Former midfielder Owen Hargreaves has claimed that Liverpool 'can win the league' if they sign Fulham's Joao Palhinha.
The Reds underwent an extensive midfield rebuild during the summer, waving goodbye to Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while welcoming in £145m worth of new talent in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.
Despite starting the new 2023/24 strongly – Liverpool currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, three points off top spot – there has been some debate about whether more engine-room recruits are still needed.
After moves to sign Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia failed, the Reds turned to 30-year-old Endo to fill the defensive-midfield void left by Fabinho and Henderson. However, the Japan captain has been used sparingly so far, with Mac Allister often preferred as Jurgen Klopp's deepest lying midfielder.
Former Manchester United and City star turned pundit Hargreaves believes that Liverpool are still one player short of challenging for the title – identifying Fulham's Palhinha as the missing piece of the puzzle.
“I think they are missing one player and that’s a defensive midfield player,” the BT Sport pundit told Premier League Productions. “I think if Palhinha plays for Liverpool, then they can win the league. He is that good.”
28-year-old Palhinha topped the Premier League's tackling charts in 2022/23 – his maiden season in England – and was heavily linked with a move away from Craven Cottage over the summer. However, a deadline day transfer to Bayern Munich fell apart at the eleventh hour, with the Portugal international ultimately signing a contract extension at Fulham.
Despite signing a new deal until 2028, speculation over Palhinha's future has continued since the summer.
Anfield Watch reported last month that the £70m-rated former Sporting CP star is among the players Liverpool are monitoring as they plot their next moves in the transfer market.
Meanwhile, Anfield Watch also understands that Liverpool remain interested in Fluminense number seven Andre Trindade and will have priority over other suitors if they want to pursue a January deal.