Liverpool legend John Barnes thinks signing any one of three superstar midfielders will solve their issues, and reckons one player in particular is very gettable.
The Reds were strongly tipped to go toe-to-toe with Man City atop the Premier League this season. They still might, but they’ve already given themselves a sizeable hurdle to overcome.
Liverpool trail Man City by eight points and north London pair Arsenal and Tottenham both look much improved too.
Unsurprisingly, the Gunners are Arsene Wenger’s pick for the title after outlining two reasons why this is their year.
Whether Liverpool are fighting for the title or fourth spot will become clear in the weeks between the international break and World Cup.
Their first three league matches once the domestic scene gets back underway are Brighton, Arsenal and Man City.
A vast array of theories have been put forward as to why Liverpool have struggled so far. Poor recruitment, injuries, a collective loss of form and a hangover from last season’s exploits have all been mentioned.
However, the most talked about issue facing Jurgen Klopp is his midfield.
The common consensus among the fanbase was at least one superstar midfielder was required to freshen the ranks.
Liverpool ultimately signed Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus. However, he’s unlikely to be the long term answer and Thiago, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are all the wrong side of 30.
Jude Bellingham price tag soars
That’s sparked intense speculation the Reds are biding their time before pouncing for Jude Bellingham next summer.
Fully aware of the generational talent they have on their hands, the Athletic revealed Dortmund have slapped a whopping £131m price tag on his head.
Manchester United are expected to make life difficult for the Reds regarding Bellingham. Real Madrid too are known admirers.
Now, speaking via the Mirror, Liverpool legend John Barnes highlighted three elite performers who could turn Liverpool’s midfield from a weakness into a strength.
The ex-winger named Real Madrid pair Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde as his two options aside from Bellingham.
Liverpool tried to sign Tchouameni from Monaco in the summer before he chose Real Madrid. Reports out of Spain have also put Valverde firmly in their sights.
Valverde? Tchouameni? Bellingham? Any will do for Liverpool
“Anyone of those three (Bellingham, Fede Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni) would be perfect for Liverpool.
“I can’t necessarily see Valverde or Tchouameni leaving Real Madrid at this moment in time. Jude Bellingham is one that’s a possibility.
“Valverde if you look at where he plays he is a central midfield player, but he plays wide for Real Madrid and you can see how well he attacks but he also defends really well because he is a central midfield player.
“You know the way that our midfield is in a midfield three, he will fit that perfectly, as will Tchouameni.
“Really good on the ball but also strong defensively and works hard up and down. So does Jude Bellingham.
“You look at the way Man City play then maybe they wouldn’t fit into what Man City want. But in terms of what Liverpool want from their midfield I see anyone of those three
“But realistically the only one I would think we would be able to get is Jude Bellingham and he would be a great signing for us.”