Now that Lucas has been ruled out for two months, speculation is only intensifying that Liverpool will sign a defensive midfielder before the January transfer window closes, and the latest name to be linked with a move to Merseyside, if only on loan, is AC Milan destroyer Nigel de Jong.
If you’re going to be betting on online football with William Hill, the Reds are 13/2 to beat Championship side Bournemouth this weekend in the FA Cup – good odds for the match, but we’re willing to wager that they’d be quite a bit lower if they were taking bets on whether or not the Dutchman will be a Reds player by the end of the month. It won’t be the cup match that’s keeping Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers up at night, but the meeting with cross-town rivals Everton only three days later will be a massive concerns now that the Brazilian is sidelined.
We saw the repercussions of the Anfield outfit not including a defensive midfielder in their ranks when Aston Villa raced to an early two goal lead on Saturday and Rodgers would be remiss if he didn’t include some kind of defensive shield when their neighbours make the quick journey across the park on Tuesday. Although it’ll likely be Joe Allen deputizing for Lucas when the Toffee’s visit, Liverpool have been linked with a motley cast of defensive midfielders since the window opened on New Year’s Day and the Brazilian’s injury could intensify their search for cover; whether or not it’ll be de Jong arriving at Anfield or not remains to be seen.
The Dutchman, who won the Premier League title with Manchester City, has been an integral part of the AC Milan setup this season. Despite the Rossoneri’s stuttering form, it’s believed that new manager and Milanese legend Clarence Seedorf still sees his compatriot as an important cog in the Italian side’s wheel and isn’t keen on letting him leave. It’s only speculation at this point – since no one knows anything for sure – but it seems highly unlikely that Rodgers would be bringing in a 29-year old on high wages when a number of younger, promising, and more versatile options are available.