The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern went into the international break in buoyant mood after dismantling West Ham 4-1 at the London Stadium last weekend.
Liverpool supporters and their manager Jurgen Klopp will be thoroughly pleased with their side’s hat-trick of victories prior to the international break, in which they scored ten goals and conceded just one. Their defensive capabilities have been called into question this season after high-profile defeats away at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur saw them concede a whopping nine goals from the two fixtures.
To be fair to the Reds, they played with ten men for almost 60 minutes against City, but they can have no such excuses for their defensive performance at Wembley in October, and as such Klopp will be fully aware that his side requires plenty of defensive improvement to compete for honours at the summit of the Premier League.
Considering Liverpool’s well-documented pursuit of Virgil Van Dijk in the summer, there is no doubt that Klopp is constantly in the market for new defenders. And the latest reports to emerge from The Daily Express have linked Javier Mascherano with a shock return to the Premier League.
The signing of former Liverpool employee Mascherano would indicate the beginning of a defensive revolution at the club.
A change of personnel would also arrive in tandem with a shift in philosophy to suit the inclusion of ball-playing defenders. And what better way to stimulate change in mentality at the club than by signing a player who has received the highest standard of footballing education during a seven-year stint with Barcelona.
Given that Joel Matip has already proven he is comfortable in possession, he would have no problem in adapting to a new style of play at Liverpool. However, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren appear much less comfortable with the ball at their feet, and they will surely become the first casualties of Klopp’s overhaul of the defensive unit.
Regardless of whether Liverpool are successful in their pursuit of Mascherano, the Liverpool supporters should be expecting an overhaul in their defensive options during the next two transfer windows.
Once the overhaul of personnel is complete and a new brand of football has been installed, Klopp will be much better placed to build a legacy at the club and mount a genuine challenge for the Premier League title.
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