Liverpool have unveiled their first signing of the summer transfer window, just days after their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
Indeed, the Brazilian Fabinho is the second instalment in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, after January’s pre-agreed transfer of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.
With two formidable additions to the Reds’ midfield, where does it leave the English core who were crucial in the club reaching their first Champions League final in eleven years?
Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain have been outstanding all season for Liverpool. However, further midfield additions would raise eyebrows concerning the trios future, and whether they will play such a significant role in Klopp’s side next season.
Fabinho is an exciting acquisition, who was previously linked with moves to Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United. Liverpool paid £39 million, according to reports from BBC Sport, for the versatile midfielder, which is a price that suggests he has been signed for the starting eleven.
The arrival of Keita, for a reported £48 million, is likely to see another spot taken in Klopp’s middle three, leaving only one position left for the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana.
The Reds summer business already sees a ruthless overhaul by Klopp to improve an area that consisted largely of English talent and was pivotal in the Reds being such a success in Europe this season. However, despite the efforts of the trio, Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum were made to look under-powered in the Champions League final against Madrid.
Rotation will be a common theme next season with the manager hoping to have more options off the bench. This will mean that the English core of last season are likely to have a reduced role in the upcoming campaign.
Also, the expected addition of Nabil Fekir should be considered, with the Frenchman another high priority transfer target, according to reports from respected journalist Paul Joyce.
The addition of Fekir would leave no space in midfield for any of the Englishmen who drove the Reds all the way to Kiev in the season just gone, and the ruthlessness shown by Klopp is that of intent.
The German head coach wants to take Liverpool forward and believes he can recruit the necessary firepower to do just that.