Five reasons why Liverpool must sign this Arsenal & Manchester United-linked midfielder

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Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign William Carvalho, but why should Brendan Rodgers sign him?

1. He can be Steven Gerrard's long-term replacement

As the season goes on, it's becoming increasingly clear that Steven Gerrard's career is gradually coming to an end. If manager Brendan Rodgers still wants to use a player in front of the back four, then Carvalho is perfect for that, whilst he still possesses a superb passing range to make the long, raking passes that Gerrard has done for so long.

2. He provides added physicality

Carvalho is a physical defensive midfielder, and enjoys a tackle - even more so than Gerrard. He specialises at breaking up play and outmuscling opposing midfielders, and that's something Liverpool need. Against Chelsea on Saturday, Oscar had the freedom of Anfield to create chances for the Blues, but Carvalho would've done a better job of protecting his back four.

3. He can also play at centre back

Liverpool have struggled in the heart of defence so far this season, with Rodgers unable to settle on a regular pairing. Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure have all failed to impress this season, but Carvalho has played at centre back before, and would give Rodgers another option to choose from in his defence.

4. He's one of the brightest young prospects in the world

Rodgers has recently demanded that Liverpool do a better job of landing marquee players, and signing some of the best young players in the world will go some way to doing that. Carvalho is just 22 and has a bright future ahead of him, and alongside the likes of Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Raheem Sterling, would have the chance to grow together as a team.

5. He'd give Liverpool an edge over Arsenal and Manchester United

It's been well reported over the last 12 months that both Arsenal and Manchester United are interested in signing Carvalho, and beating their top four rivals to a big signing would be a huge boost to the club and its fans, who have been disappointed with the season so far - especially with Rodgers demanding marquee signings.

He may cost around £30m, but Carvalho has everything that Liverpool are looking for - both on and off the pitch. Speculation suggests that Rodgers has lined up a January bid for the Portugal international, and he should certainly be looking to bring him to Anfield.

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