Who Should Partner Matip In Defence

What do we want? A new centre back. When do we want it? Now. It’s no secret that Liverpool need at least one centre back either in the January transfer window or during the summer. Liverpool’s defence against Bournemouth was a shambles and it wasn’t much better against West Ham. 

With Mamadou Sakho almost certain to leave the club at some stage between now and the end of the season and Tiago Ilori yet again this season forgotten about, that only leaves the big Estonian Ragnar Klaven as Klopps spare centre back. 

I’m not going to mention Lucas, I’m just not. How, he has managed to fooo so many managers in to believing he can play football is beyond me. I could do with learning some of his tricks. 

With the January transfer window fast approaching Liverpool are being linked with every centre back out there. The two names though that keep popping up are Virgil van Dijk of Southampton and Hoffenheim’s Niklas Süle. 

I won’t mention Joe Gomez as a potential partner to Joël Matip just yet because in my opinion he won’t be fully fit for regular first team football for at least another 18 months so I don’t see him as a viable centre back option just yet. 

Depending on who you talk to or what you read Virgil Van Dijk is the red hot favourite to head to Merseyside. The fans all want him and if his reported release clause is£25 million, then maybe he’ll be joining the other forward Southampton players at Anfield. 

This season Van Dijk has played 15 times in the Premier League, he has won 21 tackles, with a success rate of 51%, he has made 48 interceptions, 12 blocks and 108 clearances. 

He has also won 64% of his average duels, created 4 chances and has made only the one defensive error. 

Lovren in comparison has won 58% of his average duels, created 3 chances and has made 2 defensive errors. 

Then there’s Niklas Süle, this season for Hoffinheim he has played 13 games, has created 3 chances, has won 66% of his average duels, has made 2 defensive errors, has won 22 tackles with a success rate of 69%, has made 23 interceptions, 6 blocks and 39 clearances.

Two other players I’m going to throw in to the mic are Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Gary Cahill of Chelsea. 

Both players have the coveted Premier League experience so could fit straight in to the starting line up. 

I know Cahill will never happen and some fans will be spitting out their tea reading but stats wise this season he is one of the top defenders in the Premier League.

He has won 18 tackles this season with a success rate of 50%, he’s made 66 clearances, 11 blocks and 25 interceptions. 

He has also won 57% of his duels and has a pass success rate of 88%. At 30 years of age, he has the experience to pass on to the younger players at the club while also playing for at least 3/4 more years at the top. 

For me he has been one of the big reasons Chelsea have been doing so well lately. With John Terry out of the team he has taken on the responsibility of leading Chelsea’s defence, a job he has done superbly since Antonio Conte switched to a back 3.

As for Alderweireld, he has won 6 tackles with a success rate of 50%, he’s made 11 interceptions, 50 clearances and 7 blocks. He has won 51% of his average duels and has created just the one chance for Tottenham this season. 

I know both Alderweireld and Cahill won’t happen, mainly due to their over inflated price tags and if I had to chose between Van Dijk and Süle, I’d go with the young German player.

He would cost less, Klopp seems to know him and he has the ability to become a world class defender under the right guidance. 

I’m still hopeful Sakho gets a recall bit of not hopefully FSG will give Jürgen Klopp the Euros needed to bring Süle to Andield.

Written by @ThemoanyOne

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