Liverpool ‘moved too late’ for Arne Slot’s former midfielder now set for Brighton

Liverpool have reportedly failed in a bid to hijack Brighton‘s transfer for Feyenoord midfielder Mats Wieffer.

Having played 42 times for Arne Slot last season, Wieffer has been a name loosely linked to the Reds and a new report from the Netherlands appears to have confirmed Liverpool’s interest.

However, any plans Slot might have had to bring his ex-player to Merseyside have now been scuppered, with Brighton widely reported to have agreed an initial £25 million deal for the 24-year-old.

De Telegraaf‘s Marcel van der Kraan wrote: “According to well-informed sources at Brighton, Feyenoord’s general manager Dennis te Kloese is currently in England to finalise the deal.

“In Liverpool, it is reported that Slot, as Wieffer’s former coach, gave the green light to bring him in but the new sporting director Richard Hughes acted too late.”

Despite a deal seemingly being agreed by Brighton, the journalist reports that “Liverpool are still making desperate attempts to bring in Mats Wieffer.”

It seems strange for Liverpool to make a last-gasp effort to sign the defensive midfielder, given the sporting director and Co. have had plenty of time to make their move in the last month.

If the Reds wanted him ‘desperately’, then they would surely have acted sooner. Liverpool would almost certainly be Wieffer’s preferred destination over Brighton.


Who is Mats Wieffer?

With nine Netherlands caps to his name, Wieffer is highly rated in the Eredivisie but isn’t considered by all to be a player who can reach the top of world football.

Dutch football journalist Michael Statham explained to This Is Anfield how the Dutchman was used by Slot at Feyenoord.

“Mats Wieffer is a midfielder but when they’re chasing a game, he’ll drop in at centre-back and they’ll put an extra attacking player on,” Statham said.

“Wieffer has done quite well this season, but I don’t know how much higher his ceiling is.”

Despite being just under six feet tall, the No. 6 is exceptionally strong aerially in comparison to other midfielders.

Across the last year, he ranks in the top one percent of comparable players in Europe’s top five leagues, with 3.13 aerial duels won per 90 minutes according to FBRef.

This, however, isn’t particularly what Liverpool require in a holding midfielder.

Going forward, they need a mobile player with plenty of ability on the ball, who also possesses a knack for sniffing out dangerous runners.