Jurgen Klopp could be looking to add another centre-back to his ranks this summer, with reports linking Liverpool with Hoffenheim’s Niklas Sule.
Following Liverpool’s miserable defensive display in Sunday’s defeat to Southampton, few would argue against reinforcement in Liverpool’s back line this summer.
With Schalke’s Joel Matip arriving at the end of the season on a free transfer, Klopp has already begun an overhaul of sorts in defence, with Kolo Toure set to leave on the expiry of his contract and a number of left-backs linked with a move to Merseyside.
Matip could be followed by another addition from the Bundesliga, with reports from German publication Bild suggesting Liverpool are looking to move for Hoffenheim 20-year-old Sule.
As relayed by the Mirror, the Reds are said to have made an enquiry for the youngster, who has enjoyed a swift rise through the ranks at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Sule is under contract at Hoffenheim until 2019, having signed a new deal at the beginning of the season.
But with Hoffenheim battling relegation from the Bundesliga this season, he could be looking to leave the club this summer.
Sule joined Hoffenheim as a teenager in 2010, progressing through the youth ranks before establishing himself in the first team in 2013.
An imposing physical centre-back standing at 6’5″, Sule is, predictably, a formidable defensive prospect, adept at snuffing out attacking moves with strong tackles and blocks.
Capable in possession, Sule is comfortable playing a composed passing game, and with three seasons of top-flight experience at the age of 20, has the mentality required to step into the Liverpool defence.
Naturally right-footed, Sule could partner any of Matip, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren in Klopp’s back line.
The youngster’s key weakness, however, is a lack of pace, and this could be a warning sign for the Liverpool manager.
Furthermore, the veracity of these links is yet to be firmly established, stemming from a questionable source and, so far, only picked up by England’s tabloids.
But the need to strengthen Liverpool’s defence is clear, and if Klopp is comfortable working around Sule’s lack of pace, he would be adding a high-potential defensive talent to his ranks.