Liverpool may be about to copy $38m Man City transfer for Jurgen Klopp’s exciting new project

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp wants his own version of a $38m Manchester City midfielder based on his hunt for teenage Southampton starlet Roméo Lavia.

After a long period of speculation, Liverpool have finally opened talks with Southampton over a deal for midfielder Roméo Lavia.

According to journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Lavia had grown “a bit miffed” at the delay, with Fabrizio Romano saying the Reds spent “over a month” talking to the player’s camp before making a move.

Now, however, an agreement on a personal basis seems to have been reached and Liverpool are aiming for acceptable compensation with the relegated Saints.

Sure enough, Jürgen Klopp made an opening bid of $48m (£37m/€43m) on Monday for the 19-year-old, an offer Southampton rejected because they would instead pay a fee of $64m (£ 50 million / €58 million) million) asks. , according to The Athletic.

You can certainly understand why Lavia is attractive. Perhaps his most notable quality is his resistance to pressure, most often displayed when he receives the ball early in Southampton’s build-up phase and deftly dodges the first wave of opposition pressure.

He ranks in the 75th percentile of big five league midfielders for successful attacks per 90 minutes (1.13) and is only attacked 26% of the time, showing that his combination of athleticism and technical ability makes it particularly difficult to grasp.

After winning the ball back from the central defenders or goalkeeper, Lavia is able to select an incisive ball to put his team on the front foot. Of all the Southampton players, only James Ward-Prowse (189) recorded more progressive passes than the Belgian (102), and he was also the only player to beat him in passing in the final third (177 versus 101).

While ambitious with its distribution, it boasts an excellent retention rate. He topped Southampton’s rankings last season in passing accuracy (86.2%) as well as missing 8.4 times per 90 minutes of possession, the best record by one of the team’s leading midfielders.

Roméo Lavia is similar in profile to a new Manchester City player (Image: Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
The Athletic suggest Lavia is similar in profile to Manchester City’s $45m (£35m) new signing Mateo Kovačić, and the Croatian is certainly another to excel in the aforementioned areas.

Curiously, the Southampton man is a number six, while Kovacic is a number eight signed to play for Rodri, the world-class Spaniard who effectively blocked Lavia’s path into the Etihad first team.

In one sense, however, their similarity points to Liverpool’s imminent evolution. Yes, he will be able to replace Fabinho as a ball shooter (even if it takes him time to reach the same heights), but he will also offer other qualities to the Brazilian, who are not very resistant to pressure or scalable.

It remains to be seen whether Fabinho’s proposed $52m (£40m/€46m) move to Saudi professional league club Al-Ittihad will go ahead – the deal is currently pending, according to The Athletic – but if Lavia is the right choice as a long-term Heir or immediate replacement, he offers Klopp some exciting new opportunities.

Following Pep Guardiola’s example, the German can implement a new midfield plan at Anfield and continue the Reds’ development as Klopp’s revamped squad unfolds.

Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

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