With Liverpool being just weeks away from being Premier League champions, as well as currently being Champions League champions, there aren’t many – if any – clubs that will have as much clout in the window as Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer.
One player they have been linked to is Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, who is allegedly a big target for Arsenal in the summer, according to reports in the Metro.
The player has a release clause around the £45m-mark – a clause which has been spoken about in recent days by his agent (also his father), with him seemingly encouraging clubs to go after the central midfielder.
The quotes state that it is not just Arsenal who is after him, and with Liverpool also being linked to the midfielder as per the Mirror, they surely would be the frontrunners for his signature, for the reasons aforementioned.
Nevertheless, just because Partey is clearly a top player and £45m seems a very reasonable price for him, Liverpool should not fall in the trap of signing him just because they can.
His stats prove what an all-round player he is. While it is his defensive stats that stick out to the eye – he has 2.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.2 clearances averaged per La Liga match this season (WhoScored) – he also has the ability to drive with the ball and create opportunities.
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However, with Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner still all available in central midfield, you can’t help but think that he would struggle to make the first-team.
Considering Fabinho, 26, has proven his immense defensive ability – 2.1 tackles per game, 1.2 interceptions, and 1.7 dribbles stopped per match – they could be creating further problems as Klopp will have even harder decisions to make about his middle three, which could cause more issues than solutions with many quality players being likely to miss out.
It is unlikely that Klopp would want to keep dropping his skipper in Jordan Henderson, too, and that still leaves great players such as Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Wijnaldum scrapping for a place.
While a central midfielder still could be on the wishlist this summer, there are more pressing issues such as back up options for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.