Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern in recent times after seeing their side return to Premier League matters with a convincing 3-0 success over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the Cherries at Anfield off the back of beating Manchester City 2-1 in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie in midweek, thus completing a remarkable 5-1 aggregate success over the newly-crowned Premier League champions. And the Reds recorded victory in the league as well on Saturday as goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino sealed a routine win for Klopp’s side, thus moving them to within a point of second place Manchester United.
Consequently, there have been many delighted Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can continue their fine recent form between now and the end of the season, especially with a Champions League semi-final to come in the next few weeks.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking several top Premier League sides with a summer move for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire.
And while the Reds haven’t been linked with a move for the £13.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt), they certainly should seek to join and indeed win the race for the defender, as doing so could turn them into Premier League title contenders next season.
Ultimately, Klopp’s side have enjoyed a fine season to date and have very much got the beating of champions Manchester City, having beaten them in each of their last three meetings in 2018.
However, there remains some question marks over Liverpool’s defensive capabilities over the course of a season, given the Reds have conceded more goals this term than any other team currently in the Premier League’s top five.
Undoubtedly, Virgil van Dijk’s arrival from Southampton in January has helped the whole of the defensive unit, what with Dejan Lovren in particular upping his game alongside the Netherlands international.
Yet there again remains some doubts over whether Lovren, or indeed Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan, have what it takes to produce the level of performance high enough to help Liverpool sustain a title challenge. But Maguire’s efforts this term suggest that he could be the answer.
The 25-year-old has been magnificent for the Foxes this season in helping them to the safety of mid-table, starting all 33 of their Premier League matches to underline his influence and indeed importance to manager Claude Puel.
Significantly, it appears that the England international has all the traits to go on and become a quality centre-back at Premier League level – he is aerially very strong and reads the game well, whilst he has great ability on the ball in being able to dribble out of defence and pick a pass.
That latter trait in particular looks set to earn him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England back three at this summer’s World Cup, and it should be of interest to Liverpool boss Klopp, who may well be eyeing a long-term partner for van Dijk in a bid to establish a formidable central defensive duo capable of leading the Reds to the title.
And with that possibly all that is missing from a sustained Reds Premier League title challenge next season, Klopp’s side must look to join and indeed win the race for the 25-year-old Leicester man this summer.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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