A look at Liverpool's No.1 midfielder for next season

Liverpool possess a number of midfielders. Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are Jurgen Klopp's central options.

But, who will lead the charge for the Reds in the middle of the park next season?

The writers from Anfield Watch have decided to take a look.

Thiago - Lachlan Ballingall

Thiago was superb for Liverpool last season. The Spaniard averaged a WhoScored player rating of 7.10 across 25 Premier League appearances.

Thiago was running games from the middle of the park. When the match needed to be quickened up, he would take charge.

If the Reds were on the back foot and needed a breather, Thiago would slow the tempo of the game down.

The key reason why Thiago was a big figure in Jurgen Klopp's first XI last season was simply because he managed to stay fit for the majority of the campaign.

The 31-year-old has seriously struggled with injuries since arriving at Anfield from Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of £19.80 million back in the summer of 2020.

Thiago did pick up a few minor injuries last season, but he was available more often than not.

So, if the midfielder can stay fit across the 2022-23 season, I expect him to be our best player in the middle of the park.

Thiago is by far our most technically gifted footballer. Those sorts of players can change a game within a heartbeat.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp certainly agrees with me.

“When Thiago is in the shape he’s in now, he would play for any team in the world and that is Spain as well," he said back in May, as quoted by The Empire of the Kop.

“They are an incredibly talented team but the shape he’s in, he’d play for every national team. Thiago needs to be fit and gain rhythm and he can show his best form."

Fabinho - Charlie Webb

Going into next season, we could see a drastically changed Liverpool midfield. Instead of our tried and tested 4-3-3, Klopp has hinted that we could change system.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the German went to a 4-2-3-1, something he has tried with Liverpool and a formation he played a lot in the Bundesliga with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.

The reason for the likely system change won’t be down to the midfield, but it’s mainly due to attackers Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez joining the club this summer.

Therefore, it is vital that Klopp gets the midfield pairing spot on next season and for me, there is one player who has to start every game possible.

Fabinho. He has been key to our recent success and he’s arguably been one of the best defensive midfielders in world football in recent years.

However, next season he is likely to have a different role. Whether he’s paired up with Thiago, Elliott or Henderson is yet to be seen, but he has to be the main midfielder in my eyes.

In this role, he can be a bit riskier in his challenges as he won’t be the last midfielder to defend.

Due to this, I think we could see the best of the Brazilian next season. A more aggressive and complete midfielder, something we haven't really seen from a Klopp central player yet.

Even if the German does revert back to his tried and tested 4-3-3, then Fabinho's role is still unmatched in my eyes.

Last season we saw a more offensive version of the Brazilian and that really helped us with goals (eight in 48 appearances) from midfield.

However, Fabinho was still dropping into defence and covering the fullbacks when they went forward.

If he can stay fit, then I believe he will be Liverpool’s most important midfielder once again next season.

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