In his three summer transfer windows at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has now broken Liverpool’s transfer record on five different occasions and has hardly signed a player who has failed to impress the fans. While the acquisition of Alisson Becker will make them stronger, it is the signing of Virgil van Dijk in January, that has made Liverpool a real competitor in Europe this year.
The Dutch international is right up there, being the best in his role but Liverpool do not have an able partner for him, with the error-prone Dejan Lovren taking up the place at the moment. Joel Matip seems to be a decent fit but has a frustrating injury history while Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez are not regular first-team options.
This is probably the only position Liverpool are still weak in and Van Dijk now wants a new partner at Anfield, claims Daily Record journalist Ian McGarry. Speaking to the media recently, he said, “I am told by people close to Van Dijk that he has requested a new central defensive partner through Jurgen Klopp.”
It makes sense for Liverpool to solve the only real issue in the squad at the moment, but their transfer spending this summer might not allow them to find a real superstar. So they will have to settle for young defenders with previous experience in the league, that will allow him to settle down quickly. Here are three such players they can target before the deadline day this summer:
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United):
The 24-year old is the youngest captain ever in a Premier League and is a natural leader at the back for the Magpies. He is a favourite for Rafa Benitez, which shows his quality and he has now gathered enough experience to take the next step in his career. He is strong in the air and also comfortable in possession and could push Lovren to a place in the first team next season.
Alfie Mawson (Swansea City):
The English defender has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool and will be available on the cheap, with Swansea City dropping to the Championship. He may not be the best option available but will increase competition for first-team spots, that can make Liverpool stronger.
James Tarkowski (Burnley):
One of the most consistent defenders in the league in the last few seasons, Tarkowski has been helped by Burnley’s system but he has been exceptional even under pressure and will be a huge asset for Liverpool. However, it is hard to see the Clarets letting him leave this summer, especially with European football knocking on their door for the first time this century.