Liverpool ended up signing Arthur Melo on loan for the season to tackle their engine room issues, but he wasn’t the only Juventus player the Reds were interested in signing.
Jürgen Klopp was also open to adding Arthur’s former teammate Denis Zakaria to his squad, according to Di Marzio.
Zakaria has since also moved away from Juventus temporarily, linking up with Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
Arthur and Zakaria’s contrasting profiles are perhaps reflective of Liverpool’s haphazard approach towards signing a new midfielder this summer.
Throughout the transfer window, Jürgen Klopp insisted he was content with his engine room options, showing a reluctance to strengthen in that area.
However, as the clock ticked closer and closer toward the window’s conclusion, the German realised he wanted a new midfielder after all.
And Liverpool fans will be pleased to an extent that Klopp opted to push for Arthur over Zakaria.
Arthur is more comparable to Thiago Alcantara in his stylistic profile. Liverpool dearly miss Thiago when he’s unavailable, and he isn’t the most reliable player from a fitness perspective.
As such, signing someone who could operate as an apt understudy for the Spaniard should’ve been a priority throughout the transfer period.
Finally, Klopp came to his senses in that regard. However, Arthur is very much a stop-gap solution in that area of the pitch.
Liverpool were said to be interested in signing Matheus Nunes this summer who ended up joining Wolves, and he could’ve turned out to be something of a long-term replacement for Thiago.
Instead, they have Arthur Melo, who has underwhelmed at Juventus since joining the Italian giants from Barcelona in 2020.
There are no guarantees that the Reds trigger the option of making his loan move permanent. Arthur can be purchased for €37.5 million by Liverpool next summer.
That said, in terms of what the midfielder can potentially offer on the pitch, signing him temporarily was a sensible move from the Reds. More sensible than moving for Zakaria.
But many at Anfield will be ruing the fact they didn’t move for such a player earlier in the transfer window.