Liverpool: Klopp admits new centre-back would help
Some members of Liverpool’s scouting network are reportedly surprised the club haven’t chosen ‘an obvious solution’ to their defensive problems this month. Liverpool made a concious decision not to directly replace Dejan Lovren last summer and it’s since backfired massively.
Both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffered long-term injuries within the space of a few weeks back in November, leaving Joel Matip as the only senior centre-back at the club.
Fabinho was seen as the fourth-choice to fill in when required, but Matip’s fitness issues have meant the Brazilian has been their main option in defence this season.
He’s played 20 games at centre-back this season – more than any other Liverpool player – with Jurgen Klopp choosing 10 different partnerships at the heart of defence.
Their problems were laid bare at the weekend with Matip unable to play against Manchester United in the FA Cup with the club monitoring his minutes despite being back to full training.
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Young Rhys Williams has stepped up admirably this season having spent last season out on loan with non-league side Kidderminster, but his inexperience was clear for all to see against United.
Klopp has made clear that signing a centre-back this month “would help, 100 per cent”, but so far the club have stuck to their guns.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool’s transfer officials led by Michael Edwards have held ambitions to sign a centre-back in the summer of 2021.
Injuries to Van Dijk and Gomez, along with Matip’s fitness issues, have reportedly failed to sway their thinking into fast-forwarding their transfer ambitions into January.
But the report also suggests that there may be some unrest among those looking at potential targets to solve Liverpool’s biggest problem.
Members of Liverpool’s scouting network – who have no say on the transfer strategy – are said to be frustrated at a lack of movement towards a new centre-back.
And it is claimed they believe bringing in a new defender before the end of the January transfer window is an ‘obvious solution’.
But with just a few days left of the January transfer window, it looks increasingly unlikely that any new signings will be coming into Klopp’s first team.
Liverpool are expected to add to their academy squad this week though with Derby’s Kaide Gordon set to join.
The 16-year-old has earned high praise for his performances at youth level and was given his first-team debut back in December by Wayne Rooney.
Able to play on either wing, Gordon has attracted the interest of England’s top clubs such as Tottenham and Manchester United.
But Liverpool appear to have stolen a march on their rivals with a reported £1million deal – potentially rising to £3m – already being agreed between the Reds and Derby.
Klopp though will undoubtedly be hoping to see some investment brought his way to bring in some much needed first-team cover.
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