Liverpool could secure Fabinho replacement with £35m-rated POTY

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The Reds could seek out an alternative option in midfield.

Liverpool are reportedly seeking a replacement for the seemingly outgoing Fabinho and it could see them turn to Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure.

Fabinho hasn’t travelled with the first-team squad to Germany for the first leg of their pre-season tour amid a £40m bid from Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Arabian Pro League. It’s a deal that could be completed this week and the 29-year-old would certainly be a loss for Jurgen Klopp, despite his inconsistent form last season.

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A whole host of talented players have been linked with a move to replace the Brazilian but it’s unclear who the club’s main targets are for that position. Without Fabinho in the squad, only Stefan Bajcetic fits the profile of the lone defensive midfield role. But at 18, he isn’t ready to step into the first-team week in, week out despite his strong showing last season.

One player who would be a shock signing would be Palace’s Doucoure. Fans may expect a bigger name to be signed for such a key role, but the Mali international has Premier League and international experience and is a young, athletic midfielder who could certainly elevate his levels and improve under Klopp.

According to Football Insider, Doucoure has ‘caught the eye’ of Liverpool after a solid first season in England in which he was Palace’s Player of the Year. With his current deal expiring in 2027, it remains to be seen how much the club could charge given he only arrived last season for £21m.

In terms of his performance last season, he ranked joint-twelfth for tackles in the league with 77, but ranked 6th in PL last season for successful tackles and interceptions (133). Fabinho recorded 65 tackles in total but fell way short of Doucoure’s defensive-midfield actions with 102 combined tackles and interceptions.

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In terms of his passing, he averages 89.4% in short-range passing, 86.8 in medium-range and 72.1 in long-range. Fabinho boased 92% for both short and medium-range, but fell short of Doucoure’s long-range passing stats. It’s certainly an area that he could improve on, but that could be easily done in a team such as Liverpool who dominate the ball far more than Palace typically manage.

If they can’t secure key targets such as Romeo Lavia, Kalvin Phillips, Ryan Gravenberch or Sofyan Amrabat, then Docuoure could be an alternative option worth pursuing.

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