Four Alternatives Liverpool Should Target Instead Of Virgil Van Dijk

Four Alternatives Liverpool Should Target Instead Of Virgil Van Dijk
Jul 5, 2017

Featured Liverpool

English giants Liverpool have undergone a re-emergence under the leadership of charismatic manager Jürgen Klopp who shepherded them to European football this season, which seemed improbable in the past. Summer signing Sadio Mané has justified his moniker of being a match-winner with 13 goals and 6 assists in the league after enjoying a cold welcome from fans who understandably preferred the more-fancied Mario Götze over the Southampton recruit.

The German manager’s constant advocacy for attacking gameplay has resulted in an exceptional 78 league goal tally. Sadly, defensive errors and rookie man-marking have more often than not ensued in the side meekly folding up even after holding a lead which left a bitter after-taste for the fans and the gaffer himself.

With the fans vociferously demanding a league title at the earliest, Klopp has decided to go all out for the services of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk who has been an imposing figure in the heart of the defence at the St Mary’s Stadium. The Dutchman has been hailed as one of the best in the league by experts, however, with the Saints demanding a record sum of 70 million, Klopp might soon be forced to scout other options who can deliver a similar impact for a lower sum.

Here are four defenders who should be considered by Jürgen Klopp in the case of an eventuality where Van Dijk is no longer an option:

Andreas Christensen: Chelsea

The 20-year-old Chelsea-based Denmark-International has earned a glowing reputation as one of world football’s most promising centre-backs during his 2-year loan spell at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Christensen stands out from his peers because of his ability to step up and deliver impressive performances even in the toughest of clashes as evident from his display in the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich, 2015.

His footballing intelligence, unusually high levels of concentration at a tender age, technical ability, strong tackling, and interceptions have ensured concrete interest in his services with Inter Milan most recently linked. The ball-playing centre-back will certainly be a handy grab for Liverpool and will be available for a cheap sum with regular game time a bleak prospect after Rudiger’s arrival.

Jorge Meré: Sporting Gijón

The 19-year-old youngster has been actively coveted by Spanish giants Barcelona after his impressive performances for the relegated outfit and the Spanish U-21 national team. Meré has been named as one for the future by experts with his composed gameplay, strong aerial ability capturing the imagination of the fans.

His assurance on both feet ensures versatile gameplay and certainly makes him a manager’s delight. Liverpool will be wise to pursue the services of Meré who has a £13m release clause inserted into his contract at Gijón and will nothing short of a coup for this sum. With Barcelona and Real Madrid swooping in, Klopp needs to act soon if he desires the young lanky lad in his squad.

Jeremiah St. Juste: SC Heerenveen

The 20-year-old defender has been a key figure for his club in the Eredivisie this season with just 25 goals being conceded throughout the season indicating his solid gameplay in the heart of the defence. Juste’s ability to pick out a team-mate, accurate passing and ability to play the ball out from the back makes pursuing his services a no-brainer.

With 2.5 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game this season, Jerry has been hailed as a rough diamond who simply needs a proper mentor to develop into one of the finest players ever considering his potential. Jürgen Klopp might just be the man for that.

Malang Sarr: Nice 

The French 18-year-old defender became the second-youngest debutant goalscorer in Ligue 1 history when he headed home a goal in the 2016/17 opening fixture off a set piece. Lucien Favre opted to quickly tie him down to a professional contract with several top European clubs vying to sign him up the next big talent in Europe including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

Sarr has managed to hold his own alongside Brazilian centre-back Dante with his error-free gameplay and astute positioning which has certainly helped ensure rock-solid defensive performances. His desire to lead from the front, versatility, maturity beyond the years and ability to contribute in attack with his long passes makes the overall profile even more impressive.

Defenders with the ability to head the ball home accurately are a dying breed. Luckily this youngster is blessed with pinpoint accuracy off set-pieces which makes him an effective goal-scoring option as well. It will be unwise to label him as the finished product but Jürgen Klopp’s guidance will certainly help him develop as a player to a greater extent.

In conclusion, we can all agree upon the fact that Virgil Van Dijk has been a star performer in the Premier League this season and is the perfect candidate. However, these players are more than capable of making their presence felt if invested in.

 

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