FSG sends transfer message to ideal Liverpool midfield target who stole the show against £200m transfer duo
Liverpool’s midfield makeover could be pushed back a year. With the Sadio Mané saga unfolding at the club, Julian Ward’s first task will be to ensure Liverpool’s attacking strength is maintained for the coming season.
FSG, on the other hand, could be getting a major makeover in the heart of the park next summer. This summer could not only be the year that Liverpool finally signs Jude Bellingham and begins a new era at Anfield, but it could also be the year that numerous midfielders depart.
One player who could go this summer is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Meanwhile, James Milner’s contract was extended for another year, but he is unlikely to stay much longer.
Much will depend on Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, and Fábio Carvalho’s growth, but it’s likely that the club will need to strengthen the midfield with not just one, but two or perhaps three new arrivals.
András Schäfer, a 23-year-old Union Berlin midfielder, could be one of the more under-the-radar (and possibly less expensive) choices in this rebuild. On home soil for his country, the Hungarian international recently kicked England’s Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice off the park, despite their total transfer fee being in excess of £200 million. Since joining Union Berlin in January, he has been attracting attention in the Bundesliga.
Schäfer, a strong and technically adept midfielder, had six interceptions and won two of his three attempted tackles against England, as well as making two advancing runs and completing 56 of his 59 passes.
The midfielder has averaged 0.68 goal contributions per 90 minutes for Union Berlin, and he has stood out for his passionate energy on the game, which would make him a good fit for Jürgen Klopp’s counter-pressing style of play.
Schäfer averaged 28.5 pressures per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga last season, including 7.41 successful pressures, according to FBref. In addition, he had 4.44 tackles and 4.44 interceptions per game.
He’s a real box-to-box midfielder who can also go forward, and his development over the last year has been remarkable. A goal against Germany at Euro 2020 served as the trigger for DAC’s successful campaign in Slovakia before their transfer to Union Berlin in January.
Schäfer, who is still only 23, has a playing style that fits Liverpool well, and his age profile matches FSG’s tastes. Next season, he’ll be one to watch in the Bundesliga to see how he progresses in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
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