Manchester United are doing what Liverpool wish they had done with the signing of Mason Mount - Manchester Evening News

Manchester United are doing what Liverpool wish they had done with the signing of Mason Mount – Manchester Evening News

Central midfield has become a key battlefield in this transfer window and Manchester United have managed to add to the spending spree with a potential £60m deal for Mason Mount.

Liverpool are on the verge of signing their second midfielder of the summer, Manchester City have already signed one and Arsenal are pushing to add Declan Rice to Kai Havertz in their own rebuild in that part of the pitch.

It is Liverpool that has been forced to be busy. Their engine room kept breaking down last year and the power loss sentenced them to a season without Champions League football.

Jurgen Klopp let his midfield grow old together and they left it a year too late to start rebuilding. The addition of Alexis Mac Allister is smart and Dominik Szoboszlai also looks like a good addition, but the fact is they are making up for lost time.

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Klopp had plenty of options in midfield last season, but a combination of a loss of form and a collection of players with fitness issues left some of the field falling apart dramatically.

Perhaps it’s the way Liverpool watched their midfield fall off a cliff that kept their rivals ahead. City’s addition of Mateo Kovacic is a replacement for Ilkay Gundogan, who has signed for Barcelona, ​​as Arsenal look to help Rice and Havertz take them to the next level.

When United signed Casemiro and Cristiano Eriksen last summer, they may not have expected to be in the market for a midfielder again this summer, but signing 24-year-old Mount seems sensible. United will initially pay £55 million for the England international, who will undergo a medical this week.

In the first half of last season, Casemiro, Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes looked like an excellent midfield trio, but lost their impact as the season drew to a close. They also have a similar profile, as does Fred, who had his turn most of the season and started in the FA Cup.

The Brazilian is 30, while Casemiro and Eriksen are 31 and Fernandes turns 29 in September. It is a midfield that is generally performing at the moment, but so was Liverpool a year ago. They went from a four-way challenge in the last week of the season to a side that had lost its energy.

So the lesson was to get ahead of your renovations. Liverpool will certainly be better this season for the money they spend in midfield, but it has resulted in a wasted 12 months and they face the rigors of a European Thursday night schedule this season.

Erik ten Hag has ensured that he will prevent a repeat of this. Mount is the first stage of United’s next midfield. He looks like a natural replacement for Eriksen, while also offering more rotation options.

This is a difficult period for United given the need to sign a striker and a goalkeeper. There could be an argument that they didn’t need to sign a midfielder, but Mount improves the team and guards against the kind of team building complacency that ruined Liverpool’s 2022/23 season. It’s a transfer that makes sense on so many levels.

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