Phil Thompson has tipped Liverpool to sign Leicester City centre back Harry Maguire, but the Reds would be much better off hijacking Everton’s move for Barcelona’s Yerry Mina.
While there are plenty of fans that feel Dejan Lovren deserves to start again next season after his impressive form in 2018, Liverpool could yet move for another centre back this summer, and Thompson believes it should be Maguire.
“I’ve been a big fan of Harry Maguire since his days at Hull City,” Thompson told the Liverpool Echo.
“Since then he’s got better and better. He’s had a fantastic World Cup so far.
“I was saying long before the tournament started that he has all the attributes needed to be a Liverpool player. Harry has been one of the best defenders in the World Cup and he certainly fits Liverpool’s philosophy. I can’t speak more highly of him.
“No disrespect to Leicester but I can’t see him being there come the end of the transfer window. I think he would have been £50million before the World Cup and probably a bit more now. But I think he would be worth it.
“Big clubs will be after him and I’d like to think that Liverpool would be at the forefront.”
While Maguire has been a beast at the World Cup for England, he hasn’t shone as bright as Mina, who bagged three goals for Colombia and formed a rock solid partnership alongside Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez.
Everton are chasing the Barcelona youngster, and according to The Liverpool Echo the Toffees have already made contact with Barcelona over a potential deal for the highly rated 23 year-old.
Marco Silva is on the hunt for a new a centre back to partner Michael Keane, as Phil Jagielka is now closer to 40 than 30 and Mason Holgate is still learning his craft.
The Toffees sold Ramiro Funes Mori this summer, leaving a gaping hole in the heart of their defence, but Liverpool should make sure they don’t plug that hole with Mina by swooping in and stealing the World Cup star.
The 23 year-old is seeking a fresh start after failing to make an impact in Catalonia, and Anfield would be the perfect place for him to do it.
The cliché “good feet for a big man” fits absolutely perfectly for Mina, as the 6 ft 5 defender boasted an 89 per cent pass success rate at the World Cup with Colombia.
He is also one hell of a defender, winning nearly five aerial duels per game, 1.3 tackles, one interception and a simply ridiculous seven clearances per game. This balance of defensive muscle and ball playing ability is exactly what the Reds need alongside van Dijk.
Mina’s three goals at the World Cup weren’t a coincidence either. The towering defender scored eight times in 33 appearances for Palmeiras before his big move to Barcelona, so just imagine the havoc he and van Dijk would cause at corners for the Reds.
His one weakness is his positioning, occasionally getting sucked out of wide or too high up the pitch. His surprising pace helps him recover though, and at 23 these mistakes are understandable. Playing alongside the colossal van Dijk would also help iron out these creases.
All in all, Mina isn’t the perfect defender, but he ticks all the boxes of what Jürgen Klopp is looking for and at 23 has a lot more room to develop than Maguire.
So, Liverpool fans, which centre back would you rather sign? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…