Liverpool recent decision to leave Fabinho out of their pre-season squad for Germany has all but confirmed the Brazilian’s departure from Anfield. Reports suggest that Fabinho is on the verge of joining Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, which means Liverpool will need to find a replacement for their key midfielder before the start of the season.
Liverpool has already made some significant investments in midfield, with Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai joining the club this summer. However, the impending exits of Fabinho and Thiago, along with James Milner’s departure, mean that Liverpool needs to add at least one more central midfielder to their squad.
Benfica’s Florentino Luis has emerged as a possible replacement for Fabinho. The 23-year-old was instrumental in Benfica’s title-winning campaign last season and has attracted interest from several top European clubs. Liverpool, though, are reportedly leading the race to sign the Portuguese midfielder once Fabinho’s exit is confirmed.
Florentino is a designated ball-winner who carries out his duties with great efficiency. He finished third for tackles per 90 in Liga Bwin last season and averaged 2.7 interceptions per 90, which is an impressive feat considering Benfica had the best possession average in the league. His ability to win the ball back and quickly transition from defence to attack would be a significant boost for Liverpool, who are known for their counter-attacking style of play.
In addition to his defensive capabilities, Florentino is also an accomplished passer of the ball. He finished fourth for passes per 90 in Liga Bwin last season and had a pass success rate of 90.1%. While he may not offer much in the final third, his ability to find a teammate and keep the ball moving would be invaluable for Liverpool.
Losing Fabinho may have been a surprise for Liverpool, but it presents an opportunity to accelerate their midfield revamp. While the lack of experience in midfield could be a concern, Liverpool has a chance to bring in a reported £40m for a player who will turn 30 in October. Florentino could be an ideal replacement for Fabinho, but Liverpool will need to negotiate with Benfica to bring the reported fee down.
Overall, Liverpool’s decision to let Fabinho go and pursue a replacement in Florentino Luis makes sense. Florentino’s defensive abilities, combined with his passing range, would be an excellent fit for Liverpool’s midfield. The Reds will hope that they can secure his signature and add him to an already impressive midfield lineup ahead of the new season.