‘Like Zidane’: Jurgen Klopp urged to quickly wrap up £44m Liverpool signing of ‘elite’ midfield star
Liverpool are being urged to push through the signing of midfield target Enzo Fernandez as quickly as possible with the player tipped to have a starring role at the 2022 World Cup.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is ready to put his focus into strengthening his midfield options in 2023. Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both likely to leave as free agents at the end of their contracts. And with James Milner turning 37 in January, there are suggestions this could be his final season at Anfield.
Furthermore, both Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson are the wrong side of 30. The two players have both succumbed to injuries at various stages this season.
As it stands, Klopp is looking to sign at least two new players for his engine room. Jude Bellingham is the undisputed No 1 target – and Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip has some good news for Liverpool supporters.
However, Klopp is also after another addition and could look to move in the January window. That will now open in just 46 days – and with the World Cup to come before then – many stars will get the chance to prove their qualities.
One man now tipped for a starring role is Benifca star Fernandez. And with Giovani Lo Celso missing the tournament with injury, Fernandez looks like being the star most likely to benefit.
He moved to the Portuguese side over the summer from River Plate but has already made a sizeable impression.
He’s already been strongly linked with Liverpool, while Manchester United are also reportedly keen. Indeed, Klopp and Co are reported to have already registered their interest with Benfica over his signing.
Liverpool advised to secure Enzo Fernandez transfer
The 21-year-old has a chunky £107.3m (€120m) clause in his deal, though Benfica may well deal for much less.
And amid talk Liverpool are preparing a £44m (€50m) offer, former Liverpool star Maxi Rodriguez has branded the player worth every penny.
“He is an extraordinary player. Very complete,” Rodriguez told TyC Sport. “Elite players, playing for the national team, have to be like that.
“(You need) speed of thought, and knowing how to locate yourself (on the pitch). You don’t have to run 15 kilometres. If you run a lot, it catches up with you.
“He’s a very interesting player.”
Fernandez already has three goals and five assists for Roger Schmidt’s side in the Primeira Liga. He’s also picked up six yellow cards in that time, illustrating his tenacity and desire to win.
And former Porto coach Jose Peseiro reckons the player already compared with one of the world’s generational talents in Zinedine Zidane.
“(It is) absolutely surprising the level at which he plays at, at only 21 years old,” Peseiro said.
“The best player I worked with was (Zinedine) Zidane, at Real Madrid. Of course, I don’t want to compare. But I’m talking about Enzo’s passing and surprising vision; a bit like Zidane.
“Enzo is 21 years old? Either that’s a lie, or he’s a genius!”
If Liverpool do decide to move for Fernandez they will hope recent relations with Benfica will stand them in good stead. Indeed, the two clubs negotiated a bumper deal to take Darwin Nunez to Anfield over the summer.
As such, a second raid on Benfica cannot be ruled out. And if Fernandez does shine for Argentina at the World Cup, they could find that £44m asking price rocketing.
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