Jürgen Klopp states he won’t rush to sign another midfielder, despite a mini-injury crisis. But one player could be a shrewd investment for now and the future.
Will Jürgen Klopp go back on his word and sign a midfielder before the end of the transfer window? That seems to be the thoughts of many Liverpool fans in the aftermath of Thiago Alcântara’s latest injury.
The silky Spaniard was forced to come off at the beginning of the second half on the opening day of the season against Fulham and, with it unknown how long he’s set to be out for, Liverpool look short.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out with a hamstring issue of his own and Curtis Jones also unavailable, suddenly Liverpool are looking a few bodies short in the middle of the park.
“A transfer must make sense now and in the long-term,” he said after the Fulham game (via the ECHO). “We have eight midfielders. We still have enough midfielders. It’s not that we lack midfielders, it’s just that some of them are injured. This isn’t a good situation, I don’t like it at all. We have to see how we react on that, but for sure not panic.”
But with the games set to come thick and fast once September rolls around, can Klopp afford to sit idly in the final weeks of the window? If Liverpool were to get another injury in midfield, then things would look very worrying.
A solution could be found in Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, who seems set to leave the club this summer. Ruiz has been at Napoli since 2018 and is a technically brilliant player, albeit on the slow side.
Liverpool, of course, have first-hand experience of Ruiz, as he squared off against the club in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Champions League seasons when Liverpool and Napoli were pitted in the same group stage. Ruiz controlled the first game in Naples in the 2019-20 campaign, giving a mature performance that exuded confidence and poise.
With his contract running into its final year, Napoli are keen to offload him this summer, and according to French outlet L’Equipe, a deal is close between Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain for around £22m.
Should Liverpool interject and make a late move for Ruiz?
Like Thiago, he would undoubtedly add something different to the Liverpool midfield. Ruiz can be ponderously slow, but very rarely does he ever give the ball away. In fact, if one goes to FBRef and looks at the players Ruiz is compared to, Thiago is indeed number one on the list, such are their stylistic similarities.
Ruiz could be the natural successor to Thiago in the Liverpool side, considering that he’s only 26. Moreover, due to his slow pace, he could play like he does now for the next 10 years. With Liverpool failing to control the game against Fulham, Ruiz would’ve been the sort of player they needed to wrestle control from the west London side.
Liverpool can’t be in a position to sign just ‘any’ midfielder in order to get another body in, it needs to be the right player, and someone like Ruiz, with his skillset, would be one of the smartest moves the club could make.
If nothing else, PSG have proven their are value-for-money midfield options out there.
Source: Liverpool Fc