At the end of last season, Liverpool's expected summer business seemed pretty well-defined to many; clear out deadwood, upgrade your goalkeeper, revamp your options at centre-back, improve depth at left fullback, bring in more dynamism to central midfield, and add an athletic vertical threat to the attacking band. The numerous departures across the squad, and the signings of Loris Karius, Joël Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mané have gone a long way towards checking off every item on this list, with the left fullback spot now the only real hole in the squad.
As the Jonas Hector saga drags on with daily dull developments, links to other positions seem to have dried up completely, entirely in tune with the business having been done so far. It is therefore quite refreshing when an altogether new name pops up on the radar.
In this case, the name is Ludovic Blas, and you'd be forgiven for not being familiar with it. The 18-year old Guingamp product has only a single senior season to his name, breaking into the En Avant squad last year and recording 640 minutes in Ligue 1. In that time, though, he recorded a goal and two assists, along with 4.5 ball recoveries and 2.3 successful dribbles every 90 minutes, all from deep in central midfield. He went on to star for the eventual winners in this summer's U19 Euros, scoring or assisting in each of his four starts in the tournament, this time from the right wing.
A natural left-footer, Blas displays a wide range of abilities, marrying quick feet and close control with excellent reading of the game and a willingness to throw his 5'11" frame about. His set-piece deliveries are also well worth mentioning, as he consistently finds a way to put them on the head or boot of a teammate.
Now, he is linked with a move away from the northwest club, and with only two years left on his contract, the big clubs have started circling. Alongside Liverpool, notorious French runners up Lyon and Italian giants Internazionale have supposedly shown an interest in the versatile midfielder, with a fee yet to be proposed. Still developing his game, and yet to find his best position, Blas would be a signing for the future rather than the present, but is talented enough that he should be able to find minutes wherever he lands.