Liverpool have started the season in flying form as they boast a 100% record after just 4 Premier League fixtures, claiming 3 clean sheets in the process.
Liverpool’s fluid front-three stole the headlines last season as Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane ran riot in the final-third both domestically and in Europe, but the defensive unit attracted plenty of media attention for entirely different reasons altogether.
The arrival of Virgil Van Dijk in the mid-season window and the emergence of Andrew Robertson served to quash the vast majority of discussion regarding the Reds’ perceived frailties at the back, but speculation continued to persist regarding the goalkeeping situation.
Alisson’s arrival at the club appears to have resolved yet another defensive problem and put Jurgen Klopp in a position where his squad is now up to the standard of mounting a title challenge.
However, there is a suggestion that Liverpool would have benefited from signing another centre-back in the summer to find the perfect partner for Virgil Van Dijk, and it’s fair to say they missed a bargain opportunity to secure the services of a fantastic central defender, namely Stefan De Vrij.
Lazio announced in February that the 36-cap Netherlands international would depart the club in search of a new challenge when his contract expired at the end of the season, and he eventually agreed to join Inter Milan on a free transfer.
Despite De Vrij’s strong credentials to thrive alongside his compatriot at Liverpool, there was no official confirmation that the club were interested in signing him at the end of a season in which he impressed at both ends of the pitch.
The 6ft 2in centre-back is classy with the ball at his feet, an intelligent reader of the game and a commanding aerial presence, so there’s no doubt he would have slotted well into Liverpool’s back-four.
The rise of Joe Gomez may well have convinced Klopp that the signing of De Vrij was far from necessary, but the unpredictable nature of injuries and suspensions may well force the charismatic German to regret the decision later in the season.
De Vrij would have been a fantastic addition to Liverpool’s defensive unit and, considering they could have easily made a significant profit on the 26-year-old in the future, there’s no doubt they missed a golden opportunity in the summer.
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