In an ideal world, Liverpool would have kicked off the 2023-24 season with a proven senior centre half on the books and perhaps a signing for the future in place to mature behind him. Such was the plan when Fabinho was expected to stay at the club and Roméo Lavia first targeted.
Following Fabinho’s departure for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad, though, the reality looks far different—and far from ideal. Because Liverpool now have no senior centre half on the books and haven’t yet managed to sign Lavia, who even if he does arrive will be a 19-year-old with 2,000 minutes of Premier League experience.
On the will Lavia arrive front, though, it appears there’s still hope of a deal getting done from the player’s end, with reports out of Belgium suggesting it’s not quite dead yet despite Southampton rejecting Liverpool’s third—and supposedly final—offer of around £45-46M.
What’s more, Southampton are said to believe that Liverpool’s bluff has successfully been called and that rather than moving for an alternative—something they so far have seemed unwilling or able to do—the Reds will return with an offer matching Saints’ initial demands of £50M for the player’s transfer.
Certainly Lavia’s arrival would improve Liverpool’s midfield options for the holding role, but perhaps if the club really didn’t have a viable alternative to move for when Southampton refused to budge on their valuation it would have made sense to meet their demands sooner.