Liverpool might be putting out the word that they’re not planning any January deals, but the European media see matters very differently as they link the Reds to yet another centre-back who fits the bill.
With the two long-term absentees at the back and Joel Matip picking up another injury, it’s an awful lot to ask Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to continually put in match-defining performances alongside Fabinho.
As a result, it would be no huge surprise if the Reds did go out and add a fourth senior centre-back – and most of the rumours over the past couple of weeks fit a certain criteria of player:
- A younger, ‘project’ defender who can be moulded over the coming seasons
- But with some senior experience at a top-flight club already
- Left-sided or, where possible, left-footed
We’ve already seen how Sven Botman fits the grade here, while Salzburg’s Max Wober is another who perfectly aligns with the list of requirements above to effectively be a squad player who can feature regularly now, but be on the bench later.
And now there’s another: David Carmo.
Earlier in the year when the Reds were looking at a left-back to challenge Andy Robertson, there was eventually a three- or four-man shortlist which became apparent: eventual signing Kostas Tsimikas, original bid Jamal Lewis, plus Sergio Reguilon and perhaps another.
For the January window it appears a similar approach has been taken, with Carmo the latest name repeatedly linked both from the UK and overseas, joining Botman, Wober and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak as the young defenders who fit the bill.
Those rumours and the identikit the players have likely mean other, more spurious (and expensive) rumour-mongering can be safely ignored – such as those still claiming we’ll move for Dayot Upamecano in January and a new link with €50m-rated Milan Skriniar.
They state that the SC Braga centre-back has a €40 million (£35.5 million), but the likely fee would be considerably lower – with Leicester among the clubs interested having faced him in the Europa League this season.
Like the others, Carmo has parts of his game which fit the aforementioned apparent requirements: he’s 21 years old, left-footed, plays left of centre in Braga’s back four or at the very middle in a back three.
Carmo, like Botman, is a relative newcomer to the senior scene: he broke into the Braga line-up midway through last year, so has about one year’s experience to his name. He has missed a couple of games through suspension this season and has missed his club’s last two matches after testing positive for coronavirus.
There’s clearly more to run on the story of which defender Liverpool eventually opt for, but contrary to the local claims of no intent to do business, the signs continue to point to a specific type of centre-back being targeted during the January window.