Adam Lallana was never formally replaced by Jürgen Klopp, but the new Liverpool system calls for that kind of player. Supposedly, a $27 million transfer bid has been made.
For Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, this summer has been one of change. Before the transfer window closes on September 1st, at least a few more players need to be signed. Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have already arrived.
Klopp needs to add at least one more midfield player to his squad after the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in order to expand his options and rebuild. While that player needs to be more defensively minded, the rumor mill is once again calling for an attacking star who is more creative.
When Szoboszlai joined the team, rumors of Liverpool pursuing Celta Vigo starlet Gabri Veiga, who played a similar position, began to fade. Liverpool has reportedly made a $27 million (£22 million/€25 million) offer for Veiga, which is significantly less than his $44 million (£35 million/€40 million) release clause, according to Estadio Deportivo.
Veiga could provide something that Klopp has not had at Anfield since Adam Lallana left for Brighton, which is something that Liverpool undoubtedly needs in a more defensively minded midfielder.
The young player, who just turned 21 years old, finished the La Liga season with a hat-trick against Barcelona, bringing his season total of goals and assists to 15. Only twice in the past ten years have Liverpool signed midfielders from Europe’s top five leagues with that many goals and assists in a single season: Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana.
Veiga resembles the latter much more. Since Wijnaldum almost played as a second forward during his final season at Newcastle, his statistics are somewhat skewed.
Lallana, on the other hand, performed a similar function to Veiga in that he frequently dribbled back and forth between the attack and the midfield while being at ease moving the ball forward. Due to his offensive skills, Veiga is a significantly different midfielder from those Klopp has previously employed.
Liverpool is considering moving Gabri Veiga.
Szoboszlai will alter that, and Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott will attempt to pick up the pace once more, but adding another player does have some appeal.
Of all the midfielders in La Liga last season, Veiga averaged the third-highest number of touches (2 points per 90) inside the penalty area of the opposition. In addition, he was in the top 10 for completed dribbles and the top 15 for progressive runs (1 point 97).
It’s impressive to note that Veiga was outranked by Kang-in Lee for both metrics among players whose teams, according to FBref, were among the bottom 10 teams in La Liga for average overall possession. And that’s a crucial point to keep in mind because players who play for teams that possess the ball more frequently will inevitably average more touches, dribbles, and forward runs.
The fact that Veiga has produced top-tier statistics for midfielders in La Liga while representing a bottom-half team may be what makes him stand out the most.
The fact that he has spent some time drifting out wide while playing right-sided midfield for Celta this season is also interesting to note. Given his speed and directness, he could even serve as Mohamed Salah’s backup given the qualities he possesses, and his versatility is undoubtedly a major reason why he has caught the attention of the club.
Mac Allister and Szoboszlai gave Liverpool the fresh perspective it needed this summer.
Veiga should still be on the Reds’ radar even though talk of a bid being submitted may be premature.
After all, getting a defensive midfielder over the line is the top priority right now.