Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij has recently confirmed that he’ll be leaving the club at the end of this season. The Dutch International has chosen to run down his current contract, after failing to come to an agreement regarding a new contract.
Therefore, the defender will be available for free this summer, which has already alerted a host of top clubs around Europe. Manchester United and Liverpool, in particular, have been strongly linked with a move for the Dutch International in recent years and both of them are regarded as favourites to land on the highly rated Lazio defender next season.
But who will be a better fit Stefan de Vrij?
Manchester United are currently having their best season in the post-Ferguson era. The Red Devils have been the second best team in England this season, bettered only by their city rivals Manchester City.
Defensive solidity has been one of the main reasons behind their success this season. Jose Mourinho’s defensive-oriented game-play has helped the likes of the Phil Jones and Eric Bailly to prevail at United with the Red Devils, having conceded the least number of goals in the league season.
That being said, however, the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling has been heavily criticized for their disappointing performances in recent weeks and as per reports, at least one of them could definitely leave the Old Trafford this summer, meaning Manchester United could once again be on the hunt for a new centre back.
Stefan de Vrij could be an ideal candidate for the Red Devils. Considering the fact that the defensive duo of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, often lacks technicality when it comes to the build-up phases, Stefan de Vrij is someone who can definitely add an extra dimension into the Manchester United backline. The Dutchman has the ability to facilitate the backline with his crisp passing while he often relies on his tactical nous and brilliant positioning in defensive stances, meaning he could be an ideal partner for Eric Bailly, who embraces a more robust style of play.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have recently made a stunning €78m coup of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, earlier this year. The 26-year-old is currently the most expensive defender in the history of football and is expected to be a vital cog in the Liverpool defence for the coming years.
However, despite the addition of the Dutch superstar defender, Liverpool defence have still looked tentative at times, largely due to the lack of understanding between ‘VVD’ and his partnering centre-backs. Both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip haven’t looked convincing enough to be entrusted with the responsibility of partnering Van Dijk in central defence next season.
Therefore, head coach Jurgen Klopp might be forced to make another defensive coup this summer and Stefan de Vrij is the perfect candidate. The Lazio defender is certainly a unique component in the centre of the defence and his partnership with his fellow countryman Virgil Van Dijk will be worth looking forward to.
However, both the players possess a rather similar style of play. New signing Virgil Van Dijk has all the qualities of Stefan de Vrij and in addition, the former Southampton man also has the physical prowess while his crisp ball-playing technique often lends Liverpool an advantage in the build-up. Therefore, the Reds should pursue a more robust centre-back this summer. Someone like Sokratis could be an ideal acquisition for the Merseyside giants.
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