According to ASRomaLive.it, Roger Ibanez has emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool. The Reds are in the hunt for a centre-back in the upcoming transfer window, so it appears that they are ready to compete with fellow European giants Paris Saint-Germain in the pursuit of the AS Roma defender, although the Giallorossi are keen on holding on to his services.
Roger Ibanez: A Mainstay In The Roma Backline
Ibanez’s career in Italy truly began in January 2019 when he joined Atalanta, though he was immediately loaned out to AS Roma on an 18-month loan deal. He was initially brought in to provide defensive cover for Paulo Fonseca, who was struggling with injuries to some of his key players.
The move turned out to be a masterstroke from the Portuguese tactician as Ibanez became an ever-present figure in the Roma backline during the second half of the 2019/20 campaign. The centre-back has been able to maintain his place in the side in the ongoing season, having already featured in all of Roma’s 12 Serie A matches so far.
Ibanez’s strong defensive foundation alongside the likes of Marash Kumbulla and Gianluca Mancini has helped the Giallorossi enjoy an excellent start to the campaign that sees them battling for the Champions League places this season.
What Can He Bring To The Table?
Standing at 1.86m, Ibanez is primarily known for his defensive qualities rather than his technical prowess. The Brazilian has already impressed the onlookers with his ability to read the game, having averaged a remarkable 2.5 interceptions per game this season. His tally of 3.3 clearances and a tackle success rate of 72% is further indicative of his ability to keep things tidy at the back.
The 22-year-old is not a shoddy passer of the ball either and can work his way around the first line of press. His imposing frame also makes him a potential threat from set-pieces, with the defender notably scoring in the Europa League fixture against CFR Cluj earlier this campaign.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
Is Ibanez A Viable Target For Liverpool?
There is no question that Liverpool are in imminent need of defensive reinforcements in the upcoming January transfer window as they look for someone who can cover for the injured defensive duo of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.
In Ibanez, they could secure the services of a centre-back, who can provide the solidity in defence with his intelligence, work-rate and understanding of the game. The Brazilian may not be proficient when it comes to threading accurate long balls out from the back like van Dijk, but he can provide the necessary competition and depth needed as the Reds look to recover from a slightly disappointing start to the campaign.
Ibanez’s lack of experience in Europe, however, makes him a shrewd move for Liverpool, at least when compared to other top options available in the market like Milan Skriniar or Dayot Upamecano. And at the end of the day, a lot could depend on the Brazilian’s price-tag and his current loan situation at Roma certainly won’t make things any easier for the Reds.