Liverpool: Benfica defender Antonio Silva tipped as ‘one to watch’
Liverpool fans have been told that Benfica star Antonio Silva is ‘one to watch’ ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Lowdown: Jurgen Klopp eyes defensive reinforcements at Liverpool
It is no secret that Liverpool’s all-conquering side of a few years ago is in danger of turning stale, if it has not already.
With the Reds only recently injecting new life into their lacklustre Premier League campaign, their midweek Champions League first-leg tie represents their only chance of silverware this season.
Injury and poor form has meant Jurgen Klopp has had to rotate at centre-back, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Nathaniel Phillips all earning multiple runouts this term alongside Virgil van Dijk, who has suffered from fitness issues throughout the year.
And looking ahead to the next transfer window, it appears that Benfica centre-back Silva could be an answer to solve any lingering issues come the summer.
The Latest: Journalist highlights Antonio Silva interest
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Football Transfers reporter Jacque Talbot insisted that not only will Liverpool be interested, but the two-cap Portugal international could well be on the move at the end of the season.
Discussing the Reds’ potential transfer targets, he said: “There’s Antonio Silva, who I think will go in the summer.  years old, breakout season for Benfica. Extraordinary player, [Jorge] Mendes player.
“One to watch will be Antonio Silva.”
The Verdict: Antonio Silva could be perfect for Liverpool
It is clear the defence needs improving at Anfield. The Reds have already conceded 28 goals this term – an average of 1.27 per game – which is already a higher total than last season and their failed title tilt in 2018/19. Meanwhile, it is just five goals fewer than the year they won the Premier League.
With no major signings at centre-back since Konate came in at the start of last season, it is perhaps time for someone else to shake up the backline. While Van Dijk is arguably still at the top of his game, both he and the more error-prone Matip are into their thirties, and it does not seem as though Gomez is the long-term answer there, either.
As for Silva, his numbers – albeit in the Portuguese top flight – are extremely impressive for someone of his age. Ahead of their clash against Boavista on Monday night, Benfica had conceded just 12 goals in the league this season, with the 19-year-old starting every game since the start of September.
He has helped keep 11 clean sheets in 17 appearances, including four on the bounce prior to this weekend. Silva has also displayed his goal threat, with the centre-back scoring his first senior goal in the Champions League before following it up with a brace in the league a fortnight later.
That he is still a teenager suggests he could yet make the step up to the Premier League, though whether Benfica will be so keen to sell having only recently received a nine-figure sum for Enzo Fernandez remains to be seen.