Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Liverpool Locked In A Three-Way Battle For This Serie A Midfielder: Right Choice For Klopp?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Gazetta dello Sport stated that Liverpool are locked in a three-way battle for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli this summer. It is understood that the Reds could face competition from Juventus and Arsenal in the race to recruit the Italy international in this off-season (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Locatelli’s Outstanding Form For Both Club And Country

The Lecco-born playmaker garnered a lot of plaudits for his impressive performances at the heart of the Sassuolo midfield in the previous campaign. Locatelli found the back of the net on four occasions and grabbed three assists in 34 matches last season in all competitions.

The 23-year-old gave a good account of himself at both ends of the pitch as he averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.7 clearances, 1.2 shots, 1.1 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in Serie A. He was even excellent when distributing the ball from midfield after making 88.3% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Italian football (stats via whoscored).

Locatelli carried his good form into the UEFA European Championships as he managed to help Italy taste success in the competition earlier this summer. Hence, Liverpool would be getting a quality player if they manage to get a deal over the line for the Sassuolo star during this summer transfer window.

Liverpool locked in a three-way battle for Locatelli who is seen in the picture
Bologna, Italy, 4th June 2021. Manuel Locatelli of Italy during the warm up prior to the International Football Friendly match at Stadio Dall Ara, Bologna. Picture credit should read: Jonathan Moscrop / Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-1074-0057

Will Locatelli Be The Right Choice For The Reds?

Locatelli has got the vision to unlock the opposition defence with a killer pass in the final third. He has a wide range of passes in his locker and can keep possession moving without breaking a sweat at the centre of the park.

The 15-time Italy international enjoys disrupting the opponent’s rhythm in the game by getting stuck in with a few crunching tackles in midfield. He can also put his foot through the ball to clear the danger when the opposition are on the front foot.

A midfielder of Locatelli’s quality will be a perfect replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who joined Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, at Anfield. We can expect the Italian playmaker to add a lot of toughness and creativity to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield department.

Liverpool have currently got an aging midfield which they need to address this summer. Recruiting Locatelli could go a long way in solving that problem as he will only get better with each year. The Serie A midfield ace could help the Merseyside outfit challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title in the coming seasons. Hence, Locatelli will be an excellent choice for Klopp to consider in this transfer window.

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