Liverpool's hunt for a versatile central midfielder - one who could dictate the pace of the game and dominate on both sides of the ball - took up a lot of column inches during the summer transfer window. After missing out on Rúben Neves and Mahmoud Dahoud, the Reds ended with the slightly more attacking-minded - and far more beaming - Georginio Wijnaldum. While the Dutchman's quality was well-documented, the fit seemed slightly off compared to the model of player Jürgen Klopp had been linked with, and whispers throughout the Twittersphere indicated that the chase for a physically dominant two-way player was still on.
Enter Marcelo Brozović, a Croatian central midfielder who can both destroy and create. Following a solid outing with his national side at the Euros, the 23-year old was heavily linked with a £21m move to Chelsea in the summer, but chose to remain at Inter Milan, where he had made 32 league appearances last year. This season has not started well for the former Dinamo Zagreb man, as he has been dropped by new manager Frank de Boe, reportedly for "unprofessional behaviour". Brozović then incurred the wrath of Inter fans as he had the gall to post pictures on Instagram after his team lost to Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
According to his agent, Miroslav Bičanić, the issue is one the player and manager need to sort out between themselves, but in the meantime, Brozović is supposedly on the market. Combining a six foot frame with quick feet, a tasty range of passing and defensive awareness, the Croatian covers many bases. A goal or assist every 300 or so minutes is comparable to for instance Jordan Henderson's 280 - very solid in fact, considering Brozović doesn't take set pieces - and an average of four ball recoveries per 90 minutes gives an indication of his defensive capabilities. A versatile footballer, #epicBrozo has shown an ability to play central in a midfield two, shuttler in a midfield three and wide right in a midfield four.
Question marks about his professionalism must be taken seriously, of course, and there is the eternal caveat that Serie A players seldom make the transition to the Premier League all that well, but if Klopp is still looking for a flexible all-round midfielder come January, Milano might just be the place to start.