It is clearly the area of most concern, so Max Wober’s arrival will hope to somewhat offset that.
However, as both Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper have the potential to begin winding down their careers in the near future, there are few options for the Whites to look forward to in central defence.
That could therefore explain Victor Orta’s sudden desire to add an injection of youth into Jesse Marsch’s squad, with Diogo Monteiro the man in question.
As reported by Phil Hay earlier this week in The Athletic, the Yorkshire outfit are seemingly lining up a bid for the 17-year-old starlet who has been starring for Swiss side Servette FC in their top division.
Whilst a small sample size, it remains impressive that he is averaging an 83% pass accuracy, outlining himself as a ball-playing defender with slightly poorer defensive numbers. This is likely diminished due to the comfortable role he occupies, with his side sitting second.
This preference to have the ball at his feet plus their shared nationality could see the teenager draw comparisons with Ruben Dias, who has earned fame at Manchester City since his move from Benfica.
The progress of this youngster has been monitored with interest, and PortuGOAL, a website providing information on lesser-known Portuguese footballers, was full of praise for him: “Monteiro is a key player in central defence and his leadership qualities are clear as captain of Portugal’s U17 side.
“He was impressive against Wales, in particular his ability to spot an attacking player in space and execute a long pass which instantly created attacking opportunities for his side.”
This was supplemented by the claims of football scout Ron Dor, who labelled him “a beast in the making“.
With a penchant for long passes and progressing the play, this move would mark the acquisition of a huge talent for the future, with all the qualities that resemble his hulking compatriot who has already dominated the English top flight.