It’s crazy to think what one signing can do for a club in the grand scheme of things, and for Liverpool, that man is Virgil van Dijk.
The towering Dutch centre-back transformed the Liverpool backline into the most watertight defence in the Premier League as the Reds came one point away from winning their first league title in nearly 30 years and claimed European glory against Tottenham in the Champions League final.
Van Dijk has changed the fortunes of Liverpool massively, but one thing that has remained a constant thread of discussion is which player best suits the former Southampton man in the heart of the defence, and according to reports, the PFA Player of the Year could be receiving one heck of an upgrade.
According to Il Mattino, the Reds have entered the race for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly with Senegalese teammate Sadio Mane attempting to convince the Serie A behemoth to join Liverpool this summer.
Of course, Liverpool are not the only side interested in Koulibaly this summer with league rivals Manchester United reportedly also keen on bringing the centre-back to the Premier League this summer via talkSPORT, but if the Merseyside club can convince the 28-year-old to make the move to Anfield, then Jurgen Klopp’s side would be one of the hardest sides in Europe to break down.
Compared to van Dijk using stats from WhoScored, the Napoli defender averages more tackles per 90 than his Liverpool counterpart at 1.7 per game compared to 1.1, as well as averaging more blocks per game at 0.9 to the Dutchman’s 0.5. The duo also share an interception average at 1.1.
The two defenders are also fairly similar when it comes to passing statistics. Van Dijk averages a 1% better pass completion rate at 89.7% to Koulibaly’s 88.9%, but when it comes to the actual number of passes, the Liverpool man is more likely to move the ball around with 79.9 passes per game compared to the Napoli man’s average of 71.9.
Being able to stand toe-to-toe with Van Dijk in the stats department is an impressive feat for any defender, and if Liverpool are able to pull off signing Koulibaly, it will without question form one of the sturdiest defensive duos in European football.
Liverpool fans, could Koulibaly join this summer? Let us know!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience