Five players Liverpool could sign to replace Fabinho

Liverpool’s rebuild has taken an unexpected turn after starting defensive midfielder Fabinho’s 40-million-pound move to Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League.

Liverpool will now need to escalate their transfer dealings if they wish to be ready for the beginning of the season in August and here are five players they could target to replace the Brazilian.

Cheick Doucoure – Crystal Palace

Cheick Doucoure flew under the radar last season with few focusing on his performances for Palace despite being one of the best defensive players in the Premier League.  Doucoure is great at anticipating danger and is comfortable in possession, both attributes are essential for Jurgen Klopp’s new system. The Mali international made 34 appearances in the Premier League last season.  At just 23-years-old he is the perfect age-profile to become an instant starter while still having the potential for developing into a world-class player.  Crystal Palace have valued Doucoure at 70-million-pounds.

Joao Palhinha – Fulham

Joao Palhihna was a standout player for Fulham last season after making the move from Portuguese side Sporting CP for 20-million-euros.  Palhinha was aggressive on defense, completing a high volume of tackles and interceptions, he however was not as influential with the ball at his feet.  At 28-years-old he is clearly a short-term option that would require the Reds to sign a younger understudy capable of competing for his position in two to three seasons time.  Fulham have set an enormous 80-million-pound price tag on their star midfielder, using Declan Rice’s transfer to Arsenal as a benchmark.

Sofyan Amrabat – Fiorentina

Sofyan Amrabat was sensational for Morocco during the World Cup in Qatar with his performances showcasing his determined attitude, defensive strengths, and remarkable engine.  The 26-year-old ticks all of Jurgen Klopp’s boxes and is probably the most-like-for-like replacement for Fabinho.  Amrabat’s transfer would also be great value in the current market with a price tag reportedly in the region of 35-million-pounds.  In comparison to the other defensive midfielders available that is exceptional value.  The only concern for Liverpool would be how he acclimatizes to the Premier League as they need someone ready to go straight into the starting eleven.

Romeo Lavia – Southampton

Romeo Lavia has been heavily linked to Liverpool for most of the transfer window with Jurgen Klopp’s interest being a poorly kept secret.  Lavia had a great debut Premier League campaign despite being relegated with the Saints.  The 19-year-old has the potential to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and will end up at a top six club soon.  The main concern with the Belgian is his age and experience.  It is not ideal to rely on a player with just one season of first team football as your main midfield destroyer even if he possesses the talent to do so.  Lavia is valued at 50-million-pounds by Southampton but a figure closer to 40 should be enough to find an agreement.

Moises Caicedo – Brighton

The most unrealistic option on this list, Moises Caicedo is too pricey for the Reds, but if they were to use the near 60-million-pounds in fees from the Fabinho and Jordan Henderson deals, who is to say it cannot be done.  Caicedo is a world class defensive midfielder and already amongst the best playing in the Premier League.  He can play multiple positions and is one of the best midfielders in the league in possession. He is the perfect age to come into the starting eleven and hold his spot for potentially the next decade.  If Liverpool are serious about competing for the title once again, the Ecuadorian would be a statement signing. Brighton are demanding 100-million-pounds for Caicedo, an astronomical fee that has once again used Declan Rice as a benchmark.

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Dylan Johnson