Liverpool is said to be in a strong position to make an exciting $44 million transfer for a player who would suit Jürgen Klopp and could solve his problems with Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk
Jürgen Klopp faces two major challenges at Liverpool this summer. His primary goal will be to sign a midfielder, preferably one who can play and deputize in Fabinho’s number six role. Another goal is to find a backup option for Virgil van Dijk, and possibly a future successor given the Dutch international’s age
Finding the right heir will be difficult for either player. Van Dijk and Fabinho have both been key cogs in Liverpool’s success under Klopp. At the peak of the club’s power, the duo formed the foundation of a formidable defensive record.
But time does not stop for mortals, and nowhere is this more apparent than in sports, where careers are more fleeting than anywhere else.
The first signs of Van Dijk’s and Fabinho’s decline have already been felt this season. Both have struggled to meet the extremely high standards they have set for themselves. Some of this will be a result of playing in a dysfunctional team, but some of it will also be due to the fact that they are both in their forties.
Klopp needs new blood, and as he rebuilds his Liverpool team and leads them back to the pinnacle of European football, this summer is the ideal time to find the right candidates to replace his aging old guard.
Giorgio Scalvini of Atalanta has been linked with a move to Anfield, according to Calciomercato. According to the report, Sadi will be available for around $44 million (£35 million/€40 million). Scalvini is particularly appealing to Liverpool because he can play both Fabinho and Van Dijk’s roles.
Scalvini, who stands 1.94 meters taller than Van Dijk and is often used as a left-sided center-back, can also play in the holding midfield position and has done so several times for Atalanta this season. A very capable and competent defender, his ability to play in midfield makes him composed and assured in possession.
He is only 19 years old, has played for the Italian national team, and appears to be one of the most promising young players in Serie A.
At the price he is available for, Liverpool would be hard pressed to find a player who is better suited to the club and has more potential.
Scalvini is still young, and he has room for improvement. While he reads the game extremely well (averaging 6 interceptions per 90 minutes), he needs to be more commanding in the air, particularly given his height. According to Wyscout, he has won only 58.5 percent of his aerial duels this season.
Few players, however, outperform him in terms of ball-playing ability. He ranks fifth among center-backs in forward passes (23 per 90), tenth in smart passes (0.19), and fifteenth in progressive passes (9.16).
FBref also ranks in the 95th percentile for shot-creating-actions (1.40 per 90) among his positional peers.
That’s a player who could thrive in a holding midfield role, with the option of covering for Van Dijk when needed. Scalvini has all the makings of a true gem, and Liverpool would be wise to include him on the club’s summer transfer wish list.
As the adage goes, and as the Calciomercato report states, they might just kill with Scalvini.