Liverpool could make huge January statement by beating Arsenal to £30m star
and live on Freeview channel 276
Liverpool are still settling their new players into the squad after making four big purchases during the summer transfer window. While delivering a midfield makeover had been pinned as the Reds’ top priority, it’s unlikely the fans expected to lose any more than the three whose contracts had expired in June.
James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keïta all had their fates confirmed towards the end of the season and Liverpool had time to put their affairs in order. But Saudi Arabia made sure they didn’t miss Anfield on their shopping trip around England. As some of the Premier League’s biggest stars agreed deals with Pro League teams, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Fabinho also had their heads turned.
Jurgen Klopp was consequently faced with the hefty task of replacing five senior midfielders and with four new faces through the door, it certainly wasn’t a window to be sniffed at. However, despite their strong recruitment haul, the Reds did fumble the bag when it came to long-standing transfer target Roméo Lavia. Liverpool had been linked to the former Southampton man for weeks, if not months, and a switch to Anfield looked pretty nailed on.
That was, until the Reds tempted fate and bulldozed their way onto the scene of Chelsea’s pursuit of Moisés Caicedo, slapping an eye-watering £111 million offer on the table out of absolutely nowhere. Naturally, Brighton accepted the bid, probably still kicking themselves for letting Alexis Mac Allister leave for the relatively meagre sum of £35 million. But despite the mega money involved, Caicedo turned down the Reds, standing firm that Chelsea was the only destination for him. Then, just to add to the awkwardness, Lavia also made the move to Stamford Bridge, leaving Liverpool without their priority target.
This unexpected twist in the tale left Liverpool scrambling to find a replacement, and not a lot of time left to do it. Wataru Endō eventually arrived at the club but it seemed more of a panicked signing of necessity rather than any kind of statement. Since his arrival, Endō has struggled to establish himself in the same way Dominik Szoboszlai and Mac Allister have, resulting in the latter slotting into the less preferred No.6 position. Of course, every transition period deserves grace and patience, but Liverpool are in fine form and will definitely fancy their chances at cracking the top four or going even further this season.
And those ambitions are exactly why they remain linked to even more midfielders as we approach the January window. One of the main names on the rumour mill is André, who has been a crucial member of Fluminense’s team this season. Liverpool approached the Brazilian outfit during the summer but they were adamant their asset was not for sale until at least the new year, allowing them a better shot at winning the Copa Libertadores.
Arsenal have also been linked to André but a recent update from Football Insider claims that the Reds ‘remain confident’ they can strike a deal for the midfielder. This would be a huge statement from Liverpool, as Arsenal will certainly be a very tempting destination for the South American, partially due to the sizeable amount of Brazilians already at the club, including their sporting director.
An Anfield move for André would show that Liverpool are indeed an attractive and competitive destination, but it would also make a notable statement about their mentality. Mac Allister has been holding up fine in his new role, but as he’s not a natural No.6; Klopp does need someone who is completely comfortable in the position and isn’t afraid to get stuck into challenges and put his body on the line — Fabinho style.
Letting key players leave is always a bold choice but it doesn’t have to be detrimental, providing a like-for-like replacement is brought in.
If André and Fluminense win the Copa Libertadores, it’s likely both parties will revisit transfer talks in January and might be more open to discussing the player’s exit. Meanwhile, Liverpool will get the man they’ve been monitoring for months, providing they carry their interest into the new year.
The Brazilian season ends in December, so it’s the perfect time for André to assess his options and make a decision on his future. TEAMtalk recently reported that Arsenal are willing to meet his €35 million (£30m) asking price, which seems like a fairly reasonable amount to be quoted for a player valued so highly by his club.
In terms of statistics, André notched some impressive numbers last season that weren’t overly dissimilar to Fabinho’s during his time at Anfield. The Fluminense star averaged 1.1 interceptions and 1.6 tackles per 90 minutes, compared to his compatriot’s average of one interception and 1.8 tackles per match. Fabinho held an impressive average passing accuracy of 88.7 percent, but André came out on top with a very sharp 92.5 percent. For context, that was higher than any of Liverpool’s starting 11 last season, including Virgil van Dijk (via WhoScored).
André started all but four games last season and 21 of a possible 27 so far this term, as well as playing in every Copa Libertadores fixture in the lead up to the grand final. One thing to note is that his discipline could be improved, as he has collected 14 yellow cards and one red across all competitions this season and has faced three suspensions as a result. If anything, it shows the Brazilian isn’t afraid to get stuck into challenges, but it may be something for Klopp to have a word with him over, if he does eventually join the Reds.