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Liverpool Targeting Defender As Potential Partner For Van Dijk: Should Klopp Push To Get This Done?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Premier League giants Liverpool are being linked with a summer move for the services of Napoli’s Senegalese international centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.

The report suggests that the Reds are now in ‘pole-position’ in the race for the defender’s signature and that he has quickly become a hot target for the reigning European champions. Although both the Manchester clubs are also claimed to be involved in the race, Liverpool’s entry could change everything.

The report further claims that the defender’s long time admirers – Paris Saint-Germain have now backtracked their interest and are instead said to be looking to tie down Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva further. Newcastle United are also said to have prepared a financial package to lure the centre-half to Tyneside. With Liverpool keen on Kalidou Koulibaly, the prospect of being partnered up at the back with Virgil Van Dijk could prove to be too much for the Senegalese defender to pass up on.

What Is Liverpool’s Current Defensive Situation? 

The Reds have undoubtedly been the most dominant force in England all through the season, but one area of the pitch that they must improve upon in the summer is definitely at centre-half. While it could be argued that Virgil Van Dijk is the best around and that he does the work of two defenders on the pitch, the fact remains that partnering him up with ‘average’ players have begun to become an issue. Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are the Reds’ alternative defensive options – none of whom are anywhere near as secure at the back as the big Dutchman.

Liverpool Keen On Kalidou Koulibaly - Koulibaly applauds the fans
Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly applauds the fans following the UEFA Champions league Group E football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 27, 2019. – The match ended in a draw at 1-1. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Are Liverpool Keen On Kalidou Koulibaly? 

The Senegalese international is arguably one of the best centre-backs in the world, and the fact that he’s earned that reputation without leaving a relatively ‘small’ club in Napoli is quite commendable. The defender can be an incredibly imposing figure at the back with his sheer physical dominance and general composure. The big man never seems to panic even in the most high-pressure situations, and this definitely makes him stand out from the rest.

The 28-year-old tends to be a monstrous figure from set-piece situations on either end of the pitch, while his defensive positioning need not be questioned either. Adept at reading opposition passes and cutting out play, the Napoli man is also capable of making strong and fair sliding tackles. Rarely seen mistiming a challenge, the former Metz man played in 15 Serie A appearances this season before it was brought to a halt – a period during which he even picked up a forgettable red card.

Why Liverpool Must Beat The Other Suitors To Koulibaly’s Signature?

Liverpool’s attacking trio have all become a part of Premier League legend now, and the addition of a high-quality centre-half like Koulibaly could be exactly what Klopp needs to carry this squad to the next level. In Matip and Lovren, the German only has two undependable options, while Joe Gomez’s tender age and injury-prone nature make him a wild gamble at times too. Koulibaly has proven on the world stage that he’s one of the best in the business and signing him up from Napoli could make this Liverpool back-line an unbreakable wall.

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