Didi Hamann offers maverick ‘big lad’ solution to Liverpool’s midfield problem

·3-min read
Joelinton Newcastle August 2022 Credit: PA Images
Joelinton Newcastle August 2022 Credit: PA Images

Dietmar Hamann says Liverpool should go after Newcastle United star Joelinton to solve their midfield problem ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline. 

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that things have changed at Anfield. And after initially claiming they would not go after a midfielder in the market, he has now said the club are actively looking.

In fact Klopp has now divulged that Liverpool tried to sign a midfielder earlier in the year.

“You all told me – you are the ones who ask the questions – do I need a midfielder? A 10th midfielder!?” Klopp said.

“I am not sure, but we were going for a midfielder who decided to go to another club, which can happen.

“We always wanted [a midfielder] but it was always about the right one and we cannot change that just because of some things.

“Yes, more injuries but that can change a bit and then we say that we can do this now and maybe that would help next year as well. It must always be short and long term and this didn’t happen yet, that’s it.”

Exactly who Klopp will pursue, with the window set to close at 11pm on Thursday, remains unclear, but Hamann has an idea.

The former Reds and Newcastle man believes striker turned midfielder Joelinton is perfect.

“I watched Newcastle United versus Manchester City last week and looking at that I think they need a midfielder with presence,” Hamann told GGRecon.

‘That’s the type of player they miss’

“You look at Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Thiago, they’re all similar, tidy players.

“I think they could do with someone like Joelinton from Newcastle. I think he’s someone who’s technically gifted, who’s a big lad, and has a great strike on him. And I think that’s the type of player they miss.

“Whether you can get him now with a few days of the transfer window left to go, I’m not too sure. If there’s one area where they could do with a player, it’s in midfield.”

Joelinton has developed into a key man under Eddie Howe at Newcastle. The 26-year-old was a failing frontman when Howe arrived at St James’ Park. But the Newcastle boss has reinvented the 26-year-old as midfielder enforcer. And the £40m signing has now established himself in the engine room of Howe’s midfield.

He has started all four Premier League games this season after being moved into a midfield three against Liverpool in December. And he has not looked back.

Howe has hailed his ‘tactical understanding’ and his ‘brilliant’ defensive work.

Joelinton the duel king

In April he became the only player to win more than 100-plus duels in the Premier League. He was ahead of the likes of N’Golo Kante, Fabinho and Declan Rice.

And Jamie Carragher has hailed the player’s transformation.

“Running with the ball, he was a goal threat, winning the ball back – everything involved. The power, the strength he showed,” Carragher said last December.

“He’s taken a lot of criticism; he was a big money signing for £40m. I think he was almost brought in by the club and given to Steve Bruce after Rafa Benitez had gone.

“And listen, let’s not sugar coat it, he was really poor as a centre-forward. Eddie Howe has now put him into a midfield position, and he’s looked Newcastle’s best player.”

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