‘It’s mad’ - Theo Walcott has already addressed big concern over Liverpool target Romeo Lavia

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Liverpool have made a second bid for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia.

Kopites were hoping there would big significant changes in Liverpool’s midfield over the summer. They perhaps did not expect as many as there will be.

The departures of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the end of their respective deals were scarcely a surprise. While Jurgen Klopp wanted to keep the former around, plenty would concur that allowing all three to depart was the best decision made. After an underwhelming 2022-23 season, with Champions League football surrendered as a consequence of a fifth-place finish, perhaps no position came under more scrutiny than the engine room. Evolution was needed.

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Liverpool acted quickly to bring in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai for a combined £95 million. Options, on the face of things, were not only replenished but improved. However, the Reds were not struck by one but two jolts. Jordan Henderson and then Fabinho were both on the opposite end of admiring glances from Saudi Arabia. Henderson has indeed left for Al-Ettifaq while a switch to Al-Ittihad is in the offing for Fabinho.

A total of £52 million for players aged 33 and 29 respectively can hardly be deplored. It is financially prudent to sell both. But replacing the pair’s experience is something Klopp will know isn’t straightforward. Liverpool could sign someone in their peak years - yet that goes against owners Fenway Sports Group’s framework. Recruiting those on an upward curve is the model they preach.

That’s why the Reds have opted to pursue Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. Liverpool have been linked with the 19-year-old throughout the summer but whether they made a concrete move remained to be seen. However, in need of someone who can screen the back four has become a necessity.

The Reds have made a second offer for Lavia after an initial £37 million bid was rejected. There’s no doubt that plenty of supporters are getting excited about the thought of Lavia lining up alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah. In a dismal 2022-23 campaign that resulted in Southampton finishing bottom of the Premier League and being relegated, Lavia was a beacon of light.

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But there is one chief concern when it comes to the one-cap Belgium international - his inexperience.

Henderson was a tried-and-trusted performer who knew Klopp’s system impeccably. He was the leader of the trophy-laden period including Champions League and Premier League triumphs. Fabinho was also an indispensable player in that juncture. Bar last season, he established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

In contrast, Lavia has just 29 Premier League appearances under his belt and had a solitary season playing regular senior football, which is usually scant amount to be a regular at the Reds.

However, anyone who has watched Lavia knows he’s a precocious talent. But Theo Walcott, who played with the teenager last season at Southampton, has previously revealed that Lavia plays like he’s someone with a wealth of know-how.

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Speaking to talkSPORT in January, Walcott said: “I’m a big fan [of Lavia]. He’s obviously had a few injuries but he’s coming back. He’s young, he’s 18/19 when he’s off the field but when he’s on the field, it’s mad.

“It’s like he’s played over 200 games in the Premier League, that’s how much I rate him. It’s very interesting to see, watching him from the stands, obviously it looks so easy from the stands, it always does.

“You probably know that watching us, ‘he should make that run or make that pass’, it’s not as straightforward as that but when I watch him, I’m like ‘you look way above your age right now’. It’s a good sign and hopefully we can keep him fit. They are all learning, but, in particular, he’s learning quicker than normal I would say.”

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