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Jurgen Klopp’s squad at Liverpool is easily one of the weakest in the top-6 sides in the Premier League this season. But they still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season, thanks to some consistent performances by their midfielders in recent times. The absence of Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana for almost a month was sure to affect the club and its chances but Klopp found an unlikely resource in Lucas Leiva, who seems to have cemented a place as the deepest of the midfielders.
Lucas now has 3 assists in his last 6 games and his return might tempt Klopp to keep him at the club. But at 30, he might not get too many games next season and may be shipped off. The Brazilian midfielder completed 10 years at the club recently but is unsettled at the moment. Here are three possible alternatives for Klopp if he decides to let Lucas leave this summer:
Constantly linked with a move to Liverpool in the last couple of transfer windows, the Chilean star is a similar hard tackling midfielder who can be a great replacement for Lucas at Anfield. At 29, he has gathered loads of experience and also has 24 appearances to his name in Serie A this season. He is only contracted with Inter until the end of the next season and this might be the right time for Liverpool to swoop in for the midfielder.
The former Liverpool fan favourite, Mascherano has done a pretty decent job playing as a centre back for Barcelona’s senior side this season. At 32, he has made 39 appearances in all competitions and has just over 2 years left on his contract. He has been linked with an exit recently and there is no reason why Liverpool should not try to lure him back to Anfield this summer. He has all the experience in the world and could be the key to Liverpool taking the next step.
A player with his career at the other end of the spectrum, Samper is a defensive midfielder currently playing on loan at Granada from Barcelona. He was linked with a move to the Premier League at the start of the season and has gone on to make 24 appearances for the Spanish side this season. His loan deal will end at the end of the campaign and he could be a decent backup for Lucas Leiva. At just 22, he will take some time to learn the trade but he has all the attributes to become a success in the Premier League.