When Emre Can and Joe Allen (hopefully) make their returns from injury this week, Liverpool will have a full strength midfield for the first time since early September. Brendan Rodgers has relied on Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson since the last international break ended, with Lucas playing a bit part and Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho dropping deeper as needed. Allen's absence has been particularly problematic, as his energy and pressing have placed much of the workload on Henderson, and with Can unavailable to spell the vice-captain and/or provide support alongside him, it's been a lean spell in an area that was supposed to be one of Rodgers' strengths.
Further reinforcements are apparently coming, though, as rumors over the weekend have 18-year-old MK Dons midfielder Dele Alli linked with a move to Merseyside in January. Liverpool have reportedly been monitoring the U19 England international throughout the last few seasons, and Rodgers is reportedly interested in getting a deal done as soon as possible.
Alli has been a regular starter for the League One side, who gained plenty of attention earlier this season when they laid Manchester United bare in the League Cup. Alli played a full 90 minutes that day and has made thirteen appearances overall, netting six goals in league.
Rumors place the fee in the region of 9m, which is relatively steep for a teenager, but with a number of other clubs in the running, it's a premium Liverpool would likely have to pay to bring him in. Immediate playing time would be in question but his talent isn't; he's versatile enough to feature across formations and roles, and has shown plenty of energy and willingness to work throughout his young career.
He seems to fit the mold of what Rodgers is looking for in the profile of his midfielders in the post-Steven Gerrard era, and one that would have a part to play for years to come.