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Liverpool: Evan Ndicka could be Hummels 2.0 under Klopp

Liverpool are on the lookout for reinforcements following a dreadful period which has seen the club beset with embarrassing successive Premier League defeats.

With the need for the transfer department to shift into gear on plans which have rarely been so paramount, the Reds’ technical director Julian Ward could instigate a January move to bolster Jurgen Klopp‘s squad, following on from the £35m signing of Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.

With six goals shipped across the past two league outings, chastening defeats to Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion, alarm bells are indeed ringing with resonant tumult. Partnering those with the recent 2-2 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup, and Virgil van Dijk‘s recent injury, the onus might be now on securing an addition who would be capable of making them a less generous defensive unit.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka is one name being touted on the defensive front, and the France international is a name that Liverpool will know well, having registered an interest back in 2020.

Speaking to the Football Terrace in recent days, CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs illustrated the situation surrounding the 23-year-old, stating that Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United would rival the Reds in the hunt for Frankfurt’s coveted defensive gem.

He said: “There’s a mad, mad chase on all across Europe for the 23-year-old. Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea potentially, even with the arrival of Badiashile and of course Wesley Fofana, Liverpool have kept an eye on him, and then, a whole variety of others across Europe. Paris Saint-Germain is another option.”

With the 23-year-old’s contract up for expiry at the end of the season, the interest is only set to intensify for his services, and should a bid be lodged in the ongoing transfer window, he might indeed be prised away from Die Adler’s clutches.

When looking at Ndicka’s performance figures, it’s easy to see why he is attracting such attention from some of European football’s most illustrious clubs.

Would Evan Ndicka start for Liverpool?

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As per FBref, the Frenchman ranks within the top 8% of centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues over the pas 12 months for assists, the top 19% for aerials won and blocks, and the top 18% for clearances. Those returns highlight an imposing demeanour on the pitch and a ball-playing prowess which could provide Liverpool with a much-needed dimension in their attacking endeavours.

Should Klopp succeed in acquiring Ndicka, he would capture a young defender to mould to his own tactical design, much like Mats Hummels.

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Klopp’s emergence as an increasingly thriving manager on the major European scene in the early 2010s was concurrent with that of the German centre-back, who played under the 55-year-old’s wing at Borussia Dortmund, winning two league titles and making 242 appearances.

The 35-year-old still ranks among the top 16% of positional peers in Europe’s major leagues for tackles and the top 8% for passes completed, with WhoScored also confirming his passing aptitude by recording a career passing accuracy of 84.1% and a match average of 0.4 key passes.

Previously touted at £20m amid interest from Newcastle United, Ndicka is inching closer to an exit in Germany, one which could indeed pave a pathway to eminence at one of the biggest names in English football.

Liverpool could certainly make good use of a player hailed for his leadership skills and dubbed a “complete package” by Frankfurt journalist Christopher Michel at present, with the dynamic defender perhaps making the Reds more fearsome at the back and becoming a modern-day version of Hummels under Klopp’s tutelage.