Ex-Liverpool target becomes first player in Europe to clinch record which begs transfer question

The Fulham midfielder was a target in the summer for Liverpool and also nearly joined Bayern Munich.
Joao Palhinha.Joao Palhinha.
Joao Palhinha.

One player who has been a topic of conversation on LiverpoolWorld even after Liverpool had moved on is Fulham's Joao Palhinha - and he has just achieved a brilliant season record.

He has just become the first player in Europe's top five leagues to reach 100 tackles following Fulham's win over Bournemouth, which is clearly an incredible feat. In terms of the Premier League, he sits top of the charts but there's one player who also deserves high praise - Vinicius Souza - who has 90 which is far ahead of the chasing pack on 68 with Joao Gomes (Wolves) and Emerson (West Ham).

The Reds have witnessed Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo take to the defensive midfield role brilliantly this season and removed the need for Liverpool searching the market for a like-for-like Fabinho replacement. They've even seen Mac Allister break tackling records; his nine successful tackles against Bournemouth last time out saw him clinch the record of the most made by a Liverpool player across the past three seasons. He also has the second-place effort with eight, but how does Palhinha compare to Liverpool's current midfield options?

The Portuguese international has superior figures in terms of ground duels won (%), dribbles past less per game, tackles made, balls recovered and clearances when compared to Mac Allister and Endo - he is a defensive machine and is no doubt in his prime right now. Going the other way is a different story; Mac Allister has him beat with more passes, more key passes and less possession lost and his style is key for Liverpool.

Endo's stats fall far short in terms of ground duel (%) tackles, interceptions and clearances per game aren't anywhere near as good as the other two. Granted, the game isn't played on paper and Endo enjoyed a really strong December in Jurgen Klopp's midfield. The club are very keen on promoting Stefan Bajcetic into that role when he gets older and more mature so Endo and Mac Allister are likely to fill that role for years to come - that's if the new manager wants to keep both players as well.