Liverpool are weighing up a move for Mikel Merino
According to Fichajes (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool are keeping an eye over a potential move for Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino. The Spanish central midfielder has featured in all four games for the La Liga outfit this season and was a huge part of the side that secured a 6th place finish in the league, securing Europa League qualification in the process. Betting houses like Unibet Arizona have marked the midfielder to continue his form during the current season where Sociedad are currently sitting at the top of the table.
Merino made the move from Newcastle United to Sociedad in July 2018 despite joining the Geordies earlier that summer from Borussia Dortmund. However, the midfielder has been good for the Spanish outfit since his arrival, but could he now make the move back to England? Moreover, is Mikel Merino a necessity for Liverpool?
Liverpool can do without a player of Mikel Merino’s abilities
Merino, who functions as a progressive midfielder in Real Sociedad’s 4-1-4-1 formation, has been fruitful in that role as he has featured 115 times for the Spanish outfit. In this process, he has also contributed to 24 goals while he has also shared the pitch alongside the very experienced David Silva. Moreover, at 25, the player can go on to contribute to any side for several more years.
Although Liverpool did lose Gini Wijnaldum to Paris Saint Germain this summer, they still have a lot of quality in the midfield department. The Reds have the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson currently operating in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation as two progressive midfielders. Additionally, the Merseyside outfit also have a lot of youth in that department with Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones.
The Anfield outfit signed Thiago last season itself on a four-year deal, while Jordan Henderson also penned a similar contract extension earlier this summer, indicating that the Englishman still has a future at the club.
Thus, any kind of deal for Merino would result in lesser minutes for the aforementioned duo, or it could hamper the progress of youngsters Jones and Elliot, with the latter already having featured in all four league games for the club this season.
A deal for Merino might not be financially viable
Not only is Merino a talented midfielder and of a good age profile, but his contract at Sociedad also runs until 2025. Thus, any kind of move for the Spaniard would ‘likely’ take a huge sum to lure away Sociedad’s prized asset.
Although Liverpool only shelled out money for Ibrahima Konate this summer, they also did not have a lot of outgoings. The club still possess the likes of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, James Milner, and Naby Keita in the midfield department, who have struggled for game-time last season. Adding the 25-year-old to the fold would certainly add quality but would also pose a problem for Klopp to manage the game-time of a plethora of midfielders.
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The club’s finances could instead be focused on adding a striker to the ranks. The Reds lost Xherdan Shaqiri this summer and have not added anybody to the frontline. Roberto Firmino only managed to score 9 league goals last season and given that rivals Manchester United and Chelsea have added incredible forwards to their ranks, the Anfield outfit could also use a centre-forward to boost their goal-scoring numbers.