Liverpool’s midfield rebuild has been high on Jurgen Klopp‘s list of priorities this summer, but noises suggest we can also expect to see a new defender in our near future.
Reports last month rated Liverpool’s chances of making a defensive acquisition this summer at “100 percent” and a whole host of names have been linked to Anfield as a result.
The manager turned his side’s fortunes around late last season with a switch to 3-4-3 which placed Trent Alexander-Arnold in a hybrid role across right-back and midfield.
It left greater defensive responsibility on the shoulders of those behind him and sparked calls in some quarters for the Reds to sign a specialist to operate on the left of the back three.
Here, we take a look at some of the reported options and rank them based on our order of preference.
6. Jarrad Branthwaite
A somewhat controversial one to kick us off, Everton‘s Jarrad Branthwaite could provide Liverpool with an unlikely solution at the back
It would see him become the first player to make the trip directly across Stanley Park since Abel Xavier over two decades ago, but the 21-year-old’s ability to play at both left-back and centre-back could be an attractive proposition for Klopp.
Having recently returned from a loan spell at PSV in which he registered 27 Eredivisie appearances, he already has bundles of experience at a tender age and could become a top defender if nurtured correctly.
He may not yet be good enough to slot straight into the manager’s best 11, but the initial needle would be something to behold if nothing else!
5. Marc Guehi
Despite being predominently right-footed, Marc Guehi typically plays on the left side of Crystal Palace‘s centre-back pairing.
Soon to turn 23 years of age, Guehi would help to alleviate any of Liverpool’s homegrown concerns and he already has plenty of Premier League miles on the clock.
One factor that may put the Reds off a potential move is the cost, with the defender said to be valued at around £50 million by Roy Hodgson’s side.
4. Goncalo Inacio
Goncalo Inacio is a name that has been touted as a potential defensive solution for Liverpool at various points in recent months, and with good reason.
The Reds have been known to dip into the Portuguese market for forward players like Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez, so the Sporting defender already has a couple of case studies upon which to replicate his career path.
Aged just 21, there is plenty of time for the manager to mould Inacio into the player he wants and there would be no immediate pressure to put him straight into the first team from the outset.
3. Alessandro Bastoni
One name that has emerged somewhat speculatively in recent weeks is Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni, a player with a big reputation and one that would not come cheaply.
Bastoni would theoretically be an ideal tactical fit for Liverpool in that he is used to operating as the left-sided centre-back in a defensive three and he already has a wealth of experience in a top European league under his belt.
His performances last season helped his side book an unlikely Champions League final place in Istanbul and caught the attention of a number of top clubs around the continent.
It feels a slightly farfetched prospect given the eventual amount that the midfield overhaul is likely to cost but he is a player capable of slotting straight into Liverpool’s starting 11 as soon as he is required.
2. Micky van de Ven
A player who would suit Liverpool’s system perfectly and has been the most regularly reported option to make a potential move is Wolfsburg’s Micky van de Ven.
The Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield and his ability to play as both a centre-back and a left-back gives him the perfect attributes to fill the role.
His recovery pace could be an invaluable asset if Liverpool are to persist with the 3-4-3 we saw towards the end of last season and at 6’4″ he would be a formidable force in the air.
Recent developments, however, suggest that he could now be set for a move to Tottenham, which means the Reds may have to look elsewhere to find the right option.
We may have found just the person…
1. Levi Colwill
It could prove to be the most difficult deal to complete, but it would also be perhaps the best of the lot.
The signing would not come cheap and Chelsea will be keen to avoid selling to a Premier League rival, but this is a player who could provide a decade-long answer to Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies.
He has shown himself to be comfortable operating as a left-sided centre-back and would provide a welcome boost to the Reds’ homegrown quota.
It is always nice to dream big, isn’t it?