Despite Gini Wijnaldum making 51 appearances for Liverpool in his final season, there are reportedly no plans to bring in a replacement for the departing Dutchman.
Wijnaldum broke his personal record for games played for the Reds in 2020/21, bringing his overall tally to 237 before he announced his decision to leave.
The midfielder is poised to join Barcelona on a free transfer, having spent the last five years at Anfield, winning the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
He was an indispensable figure for Jurgen Klopp, and leaves big shoes to fill as one of the first names on the teamsheet week in, week out.
But according to the Press Association, Liverpool are “not planning” to sign a replacement for Wijnaldum, with Klopp instead looking in-house for a successor to his No. 5.
The manager “feels he has enough options in that area,” with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago joined by squad players Curtis Jones, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner.
It is likely that Jones will see his exposure increase next season, if no player is brought in, with the 20-year-old having impressed in his 34 outings for Liverpool last term.
However, with understandable question marks over the fitness of Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and with Henderson, Thiago and Milner all on the wrong side of 30, it may be a gamble to not bring in another body.
Klopp could look further into his academy ranks for another candidate, with Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson having trained regularly with the first team throughout last season, but that would again come with a risk.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Brighton‘s Yves Bissouma in recent months, but The Athletic’s James Pearce claims the Malian is “not a target.”
Other midfielders touted with a switch to Merseyside are Leicester‘s Youri Tielemans, Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, Lille’s Renato Sanches and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria.