According to Sunday World’s Kevin Palmer, Liverpool are likely to revive their interest in Lille centre-back Sven Botman following the injuries to Joel Matip and Fabinho, which could leaves Klopp with no senior centre-back options ahead of the weekend’s game with West Ham.
Liverpool’s need to sign a centre-back has been clear to fans, and most likely Jurgen Klopp, for some time now but following the injuries suffered by Fabinho and Matip recently, the Reds must bring in a defender before the transfer deadline, otherwise, they risk providing a feeble title defence.
Matip was forced off at half-time in the 3-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night after damaging his ankle ligaments, and the early suggestions are that it could be a long absence for the Cameroonian international.
Fabinho, meanwhile, missed the game at Spurs with a minor muscle injury, but there is currently no timescale for when he might return to action.
It was no surprise, therefore, that after the final whistle, links to Lille centre-back Sven Botman resurfaced, with the young defender having been heavily linked with a move to Anfield earlier in the window.
Botman’s reputation in France is quickly growing after impressing with his performances for the Ligue 1 side following his summer arrival from Ajax.
He has also helped Les Dogues to an impressive 10 clean sheets so far this season and on an episode of the Transfer Window podcast, journalist Duncan Castles relayed the thoughts of his centre-back partner Jose Fonte:
“Fonte has played with an array of top-class centre-backs in his career including Virgil van Dijk, Toby Alderweireld, Pepe in the Portuguese national team and Gabriel last season who is now at Arsenal.
“From what I understand of Fonte’s impression of Botman, he thinks he’s the best of all of them.
“He describes him as a machine and a man who doesn’t make mistakes and also indicates that for a young player playing alongside an experienced professional, he’s very open to learning and taking instruction and improving his game.”
If Fonte is rating Botman higher than Van Dijk, with whom he played with at Southampton, then he would surely prove to be an excellent signing for the Reds.
Botman has won 3.6 aerials per game on average so far this season, which is more than any of Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip or Fabinho, which suggests that he would be a useful addition to Klopp’s squad this month.
As he is just 21-years-old, he certainly wouldn’t be a panic buy and could be an excellent long-term option for the Reds to have, so it seems as if the £22.5 million-rated defender could well be the man to solve the defensive crisis in Klopp’s squad if he is brought to Anfield by Michael Edwards this month.
And, in other news… Forget Trent: LFC “machine” who played four key passes was Klopp’s star vs Spurs