Following Gini Wijnaldum’s departure early in the summer, Liverpool were linked with a series of potential midfield replacements only to in the end decide to head into the 2021-22 season with the players they already had at the club.
Early on, one of the most strongly linked names was Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, a 24-year-old German international at the time said to be available for around £35M. It’s possible, though, he would have cost far less.
That’s the word this week, with a number of outlets passing along claims from the Sunday Mirror that as the window wore on and no deal for Neuhaus materialised, Monchengladbach dropped their asking price all the way down to £21M.
Even at that asking price, though, Liverpool—led, as the story goes, by Jürgen Klopp’s wishes and not penny-pinching owners—chose to pass. Some of that may have been due to the pre-season claim to minutes made by young Harvey Elliott.
If true, it would likely also be a sign Klopp and the club believe Curtis Jones, the 20-year-old Scouser who played nearly 2,000 minutes last season, has underlying numbers that arguably mark him out as a better Liverpool eight than Neuhaus.
Some fans will always get more excited about the idea of new signings than sticking with existing players—even if all the evidence from Klopp’s time at the club points to a manager who prefers to develop talent when he believes in it.
With Jones already at the club—and four years younger than Neuhaus—and the emergence of Elliott, though, it’s easy to understand why Liverpool might not have had much interest in signing another midfielder as transfer season neared its end.