Liverpool has a lot to think about heading into the new year, whether it’s in January or the summer, after deciding against signing a long-term midfield option in 2022.
With Naby Keta out of contract at the end of the season, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost certain to leave at the end of his contract, and James Milner on the verge of leaving (or playing in a much-reduced role), Liverpool has plenty to think about.
With just a little more foresight, though, they could have lessened the load placed on themselves by moving ahead of their need becoming even more pressing, as they have often done in other areas of the pitch.
“If there was a blank canvas and Liverpool could sign anyone without any restrictions, it would be Bruno Guimarães from Newcastle,” Reddy said.
Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, or anyone else could have signed Guimarães when Newcastle did in January for a fee of £40m, but they chose not to. In the case of Manchester City and Real Madrid, the need for a central midfielder was less, but for Liverpool, it looks more and more like a glaring error.
Guimarães is in the 99th percentile for tackles and 93rd for pressures among midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues. He ranks in the 90s for shot-creating actions and expected assists generated. He ranks in the 89th percentile for progressive passes and 92nd for progressive dribbles, making him the perfect addition that Liverpool could have signed.
Perhaps it would have been too much to hijack a move for Guimarães while also hijacking Tottenham’s deal for Luis Díaz, with both transfers sealed in the same week. But Liverpool must surely be wishing they had tried.
While it would be for a larger fee than the £40m that Newcastle paid for the Brazilian all-rounder now, Liverpool could still be in with a chance of signing Guimarães.
“What’s been clear, is this club has invested circa £200m in 2022 — that’s unsustainable. You can’t keep doing that every year,” Newcastle‘s head of recruitment, Dan Ashworth, said earlier in the month,