Why Liverpool should sign THIS £35m out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder

Liverpool could move for former AC Milan player Franck Kessie to temporarily fix their midfield issues.
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Everyone knows that Liverpool have struggled this season, especially with their midfield coming under fire for a lack of presence and energy that has been so synonymous to successful Jurgen Klopp teams.

The days of Giorginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho all at their best seems to be over, with Wijnaldum departed and the latter struggling to piece together any sort of consistency so far this year.

Options long-term for their midfield seem to include signing young superstar Jude Bellingham, as well as targeting rising stars such as Moises Caicedo or Matheus Nunes. However, none are available in the current window and all three will prove challenging to acquire given competition from other clubs and finances.

In the current market, there aren’t many affordable, quality options, so we’ve decided to think outside the box. One potential option that could be available is Barcelona’s Franck Kessie, who’s really struggled for game time under Xavi since his move from Milan in the summer.

Let’s break down how this could be a potential midfield signing for Klopp.

Barcelona’s financial issues

Kessie was signed in the summer on a free transfer from AC Milan after running down his deal. He would have been a shrewd signing back then, but luckily, some six months on, he could be available again.

Barcelona’s financial troubles are well documented, but considering Kessie has only started twice in the league this season, coupled with the fact that the club are keen to offload players to lighten their wage bill, the Ivorian could well be available.

What sort of deal?

Given his lack of playing time, and Barca’s midfield options at hand, if Liverpool pushed for a short-term loan until the end of the season, offering to pay the majority of his wages, it could be a deal that works. You could also add a potential fee for the player in the summer if the loan is successful too.

Franck KessieFranck Kessie
Franck Kessie

Of course, the loan signing of Arthur Melo has not worked out to date, but despite Kessie struggling for regular starts, he still has managed over 700 minutes as a bit-part player. Plus his injury record is solid and he’s ready to be integrated into a side straight away.

What does he offer?

As a defensive midfielder, his strengths lie in his athletic capabilities as well as his technical ability. He ranks highly for blocks, progressive passes received, non-penalty xG and touches in the opposition area.

His heatmap from his title-winning season at AC Milan last year shows a midfielder with great coverage, predominantly on the left hand side of midfield. Adding presence and energy to their midfield is key and Kessie is a midfielder capable of doing both sides of the game – he even managed six goals on his way to the Serie A title.

Is a move feasible?

Liverpool spent their January budget on Cody Gakpo, meaning there are no funds to secure another player, unless it’s a loan or low-cost option. Of course, quality is everything for Klopp, but given they sit ninth in the Premier League table and have major concerns in midfield, this move could easily benefit both parties, and both clubs, with everyone getting what they want if a short-term loan could be agreed.

Barcelona have Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong in those central midfield positions, plus Sergi Roberto can also fill in and with Kessie only starting in lesser-important cup games and only twice in the league, it’s clear Xavi could make do without him until the summer.