James Maddison would be a welcome addition at Liverpool, says Steve Nicol, with the Leicester midfielder’s creative qualities considered to be preferable to the combative skills of West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to dip back into the transfer market for fresh faces this summer.
The Reds boss has ruled out a repeat of the elaborate spends he has overseen in the last 18 months, but will be seeking to bolster the ranks at Anfield with the right recruits.
Added creativity is considered by many to be a top priority, with Liverpool needing to reignite their spark in the middle of the park following the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January 2018.
Nicol believes a suitable option may already be gracing the Premier League, with Klopp urged to mull over a move for England Under-21 international Maddison.
The former Reds defender told ESPN FC: “Klopp’s recent three in the middle of the park for Liverpool, over the last couple of years particularly, has been about gaining possession back, about closing the opposition back, about working really hard and then getting the ball to the front three.
“I would love to see a little change in that with somebody like Maddison, who no question has already shown in the Premier League, from the middle of the park, he can open defences up, he can create chances.
“I think he will eventually score more goals than he is doing right now.
“I would love to see this. It would be a little change in the way that Klopp operated. But I think this would be a great signing.”
A player of Maddison’s ilk is considered to be of greater value to the Reds than another enforcer.
Liverpool are believed to need ball-players, rather than ball-winners, with Nicol not convinced that another domestic rival – Hammers and England star Rice – would add much to the fold.
He said of the highly-rated 20-year-old: “James Milner’s coming to the end of his top-flight career. Father Time catches up with us all.
“Declan Rice would have been ideal before they signed Fabinho. I just see Declan Rice as being the same as Fabinho.
“It’s good to have a great squad, as Man City will attest to, but I’m not sure that he’s better than Fabinho.
“I don’t think he’ll [Klopp] go and sign another player like that.
“I’d love to see a little change in signing somebody like Maddison in the middle of the park, so in monetary terms you have to make a decision and I would rather spend the money on Maddison rather than Rice.”