Julian Ward can exploit Michael Edwards transfer link to bring Fabinho successor to Liverpool

Advertisements

There’s certainly an argument to be made that Liverpool need to sign cover for Fabinho. Jordan Henderson has deputised admirably in the no.6 position, but he will soon turn 32, and perhaps a long-term successor is needed.

Tyler Morton could be an in-house solution. The 19-year-old has started two Champions League group matches and a Premier League game against Spurs, and acquitted himself well.

But Jürgen Klopp and his recruitment staff may consider external options too. And one candidate has emerged at the club where Fabinho himself made his breakthrough – Fluminense.

READ MORE:Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp can soon ease Kylian Mbappé pain and save millions in transfer market

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah has contract ‘problem’ as £ 71m duo give Liverpool upper hand in negotiations

According to a report from Brazilian outlet Netflu (via Sport Witness), Liverpool have joined the likes of Ajax and Barcelona in the race to sign André Trindade. The Reds have been scouting the 20-year-old and could tap into an existing relationship with the Série A club if they decide to take their interest further.

It was only in October 2020 that they did last business, with Liverpool signing Marcelo Pitaluga from the Tricolor Flu Fluzão. And a year earlier, the Reds sent Allan Rodrigues de Souza to the club on loan amid his struggles to secure a work permit.

Fluminense boast a strong recent track record when it comes to young talent. Their recent exports include £ 9m forward Kayky, who joined Manchester City last year, João Pedro, who’s scored four goals for Watford this season (including one against Manchester United) and, perhaps most notably, Evanilson, who’s bagged 21 for FC Porto at the age of just 22.

So who is André? And how does he compare to Fabinho?

Well, to begin, he’s much smaller than his compatriot. While Fabinho stands at 6ft 1in, André is only 5ft 7in, which of course limits his effectiveness in aerial duels and opposition set-pieces.

Advertisements

But despite that potential limitation, he’s quickly established himself as a key player at the Rio de Janeiro club. He’s made 70 appearances, 40 in the Brazilian top-flight, 15 in state-level competition and 10 in the South American equivalents of the Champions League and Europa League. Already valued at £ 5.4m by Transfermarkt, he’s under contract until the summer of 2024.

Admittedly, the statistics do not tell us everything. For instance, he commendably wins 56 per cent of his ground duels, compared to 45 per cent for Fabinho, but the latter is of course playing against stronger opposition.

We can be confident in his capacity, though, in his ability to spread the play effectively. In last year Série A, across 26 appearances, he averaged 2.3 accurate long passes per 90 minutes, 0.2 more than Fabinho did in the Premier League. And significantly, he picked out those balls at a much higher accuracy – 76 per cent compared to 51 per cent.

In terms of playing style, one key difference between him and Fabinho is his inclination to run with the ball and take on opponents. He completes 1.6 dribbles per 90 (at a 76 per cent success rate), four times as many as the Liverpool man and about in line with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté (1.5).

Of course, he does not necessarily need to be a clone of Fabinho. He could offer the team something different, and potentially help their playing style evolve.

André has been praised for his maturity in addition to his talent, but there was a lapse in a recent league defeat against Coritiba. Within the space of just four minutes early in the second half, he picked up two yellow cards, giving away a penalty with the second foul. Journalist Gustavo Garcia accused him, fairly you might say, of costing his side that day.

But moments like this are forgivable in the early stages of a player’s career and can prove to be formative experiences. Liverpool will recognize that André is still raw, but they’re clearly impressed.

And importantly, Netflu report that Fluminense have sales targets to meet this year, and that selling André could be their best hope of reaching them. After signing Fábio Carvalho for around £ 5m, Liverpool may have an opportunity to sign another gem on reasonable terms.

.

Advertisements

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*