Axel Witsel was linked with a move to Everton in the summer transfer window. An agreement to bring the Belgian midfielder to Goodison could not take place with Zenit St. Petersburg but Liverpool are now rumoured to be in the running for his signature.
The 27-year-old only has a year left on his current contract and would be available on a free next season. Witsel is known for his no-nonsense approach in the midfield and his incredible tackling ability.
The Belgian would be a great addition to any team but just how would be fit in at Liverpool? The Reds already have a number of midfielders but the former Benfica and Standard Liege man could be perfect for Jurgen Klopp.
A good defensive midfielder
If you are to look into the Liverpool squad, they don’t have a proper defensive midfielder who can play two games a week. Lucas Leiva is the only player who can start in that role but the Brazilian is now more of a centre back than a defensive midfielder.
Liverpool do not have someone who can protect the back four. Yes, they have Emre Can, but the German’s inconsistency on and off the field is making the life miserable for the Merseysiders. Jordan Henderson has played in this role but Witsel is certainly better suited to play in this position. The Belgian has the ability to tackle well and spray the ball for quick attacks.
Jurgen Klopp might want more options in the heart of midfield and Witsel certainly is one of the best out there in this role.
A leader of men
Henderson might be the captain but there aren’t many leaders in the Liverpool side. Every team needs more than just one or two players that can keep the morale of the team up when things aren’t going right. Liverpool needs such a player more than ever now.
Jurgen Klopp might see Henderson as the captain for a number of years but there really is a lack of leadership in this team. Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane might be playing well now but once the chips are down, only the strongest gets the team going.
Witsel has experience of playing in a few countries and should be able to provide the steel that Liverpool needs in the midfield.
Can play in a range of positions
While the defensive role in midfield is what Witsel stars in, the 27-year-old has often played as a box-to-box midfielder and even as an attacking midfielder when required. The Belgian, as stated earlier, has a great range of passing and has a lot of energy as well.
His running and ability to close down the opposition suits the Gegenpressing style of football Klopp has employed at Liverpool. More importantly, the 27-year-old is someone who can slot into the team easily and with his contract running out, Zenit would want to extract as much a transfer fee as possible.
Liverpool would be battling with Juventus for the signing of the former Standard Liege man. Should the Reds sign him, it will be a major coup for them.