Liverpool must move to bolster their options in defence when the transfer window opens in the summer.
After an injury crisis in the New Year, there were suggestions amongst certain sections of support that Jurgen Klopp would sign a defender in the January window. However, the German resisted the urge to panic buy a new defender and instead opted to use Fabinho in central defence. Injuries also allowed Ki-Jana Hoever to make his Liverpool debut after joining from Ajax – becoming the club’s youngest ever player to appear in the FA Cup.
With Joe Gomez picking up another long-term impact injury, both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip has missed far too many games in the past few seasons to be reliable back up options. Liverpool can’t afford to lose Fabinho’s dynamism in the engine room and an injury to Virgil van Dijk could prove costly next season. Adding quality defensive reinforcements should be a priority for sporting director Michael Edwards.
One man the Liverpool hierarchy should be targeting is Fiorentina wonderkid – Nikola Milenkovic. Valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, the 21-year-old has developed into a key player for his side since joining from Partizan Belgrade in the summer of 2017. Milenkovic is enjoying a fine season in the Serie A and has been subject of interest (according to La Republica via the Sun) from Manchester United who were looking to add a quality defender to their ranks.
The youngster is an excellent defender whose versatility will no doubt appeal to Klopp. Comfortable at both centre back or right back, he will provide quality cover for a variety of positions. Calm and composed on the ball, Milenkovic would have no issues adapting to Liverpool’s system. Winning three aerial duels per game in Italy, the physicality of life in England shouldn’t faze the Serbia international.
Still improving and developing, the Reds should do whatever they can to lure him to Anfield.
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