Liverpool have been hugely criticised for their defence this season. The Reds defence have often found themselves conceding from blunt attacks, which at times does not even make a 2-goal lead enough to secure three points. They have already conceded 20 goals in 15 games this season so far, which is hardly good enough to challenge for the title.
Their last two games, against Bournemouth and West Ham United, have shown how much they lack the defensive urgency at the back. Apart from Matip, no Liverpool defender has been up to the mark. While Lovren has been atrocious most of the times, Ragnar Klavan hasn’t really got the chance in the first team.
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp is looking to bring in new reinforcements coming January and the latest name to have emerged is Jamaal Lascelles. The former Nottingham Forest ace joined Newcastle in 2014 and has been developed into a defensive leader, after being chiselled well by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
Lascelles has been a key figure at the back for Newcastle United this season. Partnering with Ciaran Clark, the Magpies’ defence has been terrific. The centre-back is leading the team as captain and if they win their game tonight, then could once again go to the summit of the Championship.
As per Sunderland Echo, The Reds have sent their representatives to watch the English defender in Newcastle’s latest 4-0 demolition of Birmingham last weekend at St. James’ Park. The 189m tall defender seems like a perfect candidate for the English top flight football.
The 22-year-old has shown maturity in winning aerial duels and short passing at the back. He blocks the ball quite well and doesn’t lose his focus during the games. Lascelles has won 10 tackles this season with a success rate of 48%. He has made 25 interceptions, 156 clearances and 10 blocks.
He definitely looks like a long-term prospect for Liverpool. He already has leadership qualities, which can further flourish if partnered with Matip at the back. However, Liverpool won’t have it easy as archrivals Chelsea have also apparently bid £18million for the player.
However, a major problem in this deal would be his young age. Liverpool want a player who could directly go into the first team and given Lascelles’ age, he seems not yet ready to be part of a side who want to challenge for major honours. There is a bit of nous still lacking in his tackling. He often seems to mistime his tackles, which is aptly reflected in the number of bookings (3) he has picked up this season.
But, Liverpool are highly unlikely to get a world class defender midseason as no club would welcome such a crisis. It applies for Newcastle too, but the Championship side could be tempted if Liverpool manage to offer something they can’t refuse.
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