Liverpool follow Chelsea to Benfica for midfield recruitments

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The need for Liverpool to find a defensive midfielder during this last week of the January transfer window is of the utmost importance.

Despite initially being seen as a positive move for the Reds, using Steven Gerrard in a deeper lying midfield role hasn’t been all that effective so far, while the injury to the first choice holding midfielder, Lucas Leiva, leaves Brendan Rodgers short of options in that department.

Liverpool, who are under pressure from both Tottenham and Everton in the race to finish in the top four and are 17/20 fourth favourites to do so, have been linked with French midfield general Yann M’Vila during the shopping spree month, but looked to have turned their attentions elsewhere.

Andre Gomes, the Portuguese under-21 international from Benfica, is the latest man to be linked with a move to Anfield and is seen as the perfect piece to fit into the Northern Irishman’s possession-based philosophy.

Opportunities have been limited for the 20-year-old while Nemanja Matic has been flourishing for the Eagles, with Gomes making just one start for the first team this season. However, Matic’s reunion with Chelsea this January may make Benfica reluctant to part ways with their young midfielder.

As such, the Portuguese club have put a £12.4m price tag on Gomes’ head according to the Sunday Times, but with Liverpool likely to miss out on Mohamed Salah, who is reportedly heading to Chelsea, Rodgers, who will be keen not to let this transfer window pass without any action, isn’t likely to be perturbed by that asking price.

Known for his comfort with the ball at his feet, Gomes will certainly fit the bill in the Rodgers system and with Lucas ruled out for two months he could well be the man to fill the Brazilian’s boots.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.