How missing out on No. 6 targets could lead to a midfield switch-up at Liverpool

Has Liverpool’s failure to sign a defensive midfielder resulted in a shift in strategy this season? Aaron Cutler poses the query.

Football has a cyclical nature. Nobody, not even Manchester City, can win indefinitely.


And, because every dynasty has an expiration date, every formation or style of play will be countered at some point.



The beautiful game’s growth is what keeps it, well, lovely.


While Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as an innovator, his Liverpool counterpart is well-versed in tactics and cycles.


Perhaps this is why he remained so calm throughout a summer when the heat was intense.




Targets for defensive midfield


As the transfer window’slammed shut,’ it signaled the usual rush to conclusions.


While no one would say the Reds won the ‘Deadline Day Trophy’ (probably sponsored by Sky), the overwhelming view was that we did okay.


We renovated and refurbished an aging midfield over the course of three busy months.


That is no small effort in a climate biased by Saudi finance.


Unavoidable criticism focused on the club’s reluctance to hire a new defender and its apparent refusal to pursue a second pure defensive midfielder.


The start of the season, on the other hand, brings that second issue to the forefront.


The club’s unusual and eventually unsuccessful pursuit of Moises Caicedo demonstrates that they were looking for a new defensive midfielder.


The quickness with which we signed Wataru Endo after that rejection, on the other hand, tells a story. As does the subsequent absence of mobility.


It appears that Liverpool’s scouting staff has a low opinion of defensive midfielders in general.


They had one of the finest in the business for five years, but peak Fabinhos are hard to come by.


Rodri is undoubtedly City’s best defensive midfielder, but who can compete with him? More specifically, who will be able to stake a claim in two to three years?


Declan Rice fits the bill, but he was always destined for Arsenal. With the exception of the Englishman and Caicedo, the options are limited.

Liverpool’s ties to Sofyan Amrabat and Youssouf Fofana have always been shaky.


Fulham’s Joao Palhinha could have been a feasible alternative, but his age (28 years old) and an untimely shoulder injury likely put an end to any tentative interest.


When faced with a lack of quality options, it’s reasonable to infer Liverpool made a deliberate decision to do things differently.


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