One area Liverpool need strengthening in is the central midfield. With the current 3-5-2 formation the club is playing in, only two central midfielders are needed and currently Gerrard and Lucas fill those roles. Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen are two other players who can fill in those roles, but if you look at those four names mentioned, there is not that dynamic box to box, all action midfielder. That was Steven Gerrard’s role and in all fairness ‘Captain Fantastic’ is not able to do that anymore due to sheer age. Gerrard still has a role to play for Liverpool, in a much deeper central role but Liverpool need that extra spark in the engine room.
So what do Liverpool do? Go into the transfer market in January or the summer and get that midfielder. One such player being linked with a move to Liverpool and amongst others Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal is Derby County’s Will Hughes.
The 18-year old is being dubbed the next Steven Gerrard as he flourishes at Derby and England Under-21 level. It is always risky having a young player who has excelled in the Championship and bring that form up to the Premier League. It would be brilliant if Hughes were to make the move and do well as he certainly has the potential.
Liverpool had been heavily linked with a move for Hughes in the summer but that deal never took place as Derby were placing a value thought to be outside of the clubs valuation of the player. But with his continued performances for Derby this season so far, it is highly likely Hughes will leave sooner rather than later for the Premier League.
Derby’s new boss Steve McClaren has conceded that Hughes is too good to stay at Derby and will be leaving soon. McClaren said on Hughes, “Our job is to make sure he makes it.
“Eventually he will be too good. What we need behind that is players coming through to replace him.”
Hughes ticks all the boxes Liverpool need right now for a central midfielder: good passer, great athlete and hard in the tackle. The only box Hughes may not tick is experience and experience at the top level. He would however still be a valuable signing for the club because if he arrives and does well, he will be around for 15 years more.