Do Liverpool need Dani Ceballos?
Dani Ceballos can be Philippe Coutinho's long-term replacement for Liverpool.
With the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona this January, Liverpool have been short on the creativity that the Brazilian had to offer from the midfield.
Adam Lallana is still struggling with his form after recovering from the thigh injury he suffered against Atletico Madrid in August 2017 during the pre-season friendlies, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a difficult start to his Anfield life and is yet to become a guaranteed starter.
With the uncertainty over the future of Emre Can, the arrival of Naby Keita would be a relief. However, as former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy has said, Liverpool must invest in power, presence, and creativity. Naby Keita is no doubt a great athlete but lacks the creativity of a playmaker, and would fill in the boots of an excellent box-to-box midfielder.
If we go along the recent rumours, Lazio has slapped a £100 million price tag on Milinkovic-Savic, while Napoli is reluctant to see Piotr Zielinski leave Stadio Sao Paolo. Though both these players would add creativity to Liverpool's midfield, it would not make sense to spend in the range of £100 million for a midfield player after having shelled out £75 million for Virgil van Dijk and Roma looking for £90m (Mirror via Calciomercato) for their in-form goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Liverpool have been keeping tabs on £32 million rated Spanish star Dani Ceballos for a while now as per Don Balon. The 21-year-old was left humiliated after being brought on the pitch for just 29 seconds as the third substitute replacing Mateo Kovacic against Leganes last week.
If reports from Spain are to be believed, Ceballos has asked Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez to let him join Liverpool this summer and is excited to work with Jurgen Klopp amid interest from Juventus and other top European clubs.
Ceballos has failed to get into the first team with the liked of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro ahead of him in the pecking order, and is desperate to get regular playing time with only 17 appearances for Los Blancos this season.
Here's a glimpse of what Dani Ceballos has to offer:
With the player reportedly unhappy at Bernabeu, he completely fits the transfer policy set by Fenway Sports Group, the owner group of Liverpool, as the player is young and would probably cost in the range of £35-40 million considering £15 million paid by Real Madrid to Betis for his services.
Ceballos can be a perfect fit for Liverpool if the deal goes through. Dani Ceballos is a master dribbler in the midfield and has strong passing, tackling and ball-holding skills. His passing success stands at 94.8% this season in 17 appearances.
Though not great in the air, Ceballos could complement the likes of Keita, Lallana, and Oxlade-Chamberlain from central midfield next season to help Liverpool mount a serious campaign for the Premier League title.
Reported rumours about Ceballos and Liverpool's midfield needs combine perfectly to pave the way for a possible summer signing of the Spaniard by the Merseysiders.