Thiago Alcântara has redefined Liverpool’s midfield. Few could have imagined the impact he would have on Jürgen Klopp’s midfield despite his undeniable quality, but he has now set standards for the Reds’ recruitment team to follow. In terms of decision-making, the Spain international rarely makes the wrong call, with his passes being crucial in getting play through the forward areas.
He has become paramount for Klopp in the biggest games, with an element of anxiety emerging at the prospect of the 31-year-old not being available. But now a rare opportunity has presented itself, allowing Liverpool to land a midfielder who can follow Thiago’s model – and he’s available this summer.
Frenkie de Jong has been linked with an exit from Barcelona as the club seek to raise funds for reinforcements, and it is Manchester United who are currently following him closest.
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While reports indicate that Xavi Hernandez wants to keep De Jong at Camp Nou, others suggest that the board are pushing for the sale of La Liga’s best midfielder. The club have struggled since failing to renew Lionel Messi’s contract in 2021, and it appears they are set to move on to some key assets this summer to help rebalance the books ahead of possible deals of sponsorship.
Liverpool acted quickly in January to prevent Spurs from acquiring Luis Díaz, and that trick may need to be repeated this summer if Manchester United move closer to De Jong. With the Dutch international able to feature in a midfield alongside Thiago, Klopp would have the chance of getting the best midfielder in the Premier League.
Some time has passed since FSG proved they are ready to back the club for the right man. With Alisson and Virgil van Dijk the two most expensive signings of Klopp’s era, it may finally be time to step up for a player who would fit in instantly at the club.
Like Thiago, De Jong’s stats don’t create much excitement at first glance. Just three goals and three assists in 32 league games last season suggests he’s not having an impact on games – but it’s the contributions he makes outside of goal contributions that make him so valuable . The Dutch star is in command of the game, yet has the energy to press and carry the ball forward through the defensive lines.
In a midfield with Thiago and Fabinho, it would see an evolution in Klopp’s midfield who can maintain 90 minutes of game control. As seen against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, most of Liverpool’s best moves have been when the Reds have been able to hold the ball for a period of time – and the ability to do so would be multiplied if Klopp lands De Jong.
With rumors suggesting the 25-year-old could be available for around £67m, it may finally be time for it to happen again – not least in response to Manchester City snapping Erling Haaland. Pep Guardiola’s side will continue to invest as they seek to create a Premier League run they can win uncontested, but as long as Liverpool continue their trend of crafty deals, Klopp’s dream of getting another league title may soon become a reality.