By Tom Gott
Liverpool have been busy this summer, spending money on midfield reinforcements Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, but there is still a need for a new centre-back.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s tactical tweak, which has seen him prioritize midfield work over defence, took a toll on Liverpool’s backline towards the end of last season and so Jurgen Klopp would do well to recruit another starter high level, which would allow the boss to rebalance his initial training.
Doubts over the long-term futures of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips could see Liverpool opt for a real reshuffle in defense this summer, but how much money they have to spend on that position remains to be seen.
Here’s a look at the defenders Liverpool are expected to look to sign this summer.
Age: 20Club: Chelsea
The dream signing here is, without a doubt, Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill.
Behind the scenes, Liverpool They have been keeping a very close eye on the 20-year-old, who excelled at Brighton and is seeking guarantees for a regular starting role from Chelsea before committing to stay next season.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, who recently made a second inquiry into Colwill, Chelsea’s message was clear. They are not trying to sell and it will take something huge to change their mind.
There is a bit of a waiting game to be played here. Colwill is away with England Under-21s and won’t speak to Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino before the start of their pre-season tour, but if the conversation doesn’t go well, Liverpool could be blown up.
A left-handed defender who plays with the ball, Colwill looks like an absolute superstar of both the present and the future. If there is a deal to be made, Liverpool will try to make it.
Age: 21Club: Sports CP
The Portuguese league has recently produced a string of Premier League-ready players and there’s no reason to believe Sporting CP’s 21-year-old defender Goncalo Inacio won’t continue that trend.
Inacio is a prolific and accurate passer who loves to make things happen from behind, and that kind of creativity would be an invaluable asset in a Liverpool backline that already prides itself on its ability to overcharge in the attacking third.
He doesn’t shirk from his defensive duties either, with his one-on-one ability and timing of a tackle both standing out.
It’s a similar style of play to Colwill but from a player who would probably cost half the price, so it’s not surprising to see Liverpool consider Inacio.
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Age: 29Club: Manchester City
Aymeric Laporte’s future at Manchester City is far from clear as the Premier League champions look to break through on Josko Gvardiol. Could Liverpool take advantage of this?
City are more than happy to do business with their Premier League rivals at the right price and may not need too much convincing to sell Laporte, who has just two years remaining on his contract.
Laporte’s time in England hasn’t always been perfect but, when the Spanish international is on form, there are few better.
What makes Laporte such a tempting prospect is his knowledge of the Premier League. There would be no need for an adjustment period and the 29-year-old should be ready to hit the ground running.
There is competition for Laporte’s signing from across Europe, but the possibility of staying in north-west England could help attract him to Anfield.
Mickey van de Ven
Age: 22Club: Wolfsburg
Liverpool love a Dutch defender. Virgil van Dijk will go down in history as one of the club’s best ever: could Micky van de Ven be heir to his throne?
At 22, the towering Van de Ven is still in the early stages of his senior career but is already causing real buzz. The Netherlands Under-21 international is another excellent left winger, but his dribbling prowess sets him apart.
Van de Ven is so comfortable in possession that he has even been used at left-back, and so could offer some much-needed cover for Andy Robertson both outside the defense and in the centre.
Tottenham are pushing to get Van de Ven signedso if Liverpool don’t want to get lost, they may have to act soon.
Ligue 1 side Lens conceded just 29 goals in 38 games last season. Only Barcelona (20) and Napoli (28) improved on that comeback, which should tell you what kind of elite company Lens was keeping.
Much of their success is down to Facundo Medina, whose third year with the club saw him make a big splash and emerge as one of Ligue 1’s best defensive talents.
The 24-year-old Argentinian has spent most of the season on the left wing in a 3-4-2-1 formation and has not disappointed at either end of the pitch, shining with the ball at his feet but proving willful and aggressive at the back .
Medina only signed a new contract in January and Lens are under no illusions about the talent they have on their hands, but Liverpool should have the financial clout to get them talking.
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This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Five Liverpool centre-backs are expected to try to sign this summer.