There were very little positives about Leicester City’s performance against Liverpool on Monday night, but for Jürgen Klopp there may have been a glimpse of an ideal midfield target for the Reds’ midfield this summer.
It is no secreт Liverpool needs to bolster its options in the transfer window in midfield. Not just in the starting XI, but in terms of depth as well. Which means, Liverpool doesn’t just need to sign world-class midfielders ready to elevate the club to a new level, but also squad players capable of stepping up when necessary and available for relatively cheap.
Youri Tielemans used to be considered in the first category, but at Liverpool he would likely fit into the second. Although the Reds may have better alternative targets, few are available on a free transfer, which might just convince the club to make a move. His contract expires this summer, making him a free transfer for the Reds.
Particularly in light of how he played against Liverpool on Monday night. Even if Leicester’s performance was terrible and they took another step closer Premier League relegation, Tielemans at least displayed some enthusiasm by being one of his team’s busiest players on the field.
Often criticised for his lack of defensive ability and physicality, that wasn’t necessarily present against Liverpool. Tielemans won 12 out of his 17 attempted ground duels, made seven recoveries and two interceptions while also winning three fouls and completing two dribbles.
It was a solid performance and a sign that the Belgian international is capable of being a reliable midfielder.
Much would hinge on his wage demands, but on a free transfer, Tielemans is worth a punt for Liverpool.
Even at the young age of 26, he is still in the height of his powers. When at his best, the energy, technical skill, and deadly long-range shot give him all the skills he needs to succeed in Klopp’s Liverpool midfield.
Tielemans may follow in the footsteps of Georginio Wijnaldum, who was once brought to Newcastle United from a team that had been demoted. Tielemans can even fill the Wijnaldum vacuum in the squad, who the Reds haven’t really replaced since his departure, with a comparable style in terms of being pressure-resistant and technically skilled.
Of course, Liverpool would need to invest in better options in midfield, who would go straight into the starting XI, but as a squad option, Tielemans could be an interesting wild card for Liverpool in the summer transfer window.
On Monday night, he demonstrated that he is far from finished and that he still possesses a jewel. It only needs a few superficial layers to be removed, and Klopp might be the one to accomplish it.
Tielemans may cause some people to roll their eyes, but he might be worth the risk. He was hailed as an outstanding midfielder just two seasons ago when he guided Leicester to an FA Cup victory and scored an incredible goal in the championship game.
Form is only ephemeral, class is permanent, and Tielemans has been a class midfielder for the most part of his career thus far, as Liverpool will have discovered this season. He simply needs to locate that form once more.
Liverpool will have to see who else becomes available in the market, but Tielemans should not be dismissed as a potential target and his situation is one to keep a close eye on this summer.