With Liverpool no longer interested in Andre, the Reds would have to consider a transfer move for the summer target, who was valued at around $75 million at the time.
In recent months, Jurgen Klopp has begun overhauling his midfield as the summer transfer window gets under way, waiting for the remodel to be completed. The Liverpool manager released several key players including Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.
Those players were replaced by Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endō and Ryan Gravenberch, but the revamp hasn’t been completed yet. Despite the new players who have arrived, it is reasonable to suggest that Liverpool is still without a true heir to Fabinho’s throne.
Those players have been replaced by Alexis McAllister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch, but the update is not yet complete. Despite the new signings, it’s safe to assume Liverpool still don’t have a true Fabinho’s replacement.
The Reds have gained the services of a number of technical midfielders who are accustomed to playing further forward, but none of them are destructive ball-winning types who wish to hold the fort, with the exception of Endō, who is now aged 30. Klopp needs a younger model in that sense, which could explain why recent links to André have been downplayed.
The Fluminense midfielder has established himself as a real controller this season in his homeland. He has touched the ball more than anybody else in the Brazilian Serie A, and he rarely ever loses possession, which is why he’s building a reputation for himself as a conductor in deep-lying spaces.
Andre was initially thought to be the missing piece of Klopp’s puzzle, but the move now looks unlikely as Fulham have recently been linked with his signature. According to This in Anfield, Liverpool will not make any changes in January despite investigations this summer suggesting the club have changed their minds.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will chase the signature of the South American in the coming months. But if Klopp wants a genuine successor for Fabinho, perhaps Cheick Doucouré is the man to target.
Like André, the Crystal Palace midfielder was linked with a move to Merseyside earlier this year, but a move failed to transpire due to the rumored price tag surrounding him. One of the more modest estimates came from The Independent, which claimed a deal might be struck somewhere under the $75m (£60m/€69m) mark.
Doucouré has made quite an impression since his move to England in the summer of 2022, and he looks closer to a player of Fabinho’s type upon inspection of his profile.
The Mali international is a physical presence who is capable of covering ground on the defensive side of the game, and he’s more than inclined to regain possession for his teammates. He doesn’t have that much experience as a lone holding player, but he doesn’t look too dissimilar to Fabinho before he joined Liverpool from AS Monaco in 2018.
Doucouré isn’t as much of a controller as André — who is an orchestrator for his team whenever he’s involved — but he would make a difference for Liverpool through his ability to win the ball, while being reliable and steady when in possession. Klopp’s intentions for the rest of his blueprint remain open for debate right now, but it is reasonable to suggest that he needs to add more defensive-minded players into his team..
Whether he will do that is another question. But if he does have a desire to strengthen Liverpool’s defensive stability in the middle soon, revisiting Doucouré could be the answer, and one that would perhaps explain why André no longer seems to be on the agenda for the Anfield recruitment team.
Klopp managed to navigate a serious upgrade to his midfield in just one window earlier this summer, with the scale of Liverpool’s upturn in form taking many supporters by surprise since the overhaul, ranked second in the Premier League at present. Nevertheless, the German hasn’t completed his work yet, with another — perhaps final — midfield addition likely in 2024.
It looked like he was going to be a controller like André at first, but it could be a player like Doucouré, or somebody completely different once again. Nobody knows yet but if there’s one thing that is for sure, it is that most of the groundwork has already been put in place for Liverpool 2.0. The fresh addition who is next to arrive through the door should be capable of adding finishing touches as the Reds look to return to the summit of European football.