Liverpool have suffered a major blow to their title-holding season after Virgil van Dijk was confirmed to have suffered an ACL injury against Everton. Jurgen Klopp now has just two fit centre-backs to see him through the rest of the year, which could turn out to be a recipe for disaster.
The Reds signed a back-up for Andy Robertson in Kostas Tsimikas but neglected their already thin central defensive roster. Now, it seems as though the club has been kicked into gear and they’ve realised the errors of their ways.
According to Fabio Santini (as reported by AreaNapoli), the Premier League champions have agreed to pay the asking price of recent transfer target Kalidou Koulibaly.
Liverpool reignite interest in Koulibaly
Liverpool have been heavily linked to the Senegalese defender in the past, but talks died after it was revealed that Napoli wanted a mammoth transfer fee for his services. Santini reports that in “sensational news” regarding Koulibaly’s status, both Manchester City and Manchester United are keen on him, but the Reds are leading the way.
“The club that is more serious for the Senegalese is Liverpool,” he said. “Attention: the Reds offer to the Naples a figure between 70 and 75 million euros, the sum that De Laurentiis asks.”
If this new information is true, it will mean that Liverpool are willing to pay between £62-£67million for Koulibaly in January, or perhaps next summer.
Would Koulibaly make the cut at Liverpool?
With just two fit senior centre-backs, Liverpool are one more injury away from potentially kissing goodbye to a Premier League title run this season. It seems as though makeshift centre-half Fabinho may be the option moving forwards this campaign and could partner van Dijk once he returns.
Fabinho was shifted into the backline for Liverpool’s clash with Ajax in their opening Champions League fixture. The Reds scraped a 1-0 victory thanks to an own goal and some defensive heroics from the Brazilian. The stand-in centre-back made a goal-line clearance to snub Dusan Tadic of finding the back of the net after bamboozling Adrian.
There’s no doubting the 26-year-old’s defensive awareness, but current partner Joe Gomez has recently come under fire. Jamie Carragher has raised questions about his ability to hold the Liverpool fort and Joel Matip has a torrid record with injuries.
Should Liverpool give the green light to snap up Koulibaly, the 29-year-old could partner van Dijk, with Fabinho operating just in front in his usual No.6 role. Not only would Liverpool boast a blistering attack, but they’d be rock solid across the backline. It’s certainly a bold move, but one that might be necessary after seeing such a key player lost to long-term injury.
In other news, images of Sadio Mane during Ajax game could be a worry for Liverpool…
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