Douglas Luiz could reportedly be an option for Jurgen Klopp to consider as Fabinho’s long-term successor at the base of his midfield but they face competition from Arsenal.
While Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane are stealing all the plaudits this season for their sensational goalscoring displays, Fabinho is having an incredible campaign of his own.
In fact, it’s arguable that without the former Real Madrid and AS Monaco star, this Liverpool team would struggle to carry out its high pressing remit with the same efficiency.
While Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara can perform to a high level in the no.6 role, there are very few players in the world that can match Fabinho in that role especially in Jurgen Klopp’s system.
Aston Villa nurturing Fabinho’s successor but Arsenal could beat them to it
According to the Express, Steven Gerrard could be nurturing the ideal successor to Fabinho in Douglas Luiz.
The article doesn’t expressly mention any interest from the Reds but they claim that Villa may ‘have to contest bids for Douglas Luiz in the summer with plenty of interest in his services.’
Arsenal’s interest in the Brazilian has been well publicised but it’s an interesting thought to consider Luiz in the Liverpool lineup as the Express claims: ‘Steven Gerrard might have inadvertently made up Liverpool’s mind as one day they will have to look for a successor to Fabinho.’
Could Douglas Luiz be Fabinho’s long-term successor at Anfield?
Luiz certainly ticks all the boxes as far as the ideal FSG target is concerned, with his value set at around £31.5million, according to Transfermarkt, but a Premier League premium is certain to be placed on top of that.
At 23, he is the ideal age as well. Liverpool just recruited Luis Diaz and he’s 25 so Luiz is at the perfect age to come into the Anfield fold and learn from Fabinho before taking over from him down the line.
That said, Fabinho is only 28 and in terms of defensive midfielders, that’s relatively young so I can’t imagine there will be any need to phase him out any time soon.
Casemiro, who has been around the block and still has several years at the top left, is 30 years old. N’Golo Kante is also 30 and while the Frenchman isn’t as influential as he once was, I’d blame that on Chelsea’s lack of stability over the years.
I’d certainly take Luiz at Anfield but I don’t see him as a successor to Fabinho but he’d be a great backup.
With that in mind, I’d imagine he’d be minded to choose Arsenal or the like over Liverpool if it meant more game time.
Although, Liverpool’s pull these days is astronomical so it’s not out of the question that the Brazilian would choose the Reds over Arsenal even if it did mean a place on the bench especially if the Gunners slip up and fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.