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The Missing Piece: Kalidou Koulibaly would put Liverpool amongst Europe’s elite

It goes without saying that Liverpool are obviously one of the best teams in England, and their achievements in reaching the final of both the Europa League and the Champions League in recent years suggests that they can be considered as one of the best in Europe.

However, as their inability to win either of those finals shows, the Reds still have gaps in their teams that prevent them from clearing that final hurdle, and weaknesses that Europe’s current elite sides will look to target.

Where do their weaknesses lie?

Jurgen Klopp’s side have arguably one of the best attacking trios in world football, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah causing havoc for opposition defences for what seems like almost every week of the footballing calendar.

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Their midfield isn’t too shabby either, with the ever impressive Gini Wijnaldum playing a starring role alongside Fabinho, whilst Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri can also be called upon.

So, you may think this next part is a strange statement given the fact that the Reds sit atop of the Premier League clean sheet table this season with 13 to their name – however, it is in defence that the Merseyside-based team are often let down.

What’s wrong with it and how can it be solved?

When everyone is fit, the backline is fairly solid. Virgil van Dijk is obviously the main man at the back, whilst Andrew Robertson is emerging as one of, if not the best left-back in Europe. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s position at right-back is uncontested for now, so it is van Dijk’s partner at centre-back in Joe Gomez that needs upgrading.

Joe Gomez in action for Liverpool against Paris Saint-Germain

Since arriving at the club from Charlton back in 2015, the England international has missed 505 days out through injury, which is simply astonishing.

For a player as important as him, as seen by both Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren’s struggles to replace him this season, his injury problems are too frequent for Liverpool to be able to depend on him.

It may cost a lot, perhaps even more than the world-record £75m fee spent on van Dijk, but the Reds must ensure they land Napoli colossus Kalidou Koulibaly before any of their rivals pick him up.

The Senegalese international centre-back is an unerringly dominant presence at the back, but is immeasurably composed and effective on the ball – he has the lot, and Liverpool need to sign him even if it is the only purchase they make in the summer.

Article title: The Missing Piece: Kalidou Koulibaly would put Liverpool amongst Europe’s elite

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