It’s fair to say that Liverpool’s summer window started brightly with the additions of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from Brighton and RB Leipzig respectively.
The positive mood sweetening the air since that point became diluted first with the news that a Steven Gerrard-led Al-Ettifaq were exploring a move for skipper Jordan Henderson. That’s before things went fully torrential with the confirmed departure of the Englishman, not to mention specialist No.6 Fabinho to fellow Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ittihad.
Optimism to outright negativity on Elon Musk’s vanity project, the newly-reformed ‘X’, a social media platform that, if anything, looks set to break ground on a new and even murkier era, scraping from the bottom of the barrel for the very worst Twitter — sorry, ‘X’ — has to offer.
That’s not to suggest some concern and critique aren’t valid or necessary given the scale of work Liverpool had to conduct before any change in strategy in reaction to the aforementioned pair of footballers trading red for one massive final paycheck.
Where will Liverpool go from here? Romeo Lavia is next, surely?
It’s difficult to imagine the trifecta of sporting director Jorg Schmadtke, the recruitment team and coaching staff being anything but united over the response: sign AT LEAST one quality holding midfielder (ideally two new midfielders) to plug the gap.
The options have, admittedly, been far from inspiring since Declan Rice’s mega-money move to Arsenal was officially confirmed, taking, perhaps, the market’s top remaining piece firmly off the board.
“But, but, but – AURELIEN TCHOUAMENI,” we hear the wildly unrealistic, and increasingly unhinged, masses roar online.
If we’re being absolutely realistic, of course, Real Madrid aren’t letting one of their prize assets depart this summer. If we’re being even more brutally realistic, the pickings appear slim as things currently stand in the market.
Romeo Lavia and Fluminense’s Andre (the latest flavour of the month) currently appear the most likely options (though not guaranteed, let’s make that absolutely clear) to make their way into Anfield between now and the close of the window.
We have our doubts over a deal being completed for the latter this summer given that the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A is already well underway and set to be contested until 3rd December this year. Perhaps that’s one to note down in the calendar for the January window if we can’t prise the 22-year-old away with a tempting enough offer.
If not, in the meantime, we shouldn’t be opposed to the club seeking out different profiles to replenish the midfield department – as Sky Sport’s Melissa Reddy points out below.
Dialogue open between Southampton and Liverpool over Romeo Lavia. He wants the move but compromise still needed over the fee. LFC working on other options. They are in talks with Fluminense for Andre. Clear the club are looking at two profiles: controller, progressive destroyer.
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) August 2, 2023
So… with that in mind, Lavia has to be considered an absolute top-priority, no?
That’s one box ticked, though we still ideally need another following hot on his heels before we even begin scouring what’s left in the market as far as left-footed centre-backs are concerned.
We know Micky van de Ven is now firmly off the table following Tottenham’s successful swoop, though we’d like to think that our list is deeper than the Dutchman and Chelsea’s Levi Colwill (now out of reach after agreeing a contract extension).
Still, there are question marks over how exactly our remaining kitty should be apportioned with pre-season highlighting concerns over Joel Matip’s ability to perform Ibrahima Konate’s unique new role when our starting right-back is starring in the hybrid midfield role.
Do Liverpool trust that Virgil van Dijk can cope with the demands of the season and go secure more appropriate competition for the Frenchman? Or come to the equally valid conclusion that depth for our superb, but aging, 32-year-old colossus is necessary?
Either way, it’s critical that we have a clear option in mind the second we dust our hands clean of midfield concerns.
The club has history when it comes to shocking fans with their business in the window, though don’t be surprised to see what little optimism is left online smothered the closer we approach kick-off against Mauricio Pochettino’s men in little over a week’s time.
It’s important we don’t ignore the fact that Liverpool’s job here (even without the previously discussed departures) isn’t easy, mind – but we’ll have blown both feet clean off from the ankles if we don’t seriously invest in two (ideally three) signings in the near future.