You only have to look at the players Liverpool has fielded in this season’s Carabao Cup to see the obvious lack of depth in the centre of midfield.
Last month made it six years since Jürgen Klopp took over as boss at Anfield and since then the German has transformed the Reds from an ordinary outfit under Brendan Rodgers, to a well-oiled machine capable of regularly competing for the honours in the top flight.
However, Klopp’s proverbial Achilles’ heel has been the number of injuries that have been accumulated over the past couple of seasons. Whether it is due to the intensity of their style or simply playing too many games, the lack of investment this summer could come back and haunt Liverpool in their pursuit of a second league title in three years.
Harvey Elliot picked up a serious injury at the start of the season, a real shame for the youngster who was just beginning to find his feet, whilst Thiago has spent the best part of two months on the treatment table, with James Milner the latest to feel the effects of three games a week, exiting the away trip to Manchester United early in a game where Liverpool shocked the bet exchange in a 5-0 win.
With the Africa Cup of Nations on the horizon, Liverpool are crying out for reinforcements come January and a suitable contender would be none other than Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.
The former Birmingham City man, who left the West Midlands in 2020, has flourished in the Bundesliga and despite a hefty price tag, his aesthetic style of play and physical attributes for someone who only just turned 18 make him perfect for Klopp to mould.
Since becoming a regular in the Dortmund side under Marco Rose, Bellingham has earnt the adulation of the Yellow Wall, with a string of good performances seeing the German outfit compete for the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich, although their own injury problems at the Signal Induna Park could hinder the deal significantly.
Erling Haaland is expected to be out until next year and with his release clause in place at the end of the season, Dortmund may not want to part with two of their brightest stars just yet.
The move would certainly not come cheap, as reports indicate the Germans would be looking for a fee in the region of £100 million, but if the Reds are to continue picking up trophies and their squad continues to age, it could be time for Fenway Sports Group to cough up the cash.
The loss of Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum both on free transfers in recent years show that Liverpool have struggled to tie players down, and their wage structure would mean Bellingham isn’t necessarily given the handsome pay rise you think he would garner after such a lucrative move.
For a player that contributes so much in terms of creativity, Bellingham can play a deep lying role as well, capable of using his passing range to build up attacks in the middle third as well as arriving late to chip in with goals, already contributing with three strikes this season — as many as any of the Reds’ current midfielders.
While a move in January may appear speculative, Klopp would be wise to get the cheque book out early if he is given access as Bellingham’s stock will continue to rise, and with a World Cup coming up next year, a move to the Reds could be exactly what the Birmingham boy needs to secure a starting spot in Gareth Southgate’s side.