Liverpool fans are being told through the outlet of various club journalists that Michael Edwards and co. don’t think there are currently players available who could improve our first-XI…
This, frankly, is a nonsense idea. Our starting XI, when fit, is obviously world-class – but we need to strengthen before the new campaign if we’re to compete in the Premier League and the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s most used midfielder Gini Wijnaldum is now at PSG, while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will miss Liverpool games at the African Cup of Nations post-Christmas…
That’s before mentioning the fact Roberto Firmino scored just nine goals in 48 games in a team that created buckets of chances last term.
A midfielder to replace Gini is likely the more telling issue, however, given the sheer amount of minutes the Dutchman played over the past five seasons.
We’ve heard about Saul Niguez, Florian Neuhaus, Youri Tielemans and Yves Bissouma, but I’ll present a new name: Eduardo Camavinga.
The 18-year-old is second to Barcelona’s Pedri as the best midfielder of his age on the planet. He has caps for France already and what’s more, is available.
Camavinga is not renewing his Rennes contract, which expires in 12 months’ time, meaning Liverpool could take advantage of the mooted €35m price-tag.
Manchester United are in the running and according to Fabrizio Romano, have already made contact with his representatives. PSG and Real Madrid are also very keen – but there’s no reason why Liverpool couldn’t lure Camavinga with the carrot of Klopp, Anfield and playing alongside the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah.
He ticks so many boxes. Due to his age, he wouldn’t need to be an automatic starter, so can slowly grow into the side as a rotation option initially, with Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson our expected starters. He also wouldn’t require huge wages, and as mentioned the transfer fee is fair – about three times less than West Ham want for Declan Rice – who is considerably less talented.
In terms of attributes, Camavinga is perfect. He’s tall, strong and has technical skills that are not dissimilar to Wijnaldum’s. The youngster can dribble through the middle, pass sensibly but also creatively.
United are showing they mean business in the window, already acquiring Jadon Sancho and Rapha Varane, undeniably excellent signings on paper. Camavinga is next on their list, but I’d love Liverpool to put ourselves in the running as well.
Here is Camavinga running the show against PSG as a 16-year-old in 2019. Gulp…
• 16 years old
• Making third Ligue 1 appearance
• Dominated the PSG midfield
Eduardo Camavinga is a seriously special talent!
Remember the name 🙌 pic.twitter.com/i2yfhnmHH9
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 19, 2019
What I make of the Gini Wijnaldum fiasco…
First up, the idiots who abuse footballers online need to be held accountable. Social media accounts should be attached to proper, legal ID, and I can guarantee that nearly all of the trolls would stop.
There is a thin line between fair analysis of a poor performance and abuse, and with Liverpool, like every other club, online reaction often bubbles over into the latter following a defeat.
Wijnaldum was not a player I realised was often the victim of Twitter nastiness, but the fact he publicly named it as a reason for his departure shows how badly it affected him. It’s not for us to judge how it affected his mental health – he should be applauded for speaking out on the matter – and hopefully big social media companies will finally make it harder for angry dopes to spew bile.
Gini did not leave Liverpool because of a few tweets, though. And that’s important to recognise – bluntly. He left because Liverpool didn’t offer him a big enough or long enough contract, and PSG did.
The only part of Gini’s comments that riled me was the bit where he complained that his final season was defined by what he was going to do in the summer…
Well, that’s because nobody told us what was going on – and we wanted you to stay, lad. Obviously, a top player running down his contract and remaining tightlipped will create increasingly amplified noise.
Having said that, it’s done now – and I wish him well in France. He’ll do well there and could win another Champions League. Not replacing him would be insane.
Gini Wijnaldum calls out fans on social media after leaving Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/Hrn2je5ZRZ
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 24, 2021
The Federico Chiesa and Adama Traore links…
Many people, mostly those on the internet, got quite excited about Italian links to the Euro 2020 winning attacker Federico Chiesa.
He’s got the attributes we need. Scores goals, feisty, always fit, skilful, room to improve – but it’s not happening.
His weird two-year loan at Juventus with an option to buy is only halfway through and it just makes any rumoured transfer a no-go. Shame, as we do need another forward. Divock Origi doesn’t cut the mustard and we should sell this summer.
Many Reds have almost forgotten about the option of a fit Diogo Jota this season, which for me, is very exciting, but the Portuguese performs in bursts and can go a few months without finding the net.
Wolves wing-forward Adama Traore has been linked for £30m, which is a potential bargain given his speed, skill and power, but I’m just not sure…
The reality is he doesn’t score goals. He doesn’t register many assists either. He’d be the best five-a-side player on the planet – you literally couldn’t get the ball off him – but is this good enough for what Klopp requires this season?
I do love watching him, and his talent is insane – but I think Liverpool probably need someone with a little more composure in the penalty area – given how wasteful we were in 2020/21.
Federico Chiesa. We can all dream.🤩 pic.twitter.com/8JIijBQ2vI
— Liverpool News (@LFCVine) July 27, 2021