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Do Liverpool now face a fight with Juventus for this 25-year-old Lazio defender?

Stefan de Vrij Liverpool

Liverpool

Do Liverpool now face a fight with Juventus for this 25-year-old Lazio defender?

According to reports surfacing from Italy over the weekend Liverpool have been given a set-back in their pursuit of highly-rated Lazio centre-back Stefan de Vrij, with Juventus entering the race for him.

After allowing veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci to join Serie A rivals AC Milan just last week, Corriere dello Sport claim that last season’s Champions League runners-up are interested in De Vrij.

The 25-year-old’s current contract runs out at the end of next season and, with reports suggesting that there’s a reluctance to sign an extension at Lazio, Liverpool could be poised for a transfer tussle, having previously been linked with the defender by Italian outlet Il Messaggero Sport, and more recently by The Sun.

Would De Vrij be a good addition to Liverpool’s squad?

Compared to the likes of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren, Liverpool’s chosen centre-back pairing from last season, De Vrij is a confident and expansive defender who loves to play out from the back.

Since breaking through at Feyenoord in his native Holland, eventually earning a switch to Italy, he has announced himself on the European stage as a calm and composed player with a tendency to break out of the back-line and push his side forward up the pitch, also having a keen eye for a pass.

 

There is an intelligence to both his game and his positioning at the back that has made him such a success in Italy too, being tactically astute and having a good awareness of the opposition attackers.

Throw in the fact that he’s an extremely strong tackler, able to do last-ditch challenges as equally well as he can hold a player up, and De Vrij really looks like he could be useful in the Premier League.

His experience of both a three-man and a four-man defensive system for Lazio would stand him in good stead at Anfield, already having the versatility to fit in with Klopp’s often experimental systems.

At a reported fee of around £25 million – nearly a third of the price that they were prepared to pay for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, as per Sky Sports – he is a player well worth taking a gamble over.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

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