Liverpool’s defender crisis has the club looking for a new centre back and now one of them has just become available for a cut-price.
Since losing Virgil van Dijk to injury, the way Liverpool have performed was unexpectedly good, to say the least. Two centre-backs who have been at the club for a few seasons have only just recently made their debuts on the big stage for the Reds. And boy what a name they’ve made for themselves in this injury-plagued period for the champs.
Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams are the go-to defenders who Klopp will use to help him through until they reach the January transfer window. The former made his Premier League debut in Liverpool’s victory over West Ham United. He was so unplayable, he received Man of the Match award and received a raving review from his boss.
The former is making the Champions League his home. Unfortunately, it was impossible for him to even get noticed as the man of the match while Diogo Jota is banging in a hat-trick of goals on the other end of the pitch. Nonetheless, the 19-year-old was on call for every threat launched by the Serie A side, Atalanta. He along with his backline and Alisson managed a clean sheet, the Reds third of the tournament.
Must work be done in January?
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Fabinho has still not shown up for training, confirming he will miss the mammoth Manchester Clash on Sunday. Joel Matip has had a stop-start season so far, having only played two of the eight Premier League games thanks to injury.
He is in contention to start this weekend but still, the manager runs a massive risk of losing the Cameroonian centre-back to injury once again if he rushes his return. If this is the case then it is clear to see, work must be done in the winter window coming January.
As it will always be in situations such as the Reds face, there will always be a host of players named as a primary target. So far for Liverpool, there have been three main candidates. Ben White from Brighton, Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig, and Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
The first two possibilities of White and Upamecano seems impossible for Jan, considering their price tags and how hard it was to sign either of them during the summer window. With this in mind, there would be no way their respective employees would be willing to sell come winter.
Ozan Kabak appears to be the first in line, taking into account the German’s are willing to sell for a cut price. The defender target was first valued at about £40m-£45m but due to the frantic situation at the Bundesliga club, they still need to make sales, therefore willing to listen to offers between £18m and £20m.
The current situation at the Revier-Klub is depressing. It is no longer ruled out that Schalke will have to sell a service provider in winter. Hottest candidate: central defender Ozan Kabak (20).
In the previous transfer period, Schalke turned down an offer from AC Milan, which was around 20 million euros. Because Kabak has an exit clause of 45 million euros in the summer. (Via: sportbild.bild.de)
Since losing Virgil van Dijk to injury Jurgen Klopp’s men have dealt with the loss quite well. They have won every game since the Merseyside derby, conceding only two goals while collecting maximum points from all their outings. They’ve played five games across all competitions.
They lead the Premier League with 16 points ahead of Leicester City by one. They take a tricky trip to the Etihad to face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in a direct title fight. Guardiola will surely be the biggest test for the Merseysiders in the absence of van Dijk.
Liverpool have also been rumoured to be interested in Die Königsblauen’s rising star, Malick Thiaw, who is only 19-years-old. Not sure if a young defender is the solution to the centre-back “crisis” Liverpool face at the moment?