Neil Jones believes £60k-p/w midfielder would be ‘the perfect signing’ for Liverpool this summer

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Neil Jones has named the midfielder who he believes would be ‘the perfect signing’ for Liverpool this summer and would make him ‘so much more optimistic’ about the season ahead.

Amid the expected exits of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to the Saudi Pro League, the Reds’ need for midfield additions has amplified significantly over the past fortnight, with a plethora of rumoured targets being mentioned.

Among them is Moises Caicedo, with talkSPORT claiming earlier this month that the Anfield giants would consider entering the race for the Brighton star, for whom Chelsea recently had a £70m offer rejected (The Athletic).

Speaking exclusively to Empire of the Kop’s Substack, Jones voiced his belief that the Ecuadorian would be ‘perfect’ for Liverpool, adding that the Reds have a reputation for pulling off surprise transfer coups.

The journalist said: “If Liverpool were to sign Moises Caicedo, I’d be so much more optimistic about Liverpool’s chances for this season – I think he’d be the perfect signing. If Liverpool were to sign Aurelien Tchouameni from Real Madrid, I would be very optimistic.

“Whether they will or not… I would say probably not. But there are worlds where Liverpool can move things around and surprise you. They’d done it before, expediting moves for players like Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez.

“Remember when they signed Fabinho – that was one that came almost completely out of left field. No one had considered that Liverpool might get that deal done. There are surprise moves that can come up and there are players that can make Liverpool better.”

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Having excelled in a Brighton midfield which also contained Alexis Mac Allister last season, it’s easy to see why Jones believes Caicedo could be the ideal next recruit for Liverpool to try and land.

Still only 21, the £60,000-per-week Ecuador international (Capology) stood out as one of the best midfielders in Europe both in and out of possession during the 2022/23 campaign.

As per FBref, he ranked in the top 13% of positional peers in the continent’s five main leagues for tackles and interceptions, and he was in the 94th percentile for pass completion with an 88.5% accuracy, marking him out as an adept ball winner who uses possession intelligently.

Brighton’s refusal of Chelsea’s £70m offer lays down a marker as to how much it’d cost for Liverpool to sign Caicedo, so the Anfield hierarchy must evaluate whether the midfielder would be worth pushing the boat out to acquire considering the difference he could make to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Selling Henderson and Fabinho would give the Reds a financial top-up to fund most of what the Ecuadorian would likely cost, while his age profile and Premier League experience indicate that he could excel at this level for another decade.

It still seems more improbable than probable that the Merseysiders will land the 21-year-old this summer, but as Jones has hinted, we’re talking about a club with a happy knack for pulling out pleasant surprises in the transfer market.

#Ep82 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Who do Liverpool replace Henderson & Fabinho with?

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