Liverpool: Barcelona defender linked; Hector latest; Ligue 1 youngster scouted
Jurgen Klopp has some significant strengthening to do at Anfield if the Reds want to challenge for Europe next season. The signings of forward Sadio Mane and centre-backs Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have reinforced some serious problem areas outfield, while Loris Karius joining from Mainz will hopefully give fans more confidence in their man between the posts.
Klopp still does not seem satisfied with his defence though, and rumours persist around a potential move for Thomas Vermaelen. The 30-year-old moved to Barcelona in 2014 after five years as a stalwart at the heart of Arsenal’s defence, but never truly found his feet at the Camp Nou.
The Belgian has been plagued with injuries since his £15 million move to Spain, and has only made 11 appearances for the Catalan club in two seasons.
Despite injury problems, Vermaelen is a rather fantastic player. His leadership on the pitch is inspirational to team-mates, while his aerial prowess and technique with the ball at his feet are vital for a modern centre-back.
Even as Arsenal captain, the Belgian suffered from injury problems. Numerous problems with his legs and ankles limited his appearances for the Gunners in his last few campaigns at the Emirates, paving the way for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker to establish themselves.
Even now, the experienced defender could offer a great option in defence for Liverpool, should a move materialise.
Not only was Alberto Moreno something of a defensive liability at left-back last season, he also sustained a light hamstring injury against Roma that could affect his fitness coming into the start of the season. As such, Jurgen Klopp’s side have persistently been linked to a new full back, and two leading candidates have emerged in the last 24 hours.
German international Jonas Hector had a strong season for Cologne in the Bundesliga last season, but the 26-year-old is allegedly interested in a move to Anfield, with the Merseysiders having been courting him heavily all summer long. Hector is regarded as one of the most complete full-backs in German football, contributing two key passes a game while still pulling his weight in defence.
Hector’s contribution to Germany’s campaign at the Euros will have raised his value even further, but the Merseyside club are believed to be submitting a £20 million bid in the near future, a statement of intent for the coming campaign.
Jordy Gaspar will be a name that only Ligue 1 aficionados will recognise, but the youngster has emerged as one of Jurgen Klopp’s options should their search for a left-back come up short. The Lyon player has yet to make a senior appearance for the club, but Liverpool could attempt to poach the versatile full-back, as he is yet to sign a professional deal at the club.
Andre Wisdom, Brad Smith and Jon Flanagan have left or are strongly linked to be departing the club this window, leaving just two recognised full-backs in the squad. As such, expect the Reds to sign at least one man to fill the position this window.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Marco Tröscher
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