Editor’s Column: What next? Lavia, Sangare, Ignacio and Luis – Liverpool need to move fast

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We didn’t learn anything new at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

Liverpool have brilliant attackers capable of incisive moments. Yep. As per usual. But there were gaping holes in midfield due to the fact we played three attacking players in there, one of whom in Cody Gakpo is simply a striker. No wonder he looked lost.

We also lost our heads after conceding one goal and let moments affect us emotionally – just like last season. Despite the outrageous failure not to award us a blatant penalty in the second-half, 1-1 in hindsight is not a bad result, given they had 65% of the ball.

It’s not ridiculous to say the team that had Moises Caicedo starting in midfield on Sunday would’ve ended up with three points.

How brilliant would it have been if we’d got the Ecuadorian over the line? Literally the perfect player for what we need. He fights, scraps, runs tirelessly, tackles, intercepts and injects energy into his side’s press and counter-attacks.

He’s Chelsea’s now, with the deal all but done. However, it looks like we have a good chance  of signing Romeo Lavia. The cogs are turning and there is now guarantee, as the Caicedo deal proves, but we have at least had a £60m offer accepted, according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea won’t give in easily though and were clearly furious at Liverpool’s attempt to hijack the Caicedo deal, so are now using their financial clout to make a point. It all seems driven by the ego of Todd Boehly, and how they can still adhere to FFP rules is anyone’s guess, but they’re undeniably building a mouthwateringly strong midfield. Imagine adding Caicedo and Lavia to Enzo Fernandez, the best player on the park at Stamford Bridge by a country mile.

So what do Liverpool do? First, we get the Lavia deal over the line, even if £60m is stupid money. We’ve not played this well, but at some point, you need to take your medicine. At 19 though, Lavia is not enough. There need to be more names through the door after the Belgian.

Ibrahim Sangare – PSV

Ibrahim Sangare could be the next through the door, and it won’t be a tough one to make happen.

The PSV star has a £32m release clause, which given the over-inflated market, is cheap.

“There are big clubs that are interested, such as Bayern Munich. Ibrahim is also on the list at Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool, but he is not yet a priority there. Nottingham Forest had already made an offer, but that was not enough,” his agent’s brother Kiki Musampa told  ESPN.

Sangare is an out and out holding midfielder. He’s big, rangy and physical, with technical skills to boot. He’s nowhere near as quick and combative as Caicedo, but right now, beggars can’t be choosers. At 25-years-old, his best years are ahead of him and he will plug a gap for us centrally.

He’s not Caicedo, but who is?

Florentino Luis

Lavia and Luis by the end of August and I’m content.

The 23-year-old stars for Benfica, a team we already have a good relationship with after the Darwin Nunez deal. As we know though, they don’t sell for cheap – and Luis has a monstrous €120m release-clause.

This is Anfield linked us with him back in July, although it’s important to note their have been no concrete links since.

Stylistically, he’s the most similar player to Caicedo on the market. Skinny, tough and durable; Luis enjoyed a brilliant campaign last time out and relishes the nasty, physical side of the game. He can play, too.

We struggled last season because Fabinho lost his bite. Latvia doesn’t have much aggression either, so it’s imperative we secure someone who fights.

Goncalo Inacio

It’s not just the midfield that requires attention, of course.

The defence is weak and we were lucky to only concede one versus Chelsea. Ignacio has become a target according to the not-very-reliable Football Insider, but he does tick a lot of boxes.

Firstly, he has an affordable €39m release-clause, and at 21, he’s the right age-profile for the rebuild. He is also left-footed, so will work on the left of our back-three, given Trent Alexander-Arnold is often now in midfield, which changes our formation.

Inacio is technically strong and fast and with plenty of room to improve. Given Andy Robertson’s decline and the fact he is not a natural in his new position, a new left-sided centre-back is essential.

We need two defensive midfielders and a centre-back.

The money is there to be spent. After all, we just tried to shell out £111m on one player…

Let’s use it to bring in three, instead.


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