Liverpool may seek to replace Fabinho with £60k-p/w tank named club’s best player in 22/23 – report

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Liverpool could look within the Premier League for a potential defensive midfield replacement for Fabinho, according to reports.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a prospective £40m move to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, with the two clubs believed to be talks over the fee (Daily Mail).

If the Brazilian departs, the Reds will likely step up their search for a successor who could slot into the team straight way, and one of their top-flight rivals could possibly be raided.

Football Insider have reported that Liverpool are duly exploring a potential move for Cheick Doucoure, who was voted Crystal Palace Player of the Season for 2022/23.

The £60,000-per-week Mali international (FBref) is believed to be catching the eye of Anfield chiefs, according to a ‘well-placed source’.

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Signed for £21m from Lens last year (Sky Sports), the 23-year-old made a huge impression in his first season in the Premier League.

Of players who featured in 20 or more top-flight games last term, only five bettered Doucoure’s average of 1.6 interceptions per match (WhoScored), while he ranked among the top 3% of midfielders in Europe’s five main leagues for that metric in 2022/23 (FBref).

He’s also strong in the tackle – his average of 2.3 per game in the previous campaign would’ve put him second in Liverpool’s squad, just behind Thiago with 2.4 (WhoScored).

It’s clear that he’s hugely adept at winning possession, which’d be his primary role in Jurgen Klopp’s team if signed, although there may be reservations about his use of the ball, with a passing accuracy of 83.2% inferior to 44% of midfielders in Europe’s major leagues (FBref).

If the Reds continue to baulk at Southampton’s reported £50m asking price for 19-year-old Romeo Lavia, they may well see Doucoure as a viable, more experienced alternative worth considering, and one who’s already nicely acclimatised to the rigours of the Premier League.

#Ep80 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Fabinho & Jordan Henderson… going, going, gone?🎙️

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