Liverpool have already signed Andre Trindade alternative who Mo Salah believes is great


It's a list that already features the likes of Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, Nabil Fekir, Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele and, of course, Kylian Mbappe.

Now Andre Trindade could be added to the catalogue of players who fans clamoured for but Liverpool failed to sign.

Having courted the midfielder in the summer transfer window, the Reds have appeared to have dropped out of the race with January approaching. After Fluminense were unwilling to sell Andre in August, sections of supporters have closely monitored his progress and plotted how he would fit in at Liverpool.

Yet it looks as if it'll Fulham that Kopites will watch Andre in the Premier League. Multiple reports suggest that the Cottagers are favourites to recruit the 22-year-old in the winter window as a potential replacement for Joao Palhinha.

There will be some who feel that Liverpool not rivalling Fulham for Andre is unfathomable. The defensive-midfield position is still not fully remedied after the summer exits of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, while Andre is still several years away from his prime while he has a Copa Libertadores winners' medal to his name - and is a full Brazil international to boot.

The subsequent arrivals of Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch after the Reds were rebuffed by Fluminense is one reason why they appear not to renew interest. Another is that Jurgen Klopp will be acutely aware he does not want to block the pathway for Stefan Bajcetic.

It's easy to forget that Liverpool already have a teenager who was fast-tracked into the first team only a year ago. Bajcetic is currently sidelined, having undergone adductor surgery in March and made a brief return to fitness in September, and the Reds are steadfast they won't rush him back.

Regardless, the Spaniard - signed from Celta Vigo in December 2020 - displayed last season how bright his future is. Bajcetic made a total of 19 appearances before his progress was curtailed because of a setback.

In truth, there's every chance he could currently command the No.6 berth at Anfield if fit. It was a role that saw him promoted above Fabinho in for a period last season. Despite Liverpool suffering what felt like their lowest ebb in a post-Christmas slump, succumbing to meek losses against Wolves, Brentford and Bournemouth, Bajcetic was one of the few players who came out with any credit.

He was even trusted with a start in the Champions League last-16 first-leg loss to Real Madrid at Anfield. It felt like a hammer blow when he was ruled out of the reverse tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Indeed, Mo Salah and Henderson extolled the performances of Bajcetic during that stint. “He’s a great player and person, he always tries to work hard,” Salah said after a 2-0 win over Everton. “Since he started playing for us, he has been our best player maybe so hopefully, he keeps that confidence and keeps going.”

"I'm very impressed. He has been outstanding since he has come into the team," added Henderson. "Over the last few weeks, even though the performances haven't been great, he has been the one that has probably stood out and performed to the levels he is capable of."

Given Klopp's willingness to deploy Bajcetic in key games last term, he could well have found himself as Liverpool's chief defensive midfielder this campaign. Ahead of Saturday's trip to Manchester City, there is certainly a debate to who should be given the remit of protecting the defence.

Alexis Mac Allister has played in the role for much of the campaign, but his flaws have been exposed away from home, in particular. There would be concerns if he has the defensive nous to snuff out a potent City attack.

Endo, on the other hand, is the natural option. Yet the Japan international has made only two Premier League starts since signing from Stuttgart and is acclimatising to Klopp's system and demands.

Aged 19, Bajcetic is three years the junior of Andre. If he wasn't already a Liverpool player, he is of the ilk that would be targeted by the recruitment team.

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