TRANSFER UPDATE: Fabinho moves, Moisés Caicedo signed – Dream Liverpool midfield after Jürgen Klopp transfers

Liverpool has some big midfield decisions to make this summer with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho potentially adding to Jürgen Klopp and Jörg Schmadtke’s list.

Imagine for a moment that you had a blank canvas to work with and could see the ideal Liverpool midfield at the end of this summer. Financial limitations come into play, but given how many midfield possibilities have already departed Anfield and how many more may do so, Jürgen Klopp and Jörg Schmadtke aren’t too far from being in that situation.

Fabinho

Although Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have both come, it would be a major change for Liverpool if they lost Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in addition to James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keta, and Arthur Melo.

Thiago Alcantara’s potential departure is also being discussed (via Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri), Curtis Jones missed more games than he played last year, Stefan Bajeti, who is only 18 years old, suffered a season-ending injury, and Tyler Morton, who has just returned from a loan stint with Blackburn, are all factors.

That is as close as you can get to an entire department being completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. The change would be thrilling in some ways, but it would also give grounds for concerns that it represented too much at once in other ways.

But what does Liverpool need at this point? What happens next is unpredictable and nearly entirely dependent on Henderson and Fabinho’s choices.

Jordan Henderson

Liverpool would need to sign an experienced replacement if even one of the pair were to go. Roméo Lavia, a 19-year-old former player for Manchester City, would be a risky hire if you wanted to replace someone of that caliber right soon.

Given that Liverpool has already lost its vice-captain in Milner, if both were to depart, there would be a significant void to be filled in one summer. Leadership in the dressing room is essential.

The ideal scenario would be to cash in on Fabinho but keep Henderson because of this and the fact that The Athletic claims Al-Ittihad would pay an inflated price of $52m (£40m/€47m) for the 29-year-old Brazilian.

By doing so, Liverpool would be able to raise money to replace its captain in that position without having to make all the necessary adjustments at once.

Taking that deal now could make sense economically because Liverpool is unlikely to receive a $52 million or higher offer for Fabinho in the future, but only if a competent replacement is accessible and affordable at a reasonable price.

The best-case scenario from here would be if an exceptional choice became available. That might be Moisés Caicedo (who talkSPORT claim might be a possibility if Fabinho goes) or Aurélien Tchouaméni (who Defensa Central claimed this week was a viable option for the Reds as Real Madrid looks to raise the necessary funds to sign Kylian Mbappé). Liverpool might buy one of them with the money that Fabinho brings in.

Caicedo or Tchouaméni, each with a price tag of about $105m (£80m/€93m), would be at least twice as expensive as Fabinho. However, this would prevent the opportunity to (partially) cash in from being given to a less qualified candidate to replace those participants. There are several moving objects, and plenty of big decisions to be made, but Liverpool has to get the balance right.

Current midfield make-up:

More attacking – Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Elliott

More defensive – Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Bajčetić, Morton

Imaginary ‘perfect’ midfield alignment (with Jordan Henderson but without Fabinho):

More attacking – Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Elliott

More defensive – Caicedo/Tchouaméni/new signing, Henderson, Thiago, Bajčetić, Morton

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