In the past week, Liverpool FC fans have been buoyed by positive news that the club is leading the race for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. Then, various reports from Portugal and Argentina indicated that the club was all in on Benfica’s 21-year-old Argentinian midfielder Enzo Fernández. This, of course, led to lots of discussions. Surely, Liverpool, with its regular brand of non-oil state funding, could only afford one of them.
Journalist David Lynch, writing for Liverpool.com, has laid out the reasons why Liverpool are likely chasing both. From a squad perspective, he points to the ins and outs in the Liverpool midfield this summer. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, and Naby Keita will likely go, while Thiago and Henderson’s age and injury history will be of utmost concern and need to be managed. The differing profiles of Bellingham and Fernández also make it an easier sell since they won’t be playing the same role.
As for the affordability issue, Lynch points out that the club was willing to chase Aurélien Tchouaméni over the summer and cites sources close to the club saying that in the wake of the Darwin Núñez move, hefty transfer fees are unlikely to represent a significant stumbling block in the future. The savings made from previous transfer windows are also a reason for a possible splurge this season.
As for wages, Bellingham has publicly stated that money isn’t his primary motivation, while the club should be able to double Fernández’s salary comfortably. He then states that the only real stumbling block left for this dream double move would be Liverpool completing a move for one of them, which would, in turn, drive the price of the other to such high levels that they would be priced out of a movie.
Lynch is one of the better club-connected journalists outside of a Paul Joyce or Melissa Reddy confirmation, so I’m all in on Tier I Want to Believe.