Coming into this season, Pedro Chirivella was a forgotten man. The 22 year old had failed to impress on loan deals in the Netherlands, and seemed destined to ride out his deal as a body with the U23 side. That all changed when Liverpool were forced to play a youth squad in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa.
With the first team at the Club World Cup and the English FA unwilling to move the fixture due to the “sanctity of the cup” or summat, Liverpool fielded their youngest side ever, with Chirivella captaining the squad. While kids got rolled 5-0 in the final scoreline, Chirivella’s performance shone through. The Spanish midfielder parlayed that performance into a series of starts in both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup in which he excelled.
As a reward for his stellar performances, Chirivella has been offered a shiny new five year contract to stay at Liverpool ahead of becoming a free agent at the end of June. The young Spaniard could be seen as a cheap in-house replacement for Adam Lallana, who is also out of contract at the end of the season.
It is still difficult, however, to envision Chirivella breaking into the first team with any regularity in the near future. Lallana, and established favorite of Jurgen Klopp, did not make the bench with any regularity, much less get consistent minutes. Lallana and Chirivella are buried behind the established names of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keïta, and James Milner.
In all likelihood, Pedro Chirivella’s future lies elsewhere if he wants consistent playing time. Signing the new deal could be mutually beneficial for both sides though. For Chirivella, it could help set a market for him. Being “wanted” by Liverpool has a certain cachet that signals a level of talent. It could also help set a wage expectation he might not otherwise garner. For Liverpool, it would mean Michael Edwards and his magical laptop could spin yet another extraneous player into money towards a Timo Werner.