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

Stefan de Vrij 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.

Stefan de Vrij to Liverpool
Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
After seemingly messing up their chances of signing Van Dijk this summer, Liverpool’s hopes of strengthening their back-line ahead of next season rest firmly on the shoulders of Lazio’s De Vrij. But they find themselves up against tough competition in the form of Juventus, who will undoubtedly put forward a good case, and Klopp will have to be careful not to miss out again.

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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