Liverpool’s long-running battle to create a formidable central defensive partnership looks set to continue under Jurgen Klopp. The German manager has faced injury crises aplenty since his arrival at Anfield and, but it hasn’t taken him long to bolster that shaky central defence.
The losses of Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel have seen Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan arrive.
Klavan, the most recent addition, was somewhat of a left-field selection. An unknown, in many ways, the no nonsense defender is a Bundesliga veteran who many are expecting to play a backup role in Liverpool’s squad. Perhaps you could call it the Kolo Toure role?
The signing of another centre-back is reassuring in a way, but many Liverpool fans will surely have been hoping for a bigger name than Klavan. None of the current potential central defensive partnerships are particularly inspiring, are they?
With this in mind, here are five players Liverpool SHOULD HAVE signed instead of Ragnar Klavan…
Wales’ defensive hero at the Euros, surprisingly hasn’t been linked with a transfer yet this summer, and many Premier League teams might just be missing a trick with this one.
Liverpool lack defensive leaders and a wise-head; Ashley Williams would answer both of these questions whilst making Liverpool a much more solid prospect at the back.
Pace is not an issue for Williams – like it is for many defenders – and he would be just as adept in Klopp’s higher line as he would be in the deep block of a Wales defence.
Injuries have blighted Mehdi Benatia’s career since his move to Bayern Munich, but Liverpool could surely have been tempted in to a move for the ex-Roma star before he joined Juventus on a season-long loan.
One of the best defenders in Europe when fully fit, Benatia would have been a great defensive partner for Sakho and met the fans’ desire to sign a big name this summer.
Considering he signed for Juventus on a small loan fee with the option to buy, it seems a little strange that Liverpool were not competing for his signature.
As centre-backs are likely to arrive at Manchester City, it looks as though Jason Denayer – a full Belgian international – may never get his chance at the club.
Speculation of a transfer for Denayer is rife, and rightly so. Capable of filling in at right-back as well, Denayer could yet become one of the world’s best and Liverpool would not have regretted the sizeable investment.
Although Newcastle’s defence was near-comical for much of last season, Chancel Mbemba was one player who really stood out.
Including a magnificent performance against Liverpool, Mbemba demonstrated his pace and power as he competed with some of the world’s most hostile forwards in the Premier League.
The youngster still has plenty of developing to do, but all the attributes are there to become a world class defender.
Scott Dann continues to be overlooked for England selection and it’s hard to tell why.
The Crystal Palace centre-back was solid for the majority of last season, despite his side experiencing a terrible run of mid-season form.
Much like Klavan, Dann does the simple things well and would be a reliable option to fill in alongside any of Lovren, Matip or Sakho.