Mark Lawrenson believes that Liverpool “dodged a bullet” by not signing Moises Caicedo from Brighton last summer.
The Reds had a £110m bid accepted for the Ecuadorian international but the player ultimately ended up going to Chelsea for £115m instead. After seeing Caicedo in action for the Blues during their 4-1 defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s side midweek, Lawrenson told Paddy Power that his former club had a lucky escape:
“On the way that Chelsea are playing, I think Liverpool dodged a bullet not signing Moises Caicedo this summer. Last May/June, Liverpool had no midfield players, and we all wondered what was going to happen.”
“It was funny in the match against Chelsea, watching the Liverpool fans chant about the midfield players they didn’t get. The players Liverpool have signed have contributed in every way – there’s goals from them and they’ve settled into a nice three. Even Wataru Endo, who looks a little bit lightweight, has done well. I do believe that has a lot to do with Jürgen Klopp and the way that he manages.”
Klopp has got the best out of the players at his disposal
All four of Liverpool’s midfield signings have hit the ground running. Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch have performed well to a greater or lesser degree.
In contrast, despite being more expensive than all of these players, Caicedo has not had the same impact at Stamford Bridge. As Lawrenson points out, a lot of that is down to the manager, with Klopp managing to integrate his recruits into his team very quickly.
Liverpool’s other midfielders have also stepped up
It is not only the new additions that have helped the Reds this season. Curtis Jones has been superb in recent weeks, while Harvey Elliott has contributed when being given opportunities as well.
All of these factors have combined to help mitigate the loss of the likes of captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain last year.