09 May 2024 13:52:11
Just passing a rumour that Alan Varela from Porto and Joao Gomes from Wolves are the targets for Liverpool.
Archie Gray of Leeds is being looked as a versatile replacement for Gomes and Endo.

1.) 09 May 2024
09 May 2024 14:46:00
I'd be very surprised if our summer targets were 3 midfielders given we signed 4 last year and we're in desperate need of replacing Matip, Thiago and probably Salah.

1 CB, 1 CM and 1 RW makes the most sense. I personally am hoping for a succession plan at LB as well, whoever that may be. Other than that surely just replacing any other surprise exits.

2.) 09 May 2024
09 May 2024 14:50:10
Varela would make perfect sense, in my opinion. As we need someone to rotate with Endo, if we play our traditional 4-3-3. Or, if we do play in a double pivot, a more defensive minded option than our current options.

However, I feel like in midfield we are already over stocked. Signings Gomes or Gray wouldn't make much sense. We have Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott, Szobo, Grav, possibly Trent, Clark, Bajcetic. All of which are fighting for two positions.

Now, Trent could stay at right back. Szobo move to a wing. But even then, the options are plentiful. I would rather we focus on key positions in need of strengthening, centre back being the key one. Maybe a left back, too, to provide competition / rotation with Robbo, as Tsimikas doesn't feel like a viable option any more.

Then, we would have to deal with any outgoings, there are already questions around Salah, Nunez and Diaz. I would not be surprised if at least one leaves, meaning we would have to sign a replacement, and at quite a sum. Doak will likely get another chance, but he had a long injury lay off, and didn't really impress when he did play.

Will be interesting to see what happens, though. Could be quite a few moving parts, from coaching staff to playing staff. It won't be boring, at least.

3.) 09 May 2024
09 May 2024 15:01:34
Varela and Gomes were players we were linked to us last winter window while they were still playing in South America. Slightly different players. Varela is your metronome, deep lying play maker. Gomes is more like your engine with good tackling, carrying and recovery pace. I think if you are seriously looking at those two then you have to question the LFC futures of Endo and Gravenberch, and maybe even Curtis.

Archie Gray is an interesting one. Not sure what position the lad will end up in. He's got a bit of Declan Rice about him. Could be a DM. Could be a CB. Could be a RB. Sounds like he'd be really expensive and given he's so young, a potential long term project. You could argue that his age and position profile is similar to Bajcetic. Gray is probably just a bit more physically developed by now.

4.) 09 May 2024
09 May 2024 15:43:06
FPF I can't say I've seen much of Gray. My mate is a Leeds fan though and thinks highly of him.

Varela I've only seen play twice (both against Arsenal) and he was exceptional to be fair. Wouldn't be against him as a Thiago replacement. Aggressive, mobile, technically looked sound too etc. An all around midfielder who'd probably pair very well with Mac Allister.

Gomes hasn't really done much at Wolves though when I've watched them. I don't know what his job is. He doesn't score or create, but then he's easily run off the ball too and doesn't shield the defence well either. Not impressed and not sure he's much better than Clark or Bajcetic. I would leave him well alone myself.

5.) 09 May 2024
09 May 2024 16:29:16
Not sure that I buy the “over stocked” argument as we’re absolutely crying out for a top class defensive midfielder, which has been evident throughout the season, almost reminds me of the summer before the 22/ 23 season when some of us were saying it was evident that our midfield needed a serious overhaul, only to hear bother fans try and argue how well stacked in midfield we were…. Wonder how what worked out?

Gomes looks a decent player, energetic, covers space well, defensively seems competent and good on the ball, same for Varela. Think either would be a good move for us.

6.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 01:35:17
I don't see thise two as mutually exclusive though VV. We can be overstocked in a single position while still needing new personnel in that same area. It just means that we have to sell a few players to make way for new ones. There are still squad restrictions we have to abide with in both the PL and Europe so we can't keep adding players without first making space.

7.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 02:40:21
Slot doesn't really use two 'tackling' defenders in his double pivot. They're both passers who's job is to cycle the ball around, keep possession and progress it. I'd be surprised if he wants to buy defensive minded midfielders because he doesn't really favour them.

8.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 08:32:16
Nevada, I don't know much about Slot teams but if that's the case Varela was very much a ball player and a ball winner from what I saw, but I'd be going all out for Koopmeiners. Mac Allister also has the ability to play in that throwback midfield 2 where you're required to be a little bit of both. I can also see the younger guys like Bajcetic and Clark fitting into this but Endo might struggle. His one touch passing game isn't great, and he's more of a ball winner than a player you want your build up play going through. Not seen enough of McConnell to know if he'd be up to the ball playing side of it but he looked a little unsure technically, and similar to Endo in that he prefers a battle.

If Slot does play with a double pivot, that also implies that he prefers to then play with a more orthodox no.10. Something that might suit Elliott, Gravenberch and Szoboszlai. Also Mac Allister is a very good no.10.

Be interesting to see if Morton and Carvalho get a chance. On paper Morton suits a double pivot role and Carvalho suits a no.10 role. I'm really excited for a change in system and how certain players might kick on.

9.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 11:07:42
Nevada, I know little about Slotball but I am sure Mats Weifer plays DM for Feyenoord and he is by all accounts a defensive midfielder.

If we are choosing to continue with playing DeZerbiBall and build up through centrebacks and deep lying midfielders then you can see why Varela might be a target.

Honestly though, I find the tactic unnecessarily risky and boring.

It's no coincidence that that Arsenal and City are likely to win the league because they are as physically dominant as they are technical.

I'd be very careful banking on Bajcetic for any position. We have no idea if he is over his injuries yet.

10.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 11:46:14
Trent would be perfect as a number ten been saying this for a while now with his range of passing .

11.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 14:53:45
Get varela in 100%, just the player we need, sell jones to free up places…. he is not good enough sorry. Then sort the defence out, matip gone Gomez can go too now even vvd possibly.

{Ed077's Note - A whole new group of CB in one go? Won't be easy I'd say although Varane and Maguire might be on the market :-P

12.) 10 May 2024
10 May 2024 18:27:17
Ed1, on Archie Gray. Have you seen much of him? Seen peoples saying how good he is for a player at his age. Some even saying he could be a special player.

{Ed001's Note - little bit and he is very good, but he has played most of the season out of position at right-back. Not sure he is entirely suited to that role.}