Liverpool identify Crystal Palace’s player of the season as midfield target

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Cheick Liverpool (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Cheick Liverpool (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /

As Liverpool inch closer to seeing midfielder Fabinho leave, talks of signing a defensive midfielder is even more relevant. The club was already heavily linked to the likes of Romeo Lavia and Khephren Thuram even before selling Henderson, or Fabinho was on the table. Now it feels almost certain the club will sign a defensive midfielder soon. One name now being thrown around is Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure. Liverpool Echo report that the Malian midfielder is seen as a younger option to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, who is also on the club’s list. With West Ham now pushing to sign Palhinha, Liverpool may swing their interest towards Doucoure, along with their pursuit of Southampton’s Lavia.

Cheick Doucoure has played just a single season for Crystal Palace, but he is already a significant player. For the 2022-23 season, Doucoure was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season. He arrived from French side RC Lens in the summer of 2022 on a deal worth £21M. Far and away, the best part of Doucoure’s game is his ability to break up the opposition’s play. Per FBRef, Doucoure ranks in the 97th percentile in interceptions among midfielders tracked. Additionally, he is in the 81st percentile for blocks, 82nd for clearances and 74th for tackles.

With an expectation that Fabinho will be leaving, Stefan Bajcetic will be the only true number six available for Jurgen Klopp.

Crystal Palace recently added Jefferson Lerma from Bournemouth, who could help ease the pain of selling a player such as Cheick Doucoure. They could be in for a big payday should Liverpool want to bid for Doucore, as the midfielder still has plenty of time on his contract left.

Romeo Lavia and Cheick Doucoure are not the only Premier League midfielders Liverpool are reportedly monitoring. The Top Flight has reported that Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips is a shock option for the Reds.