Journalist Sam Tighe has urged Liverpool not to cease their search for midfield reinforcements even if they sign Romeo Lavia.
The 19-year-old has been backed by several prominent journalists to swap Southampton for Anfield this summer, despite the reported interest of Chelsea, and he could cost as much as £50m from the Championship club.
However, given his youth and his inexperience at senior level, the reporter believes the Reds could still seek to bolster their midfield even if the Belgian is signed, with Jordan Henderson having left for Al Ettifaq this week and Fabinho set to travel for a medical ahead of a proposed move to Al-Ittihad.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast, Tighe said: “There is a humungous gap here in terms of a wealth of experience [between Lavia and Henderson/Fabinho]. And then you take a look at the other midfielders Liverpool have signed. You’ve got Dominik Szoboszlai, you’ve got Alexis Mac Allister.
“All of a sudden, Alexis Mac Allister and Trent [Alexander-Arnold], when he sort of kicks into the midfield box, at 24 years of age, they are the elder statesmen of the midfield because Curtis Jones is younger, Harvey Elliott is younger, Romeo Lavia is not yet 20.
“My concern here is the age balance of the midfield. Like, it’s skewed so heavily one way, and I know that’s what we were asking for, but to this degree?
“It has to be questioned, and what I would say, if they buy Romeo Lavia, they should buy another one [midfielder] because he will have his peaks and troughs. He will be naturally a little inconsistent given he is so inexperienced. Is four midfielders too much to ask?”
Tighe continued: “It’s just something I would implore Liverpool to look at, and it’s why I wouldn’t be surprised that, even after Lavia which would make it three signings, they go back into the market for a fourth player.”
The journalist’s viewpoint is an understandable one, considering just how much change there’s been to Liverpool’s midfield over the summer and how green Lavia is at the highest level.
As impressive as he was for Southampton last season, it was still his first campaign of regular senior football (Transfermarkt), so asking him to go in and immediately fill the positional void Fabinho will leave is a huge ask for a player 10 years the Brazilian’s junior.
However, if a third midfielder is brought in, Jurgen Klopp may then wish to prioritise other parts of the squad, with a defensive recruit likely to be on his agenda.
The Reds were worryingly porous in 2022/23, a trend which has continued into pre-season, and the manager could well wish to bring in another centre-back (Perr Schurrs remains a target), or possibly an experienced right-back to give Trent greater scope for a midfield role.
Ideally a deal for Lavia can be wrapped up soon, so that he gets ample time to integrate into the Liverpool setup and the club have enough time to pinpoint the defender(s) they want and take care of that particular business too.
Whatever the position may be, expect the Merseysiders to keep being busy even after the Southampton midfielder is (hopefully) signed.