Liverpool headed into the summer transfer market expecting to sign a young right back to provide depth along with a starting-calibre forward and midfielder. The forward has arrived by way of £85M Benfica striker Darwin Núñez, and a right back should soon join him.
The story in midfield, though, has changed. After pushing to sign Aurélien Tchouaméni only for the 22-year-old to pick Real Madrid after their move for Kylian Mbappe fell through and they pivoted to making Tchouaméni their top target, it now appears Liverpool will wait.
At least that’s the story from Liverpool’s club-connected journalists, with both The Mirror’s David Maddock and The Times’ Paul Joyce now saying that the club don’t intend to make a move for midfielder reinforcements this summer. What’s perhaps more interesting is why.
Both say that the club are going to wait for their top target—or top target after Tchouaméni, presumably—to become available rather than sign a stop-gap. They both also mention England international and Borussia Dortmund star 18-year-old Jude Bellingham by name.
Dortmund have made it clear that after losing Erling Haaland to Manchester City, there is no realistic price at which they would allow Bellingham to depart in 2022. It’s impossible to say with any certainty what will happen in 2023, but the message from the club seems clear.
In the meantime, Liverpool will hope for a combination of good fitness for Fabinho, Thaigo, Jordan Henderson, and Naby Keïta and that at least one of Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho, and Curtis Jones will be able to make significant first team contributions this season.
With veteran James Milner still in the mix, too, on paper at least that doesn’t seem an entirely unreasonable gamble even if many would perhaps prefer to add a prime years midfielder with a good injury track record to the mix for the upcoming season.