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Liverpool considering move for Cheick Doucoure

Liverpool signed Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton & Hove Albion to bolster their midfield after multiple departures this summer, but the Reds aren’t finished recruiting for the engine room if reports are to be believed.

Peter O’Rourke of Football Insider says Liverpool are ‘exploring’ a move to sign Cheick Doucoure, as Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, potentially leaving Jurgen Klopp very short on options.

The 23-year-old joined Crystal Palace from RC Lens in 2022 and has gone on to make 35 appearances in all competitions, grabbing three assists. Doucoure was named Palace’s Player of the Season after shining in his debut campaign as one of the best ball-winners in the Premier League statistically.

Only Thiago averaged more tackles per game (2.4) than Doucoure (2.3) in the Liverpool squad, but no player had more interceptions (1.6). The Mali international averaged as many created chances per game (0.8) as Roberto Firmino (0.8), Diogo Jota (0.8) and Luis Diaz (0.8) too, so he would greatly improve the squad.

Liverpool would benefit from signing Doucoure but may also need another midfielder after the summer exodus – Naby Keïta, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were all released on a free transfer at the end of last season.

Football Insider suggests that Henderson and Fabinho are set to follow them through the exit door for combined fees of £50m, so Klopp will only have the young and inexperienced Stefan Bajcetic, Curtis Jones, the injury-prone Thiago and Mac Allister to choose from. Palace paid £21m to sign Doucoure and would surely want to make a profit if they were to sell, with the player now valued at £30m by Transfermarkt.

The 23-year-old has four years remaining on his deal at Selhurst Park too, so Palace have no obligation to cash in early. Doucoure might jump at the chance to join Liverpool though, as the Reds are expected to challenge Manchester City in the title race next season while being in the Europa League. Palace finished 11th in the table and have lost Wilfried Zaha, so they could struggle in 2023/24.

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