Liverpool could land new Fab & Gini in move for £45m “machine” alongside Gravenberch - opinion


Liverpool look to be making some late-summer movements to complete Jurgen Klopp's summer of spending, and the club could now swoop for a Premier League rivals' fringe player.

Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo have been signed to combat the mass exodus in midfield, while Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch is subject to an official offer from the Anfield side and is likely to join the fold.

Further activity must not be ruled out, with Liverpool believed to be interested in moving for another player if it proves to be feasible at this late stage.

Reports from talkSPORT last week suggested that Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips could yet move to Merseyside at the eleventh hour, with the England international very much on Liverpool's radar after missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea.

talkSPORT's Alex Crook more recently revealed that Pep Guardiola could allow Phillips to leave on loan with a €62m (£53m) transfer for Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes close to completion.

Phillips completed a £45m move to Manchester City from Leeds United in 2022 after playing a predominant role in the Whites' promotion to the Premier League and subsequent ninth-placed finish during the 2020/21 season.

Hailed as an absolute "machine" by reporter Jordan Campbell, Phillips recorded an average Sofascore rating of 7.21 during that tremendous campaign with Leeds, completing 85% of his passes and averaging 1.2 key passes, 2.6 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 1.7 clearances per game from his holding midfield role.

This is emblematic of the kind of No. 6 Klopp craves for his high-octane, turbo-charged system to reach its zenith, with Fabinho, who completed a £40m move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad, averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.6 clearances and interceptions per game while maintaining a pass success rate of 85.2% across the duration of his career, as per WhoScored.

Such control had dissipated at Anfield last season and was the crux of the Reds' demise, finishing fifth and squandering the chance to continue an illustrious run in the Champions League after the midfield failed to adequately protect the defence - prompting the major reshuffle this summer.

It's a far cry to the former imperious fluidity at the outfit, and Fabinho was shipped on after a remarkable decline, having been branded "awful" for his performances by pundit and Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher.

With Phillips taking the Brazilian's mantle, Gravenberch could well be the successor to Gini Wijnaldum's dynamic, unrelenting role in the centre of the system; in the 21-year-old Dutchman, Klopp is getting his hands on one of the most talented, multi-functional midfield talents in Europe.

Described as a “saviour” by talent scout Jacek Kulig for his all-encompassing performances in the middle, Gravenberch is looking to move from Bayern just one year on from his €24m (£20m) move from Ajax last summer, having made just three starts in the Bundesliga.

Despite his peripheral role, the £151k-per-week talent ranks within the top 20% of midfielders across Europe's top five leagues over the past year for shot-creating actions, progressive passes, successful take-ons and tackles per 90, as per FBref.

Fabinho and Wijnaldum's respective abilities slotted together like a dovetail joint on Merseyside, resulting in immense, silver-laden success - notably winning the Champions League and Premier League.

Gravenberch and Phillips boast talent to emulate the past success, melding robustness and tenacity with technicality, and Klopp could now complete his reconstruction of this Liverpool side in emphatic fashion.

Liverpool have entered a new phase, a fresh chapter, and while it's been a turbulent ride for the club over the past 12 months, Klopp appears to be making the right moves to chart a course toward success once again.

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