Liverpool have been hit hard by a defensive injury crisis this season. Dejan Lovren was sold to Zenit St Petersburg early in the last transfer window, and the club, along with manager Jurgen Klopp, were strongly criticized for not making signing a central defender to replace him a priority.
Klopp said more than once that having three designated centre-backs and midfielder Fabinho as an option to step into the role as well was quite sufficient, but it’s obvious at the moment that nobody could have predicted the kind of problem they are facing now. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, arguably Klopp’s first-choice pairing in the heart of defence, are both out with long-term knee injuries. Joel Matip has only just returned from an injury of his own, while Fabinho also suffered a hamstring issue recently and should be back after this international break.
But with Van Dijk and Gomez out for a long time, the Reds are likely to dip into the market as early as January to try and rectify the situation.
And as relayed by the Mirror, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano tops their list of potential additions. Apparently, the 22-year-old has a €40 million release clause in his contract which kicks in next summer. The only problem is, Liverpool arguably need a new centre-back before that.
Apart from Upamecano, who has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal as well, the Premier League champions are looking at 20-year-old Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak and 23-year-old Gleison Bremer of Torino.
Klopp also has 23-year-old Nathaniel Phillips and 19-year-old Rhys Williams at his disposal, but with both significantly lacking experience, it remains to be seen if either will be able to step up and take the chance between now and January.