Journo: Liverpool could go in ‘a different direction’ if they pursue 28 y/o as Fabinho successor

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Neil Jones has suggested that Liverpool could go in ‘a different direction’ with replacing Fabinho if they were to pursue one particular player from the Bundesliga.

The Reds have found themselves linked with a plethora of midfielders in the days since it emerged that Al-Ittihad had tabled a £40m offer for the 29-year-old, who hasn’t travelled with Jurgen Klopp’s squad for their pre-season training camp in Germany.

The journalist cited a player from that country as one option LFC could explore if they wanted a ‘different type of player’ at the base of their midfield, writing in his latest Empire of the Kop Substack column: “I don’t think Liverpool would say no if there was a deal to be done but you look at story yesterday in Germany about Leon Goretzka leaving Bayern Munich.

“He’s 28, really experienced, a physical player who’s a bit different to Fabinho but he’s someone where, if you were going in a different direction and wanted a different type of player in there and you wanted someone who’s experienced and played at the top level, there’s a player there that could be available. Opportunity could also dictate where Liverpool go.”

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As confirmed by Goretzka himself in 2020, Liverpool had actually made an offer for him two years previously when he was with Schalke 04, only for the player to choose Bayern instead (GOAL).

As per Sky Sports Germany, the Bundesliga champions now consider him dispensable and would be open to selling him for €40m-€50m (£34.4m-£43m), amid ongoing links with Manchester United.

Like Jones says, the 28-year-old could give the Reds a different dimension if he’s pursued as a possible successor to Fabinho, as shown in a statistical comparison using FBref data.

Goretzka is a much more attack-minded midfielder than the Brazilian, with 40 shots compared to the Liverpool man’s 18 last season and 4.7 xG over the campaign to the 29-year-old’s 0.7.

The Brazil international comes out on top for pass completion (88.3% to 81.6%), interceptions (37 to 30), tackles won (38 to 24) and ball recoveries (180 to 140), although the German has a better success rate for dribblers tackled (56.3% to 38.7%).

At 28, the Bayern midfielder is already in his prime rather than approaching it, but he’d come with the experience of 240 Bundesliga games, 53 Germany caps and 41 Champions League appearances (Transfermarkt).

There mightn’t be any live interest from Liverpool in Goretzka right now, although he could be a viable name to consider if Klopp is seeking someone who can play at the base of midfield while offering a slightly different skill set to Fabinho.

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

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