In a recent report, Fichajes has claimed that Liverpool are eyeing a January move for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi. It is believed that the Reds have identified the Algerian centre-back as an ideal option to replace Virgil Van Dijk, who is facing a long spell on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury (via Fichajes).
Mandi’s Impressive Form At Seville This Season
The 29-year-old has made a solid start to this season after making seven appearances for Betis in the league, scoring one goal in the process. Mandi has been a consistent performer at the heart of Manuel Pellegrini’s defence and has done well to average 1.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.7 clearances per game in La Liga so far. The Algerian defensive ace has even taken care of the ball when passing it out from the back as he has completed 90.2% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top-flight (stats via whoscored).
The former Ligue 1 talent has established himself as one of the best players at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. However, with less than a year remaining on his current contract, Betis will be forced to sell him when the transfer window reopens in January or else risk losing him for nothing at the end of this campaign.
What Will The Algerian International Bring To Anfield?
At the moment, Mandi can be considered amongst the best centre-halves in Spanish football as he can read the danger quickly and make some crucial interceptions for his side at the back. Standing at 1.84m, he has a great leap in him and can outjump the opposition to win a lot of aerial duels.
The 57-time Algerian international is not afraid to clear his lines when required and usually remains calm when distributing the ball out from the back. However, at 29, he won’t be a long-term signing for the Reds if they can bring him to Merseyside this winter.
Jurgen Klopp has currently got Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams as his only fit centre-backs in the injury absence of both Van Dijk and Fabinho. Hence, the Liverpool manager might want to consider recruiting a top defender in January so that his players have a good chance of retaining their Premier League title and challenge for the UEFA Champions League crown as well this season. Mandi fits the bill perfectly as he is playing the best football of his career and has what it takes to become a regular starter at Anfield in the coming years.
All in all, the Algerian defender will be a shrewd signing for the Merseyside giants, so Klopp should try everything he can to lure him to the north-west of England during the winter transfer period.