Liverpool were in the mix to sign Bruno Fernandes but ultimately lost out on his signature to Manchester United and it’s going to haunt them for years to come.
According to Record, via the Daily Mirror, Liverpool entered the race to sign Fernandes in 2019 but the Portuguese international wound up signing for Man Utd for a £47m fee that could reportedly rise to £67.7m.
Since his move to Old Trafford, he’s established himself as one of the best players in the league and has 40 goals and 25 assists in 77 appearances.
Not only has Fernandes elevated Manchester United from languishing nine points outside the top four in January to a Champions League place last season to second place this term, but he’s also excelling in a role that Liverpool currently have limited quality.
In midfield, the Reds have very functional players with Jurgen Klopp’s engine room focused on winning the ball back and supplying their fullbacks who are then tasked with creating chances for the front three.
In all fairness to the German, it worked brilliantly until this season but with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold not matching their previous levels, creativity and goals from central areas have been needed.
Fabinho, Thiago and Wijnaldum – Liverpool’s midfielders with the most minutes – have four goals combined and zero assists in all competitions.
Fernandes has been incredible for United in a role that Philippe Coutinho was excellent for Liverpool in before he traded Anfield for Camp Nou.
The Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League without a world-class no.10 but with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane ageing and their goal contributions not at the levels they were in the past, it might be time for a system tweak from Klopp.
If your forwards aren’t scoring huge volumes of goals, then you need your midfielders and defenders to chip in.
Take Manchester City as another example. With Sergio Aguero injured at times this season and with Raheem Sterling struggling for form, Pep Guardiola adjusted his style of play to place the goalscoring onus on Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.
Between the two of them, they’ve contributed a combined 46 goals in all competitions.
Liverpool’s forwards – with the exception of the ever consistent Mo Salah – need to buck up next season or Klopp needs to find a way to get other players into the box to contribute.