Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is a player who will no doubt be in high demand this summer if he keeps delivering week after week.
The 21-year-old Georgian inevitably caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp after making life difficult once again for Trent Alexander-Arnold, though not quite as difficult as was the case during the 4-1 thrashing received in Naples.
“He (Kvaratskhelia) is a good player, both are good players,” he said. “It was a really difficult one. I know people will talk about one or two situations with Trent when he tried to get in front of him and the ball goes through,” the 55-year-old told reporters in his post-match presser (via liverpoolfc.com).
“But he is really good, the boy, and really quick and you have to defend him together in these moments.
“When he has the advantage of the first movement then he is already gone. You have to try to be there in the moment when the ball arrives, but if you cannot do that then you need to be protected because he has speed, he is cheeky, he goes inside, he can go outside, that makes it always really difficult.
“A good player and I thought Trent played a really good game against him, he was really on fire, he was really in, didn’t get frustrated by one or two situations where he was second-best, stayed in the game and I liked Trent’s game tonight.”
The Napoli star was spotted nutmegging the No.66 as he showcased his flair to the Anfield crowd in the Reds’ final group stage clash.
Cheeky meg and a ping across the pitch 🥜
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 1, 2022
With a contract not set to expire until 2027, the man dubbed the ‘Georgian Messi’ won’t come cheaply for any prospective suitor in 2023.
Ultimately, we’ve different kinds of fish to fry in the transfer market across the next two windows whilst the midfield remains a glaring concern.
A return to a 4-3-3, as the coaching staff realised a formation change would do little to paper over the cracks, brought with it some stability but there is a clear need for serious investment in the middle of the park at the earliest opportunity.
Kvaratskhelia, if still available beyond the next summer window, is one potential target that will have to wait.