Why dynamic Ederson has emerged as a midfield target for Liverpool


Liverpool are in the market for a new midfielder and Atalanta's Europa League hero could be the perfect fit...


Liverpool caught many off guard with the capture of Wataru Endo last summer. The Japan international joined from VfB Stuttgart as part of a midfield overhaul at Anfield. In truth, Fabinho's departure perhaps accelerated Liverpool's need to secure a new ball winner last summer and Endo, as impressive as he has been in his debut campaign on Merseyside, is a stop-gap. 


The Reds may now be on the cusp of securing the the successor for Fabinho in the form of compatriot Ederson. The 24-year-old was instrumental in Atalanta's Europa League triumph last week as he gave the Bayer Leverkusen midfield the runaround. Key in both competitions, his performances in Italy and Europe have not gone unnoticed. Indeed, Liverpool aren't the only side credited with an interest in Ederson, with Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United all linked with a move for the midfielder. 


It's for good reason, too, with Ederson establishing himself as one of the best ball winners in Serie A. Only Genoa's Morten Frendrup (130) made more tackles than Ederson (80) in Serie A this season and with newly-appointed head coach Arne Slot looking to add a new midfielder this summer, they'll benefit from a player as agressive off the ball as the Atalanta star. 



Liverpool witnessed Ederson's talent up close in Atalanta's Europa League quarter-final win over the Premier League side and with Slot implementing a high-intensity approach not too dissimilar to the outgoing Jurgen Klopp, the former Salernitana man would prove a solid fit in the middle of the park. 


That's not only down to his ball winning qualities either. While Ederson may be effective in robbing opponents of possession, there's a desire to get forward and support the offensive, too, which would benefit this high-octane Reds outfit. With one more game to play this season, Ederson has six goals and one assist to his name in Italy's top tier this term with Atalanta shining to secure a top-four finish. 


"This season, I got a more used to the high press, so I was able to be more attacking too and added that to my game as well," Ederson said recently and this style of play will certainly suit a Liverpool side that looks for the central midfielders to get forward and support the offensive. Yes, that means the Merseyside outfit would be more open without a designated holder in the same mould as Fabinho, but it means that there are alternative routes to goal that can be maximised. 


For example, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Harvey Elliott all scored five, three and three goals, respectively, in the Premier League this season and that 16 players were all on the scoresheet for Liverpool highlights that the goals can come from anywhere. For a Liverpool side that does dominate possession and will often come up against deep-lying defences, the multiple ways in which they can hurt opponents is an important weapon that can be further exploited with the potential addition of Ederson. 


Teun Koopmeiners, who worked with Slot at AZ, may have been the initial target for Liverpool but the performances of Ederson have reportedly seen the Reds change their focus from one Atalanta midfielder to another. The latter would bring the relevant dynamism to the Liverpool midfield found wanting since Fabinho's exit. If there is a deal to be done to bring Ederson to Anfield, then the Merseyside powerhouse would be foolish not to sanction to deal.

Why dynamic Ederson has emerged as a midfield target for Liverpool