Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern in the last few weeks, what with their side well placed in both domestic and European competition to suggest that they could enjoy much success in the second half of the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are very much in contention for a top four finish in the Premier League, and although they will finish some way short of Manchester City, their 4-3 win over the Citizens last weekend is indicative of the potential of this Reds team, and what levels it could reach in the coming years. Add in a 2-1 win over Everton in the third round of the FA Cup, thus taking a step closer to a first crown since 2006, as well as easing to top spot in Group E of the Champions League, and things could get very good indeed for our resident Liverpudlians in the second half of the season.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Reds fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that target Stefan De Vrij is set to pen a new deal at current club Lazio, but it will reportedly contain a €25 million release clause.
And while that is not an overwhelming figure for a player who would certainly strengthen Klopp’s squad, they should forget about a move for the 25-year-old centre-back, and instead focus all their efforts on bolstering another area of their side with his teammate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
And that’s because the 22-year-old midfielder has all the traits to go on to become one of the best in Europe, and as such could help strengthen a midfield area that is somewhat lacking in sufficient quality.
Ultimately, selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona this month has left a huge hole in Klopp’s midfield, while the likely departure of Emre Can, be it this month or in the summer, would widen that gap even further.
And while Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have proven their worth to the club in the past, be it this term or previous campaigns, one senses that a towering, authoritative midfielder is needed in the middle of the park – Milinkovic-Savic is that man.
The 6ft 4in Serbia international has been excellent for Lazio in the last few seasons, helping them qualify for the Europa League last season as well as third place in Serie A this term, and has the quality and versatility which could seriously help Klopp in his quest for Premier League glory at Liverpool.
The 22-year-old is adept in both a deeper role and a more advanced one, giving the Reds chief endless options as to where best to play Milinkovic-Savic, while he has the sort of physical presence and power the Merseysiders have arguably been missing in that area for the past few years.
With nine goals and five assists this term, it’s clear that the Serbian star can play an effective part in the final third of the pitch, and his box-to-box nature makes him ideal for this high-tempo, high-pressing Liverpool side, in need of an authoritative figure in the middle of the park.
And that is exactly what Milinkovic-Savic is, so while De Vrij’s addition would undoubtedly benefit the backline, that area has already been strengthened by the arrival of his compatriot Virgil van Dijk – the central midfield department is the next that needs some work.
And that is why they should forget about De Vrij, and instead focus their efforts on bringing £49.5 million-rated Milinkovic-Savic (via Transfermarkt) to Anfield.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!