After abandoning the Jude Bellingham chase after two years because the 19-year-old Dortmund star would cost upwards of £100M as was pretty much universally expected from the moment Liverpool started trying to sign him, the Reds now face an uphill task to convince their fans on the summer signings front.
Having failed to make significant moves at the position the past two summers, the club, the fans, and every selling club on the planet know they need at least two midfielders who could be expected to walk into any top four lineup if they’re to rebound from a dreadful 2022-23 season and push themselves back into the title picture.
One of those was clearly meant to be Bellingham. It’s what we’ve all been told for the better part of two seasons. Only now it sees that it won’t be. Currently, the list of alternatives appears to be led by Mason Mount of Chelsea, with Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister emerging as another top option over the past few days.
There’s also been a history of links to a second Brighton player, Moisés Caicedo, and a second Chelsea player, Conor Gallagher. Matheus Nunes has also been linked in the past and was rumoured to be considered last summer, but the Wolves man would likely cost more than £50M despite underwhelming in England.
That, then, becomes part of the problem of moving on from Bellingham. Namely, that as expensive as he is, the alternatives won’t be cheap, either. And after missing on Bellingham, potentially spending £80M combined on Nunes and to pluck Gallagher from the fringes at Chelsea would only further sour the mood.
Fair or not, they would arrive with the odds stacked against them simply by nature of not being the player the club held out two seasons for. And the situation isn’t a great deal better for the likes of Mount, Mac Allister, and Caicedo, who most assumed would be the second signing to go along with Bellingham.
Liverpool’s decline may have come harder and sooner than expected, but the club always knew they would need at least two big midfield signings in summer of 2023 given delays rebuilding the position. Whoever they sign will have to be able to handle the weight of that—and the weight of not being Jude Bellingham.