Liverpool’s decision to sign Virgil van Dijk in January raised eyebrows throughout the footballing world but, as the year anniversary of his arrival approaches, there’s no doubt that his doubters have been silenced by the sheer enormity of his impact.
£75 million is an eye-watering figure to pay for an electric attacking player, never-mind a central defender. The quality of a defensive player is, by nature, extremely difficult to validate with numerical data, and that fact unquestionably influenced common perception when the Holland international set foot at Anfield.
But the outlook looks incredibly different now: Van Dijk has since been dubbed as one of the smartest signings in Liverpool’s recent history – even at a world-record price.
Although the signing lacked the shrewdness of a cut-price bargain deal, the transformation in Liverpool’s defensive solidity is enough evidence to prove that he was something of a masterstroke acquisition.
The January window is typically home to astronomically inflated price-tags which exceed that of the summer window, but other circumstances could help Liverpool to overcome this problem and make another inspired mid-season signing.
According to a recent report from Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Malcom is already growing frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities at Barcelona just months after joining in a deal worth £36.5 million, and there is a possibility that he will be allowed to leave in January on loan – or possibly permanently – to acquire minutes on the field of play.
With just 25 minutes of football under his belt so far this season in all-competitions, it’s little surprise that Malcom is being linked away from the Catalan giants.
Liverpool cannot guarantee him a starting berth from the outset but, with Jurgen Klopp hoping to compete on multiple fronts and potential injury problems still to emerge, he should certainly be on their radar in the coming weeks.
The electric Brazilian winger made his name in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux after he scored 12 goals and provided 7 assists in all-competitions last season, but the increase in intensity for first-team places has seen him fade into obscurity.
A dynamic wide made who is at his most devastating when he is running directly at his opponents on the counter-attack, Malcom possesses a level of quality to give the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah a run for their money.
If there is any chance of completing a deal for Malcom in January, whether it be temporary or permanent, Liverpool should be in the mix to secure his signature.
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