Lascelles and Van Dijk would banish Liverpool’s defensive woes

Liverpool should consider rounding off their transfer activity with a swoop for Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles, despite The Times recently claiming that the centre-back has no plans to leave the Magpies.

What’s the word?

It was evident to pretty much everyone that Liverpool’s defence improved when Virgil van Dijk arrived at Anfield in January.

The Dutchman brought with him a confidence and authority that had been missing in the Reds’ back line for years.

His presence improved Dejan Lovren’s performances alongside him, but there is still a sense that the partnership is not right long term.

The Croatian deserves credit for consistently delivering of late, but he is still very prone to a mistake or lapse in concentration.

Of course, no player is immune to a blunder, but Lovren’s history suggests that Liverpool should be open to finding a different partner for Van Dijk.

Lascelles’s future has been discussed in the media this summer, but on July 16 The Times reported that the centre-back has no intention of leaving Newcastle.

If Liverpool made a serious move for the defender, perhaps he would need to rethink his stance.

Why would it work?

Following Newcastle’s return to the Premier League last summer, a year after they were relegation to the Championship, Lascelles stood up to be counted.

The 24-year-old, who is valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, embraced the captaincy and showed real leadership at the back.

The former Nottingham Forest player has become an integral part of the Newcastle team, which could make it tricky for Liverpool to strike a deal.

It is certainly worth thinking about, though, as Lascelles and van Dijk could potentially form the best centre-back partnership in the Premier League.

Both are natural leaders, which may mean that compromises will have to be made, but as well as put his own stamp on the defensive line, Lascelles is young enough to learn and adapt under Klopp.