Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper David James says Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic would have been a “great fit” for Jurgen Klopp’s side

The Croatian international is set to complete a £25m move to Manchester City in the coming days but James is surprised that the Premier League champions have snapped up the player instead of the Reds. He told King Casino Bonus:

“Someone who plays like Mateo Kovacic does, I would have thought would be more suited to Liverpool than Manchester City. I’ve been buzzing off this guy for a few years now; the way he picks the ball up and goes through lines with ease, it looks like he is always at 100mph. There is something magical about the way he plays.

“There is a lot of speed, energy and pace in the way Liverpool have played ever since Jurgen Klopp took over and someone like Kovacic would be ideal for that. The way that Man City play is typically a lot slower and less reliant on running with the ball, just look at Kevin de Bruyne’s passing stats.

“Pep Guardiola might be thinking of having a tactical re-think again, Kovacic isn’t the type of player I thought Man City would be going after. Then again, neither was Erling Haaland and that worked out alright! I think if a player like Kovacic went for Liverpool however, I think that would be a great fit.”

Kovacic’s age is likely to have been a crucial factor in Liverpool opting against a bid

The midfielder has just turned 29 so, even though he was available pretty cheaply, it isn’t a complete surprise that the Reds decided against making an offer for the player.

As James says, Kovacic does offer a lot of the attributes that Klopp likes in his midfielders, but it wouldn’t be a long-term investment.

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There is every chance that the Croatian’s form will drop off in the next few years and, with the player likely to be demanding a lucrative long-term contract, you can understand why they didn’t want to take a risk on him.

Liverpool are pursuing younger midfielders

With the Reds seemingly very interested in Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and Nice’s Khephren Thuram, it is clear that the Merseyside club are focusing their attention on the other end of the age scale to Kovacic.

Both midfielders may cost double what the Chelsea midfielder will be sold for, but a deal for either player would be with the future in mind.

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