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Rumour Mill: Liverpool linked again with £25m defensive midfielder

Has Brendan Rodgers finally realised the need for a defensive midfielder? The Liverpool boss eventually kept Lucas Leiva at the club this summer and is now linked with Portugal’s William Carvalho.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 10, 2014: Sporting Clube de Portugal's William Carvalho in action against Chelsea during the final UEFA Champions League Group G match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In his three years in charge, Rodgers has never signed a defensive midfielder. There was Nuri Sahin, whose best position is operating as a holding midfielder, but Rodgers used him in an unfamiliar attacking role before his loan was cut short.

Liverpool have frequently been linked with different defensive midfielders during Rodgers’ time but it’s a position the manager has continually overlooked.

He started the season with Jordan Henderson as the side’s deepest midfielder – a move which completely restricted the captain’s best qualities.

Lucas then came in for the injured Henderson against Arsenal and a move away was consequently ditched.

So will Rodgers finally realise the need to sign a defensive midfielder? A role which is vital if he is to ever play 4-3-3 effectively at Anfield.

The Express link him with Portugal’s highly-rated 23-year-old William Carvalho, currently of Sporting Lisbon.

Carvalho was linked with a move to Merseyside back in April, with one report then suggesting that Carvalho and Memphis Depay were wanted in the summer. Wouldn’t that have been nice.

Our scout report on Carvalho outlined why he’d be an ideal signing at Merseyside:

William is a stocky, 6’1” Portuguese defensive midfielder who has swiftly developed into a key player for Lisbon on a club level, and is becoming a major component within the Portugal national team, too.

Since returning from a successful season-long loan spell with Cercle Brugge in 2012/13, he has made 56 league appearances for Lisbon, with only two of these coming as a substitute.

He generally sits as a lone midfield anchor in a straightforward 4-3-3 formation, and this role suits his strengths.

William is a primarily defensive outlet for Lisbon, shielding his back line, mopping up opposing attacks and passing the ball off quickly to his teammates—he is a typical midfield anchor.

SCOUTING: Why Carvalho would be an ideal signing for Liverpool

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