, with Palace unwilling to do business for a vital player this late in the window. Should Liverpool have the chance to sign Doucoure, though, they should grab that opportunity with both hands.

Liverpool are said to be keen on a move for Doucoure this summerGetty

Ibrahim Sangare – PSV

Reports earlier this month suggested that Ibrahim Sangare had a release clause of just £32m. The Ivorian has established himself as one of the best ball winners on the continent and it’s surely only a matter of time before he secures a move to one of Europe’s top five leagues. Liverpool have rightly shown an interest in Sangare, but the issue is, so too have Bayern, and his addition may have a domino effect and ultimately push Gravenberch out of the Allianz Arena exit.

That said, if there is even just a slim chance that Liverpool can trump Bayern to his services, then they should be going all out to land the 25-year-old. Sangare has returned a tackle success rate of 80.5% since the start of the 2022/23 Eredivisie season having been dribbled past just 17 times across 31 league outings.

He is dispossessed a little more than Doucoure – 43 times over the same period to be exact – but for a fraction of Palace’s rumoured £80m asking price for the former Lens man, there is reason to believe Sangare would be the better pick up. The former’s Premier League experience perhaps weighs in his favour, yet conversely; Sangare has Champions League and Europa League experience to call upon.

Sangare is a potential signing for Liverpool before the transfer deadlineGetty


Several teams are bolstering in the middle of the park this summer. Arsenal and Chelsea have spent upwards of £100m on a sole holding midfielder alone, so these players are largely available for a premium price.

For the rumoured release clause, it’s hard to overlook Sangare as the ideal addition. The lure of Bayern would impact any pursuit of the 25-year-old, but at Liverpool he’d be an immediate starter.

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