Liverpool may have perfect third signing for Jurgen Klopp after Dominik Szoboszlai


The duo will form part of Jurgen Klopp's midfield rebuild after a lacklustre 2022-23 campaign - and Liverpool may not be done there. Khephren Thuram, Ryan Gravenberch, Gabri Veiga and Manu Kone have all been named as other midfielders of interest to the Merseyside outfit.

But there is another player on Liverpool's radar who may be the perfect third addition. That man is Southampton's Romeo Lavia, who is also a major target for Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Belgium international is a defensive-minded midfielder meaning he could complement Mac Allister and Szoboszlai in a new-look trio. It is at No 6 where Liverpool have their least cover having tried to buy Aurelien Tchouameni 12 months ago before he joined Real Madrid.

Jordan Henderson and Stefan Bajcetic can both play there but the captain's powers are waning at 33 while Bajcetic, 19 this October, is still growing into his body and the Reds will be wary not to overload the classy Spaniard. Mac Allister can operate as a No 6 but has been signed to operate as a No 8.

Lavia is just 19 himself but is more physically settled than Bajcetic. While he has less experience than Liverpool tend to prefer, with less than 50 first-team appearances, Lavia has certainly proven his ability at Premier League level.

Despite Southampton's relegation last season, he shone and was named the Southern Daily Echo's Player of the Year after 29 top-flight appearances. It is expected any club wanting to sign the Belgian will have to pay between £40m to £50m for him.

But it is not just his age and profile that makes him such a suitable signing for Klopp and co. Signing Szoboszlai leaves Liverpool with just one non-homegrown slot in their 2023-24 Premier League squad.

And Lavia would not take up that final spot, meaning they could still sign another player without restriction. Alternatively, were Liverpool to buy Thuram while still wanting to sign a centre-back, that defender would then have to be homegrown or under the age of 21.

In order to name a maximum-size 25-man squad, there must be eight homegrown players included. But the rules dictate that clubs are also permitted to name an unlimited number of players under the age of 21 (born on or after January 1st 2002) who do not count as part of that 25.

Due to his age, Lavia will not need to be named in the 25-man squad until 2026-27. By then he will eventually qualify as homegrown because he will have been registered at an English club for three seasons before turning 21. He was at Manchester City for a year before joining Southampton.

With James Milner gone, Jordan Henderson ageing and the long-term futures of Joe Gomez, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips and Sepp van den Berg unclear, Liverpool will be acutely aware they cannot ignore their homegrown problem. And that, on top of his qualities and potential, might make Lavia their ideal third summer signing.

Adblock test (Why?)