Liverpool secured a loan deal for Arthur Melo to improve their midfield that has been riddled with injury problems since the start of the Premier League season, but the decision not to strengthen the centre of the pitch further could be something FSG will rue as the season goes on.
Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all currently sidelined with various injury problems, as well as Curtis Jones who has just returned to full training following fitness issues.
This has left Fabinho, Harvey Elliott and new signing Fabio Carvalho left to hold the fort in the Merseyside Derby starting XI, so it is clear to see that another midfielder signing would have been highly beneficial for Jurgen Klopp.
One player who was linked with a move to Anfield in the final days of the transfer window was Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, who was also gaining interest from top-of-the-table Arsenal on Deadline Day.
Journalist Matheus Leal claimed Liverpool made a £20m offer for the Brazilian midfielder earlier this week:
“Brazilian Douglas Luiz could leave Aston Villa for Liverpool in the final hours of the window. Liverpool have made an offer of £20m for the midfielder, who welcome the change of team. Aston Villa play hard and look to win a little more.”
Despite their efforts, Luiz will remain at Villa Park for the season ahead after the Merseysiders failed to deliver anything tempting enough to secure a deal for the player, putting Klopp in a desperate position when managing the balance in the centre of the pitch.
Indeed, Liverpool’s last-minute pounce for Juventus ace Melo will add depth to their midfield options once he gets settled in but is not a permanent solution to the growing problems in the midfield and a permanent deal for Luiz would have put them in a great position to start rebuilding their team.
The £52k-per-week talent who was hailed “clever” by Pep Guardiola is a pass-master in the centre of the pitch, tallying up a pass completion rate of 92% in his own half and 87% overall in 34 league appearances last season in Steven Gerrard’s side.
Furthermore, the Brazil international also made an average of 1.1 key passes, one interception and 1.7 tackles per game last time out, proving that he has the attributes to be a competent replacement whilst Thiago is sidelined.
With that being said, only time will tell how big of a nightmare FSG had over their decision not to add more midfielders into the squad whilst they had the chance, as anything other than competing for the title this season will be failed campaign for Liverpool.