Paul Merson has claimed that Liverpool ‘need more midfield reinforcements’ this summer despite the signings of both Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
The former Arsenal favourite labelled the former as ‘an absolute bargain’ with the Reds paying Brighton just £35m for his services while Jurgen Klopp’s side also activated the the latter’s £60m release clause last week.
Both players instantly strengthen our starting XI but with Merson expecting Trent Alexander-Arnold to remain at right back next term he insists that more fresh faces are needed in the engine room.
“I’m a big fan of Alexis Mac Allister, he’s very simple and effective,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “He’s not got major legs and isn’t the strongest midfielder you’ll see, but he’ll keep things ticking for Liverpool in the center of the park and play a big role in their build-up play.
“However, Liverpool are crying out for legs in midfield – we saw what happened to them last season. The likes of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are at the fag end of their careers, so they need a lot more than just Mac Allister to become a force to be reckoned with once again.
“I haven’t seen enough of Dominik Szoboszlai to pass a judgment, but if you’re a Liverpool fan, you’d be hoping he has the legs and the engine to give them what they missed dearly last season. Additionally, Mac Allister flourished at Brighton with someone like Moises Caicedo next to him, with the Ecuador international’s engine and defensive acumen acting as the perfect foil to his skillset. He’s an absolute bargain for £35 million, but I still think Liverpool need more midfield reinforcements.
“I’ve said for the longest time that Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best passer in English football, but I was actually shocked by the amount of adulation he got for his performance for England on international duty. They played against Malta and North Macedonia, c’mon. He has been deployed in midfield recently by Gareth Southgate and Jurgen Klopp, but I still think he will play as a right-back come next season.”
A midfield rebuild has already taken place this summer with our two new arrivals filling the void left by departed trio James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Mac Allister helped Argentina to World Cup glory last year and also played an instrumental role in Brighton securing European football for the first time in their history.
Szoboszlai, meanwhile, impressed for RB Leipzig as he registered 10 goals and 13 assists (across all competitions).
Both players have been signed early which means they can complete a full preseason with the club to ensure they have the best possible chance of hitting the ground running on Merseyside.
We agree that one more midfielder is required, though, with Jordan Henderson and Thiago now the wrong side of 30 and Fabinho struggling for form for the majority of the previous campaign.
Rumours suggest that we’re considering a move for Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia after he impressed for the Saints last term despite their relegation to the Championship.
It remains to be seen what further business we can complete this summer but we’re already excited about the new campaign with our two new signings in the squad.