The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern are desperate for January 1st to come. The Reds are set to complete the signing of Virgil van Dijk when the transfer window re-opens in January, meaning that Jurgen Klopp will have a new defender to choose from at the back. This is massive for the club, given their defensive struggles this season.
However, it isn’t all good news, with Ronan Murphy of Goal reporting some concerning news over on Twitter. According to Murphy, Jurgen Klopp may not get his January wish of securing a new defensive partner for van Dijk, with FC Basel not wanting centre-back Manuel Akanji to leave the club until the summer. Klopp, then, it is said, may well have to wait to secure what Murphy says is his ideal new central defensive pairing.
According to sources in Switzerland, FC Basel don’t want to let centre-back Manuel Akanji leave for Liverpool until the summer. Klopp may have to wait for his new CB pairing. #LFC
— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) December 28, 2017
Akanji, though an unknown name in England, has been slowly making waves in Switzerland with FC Basel, where he is a regular at the back. This season alone, he has bagged 18 league starts, alongside – importantly – 6 Champions League starts. Though that would mean that he is unable to feature in Europe were he to move to Anfield in January, that also suggests that he’s proven at the highest level, and that’s important for Liverpool.
A talented defender, he’s consistent at the back, offering technical quality, tackling superiority, and at over 6ft1, the defender is a real force in the air.
Given Liverpool’s poor defensive record this season, Klopp will undoubtedly be unhappy that a complete change at the back looks unlikely.
Liverpool’s defence clearly needs to see more improvement, though van Dijk will be a major upgrade.
Nobody at the back has really covered themselves in glory this term, and so signing a new central defender to partner van Dijk makes a lot of sense. Akanji, then, will be a decent choice.
A summer deal looks more likely, though.
Liverpool fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!
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