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2PP7CPC Madrid, Spain. 22nd Apr, 2023. Gabri Veiga of RC Celta de Vigo during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and RC Celta played at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 22, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Cesar Cebolla/PRESSIN) Credit: PRESSINPHOTO SPORTS AGENCY/Alamy Live News

Who is Gabri Veiga? The £34.5m Spanish midfielder linked with Liverpool

With Alexis Mac Allister already through the door, Gabri Veiga has become the latest player to be linked with a move to Liverpool.

The Atletic‘s James Pearce confirmed the Reds’ interest in the Celta Vigo midfielder earlier this week, with his release clause set at around £34.5 million.

It followed reports from the Northern Echo‘s chief writer Scott Wilson which indicated that Liverpool are at the “advanced” stages of talks to sign the youngster.

Veiga joins the likes of Ryan Gravenberch, Khephren Thuram, Romeo Lavia and Manu Kone on Liverpool’s midfield shopping list for the summer, with Jurgen Klopp looking to overhaul his options in the middle of the park.

 

Who is Gabri Veiga?

The 21-year-old is not a player many Reds fans are familiar with, but recent speculation has got many intrigued about his profile what sort of player he is.

He made 40 appearances and scored 11 goals in all competitions for Celta Vigo during the 2022/23 season, earning his first cap for Spain Under-21s back in November as a late substitute against Japan.

The midfielder is a product of Celta Vigo’s academy system, breaking into the senior side in 2020 when he made his debut.

Veiga is capable of operating across all areas of the midfield but has typically played as either a traditional centre midfielder or an attacking midfielder at both club and international level.

 

Strengths and weaknesses

2PG38KT Gabri Veiga of RC Celta celebrates his goal during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and RC Celta de Vigo played at RCDE Stadium on March 18 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by / Sergio Ruiz / PRESSIN)

His key attributes include game intelligence, ball carrying and defensive work ethic, with his eye for goal also certain to catch the attention of Reds supporters.

The youngster has an abundance of attacking talent and is capable of making an impact further up the pitch, but Klopp has demonstrated in the past his ability to mould players to suit the type of football he is trying to play.

The additons of Mac Allister and Veiga would almost certainly add goals to Liverpool’s midfield, an issue highlighted by Harvey Elliott being the highest-scoring Reds midfielder in 2022/23 with just five in all competitions.

While being adept at bringing the ball forward towards the opposition, one area for improvement in Veiga’s game could potentially be his dribbling.

He is more than capable of beating multiple players, but can simultaneously get caught in possession by being too aggressive with his runs.

Veiga’s playing style has seen him be described as similar to Premier League midfielders such as Eberechi Eze, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Joe Willock by FBref, with stats demonstrating his ability to complete progressive carries and take-ons.

 

Where he could fit

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Spaniard would likely take his place on the right side of Liverpool’s midfield, with Mac Allister set to appear on the left of the formation.

A late system tweak last season saw Liverpool play with three at the back and Trent Alexander-Arnold in a more advanced position alongside Fabinho in front of the defence when the side had possession.

Veiga would slot into a place further forward in that formation, with his attacking prowess likely to place emphasis on supporting the forwards by creating and scoring goals.

A number of other top clubs are also said to be in the race for Veiga’s signature, with Chelsea, Newcastle, Napoli and Barcelona all reported to have shown recent interest in the midfielder.

It is a player who could definitely tick a lot of the manager’s boxes, with speculation over Liverpool’s pursuit showing no signs of slowing down.

The Reds have wasted no time in getting the ball rolling in this summer’s transfer market and it looks as though there is every chance we could see a second signing sooner rather than later.