Upamecano on the Anfield radar
After the Premier League champions confirmed that Virgil van Dijk will require surgery after suffering ligament damage to his knee, the Reds have been exploring the options to expand their defensive resources in the next coming months.
During the summer, the likes of Ben White and Kalidou Koulibaly were linked with a possible move to Merseyside after their long-serving centre-back Dejan Lovren left to join Zenit St Petersburg for just over £10m.
Upamecano is another name who has been mentioned (Sport Bild, via Sport Witness) and he has been putting in some impressive performances for the Bundesliga outfit. From 199 appearances, he has scored three goals and provided two assists (TransferMarkt), and his performances have been so impressive that the Bundesliga’s official website has described Upamecano as one of their “stars of tomorrow”.
While the Frenchman formerly had a £54m release clause as part of his contract, Robinson told Football Insider that he expects Liverpool would have to pay a substantial sum of money due to their current situation. He said:
“Upamecano at Leipzig is a top centre-half. I’ve seen him before a couple of times. I’ve read that he’s on his Liverpool’s list.
“Ben White, yes, I have admiration for him and what he achieved and did at Leeds but having just signed a new contract at Brighton he’s committed his future there.
“Given the current situation Liverpool are in they would have to massively overpay to get him out and I don’t think you’d get value for money.
“Saying that given Liverpool’s defence now whoever Liverpool goes and knock on the door of and ask for it’s going to be an extra £15million or £20million, because they know the situation Liverpool are in.”
Robinson went on to give a valuation of what the Merseysiders will be expected to pay for the defender, saying: “If they go for Upamecano if he was worth £25million, £30million because of Liverpool’s situation he now becomes a £40million, £45million player. Teams will take advantage of Liverpool’s situation.”
While the reality of Liverpool’s situation is unfortunate and out of their control, Robinson is right and clubs may try to make the most of their current defensive predicament. They could also take into account that the Reds were prepared to pay £75m for Van Dijk in 2018, which turned out to be a bargain considering the heights he has reached during his time at Anfield.
It is the sort of headache that Jurgen Klopp could do without right now. Although both Joe Gomez and Fabinho impressed during last night’s 1-0 victory against Ajax, it’s not a long-term solution for the German tactician.
Big decisions may have to be made in January, but with games still being played closed doors and a subsequent loss of matchday income, it could be a struggle to get funds together to make a marquee signing.
In other news, Liverpool could beat Manchester City to sign 33-cap star.
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