To say why Liverpool need a defensive midfielder would be like stating the absolute obvious. Like, why it’s windy at the top of Mount Everest. Or why the Pizza guy always gets the girl. Or why it’s the black guy who always dies first in a scary movie. We’ve tried being tongue in cheek about this, and sometimes even trespassed into the acerbic, but that didn’t suit our style because we value being tasteful above all. But if you’re a Liverpool fan, you might have felt a bit of bile gushing into the back of your neck, after their team’s 2-0 defeat (doesn’t quite do justice to the manner of the loss) at Turf Moor.
It was despicable, how easy it was for the newly-promoted minnows (with all due respect) made light work of Juergen Klopp’s commandeers. It was like a hot knife through butter, every time a midfield overload by Sean Dyche’s Burnley resulted in a turnover in possession, catching Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Genie Wijnaldum jaywalking on the other side of the pitch, with their forward momentum halted prematurely. Almost an action replay of Arsenal’s first goal at the Emirates where a dilly-dallying Lallana lost possession in his own half. Both the end results were the same – goals against Liverpool. The first goal was equally needy, as Ragnar Klavan finding no midfielder dropping deep had to launch one over to Nathaniel Clyne the opposite flank, a pass misjudged by the passer and the pasee – laid the foundation for Burnley’s first strike.
We know you’re a disgruntled customer, so, keeping our sincerity on the forefront, here are the three midfielders, JD of The 4th Official opines would do more good than harm to Liverpool’s hopes to finishing in the top 4.
#1 Ruben Neves
Value: $35 million +
If We Had To Compare: Xabi Alonso
As close to a Xabi Alonso prototype as any. This boy is rarely ever fazed, having made his debut aged 17, and holding the record of the youngest ever captain in the Champions League, aged 18. Ruben Neves shows the same ready wit to consistently eliminate the opponent midfield with a perfectly weighted pass. Much in the same vein as Xabi Alonso, not overly combative, but instead relies on his reading of the game, intelligence, tempo-control, composure, and economy on and off the ball to do damage. A subtle beast of a talent.
#2 Ignacio Camacho
Value: $20 million +
If We Had To Compare: Javi Martinez
One from the school or hard knocks, had Liverpool scouting him towards the end of last season if reports are to be believed, with murmurs of his agent being spotted at Melwood, even. High-intensity, grafter, beast in the air, dependable, and assertive, he’d be the ideal Klopp defensive midfield marshall. ‘Engage and destroy’ seems to be Ignacio’s mantra, as he often steps out to set the tone of the midfield play with is front-foot tendencies – something crucially missing in this Liverpool side. Has shown a tendency to burst forward and make venturesome midfield play, his displays have suggested often that there is much, much more to his play than being just a terrier.
#3 Amadou Diawara
Value: $15 million +
If We Had To Compare: Nigel De Jong
Rangy, periscopic in the tackle, this nineteen-year-old loves to put a foot in. While not quite what you’d call ‘expansive’ like the aforementioned options, Amadou is one that will guarantee you tireless, unceasing geggenpress. Turned heads at just the age of 18, he already has consolidated himself as one of the most respected midfielders in the Seria A coming out of absolute obscurity of playing for a church team in the thrid-tier of Italian football. Idolising Yaya Toure, he’s shown much more tenacity, the brutal effectiveness, and the mean streak that would more accurately liken him to the unapologetic, Nigel De Jong. Liverpool would have to move fast, though, as Napoli look to be close to nipping him ahead of Chelsea and Juventus.