Julian Ward may consider bringing in a former Liverpool player who was highly praised by Jürgen Klopp to fill Thiago Alcântara’s absence in the midfield.
In the same summer that one Spanish midfielder arrived at Anfield in 2020, another under-the-radar departure left for pasteurs new in the same window.
As the Covid-19 pandemic raged on, Liverpool’s shrewd acquisition of Thiago Alcântara made headlines. His arrival has been a transformative one, helping Liverpool’s midfield to evolve with his ability to control possession and dictate attacks.
It has, however, at times also been very frustrating. Thiago’s time wearing the red shirt of Liverpool has been marred by injuries, and his latest setback is just another on a long list of injuries he has experienced since joining the team. It also puts Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff in a little bit of trouble.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain already out, Liverpool are certainly looking thin in midfield and have very few options there.
Julian Ward can solve the problem since the transfer market is still open, and in order to do so, the Liverpool sporting director should consider the Spanish midfielder who departed the club in the summer of 2020 when Thiago arrived.
Despite making only 11 appearances in total for Liverpool, Pedro Chirivella often caught Jurgen Klopp’s attention while he was on the field. After a strong performance against Everton, Klopp praised the midfielder and waxed lyrical about his previous performance in the League Cup for Liverpool.
“Pedro played and in the first half against Aston Villa was probably the best player on the pitch,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. “We watched it on television in Qatar and we were completely over the moon about what we saw there. It was very important.”
Chirivella in the end left after his contract expired to play more consistent first-team football for Nantes in Ligue 1. The 25-year-old has since established himself as a regular in the French first division, helping his new side lift the cup last season.
The best quality of Chirivella, like Thiago, is his distribution. Chirivella is composed on the ball and agile in defense, ranking among the top 50 midfielders for successful defensive contributions per 90 via Wyscout.
He averaged 52.82 passes per 90 last season, placing him in the top 10 among U25 midfielders in Ligue 1, and he made the sixth-most progressive passes (7.79) as well.
In the French division, where Aurélien Tchouaméni was a target for Liverpool earlier this summer, the 25-year-old has been a standout player.
However, given the club’s current injury situation, Ward would want to take a closer look at Chirivella, who is more accustomed to the system and may be available for less money than other more highly sought-after targets.