Liverpool are in the market for new midfielders in 2023 and have been linked with a number of youthful prospects who could finally remove the big grey cloud hanging over Anfield at the moment with the Reds suffering one of the worst starts to a Premier League campaign in a decade.
After 17 top-flight outings, Liverpool are sixth in the league table losing to Brentford, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest to name a few already this season, a position the club haven’t found themselves in often since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp.
The Merseysiders have enjoyed over half a decade of success with the German coach – winning a multitude of trophies including their first-ever Premier League title in 2020, so the Liverpool boss finds himself in an unfamiliar situation and at a crossroads with his current squad.
Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner will all be out of contract this season whilst remaining midfielders Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are well into the back end of their respective careers.
That leaves Klopp with Fabinho and the inexperienced options of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott who are still incredibly young, polishing their craft and playing very similar roles between them.
The Reds have been linked with numerous midfielders with Jude Bellingham and Enzo Fernandez two of the most high-profile and expensive players to be named as transfer targets.
However, with FSG recently putting the club up for sale and sporting director Julian Ward set to resign in the summer, the immediate transfer business has been put up in the air. That said, the recent signing of Cody Gakpo is a promising sign that the owners are still keen to reinvest.
The Ecuadorian ace – who was hailed a “top talent” by journalist Roberto Rojas and a “terrific athlete” by South American expert Tim Vickery – has quickly become one of the hottest young prospects in the Premier League ever since he joined the Seagulls in 2021.
Over 16 appearances this season, the 21-year-old has been in sublime form, scoring one goal, registering one assist and tallying up an 88% pass completion rate.
On top of that, the Brighton ace has been a physical and robust presence in central areas, making 1.4 interceptions, 2.9 tackles and winning 5.8 duels per game.
Caicedo has outperformed his positional peers Henderson and Fabinho in many attributes this season too, including goal contributions (2), progressive passes completed (70) and goal-creating actions per 90 minutes (1.19).
He also puts the Liverpool midfield duo to shame in tackles and interceptions combined (70), dribbles completed (35.7%), aerial duels won (67.9%) and ball recoveries (99).
With that being said, it is clear that Caicedo would be a huge upgrade on some of the midfielders set to remain at Anfield next season and if the club can snap up his services during the current transfer window, it could revive not only their performance in the centre of the field but the team’s entire campaign.