Exclusive: Why 26-y/o signing ‘doesn’t fix’ Liverpool’s midfield issues or Klopp’s selection dilemma – Jones

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Liverpool’s search for midfield reinforcements continues, with new names being linked to an Anfield move daily but there are differing opinions on whether one potential target would be the ideal addition for the Reds.

In an exclusive interview with Empire of the Kop, Neil Jones provided an update on Nicolo Barella: ‘There aren’t a lot of guaranteed players who you can get 35-40 games out of next season and they’ll be part of a dominant midfield.

‘So I think you want as many potential options that will get on the pitch and are able to do the basics as well as the quality bits for Liverpool. The basics, for me, involve winning your duels, working off the ball and being in the right position – that is the key.

READ MORE: Exclusive: ‘There’s no guarantee…’ – Neil Jones reveals where Schmadtke’s skills lie for this summer

‘It was very telling towards the back-end of the season with Jurgen, he said the ticket into this team is the counter-press. That’s why Curtis Jones was starting the last few games, that’s why Diogo Jota started so many games towards the back-end, it was probably why Nunez and Thiago didn’t.

‘As much as I think Barella is a fine player – listen, if Liverpool signed him, I wouldn’t be saying he’s a terrible signing – if I look at him in comparison to someone like Thuram or Gravenberch, I’m looking and saying that player doesn’t fix as many of the issues we’ve seen last season as, maybe, someone like Thuram would’.

When assessing potential signings, it’s crucial to consider the qualities they bring to the team and we certainly do need an option that can provide a guaranteed 35-40 appearances in a season – whilst still contributing to a dominant midfield.

The ability to excel in the basics, such as winning duels, off-the-ball work, and positioning, is seen as paramount too and it seems that the Italian international can tick all of these boxes.

Towards the end of last season, it was clear that Jurgen Klopp stressed the importance of the counter-press and players like Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were given more game time due to their suitability in executing this tactical approach.

The Inter Milan star has clear quality as a player but if the likes of Darwin Nunez and Thiago Alcantara are missing out already, then the other targets like Khephren Thuram or Ryan Gravenberch could be more attractive at this stage.

The 26-year-old’s signing wouldn’t be considered a terrible move, but the debate lies in whether he would provide the ideal solution to the team’s requirements at this stage.

As we continue to assess our options in the transfer market, the ultimate goal remains finding players who can enhance the counter press, address weaknesses, and contribute to the overall success of the squad.

Ultimately, the decision-makers at the club will carefully weigh the options and consider various factors before finalising any signings – whilst we eagerly await news of potential midfield additions and hope for a solution that will propel the team back to winning ways.

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