Premier League transfers: Here’s why Liverpool should sign Romeo Lavia 

A midfield revamp has been the key focus of Liverpool’s transfer window so far with older players departing and some fresh, younger faces arriving. 22 year old Dominik Szoboszlai and 24 year old Alexis Mac Allister have already come through the door and they are favourites to land an even younger midfield prospect.

Southampton’s 19 year old Romeo Lavia is the subject of serious interest from the Merseyside club. Liverpool have already reportedly had a £37m bid turned down with the recently relegated Saints demanding £50m.

There’s little doubt the player would be keen to swap the Championship for Anfield this summer but is he the right man for Liverpool? Here’s what Lavia would bring to Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Why Liverpool should sign Lavia

Ball winning qualities

Southampton had many problem areas last season which ultimately led to their relegation, but central midfield was not one of them. Lavia’s tenacious ball winning qualities provided the perfect foil to James Ward-Prowse and the pair were arguably the South Coast club’s two most impressive players in an otherwise forgettable campaign.

Lavia averaged an excellent 7.58 ball recoveries per 90 minutes and it’s not hard to see how he might fit in at Anfield. Lavia would most likely operate as Liverpool’s deepest midfielder and would offer protection to the back four whilst also regularly regaining possession and getting the likes of Mac Allister on the ball to help launch counter attacks.

Jump the gun on Man City

Still a teenager, Lavia has very much been schooled in modern football methods. He spent most of his youth career at the prestigious Anderlecht academy in his native Belgium before joining Manchester City at the age of just 16. While he didn’t get many first opportunities in Manchester, Lavia’s rapid development since suggests City may have scored a rare own goal by letting him leave for an initial £10.5m last summer.

Manchester City do have a buyback clause that is reportedly £40m, however significantly that won’t be active until 2024. Therefore if other Premier League clubs are serious about signing Lavia, this very much feels like the time to move for the young midfielder.

Lavia’s market value already appears to be in the region of that £40m figure, so it’d be very easy for City to re-sign the Belgian next summer and incorporate him into their plans. For Liverpool, it feels like a case of act now or miss out on a player who racked up more minutes than any other teenager in the 2022/23 Premier League.

Romeu Lavia
Photo by Icon Sport

The final piece in Klopp’s new midfield puzzle?

With the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita having already departed and Jordan Henderson and Fabinho negotiating moves to Saudi Arabia, this is a real summer of change and regeneration in terms of the Liverpool midfield.

If Fabinho does move, that would leave a big hole in the defensive midfield role and it’s one that Lavia could potentially fill. His skillset, which includes the ability to drop deep and pick the ball up from the goalkeeper while resisting the opposition press, would be valued highly by Klopp and would offer nice balance when compared to Liverpool’s other summer signings.

As was the case with Ward-Prowse at Southampton, Lavia’s presence should really help more technically gifted midfielders such as Szoboszlai and Mac Allister to get on the ball and there’s no reason why all three couldn’t start in the same team, potentially even from the off in the 2023/24 season. However clearly Liverpool will also have one eye on the longer term future when it comes to the potential signing of Lavia.