Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing Napoli centre-back Nikola Maksimovic this month and the Serbian international could be the man to ease their defensive woes.
It was suggested recently by talkSPORT’s Jim White that Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis claimed that Liverpool were previously interested in the 29-year-old, and expects them to still be interested due to their current injury problems, although he suggests that he has not heard anything of late about their interest.
If the stats are anything to go by, Maksimovic would go some way towards fixing Klopp’s problems in defence this season.
The German manager is set to be without the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the majority of the campaign, which has led to a frankly ridiculous number of different centre-back pairings so far this season.
Adding someone such as Maksimovic would add experience and consistency into Liverpool’s backline, with the Serbian having enjoyed a relatively injury-free career thus far. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Joel Matip.
The Reds have scored just six goals from set-pieces so far this season, which has them seventh out of all the Premier League sides, whereas last season they finished joint-top of the rankings with 17, which certainly suggests that they are missing the aerial threat of Van Dijk, with the Dutchman scoring five goals in the top-flight last season.
If Liverpool were to return for the Napoli centre-back this month, he could help replace that aerial threat, as he stands at 6 foot 2 and winning aerial duels looks to be one of his main strengths.
The Serbian has won on average two duels per game in Serie A, and 3.3 duels per game in the Europa League.
Fabinho, meanwhile, has averaged 2.1 won duels in the Premier League and just 0.8 duels in the Champions League, so you could definitely argue that Maksimovic is stronger in the air than the Brazilian.
Therefore, Michael Edwards should return for the 29-year-old this month, as with Transfermarkt valuing him at just £13.5 million, he could be a relatively cheap, short-term solution for Klopp’s side this season.
And, in other news, Bye-bye Matip: Klopp must swoop for £50m titan destined for “an amazing future”…