According to reports, Liverpool are now eyeing a move for Bundesliga’s veteran defender Benedikt Howedes as Southampton continue to play hardball with the Reds over the deal of their star player Virgil van Dijk. Howedes is one of the unusual names in the transfer market for his strong allegiance to FC Schalke since the beginning but things have turned sour between them recently.
Liverpool have started their campaign in an uncertain manner. Being one of the title contenders, Jurgen Klopp’s men were expected to have comfortable wins against Watford and Crystal Palace in the opening two games of the season. And while Liverpool could manage a draw against the Hornets at Vicarage Road in the first game, the win over a struggling Palace side looked far from convincing on their home turf.
Despite the heavy demand from both fans and critics for getting on a classy defender, the best buy that Klopp could make so far in strengthening his back line is full-back Andrew Robertson from relegated side Hull City. And Liverpool conceding three goals against Watford further exacerbated the situation. Liverpool fans, however, couldn’t blame the club for not trying, following their ugly episode with Southampton concerning Van Dijk a few months back.
While the arrival of Wesley Hoedt from Serie A at St. Mary’s had led many to believe that Van Dijk’s time was up with Saints, but it seems like that the South Coast club would fight for a top 6 finish retaining all. Howedes would definitely bring a chunk of experience with him at Anfield if he does come, and though he isn’t as exciting a centre half as Van Dijk, the 29-year-old can be the most assuring presence at the back for any side in the world.
He has spent his entire professional career with FC Schalke playing a staggering 349 games so far, scoring 23 goals. He has also been a regular face in the German camp being capped 44 times for the nation and scoring twice. He played a significant part in their World Cup winning campaign.
While there was really no reason for the player to leave the club after all these years of services, Howedes was stripped of the captaincy last summer leading to speculation that he was about to quit his childhood club. The player himself admitted stating, “I’ve said I won’t move within [Germany] and can picture a move abroad. As of today, that point in time hasn’t come. I received offers from other clubs after the surprising demotion from captain… that my agent checked and answered.”
Howedes has partnered alongside Joel Matip at Schalke before and would be all too familiar if he comes to Liverpool.
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