The Liverpool fans have been feeling relatively downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week since their side suffered a 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but they are confident their side will bounce back with a victory over Watford this afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp’s side go into their clash with Watford today in 4th place, just 5 points ahead of Chelsea who currently sit in 5th place. The race for the Champions League appears set to go right down to the wire this year, so every fixture from now on will carry vital importance for Liverpool. With only 8 fixtures to play, Liverpool can’t afford any more slip ups if they wish to achieve their top-four ambition this season.
Considering the quality of Liverpool’s form in recent weeks, it appears the squad could be ready for a title-challenge next season, but they could be forced to fight for the ultimate prize without Emre Can who is set to become a free agent in the summer. Speculation concerning Can’s future has persisted in the media since the beginning of the season, and with his contract situation still unresolved, it seems Liverpool will be forced to say goodbye to the German international.
With that being said, Liverpool should already be scouting the market for a player to replace Can in midfield next season, and the answer to the clubs potential midfield shortage could lie within Watford’s starting line-up today. Barring a last minute injury problem, Abdoulaye Doucoure should be handed a starting role in the centre of Watford’s midfield against Liverpool, and another positive performance for the club against his potential suitors could convince Klopp to make a summer swoop for his services in the next transfer window.
Doucoure has been consistently excellent at the heart of Watford’s midfield this season, and his performances have been a key reason for The Hornets relative success in the Premier League. The 25-year-old midfielder is the clubs top-goalscorer with 7 strikes in the league, but he is much more than just a goalscorer.
Doucoure’s natural engine combined with his technical skill and defensive intelligence enable him to perform a box to box midfield role – one which has become something of a rarity in the modern game. He is certainly a player who Liverpool should be keeping a close eye on throughout his audition for the Can replacement role tonight, and if he brings his a-game to Anfield then he might just persuade Klopp that he has the ability to fill the void left by Can next season.