Why Liverpool issue could be ‘addressed next summer’ as seven-man midfield shortlist is revealed

Joe Williams
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp sits next to Toni Tomic, sports journalist, during an interview.

Liverpool are likely to wait until next summer to sign a left-footed centre-back unless they can find ‘the right player’, according to reports.

The Reds have already signed Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for £35m and brought in Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for £60m with Jurgen Klopp wasting no time in the transfer market.

Midfield in their priority this summer but there have been rumours that Liverpool are also keen on bringing in a left-footed centre-back to add to Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate.

Wolfsburg’s Micky van de Ven and Lecce’s Patrick Dorgu are among the names linked with Liverpool looking for a young centre-back that they can develop.

But The Athletic have now warned fans that the Reds could leave their pursuit of a new defender until next summer unless they find ‘the right player’.

The Athletic claims:

‘Liverpool are considering signing a centre-back this summer, but it is not a guarantee because they have Gomez and Joel Matip to back up Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

‘The profile they would be looking for is a young centre-back, aged 23 or under, with the potential to develop. The options available mean they will not need to come straight into the team.

‘They do not have a senior left-footed centre-back in the squad, so the preference is a left-sided centre-back who is versatile enough to adapt to the 3-box-3 system.

‘The right-sided centre-back and left-sided centre-back have significantly different roles. The former has to be athletic to cover two positions in transition, while the latter has to be good on the ball and only pull wide when necessary.

‘It is unlikely they will spend big on the position; if they can’t get the right player, Liverpool intend to stick with what they have. The area would instead be addressed next summer when Matip is out of contract and Van Dijk turns 33.’

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Jordan Henderson will join Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq imminently with Fabrizio Romano claiming Fabinho’s move to Al-Ittihad “absolutely still on” despite rumours yesterday that the deal is in “jeopardy”.

That means that Liverpool could need at least one or two new midfield signings with The Athletic insisting that currently ‘getting one signing through the door is a priority’.

They hint that Cody Gakpo could fit into one of the advanced midfield roles, while there Liverpool have been experimenting with Trent Alexander-Arnold as a No 6.

The Athletic have also revealed the seven names on Klopp’s shortlist to improve his midfield this summer: ‘Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips, Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch, Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure, Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat, Benfica’s Florentino Luis and Aston Villa’s Boubacar Kamara.’

Lavia seems the most likely option as it currently stands with Liverpool having a £37m bid for the Belgium international turned down by Southampton on Tuesday.