Crystal Palace Player of the Season linked as Fabinho ‘replacement’

Cheick Doucoure has become the latest in a long line of midfielders to be linked with a move to Anfield this summer.

The Crystal Palace No. 28 made 34 Premier League appearances along with three assists last season and was named as the Eagles’ Player of the Season in 2022/23.

The Reds have required major surgery to the middle of the park and moved quickly to secure the services of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai early in the window following a number of exits.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner all departed Anfield on a free at the start of the summer, with both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson both looking destined for the Middle East as things stand.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The signings of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai have helped the manager replenish the more traditional centre midfield positions, but the common suggestion is that further reinforcements are needed at the base of midfield.

The seemingly imminent exit of Fabinho has accentuated that requirement, with Benfica’s Florentino Luis recently touted as a serious option for the current transfer window.

Doucoure is now reported to be one of a number of defensive midfielders currently on Liverpool’s radar, with the Echo‘s Ian Doyle listing the likes of Ryan Gravenberch and Romeo Lavia as being among the others.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 28, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. The game ended in a 4-4 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Doyle has indicated that the Reds’ preference is to sign a young player to fill the No. 6 position and Doucoure could fit that bill aged just 23.

It looks as though it will be a busy couple of weeks for new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke and the rest of the recruitment team as they look to get Liverpool into the best possible shape for the start of the season despite all of the moving parts still at play.

Doucoure’s name hasn’t come up in too many conversations regarding the Reds’ midfield rebuild thus far, but his profile could be something that would be of interest to the manager as he looks to find the ‘next’ Fabinho.

We will have to wait and see if this is a story that develops further, with plenty of twists and turns still expected between now and the close of the window on September 1.