Anfield will look forward to Champions League football next season after a tough season which saw them finish above Arsenal. That was the reward they got for some scintillating football played in the Premier League last campaign.
Phillippe Coutinho and co. were absolutely on fire. They got out of the blocks quickly in the start of the season and blew teams away with the ‘heavy metal’ football that Jürgen Klopp had promised.
Sadio Mane proved to be the signing of the season, but he couldn’t finish the campaign because of an injury.
With more games in the coming season, spending in the transfer window is inevitable. Liverpool have been linked with a host of targets spanning the breadth of Europe.
One of them is 22-year old Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic.
Reports in Italy have emerged that the Reds have made contact with Lazio with a £24.7m bid for the midfielder. Liverpool have been monitoring the Serbian for a number of months now.
Milinkovic had a breakthrough season in Serie A this year. He started 31 games, scoring 4 goals and assisting another 7 on his way to a 7.30 rating in Whoscored.
The Serbian’s aerial duals won are very good, with 4.4 won per game. He has 11 international caps and 3 goals for the Serbian under-21 team.
What will he offer?
Milinkovic is an all action midfielder, the kind that Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was. He is also very physical, standing in at 1.91m tall and offers a threat in set pieces. He would be the perfect partner for Emre Can, Jordan Henderson or Wijnaldum in midfield.
It appears as though Lucas Leiva will be leaving and Milinkovic is just the man to fill the Brazilian’s place at the club. Having had enough experience of top flight football under the tutelage of Simone Inzaghi, he is ready for the Premier League which will be more open.
He is a great dribbler, has an eye for a key pass and is defensively well-drilled. Sergei will have a key role to play in a side which depends on the organisation and coordinated movements.
At what price?
The Serbian joined Lazio from Genk in 2015 for £7.65 million and his current contract expires in 2022, having signed a new deal earlier this year. Liverpool’s opening bid has been rejected which means they’ll have to wage another long war with the selling club and up the fee.
The move makes a lot of sense as Liverpool haven’t quite filled the hole left by club legend Gerrard. Marko Grujic was Klopp’s first summer transfer last year, and another Serbian might be heading to Liverpool this summer as well.