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Liverpool 'face competition from Premier League duo for 19-year-old midfielder'

:Headline: Liverpool 'face competition from Premier League duo for 19-year-old midfielder':
Liverpool reportedly face competition from Aston Villa and West Ham United for the services of 19-year-old Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Arblaster.
Sports Mole

Liverpool will supposedly have to fend off the threat of two other Premier League clubs if they are to win the race for Sheffield United's Oliver Arblaster this summer.

The 19-year-old returned to Bramall Lane in January after a worthwhile loan spell at Port Vale, with whom he registered two goals and two assists in 26 games for during the first half of the campaign.

Arblaster had already earned five first-team appearances for Sheffield United in the 2022-23 season before their promotion to the Premier League, and he was recalled from his Port Vale loan due to Chris Wilder's desire to re-integrate him into the first team.

Since recovering from a knee injury he picked up in December, Arblaster has quickly forced his way into the Blades' ranks, featuring in each of their last three Premier League games since the start of March.

The 2004-born protege made his top-flight debut as a late substitute in Sheffield United's 6-0 decimation at the hands of Arsenal, before starting their last two clashes with Bournemouth and Fulham, helping the Blades take a point from each encounter.

European hopefuls keeping tabs on Arblaster

Arblaster - a six-cap Under-20 international - could make his third straight Premier League start against Liverpool on Thursday evening, amid claims that the Reds are monitoring his progress under Chris Wilder.

Jurgen Klopp's side already have one significant hoop to jump through if they are to land the teenager, though, as he extended his contract with Sheffield United until 2028 just a few weeks ago.

Now, the Daily Mail reports that two of the Reds' fellow European-chasing Premier League teams have entered the race for Arblaster, who is on the radar of West Ham United and Aston Villa.

Both claret-clad sides are apparently hoping to increase their reserves of young, home-grown talent in the summer transfer window, and Arblaster has emerged as a prime target in that regard.

While Sheffield United boss Wilder is still hopeful of holding onto the 19-year-old even if the Blades suffer an expected relegation from the top flight, the powers-that-be could sanction a sale if a bid is lodged that is too good to refuse.

Liverpool could lose experienced option to make room for Arblaster

Should the lure of Liverpool also prove too strong for Arblaster to ignore, the England youth international would add to the Reds' midfield revamp after last year's captures of Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch, Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai.

While Fabinho, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did not survive Liverpool's midfield cull, Thiago Alcantara did, in spite of his frequent injury problems since joining from Bayern Munich.

The Spaniard sat out the closing stages of the 2022-23 season and first half of the 2023-24 campaign with a hip injury, which ruled him out for 10 months before he made an extremely brief comeback in the 3-1 loss to Arsenal at the start of February.

Thiago sustained another severe muscular issue at the Emirates, though, and his latest concern could spell the end of his injury-riddled Liverpool career, as his contract will run out at the end of the season.

With Thiago turning 33 next week and seemingly not in line for an extension, the former Barcelona man is expected to depart as a free agent in June, thereby opening up a spot in Klopp's midfield ranks for Arblaster. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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