It was a monumental victory for Fulham at Anfield, and a detrimental one for Liverpool. Scott Parker’s tactical masterclass saw Fulham come out on top, but their performance was underpinned by captain Joachim Andersen – and Reds fans have urged their club to consider the Dane this summer.
Liverpool came into the game having lost their last five Premier League matches at Anfield and it was six come Sunday evening. Mario Lemina’s goal, after a mistake from Mo Salah, enough to see Fulham pick up three crucial points on Merseyside.
The Reds have dropped into eighth place in the Premier League table, with their chances of finishing in the top four fading by the second. They have played more games than any of their rivals, and an injury crisis at centre-back is certainly one of the main reasons.
Bringing in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies in the summer has not stemmed the tide. The absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez has seen Liverpool go from Premier League juggernaut, to sliding down the league quicker than Sadio Mane at full pelt.
In the summer, Liverpool need a defender. They need a defender that without van Dijk and Gomez can still instill the level of quality that they possess, even if only temporarily. The solution might have been right in front of them on Sunday afternoon, as Fulham starred.
The Cottagers earned a pivotal three points in their fight against the drop. Though Parker’s men have played one more game than Newcastle and Brighton, they are now within touching distance of safety and if they play like they did on Sunday, they have an excellent chance of turning the tide.
Andersen, 24, is only on loan at Fulham from French side Lyon – and is without a permanent clause in his contract. But such has been his performances, Parker has already handed the one-time Denmark international the armband.
A decent display in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham last week has been followed up by a stunning effort against Liverpool – alongside Tosi Adarabioyo. The former Sampdoria defender, who cost Lyon £21million (LWOS), was excellent with and without the ball, as his stats prove.
The centre-back made more interceptions than any of his Fulham teammates, with four – according to WhoScored. But on the ball, he was near-perfect too, boasting Fulham’s best pass rate with 41 of his 46 being successful.
That includes of 10 of his 13 long balls proving successful. It was a mercurial performance against the Premier League champions and though it is benefiting Fulham in the short-term, every good display is worsening Fulham’s chances of keeping the defender in the summer.
Either Fulham will be told by Lyon that they want to give Andersen a chance again – or Premier League clubs will become interested in the defender having been impressed with his efforts at the back. Certainly, Liverpool will be in the market for a central defender.
Some Reds fans think Andersen would be perfect for Klopp’s side, one claiming him to be the perfect partner for van Dijk next season – when the Dutch colossus finally returns from his long-term knee injury.
#LFC have just played against the perfect CB partner for VVD next season.
Joachim Andersen is a class act 👏🏻
— Paul Watson (Waldo) (@Paul_B_Watson) March 7, 2021
Andersen been unreal for Fulham today & been unreal all season. Sign him up in the summer @lfc
— Ewan (@EwanMP) March 7, 2021
The battle for 9th and 10th is gonna be between Arsenal and Liverpool me thinks.
— DannyBoy (@LeachysCleaner) March 7, 2021
Pretty impressed by Fulham's defence tbf… Andersen looks a player for Fulham, Liverpool should put him on their transfer targets for next season 😬
— Calum (@Calum_Sless) March 7, 2021
Andersen and Reed have both been ridiculously good today, maybe Liverpool should sign them 😂
— Luke (@BluRayLuke) March 7, 2021
Joachim Andersen has been immense today!!! #LIVFUL
Liverpool could have done with getting him in January.
— 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐇𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲𝐦𝐚𝐧😷 (@HoneymanMatty) March 7, 2021
If Liverpool need a centre half so bad sign andersen. Been unreal everytime I’ve watched him
— Tyler Latham (@tyler_latham04) March 7, 2021