Former Red, Steve Nicol, has oddly suggested the Reds should add Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt and Leicester City up-and-comer James Maddison to their ranks for the upcoming season.
Liverpool have already made 17-year-old Dutch centre-back, Sepp Van den Berg, their first signing of the summer transfer window for the bargain fee of £1.3 million. It is thought that the club’s transfer policy will be in accordance with his low-profile arrival, contra to what Nicol is urging.
“Liverpool right now, as far as the starting XI is concerned, don’t have a huge need,” Nicol rather obviously suggested.
“They’ve just won the Champions League, they’ve just almost pipped Manchester City for the Premier League title. So they’re not far away.
“Yes they could do with signing some players.
“If you have a wish list, then my wish list would be another centre-back. Somebody like De Ligt I think would be incredible. To have him and Van Dijk as your centre-back partnership would be a dream,” the former Red quite vapidly opined.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 1, 2019
It’s pretty much common knowledge that Juventus have won the race for Matthijs de Ligt [Calciomercato], so Nicol’s comments here smack of either uninformed fantasy, or else a stubborn disinclination to accept the truth.
The Scot went on to comment on his other desired addition to Jürgen Klopp’s European Cup-winning side, the supremely talented young Maddison, who, admittedly is capable of taking games by the scruff of the neck
“I also would like somebody in the middle of the park who can do a little bit more than getting the ball back,” he said, revealing his somewhat unenlightened outlook.
“Let’s be honest, Liverpool’s midfield right now is about retaining the ball or getting it back and giving it to the front three.
“I would like to see a little tweak in there, somebody like a James Maddison who will do the work getting the ball back but who, when going forward, has the ability to pick a pass and to score a goal.
“I think that would be my wish for there.”
Just imagine if Liverpool actually replaced Lallana with James Maddison, what an unreal move that would have been. Younger, less strain on the payroll, higher potential and probably higher quality short-term as well
— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) August 10, 2018
While we don’t begrudge Nicol having his own opinion on what Klopp could do with for the 2019/20 season, his suggestions are slightly baffling.
Liverpool have consistently distanced themselves from landing the exorbitant De Ligt, despite many fans clamouring for the club to secure a deal for him.
While the Maddison idea is one that sounds like a good plan in principle, in practice, the 22-year-old would likely come with a huge price tag as well as the issue of competing with several other established, first-team midfielders in Klopp’s engine room.